FIFTIETH REUNION – 1966 GROOTFONTEIN STUDENTS

2016 Tree plant ceremony by the 1966 students on their Fiftieth Reunion @ GADI.

The old students who attended the very first one-year diploma course in 1966 were back during the weekend 14 and 15 October 2016, for their fourth successful reunion.  Their first reunion was during 1986 and thereafter they repeated it every 10 years.

 The reason why some of the old-students spend a lot of money and energy to organize and present a reunion is to remind them of the time during their life’s when a world of possibilities was ahead of them. Some were not sure of their way forward after their studies. It is notable that the old-students who planned their future well made a success of their careers, and these are the old-students who attend the re-unions.

 We as old-students and personnel of Grootfontein experience that our training opened doors for us, and there are many other things along our way which prepared us for what we are today and often kept us a pace ahead.

 During reunions we realize that some of us had to face major challenges during our lives, and it changed our courage for the better.

 Thus far during every reunion they planted a tree, and repeated it this year once more, and they believe that the tree will give shade and maybe, the strong among them may sit down in the shade together with their children and grandchildren, remembering those who planted it.

In great thankfulness towards our Heavenly Father for all the grace upon them to lead meaningful life’s and His mercy that they could attend yet another reunion.

The stones on the slope of the ridge close to the main entrance to Grootfontein were stacked by them during 1966. Lately it was adjusted but fact remains that they had the vision to write the name of Grootfontein in stone in thankfulness for the privilege to have their futures shaped here.

As part of the reunion, the presentation of the honorary award has been brought forward because Mr. Dolf Botha that was part of this reunion group,  left for New Zealand before our annually Diploma Ceremony take place in December 2016.

 “Seize every opportunity to meet up with old classmates - such opportunities will become rare as times go by- and remember friendship when you stop sharing.”

Here are some of the old-students who stayed at House Karoo in 1966:

Front : Matium Hoffman, Jan Cilliers, Abrie Aucamp, Hendrik van Zyl, Gideon de Klerk

Back : André de Beer, Kobus du Toit, Paul Pienaar, Gert Bosch, Jan Blom, Dolf Botha, Piet Viviers

Messrs Abri Aucamp (previously from BKB), Dolf Botha (previously from BKB) and the late Henry Londt (Stud Manager of the Dohne Breeders Society) at the first tree they planted during 1986.