Apart from Volkspele, dancing was verboten at Barberton High School in 1968. The Matric Farewell of that year thus took the form of a dinner held in our school hall. I remember the fairly anxious wait to receive an invitation from a boy to partner him at the dinner. Excuse me (says I with hindsight) we were all invited to the dinner anyway! Conventions – we were hidebound by conventions then – all related to the formality of the occasion.

I remember little of the dinner. Looking at the menu now, I suppose we must have thought it was fitting for our farewell – certainly better than any food we received at the school hostel!  We sat at long tables set up in the centre of the hall, and probably felt quite important at the time.

When the prizes were presented, I was most taken aback to receive the English Prize – although at the time I was not enamoured with the book, a selection from the writings of Herman Charles Bosman culled by Lionel Abrahams. It remained neglected until I decided to use Bosman as the subject for my English III special essay – and fell so deeply in love with his writing that I have remained an ardent fan ever since.

Here is that 1968 Matric Class. What has happened to all these young people who were on the cusp of change? How has life treated them? I hope it has been kind.


11 thoughts on “MATRIC FAREWELL

  1. Vir ons matriekafskeid het ons in Johannesburg by die Stasiekafee gaan eet. Ek was ‘n klompie jare voor jou in matriek, maar ek dink die spyskaart was baie dieselfde! My hare was in ‘n grusame “beehive” gedoen…


  2. I especially liked the words at the bottom of the school’s logo. Very appropriate for a high school, as if the teachers’ first year class lesson were both a warning and an encouragement, and the final class lecture was simply, “Okay, good You’ve done it. Now Keep going.”


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