Dear College Parents

“Men and boys, we show our manhood by the way we treat our women. Our wives, our sisters, our mothers”- Archbishop Desmond Tutu

I am sure that you will all agree that the Bishops Classic Pops was a most spectacular event. The music was absolutely brilliant; it was difficult to believe that one was listening to schoolboys playing. The quality and breadth of the music was truly special. My sincere thanks and congratulations to everyone who contributed to the success of the evening. I was so proud of our boys and the music staff for producing such a truly uplifting and inspiring occasion.

Yesterday our Parents Association hosted the Matric Mothers' and Sons' Lunch and the Grade 8 Parents' Social, two wonderful events. These were two of the last official functions for the year for our PA and I think it is appropriate that we acknowledge the wonderful contribution they make to Bishops. Simon Cranswick (Chairman) and the entire committee deserve a huge thank you from all of us!

In my last newsletter I mentioned the competition which our rock band, Early Hours, had entered. The fantastic news is that they have won the competition and will be heading to New York to record with famous producer Aaron Basinelli. Congratulations to Jake Bennett, Benson Joubert, Adam Rothschild and Lood van Niekerk on this excellent achievement. Thank you to everyone in the Bishops Community who supported them in realising this dream.

Parents will be aware that the school has been on the receiving end of adverse publicity regarding what I can only call “the OD saga”! I am pleased to report that at a Special General Meeting of the OD Union last week a motion was passed that there be a process of reconciliation and healing; we welcome this and trust that this will stop the damaging public debate.

A reminder that College Evensong is on Wednesday, 13th August at 18h30; parents are welcome to attend. This is a compulsory event for all boys except the Grade 11s who are excused on this occasion.

ASSEMBLY MESSAGE Friday 8th August 2014

We continue our theme of “rights and responsibilities” this week. The right we are dealing with is “You have a right to be part of a school that has a good name”. Most Bishops boys I know would agree with this sentiment, I know that the majority of you are proud of your school. You are also very loyal to it. What we are really talking about here is our reputation as a school in the broader community.

I am reminded of the words of Warren Buffett; “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently”. I don’t think we need any further reminder of how a school’s reputation can suffer damage than the current bad publicity we have had over the past few months in the tabloid media. I am sure that I speak for all of you when I say how hurtful it has been to us and how helpless we feel in trying to counter it. We know that Bishops today is a fantastic school and yet a group of our old boys continue to damage our image and reputation. It is also a timely reminder of the saying that “the tall tree catches the most wind”.

What can we do about it? Well, what we can be reminded of is that with a right comes a responsibility; in this instance the responsibility of each of us is to protect the good name of the school by our appearance and behaviour at all times, inside and outside the school. Our values should be aligned and consistent with the school values at all times. Remember that everything you do reflects on yourself and the school, you are always identified as a “Bishops Boy”.
An example of an event which contributed hugely to building positively on our reputation was the Bishops Classic Pops. Let us make sure that this weekend in our rugby and hockey matches against SACS, the way we behave on and off the field and the way we play and support our teams, we contribute to building on the good name of our school.
I would also like to remind you that tomorrow is National Women’s Day. On this day we acknowledge and affirm all women of this country for their courage and sacrifices, and we applaud their achievements while recognizing that this country still has a long way to go towards gender equity and human rights for all.
Yours sincerely

Guy Pearson



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