The Matric Class of 2021 started a tradition of significance in their final weeks of school and on Thursday the 17th of November 2022 the Matric Class of 2022 honoured this tradition by planting trees for the Matric Class of 2022. Together with Mr Laing, Mrs Renssen and Mr Pather, representatives from the Class of 2022 – Chantal Bourdin, Marinus van den Ende, Ozayo Mamba and Cayden Fowler – planted their piece of this living monument. Kobus van der Westhuyzen (Head Mentor 2021) shares why this tradition was established by the Matric class of 2021, and why this tradition will continue in years to come.
When asked what he would do if he knew that he would die tomorrow, Martin Luther said, “I would plant a tree.” One doesn’t need to wonder why he said those words. The answer is obvious. Indigenous trees are not only eco-friendly but also people-friendly. They speak in their own special way a language which we should all understand. They carry deep symbolism that can’t be expressed in a limited space.
Every tree has its own story to tell – stories that are often gripping. They take you back to the past; they carry memories of those who have planted it. Was it intended to decorate the surroundings? Was it intended to provide shade to a wandering traveler? Or was it intended as a beacon to remember someone? Perhaps there was maybe another reason? The planting of a tree can also be a future-oriented act. You don’t just plant a tree to give yourself joy, but also to benefit and delight your future generations. Those who plant a tree do so in love and faith.
A tree is not a dead monument; it lives on and looks forward; it reproduces, and it establishes confidence in humankind. In this way, every tree that is planted on Uplands’ terrain is a deed of trust and confidence in the current and future leaders of our proud school community. Plant a tree, and become a creator of hope and confidence. Our Almighty Creator settled us here on earth, not to break what is beautiful, but to be builders and tree-planters – responsible managers of our planet earth.
Why did the Matric class of 2021 think it’s a good idea to plant a few trees? Here is the answer:
We would like to address our benefactors – the Headmaster of the school, the staff, teachers, the pupils, and the whole school community – to say thank you for everything that they have done for us. These trees are a physical gesture of our gratitude. But these trees should also help the entire school community to remember us as the Class of 2021, who tried to make a small contribution to the many great traditions and ceremonies that our school has. We hope (and challenge) the future Matric classes to continue this legacy.
Furthermore, these trees should, in every root and leaf, proclaim that we have confidence in the future of our beautiful country, South Africa. Let us all speak the language of the tree in rich laden symbolism.
Kobus van der Westhuyzen
Head Mentor- 2021
CLASS OF 2021