mape pmm A /-•■j fi ^iriifirj.- ^ % #« i m iji^> :k A'f ¥> c « J^ m /■ KEARSNEY CHRONICLE 1990
& m ■ ■ 4 ;.v.. __ MR E.C.W,SILCOCK
A Tribute to Colin and Charmian Silcock The honour has fallen to me on behalf of the Trustees and Board of Governors to pay tribute to Colin and Charmian Silcock, and to bid a final farewell to them from Kearsney College. It is a task I undertake with very mixed feelings.On the one hand,to have the pleasure ofrecognizingand applauding the invaluable contribution that Colin Silcock has made to Kearsney and on the other, the sadness of having to take leave of and say goodbye to a colleague and friend with whom I have been so closely associated from the time that I had the privilege of sharing in the confirmation of his appointmentas the Headmaster ofKearsney College over 15 years ago. Colin Silcock came to Kearsney from the then Rhodesia as a well-established Headmaster with a successful career in secondary education. His own education has been firmly founded at Plumtree High School outside Bulawayo where he had an outstanding academic record.He wasthe headboy as well as being a member ofthe 1st teams in rugby,cricket, swimming, waterpolo and athletics. He was also a keen participant in the dramatic arts and the musical side of the school. This broad-based background in education in his early years obviously stood him in good stead for the years that lay ahead in his chosen career of teaching and then headmastering. Immediately on leaving school Colin Silcock served with distinction during the Second World Warasan Officerin His Majesty's Royal Navy in the Mediterranean, Far East and United Kingdom theatres. He had the good fortune to survive his ship HMS Eclipse being blown up under him in the Eastern Mediterranean. Any man who had been through the Second World War knowsthe unsettled period on returning hometo civilian life. It must have been particularly difficult having to get back to studying which Colin Silcock elected to do at Rhodes University where he read for a B.Sc.in Mathsand Chemistry and then received a Teacher's Diploma from Natal University. It was while he was at Rhodes that he met Charmian Collier followed by their marriage. They both then wentto Rhodesia where MrSilcock taughtin the then Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland during the days ofEederation and then again in Rhodesia returning to his old school, Plumtree, as Deputy Headmaster followed by his appointment as Headmaster at Hamilton. Whilst in Rhodesia, he was an active Round Tabler and Rotarian being a past President and Charter member ofthe Bulawayo South Rotary Club. Colin Silcock's involvement in education once he arrived in Natalcontinued beyond the Kearsneycampusand during his time here he has been the Chairman of the Conference of Headmasters and Headmistresses,the first Chairman ofthe Principal's Association of the Natal Teachers' Society, Executive member ofthe Association ofPrivate Schoolsand a memberofthe Natal Education DepartmentExaminations Board and the Natal Education Council. However,it is at Kearsney that Colin Silcock has really left his mark. His Headmastership could probably be best summed up by a prophetic letter I received from Max Oram our much loved and respected first Deputy Headmaster, who,on learning of Colin Silcock's appointment, wrote to me saying: "It is clear that you have a man of wide experience and achievement, academically, administratively and in those extra curricular activities where successful management is second only in importance to the wise planning ofscholastic studies where the development ofyoung men is concerned.I am sure that the progressive yet rational leadership of Kearsney will continue under his guidance and that he will make his mark at Kearsney and will enhance his reputation together with that of Kearsney College." How incredibly right Max Oram turned out to be. Not many appreciate the enormous and extraordinary demandsand stresses that are placed on the Headmasterofa private school,far more,I believe,than those placed on most senior executives in industry and commerce. Colin Silcock has shouldered these with great strength, dignity, and wisdom and held this school in the forefront ofeducation in this country and earned for himself the rightful epithet ofa great headmaster. There are two other things I would like to refer to,concerning our retiring Headmaster. When he first arrived here,he told the Board that Kearsney boys were the mostgraciousloserson the sportsfields he had ever met,to the extentthat they almostdid notseem to mind losing.True to his word,he soon changed that,making boys think positively about winning,but in the right spirit and it wasoneofthe reasons whythe Sport Centre wasnamed after him. I suppose, in keeping with his Naval training during the Second World War,heknew how to keepa place'ship-shape' and certainly he has been responsible for ensuring that we have some of the most beautiful and immaculately kept school grounds anywhere in South