Good morning Mrs Van der Merwe, Ms Mpofu, teachers, parents and fellow students.
I have discovered that life is unpredictable and that change is inevitable, but growth is essential.
I stand here today and I can proudly say that I was a part of the 2017 matriculant group, not because of some outstanding deed that was done, not for any other reason, but that we have grown. We started out as a mix ’n match bunch and each person had his or her flaws. Although we didn’t know it, as a grade we were growing. We had our fair share of bumps, bruises and falls, but our successes didn’t lie in having flawless records. Our successes have rather been due to getting back up, brushing ourselves off and trying again.
This rare trait would become the backbone of our grade and culminated in the Grade 11 Survival Camp. Little did we know it, but this time on camp would become the metaphor for our Matric year. On arrival, we were clueless about the bush and within half an hour we were expected to cross a dam using a barrel, a stretcher and some rope. This exercise proved interesting to say the least, as none of us were Olympic swimmers, with the exception of Carlene, and we soon found out that tog bags are not waterproof. The experience didn’t end there, as we then hiked for another ten kilometres and still had to build tents with only four hours of daylight left. Needless to say, tensions ran a little high, but we made it through as a team. This experience would set the tone for our matric year.
We encountered many challenges and had to negotiate the murky waters of our final year by sticking together if we were to survive the quicksand of English assignments and the piranhas of prefectship. We faced many unexpected twists: Ivan faced crocodiles, Shania had her pampered pooches and I was constantly on ‘sock crusades’. In some or other way we all had our part to play in this final episode of ‘Survivor’.
Apart from these swamp wars, we were in the privileged position to see the opening of the Preparatory School, the creation of another sports field and the booming development across the campus from the new basketball court to the new internal tar road. We can truly say that we saw the beginnings of something great here at Waterfall College.
Another event in our year that grew us was the legendary Matric Hike. We learned that we cannot go through life on our own and that at some point we may have to grasp an outstretched hand to help us up. We learned to value friendship and to build trust with those in our team, but also to think for ourselves and be strong in our independence.
We will surely miss the times that we had here at Waterfall College. The growth that we experienced here has shaped us and can be fully credited to the teachers of this fine school. Each teacher has imparted a wealth of life experience to each and every one of us and the lessons that we have learned will stay with us for many more years to come. Each teacher has left their mark on our lives, with their individual characters and little quirks by which we have been so enriched. All masters in their respective fields, these remarkable people can proudly say that they have played a part in developing us, the next generation of world leaders and superheroes. Isn’t that right, Batman? They have imparted to us, especially, the belief that we have the power to shape the future of South Africa.
So with full confidence, we can say that we, the Matrics of 2017, are ready to make our mark upon the wide, wild world out there. The question is: “Can the world handle the wave of change that we are about to bring?
Yay or nay, what will be will most certainly be, but to my teachers, friends and fellows of this progressive and dynamic school, I thank you for the honour and privilege of both leading and knowing you.
To my fellow Grade 12’s, the friends that I have known for so long, I urge you, as both fellow and friend, to always stand up for what is right on this great journey that we are about to embark upon.
I urge you, my dear friends, Fait Justica et Pereat Mundus: Do the right thing, come what may.