Grey High School

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Grey High School
Grey high school.jpg
Motto Tria Juncta in Uno ('Three joined in one')
Established 1856
Type All-Boys Public School
Rector Mr. Neil Crawford (2001-)
Students 800+
Grades 8 - 12
Location Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Yearbook The Grey
Newspaper Grey Matter

Grey High School is an elite public school for boys located in the city of Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Grey High School is not to be confused with Grey College in Bloemfontein, Free State.


The school was founded by John Paterson, and named after Sir George Edward Grey, Governor of Cape Colony for the period 5 December 1854 – 15 August 1861.[1] Sir Grey founded Grey College, Bloemfontein in 1855, and Auckland Grammar School (Auckland, New Zealand) in 1850. The motto of Grey High School is Tria Juncta in Uno meaning 'three joined in one — mind, body and spirit', from the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, of which Sir George Grey was created a Knight Commander in 1848.

The school today[edit]

There are over 800 boys including 100 boarders. The school celebrated its 150th jubilee in 2006. The Grey Institute also includes the attached Grey Junior School with almost 800 pupils. The school is currently under the rectorship of Mr. Neil Crawford. The school has a governing body and is a former "Model C" school in South African schooling terminology.

Traditions and Ethos[edit]

Grey High School has a strong sense of traditions, and has a variety of annual events and intra mural activities.

Quad Races

Inspired by the film Chariots of Fire which deals with the rivalry between two famous Olympic athletes , Grey High School had both the cloisters and the necessary clock tower to perform this and thus it decided to adapt its own version of a "Quad Race" , held annually.
Matric Students (Final year School Leavers) participate in time trials and the two most nca qualifiers are chosen to compete in the race. They then toss for position, the winner usually choosing the inside lane. They wait for the four quarters to strike on the clock tower before they are set off by the Rector on the first strike of the chimes. They begin the race directly in front of the war memorial and they run in an anti-clockwise direction. They race against each other as well as against the ten chimes which take approximately 20 seconds to ring. The record stands to the name of past staff member, Greg Miller, with a time of 19.8 seconds. He is one of very few who have beaten the clock.[2]

Robert Selley Memorial Concert

The Selley Concerts were inaugurated in 1986. This was in conjunction with the Founder’s Day celebrations. The Selley Concerts aims to recognise the contribution Robert Selley’s made to the school's music department. This event is hosted annually in the Feathermarket Centre, on the second Wednesday evening in May. The concert showcases the depth and talent of the musicians at Grey High School. The Grey Symphonic Winds, conducted by Grey High's Director of Music, Mr. Shawn Lyon, traditionally performs first, wearing the famed "reds" uniform.[3] The Old Grey Band is included in the evening's program usually every second year, and consists of old Greys of any age with musical experience who wish to be part of the show. The last time the Old Grey Band took to the stage was in 2013. The Grey Junior School Concert Band, conducted by Mr. Jeff Taylor, also forms part of the show. The Grey Voices represents the school's choir, for which Mrs. Ruth Lyon is the teacher and conductor. The Grey String Orchestra traditionally precedes the Grey Orchestra and is conducted by Mrs. Marliza Taylor. The Grey Orchestra is the final ensemble to perform under the direction of Mr. Shawn Lyon. It is tradition for the concert to conclude with the performance of the school song, "The Grey". The music that is played is chosen not only for its entertainment value, but also to indicate the high standard of musical accomplishment through the mastering of complex arrangements in the widest possible variety of music styles.[4]

Trooping the Colour

Trooping the colour is performed by various senior members of the cadet detachment, mostly Matrics. The first Trooping the Colour was held on 31 October 1938. ,[5]


The house system at Grey High School has a combination of day scholar houses and boarding scholar houses . There are five day-boy houses and two boarder houses, although the boarder houses are collectively seen as one house known as Meriway. The houses compete against each other in events which include academics for points for the Inter House Shield.