Africa. It has been,I believe,my almost unique distinction ofbeing closely associated with all four of Kearsney's Headmasters, having been taught by Mr Matterson, Stanley Osier and Jimmy Hopkins,and having served on the Board with both Jimmy and Colin, I therefore, have not the slightest hesitation in saying that Colin Silcock in his dedication to his duties as Headmasterand in all thathe hasdonefor Kearsney has not only emulated his illustrious predecessors, but has deservedly taken his rightful place as their peer in the distinguished service ofthis school and left his own indelible mark on Kearsney College. The mostimportantresponsibility ofthe Board ofGovernors is the appointmentofa new Headmaster.Butthat is only part of the task, as we believe, in a school such as Kearsney, it would be difficult,if not impossible,to carry the responsibi lities ofheadmastership alone.In Charmian Silcock we have a lady of great charm, a warm sense of humour and an understanding and care for others. I am sure that Colin Silcock would be the firstto agree that hissuccessat Kearsney must,to a great extent,be due to the love and supportof his wife. Apart from her support of her husband,Charmian Silcock has contributed to the school in many other ways, but in particular, we think of her involvement in the Crafters Markets,fetes, the school gardens and the many occasions when she has been a gracious hostess. However, the one project which will always be associated with her will be the beautiful WestWindowsin the Chapel.These were the visible parts she played, but there were many others which were known only to the recipients of her kindness. On a personal note,I would like to say how much my wife and I have appreciated a very rewarding association and friendship with this charming couple and thank them both for their kindness and hospitality at all times. It remains only on behalf of the entire Kearsney College community to thank them both from the depths of our hearts,for what they have done for Kearsney and what they both have meant to all ofus and with equal sincerity to wish them along and happy retirement.May it be as blessed as it is well deserved. Dr G.W.SHUKER
Kearsney College Trustees Presiding Bishop of the Conference of the Methodist Church ofSouth Africa: Rev M.S. Mogoba Professor the Rev Dr V.J. Bredenkamp Mr D.W.Barker Mr K.C. Comins Mrs S. Hotz Mr D.D. Morgan Mr I.E. Morgan Mr T.A. Polkinghorne Dr G.W.Shuker Honorary Life Trustees Mr W.H.Huiett Mr A.B. Theunissen Rev C. Wilkins Secretary ofthe Trustees: Mr N.Gerber Kearsney Board of Governors *Dr G.W.Shuker: Chairman *Mr N.Polkinghorne: Vice-Chairman Prof the Rev Dr V.J. Bredenkamp Mr G.J. Gollingwood Mr K.C. Comins Mr A.R.Ewing *Mr E.S.C. Garner *Mr N.Gerber Mr M.Mealin *Mr D.D.Morgan *Mr T.A.Polkinghorne Dr A.B. Ravno *Rev C. Wilkins Old Boys'Representatives Mr B.C. Smith Mr J.G. Brown Ex Officio Members The Presiding Bishop ofConference:Rev M.S.Mogoba Bishop, Natal Coastal District: Rev Dr J. Borman Representative Natal Coastal District:MrC.Woolacott Kearsney College Headmaster *Mr E.C.W.Silcock Secretary Mr N.Gerber From the Headmaster's Desk ■"Executive Committee m We have entered the 90's with confidence and with a feeling of purpose. A school never stands still and Kearsney has moved well in this year. The Chronicle records the many activities of the school in all sorts of spheres, all of which are educational and which show that it has been a good year. I have approved the general progress of Kearsney boys at all levels andI have enjoyed the many successes which they have had. While the classroom must remain paramount and the necessity of reachinghis highest academic achievement is the first prize for any boy, the broader education for life which this school gives is extremely important. The learning processes of contacts with others in a closed community, of understanding that other people have problems too and the observation of people indifferent circumstances are not always noticed, but they are there and they are valuable. Inow hand over toMr Roberts andIam sure the staff andboys will welcome himandMrsRoberts just asmy wife andIwere welcomed. The new Head is the right man to steer Kearsney into the new South Africa. Best wishes to all who read this. E.C.W. SILCOCK Thank You Iam writing this on the second-to-last day of my term of office at Kearsney andIhavemany,many wonderful memories of 15 years of contact withboys,parents,old boys and staff flooding through my mind. It is impossible to thank every person individually for the pleasureIhave had during these years but allmust be assured that my gratitude is genuine and complete. Charmian andIare overwhelmedby the generosity of the parents who have given us such beautiful presents and we willbe remindedconstantly of our friends when we set up our new home in Durban. Thank you all and may good fortune be with you always. COLIN& CHARMIANSILCOCK
