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Everyday Chalkboard

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BC: “Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.” - Anthony Robbins

FC: DCB | The Start Of A New Chapter

1: Made With Love From Mom

2: “Promise Yourself To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble. To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but great deeds. To live in faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you.” Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them

3: DCB | 12 Jan 1995 | Devon | Goose bump | Goose

4: Hi Angel, I can’t tell you how proud I am of you in every way, every day. You light up my life with your happy self and wicked sense of humour. You are a truly unique person, but what I love the most about you is your amazing soul. You are kind and warm and funny and you have a heart of gold. I love, love, love that you took up dancing as it brought that into my life and it has been a fanastic ride. I’ve loved every show, every competition, every class I’ve watched, every concert, every performance and every journey we’ve taken together. I can’t get enough of watching you perform. You are incredibly talented my love and it’s a delight to watch you perform. I am so excited that you are going off to the USA to university. I will miss you enormous amounts, but I am so happy for you and I know that you will flourish and have the best time ever. You are going to make those special memories and meet your life long friends whilst doing the things you love the most. How awesome! You really are lucky to have these opportunities and we are so happy that we are able to help you realize your dreams. Although I must admit, I am slightly disappointed that you didn’t master the skill of “slapping the wrinkles off my face!”. And it’s going to be tough not seeing your beautiful face every day. Dev, we’ve always known we have a special connection and I know that it will only strengthen over the years to come as new experiences and opportunities unfold for both of us. I know I will never lose you and I hope you know that you will never lose me. As hard as it is for any parent to do, I have to give you wings to soar, and I’m going to do just that! Go out into the world and live your best life. Try new things, go new places, meet new people and experience a whole new way of life. Go wild! Have fun! Party up a storm! (but be responsible ;-)) And you know that every day won’t always be a great day, but those days will make you appreciate the good days so much more. Be brave, but be careful. Take risks. Always see the good in people and especially in yourself. Take a step back and look at a situation from all sides and then make your decision. Stay true to yourself as you have incredible values and morals. Never be afraid to apologise and always stand by what you believe in. Be wise but don’t be too serious. Always remember that we have your back, no matter what. I know you probably won’t ever need to do this, but if you ever need to come home even if it’s for a few days, just let us know. You will always have a home with us, if you ever need it, even if it’s for a few days, a few weeks or a few months. I love you so much Dev. If you weren’t my son, I would still choose you as a friend. Thank you for just being you and for being so incredibly awesome at everything. I wish you everything and more for your life ahead and I know that whatever you do, you will have a happy and beautiful life. Stay safe and stay in touch. I love you to the moon and back... Mom xxxxxx

5: Dear Dev/Bro! Just wanted to say how much you mean to me and that I'm so glad that you are gong to America for Uni. One day I'll be going to Uni and experience the things you did in Uni, well maybe not the musical theatre but you get what I'm saying. So that's all i wanted to tell you and that I'm not lying when i say "you are the best brother I could ever wish for" and I'll love you to the end. Best of Luck! Love Your Bro Tyler (Tigger) | Dear Devon (Goose) Congratulations on (finally) graduating from high school. I know for you it has been a long time coming but it has all been for the right reasons as I am sure you have come to realise. It is said that people come into our lives so that me may learn and grow, and for the most part, it is parents who teach their children, but in some cases its the other way around. You are one of the rare ones, and I can honestly say that I have learnt from you. From a very young age you have always known what you wanted to do (probably even before you realised) and you have had the determination and dedication to make it happen. You never wavered, not once, no matter the circumstance, you stuck to your guns, pushed through,showed the world and rose above it all. You sense of loyalty and passion for doing what was right is to be admire. Your dedication and focus on what you wanted to achieve is unparalleled. Your commitment and belief is unrelenting. I am so very proud of what you have achieved so far, and I have no doubt the even greater things lie ahead of you in the future.Don’t even stop being who you are, follow your dreams, and live you passion – success will continue to follow you. Love Dad

6: "Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future." -Gail Lumet Buckley

8: I am so please to hear about my hero. If I think back to those days when you were prancing around at the back of the ballet class it brings a huge smile to my face. I cannot tell any of you how proud I feel of this young man. For sure he will go a long way to make you proud of him. America is a good place to do all the competitions and shows. I was there in July/August 2011 for The American Academy of Ballet Summer School of Excellence, which took place at Purchase SUNY College in Westchester. It was a fantastic experience. The year that I was appointed a Judge for the Academy we attended Vassar College in Poekeepsey – oh hell excuse the spelling!!! Dev, I wish you all the luck and experience gained in the world. Go Dev go!! Love you lots Alice-Ann | ...and People that help make our dreams become a reality...

