๐˜ฟ๐™ง ๐™ˆ๐™–๐™ง๐™œ๐™ช๐™š๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™š ๐™‹๐™ค๐™ก๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™, ๐™‹๐™ง๐™š๐™จ๐™ž๐™™๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™Š๐™ก๐™™ ๐˜ผ๐™ฃ๐™™๐™ง๐™š๐™–๐™ฃ ๐˜พ๐™ก๐™ช๐™—, ๐™ง๐™š๐™›๐™ก๐™š๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™˜๐™๐™–๐™ก๐™ก๐™š๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™š๐™จ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ž๐™ช๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™๐™จ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™– ๐™™๐™ž๐™›๐™›๐™š๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™š๐™ง๐™–

๐™ƒ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™Š๐˜ผ, ๐˜ฟ๐™ง ๐™ˆ๐™–๐™ง๐™œ๐™ช๐™š๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™š ๐™‹๐™ค๐™ก๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™, ๐™‹๐™ง๐™š๐™จ๐™ž๐™™๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™Š๐™ก๐™™ ๐˜ผ๐™ฃ๐™™๐™ง๐™š๐™–๐™ฃ ๐˜พ๐™ก๐™ช๐™—, ๐™ง๐™š๐™›๐™ก๐™š๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™˜๐™๐™–๐™ก๐™ก๐™š๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™š๐™จ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ž๐™ช๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™๐™จ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™– ๐™™๐™ž๐™›๐™›๐™š๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™š๐™ง๐™–
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Once upon a time, College boys were obliged to write letters home every Sunday night. Nowadays the boys impressions disappear in cyberspace, their quirks of spelling and grammar corrected for them, their unique handwriting lost. And yet, if those letters from a hundred years ago show how much has changed, they also show how much has not.
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๐˜š๐˜ต ๐˜ˆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ธโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ, 1916
๐˜”๐˜บ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ,
๐˜ ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ ๐˜ฒ๐˜ถ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ, ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ ๐˜จ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜‹๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜บ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฉ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ด.
Yes, we still wish it would rain for ten days.
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๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ค๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜Œ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฎ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜Œ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜น ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ญ, ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜Œ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ. ๐˜ˆ ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ค๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ด. ๐˜ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ. ๐˜š๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฎ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜บ.
Much of the news going home is still about sport, โ€˜the big dogsโ€™, House rivalry.
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๐˜ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ญ๐˜ด ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ. ๐˜ˆ๐˜ต ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง. ๐˜š๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ค๐˜ฌ.
There are still pictures plastered on study walls. Boys still demand tuck! Now pizza is delivered โ€“ but in 1916 pocket money was pledged to โ€˜the fellows fighting at the Front.โ€™
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๐˜–๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฑ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ข ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฆ. ๐˜ ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ. ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ๐˜ด. ๐˜ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏโ€ฆ
No more casualty lists from a devastating war but certainly news of a devastating pandemic.
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As in 1916, all activities are curtailed, sporting fixtures cancelled. No grand derby days, no festive Prize Giving. We are obliged to keep distance from those โ€˜we are in love ofโ€™.
Perhaps there is something to be said in how those early trials were handled and of the Andreans who emerged from times of โ€˜lockdownโ€™.
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As most of the staff had gone off to fight in a world war in 1914, senior boys, still too young to enlist, stepped in to teach and coach sport. Demotivating? Potentially chaotic? And yet, despite two years without competitive sport or adequate teaching, 1916 and 1917 produced a crop of extraordinary young men, some of whom went on to play provincially and even internationally or earned high honours in various careers.
The sports report the College Magazine of 1916 is a case in point:
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๐˜๐˜ฏ 1916 ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜บ๐˜ด ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ด ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ญ๐˜บโ€ฆ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ญ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ [๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ด] ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ ๐˜Ÿ๐˜, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ด, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ. ๐˜ˆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฉ ๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ. ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜บ๐˜ด ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜บ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜บ๐˜ด.
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The captain was โ€˜Perryโ€™ Hutton, Head of School who was severely wounded in 1917 but finally took up his Rhodes Scholarship and rowed for Trinity College at Oxford. Harold Jeppe, besides being a fine rugby player was an athlete of extraordinary ability. He represented South Africa at the 1920 Olympics at Antwerp. TC White took part in the Springbok trials of 1921. AB Maxwell played for the British Rugby Touring side in 1924 and at least five other OAs went on to play Currie Cup Rugby.
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But perhaps the finest example of commitment and sportsmanship of that year was Christiaan Rheeder whose small plaque in the chapel should be visited by anyone facing the disappointment of lost opportunities. Rugby was his passion but injury and illness curtailed his sporting career and led to rejection from military service. Both crushing blows. But, in the ten years as pupil, school-boy teacher at College and then a member of staff (and pioneer of the teaching of Afrikaans), he established what was known as โ€˜the golden Rheeder eraโ€™ of rugby. His unbeaten side of 1926, perhaps the most illustrious in the schoolโ€™s history, producing five Oxford Blues and international, Brian Black, who played for England.
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Rheeder knew how to direct and inspire. Early newspaper reports about schoolboy rugby in his time testifies to a โ€˜joyous gameโ€™ which it is sometimes hard to find these days. That โ€˜joyous gameโ€™ blossomed from the enormous disappointments that Rheeder had experienced himself in 1916, the โ€˜gritโ€™ he acquired in facing them and the legacy he left in overcoming them with enthusiasm and without complaint. It was said of him, โ€˜wonderful in steadiness of purpose, he claimed nothing and gave much.โ€™ His plaque in the Chapel is as simple as it is inspiring:
โ€˜๐˜ˆ ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ˆ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ. ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ.โ€™