Kearsney College Staff1990 Mr E.C.W. Silcock Mr R.D.Blarney Mr J.L. Hall Rev D.J. Buwalda Mr D.Armour Mr A.Bromley-Gans Mrs E.P. Buwalda Mr D.Cato Mr F.P.D. Cocks Mr J.J. Cummins Mr E.P. Daniels Mr J.J. de Beer Mr K.Decker Mr R.de Villiers Mr C. Diedericks Mr K. Garrett Mr D.Graves Mr M.Griffiths Mrs S. Griffiths Mrs E Harper Mr J. Judge Mr L. Kassier Mr P.G. King Mr D.Knox Mr R.W.Lamplough Mr J. McMichael Mr R.J. Nott Mrs R. Randall Mr P.A.T. Ratcliffe Mr G.E.M.Shone Mr D.B.Skinner Mr K.Smith Mr D.Sudding Mr M.A.Thiselton Mr A.R.C.Townshend Mrs C.V.Tullidge Mr C.J. van Loggerenberg Mrs V.A. Wallace Mr A. Williams Mr T.J. Williams Mr D.B.Pithey Mr G.S. Borresen Mrs A.B. Potter Mrs M.W.Alborough Mrs D.Paul Mrs D.Pithey Mr B. Potter Sister A.Ashburner Sister E. Beaton Mrs M.Stanley Mrs J. Lyte-Mason Mrs E Rautenbach Mrs U.R.Streak Mrs B. Kassier Mrs N.Townshend BSc(SA)UED(Natal) BA,STD(Stel) MA,BEd(Natal) Hons BA(SS)(SA),STM(Yale) BSc,BEd,U.E.D. NATD NTSD(NIC)BA BSc(Maths,Comp.Sc.),HDE BA(Rhodes),BEd (EInisa), U.E.D. Inter IMTA NTSD BA,BEd,NTSD(Natal) BEd(Maths),T Cert BSc Hons(Pmb),HDE(Rhodes) PTC,DC(SA),DIP AN HUSB HDE(Sec Ed) BA,BEd,HED BSc,HED(Rhodes) BA Hons(Natal),UED(Edin) BEd(Hons),HND(Mech Eng),L.R.S.M BA,UED,BEd BA,UED(Rhodes) TECH Supervisor,Shipwright Hons BA(SA),UED(Natal) BA Hons,HDE BA,HDE BA,BEd BEd(Maths)T Dip BA,UED(Natal) BA,HDE BA,HDE(Rhodes) BA(Unisa) Hons BSc(SA),UED(Natal) BA(Rhodes) NTDA(4),NHD(Fine Art) BA(Stel)SOD BA,HDE HDE(Sec Ed) HDE(Wits) BA Hons(Oxon),STC DIP M.(GSM) Reg. Nurse/Midwifery/Community Health Reg. Nurse/Midwifery Headmaster 1/c Geography i/c History i/c Counselling i/c Art Part-time Housemaster Gillingham i/c Computer Studies Housemaster Haley i/c Biology i/c Mathematics i/c French i/c Resources Centre Director of Music Part-time Housemaster Pembroke i/c Zulu i/c Physical Education i/c Physical Science Housemaster Einningley i/c English Liaison Officer Bursar Headmaster's Secretary Estate Manager Matron Pembroke Matron Haley Matron Einningley Matron Gillingham Stud Shop Kit Shop
STAFF Back row: J. de Beer,C. Diedericks, L. Kassier, G.Shone,R,Candotti,R. Nott, M.Griffiths, D.Cato,T. Williams. Third row: D. Skinner, D. Graves, Miss R. Randall, D, Buwalda, P. King, J. Cummins, K. Garrett, D. Pithey, A. Bromley-Gans, P. Ratcliffe, R.de Villiers. Second row: Mrs V,Wallace,Mrs P.Buwalda,A.Townshend,K.Smith,D.Sudding,Mrs I. Harper,J. McMichael,MrsS.Griffiths,MrsC.Tullidge, J. Judge. Front row: P. Daniels,F. Cocks,K.Decker,R.Blamey,E.C.W.Silcock(Headmaster),J. Hall,R.Lamplough,C. van Loggerenberg,A.Thiselton. StaffNotes The Stork once again visited Kevin and Gill Smith — Tyler now has a brother called Devlin. Derek and Lesley Skinner are delighted with the recent arrival oftheirson and heir,Andrew.Congratulations! Farewell was said to Alan Williams who has moved to Australia with hisfamily.We wish them the bestofluck in their new country. Derek Armour also left us at the end ofthis year — he has gone to teach in Johannesburg. David and Trish Buwalda have moved to Pretoria where David will now have his own parish — this will be a great change from looking after the needs ofsome 500schoolboys at any one time. David has a dry sense ofhumour that is going to be sorely missed around the staff room. Trish managed to cope with a growing family,a teaching post,and giving David considerable support in his ministry. Colin and Charmian Silcock retired after many yearsof true dedication to theirchosen professions.Colin chose education in its broadest possible sense and Charmian turned the position of Headmaster's wife into a fulltime job which she further developed into a fine art. The legacies they leave here at Kearsney will be enjoyed and appreciated by manyfor many yearstocome.They plan to spend the next year travelling toZimbabweand Australia and will also move into their home on the Berea. At the Staff farewell luncheon, Colin and Charmian were presented with a painting of the view from their frontgarden which we hope will bring happy memories of their years on the hill. Milestones: MrHenry Rampersad wasawarded his 25Year Service Award at the Presentation Assembly where he was given an enormous ovation by the pupils. This was a clear indication of his popularity in the school and in the Tuck Shop. A LongService Award wasalso presented to MrGeorge Ngobese who has served under three Headmasters — Stanley Osier,Jimmy Hopkinsand Colin Silcock.He is part of the team that keeps our fields so immaculate. His presentation was made during the farewell ceremony to Colin Silcock by the Workshop personnel. At this ceremony,they presented Colin Silcock with a beautiful pine tool cupboard which will be most useful when he embarks on his toy making venture.
I i ■ ■ Henry Rampersad receiving his 25 Year Service Award. m H Henry in typical pose well known to many Kearsney boysover the years. ■ ■ ■1 !■ -I I ■ * MaintenanceDept. says farewell to the HeadmasterMr E.C.W. Silcock. ft ■ Ronnie presents the Headmaster with his farewell gift. ■ m ■ i # George Ngobese receives a Long Service Award. Jay — a familiar sight at Kearsney.
