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Dear Parents


The past week has been difficult for us as we dealt with the passing of two significant members of our community, Terry Wilke and Vernon Wood. I must complement our choir and orchestra who provided such superb music in the Cathedral at Father Terry’s funeral service yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Wilke and Wood families.


At assembly today we were privileged to listen to our a capella group “Simply Blue” who performed  two pieces from their repertoire, ‘Holy Mother’ and ‘Come Go with Me’, a wonderful way to start the day.




Following the recent water polo incidents involving Bishops and Rondebosch, the Heads were approached by two old boys, Matt Pearce (OD) and David Becker (ORU), offering to get involved in creating a framework to improve conduct and behaviour at sports fixtures involving the schools and, indeed, the broader Western Cape schools community. The premise was that, while the recent incidents were particularly unfortunate and received widespread publicity, we need to acknowledge that there has been a trend of declining relationships between boys, coaches, parents and old boys around Western Cape schools sports events and that it is time to be proactive in addressing and reforming this trend.


To this end, the two old boys facilitated a two-and-a-half hour strategic session last week involving five boys from each school (including Head Boys, Deputies and Head Cheerleaders) as well as the Headmasters, Heads of Sport, Chairs of Council, Chairs of Old Boys Associations and Heads of Parents’ Associations from both schools, where all parties were encouraged to contribute towards a positive outcome.


The three main areas of discussion were: 

  • What environment do we collectively wish to create around sporting encounters between the schools? What are our ideals?
  • What are the factors preventing us from creating that environment?
  • What new traditions and rules do we need to implement in order to try and eliminate the preventative factors and work towards our desired outcome. 

The contributions from all were robust, honest and beneficial. It was heartening to realise how aligned the schools are in terms of desired outcome and also inspiring to hear the words of leadership of the boys from both schools, who are being encouraged through this process to help create their own legacy at their respective schools and leave them in a better place. The facilitators also tabled a proposed framework for a code of conduct – which we hope will be adopted by all school communities – as well as a social media campaign that they conceptualised and have left with the boys for discussion.


The contributions from the strategy session have been collated along with these frameworks and distributed to all participants. The next step is for the two groups of boys to meet at their respective schools (possibly including more of their leadership group) and then to meet as a combined group to share ideas and to report back to the working group with their proposed way forward. The broader group will then meet before the end of this term so that we can begin term two with a jointly created and agreed set of protocols for how we expect all sectors of our school communities to behave around sport. The first step in the process has been hugely rewarding and healing, and reminded us of how aligned we actually are. We look forward to reporting back on further progress and to the buy-in from the Bishops community to a plan that will be owned by the boys.


Please see the attached assembly notices and the notice from our caterers, Origin.


I am heading up to Johannesburg today to support our boys in the water polo tournaments at KES, Parktown and Jeppe, and the SA Rowing Champs at Roodeplaat. Our 1st XI cricketers are also involved in the St Alban’s Independent Schools Festival. We wish all our boys well at these premier events where their skill and ability will be tested to the full.


Have a wonderful weekend.


Yours sincerely  


Guy Pearson