9: Auditions!!!

10: 2013

14: Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. ~Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book | Dear Devon, I still remember clearly the day I had the pleasure in meeting you. It was then I knew what a unique person you were. Your vibrant personality has been an asset to you and will continue in your future career in theatre. I have no doubt we will be coming to watch you on Broadway and will be one of your biggest fans. We have watched you many times up on stage and throughly enjoy you doing what you do best, performing!!! We all wish you every success in the future Dev, may all your dreams come true!!! Lots of love, Tania, Dean, Josh, Teagan & Lachlan

15: Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. ~David Frost | Dear Dev You are such a special, unique and amazing person. I met you when you were 11 months old, in St Johann. You and Courtney became instant friends and have always been connected since then. Over the years we have been in the same country, in countries miles apart and yet we have always maintained contact. It has been a pleasure to see you grow and mature over the last 18 years into a wonderful young man. You are caring, warm, giving, and always fun to be around. I have the utmost faith that you will go far in life and achieve what you strive for. You have all you need to make it happen so all you need to do now is get out there and give it all you’ve got. We wish you lots of luck, love and happiness for your future ahead. May you always be part of Paul, Courtney and my life. Love and hugs Sue Xxxx | Devon the Devonstrator...! I'm honestly so excited for your future. You're talented, dedicated, absolutely lovely and the best musical theatre jukebox any MT student could ask for! I wish you so much luck for everything you want to achieve and I can't wait to watch you starring on Broadway... Preferably in a cheesy musical number I can sing along to ;) keep being you! Lots of love, Kayleigh xxx

16: “There's nothing like deep breaths after laughing that hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons.” Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

17: It is so awesome to see you following your passion and living your dreams Dev! It has been a pleasure getting to know you well over the past few years in Dubai and having had the pleasure of sharing a wonderful California road trip with your lovely family. Images of the BB heart, your pink laced converses and laughing until my belly ached with your shocking bicycling skills in Monterrey will remain with me always. If there is any advice I would give my children in today's frenetic workplace to asssit them in being happy and achieving thier own measure of success it would be to "do what you love and love what you do" . You are a wonderful example of this. Backed up by your genuine, ever-enthusiastic, warm, endearing, intelligent, good looking and fabulously talented self, you have all the qualities and are all set for going on to achieve great things! Expect that not all will be smooth sailing all the way but view these small hiccups as 'stepping stones' to help you cover some uneven terrain. Success is the culmination of passion and effort and cannot be attained without a healthy lump of each and most importantly Dev you need to set your own goals and live up to your own expectations! We all think and know you are wonderful but expect no more than you would for yourself and will always be here to offer a little love and support when you need it. Continue to exude life, energy, enthusiasm and delight in all that you do. Remain true to yourself and stay the very unique wonderful person that you are. We will miss you loads! Lots of love Dave, Gwyni, Em, Josh and Oscar xxx “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

18: Dev, when your mom asked me to write this, the first thing I thought of is “Wow! How am I going to say everything I need to?” For our matric retreat at Dainfern, we got a similar thing where there were parents and family and friends that wrote us inspirational letters on our future, and I am so honored to be one of the people to write yours. You and I have grown up together, we’ve experienced what it means to find your best friend and how no matter the time or distance, that friendship doesn’t waver. You are one of the most amazing people I know, you are funny, kind, energetic, exuberant, confidant and just all round amazing! There are moments in the day where I wish you hadn’t moved away or that I could just magic myself to Dubai, I know silly, but a girl can dream right? :P There are always going to be people and things in life that are going to try to break you and your unyielding confidence and charisma, it’s at times like these that you must always remember “Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” I know, quoting Winnie-The-Pooh, kind of silly. But if you think about it, he is quite inspirational, he’s a teddy bear that eats honey, he defies the odds everyday and that what you do too. I just wanted to remind you how proud I am of you and all the accomplishments you have made these past few years. You truly are an inspiration to me and everyone around you. Just remember that when you’re some famous Broadway star, I’m still your BFF and I get free access to your shows :P Now just one last little Winnie-The-Pooh quote I thought fit us perfectly: “We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.Even longer,' Pooh answered.” Love you so much Mr Braithwaite (Imagine them in Broadway Lights :P) Love Zoe