Natal Senior Certificate Examination 1990 Natal Senior Certificate with Matriculation Exemption Wrote for Matriculation Exemption but only gained a Certificate Wrote for Certificate and gained it failures Pending 69 7 15 2 2 95 A Aggregate — 7 B Aggregate — 13 C Aggregate — 20 M.V. Brown, E.C. Calitz, H.J.W. Dace, G.C. Partridge, M.D.P. Ratcliffe, M.S. Swaffield, K.I. Tollner D.N. Arde, M.L. Brazier, A.M. Chandler, C.H. Combrinck, S.C. Cornelius, A.J. Curtis, R.D. Dippenaar, J.D. Duncan, C.S. Hancox, C.P. Hind, L.K. Solan,T.K. Turner, D.A. Eldal M.J. Bamfield, Z.J. Bard, T.D. Bell, S.J. Blakeney, M.L. Christianson, W.J. Cummins,E.R. De Beer, P.B. Douglas,T. Elack, N. Gugushe,S.J. Lowe, B.W. Macgregor, A.M. Oosthuis, M.P. Osborne, P.G. Osborne, M.C. Preston, A.M. Robinson,D.M.B.Thompson,S. Valkhoff, C.D. Woods Subject Distinctions(A)— 31 5 — M.S.Swaffield Maths, Ad. Maths,Physical Science, Geography,History 4 — M.V.Brown Maths,Ad. Maths,Physical Science, History 3 — F.C. Calitz English, Afrikaans, Geography G.C. Partridge Maths, Ad. Maths,Geography M.D.P. Ratcliffe Maths,Ad. Maths,Geography 2 — A.M.Chandler English, History H.J.W. Dace Maths,Physical Science K.E Tollner Maths,History 1 — M.L. Brazier Physical Science C.H.Combrinck Afrikaans A.J. Curtis Physical Science M.B.Dindi Zulu T. Flack Maths(S.G.) M.C.Preston French T.K.Turner Geography
Principal's Address on Speech Day,28 September 1990 Mr Chairman of the Board of Governors and Mrs Shuker, Dr Hanks and Mrs Hanks, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen and Gentlemen of the College. To welcome such a distinguished Guest of Honour as Dr John Hanks, and Mrs Hanks, to Kearsney is a tremendous pleasure. Dr Hanks is distinguished in the field of wild life and conservation and is well known to us because he had his son at Kearsney. To have a world famous scientist at the school is a great privilege,and Iam so pleased that you are back in South Africa so that so many of us will benefitfrom your expertise.Welookforward keenly to your address, sir. And I welcome our other distinguished guests who are many. I am so grateful to see my professional colleagues here too. They honour us with their presence on this important day in the school year. I now have much pleasure in presenting my reportfor the 12monthsat Kearsney since last year'sSpeech Day. A school is a business, but as our products are people there is little similarity between a schooland mostother businesses. And, of course, as we are dealing with people there is never a dull moment. It is always exciting, usually extremely interesting and very often completely unpredictable.The year under review is no exception, in fact in my 24th year as a headmaster I have met circumstances I have not met before. It is all so stimulating and actually enjoyable. The year has been a good one starting with very good cricket and water-polo results and boys being chosen for Nataland South African Schoolsteamsas isshown in the insert in your programme. Then the matric results were published and while the top was good the Ogive curve penalised some boys in their second language examination.Once again the prosand consof a norm-based examination was hotly debated. We cannot have a boy in the school for up to 6 years and not know a lot about him and the staff are pretty accurate in their assessment of what results each boy will achieve. The question of motivation is always in our minds and I believe that some parents expect us to be able to motivate their sons even though they themselves cannot. But when I look at the individual results of the boys I find that many have done better than originally anticipated when they were further down the school. The majority have come up to, or have surpassed, our original expectations. I can substantiate that by looking at statistics which I keep on the boys! I believe that all youngsters coming to the end of their schooldays are apprehensive of life 'out there' and no matter what we adults tell them, or how we prepare them,it will be their own experience which will count. They will have to make up their own minds,and very often the platform from which they will be operating will be the platform built at school. I have the pleasure ofmeeting many Kearsney Old Boys to whom I have been Headmaster and I certainly find them as good as other young men I meet.The learning patterns,the study habits and the general conduct we impart here serves them well. I find,however,that I have much in common with my predecessor, Mr Jimmy Hopkins, whose words from his final speech day in 1975 were these:(I quote)"We mustbewareofan over-casualand easy-going approach to life which could lead to the lowering of ideals in work,ethics and self-respect.There sometimesseemsto be a frantic pursuit of leisure and enjoyment — work and industry become ofsecondary importance."(End of quote) How true,and he expresses it so well! We,in schools, are constantly battling against certain advertising, some present-day youth idols and sometimes even parental ways to set standards which we believe are worthwhile.I salute the Staffand Heads ofschools for the stand they,and we,take on doing what we know is right.Theleadership ofa school is noteasy and it is not always popular, but we believe that high standards must be maintained. It was good to have Mr Peter Pollock here for a week's mission earlier in the year. Over two hundred boys made a commitment to our Lord. This indicates the sort ofstandard these boys have set for themselves. The broad education offered at Kearsney hascontinued through the efforts and guidance of the Staff. Boys' participation is encouraged in all the Olympiads, the maths, art, literary and history competitions and the science expo and we have had many successes, as you will have seen on the sheet in your programme.It is so important that we don't get bogged down in the set syllabusesand that we widen boys'horizonsas much as possible. Ofcourse,the cultural side ofthe school is flourishing with public speaking, debates, chess competitions, clubs, societies and visits to theatres, all taking their place on our calendars. Here I must mention the outstanding performances of our Head Boy, Chris Calitz. His record of public speaking successes is formidable, to say the least, and the honour that the Afrikaans speaking schools have paid him by asking him to deliver a 40-minute address to their prefects for 1991 is fully deserved and I congratulate him. Music is going wellin the schooland it is so pleasing to have so many boys playing instruments. I think the entertainment we had while having tea today is the forerunner of bigger things and the fact that our choir has so many seniors in it is very encouraging.They are having alot offun and showing us thatsenior boyscan sing. The House plays which were produced last term and the show'Godspell'have proved that we have a lot of acting talent,if only we can get over a natural shyness. Being on stage is not showing off. Rather it is a willingness to entertain and give pleasure to other people while having fun oneself. When Icome to thesporting side ofthe school I hardly know where to start.We have schoolteamstaking part in 13 sports(I am counting track and field athletics as one) and I have turned down approaches to involve boys in other sports,not because I disapprove ofthem but because there just isn't time to fit them all in. (Actually I did notinclude inter-house soccerin my 13.) Ourswimming and athletics in particular have been of a very high standard, but all are played well.
