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Dear Parents

I have been delighted by how the boys have approached the past three weeks back at school. Many were initially anxious, they still battle with social distancing and there are some interesting hairstyles, but generally they have done well. It is great to have them back again. We will be looking at the appearance of our boys in the next few weeks and ask parents to make sure their sons are neat and wearing their uniform with pride.

I saw a video doing the rounds on social media of a great white shark swimming amongst surfers in Plett recently and was blown away only to be told later that one of our Grade 8 Mallet House boys, Zach Berman, was the drone pilot who filmed the video! My congratulations to him on some fine work. The combination of opportunity and expertise created this once in a lifetime sighting and recording.

We will be reverting to the established pattern of fortnightly assemblies followed by a newsletter. The start of term was unusual, hence the frequency of newsletters, but from now on this should appear every two weeks. I will include achievements and awards that would normally be made in assembly as well as the actual content of the assembly to encourage discussion at home.

News of the following achievements were received after I had recorded my weekly assembly and so will be mentioned next time. My apologies to the boys but they will be recognised soon.

Assembly Announcements: Friday 24 July 2020

Dino Vavatzanidis is congratulated on being awarded an All Rounders Tie.

The Quadrangular Team Tie is awarded to Bishops athletes who have represented Bishops for a minimum of three years at the annual Quadrangular (formerly the Triangular), two of which should be in their senior years. This is the third year the tie is awarded. Congratulations to the following 10 individuals who are awarded their Quadrangular Team Ties: Suleiman Hartzenberg, Ilyaaz Arnold, Samuel Aitken, Matthew Tripe, William Ross, Nassar de Kock, Caleb Oliphant, Josh Seymour, Adam Suliaman, Oliver Diggle and Cameron Parker-Forsyth.

Colours for Athletics

To be awarded colours in athletics, athletes need to compete in a minimum of three meetings and run, jump or throw the minimum requirement for colours at least twice in their respective events. Following a very busy and successful season, the following five athletes are awarded and congratulated on achieving Half and Full Colours for athletics:
Half Colours: Keegan van Wyk, Samuel Rudston
Full Colours: Luke Davis, Matthew Tripe, Elyas Ayyoub (re-award)

Kind regards

Antony Reeler


In the past two weeks I have had the opportunity to speak to all the Grades about a number of things that are important to me, including discrimination and the development of Good Men.

The process of dealing with discrimination has come a long way and there have been strides made in the right direction. We are hoping to finalise the appointment of a transformation specialist by the end of this week, to help guide us and then to start a process of change – both personally and as an organization. We need to own the process to make it truly ours, unique to Bishops and authentic. It is all very well to have someone facilitate a few workshops and afterwards we sit back and tick off transformation on a to-do list, until something happens again to awaken our concerns and expose what should have been fixed. Transformation is an on-going, long-term process that changes hearts and changes minds. And that takes commitment and time.

Transformation is also about change and you are all undergoing change as you grow. Your bodies change and your mind changes as you work out for yourself what you want to stand for, what you believe in and what makes you the unique person you are.

Sometimes we watch something that just sticks with us because the actions of a single person say so much.

Please take a moment to watch the following clip:

In this video, filmed in 1989 in Tiananmen Square, a man, coming back from the shops with two bags of groceries, decides that enough is enough. A brief historical background: The Chinese government had been brutal in quashing a student rebellion of thousands of demonstrators, sending in the army, including tanks, firing live ammunition at unarmed students and killing hundreds.  This was filmed for the world to see.

And one man said “enough”. He stood in front of a tank, blocking its way, to say “enough”. He even climbed on to the tank to try to talk to its occupants – about what, we do not know, but he tries to engage with them – his “enemies”. The tank tries to get around him, past him, but he is resolute in his quest to stop it. He knows he cannot possibly win, but yet he has simply had enough.

Last week I spoke to you about Good Men and some of the qualities we look for in Good Men. I hope you had discussions at home because I share what I say to you with your parents to allow home conversation to take place – hopefully around a supper table with the tv off and cell phones away! I want you to ask each other things like what you look for in “goodness” and in “male-ness” and by discussion and debate you can work out what fits you best. So, in continuing that theme of goodness, what made this man stand in front of a tank?

He had simply reached his breaking point, found the ultimate thing he could not accept. He found what a speaker I heard once referred to as his “hell no!” moment. What is yours? What is your moral breaking point that you will stand in front of a tank for? That tank is usually metaphorical, not literal, and may take the shape of the group of friends you are with that are laughing at a joke that has nasty undertones. It may be the WhatsApp group you are on that posts a meme that is derogatory towards women and you are now faced with a choice – do you say something or not? Do you stand in front of the “tank” or do you step aside and let it carry on? Do you let the peer-pressure tank ride straight over you or do you stand your ground?

And so my question for you today is… what is your “hell no!” moment? At what stage will you put your foot down and say “enough”?  When will you stand in front of your tank?

This question, if answered honestly, allows us to clarify what really matters to us. Family, racism, sexism, treatment of animals, poverty and hunger – there are sadly so many things we could stand up for and show what we believe in.

Because, Good Men have “hell no!” moments. They have things they are simply not prepared to put up with, not prepared to say or do or be linked with in any form. Good Men are prepared to stand in front of a tank. Will you?

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Phone +27 21 659 1000 | Fax: +27 21 659 1013