Collegiate celebrates 140 years

THE Collegiate junior and senior schools will today celebrate their 140th birthday with an assembly that will, among other things, honour a family which has had five generations of pupils at the school.

Celebrations for one of Nelson Mandela Bay's oldest schools were in full swing this week with a range of events including tracking the school's history in its 140 years of existence.

At today's assembly, staff and pupils will hear addresses from guest speakers Dr Jeanette McGill of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and representatives of five generations of the Pugh family.

The schools kicked off the week's celebrations of their milestone birthday with the junior school's exhibition titled "A Passage Through Time – A Walk Down Memory Lane", where each grade had to depict local, national and international events of the last 20 years.

The pupils also held a fashion show in which they showcased how the school's uniform had evolved over the years.

High school pupils will tonight enjoy a reunion dinner, which will be followed by a school birthday party where they will cut their 140-shaped cake.

For the passage through time piece, pupils researched and put together different aspects that would have affected the thousands of girls who attended Collegiate since 1874 to the present day.

Collegiate Junior School principal, Gill Robinson, described the exhibition as "amazingly beautiful".

"The staff, parents and girls have worked hard to depict the changes in time over the past 140 years and are confident that the knowledge gained from walking through the 'tunnel' will be most enriching to adults and children alike," Robinson said.

High school principal Melita Bagshaw urged all "old girls" and former staff to attend both the flag-raising ceremony on the grass hockey fields and the founders' day assembly in the Stevenson Hall today.

In adding to the weekend's celebrations, pupils last week held their first "civvies day" where they donned their civvies, put on their takkies and paid a R10 "tekkie tax".

The Tekkie Tax day is an annual fundraising campaign for a large mix of carefully selected welfare organisations and the R7000 raised by the school went towards children's charities.

Motivational speaker Nicky Abdinol, who has not allowed the fact that she was born without arms and with stunted legs stop her from doing the impossible, addressed pupils in an assembly.

She left them with the saying "Do not focus on that which you can't do" and gave the girls a challenge to record a gratitude everyday for 140 days in celebration of the schools' birthday. - Chanice Koopman