There wiU be more talk in the future about the correctness or otherwise of my decision, taken after much discussion, to complete the rugby season at the end ofthe 2nd term.I believe it wasthe right decision at the time and I am interested to read that certain other schools are considering doing the same next year.The world has not come to an end,but the positive side is that boys were released from the tension ofrugby(and it is a tense season) so that they could get down to athleticsand othersports in a more relaxed atmosphere and the matric trials results have generally been better than the results in July.The boys have even been able to watch our provincial rugbyteam play! While loving the game of rugby I would not be human if I did not feel apprehension when my boys are playing this contact sport,in whatever team.But,played in the right way,as a game of skill, I have also been thrilled by many performances. Life without any risk at all would be very dull, and I am sure boys will go on pitting themselves against other boys for many more years. Incidentally, while talking ofsports I can make a final plea,in my lastspeech day,fora 3term year.3termsof equal length have everything to commend them both academically and sporting-wise and all the arguments against3termsare socialand noteducational.All other countries I know offollow 3terms— I wonder why we are the only ones in step? This would solve all the sporting season problems and as there would be fewer stops and starts in the year the academic side would definitely improve. I have moved this plea in many educationalcircles but not in public to parents because the authorities have to agree to thissort ofdecision and to see that it is worthwhile. On the amenities side of the school we made quite a significant change in that, just as we have outside caterers, we now have contracted our laundry to an outside firm. Besides being a cost saving it also means that a professional is handling this important service whereas most of the laundry previously was done internally. The House Matrons confirm that they and the boys are happy with the new arrangement. There hasbeen no major building in the last 12months. The laundry was extended, two staff houses were completely refurbished,some accommodation for our Black staff was improved and generally we have kept up with our maintenance.One large expense which we had not expected was when we had to replace the coal-fired boilers in Gillingham House with electrical geysers. I believe the Housemasters of the other three houses are looking for ways ofsabotaging their coalfired boilers! Ofcourse,the major buildingfor the immediate future is to bethe Creative ArtsCentrefor musicand artfrom which the spin-off is to move the computers into the present art room.This will be a great improvement. The grounds are in good shape and although it can be sad to take trees out we have improved things by clearing the area on the far side of Finningley and Pembroke and by opening up the ground between the Smith Oval and the Stott Field. Our gardeners and a groundsman do an excellent job. Now,ladies and gentlemen,buildings and grounds do not makea school.They providea background butit is people who are Kearsney, including the boys, their parents,the staff— both academicand administrative. and the Board of Governors. I am privileged to work with so many fine people. When there have been problems with some boy or boys I have always said to myself(and to others)that these problems are few when taken with regard to the overwhelming majority of boys who are excellent citizens and great members of the school. Parents can be proud oftheir sons,as we are,and I thank the many boys who have made thisjob so interesting and such a pleasure. An important and emotional occasion was when Mr Jan Storm retired in December after 43 years on the staff and he now lives in Port Edward either growing vegetables,seeing grandchildren or fishing.Heand Mrs Storm are very happy. Another of the notable happenings of the last 12 months has been the formation of the Kearsney Society,a semi-formalassociation ofKearsney parents who are offering their services to help the school where theycan.Already they have assisted with our Ascension weekend rugby festival and our Fun Day and they organized a series ofevenings ofcareer talks for senior boys. The Society is just starting out and will undoubtedlycontinue to be ofgreat value to the school. I thank those parents who have had the initiative to get it going. Atthe beginningofthe year we welcomed Miss Randall in the Afrikaans department, Mr Cato in the Maths Department and Mr Judge as Director of Music to replace Mr Storm, Mr Wortmann and Mr Harper respectively. Already our three new staff are making their mark at Kearsney. Attheend ofthis year Mr Armourand Mr A.Williams are leaving usfor other postsand I thank them for their services to the College in many fields. Our Chaplain, Rev David Buwalda,is also leaving us to take over a Methodist Church Circuit in Pretoria. He has been at Kearsney for 12 years in this his second spell here and his ministry to boys in both the spiritual and guidance fields has been so valuable.Naturally he hasseen things from a different angle from the rest of us and his viewpoints have always been well received. Mrs Buwalda has always supported him as well as doing part-time teaching and I thank them both very much for their contribution to Kearsney. I wish them every success and happiness in their new position. There are 10 members of staff who have been at Kearsney longer than I and I thank all the staff who have supported me and who have worked so hard for the boys in our charge. Their energy and initiative are often taken for granted and I want you to know that if sometimesI have expected alot it hasalways been given and the boys have benefited. Mr Blamey, Deputy Headmaster, Mr Hall and recently Mr Decker have been myclosestadvisersand it hasbeen a great pleasure having their thoughts, suggestions and backing at all times. I thank them for their continuous loyalty and support. I have served under two chairmen of the Board of Governors:Rev DrVictorBredenkampfor3yearsand then Dr Graeme Shuker.(They sound medical, but neither is in the field of medicine.) Rev Bredenkamp was chairman of the joint Board for Epworth and Kearsney and Dr Shuker has been my boss since these Boards separated. He is a man whose wise counsel I
