Bridge House hosts international conference

Some of the delegates on the final day of the conference.

Bridge House School in Franschhoek recently co-hosted a conference of 1 000 delegates from schools around the world.

Bridge House is one of a worldwide network of 180 innovative schools in 50 countries across six continents, which belong to the International Round Square Organisation.

Last week, the Mother City played host to 1 000 student and adult delegates, who attended the Round Square International Conference 2017, beginning at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) in Cape Town.

Bridge House co-hosted the conference, with St Cyprian’s Girls School and St George’s Grammar School, and after the first two days at the CTICC, one third of
the delegation enjoyed the remainder of the conference at Bridge House.

At the conference, which took place over six days, the students listened to various speakers and debated and discussed the content of their speeches.

They took part in an “Amazing Race” at the Waterfront, spent a day working at various community projects in Cloetesville, Kayamandi and Franschhoek.

They also held a cultural evening, where they shared cultural performances and enjoyed a day of adventure, hiking up Paarl Rock and in the Franschhoek mountains.

The Patron of Round Square, His Majesty King Constantine and the Queen, Her Majesty Queen Anne Marie of Greece, opened the conference.

They also spent a day at Bridge House, where they interacted with the delegates and planted a Yellowwood tree to commemorate the occasion.

The theme of the conference was “Unite to Ignite the Fire Within” – and at the closing ceremony, the head of Bridge House, Mike Russell, thanked the students from every corner of the globe for their part in being a “wonderful, energetic, warm, supportive, engaged and appreciative delegation”.

He added: “What a momentous, marvellous, memorable week this has been.

“What speakers; what performances; what interactions; what a conference song (and what a rendition at our closing ceremony); what food!

“What an incredible cultural evening.

”You are the creators, the disruptors, the collaborators, the crazy ones, born after 2000: the ones whose century this is.

“Thank you for the flame you have most definitely ignited in all of us who remain behind.”