“AULD LANG SYNE” (Sal ons ou vriende ooit vergeet!)

“AULD LANG SYNE” (Sal ons ou vriende ooit vergeet!)

Dear Fanie,

It’s crazy to think it was nearly 6 months ago that we met at Jan Kriel to talk about the new things happening there and to show me and Dave around the school.

I’m sorry it’s taken me this long to get back to you since we arrived home from our trip to Cape Town. Dave and I want to thank you for giving up your time on Friday 27th September to share so passionately all the history and the ongoing growth at Jan Kriel. It was especially good for Dave to get a greater understanding of the works there as well as understanding more about autism and ADHD and the vast ranges the spectrums cover.

You wanted me to share some of my stories and memories at Jan Kriel. So I’ve had to sit and really think about the sort of stories the newer staff, younger pupils and their families would enjoy. My memory is a bit selective so the stories might have limited detail but hopefully there will be enough information to share.

Here are some of them:

  • On the weekends when there were fewer pupils in, in the summer, the boys and girls were given an hour to go to the swimming pool for a bit of fun. But there was no way we were allowed to go together so the boys would go for the first hour and then the girls went afterwards.
  • Again a story about the weekends. Once we’d all been to church on Sunday morning, (no one was allowed to stay behind at hostel) and had lunch we were occasionally taken on outings in the school buses. I’ve been trying to remember some of the places we were taken but the only ones I can think of are Gordon’s Bay and Strand.
  • We often had braais on weekends, usually set up at the old dining hall or the Hoender braais were amongst the trees that line the edge of JKS on School Road. Sometimes they allowed us to have a “Wakkerbly” which most people managed to get through without any sleep but there was always plenty of games to play and a corner in the old dining hall that had been set up with a television and videos. It was such simple fun but when living away from home for a lengthy period of time these made the weekends more memorable, which is why I find it quite sad that pupils don’t have this anymore, but as we discussed, times change and things move on.
  • As you are aware Fanie, JKS used to hold two Street collection days, one in Kuilsriver in March and then in Cape Town in August. I always stayed in on the weekend in March and all the boarders used to be paired up and allocated spots up and down the main road in town and collect. I loved it. When it came to the Cape Town collection day I always stood with my dad collecting. He always used to rattle the tin and I’d have to tell him he couldn’t do that, explaining that he had to let people come to us. But he knew all that, he just enjoyed being a bit rebellious and a tease.
  • On a personal note my mum used to work for Crawfords Carpets, a company in Cape Town, now located in Diep River and Monday and Thursday were the days the delivery van was in Kuilsriver. So my mum used to send food parcels for me via Bennett, the delivery driver. So while I was in Disa, once I’d done my chores after school I would sit on the deep windowsill in the corridor of the hostel, usually the first window on from the nurse’s office, watching for Bennett to come around the bend of the road. As soon as I spotted the van I’d run down the corridor and rush outside to meet him. Naturally it was packed with sweet treats to add to the tuck cupboard plus something sweet that he’d picked up from the bakery on the way.
  • I was always into knitting or some other craft but on one occasion I’d brought something back to school to put on my bed, which I was informed was too big for the bed. It was a rather large Sarel Seemonster from Wielie Walie. I kept the pattern for years but seem to have lost it now. Around the same time Papies, Mr van Papendorp’s wife had had a baby so Sarel was found a new home! 🙂
  • Eating in the dining hall was a bit different then. Tables were all set up ready for however many pupils were due to eat but the food was trolleyed out and put on the tables. And if I remember correctly the hot drinks were trolleyed out to the table while we were sat down. It was all certainly very different to how food is set up as a buffet like it is now. The food was memorable before the revamp while I was there. I vividly remember some vile looking Liver and gravy which most pupils didn’t touch. This was while still eating in the old dining hall. There was one night when they served sausages and everyone loved them! There were never any left. I’m not sure what’s served for breakfast these days but I still remember Mondays and Thursdays were Jungle Oats, Tuesdays and Fridays were mieliepap, Wednesdays and Saturdays were Weetabix and Sundays were something yummy like toasted cheese and bacon or something else indulgant. As for jams, there were 2 days when we had Golden syrup and cheese to have on toast and naturally we’d have both. I still have problems convincing friends how delicious the two are together on toast!! Food certainly improved dramatically after the move to the new dining hall.

I will add that going to church at JKS was the first experience I’d had of church. I had to borrow a dress out of the collection they kepti in hostel as I didn’t possess a dress and we weren’t allowed to wear jeans on Sundays. But those first days of hearing the Word of God and singing psalms and Sunday school songs and being given a bible were the seeds sown into my life. It would be a few more years before I made my commitment to Christ in ’95 and He’s carried me through so many storms and still does. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I didn’t have my faith!


God bless you all at Jan Kriel School.

Kind regards,

Annie and Dave


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