have been given willingly and whose friendship I have valued. He is a man of great perception, compassion and charity and I could not have asked for a better chairman for the last 12 years. Thank you,sir,for all you have meant to Kearsney and to me personally. All members of the Boards of Governors who I have worked with are men and women dedicated to the service of the college and I extend my thanks to them for many hours of fruitful (and often amusing) discussion and decision. And now a word about my successor, Mr Owen Robertsand his wife Anne.I have known them forsome years from Conferences of Heads of Independent Schools and because two of my grandsons have been through Mr Roberts'school.Although I had nothing to do with his selection (the Board of Governors is responsible for that)I am absolutely delighted with his appointment. I am confident that Kearsney will go from strength to strength under his guidance. With the support of staff, parents and boys he can only be successful.Iam sure you will welcome himjust as I was welcomed 15 years ago. Ladies and Gentlemen, although I am here for one more term,before taking leave of you I want to thank you my colleagues in the independent schools and the provincial schools for the many good times we have had together whether at meetings,watching our teams compete or socially. They welcomed an uitlander into their ranks and I have made many real friends. Ladies and gentlemen I thank you. And I make special mention ofthe officials ofthe Natal Education Department who have always been so courteousand helpful.They may be partofalarge and seemingly impersonal Government department, but I assure you that they are very concerned for the boys and girls in our province. They have to follow regulations imposed from above,but I know from first hand just how very human they are and how helpful they can be. All my contacts with them have been friendly and productive and I thank them for this. Ishall say'goodbye',or rather'au revoir',to the boysat the end of next term so there is no point in saying it now. But I do say to all the parents for whom this is probably the last time I shall address them officially —thank you for being Kearsney parents. I have enjoyed all my contacts with you and I hope we will meet again as Charmian and I are only going asfar as Durban or Himeville. This has been a wonderful time ofour life. Sincere good wishes to you all. We came to a great school and we are leaving a great school.The privilege we have had of being involved in theeducation ofso many boys has been immeasurable, and we have marvellous memories.Sincere good wishes to you all. In mytotal of24years as a headmaster I have been'the head',or rather'chrome',to about4 400 boys.In that whole time Charmian has stood by me and supported me better than any man could have expected ofhis wife. She has come with me to numerous matches and functions and she has had a wonderful eye for detail. Her thoughtfulness and consideration for others has been absolutely sincere and I know that all of you, especially my staffand my parents, will be sorry to see her leave. I publicly thank her on myown behalffor all these great years of dedicated service she has given to the school and I look forward to looking after her in our retirement as she has looked after me in our working life. School's Address by Guest ofHonour— Or John Hanks,ChiefExecutive, South African Nature Foundation on Speech Day,Friday 28 September 1990 It is my singular pleasure and privilege tojoin you all at Kearsney College todayfor the last AnnualSpeech Day of Mr Silcock in his capacity as the Headmaster of Kearsney. I know that all the parents of the boys who are here today,and the many parents ofboys who have been at Kearsney during the last 14 years (I was one of those parents), will join me not only in congratulating Mr Silcock for all he hasachieved at the College,butalso in thanking him most sincerely for his dedication to the guidance and direction ofour childrens' education. Speaking at the Annual Prize Giving is never easy,and this one certainly doesn't seem to be any exception.To be too seriouson a day when we are here to congratulate those in the Sixth Form who have done so well is to puta damper on the celebrations, but being too frivolous doesn't pay enough respect to the work and effort you have all putintoso many different activities in Kearsney. Whatis important,is to lookforward,and I hope that I have something helpful to say. Let me start by going back to 1961, when the late Sir Peter Scott drew the famous panda logo and helped launch WWF — The World Worldlife Fund. Peter Scott was a remarkable and talented man, a born communicator, a superb naturalist, artist, explorer, pilot, yachtsman,and above all a committed conserva tionist.Under his guidance,WWFattracted the support of hundreds of thousands of generous and committed donors from around the world, typically concerned, sincere, caring individuals who were firmly convinced that the best way to conserve the wildlife of Africa was through a policy of protection. As a result, more National Parks and Game Reserves were created, and millions ofdollars were spent on conserving individual threatened species. When WWFstarted,we were all convinced that this was the way to go. For the first 20 years, WWF did a remarkablejob,and I wish I had more time to tell you aboutthe manysuccesses.The"protectionist"approach to conservation appeared to work,and I must confess that as a young zoologist working in Africa in 1965, I was firmly committed to this philosophy. I am no longer, because we have now come to realize that in a surprisingly large number of African countries, the traditional"protectionist"approach hasbeen afailure, and in some cases an expensive and embarrassing failure. Let me give you some examples. When I left Zambia after six years work at the end of 1970,there was no sign of the large scale poaching for ivory and rhino horn which characterizes so much of
Africa today. For example, the Luangwa Valley had 100,000 elephants, and at least 4,000 black rhino. Today, the Valley has only 15,000 elephants, and the wholeofZambia hasa mere40black rhino.Icould give you similar statistics from several other countries,and when coupled with pictures of human and livestock encroachment into the supposedly sacrosanct National Parks,we have too many stark testimonies ofconserva tion programmes that have gone sadly wrong. For the first time we have had to admit that we made some serious mistakes,and I believe you will be interested to know what they are. First, most of the conservation programmes in Africa have been based on policies which neglected people,and neglected rural development.It is really so unrealistic to spend millions of dollars on conserving black rhinos when the black rhinos and the National Parks where they live are surrounded by appalling environmental and social problems. The second reason for failure is closely linked to the first, our lack of recognition of the significance of the extent of poverty in the African continent. In SubSaharan Africa alone, 325 million people(62% of the population)live in a condition ofabsolute poverty,with annual incomes of less than $100. The temptation to poach valuable species such as elephants and rhino is very great when you have nothing else in the way of income. Furthermore, those who live in conditions of absolute poverty usually have no alternative but to destroy the very resource base on which their survival depends. It is no exaggeration to say that the greatest destroyer ofthe environment in Africa is poverty. Linked with poverty, is widespread corruption, which extends to the highest level in many African govern ments. I regret to say that international agencies have no agenda for this