House Chairman


A message from the house chairman, Dietlof Ferreira

The Sails of Sonop

The Sonop Christelike Tehuis has been one of the top men's residences on the Tukkie Campus for almost a century - in fact, since 1916.

How does a residence become one of the best?

Is a top residence one that

  • is repeatedly victorious against its opponents on the sports fields?
  • regularly builds the most impressive Rag float?
  • wins the local and national ATKV Ser Award? or
  • regularly receives the TuksRes Residence of the Year Award?

Achievements such as the above most certainly contribute to success, but as the house chairman of Sonop for the period 2016/2017, I would like to use a metaphor to describe our residence:

The University of Pretoria is an ocean. Every residence on the campus is like a fishing boat on the Tukkie Ocean, casting out its nets to gather knowledge and achievements, and each one has a unique character:

  • there are large boats - residences where the number of first-year students alone excel the total number of Sonop residents;
  • there are modern boats - modern residences built according to the latest architectural styles; and
  • there are boats with state of the art equipment - residents with exceptional academic abilities, outstanding talent for sports and cultural activities, and inspirational leadership qualities,    

and yet,

  • even though, compared to other residences, Sonop is but a tiny little boat on the Tukkie Ocean,
  • even though Sonop is a little boat whose design cannot really compare with the modern designs of the other boats, and
  • even though Sonop has fewer residents with exceptional academic abilities, sports and cultural talents, and outstanding leadership qualities,

Sonop is always at the forefront and is considered to be one of the leading residences - if not the ultimate leader - on the Tukkie Campus.

You may well ask: How does Sonop succeed in navigating the Sonop Ocean so successfully? 

In order to answer this question, I will again use the metaphor of the boat to highlight Sonop's qualities:

  • There is a strong, visible mast, represented by the brotherhood that was established in Sonop's early years and was moulded through tradition and constantly shaped to adapt to the modern ocean.
  • The sails have been set so that the Sonop boat can be driven forward by the wind of the Holy Spirit, according to the wishes of the Great Director - the Word of God.
  • The crew are all young men that are enthusiastic to succeed in their studies, sport, and cultural and social life - but they are just as enthusiastic about serving God.  
  • The map of the ocean - the heritage received from thousands of former Sonop residents who had lived here over a period of nine decades - shows us where both the treasures and the dangers are:
    - treasures such as the pursuit of excellence and worthy values, and
    - dangerous waters, which include short-sightedness and arrogance.
  • The lighthouse from which the managements of the Sonop Company, the Sonop Board and the Association of Former Sonop Residents guard over us and guide us to make sure that we enjoy our brief stay as privileged passengers on the Sonop boat until our voyage on the Tukkie Ocean are over and we have to make room for the next group of passengers.

I would like to conclude with two quotations:

  • An excellent man, like precious metal, is in every way invariable - a villain, like beams of a balance, is always varying, upwards and downwards. (John Locke)
  • Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. (Robert Kennedy)

The Sonop Christelike Tehuis is only a small boat on the large Tukkie Ocean, but a boat that, through God's grace and the warm brotherhood among its residents, manages to arouse the interest of everyone watching from the Tukkie Beach, and people from all over the country!