19: Hi Devon, Congratulations on your graduation, I'm so happy (and a little jealous haha wish it was me) for you getting to go to America to university, this is such an amazing opportunity, I'm so very proud and happy for you. Enjoy every moment you have, meeting new people, visiting new places and taking on new life experiences!! You are such an amazing person, with so much going for you, never ever change, always be you, the special person you are. Have lots and lots of fun and always try your best, the world is your oyster so grab every great opportunity that comes your way. Good Luck my friend, I wish you all the love and happiness!!!! WELL DONE :) Lots of Love Lydia xxxx P.s if you ever need a facial, I am more than happy to come visit you in the states haha!!!! | Dev

20: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all | Devon Somehow you just know when a special kid walks through your doors. Although it was easy to recognise the incredible talent that 10 year old body portrayed, one of the greatest aspects of the time that Devon spent with us in our “bush” studio was his dedication and professional attitude towards his dancing. Not easy for a 10 year old kid! Wonderful memories! Devon’s first ever competition, his first South African Championships which he happened to win and the positive influence he had over all the other dancers. Following his achievements on an international level gives me a feeling of immense gratitude that he touched our lives in such a profound way during the early days of his dancing career. Devon, you were born to be a star!!! Use your talent wisely and with passion that knows no bounds. Love Sheila

21: Congratulations Devon on your graduation. I didn’t know you for very long but you had such a dynamic personality that I will never forget you, it was hard to believe you were so young because you were so mature and extremely intelligent. We had many great conversations and you would make me laugh. It was sad to see you go but I know you will go far in life and I wish you all the very best for the future. You are a very special person and I hope to see you again when I get to visit Dubai Lots of love from your ex neighbour , Elaine Muncer xx | Devon Wow what to say to a whirlwind?? STOP? Change Direction?? Yeah right like that’s ever going to work. A whirlwind will go where its path is ordained and will always leave an impression. That’s the best description I have for you. You certainly have even in the short time that I got to know you, left an impression. You are the other “Mad Hatter” and it’s wonderful to see others out there with passion, love and shear joy at what they do and for you that’s the Theatre and the Arts. Always remember that when you LOVE what you do, YOU will never work a day in your LIFE. Ildiko (The MAD HATTER’S Mom)

23: this is me. this is my life. this is my future. this is my dream. this is my reality. this is my passion.

24: Dear Dev WOW! I am SO proud of you and all that you have achieved so far. You have achieved academically, creatively and grown rich though your privileged exposure to different cultures, places, tastes, music, sights, sounds and experiences. Never stop exposing yourself to new things and stretching your comfort zone. Congratulations on achieving this next important step in life. Celebrate your friends, family, educators and others who have impacted your life so far to make you the wonderful guy you are. I am very grateful and blessed to have you and your amazing family in my life. Your passion drives you! Stay focused and true to yourself and your values. Your effort and hard work is paying off. You are bright, talented and sharp. These attributes will stand you in good stead to be discerning and astute in your chosen path. Continue to show compassion for others, this is another gem that you have to offer. Embrace everything the future has to offer with both hands. Take the inevitable knocks, learn and live life to its fullest. Much love Craig “The only source of knowledge is experience.” Albert Einstein | Dear Dev Congrats on your graduation – May this be the start of all good things to come From your early days of dancing hip hop and then onto ballroom – you were destined for greatness Watching you in your various concerts – High School Musical et al showed such great versatility and had a great stage presence! Don’t forget us when you hit the lights out in Broadway! Love u lots Marshall, Lynette Cole and Sam

