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News > Announcements > Busy time for our ODU President, David Carter

Busy time for our ODU President, David Carter

This is a busy time for the Committee, especially David Carter and Wilbur van Niekerk who have been attending numerous events on the school and ODU calendar
The matrics receive thier ties and are welcomed to the ODU
The matrics receive thier ties and are welcomed to the ODU

The matrics have had a number of events that mark the end of their school life but the beginning of their journeys as ODs.  We asked David to tell us about everything that he had been involved in over the past month as our President and ODU representative.  He wrote the following:

Final assembly:

The 13th and the 21st October incorporate three very special events in the school life of our Matrics and I was privileged to attend all three. This is a something which I treasure. The final assembly in the Chapel is attended  by the Matrics and the Grade 8's who have enjoyed a close mentoring relationship, staff and some OD office bearers. Colours and academic ties are handed out by the Principal.

Then the Matrics were addressed by our chairman Wilbur, followed by each lad receiving individually his OD tie from me before their final address from the Principal like wise from the Head Boy. Wilbur spoke on the rites of passage experienced during school years. And he said

"What we learn in this great school takes us beyond what is taught in the class rooms. It is imparted in the way in which we are taught to think, the way we carry ourselves, our value system, the way we treat others, and the way we are taught to be critical thinkers".

He continued to emphasise that 

"You are an OD for life. Bishops remains in your heart and soul throughout your adult life." 

The Principal shared thoughts with the Matrics in his well known direct and clear manner thanking the boys for what they had brought to the school despite having to endure the COVID lockdown for a significant part of their senior school years.

He left the Matrics with the challenge that forms the theme of much of his teaching and leading namely that of being 'good men' and he emphasised that success in the world out there is not based on past achievements but how you will deal with the challenges of life which will not always be easy and how you pick yourself up and move forward with your learned value system intact.

We then progressed to the MItre to welcome the Matrics to their home on campus after they leave the school. They got a goody bag, laggards were signed up as members of the ODU (our percentage uptake in now more than 86%) and I then spoke to them briefly about the home that the ODU must be to them recognising that the OD diaspora embraces about 8000 members spread around the world picking up on Wilbur's earlier comment, 

'Meet an OD anywhere in the world and they will try to find a point of commonality' and 'it's the way we are, we instinctively want to help others'.


The prize-giving a week later has all the gravitas and grace that we would all expect of our School addressed by the Chairman of Council, the Principal, the Head Boy and the two Deputy Heads the final two with much humour and with much emotion indicating more eloquently than any words the depths of the feeling that the current boys have towards Bishops.

The Valedictory Service:

The Valedictory Service is emotional from beginning to end. Attended by parents as well as staff, the Grade 12's and again the Grade 8's the Chapel is full to overflowing. Let every OD know that the singing in Chapel is even more intense that when we were there whenever that was. Towards the end of the service Psalm 150 rings out from the proverbial rafters, followed by the dismissal by the Principal and the tradition of the tossing of the kneelers. The Head Boy leads his class out of the Chapel and it is again evident how many of these young men were emotionally affected by the experience of this service when for the last time they were all together as the group that had shared a minimum of 5 years together.

It is an amazing farewell. And now the Matrics are into the final days of swotting for their exams. The ODU extends their good wishes to the class of 2022 and wishes them the best of luck with their matric exams.

Thank you to David for the work and contribution he is making on behalf of the ODU!

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