School celebrates 60th anniversary

Left: Wittebome: Raymond Trew, Clarice Fortuin and Cecil Blows.

Wittebome High School will celebrate its 60th anniversary at the Wynberg (formerly Wittebome) civic centre on Friday October 21, at 7.30pm and all former pupils and teachers are invited the event.

Wittebome High served the communities of Wynberg and surrounds, but during apartheid, people were forced to move to faraway areas on the Cape Flats.

After the 1990s, Wittebome became an “inclusive” school which accommodated different communities from all over.

Raymond Trew, deputy principal, who has been teaching at Wittebome for 34 years, said that last year pupils from 86 primary schools enrolled

“We embrace everyone. We don’t select we welcome so many different communities to attend our school.”

Cecil Blows, 75, has taught at the school for 54 years – he retired but came back to teach.

“The school’s image has not changed much. The people who started the school aimed at parents who couldn’t afford to send their children to schools such as Livingstone or Trafalgar high schools. So, the school catered for the farm children and the domestic workers’ children prior 1950.

“When people were uprooted during apartheid, people moved out of the area. So, the school accommodated a wider group of pupils.

“In the 1990s, when many people had the freedom to move from one area to the other, those parents who worked in this area sent their children to our school.”

He said Wittebome High groomed people from as far as Namibia. “The school is not known just for the Wynberg community. The school’s fame has spread overseas. Our top students are working overseas such as in Australia and Canada.”

He remembers a Ms Allie from 1956, who was the first head prefect from the school up to Standard 10 (Grade 12). “She is synonymous with the school because she came back to teach at the school.”

Mr Trew said the school had many other prominent former pupils. “For example Advocate Hishaam Mohamed, regional head of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development; Denver Cloete, principal of Sullivan Primary; Andre Kraak, of Steenberg High, and many others.”

He congratulated Oaklands and Belgravia high schools, which are also celebrating their 60th anniversaries. Former pupils sponsored the printing of posters and tickets for the civic centre function, which cost R120. For more information visit the Facebook page: Wittebome High 60th or call 021 797 3496 or 021 761 1535 or email whs60thcelebration@gmail.com

The band After Sunset will play and former pupil Lester Philander, from CCFm, will be the master of ceremonies.