Christina Engela's picture

Founder's Day

On Friday I attended a Founder's Day ceremony at my old high school. It was quite something to be there again. The school was celebrating its 85th year in existence, and I will be attending my 20 years reunion in May.

I'm a bit of a sentimental fool sometimes, and even though I was not very happy during high school, I still have fond memories of my time there. Many of my old friends of those days vowed never to return, and as far as I know, have kept to it. I was so looking forward to my 10 year reunion back in 2001, but it never happened. This year it will be different.

I didn't struggle to find parking, and walked up to the same entrance, through the same gardens that were there so long ago, and even though it felt like just the other day, the same shrubs and trees were there - only so much bigger than before. The old mesh fence had been replaced by a tall green steel security fence. There were two new side entrances I hadn't seen before.

Everywhere there were young students wearing the same uniforms I remember, and flashing bright shiny smiles at the returnees filtering in at the front door. I arrived at the reception table beneath a bronze plaque that read "A child's mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled". It made me smile. I wrote my name on the tag handed to me, and the year I finished - 1991.

"Oh are you Christina?" the lady at the table asked, and called a graying gentleman in a suit over. The current principal greeted me warmly, having heard about me via the secretary of the old scholars association, and warmly shook my hand.

Feeling very welcome, I went on to the old school hall, passing old folks examining pictures and plaques on display along the way. Everywhere there were new features, and still everywhere there were things I remembered from the old days.

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