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Dear Parents/Guardians

The end of the second term has come and school holidays are upon us – a time for reflection, rest and relaxation for our boys and staff. I do hope families are able to spend some time together too, reconnecting and sharing moments with each other.

I hope the examinations went well for your son, and that he is happy with his results. If not, that he has spent some time thinking about how he can change his outcomes for the last six months of this year. He will have to make a conscious change in habit, preparation or in attitude if he is to effect change going forward. These exams are often called teaching exams precisely because of the opportunity to learn from them for the future. The exams at the end of the year determine an outcome at the end of a process. These exams, being in the middle of that process, allow for readjustment and adaptation of practise and performance.

In assembly this week, I shared three incidents where members of the public engaged with me about Bishops boys, and their impression of the school as a result of their interaction. Sadly, two of them were negative with a lack of basic courtesy being the common theme. Failure to greet or even acknowledge the presence of an adult or visitor gave a very poor impression. The third was one where a new hairdresser of mine said how much she liked Bishops boys and always knew who was from Bishops because they were always warm, engaging and polite. I know that schools play a big role in developing teenagers’ lives but I ask that parents support us as we work together to insist that our boys have good manners, greet others around them and acknowledge their presence, just treating people kindly and with respect. It is such an important part of basic humanity and something that speaks volumes about the home the boy comes from and the school he attends.  


With the onset of the third wave of Covid in the country, and the slow rollout of vaccines is potential risk. Add to this a term where boys have had the chance to play sport taken from them, three weeks of exams and now holidays and you have a high possibility that boys will engage in risky behaviour, attending large gatherings and parties and not wearing masks. We are asking parents to keep going, despite your weariness! Please keep our boys safe this holiday. In the past we have seen an upsurge in infections, the last one after the December holidays. With winter added to the already mentioned factors, we are going to be under great pressure and need to work together, supporting each other by keeping ourselves safe, our families safe and following the rules.


As mentioned in the Transformation newsletter, the staff have formed four Focus Groups, each with a separate theme that came from the initial conference at the start of the term. These groups will be reporting back to the staff on the first Monday of next term, 19 July, with action plans to be rolled out thereafter. School will therefore start for the boys on Tuesday 20 July.


I wish to extend a massive thank-you to Mr Mark Mitchell, the staff who ran the Eisteddfod and the boys who took part. To have something at all under these conditions is simply remarkable, and the effort it took to create an event for the boys was significant. The results are available online but I wish to compliment all those involved on their creativity and “can-do” attitudes.


A group of boys and staff took part in a 24 hour cycle marathon on Youth Day. This was the day after the College had finished exams and was a chance for the boys to put their feet up and relax but a number of them chose to give up their time to raise funds for our partnership project in Langa, the Vusa Rugby and Learning Academy. We have raised just over R260 000 and this money will make a significant impact on the lives of so many children. Our sincere thanks go to the staff and boys who took part, the many ODs who volunteered their services in various capacities and to the Vusa staff who put the event together. Well done – you can be most proud!

The second thanks go to the boys and staff of the music department who put together a video performance of Mango Groove’s “Special Star” as the opening musical item for the International Boys Schools Coalition virtual conference 2021. Each region was given a day to present material and we opened the Africa Day with a performance from the Maritzburg College gumboot dancers and the musicians from Bishops. It was a real celebration of South Africa and the talent that exists in our schools and I thank all those who made it happen.

Click here to view

Bishops Pride

In 2019, when we could still travel, my wife and I went to New York on holiday at the end of a conference we attended in Canada. We arrived in New York, took the underground to our hotel in Times Square and emerged at 10:00 in the morning into the middle of World Pride celebrations! The cacophony of noise was indescribable as was the riot of colour, but for us what was the lasting impression that people were able to feel authentic, to be authentic, if only for a short period of time. They were in a very big “safe space”. It was a wonderful moment I will remember forever.

Bishops Pride, has decided to put up a pride flag for the final days of school this term to show support for global pride month, which signifies the Stonewall riots of June 1969 in the US. These riots were started by frequenters of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar, resisting the harassment and brutality of the police that had plagued the entire community for decades, effectively starting the gay pride movement both in the US and in many other countries around the world.

