THE GOLDEN JUBILEE REUNION30 April 2005, Durban
The reunion in Durban was organised by Marilyn (Atkinson) Darne, and the venue and braai necessities were arranged by Neville Fromburg. The two of them and their families and helpers deserve resounding thanks for a wonderfully successful event, greatly enjoyed by all who attended. Marilyn had made a huge banner, and several people provided photos and other materials for display. Here are some comments from those who attended:
The Reunion was the most amazing success!
Neville did an amazing job of the venue, supplying pots of good old sadza and gravy, setting up the braais, making sure the place was clean, etc. We left at just after 5 , pretty tired, and Neville sent me a text on my cell phone at 20 to 8, saying the party was still going strong!
The walls were full of class and sports pics and school events, too.
We had coffeee mugs and beer mugs with the school logo printed on them, and they turned out beautifully. They sold like hot cakes...some people even bought 7-8 at a time for friends who couldn't make it.
Our oldest pupil started at the school in 1955 and the youngest finished in 1983, so we had a real age variety.
It really was an amazing day, and I can't believe how well it turned out.
50 years was well worth the wait to experience a special event of a life-time. I arrived early, stayed till official closing time, and came back an hour later (to collect forgotten coolerbag) - - only to find the "bitter einders" still giving it stick - - sterek.
It was an absolutely super day, the weather was perfect the braai great and best of all, all the people that I haven't seen for ages. Some of them haven't changed very much and did not need name tags for me to remember them. The sad part was hearing about those that had died or were now disabled. I also had many laughs as we reminisced about our school days and reminded each other of how naughty we thought we were. I guess in today's world the kids would think it quite tame.
I believe every single person there had a really great time - everyone just spoke and spoke - and spoke and spoke! There was a real BUZZ in the air. And weren't we all well behaved - a credit to Thornhill!?
Gill (Barr) van der Bijl
The re-union was a great success - a most enjoyable day. It was such fun checking the name-tags to see which names were familiar and renewing the old friendships. Unfortunately there were not many people from my year and specifically from my class. In fact there were only three of us - Brenda Southey, Alan Bossert and myself. That was a real pity but I will be sure to do a lot more canvassing for the next re-union and I understand that there definitely will be another one! But in spite of that there were still so many people that I knew, both older and younger. It was an incredible day - well worth the 6 hour drive from Johannesburg to Durban.
I had such a wonderful day. I just did not want it to end. Was one of the highlights of my holiday in SA.
Karen (Southey) McMaster
We travelled from the city of Norton all the way to Durban for the reunion.
Marilyn was at the door with a warm welcome. It was great, very relaxing. We ventured out onto the balcony looking for a corner! And from that moment time just flew. Some of our seniors - Dirk - telling us "gobies" to stay out the way and in the corner! The ages meant nothing and I found myself all over chatting to some that were at Thornhill before I was born! It was like we all had so much in common!
As the hours passed the day became more humorous. And that led to the war cry!! This done to the pleasure of some of the teachers that were there! It was great to sit and chat to the teachers and many of them from my era were pleased to see how we have all turned out!
We eventually rolled out to the car around 9.45pm, still laughing. We woke up the next day with sore throats!! Must have been the result of the war cries.
Marilyn and her merry band of assistants did a great job and deserve a medal! The bring and braai idea was a great one as everyone mingled.
Not 100m from the surf, we enjoyed a panoramic view of an azure blue sea, the youngsters running along the beach, building sand castles and running through the waves, a reminder of how we were once....About eight cut-off 44 gallon drums were spaced along the veranda and sizzling noises were emanating from everywhere. It was quite a surreal experience moving between people who have aged 25 years (and some more) and two geography teachers who hadn't aged a day. There was a wide selection of mushi salads laid on and the chebulies were flowing freely. My two classmates, Denise and Debbie, became so rowdy, that they had to be restrained by their husbands and some of the ex teachers!
Then we had some excellent speeches, even from a 1955 pupil who dodged provosts and vampires to get to classes. Chaplin and Guinea Fowl even stooped to sending a spy in the form of one Terry Ford "to get ideas" for their own bashes (shame on you!). As the afternoon wore on, the sun plopped into the ocean and started to dissolve. The blokes in my sister Helen's class were emulating the antics of the late great Fred Astaire on the promenade deck below. Someone laughed at the way Gavin Hensburg had put on his tie and Marilyn pounced on another fellow coming back from the toilets, to buy another coffee cup.
We had a fantastic day in Durban and many thanks to Marilyn and Neville. There was an awful lot of talking going on and it was great to see old friends and catch up on their news and families. Amazing after so many years and you still don't run out of things to say to 'old school friends'. There weren't many of us from the 'older' era and we were all a bit greyer but recognisable. I had not seen anyone there for 44 odd years but felt it was just the other day. I hope that we will all keep in touch. Many thanks to everyone who did the organising, it was a truly tremendous day.
Janet (Lancaster) Marchussen
It was over suddenly and far too quickly, not enough time to talk, ask about all the wonderful friends and colleagues, incidents imprinted but now hazier, good times.. great times. Doodles, Tubby, Jimmy, Norman, Nick Holman, Fervie, Dagga and others would have been chuffed. Bev thanks for making it possible, Merlene and Marilyn, Nev you need to be thanked for all you did, we are grateful, Janet and I have a beautiful warm feeling from what was for us a special occasion. Ta Tenda.
A huge THANKYOU to everyone who was involved in organising the Jubilee Reunion in Durban - for getting people together, for the venue, the photos on the wall and just for seeing old friends and reminiscing - wonderful. Lovely to see how people have grown and so many with families - makes me feel proud that we have all done so well with our lives and come thus far. To those who could not be with us in body but in spirit - thanks for being a part of Thornhill and our lives - you will always be remembered by us. To the folks who couldn't make it - what a wonderful time you missed out on, maybe next time.
Thanks to Prop Geldenhuys, Marilyn Darne, Jim Welsh and John Wightman for supplying the photos