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WPPS Alumni Newsletter - Term 3, September 2015
Welcome to the third edition of our alumni newsletter. Three terms down, one to go! The boys (and staff) are looking forward to the forthcoming break, albeit a short one, as the fourth term is always a very busy one.
The third term is generally a full one in terms of alumni events, and this year was no different. We held a very successful and enjoyable Past Staff Tea, as well as a well-attended and fun 2010 Grade 7 Leavers’ Function.

Our annual Old Boys’ Dinner, held in the Centenary Pavilion, tied in with the hype around the Rugby World Cup. Guests were entertained with a captivating and very unique presentation, by old boy Michael Charton, on the 1937 Springbok tour to New Zealand. Michael’s talk, given in a relaxed, humorous and enthusiastic manner, was one of the most inspiring and original ones we have heard for a long time. The feedback we received from old boys and past staff who attended the evening was fantastic.

Given that it was such a wonderful talk, it was disappointing that the turnout for the evening was not greater. As a prep school with no dedicated high school, it remains an ongoing challenge to attract old boys back to the school. We really hope to see more of you at these events, especially the annual dinner, next year.  It is a great way to catch up with old friends and school mates whom you may not have seen for a while, to reconnect and network.

On this note, a reminder to all our Johannesburg-based alumni that Headmaster Gary Skeeles will be in Johannesburg on Friday, 16 October, and is hoping to catch up for a drink with many of you at the San Deck in Sandton.

Our database has grown substantially in the last two years, and the termly newsletters remain a great platform for communicating and connecting with our alumni. Please do share your news, or that of your son's, with us, so that we can include it in the newsletter and share it with the greater WPPS community.

Our alumni Facebook page continues to gain momentum, and remains an invaluable platform for connecting and interacting with our old boys. We welcome interaction on this page, and it is a great way to keep up to date with current happenings at WPPS.

In conclusion, we are continually looking at ways of growing the OB Association and making it more appealing to our old boys, past parents and past staff.  As such, we value any feedback or comments you may have on how we can improve on our events and communication. These can be emailed to

Chris McEwen
Centenary Administrator
Old Boys, past parents and past staff are warmly invited to attend the following WPPS alumni events. Further information can also be found on the alumni website

* Friday, 16 October  
* Wednesday, 11 November
Johannesburg WPPS Old Boy Get-Together
Remembrance Day Service

Congratulations to Gary Skeeles

Congratulations to Gary Skeeles who has been offered a wonderful position as the Principal of Rhenish Primary School in Stellenbosch, from 1 January 2016.

Gary has been with us for 15 years, the majority of this time as Deputy Headmaster and this year as Acting Headmaster. We wish Gary, Kath and the boys all the best in this new exciting phase of their lives.
World Rhino Day

Wetpups got into the spirit of celebrating World Rhino Day on 22 September by forming the shape of a rhino on the Mount Royal Field. A fine school effort!!

A massive congratulations also goes to Andrew Geerdts, Samuel Warren, Andrew Low, Bemvelo Marubelela and Jordan Welsh (all current Grade 7 learners) who, "using their love of construction, drilling, inventing and building in a creative way" constructed a WPPS rhino, whom they named ‘Obi’ (short for Ubhejane, which means “rhinoceros” in Zulu).

He is on display at the V&A Waterfront Watershed Market to mark World Rhino Day.

Grades 6 and 7 boys do their bit for outreach

Grades 6 and 7 boys and staff members gave up one of their Saturday mornings recently to make up over 600 gift packs for those less fortunate. These were delivered to six amazing homes around Cape Town, where they were gratefully and joyously received. Well done to everyone involved in this humbling initiative.
Visiting St Andrew’s College Old Boys

It was lovely to welcome old boys Dio Tapela (2013 leaver) and Timmy Simpson (2014 leaver) back to the school in August. They were part of a visiting St Andrew's College touring music group and did us proud!

Old boys Ross Tucker and Jamie Wilson (2012 leavers) came to speak to the Grades 3 – 7 boys in Assembly about the K4K, ‘’Kids Raising Money for Kids in Need’’ fun charity event, which is being organised by Bishops.
Cross Country

Our annual inter-house cross country took place at the picturesque Klein Constantia Wine Farm. This was the 49th year the event has been held there, and it was once again a fantastic morning. Lasbrey took the overall honours. We are enormously grateful for the privilege of racing at Klein Constantia and look forward to celebrating our 50th inter-house there next year.
Past Staff Tea

