Alumni Day and Service
February 24, 2018
49th Reunion, 2018:
May 31-June 3, 201850th Reunion, 2019
May 30-June 2, 2019
51st Reunion, 2020
May 28-31, 2020
Class of '69 South Africa mini-Reunion
Prequel Itinerary, February 17-21, 2018 (updated 7/27/2017)
Registration deadline is midnight Sunday, August 6
Registration for the Class Mini-Reunion Trip to South Africa for the Core Itinerary in Cape Town and the Winelands and the Sequel itinerary in the Garden Route and the Amakhala Game Reserve opened on Monday, July 10. The Planning Group is now pleased to announce the itinerary for the Prequel, centered in Johannesburg and Pretoria, which will introduce participants to the story of South Africa from earliest man, to the discovery of gold and diamonds, to the struggle for supremacy between colonial and ethnic groups, to the first two and a half decades of the New South Africa.
We will have the opportunity to be guided by Robin Binckes, well-known historian and story-teller, whose “Spear of the Nation” tours are renowned for making history, some remote and some more recent, come alive. One can also choose to visit the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site, where some of the earliest hominid fossils have been found.
Finally, there is the option of leaving the Jo’burg/Pretoria itinerary early in order to travel on the luxurious Orient Express-like Blue Train to Cape Town, a 30-hour journey with a stop in Kimberley, site of the diamond rush of the 1870’s.
Saturday, Feb 17:
- Arrive at O.R.Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, to be met by Green Route Africa and escorted to your hotel.
- Princeton ’69 registration at your hotel.
- Jet lag recovery and dinner on your own.
Sunday, Feb 18:
- Breakfast at your hotel, followed by opening gathering and optional touring. Potential options:
- a) The Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site, where in the year of most of our births, a 2.3 million-year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus (colloquially known as “Mrs. Ples”), was discovered. Also includes a visit to the Maropeng Centre and Sterkfontein Caves.
- b) Ka’Ching Tour: Learn about the discovery of gold in Johannesburg. This walking tour will take you past many of the oldest buildings in Johannesburg, including several mining houses. The important role of minerals in South Africa’s history will be discussed, and you will view one of Jo’burg’s oldest mining stopes as well as visiting the Workers Museum, where the politically charged practice of migrant labor is addressed.
- c) Mandela’s Jo’burg: This walking tour shows the Johannesburg that Nelson Mandela experienced in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Visit his original law office and the areas he walked on a daily basis. Learn about other anti-apartheid leaders who spent time in the inner city, including the icons Oliver Tambo and Walter and Albertina Sisulu.
- Dinner at Wandie’s Place, formerly an illegal shebeen, but now a fully established local restaurant in Soweto.
Monday, Feb 19, “Spear of the Nation Tour Day 1 or optional Blue Train:
- 1) Full-day “Spear of the Nation History of South Africa” Tour, visiting Johannesburg’s Alexandria Township with its many sites of historical interest from the days of resistance to apartheid; Liliesleaf Farm, one of Nelson Mandela’s hideouts and scene of the Rivonia Raid; the Old Fort and “Number Four”, a prison whose inmates at various times have included Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi and Winston Churchill; the Constitutional Court, South Africa’s highest-ranking court; and the Apartheid Museum.
- Shebeen lunch in Alexandria Township.
- Dinner at Pigalle Restaurant, Melrose Arch.
2) Leave Prequel to travel by overnight luxury Blue Train from Pretoria to Cape Town (www.bluetrain.co.za) , with a stopover in Kimberley, site of the first major diamond mining in South Africa. Arrive Cape Town 3 pm, Feb 20. Luxury hotel accommodation that night included, pending availability.
Tuesday, Feb 20:
- Breakfast at your hotel, followed by second full-day “Spear of the Nation” tour of Pretoria. We will visit the Voortrekker Monument, where we will learn the history of the original Voortrekkers, the Vow (Covenant) they took on December 16, 1838 (the day of the Battle of Blood River), and the reverberations that that vow has had through the years, including the birth of the Broederbond. We will also hear of the murder of Voortrekker leader Piet Retief by the Zulu King Dingaan. We will visit other sites of historical significance, including the Church Street Cemetery and Heroes Acre; Paul Kruger’s home; Melrose House, where the treaty ending the Anglo-Boer War was signed; and the Union Buildings, built in 1910, designed by Sir Herbert Baker to symbolize the Union of South Africa established in that year by the joining of the Boer and English republics into one nation. The seat of the executive branch of government, the Union Buildings are the site of presidential inaugurations, including that of Nelson Mandela in 1994.
- Dinner at a Johannesburg restaurant, TBD.
Wednesday, Feb 21:
- Following breakfast at your hotel, transfer to O.R.Tambo International Airport for flights to Cape Town International and beginning of Core Itinerary.