|25 Jul 2023|
In the photograph above, the following ODs came to support their school at the Bishops v Hailebury match played eralier this month at Bishops.
The following ODs attended the after-match function in the Heatlie Pavilion (in the photograph above, L - R): Richard Evans (Founders House, 1993); Gareth Davies (Kidd House, 1998); David Cumming, (Gray House, 1997); Nick Durrant, (Gray House, 1991); Quentin Hill (Founders House, PM, 1991); Steve Ciolli (White House, 1993); Paul Murray (Staff and the OD Ambassador, 1991 - ); Rory Viljoen (Ogilvie House, 1991).
On Friday 21 July Bishops and Hailebury played each other in a rugby match on the Piley Rees. A beautiful wintry Cape Town day with blue skies and glorious conditions set the scene for what was to be an exciting day for sport. The two schools have ties that go back a long way, for example, one of Bishops' iconic teachers, Professor Alfred Bodkin, commemorated in the species plant names discovered on the slopes of Table Mountain, Disa bodkinii, Erica bodkinii, Nemesia bodkinii, Agathosma bodkinii, and Pachites bodkinii, was the Assistant Master at Haileybury College from 1874 to 1878; with an interlude as a tutor in Toronto, Canada, and then came to Bishops as the Vice-Principal and Lecturer/Professor of Mathematics from 1881 - 1902. More recently, in 1977, Bishops played Haileybury (away) and the score was 25-4 to Bishops. More recently, Matthew Gray (Gray House, 1992) went to Hailebury to 'stooge' in his post-matric year. It was therefore a great joy when Bishops was able to welcome Hailebury. They were put to the test by an accomplished Bishops side, with spectators treated to a feast of running rugby and exciting tries; the final score: 69-12.
The Diocesan College Magazine of March 1978 reports on this tour to Hailebury:
"From the Leys our coach took us on the Friday to Haileybury in Hertfordshire. The master-in-charge of rugby there is also an old friend, Danny Hearn who brought out the Nomads in 1971 and who organised the English side of our tour. Also there were Mr and Mrs Syd Hill, who had taught at Bishops six months before. Again the welcome was warm and generous and the stay very happy. Boys were put up by staff and masters in the commonroom. Mr Douglas, who had been at Haileybury for a term, renewed many friendships. We were all pleased to meet Michael Cumpsty and Philip van Ryneveld, who were in the Haileybury Vlth form. Friday afternoon was spent on a very pleasant guided tour of Lord's cricket ground. It ended with a fascinating view of real tennis.
On Saturday we played Haileybury, a school with a great rugby tradition but not enjoying a successful season. The team for the day was: Stirzaker; Steffenssen, Versfeld, Versfeld, MacSymon; Westcott, Burton-Moore; Day, Cara, Ward; Michau, Black, Philip, Austin; Macdonald. The referee was Mr Johnny Johnstone, the former international referee, a man with a marvellous manner. It was a great pleasure to meet him. Although the forward struggle was close, Bishops won 25-4. Tries were scored by Bert Versfeld, Burton-Moore and Michau. The last was an especially fine try after a sixty-yard movement. Westcott converted two of the tries and kicked three penalty goals. One of the most touching moments of the tour occurred at the end of the match. The Haileybury XV applauded our players off the field as did the school standing on the ramp above. On Sunday morning we attended the carol service at the school. Haileybury's choir has a great reputation and lived up to it."
ODs who came up to the after-match function, had the opportunity to connect, engage and share their memories of their times at school. It was also a great treat for the ODA to interact with ODs among whom he had seen in the history room, on the sports field and at societies whilst teaching at Bishops.
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