Class of 1966 Celebrate in style!
The DHS 1966 class gathered at Ajays at DHS on Thursday 2 June to celebrate the 50th reunion of their Matric class. Around 100 delegates (including a number of Teachers and a past Headmaster from their era) attended, and there was a wonderful spirit of unity and goodwill as Classmates and Teachers alike shared their memories and reconnected again after half a century.
Mike Mun-Gavin welcomed everyone and introduced the current Headmaster, Leon Erasmus, who inspired everyone with his passion and commitment to excellence in the address that he gave. Denzil Andrews then thanked Leon and introduced the current learner leadership team ("Stash" Mathenjwa the Head Prefect - and his two deputies, Libo Mngomezulu and Josh Spooner).
We also had a simple ceremony to remember our deceased Classmates - by lighting a candle for each one. This was followed by projecting video greetings from Classmates around the world who had not been able to make the reunion.
All in all we had a total of 51 Classmates from South Africa (quite a few of whom had travelled a long way to get here); 5 from Australia; 3 from Canada; one from the French Riviera; 1 from France and 1 from Zimbabwe. In addition there were 5 teachers and 16 others (including wives/partners of classmates and teachers). We gave each delegate a "goodie" bag containing a magnum of 'Wrinkles' McIver Wine of Maturity Merlot; a special bookmark with the names of deceased Classmates, a discount voucher from La Bella Restaurant, an engraved stylus key ring/torch and the commemorative embroidered golf shirts that had been ordered by them. These gifts were made possible by a number of very generous donations that we received from Classmates.
The following morning some of the Classmates attended the special Founders Day assembly at the school. This was a deeply moving experience for us, as it became so clear that our school has built on the wonderful traditions of the past and evolved into a superb, inclusive institution. A recurring theme which struck a positive chord with us - was that the boys have a sense of entering a noble brotherhood when they join DHS. I felt so proud to be an Old Boy as I witnessed the DHS of 2016 in all its glory. There is an infectious enthusiasm amongst the teachers and learners that pervades everything they do. The boys showed tremendous respect and courtesy in the way that they interacted with us.
On the Friday evening some of us attended the formal banquet at the Greyville Convention Centre where over 800 Old Boys and Teachers gathered to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the school. This too was an inspiring event. Lee Irvine was the MC, and the speakers included Chris Seabrooke, Stephen Saad and Joe Parker - who was the after-dinner entertainer.
On the Saturday morning we were privileged to go on a very interesting tour of the school conducted by Jeremy Oddy. This culminated in a fascinating slide presentation in the Seabrooke Theatre - which mapped out the history of the school. In the afternoon we watched two thrilling rugby encounters with Maritzburg College - winning against their 2nd team with only 14 men - and then losing narrowly to their first team - in a match that could have gone either way. We were left with no doubt that we are developing as a top rugby school under the astute leadership of Scott Mathie (ex Sharks).
On the Sunday morning a number of us (including some of our wives) got together for a brunch at the Ski Boat Club - where we were superbly hosted by raconteur extraordinaire, Commodore Hilton Kidger. This was a wonderfully relaxed and enjoyable few hours which enabled us to relate in a less formal environment as we wound down and ultimately said our good byes to one another. The prevailing sentiment was that the weekend had been profoundly significant - in that it had cemented our brotherhood tradition. It was resolved that we should remain in touch through our website and connect again more regularly in future.
Video messages from Classmates who could not attend
We enjoyed a superb evening at Ajay's with nearly 100 folk in attendance - including some legendary teachers (Alan Wilkinson, Grayson Heath, Roger Sparks, Graham Boucher, Ray Commaille and Tony Human (who is STILL teaching there), Here are some of the video greetings we received: Please click the Back Arrow after each message to get back to this page - in order to watch the next message.
Alex Kinmont (added subsequently)
GROUP PHOTO (taken at Reunion Cocktail Party at Ajays on Thursday 2 June 2016)
(This can be viewed in Photo Galleries)