St. Alban's College
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|St Alban's College|
Custos Veritatis meaning "Guardian Of The Truth"
|Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa|
|Type||Private, Boarding/Day Boys|
|Locale||Lynnwood Glen (Suburban)|
|Grades||Form I–V / Grade 8–12|
|Number of students||580 boys|
|School colour(s)||Navy blue, silver and grey|
|Fees||R165,462 (boarding), R95,256 (day boy) p.a.|
St Alban's College is a young Anglican boys' school. It came into existence on 1 February 1963 with a total strength of 37 boys and 3 masters. It now has 510 boys and 43 teachers plus an array of support staff.
The founder-Headmaster, Anton Murray, was a South African cricketer who sought to maintain the best traditions of liberal education. So an emphasis on well-rounded development prevails, and games such as cricket, rugby and hockey have always figured prominently in its history.
St Alban's has pioneered the way in important areas: opening its doors to boys of colour before it was legal to do so, and providing educational upliftment programmes for disadvantaged members of the community.
Mr Murray devoted twenty years of his life to the school. Mr Paul Marsh was headmaster during a transitional phase lasting for four years. Mr Ronnie Todd introduced many radical changes during his ten years as headmaster, and following his position as headmaster went on to open St Peter's College. The fourth headmaster was Mr Grant Nupen, who was one of those 37 pioneering Foundation Scholars in 1963 and went on to become the first Head Boy, a distinction he held for three years.
Under the direction of the current headmaster, Tom Hamilton, the school has become well-established. The school celebrated its 50th Birthday in 2013.
The school song is the Hymn for St. Alban:
- Laud the grace of God victorious
- Sing triumphant o'er the foe,
- Tell of him a martyr glorious
- For the changeless truth laid low,
- Faithful servant, valiant soldier,
- Whom all lands and ages know.
- Valiant soldier, proto-matyr,
- First of Britain's sons to die,
- Pagan ire and cries withstanding
- By the grace of God most high.
- By the strength of Him, Protector,
- Who in strength and pow'r was nigh.
- Craggy way and steep and narrow
- Dark and drear the path of blood
- Cruel foes were pressing round him
- As he touched the Jordan's flood
- Yet he stood, a soldier valiant
- And the enemy withstood.
- Patient, humble, like his Master,
- He resigned a spirit calm;
- Crowned with coronal unfading
- Now he bears a martyr's palm;
- Sheathing sword no longer needed,
- He took up the endless psalm:
- Laud and honour to the Father,
- Equal honour to the Son,
- Adoration to the Spirit,
- Ever three and ever one;
- Co-substantial, co-eternal,
- While unending ages run.
Normally, the school only sings verses 1, 4 and 5. Verses 2 and 3 are only sung at certain events.
St Alban's College ranks top ten students of each grade every term; in addition, House Positive is equal to an average of 65% or above and School Positive is from 75%. Since 2008 students at St Alban's College undertake examinations set by the Independent Examination Board of South Africa.
Sports offered include Rugby and Hockey (the main sports in the winter time), Cricket, Swimming, Rowing, Basketball and Water Polo (in summer). Other sports are soccer, tennis, squash, athletics and cross-country running.
St Albans College has a music department that is well known across South Africa. The St Alban's College chapel choir attended the World Choir Games for the first time in the school's history in 2008, and is highly regarded as one of the top school choirs in South Africa. In 2010, the choir completed a tour of the United States, where it toured the East Coast and performed at numerous places including the Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C.. Furthermore the school has an elite singing group, the Barbershop Boys, comprising top singers selected from the chapel choir. The Barbershop Boys is a small band of singers, usually around 15-20 boys, who sing a cappella and often arrange their own pieces.
The Barbershop Boys pioneered the schools "Music Tours" with their extremely successful tour to Argentina in 2004. Under the leadership of the then, Master-in-Charge of music, Mark Stenhouse. The touring group was treated as a professional music group and at times had to have police escorts between the different cities and towns of Argentina. Many of the boys that were part of that group have subsequently gone on post-school, to follow careers closely related to the music industry and the years of 2004 - 2006 are fondly remembered as the "Golden Years" of the Barbershop Boys by the boys who had been in that touring group of 2004.
The school also has a Big Band, and new, smaller groups are constantly being created by groups of musicians. The school has an auditorium on campus where it holds many annual concerts.
Notable Old Boys
- David Rattray - historian and raconteur, fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (1958–2007)
- John Smith - Olympic Gold Medalist for rowing, quads, 2012 London Olympics
- Richard Sterne - professional golfer
- Jabulani Tsambo AKA Hip Hop Pantsula - rapper
- Bongi Mbonambi - Blue Bulls professional Rugby player
- Jean-Philip Grobler - AKA St. Lucia, front-man for the band St. Lucia (musician)
- Jack Flynn - National Junior ice hockey representative