As a Martric student, this is the year when poetry suddenly will gain meaning, because in leaving school (this time-honoured rite of passage), you will try to define how your experiences are unique. You will try to make the measure of it in your own words and when you cannot, you might resort to the words of others...the words of poets.
Others have done this before you, as tributes and as a means of treasuring memories:
Take Mr Weakley's tribute to Mr Snyman, whom you all remember:
An enigmatic man of great resources
Came to Saints to cement a career,
To some, his eccentric nature was quite queer
But to those in the know
He was a regular Joe
No pretences; “What you see you get”
So much more;
Linesman, coach, psychiatrist, referee, daddy, husband
Umpire, photographer, B baller, Mears Haller, never-say-faller,
Brawler, taller. I wish I was a little bit smaller. Wish I pulled
A rabbit out a hat….
Wait I did that,
Every year deadline time,
The only man who could do them all the night before
Without correction, he knew perfection.
Of a different kind, multi-tasking perfection
Old school resurrection.
I see his toothless grin
As he comes at me guttering choking drowning.
As he smiles a friendly hello.
Willing to put aside
I forgot computer support, old sport…
We’ll miss your coke addiction, risqué interests
And Pinterest affliction.
You remain a mathematics teacher par excellence
Let nobody look askance
At your ability, intention, direction.
Triumph and disaster
And treats those two imposters
I will challenge your one-word-
Please ensconce your family in the warm embrace
Of the Indian Ocean
Let its motion
Away from stress.
To a place where
And Mr Ross defined the Matric Class of 2016 in his immortal words:
A mere 5 years ago
You were all much younger boys;
Tripping your way into grade 8
With a high-pitched unbroken noise.
It wasn’t very long
Till you blended into the school.
You learnt right from wrong
While still trying to be cool.
You’ve sat through many chapels
And screamed many a war cry.
You cried at several sports games
But flew the Saints flag high.
You’ve had many ups and downs
But that’s what makes it great.
This means you’ll leave the school
With very little to hate.
But it’s not all smiles and sunshine -
Some things made you scream;
Like oral moderation
Or that endless ORT.
You stayed up late at night -
Into your brain you burnt some holes
In preparing for your various pracs
Or Mrs Webster’s fishbowls.
There are things that caused you pains
Like the novel ‘Absolution’.
The mention of a portfolio
Will make you start a revolution.
And then of course the rules:
Let’s not get started on hair,
The drive for skinny school pants
Or the silly season ‘mare.
There were things you didn't even try
(That you simply just gave up on)
Like roasting Mr Moodley
Or being late for Mrs Upton.
But you came, you saw, you conquered
And never missed a beat.
Having you part of this family
Has certainly been a treat.
I’m not only talking about Tom
When I say you’ve left large shoes to fill.
I’m sure you’d do it all again
If left to your own free will.
It’s time that I shut up
And let you enjoy this do
Greg Matthews if you could come up
I now hand over to you