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Dear Parents

We have kept you fully informed on at least a weekly basis about Covid and its impact on our boys. By now, you are aware of the recent spike in cases as a result of various social gatherings off our campus. We have addressed this specifically with our Matrics as they are of major concern right now due to their final exams, but I ask all parents to be extra vigilant and to please avoid activities that do not follow accepted Covid protocols. We are all tired of Covid, of being apart from our friends, of not socializing and connecting with people, but the virus is still with us and we must be careful. The end goal is for the total eradication of any threat but, for now, our goal must be for the safe completion of a really hard year, particularly for our Matrics.

Covid is not going to miraculously disappear when we welcome in the New Year, but in 2021 we will be wiser and better able to cope mentally. For now, please ensure that your son follows the rules and stays safe, particularly when away from regulated spaces like school.

Lele Mehlomakulu has shared her survey with all staff, parents and boys from Grade 6 – 12. Please take some time to fill it in and give us feedback so that we may be guided in the process going forward.

As we head towards the year-end examinations I ask that you support your son in his preparation. Make sure he has a good routine of study, that he has a quiet place to work, that he eats properly and that he gets enough sleep. Limiting cell phone use and social media activity is also recommended so that he doesn’t lose focus on the final process which is so close.

I wish you all good health and good luck over these next few weeks. Our thoughts are with our Matric boys and indeed Matrics throughout the country as they begin final preparations to end what has been a year they will never forget. I am so proud of them and how they have managed, mostly, to keep positive and to make the most of a very difficult time.

Tony Reeler


Memento Mori

In ancient Roman times a tradition existed of a servant who used to stand behind a victorious general as he paraded through town in triumph having come home from success on the battle field. As the general basked in the glory of the cheering crowds, the servant would whisper in the general’s ear: “Respice post te! Hominem te esse memento! Memento mori!” These Latin words translated into English mean “Look behind you! Remember that you are but a man! Remember that you will die!” Can you imagine – you have just come home from victory, you are on top of the world, feeling invincible and this person’s job is to tell you that you are just a man, merely a mortal being and that you too will pass from this earth!!

So why do I share this slightly macabre story with you today? Why do I ask you in particular, as youthful human beings with your whole lives ahead of you, to think about your mortality?

There is even a branch of art dedicated to “Memento Mori”, with many images containing a flower, a skull and an hourglass or watch to symbolise life, death and time. I use the idea of “memento mori” as my message to you today not to cause fear about your death but for you to reflect upon your life.

We often take things for granted as we live and we don’t think of death, certainly not much as young people, yet that is the one certainty we have. If death happens at the end of life and we don’t know how long life will be, my first and obvious point to you is to live life to the full. This does NOT mean to take unnecessary risks that could contribute to an early demise! This does NOT mean ignore all others and their feelings and needs as you pursue your own. This does NOT mean to take up a selfish existence. It DOES mean to take every chance to learn something new, to get involved, help others and to laugh, love and live with joy and happiness, sharing yourself with others. So many of us waste so much time in mindless pursuits that achieve very little. We must have time for reflection, meditation and relaxation but try to live a purpose-driven life that means something.

My second point is to curb arrogance. Be careful in thinking you are special simply because of your successes, the accident of your birth, the school you go to, the house you live in or the cars you drive. Remember you are mortal and just as the poor man with nothing will die one day, so will you, so will I. Death is a great equalizer, so make sure the life you live is a humble one, taking nothing for granted and being grateful for the opportunities you have – big or small. Show that gratitude every day by thanking others for what they give you and by helping your fellow human being who may be struggling.

Thirdly, we need to appreciate others – people with whom we might be for a short period of time. Our grandparents spring to mind as those we often ignore as old and irrelevant. We need to value them and our parents more. Spend some time with them and listen to their stories, not as part of a family gathering but on your own. Ask their advice and share your concerns and feelings about the world. You will be amazed how much you can learn and how much they will appreciate what you have done.

These three thoughts – to live life to the fullest, to remember we are all mortal and not to be arrogant, and finally to appreciate others while we are around, are the three I want you to take from today. There are many other ways in which this phrase “memento mori” can be interpreted and I leave that up to you. All I ask is that in utmost humility you are grateful for what you have, in the knowledge that it can be gone in a literal heartbeat. 

I close with two quotes that speak to living…

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard
“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” – Henry David Thoreau


President's Award

In these challenging times, a few committed boys have managed to complete their President's Award at various levels. At this stage, we need to congratulate Kai Blatch and Andrew Geerdts who have just been awarded their Gold.  We also need to acknowledge Sameer Shaboodien, who was awarded his Gold at the end of term 1. These 3 Matric boys are still waiting for their certificates and badges, but in the meantime, we send them our heartfelt congratulations. At Bronze level, well done to Oscar Blatch, Liam Harrison and Alec Rippon.

English Olympiad

In March this year, 60 of our boys wrote the English Olympiad, with a number of them receiving awards for their efforts. Of the more prestigious achievements, the following boys need to be recognised and congratulated for having received Gold and Silver Diplomas:

John Smith (the only Bishops Gold Diploma this year).

Liam Petersen
Robert Kotze
James Elliott
Nicholas Pabst
Matthew Tripe
Paul Malherbe
James Mason
James Clarke
Christopher Dicey
Rohan Naidoo

Well done to these boys.


Well done to all our award, colours and tie recipients.

All Rounders Tie:
James Elliott
Abdul Maalik Kerbelker

The following boys need to be congratulated on achieving the following Debating Awards:

Half Colours:
Paul Malherbe
John Smith
Nimba Mahlati
Khelan Dheda
Luke Rissik

Debating Tie:
Paul Malherbe
John Smith
Nimba Mahlati
Khelan Dheda
Michael Beaumont

Service Tie:
Robert Dugmore

Distinction Tie:
Rohan Naidoo
Sebastian Jack (Grade 8, Birt House) receives a Commendation Certificate for good work. Congratulations!

Captain of Climbing 2021
Congratulations to Brian Daniel (B11) who has been elected as the Captain of Climbing for 2021


Campground Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town, 7700
Phone +27 21 659 1000 | Fax: +27 21 659 1013