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Valedictory at BHS

History was made ….

On the sunny fields of Bergvliet Ringed around with mountains grand….

Close on 600 parents, staff and learners gathered for the School’s first ever Valedictory Ceremony to be held outdoors.

The wearing of masks, temperature screening, contact management strategies and social distancing were the order of the day. Even the school Matric band was separated by plastic screens.

The morning started with the traditional Matric/staff breakfast which too was different. Pre-packed boxed breakfasts beautifully created and presented by Mrs Mamhende, our Head of Consumer Studies, and her team.

Learners and staff gathered in the Chess Quad, the Amphitheatre and on the grass banks at the Astro in the glorious morning sunshine and chatted happily in informal groups. Memories and last goodbyes were shared as the time for the Valedictory Ceremony approached.

Whilst the staff and learners were enjoying breakfast, parents were arriving and being screened by the admin staff temperature screening teams.

The field was immaculate. Mr Fellies and his expert team had made sure of that. Hundreds of chairs, all spaced according to social distancing protocols, were soon filled with proud parents and family.

Mr Price led the staff across the field in a colourful procession. Once the staff had taken up their positions, it was the signal for Mr Furstenburg, Grade 12 Head, and his team to lead the Class of 2020 to their seats to rapturous applause of their parents and staff.

The ceremony, held under the blazing African sun in a cloudless sky, was a poignant moment of joy and pride after a year of trauma and disappointment brought by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

All the elements were there….singing of the School Song…the first lines of which described the Valedictory setting perfectly…..the induction of the 2021 prefects….speeches by the Head Prefects and their deputies….beautiful musical interludes from the Matric music class….and the keynote address from Mr Price….the theme was Find a Way….Mr Furstenburg closed the Valedictory with the African Blessing….before the Matrics filed out through a “Guard of Honour” made up of all their teachers.

It was a beautiful ceremony which certainly lifted everyone’s spirit. Parents and their children were very grateful that the school had “found a way” to have the Valedictory ceremony in a safe and responsible way.

As they move out into life we have no doubt that the Class of 2020 will take responsibility, take action and find a way.