By Elretha Britz
Eunice turned 143 this year. One might say it is no special milestone, but the celebration on 4 May in the school hall was indeed a memorable occasion.
The marimba ensemble welcomed the head, Zinnette de Wet, who had ventured her first parachute jump the previous day in front of 1 800 Eunice girls. Also entering on the red carpet were special guests Mrs Anne-Marie Klink, head of Hoër Meisieskool Oranje, Mr Paul Cassar, previous headmaster of Eunice and the guest speakers Tracey Chemaly and Elsje Neethling. Tracey and Elsje are both from the class of 1998.
After a few introductions Tracey took the stage with a brilliant speech about sisterhood. Small wonder as she studied journalism and is now an acclaimed magazine journalist stationed in Mexico City.
The essence of her speech was about ordinary women who have had the greatest impact on her life.
“These women are not superstars. They don’t live lives without problems. They don’t drive fancy cars and stay in five-star hotels (hell, we camp!). They’re normal people, most of whom don’t even have more than 200 followers on their Instagram account. And yet these women, including my mother and sister, have been the cornerstones throughout my 38 years of life.”
Sisterhood doesn’t need a fancy tale, she said. “I haven’t been boosted by the confidence of Rihanna or been motivated by Meghan Markle’s fairy-tale love story. I’m not changing my fitness regime or dietary habits because someone with one million social media followers tells me I ought to.
Tracey mentioned classmates whom she has been friends with for 32 years and who were also attending their 20-year reunion. “All girls in green are eternally connected, no matter their age and their location. I am extremely proud to call you all my sisters.”
The next guest speaker was Elsje, the sister of the swimming champion Ryk Neethling, who was aptly nicknamed Arm Neethling. Elsje’s life story is one of unbelievable inner strength, resilience, blessings, achievements and humour.
She was diagnosed with brain cancer six weeks after she had enrolled at Eunice in grade 8. The cancer has since returned at least 13 times and after almost every operation doctors gave her only a few months to live, yet she still celebrates life with abundance.
She wrote a book, Ek droom van ‘n droom, of which 15 000 copies were sold within the first week. She started a business in making and selling creative jewellery and has lately turned to surfing in which she excels. Elsje is now a member of the South African adaptive surfing team and is competing internationally.
While at school, she was supported by her class mates when she endured set-backs. “They made me laugh, they paid surprise visits, they signed their names on bald spots on my head and we came together hours before a Grey ball. They are my sisters; my Eunice sisterhood.”
The proceedings were concluded after candles were lit, a rendition by the much acclaimed school choir and the singing of the school anthem.
The motto, ‘No other school so dear’, does indeed ring true.
By Michaela Lupacchini
The Grade 8 Graduation on the 29th of January was indeed a highlight for Eunice’s new Grade 8s.
These young ladies enjoyed two weeks of activities, which included: meeting new teachers, making new friends, having great fun at the sleepover and last but not least, climbing the Thaba Nchu mountain. Ask any Grade 8 and she will tell you that high school is overwhelming, but fun as well.
On Graduation day each Grade 8 stood next to her mentor, while listening to the Headgirl (Swalica Erasmus) share a few words of wisdom. After this the Grade 8 were presented with a promise that they had to recite together. The focus of this was on the school’s theme for 2016: “Ignite the Dream.”
After sharing in this very special moment, we can finally say that the Grade 8s of 2016 are officially part of the Eunice family.
The matric crowning is a very special ceremony that symbolizes the start of the Grade 12 form’s final school year at Eunice. A symbolic crown is handed to the Grade 11’s at the end of the year. This ceremony serves as a sign of their commitment to leading the school as a senior form.
The matric class pledge their commitment to their own and Eunice’s goals during a special ceremony organised by the Representative Council of Learners. This ceremony leads them into the preparation phase for their final examination.
An assembly is hosted and arranged by the Matric class to pay thanksgiving to the whole Eunice family. Learners, educators and staff are thanked in person for their contribution to Eunice Excellence.
The Matric class bids farewell to Eunice and their formal schooldays during this special assembly around the school fountain. The Old Girls’ Association gives a St Christopher pendant to each Matriculant as a symbol of protection and well wishes for her journey ahead.
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