Went to Queen's College Boys

Queen's College Boys' Primary School 

Queen's College, or simply QC, is a fee-paying public school (formerly known as model C school) for boys situated in the town of Komani formerly known as Queenstown. Established in 1858 first as Prospect House Academy, it is the oldest school in the Border region and among the 100 oldest schools in South Africa. The junior school is associated with the college and was established on 15 November 1957, a year before it marked 100 years of existence.

Some highlights of my primary school years:

I was among the top students from grade 1 until grade 7.  

I was meant to play a rabbit in my first school concert in 1990 but due to a car accident that claimed the life of my stepfather couldn't. Until then I was also involved in school athletics taking part in the 100m and 200m sprints.  In my first year, I almost won't but stopped midway through the race allowing a friend to catch up and ran the rest of the way with him.

My general knowledge and passion for history were inspired by a teacher and while many of my classmates wanted to become doctors and race car drivers I wanted to become a historian. Years later this morphed into strong political awareness and passion, which endures today.

In grades 5 and 6 I again took part in the school concerts playing Samuel in the Pirates of Penzance a role that required a younger me to sing.  Back then awkward soprano I was given full colours for my efforts.  The following year I also served as a class prefect. 

I received awards and certificates. I was the first recipient of the Alistar Gough award for fortitude. And was presented it by his mother and sister.

Then in 1995, I moved to the boy's high school or college. 

I was still not able to take part in any of the sports and instead did first aid and also prepared the eats for the first team cricket and first-team hockey when playing home games. It was during this service that I learned my love for personal space at times.

In grade 8 I loved into Athlone House, was inducted and remained there until matric. Of the four main houses for seniors, it was the most focused on academics with many of the boys being all-rounders taking part in academic studies, sports and cultural activities. 

Some high school highlights:

From grade eight through to grade 7, I was one of six boys in my year to attend Afrikaans first language lessons which took place at the girl's high school.  Here I learnt the power of hustling and sneaking love letters and the likes on behalf of other classmates for a fee.  

I received several academic and cultural awards and scrolls. 

I moved to a new high school in grade 8 but remained loyal to the school. 

Due to financial issues, my mother had us move home and we finished our schooling at a local school in Kempton Park called Sir Pierre van Ryneveld; a famous South African pilot.

More high school highlights: 

I was elected class representative from grade 9 through to matric.  In grade 10 I was elected vice-chairperson and then in grades 11 to 12 was elected the learner representative council chairperson. Besides this, I was also elected a member of the school's governing body, representing their interests.

Besides this and inspired by my godfather I became socially and politically active around 14 years old. I went on to be elected to various branch, regional and provincial executive committee positions in youth structures of the African National Congress and SACP.

31 Dec 1999 - Present

Other work by Darren Sutcliffe van Dyk


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