embarrassing and difficult problem. The third and final reason for our failure was that far too many conservation projects have been based on disaster relief, not disaster prevention, and have depended on hand-outs which are at best short-term efforts to treat symptoms,and not causes. Time after time, all these efforts have overlooked the fact that wildlife utilisation programmes. WWF and SANF have come to realize this, and are now supporting projects which promote theconceptof "humanising conservation", whereby conservation projects are not seen as irrelevant luxuries,but instead place emphasis on such things as human survival, promoting sustainable development, alleviating poverty, and improving the quality of life. With this new approach,we have seen some remarkable changes in the support African communities are now giving to conservation projects,and it is mostencouraging to see this happening.It's allafar cryfrom the initial ideas of Sir Peter Scott in 1961. So,my first message to you is, never be afraid to admit that you made a mistake even if it means a major change in direction after many years ofcommitment. Mywork in different partsofAfrica hastaught me that communication is a key skill,yet we spend so little time learning about it. Communication has two parts: the first is listening,and listening is notjust hearing — it is hearing and comprehending. The best communicators are those who also take on board and assimilate information they are given,and then use itsubsequent ly. Unfortunately,listening is so often diverted to what you are goingtosay next,and that is how argumentsgo on,everybody speaking louder and louder. Nobody is listening, but each is thinking about how to reinforce whatthey havejust said,and how they are going to say it. To a great extent this inability to listen has been a major contributing factor to the lack ofunderstanding between the ethnic groups ofSouth Africa. The second part of communication is getting your message across, and here the basic rule is very simple — think about what you are saying before you say it, and keep your points clear and unambiguous. Even Headmasters make mistakes, particularly on Speech Day,although I am sure Mr Silcock is an exception. Chris Patten, Britain's Minister of Environment,tells the story of the Headmaster who praised the French teacher on Speech Day,reporting that"he was leaving as he arrived, fired with enthusiasm." Choose your words carefully! Another important part of communication is eye contact. I have interviewed hundreds of students and job applicants and it never ceases to amaze me how many ofthese people never looked me in the eye when they were speaking to me. They looked at the floor, theirfeet,the ceiling,but neverengaged myeyes.What a mistake! For those of you going on to university or applying for your first jobs, use your eyes when you communicate. You will find it makes a big difference. The fascination of communication is that you can practice it all the time,each and every day,and if you work at it, you will soon notice a real improvement. I want to move on now to a subject which is more serious, and certainly much more sensitive. Abraham Lincoln, the seventeenth President of the USA once said:"There arefew things wholly evil or wholly good". If you think about it, almost everything is an in separable amalgam ofthe two,and yet so often in life, you will have to makea valuejudgement between what is good,and what is evil. To prepare yourselffor this, and it is by no means an easy task, you will have to create a perspectivefor yourself.There is a well-known Hindu proverb that says: "I have no shoes and I complained,until I meta man who had nofeet".All of you should consider that proverb very carefully. You may not realize it, but you are attending one of the finest schools in the whole of the African continent. Literally millions of young people in Africa will never attend any school. Think about them, and the enormous disadvantages they have at the start of their young lives compared with you. I had that Hindu proverb very much in mind when I visited some of the devastated peri-urban areas of Pietermaritzburg two weeks ago,and saw part of the "front-line"ofthe recent fighting. It was depressing in the extreme to see the gutted shells of home,schools, churches,and shops,and see the squatter-settlements hastily thrown together by desperate people trying to escape from the conflict. The result is a once beautiful landscape I rememberfrom five years ago now littered with the shattered remnants of a community without cohesion, people who have lost their traditional skills, their pride,dignity,discipline,and self-respect. All of this was just a few kilometres from the immaculate gardens ofthe suburbs of Pietermaritzburg. 10
Wemay have noshoes,but weshould neverforgetthat we are surrounded by hundreds ofpeople who have no feet. Secondly, in your preparation for your separation of good from evil, you must develop your own set of values,and yourown setofstandards.A successful life doesn't just happen — it is built on mistakes and miscalculations — but above all it is founded on a strong beliefthat your value system is taking you in the right direction. Nobody can give you a set of values. You must build them yourselves, and then accept them. The great Chinese philosopher Lao Tse encapsulated these concerns when he said:"Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment". It is, of course, enlightenment that you should be pursuing. Lao Tse also gives some very good advice on day-today living:"Respect yourenvironment;in dealing with others, be gentle and kind; spend time thinking and contemplating; in speech, be honest; in making decisions, be just; in work, be competent; in action, watch the timing". I will not be surprised nor disappointed if most of you have forgotten all of Lao Tse's advice within a few minutes ofleaving this hall,butdo try to rememberjust one phrase —"in action,watch the timing". Life is all abouttiming,whether you are a business man aboutto close a deal,or a cricketer perfecting a cover drive,or a politician calling an election,or ofimmediate concern to most of you,a young man about to approach a new girl friend — "in action, watch the timing". Two last words ofadvice. First,set yourselfa target in life and then get after it. Have a vision for yourself,and dream a little.Evenfantasy hasits praise,because itcan push your objectives further,and it can motivate. I like the story about the three stonemasons at a building site. When the first one wasasked whathe was doing he replied:"Laying bricks".Thesecond one was asked the same question, and he replied: "Building a wall".The third stonemason,facing thesame question, gave the answer:"Building a cathedral". My message to you then is, be a cathedral builder. Set yourselves tough, ambitious, lofty objectives, and go for them. There is little to equal the satisfaction ofachievement. Finally, don't go through life without enthusiasm. Pessimism is infectious,and youcan so easily getswept up in a vicious, self-reinforcing cycle of gloom and despair.A beliefin the value ofwhat youare doing,and the ability to convey your enthusiasm for your actions and beliefs can be just as infectious as pessimism, but what is more important is that your enthusiasm can be an inspiration to so many other people. To the prize winners,my heartiest congratulations.To all the sixth formers, my best wishes to you in the exciting new life you are about to enter. For those of you returning to Kearsney in 1991, make the most of the wonderful opportunity you have to be at this great school,but above all, enjoy it. B m * ■ Ifc IS % i ■ I ■ I i * i i m J ■ 4 i ■ f E.C.W. Silcock (Headmaster), H.J.W. Dace(Dux of the School), Dr John Hanks(Guest of Honour), F.C. Calitz(Head Boy), Dr G.W. Shuker (Chairman,Kearsney Board of Governors). 11