South Africa also has its own history of an amazing queer pride movement which worked hand in hand with the anti-apartheid movement, leading to South Africa's new constitution being possibly the most supportive and protective of queer people in the world. This proudly South African history will be remembered and celebrated later this year during October to commemorate when the first South African (and African) pride event took place on the 13th of October 1990. Ultimately, Bishops commemorates these events to show support for the global and South African queer communities, as well as Bishops' own queer students.

Kind regards

Tony Reeler


Message: Your Future Is My Future Too!

According to many young people, I am old! At 56 years old with seven years left before official retirement from work I am past the midpoint of my life while they are well before that. I have decided I am going to do something rather selfish in these next few years. I am going to invest in myself. But I am going to do it by investing in young people and as many other young people as I can. I am going to insist they have good manners. I am going to insist they treat others kindly and with respect. I am going to insist they work hard and play hard, but always fairly. I am going to insist on all the things we talk about often in good schools. Because as I heard the other day: I am going to retire into a world that they will be running. 

My future will be determined by them, so it is up to me as father, teacher and responsible adult to make sure that I prepare, help, guide and nurture those who are younger than me – even if it is purely for selfish reasons that I want a good retirement. I need to invest in them!

I want to have a safe, peaceful retirement with my wife. I want to have excellent medical care if I need it. I want to be able to travel perhaps. I want to see my grandchildren, if I am blessed to have grandchildren one day, often and see my children in them.

The possibility of these things actually happening will depend on the current youth – who will then be in charge of the police forces, the courts and the justice system to make sure I am safe. They will be the doctors I will visit and the administrators of the hospitals I might need should I fall ill. They will be investing my money, little as it may be, and they will be in charge of societal values that keep my family with me in my country and not force them to places far away where I may only see them every five years or so. This will be their world and I had better make sure that they are prepared for it.

There is so much I want them to know, so much I want them to learn yet so much they have to do on their own. I need to look after them now so that they look after me then.

I need to make sure they think for themselves so they can solve the technological problems of the future and allow us to advance as a human race. I need to make sure they have a good work ethic in all they do because lazy people will not help our world and certainly won’t help me. I need to make sure they care about others so that their compassion will shine through. I need to make sure that they are in good shape – physically and mentally – because I may not be and I will need them around. I need to do my job well now so they may do theirs later.

While my message to them today speaks, perhaps selfishly to my own needs, hopefully you get the need we all have on each other. You need me, I need you. The person next to you needs you and you need them. There is a common humanity. Many of you are aware of the African word “ubuntu” which describes a concept of interdependence. It comes from the Zulu language "Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu" We are only who we are because of others. So look after yourselves but look after others too. Your life will depend on them someday too.



We have had a wonderful few days of our slightly toned down Eisteddfod.
For the first time, you will now be able to enjoy all the performances in your own time. We invite you to watch in the holidays, as you can now see more performances online that you would have been able to see in person.

Please browse the other sections, our boys have really excelled this year in all areas.

Youth Day

Last week we celebrated our country's most precious commodity – our Youth. We remembered what this day was about and why we celebrate one of our country's most defining moments. It paved the way for equality and equal opportunity for all in our beautiful rainbow nation.

“Youth Day is a day to honour the courage and sacrifice of the Soweto Uprising youth and celebrate all young people. It is the realisation of a vision and a dream fought for by thousands of South African youths. It is a celebration of youth, power and unity, how we as young people can impact the world if we put our minds to it”.

Here is what the day means to our boys

Feel Good

Last week Friday our boys held a civvies day to raise funds for the sanitary pad drive, along with the Herschel girls. We are proud that the boys took it upon themselves to get involved and donate pads to young girls in schools for sisters in need.

Blue Pages

Our Bishops interactive online magazine, The Blue Pages, 11th Edition, is open for advert bookings. Please click here to book and submit an ad. The deadline for bookings is the 9th July, and distribution on the 18th July.


Congratulations to OD  Rower, Stephane Pienaar (2017), on his selection to represent South Africa at the u23 level. Stephane will race in a coxless pair with team mate Thabelo Masutha. Stephane will race for South Africa at the U23 World Championships at Racice, Czech Republic between the 07th to 11th of July this year. Stephane is currently training with the Olympic squad in the Lesotho mountains on the Katse Dam. We wish Steph all the best and look forward to some exciting racing.

All the details for the race itself can be found on the World Rowing website  and; a live tracker and potentially full streaming may take place.


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