“We are not all brilliant or academically advanced – we all can, however, be well-mannered, cheerful and industrious here, at school, outside school, or in what ever environment the future may determine.”

Mr Rees first joined the staff of Sir John in 1946, and progressed from assistant teacher to the position of Headmaster in 1958. As Headmaster, he gained the respect and admiration of his staff and pupils, and all those with whom he came into contact. He always carried out his duties efficiently and methodically. He was quick to praise the good in others, yet was always content to accept that his own efforts and achievement may go unnoticed and unsung.

Mr Rees was instrumental in moving the school from its old site in Turffontein to the new site in Winchester Hills. Much of the success that the school enjoyed after its relocation was without a doubt due to Mr Rees. He always maintained that it was due to the staff members and pupils. However, his help and co-operation, given at all times when requested, generated in the school a feeling of confidence and goodwill, and while that spirit prevailed at Sir John Adamson, it could only go from strength to strength.

Mr Rees left the Sir John Adamson High School on 31 August 1970 to become an Inspector of Education. His departure brought to a close an association of twenty-five years with our school, ten of which he served as principal.

“For some time now the new school has always been the chief topic of conversation at meetings and here in the school itself. We no longer speculate on what now has become a reality. From the bare veld overlooking Mondeor, to the south, a magnificent building has arisen – brick and mortar that will provide the basis for a school in the true sense of the word. But the brick and mortar and a fine position alone will not achieve a great deal. We need the enthusiastic support of all parents – parents whose interest goes further than the school gates. In the past your support has been conspicuous by its absence. We feel, however, that the change in environment may bring about a change in attitude and that great things lie just around the corner for all concerned.

“A year ago we were a High School in the record books of the Department, but not a High School in the true sense of the word. We lacked the facilities found at other schools in the area. Our building was old and delapidated – the grounds were small. That is all a thing of the past. We now have a magnificent building, a building which incorporates so adequately the facilities so necessary in a High School.

The building, however, is not enough. We need so much more. We need Cricket fields, Soccer fields, Tennis Courts, a Swimming Bath. We need the playing fields to provide the extra-mural activities that play so important a part in the development and education of a child. We need those things and we need your help, financial or otherwise, to get them …

We notice that the change in environment is already bringing about a change – a change in attitude – a change for the good.

In a deviation from tradition, Mr Rees addressed this letter to the Pupils and not the Parents of the school. This was a practice he was to repeat in later years. What he wrote, still stands true today:

“When you leave school and your work is satisfactorily complete, you are issued with a certificate – a certificate which in itself is a most important document. It represents the culmination of your school career. It does not indicate something of equal importance, something that will remain with you for the rest of your life.