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157 Birthday

Birthday Celebrations as the Old Girl turns 157

Rhenish celebrated 157 years on 1 May.  On Wednesday, the Learner Council organised a very successful assembly to which they invited special guests.  These included the Principals of Paul Roos, Stellenbosch High School, Rhenish Primary, previous teachers and ex-principals as well as Mr Koegelenberg of the Art School.  Special messages were also conveyed by learners from Bloemhof, Paul Roos and Stellenbosch High School.

In her address to the learners, Ms Slabber reminded the girls that the anniversary of our school’s birth was an important occasion to reflect; a time to remember the importance of the value of the lifelong sisterhood that one becomes part of when one becomes a Rhenisher.  She stressed the importance of the notion of Service over Self that Rhenishers hold so dear and how we value our role as custodians of the Earth – determined to leave our corner of it a better place than what we find it.

The Rhenish values of Excellence, Diversity, Compassion, and Respect that were held dear by our forefathers are still upheld and valued by Rhenishers today and it is in this continuity that one of our true strengths lies.

Sophia Turner, recipient of the Principal’s Prize in 2011, has been a busy Rhenisher since leaving.  She has been financially independent since the age of 19, she has studied part time while holding down a host of jobs – including being a hostel duty teacher – and she is now studying towards a Masters degree at Stellenbosch University.  Sophia was our guest speaker at our Birthday Assembly and her message to the girls was to have faith in the power of Serendipity – to be open to unexpected opportunities and to chance events and, therefore, not to give up on their dreams when the going is tough.

It is only since leaving the protective walls of Rhenish that Sophie realized how very privileged she was to attend a school like Rhenish where the individual is celebrated irrespective of her background.  She is grateful for the way in which Rhenish shaped her and she is cognizant of the fact that it is Rhenish that gave her the courage to grasp opportunities when they presented themselves to her and to then pursue these wholeheartedly.

“… we should never forget that Rhenish is part of our story,”  said Jessica Feldman, Deputy Head Girl.  “To make our story more memorable, we should be willing to give back to Rhenish by being young women who strive for excellence and who are women of honesty.  Women who take pride in themselves and who wish to make the world a better place.”  Jessica encouraged the girls to remember that Rhenishers are strong, prowerful women capable of achieving all they put their minds to.

As we look back on 157 years of existence,  we do not only remember the past but we look to the future and, as Jessica so eloquently said, the current Rhenishers are the future of the school and, “… the role we play in the school will indeed impact what the school becomes.”

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