House Colour Motto Housemaster
Noaks House Green      Motto: Fortior Qui Se Vincit (The Man who is Better, Restrains Himself) Mr Marc Brown[6]
Johnson House Yellow      Motto: Servabo Fidem (Translation: I Shall Protect the Faith) Mr Cyril Allwright[7]
Meridith House Black      Motto: Fratos Mortem Mr Anton Scholtz[8]
Way House Red      Mr Anton Scholtz[9]
Thurlow house Blue      Motto: Justitia Soror Fides (Translation: Justice is the Companion of Faith) Mr Richard Dolley[10]
Lang House White      Mr Ryan Laurie[11]
Vipan House Purple      Motto: Vi et Armis (Translation: By Force and With Arms) Mr Louis du Plessis[12]


The school has various facilities which cater for a good mixture of academics,culture and sport.[13] The school offers 13 sports (athletics, rugby, hockey, rowing, swimming, waterpolo, cricket, tennis, squash, air-rifle shooting, golf and cross-country) with the notable exception being association football, which is not offered due to a school policy against it.[14]

Academic Facilities

General Library
Assembly Hall
3 x Computer laboratories
Remedial computer laboratory
Engineering and Graphics Design computer laboratory
Lecture rooms equipped with audio-visual facilities
2 x Physical Science Laboratories
2 x Natural Sciences Laboratories

Sporting Facilities

Heated indoor swimming pool (25m)
2 Floodlit heated outdoor water-polo pools
Floodlit Water-Based Astroturf
4 All-Weather Clay courts
2 squash courts
1 cricket oval
3 Cricket fields
1 Grass hockey field
4 Rugby fields
Weights room
Ergo room
Indoor basketball court
2 outdoor basket ball courts
Physiotherapist rooms

Cultural Facilities

2 x Rehearsal auditoriums
Art Room

Other Facilities

Centenary Pavilion
Mosenthal Pavilion
Edkins Quadrangle
Memorial Quadrangle



Commonly regarded as an elite sport and one of the most demanding sports in the world, rowing requires an incredible amount of mental and physical toughness, as well as a high level of dedication and commitment.[16] Grey is currently the only school in Port Elizabeth to offer rowing as a sport. Traditionally, many of Grey's rowing boats are named after the wives of previous rectors at the school.

The school's rowing clubhouse is situated in Redhouse, which lies along the edge of the Swartkops River. It is here where Grey rowers train and practice their on-water skills. When not on the river, the boys may make use of the ergo room and school gym on campus to increase their cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance and muscular strength. Due to the intensity of the sport, many hours of training are required on a weekly basis.

Being mostly a team sport, there exists a strong sense of camaraderie amongst Grey rowers. The school year begins with an annual rowing camp, where new members of the club are taught basic rowing techniques and learn all the rules associated with the sport. It is here where new and existing rowers become acquainted with each other and form a strong fellowship. With the first rowing competition in a matter of weeks, the camp creates an ideal opportunity for coaches to ensure their crew/s are ready to race.

A wide array of opportunities exist for Grey rowers to compete, both at a national and international level. 2014 has seen the club travel to Cape Town, Durban, and Pretoria in order to race, with the latter being SA Schools Championships.[17] This year two U16 boys were selected to represent South African Schools Rowing in Belgium and returned with gold and silver medals.[18]


  • JR Macleish (1859–1861)
  • J Samuel (1862)
  • Rev Henry Isaac Johnson (1863–1872)
  • John Thurlow (1874–1884)
  • Edward Noaks (1885–1892)
  • William Chubb Meredith (1893–1910)
  • William Archer Way (1911–1928)
  • James Lang (1928–1942)
  • Bruce C Gordon (1943–1957)
  • Owen Burnet Taylor (1958–1962)
  • Stanford Edward Edkins (1963–1976)
  • Gustav Dieter Pakendorf (1977–1992)
  • Roy Lawrence Simpson (1993–2001)
  • Neil Russel Crawford (2001–present)

Notable alumni[edit]

Grey Cycle Tour[edit]

The Grey Cycle Tour 2008 was a cycle around the country of South Africa completed by seven students from the Grey High School. All the funds raised went to the Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa (CHOC). The idea of the Grey Cycle Tour was to include young people in the fight against cancer. The total distance traveled was 2300 km. In total, R580,000 was raised.

In the media[edit]

The school was featured in the second episode of the Australian Seven Network's version of the TV show The World's Strictest Parents.[24]


  1. ^ "History of The Grey". Grey High School. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Young, John. The Spirit of the Tower. Grey High School and Grey Junior School, 2006, p. 208.
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  21. ^ defenceWeb
  22. ^ Magdeburger Dommusik website
  23. ^ Ogilvie, Grania (1988) The Dictionary of South African Painters and Sculptors. Everard Read p. 368
  24. ^ "The World's Strictest Parents". Seven Network. July 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°57′40″S 25°35′45″E / 33.9612°S 25.5958°E / -33.9612; 25.5958