Hello and Howzit to all you ex K.C chicks from way back whenever. All you who had the privilege of attending Kingswood College in Grahamstown sometime through the past 40 years.
Hardly seems possible that THAT MUCH time has passed since girls first graced the pavements of Park Road and Burton Street in crisp black and white checks, pulled back ponytails and fluttering hearts. Us female pioneers, breaking in and onto an all boy institution dating back a hundred and something years.
Oh sweet memories are made of these:
Dear Dennis Butler of English lesson infamy. The one and only headmaster-what-kind, Dennis Butler Sir, who couldn’t last even one lesson without a cigarette. So much so, he’d get us all set up between the comma and the predicate and dash out for a drag on one of the already half burned, extra strong Lucky Strikes he kept in his suit pocket – same place he kept pieces of chalk, often mixing the two up. Much as he tried to explain and instruct off a black board with a cigarette butt in his hand, I’m sure he tried to light up and smoke the chalk too. Perhaps that’s why he spoke in deep gasps, out the side of his mouth and wrote comments such as “that’s a python of a sentence Suki” (his collective name for girls) under our essays. He stank of stale, sour smoke and I know he taught me very little, other than never ever to smoke – because it doesn’t make you smell nice.
I wonder if he and any other of our Masters are still alive. They, who so bravely attempted to tame the wildly feminine beast that overtook and over ran their previously testosterone filled yet peaceful and orderly lives. Ha!
“What is the kinetic energy in the round of the drag force acting on the acceleration of the falling object, Miss Fisher?”
“I don’t know Sir” I replied far too quickly.
“Your answer is incorrect. You will endeavour to find out.”
I never did.
Sorry for that Mr Leonard Victor.
Where is dear Meneer Meintjies, who pushed us down before we were up, with his hand out and “bly net so” mumblings denying us the ready response of standing for the elder as they entered a room. Meneer, who thought he could grow our floundering Afrikaans vocabulary by allowing us to “read” Sarie and Huisgenoot and other Afrikaans magazines in class. We never read a word…merely tore out the fabulous fashions and drooled over the latest version of boerebeskuit and baboti, never mind perving the boere in Landbouweekblad!
Over the years I ve wondered a lot of other things about those who shared the happiest days of our lives known as High School.
Who is where and doing THAT? How many did WHAT? When and how is WHERE? Six kids…WHY bless them and their bank balance!
I need wonder no longer because soon us soul sisters will come together to celebrate 40 years of girls at Kingswood. Oh yes, Yehaaa and bring on the bubbly.
If you are a girl and attended Kingswood between the years of 1975 and 2014 (and possibly a couple more stragglers from a few years before) and you haven’t already committed to coming, here are four reasons why you (yes YOU!) should absolutely attend the 2015-40-years-of-girls-reunion.
1. It’s nice to see how people have panned out.
- Miss Hugely Popular and most Promising-to-be-President now knits blanket squares for the SPCA. (A lovely thing dat)
- The quiet and shy introvert who gawked during geography and blushed blue on every queue is now the world leader in Sustainable Verbal Communication.
- And if you really want to state your case, I’m sure you can fly your own plane into the city, and hire a pink limo to drop you off inside the gates.
2. Memories are made of this.
- The three years I spent at KC, provided a lifetime of perpetual laughing legacies, many of which are on constant replay .
- How fabulous to recall and giggle till we’re leaking liquids from every orifice. Once again. Remember mealtime antics, lovers down the Park Road lane, the agony and ecstasy of all things BOYS. Sardines and condensed milk midnight feasts, travelling tours, shocking haircuts, playing with potties on our heads and bad reports.
- Who had time for schoolwork anyway?
3. We’re all same-same but different
- We’ve either oozed into our middle ages or grown sleekly into our chubby fat.
- Forty years down the line, you bet we have all have saggy bits and soggy bums. Its called gravity.
- If you think you need help, Woolworths have a lovely range of one size fits all spanx/spandex onesies and Pick and Pay Clothing stocks wide backed bra’s that envelope and smooth out high rise underarm rolls. Ask me… I know these things.
- You can always climb on the bant wagon and lose a load as you’ve still got time. Beware that you don’t fall right off into a pile of white bread and red-jam-peanut-butter-cop-sarmies on the lawn outside the library. It could happen.
- And really, does it matter? Surely with age comes a maturity to look beyond the exterior and into the interior. I hope. Or at least the ability to see and not be heard about who’s lost too many teeth and has grown a moer-of-a-moustache. (and please, if you have this thing…don’t worry, become a trendsetter. That’s what KC taught us after all).
4. Time heals
- Even if you hated school then, time softens and grey hair heals. I’m sure there will be lots of sparkling humour along with sparkling wine, and of course you can share photos of your kids and grandkids free of charge – after you’ve remembered where you put your glasses. On top of your head? Talking at more than a 1000 words per minute will certainly be allowed. You can let it all out.
Please feel free to wear your sexy stretch pants and I-love-my-granny-Tshirt, but remember to layer on top and below because the schizophrenia in Grahamstown weather is still alive and well.
If you haven’t specifically been asked to attend and are percolating a rejected pout – please, forgive the admin and attend anyway. We’re seriously trying to track down as many as we have addresses for – not an easy task. Please send us your contact stuff and then come and enjoy the universal kinship of Kingswood. We belong to one another and there is nothing as sweet as a comeback.
Come back to Kingswood.
Yes please, thank you dankie and see you, one and all, in July.