Speechfor Sixth Form Prizegiving, 1990 by Chris Calitz "I went out into the woods,because I wanted to live deliberately I wanted to live deep and suck all the marrow outof life I wanted to put to wrath all that was not life And not, when I come to die, discover that I had not lived at all." -A quotefrom the movie Dead Poet's Society Today is a very special day for me because it is an honourfor me to pay tribute to a man who has given 15 years ofillustrious service to Kearsney College.I do not want to recapitulate on what Dr Shuker said;he spoke very eloquently,but Ido not think that wordsalone are sufficientenough for the admiration and gratitude that the Kearsney community has for Colin and Charmian Silcock. Over and above all the many successes and achieve ments at Kearsney that the Silcock's can be accredited for, Mr Silcock will, when he leaves at the end of the year, be remembered by the boys with fond memories (except those who paid regular visits to his office, of course!). He has been a firm disciplinarian but also a man in touch with his pupils and their lives and his constant service and commitmentto the school,and his love of it, will always be remembered.Always assisted and supported by his elegant wife,Charmian,they have given Kearsney so much;they have gone out into the woods, lived deliberately and sucked marrow out of life; and to them I would just like to say,thank you so much,you have been very special people and I wish you all the happiness and prosperity in your retirement. We are here today, of course, to acknowledge the academic achievements of the Sixth Form and these I think speak for themselves. At this point,I would like to thank ourguestspeaker,DrJohn Hanks,forcoming to address us today and to hand out the prizes,and on behalf of the school I would like to present him with this gift as a token of our appreciation. Kearsney has notjust achieved academically this year, we have continued to dominate the debating leagues in Nataland in public speaking,I would say that Kearsney has the most impressive portfolios of wins than any other school in Natal. The success of our musical, Godspell,is an indication ofKearsney'sachievementin the cultural field and is one we are very proud of.On the sporting field, the successes of our swimmers, rugby and cricket players have been notable and I congratu late them.Kearsney's squash has continued to flourish this year and so,too,has our athletics. The effort that all these boysputinto their sportsand other activities is tremendousand it is yourcommitmentand enthusiasm that makesKearsneysuch a great school.Youcan all be proud of yourselves. The other day a parent told me that we at Kearsney practise the"mushroom managementsystem".When I asked him what he meant,he replied,"They keep you in the dark and fertilize you twice a day!" TyroneEdwardsonce said ofeducation that,"the great end ofeducation is to discipline rather than to furnish the mind;to train it to the use ofits own powers,rather than to fill it with the accumulations of others". At Kearsney I believe we strive to instil in the boys a sense of justice, gentlemanly behaviour and courtesy, but above all, a disciplined approach to life and responsi bility. Our traditions,disciplinary and otherwise,incul cate these essential life skills in the boysand I challenge anyone who questions the viability of these traditions today.This does not mean that I'm opposed to change, but I am reminded of the man who,when asked if his wife's habits had changed since their marriage,replied, "Yes, she's changed my friends, my habits and my home!" That changes in approach to education will occur in the 90's is inevitable, but change at Kearsney must always respect the needs ofthe boys first,for it is the happiness ofthe boysthat determines the character and accomplishments ofa school. Last year I saw the great movie Dead Poets's Society and it inspired me in many ways. The first thing it validated for me was the importance of the search for excellence that every schoolboy should strive for, captured in those immortal words "Carpe Diem",the motto of our school, which means"to seize the day". Kearsney is a unique school because it offers a variety offacilities and opportunities,academic and otherwise, but no-one can force a boy to make use of these facilities. The responsibility and duty thus lies with the boy to get involved in the school's activities and the cliche,"the more you put into your school,the more you gainfrom it"is very true. What worries methough is the negative attitude that some people have towards achievement. One very often hears the phrases, "go with the flow" and "don't rock the boat", but very often this means having to be satisfied with mediocrity and this contradicts everything that I believe Kearsney stands for.The"Kearsney way"is to give of your very best at all times,for which you get recognised and boys must remember that if they assert their rights to traditions and privileges,then they must not expect to change thisfundamental tradition,for else they have no justification in asserting any right! It should be every Kearsney boy's aim to make an active,positive contribution to the schooland to set his aims high. This requires commitment, responsibility and a maturity which can only be developed through a firm disciplinary system where academic,cultural and sporting achievements are acknowledged. In this way boys will be taught the virtue of discipline,and it is a virtue, and they will aspire to achieve for personal satisfaction,for ifa scholardoes not wantto achievefor himselffirst,then he will notachieve foranyone.This is why I support the words of J.R. Lowell,"not failure, but low aim is a crime". The second aspect that DeadPoets' addressed was the role that teachers and parents can play in the education oftheir children.Thiscan bea negative or positive role and the movie madean appealfor morefreedom for the schoolboy. Ralph Emerson in his book Education wrote,"Respect the child. Be not too much his parent. Trespass not on his solitude". Boys must be allowed to express their individuality and it is your duty as parents to encourage and not stifle the development of your sons, and to motivate them. Equally important though is the support you mustlend to the normsofthe school system and to trust the school to educate your 12