Past and current staff were in for a very special treat at this year’s Past Staff Tea, where they were treated to a solo trumpet performance by Grade 6 learner, Jacob Christoffels. Jacob was accompanied by Mrs Andrea Fisher-Jeffes on the piano. A most enjoyable morning was had by all. Well done to Jacob on a fabulous performance.
2010 Leavers’ Function

Always a well-attended event, this year’s Leavers’ Function was no different, as we welcomed the 2010 Grade 7 Leavers and their parents pack to the school for drinks and snacks in the Centenary Pavilion. A lovely evening of catching up and reminiscing was had by all. Winner of the Old Boy's Prize, Gareth Tate, gave an inspirational and thought-provoking address to the leavers of 2010. This event is definitely one of the highlights in the Alumni calendar.
Old Boys’ Reunion in London

On a recent trip to London, Headmaster Gary Skeeles caught up with past headmaster's secretary, Lynn Bosch, and a happy band of old boys flying the WPPS and South African flags high in the UK.
Old Boys’ Dinner in Cape Town

We welcomed a number of old boys and past staff back to the school at our annual alumni dinner. Leavers ranged from 1953 to 1995! Guests were in for a real treat, with a captivating and very unique presentation by old boy Michael Charton. A great evening was had by all!

Stuart Mac William (1999 leaver), who recently graduated with an MBA from Harvard where he was a Baker Scholar, one of the top 5% of 900 students. Stuart is coming back to Johannesburg to work with Black Rhino, a US private equities company implementing energy solutions in underdeveloped countries in Africa.

Simon Franklin (1999 leaver and 2009 Rhodes Scholar), who gained his Doctorate from Oxford recently.

Chris Bertish (1987 leaver) on the publication of his book “Stoked”, about his career as a world class surfer, which is receiving rave reviews.

Matthew Cross (2011 leaver), Paolo Bersella, Sebastian Drabbe, Matthew Mildenhall, Nicholas Smith, James van Niekerk and Glenn Yates (all 2012 leavers), who were confirmed at St Bernard's Church on Sunday, 2 August. 

Old boy Nicholas-Jon Molyneux (1999 Leaver) who was part of the South African Men's Water Polo team, which made South African history by being the first National team to win a pool match at the FINA World Championships held in Russia in August. This win ensured a Top 12 finish for Team SA and a new all-time highest international ranking. Nic was amazing on defence and played a vital role in the team's victory.

Jeremy Wilkinson (2010 leaver) who won the National Science Olympiad 2015 and went on a two-week trip to the UK in July, to attend the London International Science Forum.

Cosimo Paulucci de Calboli (2005 leaver), who has been accepted to Oxford University, where he will be doing his Masters degree in Economics for a year. He was accepted in an open application to Oxford, along with 33 other students worldwide.

Cosimo achieved distinctions throughout his three years doing a PPE, and received a first in his Honours degree in Economics at UCT. An enormous achievement...congratulations, Cosimo!

Wesley Williams (2012 Leaver), who has been selected for the South African U16 water polo squad, and represented South Africa in Malta in July. The SA U16 water polo team came third in the tournament and Wesley received a bronze medal. He scored five goals during the tournament as well as a hat-trick in their game against the Netherlands. Well done, Wesley; we are proud of you!

Old boy Cameron Chadwick (2014 leaver) who moulded a bronze of a rhino, which he donated to the "Saving the Survivors" project which works in aid of the rhino and their plight. The aim of the project is to help those rhino that have fallen victim to poaching and or traumatic incidents.

The bronze sold for R14 000. We are proud of Cameron for not only making this beautiful art work, but also for donating the bronze, his time and skill in order to help this very worthwhile project.

Old boy Alexander Collings (2009 leaver) who is making a great name for himself in fencing. He is currently the third highest ranked U20 men's foilist in South Africa, and has already competed in two world championships and two junior African championships.

Alexander, whose passion for fencing started when he saw the fencing Olympics on TV while in Grade 4, also represented South Africa at the Commonwealth Fencing Junior Championships held recently in Cape Town.

Some wonderful news from Eton College in the UK, where old boy Charles Berg (2011 leaver) has been elected House Captain of Penn House. Eton has 26 Boarding Houses, and this is a very respected and revered appointment, with fierce competition amongst the boys for this position. Charles will enter his final year at Eton in September and is doing extremely well on the academic, cultural and sporting fronts, where he represents Eton in First XV Rugby, First VI Tennis and the Rugby Sevens Team.

Fantastic news from abroad...congratulations, Charles! We wish you all the very best for the important year ahead.

Congratulations to Sean MacGinty (1999 leaver) on his recent engagement.