25: Dearest Dev, Congratulations on your high school graduation. We'd like to say how proud we are of how much you've done to become who you are today! Your education is your ticket to change the world. To fulfil all your dreams and prepare yourself for new journeys. Your future is in your hands and we wish you all the very, very best in whichever path or paths you choose to follow. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go. Oh!, The Places You'll Go ~ Dr. Seuss All our love, Roger, Sharon, Kirsty, Mark, Cara & Jordan xoxox | Dearest Devon, What a pleasure it has been to watch you grow up. You never cease to amaze us all with all the wonderful attributes that you have. Some of thos attributes are (just to name a few, of which there are far too many to mention): 1. You are the kindest, sweetest, most loving young man that I know 2. You have immense “Star” qualities and are sure to go on and become famous 3. You are warm and sincere and very caring 4. You are aware of those people around you that are worse off than you are, and you will try and help wherever you can 5. You are a loving son and a loving brother to Tyler 6. You are sincere in all that you do. In a “Nutshell” you are so very special that no-one can compare to you and with all these qualities that you have, you are most humble and don’t even realise that this is the way people around you see you. To my dearest nephew, always stay as sweet and as humble as you are and may you go on to realise all your dreams in the future. All my Love Bev

28: Dev, Dev, Dev!!! To one of the most special people I know. While this graduation is the end of your school career, what's to come is greater and greatness! You have been such an important part of Meg's life (and ours) and always will be. You two have a special bond, one that seldom comes around and will last a lifetime. You have been her life saviour! I love seeing the two of you together - it makes Meg happy and me happy. Watching you grow from this little chubby munchkin to the gorgeous young man you now are has been so amazing. From the first talent show at DFC (that little show the two of you put on still gives me goosebumps when I think about it), to Prague, Dubai, the Mad Hattter, Matric Dance, Skiing - you are a star! I promise to send Meg to visit soon once you have settled in the States. I know she is itching to visit. Enjoy your evening, hug your Mom, Dad and Tyler and wish upon a star! Good Luck in the USA - you are going to knock their socks off! Love you, you wonderful child. Love Barbs

29: To my awesome cousin, Devon I can not believe that you are already finishing school and on your way to university! It does not seem as if it was that long ago when I was playing peek-a-boo with you and we were making up imaginary stories together. From a young age you pushed your imagination to the limits and loved to tell stories, to act and dance and even play musical instruments; always the little entertainer! Who knew that that was just the beginning of your passion for the performing arts? Your thirst for knowledge has lead you to excel academically too; keep at it Dev, your worldly knowledge and skills will take you far. I admire your confidence and your ability to tackle new challenges head on. With a little bit of planning, nothing is ever too much for you. I’m so proud to have you as my cousin and look forward to pointing to the stage or TV and saying “That’s my awesome cousin Devon!” You have grown into a remarkable young man with a very promising future. Always stay true to yourself and follow your dreams Dev. Love you madly, Mel

30: Dear Devon, Congratulations on GRADUATING!!! I'm so happy and proud of you. It has been a long and interesting journey but it's finally over (at long last and despite every challenge thrown at you along the way). You're about to embark on a new adventure, one that you will never forget and which will help shape your life. With you moving on to a new life I would like to tell you how special you have been to mine, and tell you all that you mean to me. I've never met another person like you and that is because there is no one else like you. If I look back in my life, every moment and memory that has been special, memorable and the most valuable to me have always had you in them. You're always with me through thick and thin. I know that no matter what I can always count on you. <3 No matter where you are in the world, you never fail to bring happiness and joy into my life. You make me swell with pride and joy, so much so that I'm afraid that one day I may just pop! You always see the best in every situation and you have an uncanny and unfathomable ability to always bring out the best in people. As long as you are around there is no such thing as a dull moment. You bring light to the world and the life to the party! And Flugels too! Words cannot express just how much and what you mean to me. You've been my best friend for as long as I can remember. Thank you. Don't ever change. You're perfect the way you are and I love you for it. P.S You've got more flair and are more suave than Dobby dressed in his best tea-cosy! I really miss my other half, it's very difficult to function with only one half of a brain ;) which is why a numerous amount of visits are in order! I'll be bunking with you in America very soon, you have no choice in the matter. But don't worry though, I'll give you fair warning with our telemegdevapy. No matter where you are in the world I'll always be there for you. It doesn't matter if I have to hop on a plane, dive in a submarine, cut my way through the Amazon jungle or fly to the moon. If ever you need me I'll be thGere. I'm your number one fan and support everything that you do – no matter how crazy it is! You've given me the best memories and I thank you for that. I'll never forget the Gangnam at the Hinterhag Alm that's for sure! Perform your pants off and wiggle what you've got!

