Old Uplanders

Old Uplanders

Greetings from White River to all Old Uplanders and all friends of Uplands. We hope you are well and healthy during these historic Covid-19 times. As the UPPA committee, we are writing to provide an update on the following UPPA topics:

• The postponement of the 2020 ‘Everyone Counts’ reunion
• The Annual UPPA Golf Day
• The Uplands Foundation
• UPPA Social Media and Database
• Thoughts on adversity and Legogote Mountain

Everyone Counts Reunion
Tomorrow (9 May 2020) we should all be together, celebrating all our beloved years at Uplands, at the Uplands ‘Everyone Counts’ Reunion. This was due to be an absolute highlight on the calendar this year, but has sadly had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and national lockdown. It was with a heavy heart that we had to postpone this event. As an alternative, we draw your attention to the UPPA Golf Day which has been booked at the White River Country Club for Friday, 11 September 2020 – and which, subject to regulations, will hopefully be going ahead. Please save the date, as we may be able to hold the reunion on this weekend, if conditions allow it. We simply can’t wait to celebrate the classes of 1999, 2000, 2010 and all Prep years. ‘Everyone Counts’ is the theme – and so everyone who has a ‘green Uplands heart’ is invited.

The Annual UPPA Golf Day
As noted above, the annual Golf Day will be held on 11 September 2020. This is another wonderful day on the Uplands calendar, and we are so looking forward to touching base with all the regulars, along with new and fresh faces! Thank you in advance to everyone who has supported this event in the past. Last year, R160 000 was raised by this event, which is wonderful for all involved. Our school is immeasurably strengthened by participation in the Golf Day, so please mark your calendars now.

The Uplands Foundation
A key accomplishment of UPPA recently was the establishment of the Uplands Foundation. Fully endorsed by the Uplands Board, and under the umbrella of the Uplands Centre for Advancement, the Uplands Foundation has been created to secure the legacy of Uplands. Under the leadership of Sally Greathead (Head, Uplands Foundation) and Nicky de Bruyn (Executive Director, Uplands Centre for Advancement) we have no doubt that this entity will grow into a mighty tree.

The Uplands Foundation aims to nurture the spirit of giving and raise capital, in order to achieve the following:
1. Drive excellence in all areas, to develop interested and interesting young people
2. Attract a diverse intake of pupils, to provide an interchange of culture, experience and expertise
3. Broaden and deepen the level of community involvement and development and wellbeing
4. Leave a legacy, ensuring that Old Uplanders remain connected to our school and are willing to serve others

We would like to place on record our appreciation for the support and generosity of those parents who have donated discounts on school tuition fees (15% on Term 2 fees) to our Uplands Foundation. The economic challenges experienced by the school and our parent body continue to deepen as a result of the pandemic and we face a difficult and challenging next few months – the support of the Uplands community cannot be underestimated in this regard.

Should you wish to find out more about ways in which you can support the school, you are welcome to contact directly – Mark Ponting mark@mpbbrands.co.za or Sally Greathead sgreathead@uplands.co.za. The wide-ranging impact of the lockdown will have resounding consequences for our school, community, country and indeed, for the entire world. We are living in historic times and our collective future is being shaped each and every day by the actions we take. If you are in a position to give back to your school, however large or small, now is a wonderful time to do it. A simple way to give is also available on the Uplands website (click here).

UPPA Social Media and Database
As the Uplands community, we encourage you to continue to follow the progress of the school, including our activities and initiatives during the lockdown period and school closure, either via one of our many social media channels (UplandsWhiteRiver on Instagram or UplandsAlumni or Uplands White River on Facebook) or through keeping up to date with news via our website www.uplands.co.za. We are thrilled to have the talented services of Lynette Carlisle and Elaine Taylor (many of you will remember them during your days as a pupil) helping us to update our database. Three specific requests at this point in time:
• Please take a moment to update your details (click here ) – we would really love to hear from you!
• We are looking for Prep class photos and stories from years ago – please do email Sally should you have one on file for us.
• We know that word-of-mouth referrals from our Old Uplanders is so powerful – please refer your friends and family to us, wherever you may be in this world.

Thoughts about Legogote Mountain
Like everyone, we have been thinking a great deal about adversity lately. The late President Nelson Mandela wrote the following about adversity:

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lies defeat and death. After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

With the beautiful and unforgettable Legogote (Lion Rock) granite peak in view from the Uplands campus, let us remind ourselves that we have climbed many hills in the past and will do so again, in the future. It is now, more than ever, that the importance of community and connection is relevant in our lives – we are all called upon to make sacrifices for the greater good, often at the cost of great personal hardship.

Old Uplanders’ greatest attributes are our diversity, bonds of friendship and deep roots of community belonging, strengthened and enhanced over 92 years of our existence. Now, more than ever, we will need to draw on these strengths and stand together as a united Uplands family, wherever we are in the world, knowing that we will overcome and return stronger than before. Our special thanks to the school leadership team (Heather Prior, Gary Viljoen, Heidi Rea, Phil Hemus, Sally Greathead, and Nicky de Bruyn) along with the Uplands Board of Directors, chaired by Bruce MacFarlane, for their ongoing support of the UPPA Committee and Alumni activities in general.

We continue to wish you and your loved one’s health and the strength to face the challenges, and embrace the opportunities, of this pandemic. May it be a small measure of comfort to you all that your Uplands family stands together, and in support of each other, during this time.

On behalf of the UPPA Committee, thank you for your time, enthusiasm, loyalty, and support of Uplands.

Our blood is green,

The UPPA Committee

Mark Ponting (Chairman), Dave Greathead, Rowena Tyson, Heidi Rea, Murray Johnstone, Malcolm Deacon, Lisa Slabbert and Elaine Taylor