Congratulations to Andrew Kennedy (1981 leaver) on his engagement to Samantha Williamson.

We extend our best wishes and congratulations to old boy Cameron McRae (1998 leaver), who tied the knot recently in Cape Town with his long time sweetheart, Tahlia Thompson.

Cameron thoroughly enjoyed his years at WPPS, and his mom, Susie, worked in the library with a team of mums.

The wedding, held at Buitenverwachting, was a bit of a WPPS old boys' reunion, with the following old boys all from Cameron's year attending: Ross Horak, Richard Carris, Peter Verster-Cohen, John Thuysbaert, Clive Shonfeld, Andrew Mackie, William Stubbings, Luc du Plessis and Matthew Oaks. Cameron's brother, Alastair McRae (1990 leaver) was his best man.

What a festive occasion it must have been...congratulations, and our best wishes to Cameron and Tahlia.

Congratulations to past staff member, Marianne McLean, who is now a very proud granny. Her grandson, Michael-John, was born on 27 August. Congratulations to the whole family. We know that Marianne will be a very doting gran!

Congratulations to Simon Trengove-Jones (1993 leaver) and Belle on the birth of Felix in July.

Best wishes to Chris Warncke (1990 leaver) and Lianne, a little brother for Leila.
We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families and the loved ones of the old boys mentioned below who have recently passed on:

Cedric Atwood - Cedric Atwood, husband of Colleen, and loving father of J-P (2003 leaver) and Brigitte, passed away on 26 September after a long period of illness. Cedric was always a committed and involved parent at Wetpups, and our condolences go to his family and friends. May he rest in peace.

Keith John Balchin (1966 leaver) – Keith passed away peacefully on Sunday, 13 September, at the Constantiaberg Mediclinic in Cape Town, after an extremely courageous battle with bone marrow cancer (myelofibrosis).

Keith was a boarder at WPPS from Grade 3 to Grade 8 (1961 to 1966) and went from there to Bishops, where he matriculated in 1970.

Our sincere sympathy goes to Carol and to all his family.

Ann Hardwick (nee Stansbury) – Ann Hardwick, the only daughter and youngest child of Christine and Geoffrey Stansbury, co- founder of WPPS, died 15 August.

Ann lived at Mount Royal as a child and, with three of her own brothers and a school full of ‘adopted’ brothers, she was quite a tomboy. She attended WPPS for her first few years of schooling and joined in every activity she could. We hear that she was a mean fast bowler, coached by brother Alan, a talented cricketer. She always did well in the ‘Little Sisters’’ race on sports day!

Her father died when she was only eight, leaving her mother in sole charge of the administration of the school. Ann was a great help in practical ways, assisting with housekeeping duties and supervising the junior boarders.

When her eldest brother, John, came back from Cambridge to help John Pridmore in the running of the school, Christine Stansbury took the opportunity to take Ann to England to be with her parents for eighteen months.

Ann remained very close to her mother and wrote a detailed tribute on her death, which was an invaluable resource for the chapter on Christine in the Centenary book. She also helped John with his reminiscences about the early days of the school, with some very humorous anecdotes about the teachers at the time.

Ann’s three brothers, John, Alan and Christopher, have all died within the last few years and we are sad to have lost the last of the WPPS Stansburys. What a legacy they left.

Our condolences go to her extended family.

Elisabeth Hamfeldt - we were saddened to hear of the passing of past staff member Elisabeth Hamfeldt in June in Canada. She had battled ill health for two years, but remained in touch with her WPPS colleagues. Elisabeth taught Sub B from 1977-1980 and was a much-loved member of the junior primary team. Our condolences to her husband and family.

Brian du Toit (1948 leaver) - it is with sadness that we report on the recent death at the age of 78, of Brian du Toit, a prominent member of the Elgin Valley farming community.  It was good to see Brian at several Old Boys’ get- togethers in recent years, when he shared his memories of his WPPS days, contributing valuable information for the school history.

We send our sincere condolences to his extended family.
Has your email address changed? Are you not receiving the newsletter? Old boys who have graduated from university, college or technikon are asked to please send us their new email addresses. Similarly, old boys who are retiring, changing jobs or whose email addresses may change for any other reason are also asked to forward their updated email addresses to

We particularly encourage you to supply us with your email address, as it is a very effective way of communicating with our alumni.

Please also connect with us on our Facebook page by clicking on
the Facebook icon, as this is a wonderful way of staying in touch
and learning of the latest happenings at WPPS.

Information about current school functions, events and sports fixtures can be found on the school’s website
021 761 8074
49 Newlands Road, Claremont, Cape Town, 7708
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