31: When you are on stage you give me Goosebumps. When I watch you do what you love it takes my breath away. It takes everything I have to stop myself from bursting with pride. That and I don't particularly want my guts spread out and spewing all over the floor... Just kidding! One day we will be old and I will be proud to tell anyone brave enough to listen, all about the stories of us that I have collected over the years and still will collect one day. The stories that I have yet to tell are the stories that I look forward to the most. Whenever I am with you we pick up from where we left off and it is as if nothing has changed. Nothing is too big or too small to share with you, from a paper cut to a broken bone, from an embarrassing moment to a proud one, from an uneventful day to a life changing event. You will always have my back and I will always have yours. You are one of the strongest and bravest people that I have ever met. A wise man once said that you will probably only have five true friends in your life, that will stay with you forever. I'm proud to say that I've already found one of mine. Henry Ford once said that “My best friend is someone that brings out the best in me” and it couldn't be more true. The best decision that I have ever made was to become friends with you. I wish you all the best in your new adventures to come. I know that no matter where you go you will shine. If I know you at all then I know that you will absolutely love university, it will be the time of your life. You just need to remember two things. 1.Always be yourself (which in your case is an easy given ;) ) And 2. Condoms are more fun than candles! ;) you didn't hear that from me!... Promise me that you will always remember: “You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think” - A.A. Milne Thank you for being the wonderful person that you are. I love you the most!! Hands DO NOT COUNT!! And never have and never will! I wish you all the happiness in the world. Love Megan | This picture makes me think of you. Daring, spontaneous, loving, caring, strong, valiant, chivalrous, kind, happy, inspiring, joyful, extraordinary and brave enough to be who you truly are. You never hold back or back down, that is why I admire you so much.

32: Dearest Devon It is amazing to think that you have now finished high school and are no longer a cute “little” boy. (now you are a gorgeous young man!) One of the things that sticks in our minds about you as a child is one time when you were hoola-hooping on the trampoline. It seemed that you would never make a mistake, and we never knew how you managed to keep bouncing for that long, let alone keeping the hoop going with such amazing rhythm. Eventually you stopped, but the joy on your face and the enthusiasm for the task at hand has stayed with us, and is often how we think of you as a child. As an adult, all of our time spent with you has been really special – when we came over to Queensland to “babysit” you and Tyler, we saw first-hand what a great role model you were to your younger brother, and when you came over to Perth to celebrate Gerry’s 60th birthday, you were not only a great waiter, but had the ladies swooning with your dance moves! You have led quite an international life, from South Africa, to Australia, to Dubai, but you seem to have taken it all in your stride, never seeming phased and always making the most of where you happen to be. Your love of dancing, music and acting embodies all that you are and your sincere, beautiful, kind soul is what makes you such a genuinely lovely person, and will stay with you forever and carry you through your adult life. As you go forward, we wish you every success in all that you turn your hand to, and hope that your future is filled with fun, laughter, health and happiness – and that you don’t forget us when you are famous! With lots of love Julie and Gerry xxxx

33: Dear Devon, Although we don't know one another very well, you could say that I’ve ‘known’ you since you were a little boy at Dainfern College. Even back then, you had the most incredible charisma, chutzpah and energy.which people used to talk about – and I have no doubt, many envied and wished they (and their children) had themselves. Your talents (and delightful character) were discussed often amongst Dainfernites and you were admired greatly for your showmanship and enthusiasm – something I can honestly say I have never yet come across again in a child. Nothing has changed in this regard, with the obvious exception that you have grown into a magnificent young man. Your energy enthusiasm and chutzpah remain, giving you a shining aura that will make you stand out for the rest of your life. On both occasions when I’ve had the honour of photographing you, with Megan, the obvious bond between you both has warmed my heart and through Barbie, I’ve often heard about your loyal, nurturing friendship with Megs which is testament to your upbringing. Your character is a special gift handed down to you by each of your parents as a lasting legacy - and one which you should maintain and treasure forever. The only advice I can possibly impart at this stage, is keep on being you, Dev. You are destined for greatness – and that’s a given! With much love as you enter the next phase of your life, Sue Harwood

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Leanne Braithwaite
  • By: Leanne B.
  • Joined: almost 9 years ago
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  • Title: Everyday Chalkboard
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  • Published: about 5 years ago