Travis van Aardt (OC, 2019), who was the Head Prefect in 2019 at College presented a message to the 6th formers at the 2023 Induction Ceremony.

Good evening Dr Luman, Staff, Parents, and most importantly good evening 6th form/ to the class of 2023.

I stand before you today as a representative of the past. A proud college old boy who was fortunate enough to attend this prestigious institution, the very same institution that has moulded you, me, and all of those who came before us. 

I want to firstly express my gratitude to the Old Boys Association, for giving me this opportunity to speak to you. It is a real privilege to be able to see that the second form boys who I left behind, have grown into real men of College. Thank you for allowing me to share this memorable evening with you.

6th form, Who could believe how far you have come? From those terrified little second form boys who could barely fill out there blazers, or make a decent tie, turn into the men who have carried and led our school so well. 

While writing this speech memories came flooding back. As the Nathan house common room steamed up, fuelled with some passion from my fellow Nathans prefects we informed you of your new place in our school, and how things would be working. 

It was good to see you getting comfortable in your number ones while we enjoyed yet another rather warm day at College, as the condensation dripped from the roof. You may also remember the friendly faces of our polo team making you feel very welcome as they gave you some moral support from the windows. Those same Nathans boys now sit before me, and although you didn’t know the name of the boy on your left, right, behind you or the one in front of you, busy squishing your toes, you will undoubtably now be able to call them your brothers. What a great privilege that is.

6th form you are about to embark on a new journey that will shape and change your lives like you cannot imagine. As I look at you this evening I’m reminded of the time when I was in your shoes, filled with hopes, dreams, and a fair share of uncertainties. Theres no need to worry. It is perfectly fine to not know what you want to do with your lives. You are privileged, and I can attest to this that College has provided you with all you will need and more to face the challenges that life will inevitably throw at you. 

You are standing on the shoulders of giants who have come before you, College is your anchor, your compass, and will always be your home. Never forget that your roots are here, your journey may take you to distant shores, but the values, lessons, and brothers you’ve made here will help guide you.

I urge you to treasure the bonds that you’ve forged during your time here, these friends you now call brothers will be your lifelong companions, your support systems through thick and thin. The College brotherhood will serve as the cornerstone of your personal and professional growth. Together you will achieve great things.

In a few months you will split up and head in your various directions. Some of you may have a plan while others may not. I urge you to Embrace uncertainty, embrace challenges, get out of your comfort zone. This is your chance to grow and find out what your capable of. Get out there and do some things you’ve never done before. You will only find out what you enjoy doing if you’ve been out and done it. There is nothing wrong with failing. However, you must act, and try whether you are confident or not. Face any challenge head on and dominate it.

I hope that you all cherish and make to most of the little time you have left here. You will soon realize that there truly are no boys like College boys! You will cross paths with them all over the world in the most unexpected places and situations. They are always willing to lend a hand and help in any way possible. Do not be afraid to reciprocate this, and do not take it for advantage. A lot of the time you’ll have a chance to have a few college cokes, while trying to justify how your time at College was the harder, yet also better than theirs. 

In conclusion, the future is vast and it is yours for the taking. Never take anything for granted as it can be taken away from you so quickly and easily. Good luck for finals, do your best, and finish strong men.

Congratulations on your milestone, may College always be a part of you and you a part of it. 

Pro Aris Et Focis

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