The YORK FAMILY PRIZE (presented by Graeme Pollock)is awarded to someone who epitomizes the values that are associated with “the York family”. These would include but not be confined to: loyalty, compassion, empathy, courage, honesty and moral rectitude. The winner this year is a remarkable young man who has these values in abundance – so much so that there was little debate amongst the staff even though we have had an exceptional year. He adds to these a sensitivity to people and situations, huge integrity, a passion for justice in the most positive sense of that word, an unshakeable moral code and a deep humility. His pastoral concern for others shows compassion, courage and initiative. There is no doubt that he will go far in life and we will watch his future career with interest. He is York’s Deputy Headboy of 2015, MIKAEEL WAJA.
The ALISHA ALMEIDA AWARD is awarded to the Matric who in the opinion of his or her peers has been the most supportive and who has shown the most sympathetic attitude. The Matrics of 2015 have voted and this year we have an overwhelming winner. The result does not surprise us as we know our winner as a great listener, a motivator of note and someone who respects and cares for the most senior staff member to the most junior learner. She can “talk with kings” but does not “lose the common touch”. There can be no greater affirmation than the recognition of one’s peers and so we congratulate ABBY MAY.
The ROTARY SHIELD AND PRIZE FOR SERVICE looks inward at service in the school. Our winner this year is a young man who has served the school selflessly for many years. He represents the many Yorkies who are prepared merely to serve others without expecting reward or recognition. Many of these souls have been recognized in the Service Awards this year but the winner of this prestigious award has shown over the years that awards are not his goal, he has devoted hours at awkward times so that others may be in the spotlight. Now it is time to turn it around on him and give him the limelight that he and those that are like him so richly deserve and without whom York would cease to function. We are very proud of ALAN MCINTYRE.
The URBAN FOUNDATION PRIZE FOR SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY is awarded to the learner who has made the most significant contribution to community service. It is important that the service is rendered with humility, without expectation of reward, is well-directed and consistently displayed. Our winner this year has served the George community throughout her years at York, working with old-age homes, hospices and crèches amongst
other activities. She has harnessed others around her to do the same including the male of the species who are frequently absent from this area but she has also worked many weekends on her own especially for the welfare of children which is her special passion. Congratulations to Interact president, VICKI BOYES.
The AMBASSADOR TROPHY (presented by the Old York Union) is awarded to a Grade 12 learner who most embodies the kind of learner that York is proud to send out into the world. The Matrics of 2015 have a diverse range of outstanding learners who would all do York proud as ambassadors. However, in the end, the award goes to a young man who has grown immensely in stature as the year has progressed. He is a symbol for right living, a man’s man and the type of person who does not talk often but when he does he commands attention. He is able to be gentle with the youngest Grade 8 but also earns respect from staff, peers and juniors. He has strived to inculcate a sense of pride into all York learners but has the rare honesty to admit when he feels he has failed. It is learners like him who take the school forward and who advance our reputation countrywide. Indeed, next year he will fulfil this ambassadorial role overseas in England. The winner of this prestigious award is JOSH RAYMER.
The MARTIN WIGGETT PRIZE FOR PERSEVERANCE AND ACADEMIC MOTIVATION is awarded to a Grade 12 learner who has set an example to his/her peers by approaching Academics with a dogged determination to succeed in his/her goals at all costs. Our winner this year is a young lady who has achieved great success on the sportsfield where she shows the same doggedness as she does with her academics. Since her arrival at York she has had to contend with severe dyslexia and has triumphed over this by working every day and never giving up. She has never used this obstacle or her total involvement in the school as an excuse for not delivering the best she could deliver on any assignment and I have no doubt that she will make a huge success of life. This fine example to all of us is set by SARAH ALLCOCK.
The SPIRIT OF YORK PRIZE (presented by Dr Rory Dower)is one of York’s most sought-after prizes. It recognizes the Grade 12 learner who has made the greatest all-round contribution in his or her Matric year, largely through his or her own initiative. Our winner this year is not an extroverted, flamboyant character. Rather her strength comes from a quiet, gentle place. She cares deeply for others and has played a significant part pastorally and spiritually in the lives of many Yorkies, she has led her Panel with absolute assurance largely through her capacity for meticulous organization, she has represented the school with fierce loyalty on the sportsfield (and I have seen her play while being very ill), she is an academic with both insight and the capacity for hard work. She is gentle in spirit but do not get on the wrong side of her in an argument, she has taken part culturally but most of all this year, we recognize the immense amount she has done in the background to promote and live out the concept of the York family. Congratulations to KHAILA NAUDE.
