From New Zealand to our 60th Matric Reunion by Willo Stear

For me, returning to The Grey from New Zealand to attend our 60th Matric Reunion was a very special and memorable exercise. I was not only struck by the layers of excellence that have appeared since my previous visit but also by the extent to which Old Greys vigorously support their school and its initiatives to maintain that high quality of overall education and comradeship.

The Reunion long weekend yielded many highlights. Reconnecting with old friends and reminiscing on people and events of all those years ago when we were teenagers growing up under the shadow of the tower are just some of them. Yet, it was our tour of the Junior School which left a lasting impression on me. Sitting with Grade 1 Grey boys in their classroom telling our stories of what it was like when we were there decades ago and sharing in their lesson about some of the school’s traditions was extra special.

Pictured from Left: Willo Stear, Frank Collier, Philip Bettman and Peter Miller

I brought with me from New Zealand the rugby jersey worn by Giepie Wentzel during the Junior Springbok tour to Argentine in 1959. Giepie was a master at The Grey and a boarding housemaster during the 1960s. He toured the British Isles and France with the 1960/61 Springbok team, becoming Springbok number 366.

I was a fourteen-year-old and Giepie was our 1st team rugby coach when his jersey was given to me. It was worn as a practise jersey by me, and my brother after me, both at school and subsequently and had been gathering dust in my wardrobe ever since. Hence my decision to return it to where it belongs – Cradock Boys High. Giepie was that school’s last Springbok.