Home Headmaster HM Newsletter: 30 July

Dear ParentsHM June 2012

 Two weeks from now in the dark before sunrise, Old Boy, Wayne Arthur (1993-1996) will step into 15°C water wearing only a speedo, goggles and a regular swim cap and begin to swim steadily for the distant coastline 35 kilometers away. He will not be allowed to stop for longer than one minute intervals, and will have to feed and drink while treading water. He will not be allowed, at any stage, to touch a support vessel throughout his swim. He is hoping that after a 12 hour ordeal he will successfully complete his attempt to swim across the English Channel and step ashore in France. We wish him well in this epic challenge.


In response to a Newsletter last term highlighting "Youth Day", I received news about Mongi Derrick Khanyile who was in McKenzie House in 1981. He had this to say; "I had the privilege of getting to know many fine friends at Hilton and the challenges we all faced in dealing with the apartheid situation we found ourselves in. Some of you had to make hard choices of changing one restaurant for another or even migrating from one beach to another, all at short notice, simply because you had invited me along and these places could not accept people of colour. On a few occasions we witnessed some of the government schools change their whole luncheon layout from indoors to outdoors as soon as word got around that you had a black cricket scorer on the bus heading their way. Government rules then dictated that they could not have black students, period. So we just barely got away with my minor role in the cricket game and eating out in the open.
Your parents, although mostly invisible behind the scenes, obviously played a big role in our even getting there as they could have so easily pulled you out in protest thus collapsing the whole innovative social experiment. Having met some of your parents, I am always eternally grateful to all those whose hands were outstretched in friendship and warm welcome to us , black folks, in the forefront of integration at Hilton College in those days in South Africa". 

This is an exceptional story of relationships at Hilton College during the apartheid era. Relationships are still one of the six key values held in high regard at this school.

Nick Lawson-Turnbull was a Churchill Matric in 2009 and after leaving Hilton, he worked for a year and a half before stooging at Farleigh Prep School in Hampshire.  Unexpectedly his parents, Wayne and Debbie, were invited to Prize Giving this year. The Headmaster said farewell to leaving staff and he started with Nick which was unusual, as normally protocol dictates senior staff first. After heaping him with praise he ended by telling all that he and the staff had tried as hard as they could to find some "chink" in his manners, work ethic and character, but after 18 months he and the staff could find none. The kids rose as one and cheered him followed by the parents and staff for an extended standing ovation.

Nick, Mongi and Wayne possess and exhibit, as do all our boys, our values of Faith, Responsibility, Respect, Relationship, Integrity and Critical Thinking that characterize our Hilton education. These stories highlight the significant impact that values have in laying the foundation for success in life and why we regard them as a "high premium" input of our Hilton College education.

Have a great week!  

G Thomson