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WATCH: Arbor celebrates 50 years

The school celebrated its roots and looks forward to branching out.

It is said a wise man plants a tree, knowing he will never enjoy its shade, and the celebration of Arbor Primary School’s 50th birthday on May 27 is a testament to this.

Adorned with purple and gold balloons, pupils past and present could be found on the sports fields, celebrating the auspicious milestone.

Tapping his foot to the rhythm of the band performing on stage, principal Patrick Arentsen said the school’s success was only attributable to its ever-growing heart.

“I have been at Arbor for 31 years and served as principal for the past 27 years, but I have never worked a day in my life,” he said.

All dressed up and ready to go: (left) Reegan Strydom (10), Unarine Muladzy (10) and Bethanya Yemre (10).

“When you are privileged to spend your days with passionate teachers and phenomenal children eager to learn, you are not working but fulfilling your life’s purpose.”

Speaking about the school’s 1 200 learners, he said that despite the changing educational climate and how children learn and interact, Arbor learners had always remained true to the school’s ethos, growing with compassion and love.

Adele Wright was on the verge of leaving the educational system when she was appointed in 1982 as a teacher.

Currently the longest-serving teacher, she said Arbor’s success stems from stability in leadership.

“Since its establishment, our school has only had three headmasters, who worked tirelessly with staff and learners to create a home away from home,” said Wright.

“Their unwavering kindness is felt in every class and flows through every corridor. It is contagious.”
Eden Muir and Taylor Crooks spent their free time playing school, meticulously teaching their dolls and teddy bears how their teachers taught them.

At the end of their primary school career, the two remained best friends, who, according to their own admission, made the obvious choice to return to the school as part of the Arbor Owls faculty.

“This school not only contributed to our educational journey but helped to mould us into the teachers we are today,” said Muir.

Patrick Artensen, the principal of Arbor Primary School, was ready to sink his teeth into the 50th birthday cake.

“We are grateful for every lesson we learnt in these classrooms and look forward to the positive impact we will have on our learners, thanks to the example we had from our educators.”

Celebrating a half-century of educational excellence, Arentsen again scanned the learners’ and their families’ faces as they enjoyed the festivities.

“My wish for the school is that every learner and teacher will remain resolute in our beliefs but flexible to grow,” he said.

“Not only did we create buildings and structures to be proud of but fostered a safe environment where children are celebrated for their uniqueness.”


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