Grade 12 Bell Ringing Ceremony
The Grade 12 Bell Ringing Ceremony, held directly after the Senior Prize Giving this year, began with Mr Bodasing explaining the significance of the 8 Bells, which was to signify the changing of the watch as the Seniors, the Class of 2019, took their official leave and handed over their seniority to the Grade 11s, the Class of 2020.
Each Grade 12 Boy then came up onto the stage to receive a gift from the DHS Foundation presented by CEO Mr Andrew Shedlock, a certificate to commemorate his years at DHS from his class tutor and to shake the Head Master’s hand. The Captain of each class rang the bell in farewell.
Head Prefect for 2019, Xhanti Njokweni, took to the podium for the last time in his role, to address the audience. His message to his fellow classmates was: “To my fellow Matrics … Gents, you have been what it means to have brothers not connected by blood, but by heart. I do hope that the internal bond that we share is given the space to mature and, ultimately, become eternal. Farewell my fellow brothers, and I want to wish you all the very best in your future. I do hope that we are able to reconnect at Founder’s Days in the years to come.”
Xhanti then rang the School Bell 8 times to signify the end of his watch and assisted the Head Prefect for 2020, Quincy Hitler, into his new Head Prefect blazer. Quincy took to the podium and welcomed his new role, outlined briefly the promise of the Class of 2020 and then bid farewell to the Class of 2019, raising 3 cheers in their honour.
To end off the ceremony, the Head Prefects and Prefects, new and old, led the School in the school song – a memorable occasion for all and a fitting farewell to the Class of 2019.
The Grade 12s moved on, but a part of their spirit remains behind at Durban High School. Sir Henry Newbolt expresses this “passing” down of all that is good in a school in his poem written in 1892 entitled “Vital Lampada” – here follows the third and final verse:
This is the word that year by year
While in her place the School is set
Every one of her sons must hear,
And none that hears it dare forget.
This they all with a joyful mind
Bear through life like a torch in flame,
And falling fling to the host behind –
“Play up! play up! and play the game!”