September 28, 2011

Founder's Day at Dainfern College

If I ever need reminders that choosing a South African school for our kids was the right thing to do, the recent Founder's Day ceremony at Dainfern College was the perfect occasion.

Founder's Day 2011 at Dainfern College, South Africa

Not that you should pick a school based on how good a party it can throw. But as I was sitting there in the stands (when I wasn't wandering the grounds trying to get the perfect shot of everything) next to another expat woman whose family had just arrived, I saw our school again through her eyes, jaw dropping in wonder. I noticed the sense of order in the rows and rows of identically clad children. I noticed the effort our school puts into maintaining immaculate grounds. I noticed the pride on display, not unlike what one encounters at a college football game in America. I noticed how beautifully our school choir sings, how eloquently our school leaders speak, and how much education for life is at the core of this school's principles, so much more than just a knitted-together curriculum of various subject areas. I felt gratitude for being a part of all this.

Dainfern College choir singing at Founder's Day

Founder's Day is a commemoration of a school's founding, a birthday party of sorts. There was singing, including a pretty cool rap performance, the orchestra played, many speeches were held, a "cup of learning" was passed between the grades, and of course there was a birthday cake.

Dainfern College's birthday cake is cut

The illustrious speakers, including head girl and boy for both the high and prep school

The passing of the cup

Just as everyone was beginning to nod off in the hot sun (even the most illustrious speakers cannot compete with that), we were treated to a spectacle that had not been listed on the day's program: Two airplanes appeared, roaring over the school in formation, trailed by fluffy white stripes of condensation, giving us a most impressive aerobatics performance, made even more impressive by the fact that one of the pilots is the mother of one of our students. I'm sure he never had to think long and hard on where to spend his job shadowing day!

After the ceremony finished, I spent the rest of the morning shopping at the Grade 3 Market Day, where Sunshine's chocolate chip cookies found a warm reception (stay tuned for my chocolate chip story tomorrow), and playing netball against Impatience's team, before heading home to gather the picnic blankets and chilling wine bottle to spend a most lovely evening at the outdoor family concert on the school grounds well into that night.


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W. A. Jeffrey said...

Neat post! When was the school founded? Looks like they put on a classy program (except for the rap which seems out of place). I think the planes were WWII vintage but I can't tell whether they are training planes or fighters. My guess is that they are the old training planes because I have an old picture of my grandfather flying something similar.

Sine said...

1998 I believe. not that old. Most SA private schools are much older. But the neat thing is, even the new ones manage to get that 'old boy' feel from the start, with houses, traditions, founders days, and all.

And yes, I do believe you're right in that they were training planes, I remember someone mentioning something like that.