This past week the St Andrew’s College campus has been a hive of activity as parents and family from across the country, and further afield came to Grahamstown to be part of the jam packed Balloon Week festivities.
The week kicked off with the opening of the Art and D&T Exhibition showcasing artwork and design projects of students in Grade 8 to 12. The exhibition and prizes were sponsored by Pam Golding Properties. The annual confirmation service was held and parents were able to share in this momentous occasion with their son in the historic St Andrew’s College Chapel.
On Tuesday, the Valedictory Service for the Matric pupils of 2014 was held and ended with a bagpiper piping the Matric boys, through a tunnel of staff out of the Chapel and being symbolically handed back to their parents at the end of their school career. The individual shooting championships also took place and ended with a father and son competition, which saw the boys teaching their dad’s how to arch and shoot.
That evening the House Suppers took place celebrating the past year and honouring the Matric leavers of 2014. Parents of the leavers were also invited to this fancy and formal affair.
The week culminated with Speech Day which took place at the monument where the achievements of the boys were highlighted and celebrated. This year speech day was very special, but also a sad occasion as this was the final prize-giving for the outgoing Headmaster, Mr Paul Edey. The afternoon was inter-mixed with farewell messages for Mr Edey and from past pupils. The Chairman of Council, Mr Jacko Maree gave a speech thanking the Headmaster for his service to the school. Mr Edey gave a thought provoking speech and brought the audience to their feet in applause. A wide variety of talent was also showcased throughout the afternoon with one of the highlights being the rendition of “We built this city on rock and roll” by the Strings, the Wind-band and the Choirs of both St Andrew’s College and the Diocesan School for Girls.
The Retreat Ceremony took place on Lower Field and the atmosphere was palpable. Regardless of bursts of drizzle, this traditional ceremony saw the pipe band and cadets take to the field, dressed up in their full regalia in a moving display of music and poise as the Matric pupils of 2014 performed a series of marches around the field ending in the recreation of the College crest.
Balloon Week ended with Sports Day and the parents enjoyed watching their children participating in athletics events and the Sports Day Prize-Giving.