The NEDBANK ENVIRONMENTAL PRIZE is awarded to a learner who shows a passion for the environment far beyond the classroom. In a world here our increasing awareness of environmental issues is still well in advance of much meaningful action, we need warriors who will defend the planet and its wordless inhabitants. We have such a winner this year: quiet by nature but fierce when animals are threatened or mistreated, she has picketed, she has collected funds, she has rolled up her sleeves, cleaned and cared for all animals. She is the priceless CELESTE VAN RENSBURG
The HISTORIC YORK SENIOR PRIZE (presented by the late Ron Wiggett) is awarded to an outstanding piece of work that involves research. It may take any form such as a composition, a model, a painting, a cultural performance, a minithesis or a project but the emphasis is on research. Our winner this year is a learner who has spent a year researching answers to the critical South African educational question: “ Why students shun Mathematics and Science?” In particular, her study is rooted in the reality of York and provides relevant answers that York can address in its strategic thinking. Her project was for Computers Application Technology and as such she was expected to produce a ten-page document – her research runs to 21 extremely well-referenced pages and earned 100% after moderation by the subject advisor. Congratulations to the meticulous KHAILA NAUDE.
The HISTORIC YORK JUNIOR PRIZE (presented by the late Ron Wiggett). The junior winner’s project was for a research project in History. The Grade 9 learners were asked to choose an Apartheid Law and to determine how this law influenced people’s daily lives. The winner this year produced an in-depth discussion of the Population Registration Act of 1950. The maturity and introspection produced by the learner would have been meritorious in a Grade 12 but were exceptional in a Grade 9 learner. Our winner is JASMINE JACOBS.
THE NAUDE FAMILY HOSTEL PRIZE is awarded to a learner who in the opinion of the Hostel staff demonstrates a way of life that compels other hostel learners to be led by their example – someone who succeeds at living an honourable life and who encourages others to do the same. In addition, they are the type of learner who show loyalty and camaraderie to their fellow learners at hostel – someone with a lot of heart. This person reflects the values any brother/sister would display towards their siblings in protecting and guiding their hostel brothers and sisters. The decision this year was unanimous and honours a young lady who has not only nurtured the youngest Hostel dwellers but who also has the respect of her peers – fittingly she is also the last of this generation of the Naude family. We present MARGI NAUDÉ.
The HEADMASTER’S AWARD for 2015 is shared between two learners who over the years have provided service to many different areas of the school. They are involved at First Team level in sport, are colour wearers for Academics, are leaders in several areas and have a slightly oldworld charm about them. In a world where people seek instantaneous rewards, these two Yorkies have always been focused on long-term goals and have been prepared to work towards them.They have both suffered disappointments and not allowed these to stand in the way of who they are and what they stand for. It gives me pleasure to bestow the Headmaster’s award on two loyal, blue-blooded Yorkies: MATTHEW VAN DER MERWE & CAITLIN PRICE.
The DRU LINDEMAN TROPHY is for Spirit and Sportsmanship in rugby. It recognizes the most noble aspects of the game: the camaraderie, the never-say-die attitude when you are down, the humility when you win and the striving to be the best you can be both on and off the field so that the team benefits. In a Rugby World Cup year when we have seen many fine examples of spirit and sportsmanship, it is fitting that the trophy this year is awarded to York’s captain, a player who represents both heart and soul, DANIEL HART.
The THELMA FARRELL AWARD is awarded to a sportsman or sportswoman who has consistently displayed the attributes of good sportsmanship and service to sport and who has celebrated the values of “heart and soul” through his or her involvement in sport. This year the award goes to a young man who has made a remarkable contribution to sport at York. On the field his calmness and talent are remarable but off the field his contribution has been even more pervasive. He displays a deep humility, a love of his team mates, the ability to be himself at all times and to forge his own path. He is fiercely loyal to York and it is indeed people like him who are the lifeblood of the school. Congratulations to, NATHAN LOFF.
The ROB ERASMUS ENVIRO WILDFIRE PRIZE FOR OUTDOOR PURSUITS is awarded to a learner who is passionate about the outdoors and who epitomizes the values associated with outdoor pursuits. The winner this year is a young man who has embraced all aspects of the outdoors since he was a small boy. He has shown dedication in this field with hours of planning, training and time in the veld. He has lived out his passion in such a way that he has led others to follow in his footsteps. The values that he brings to the outdoors are also clearly evident at school and he has earned not only the admiration of the community but also his Springbok colours for Scouting. We are immensely proud of RUDI VAN KERSEN.
The STAN GOOD TROPHY has since its inception been one of York’s most prestigious prizes. It recognizes someone who has shown moral or physical courage, someone who has shown victory over adversity, someone who has shown great endurance and perseverance. Our winner this year is a young lady who never complains, who is always ready with a smile, who has never allowed her circumstances to be an excuse for not committing herself fully to everything she does whether it be in the sporting, cultural or academic arena. She has shown the physical courage to deal with exhaustion (I wonder how many kilometres she has walked while at York), the moral courage to stand up for others and to confront a crowd and a sense of endurance and perseverance that has taken her to lofty heights at York. For her amazing example and her passion for others, we salute ABBY MAY.
The DOWER FAMILY AWARD FOR ALL-ROUND ACHIEVEMENT is awarded on a points-scale by the Portfolio Heads of Academics, Culture, Pastoral and Sport. Candidates must have made a contribution in each of these areas. The winner this year has graced our stages, is a First Team sportswoman, a strong academic, a student leader and far more. She adds to this strong compassion, a capacity for deep philosophical thought, a lovely sense of humour and obviously an all-round involvement in the school. Our winner is York’s Headgirl of 2015: ABBY MAY.