Good Day All
It has been a quiet but interesting last few months of 2015. The year ended with a another successful fundraising event at the Artscape on 6 December – Back2School Boogie (courtesy of Rafiek Mammon/Ganarama Productions) and the Wall2Hall Honour Celebration in the new hall at Harold Cressy High School on 12 December.
For the benefit of the many recent additions to our growing database of ex-Cressyites and other benefactors we have decided to include a brief summary of events of the last 18 months.
Brief summary of last 18 months
The period since August 2014 has without a doubt been the most eventful and most successful in the history of the Harold Cressy Alumni Association (HCAA). The following are some of the highlights of the events, activities and developments that took place during this period:
- Harold Cressy High School (HCHS) was officially declared a Provincial Heritage Site (PHS) because of its significance in terms of intrinsic historical, social, environmental, cultural and political value, at a special meeting at Heritage Western Cape in August 2014. This is a unique accolade for this iconic school whose rich heritage and legacy has finally received the recognition it deserves and will now receive protection under the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999. The PHS Plaque was ‘unveiled” by Dr Victor Ritchie on Heritage Day, 24 September 2014.
- An employee at Santam and ex-student of Harold Cressy High School, solicited a donation of R10 000 for the Harold Cressy Bursary Fund from the Santam Staff Volunteerism Programme. Other ex-Cressyites working in the corporate sector are encouraged to explore this avenue of supporting the Harold Cressy Bursary Fund. Employees qualify for funding from these CSI programmes for their participation in charities and community projects.
- The HCHS Multi-Purpose Hall building plans were approved by the WCED and Heritage Western Cape. The “turning-of-the-sod” ceremony for the hall construction took place at HCHS on 11 September and former educator and principal, Mr Lionel Adriaan, ‘performed the honours’ in front of more than 700 cheering Cressy learners, educators and other stakeholders.
- The Harold Cressy Wall of Honour Plaque Project was launched in August 2014 and has completely turned around the HCAA fundraising fortunes as more than R1.2 million has flowed into the Cressy Hall Fund during this period enabling the HCAA to achieve its target of R1 million for the final Phase 1 payment.
- Miles October (Class of 1990) donated a brand new website to the school. His company, Play Sport4Life, was responsible for the design and set-up of the website.
- The inaugural Cressy Heritage Fun Run/Walk in March 2015 was hugely successful with about 700 members of the Cressy community participating and contributing to its success.
- The highlight of the past year was without a doubt the mini-celebration of the completion of Phase 1 of the HCHS Multi-Purpose Hall. The project was launched on 16 May 2009 and after 6 years of planning, countless meetings, fundraising activities and events, the construction of Phase 1 was finally completed. An event to celebrate this historic achievement was held in the new hall on 13 June. Amongst the notables attending the event were former principals, Dr Victor Ritchie and Mr. Lionel Adriaan, Professor Crain Soudien (Vice Chancellor – UCT) as well as ex-student and structural engineer on the project, Mr Badroodien (Buddy) Sydow who was given the honour of cutting the ribbon to officially open the new hall.
- For the first time in its 65-year history, Harold Cressy High School was able to bid farewell to the matric class of 2015, through their valedictory in its own school hall. The keynote speaker at the valedictory was SA Idols celebrity and ex-Cressyite, Randall Abrahams (Class of 87) whose presence at the event was a pleasant and very exciting surprise for the Class of 2015. The school was also able to use the hall as an examination venue, one of the stated objectives when the project was launched in 2009. See images of the valedictory and examinations attached below:
The Grade 10s and 11s were able to write their final examinations in the hall. The invigilating during the examinations was a much easier process than in the past.
Future planned Events
Cressy Fun Run/Walk – 3rd April
65th Anniversary Celebration – TBA
Golf Day – TBA
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Nazreen Bawa: Cressyite in Western Cape takes silk.
President Jacob Zuma made 17 advocates of the Cape Bar senior council. They were conferred silk status on 22nd October 2015. Nazreen Bawa is the first Cressyite woman in the Western Cape to take silk.
Mr Victor Ritchie was excited to hear the news of her achievement. “Being the former principal of Harold Cressy and to hear this news of one of my students late during my retirement is wonderful”, said Mr Ritchie.
She was the recipient of the Anglo American Open Scholarship in 1989, obtained a Bachelor of Business Science and LL.B degrees at UCT, completed pupillage and was admitted as an advocate of the High Court of South Africa and a member of the Cape Bar. She currently serves on the Cape Bar Council and is part of the Transformation Committee. She is approved to serve as chair on Tax Board appeals for SARS. She is also registered as an approved arbitrator for the Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa.
Riyaadh Najaar: WCED National Teaching Awards
Riyaadh Najaar, Principal of Spine Road High School received the Kader Asmal Excellance Award at Mutualpark in Pinelands. He received this award at Western Cape’s 16th annual provincial teaching awards ceremony which was held on the 6th November 2015.Mr Najaar said in an interview that he was humbled in receiving the award. “There are so many principals and teachers who work under trying circumstances and putrid conditions but are never accolade for their hard work. We always try to uplift the standards at our disadvantaged schools which are always under resourced. We find joy through the children that we teach. I believe that the human resources at our schools are the most important resources. We do not believe in giving our children second best, because they deserve the best we can offer”
We salute our Cressyites for their achievements.
Please let me have such other articles that we can share with the Cressy Community.
As always, we remind ourselves of our school motto and proudly declare:
“Volenti Nihil Difficile” – To those who are willing, nothing is too difficult.
Wishing you and your families a wonderful and peaceful festive season and happy holidays.
If you do travel on the roads take care and drive safely.
Enjoy, rest well and have lots of fun!