Grey High School

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Grey High School
Grey high school.jpg
Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
South Africa
Type All-boys public school
Motto Tria Juncta in Uno ('Three joined in one')
Established 1856
Rector Mr. Chris Erasmus (2018-)
Grades 8 - 12
Enrollment 850+
Houses Lang, Vipan, Noaks, Thurlow, Johnson, Merriway(Boarding House)
Colour(s) Blue and White
Nickname The Grey
Newspaper Grey Matter
Yearbook The Grey

Grey High School is a public school for boys located in the city of Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa.


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 George 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 850 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 under the rectorship of Mr. Chris Erasmus as of 2018 academic year. The school has a governing body and is a former "Model C" school in South African schooling terminology.


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 created its own version of a "Quad Race", held annually.

Matric students (final year school leavers) participate in time trials and the two most athletic 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 in conjunction with the Founder’s Day celebrations. The Selley Concerts recognises the contribution Robert Selley’s made to the school's music department. The event is hosted annually in the Feathermarket Centre, on the second Wednesday evening in May. The Grey Symphonic Winds, conducted by Grey High's Director of Music, Mr. Shawn Lyon, performs first, wearing the "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 2015. The Grey Junior School Concert Band, conducted by Mr. Jeff Taylor, 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 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. The concert concludes with the school song, "The Grey".[4]

Trooping the Colour Ceremony performed by senior members of the Cadet Detatchment, mostly matrics. First performed in 1938.


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[5]
Johnson House Yellow      Motto: Servabo Fidem (Translation: I Shall Protect the Faith) Mr Richard Gilbert[5]
Meridith House Black      Motto: Fratos Mortem Mr Gerhard Hills[5]
Way House Red      Mr Gerhard Hills[5]
Thurlow house Blue      Motto: Justitia Soror Fides (Translation: Justice is the Companion of Faith) Mr Allan Miles[5]
Lang House White      Mr Ryan Laurie[5]
Vipan House Purple      Motto: Vi et Armis (Translation: By Force and With Arms) Mr Louis du Plessis[5]


[6] The school offers 13 sports - athletics, rugby, hockey, rowing, swimming, water polo, cricket, tennis, squash, air-rifle shooting, golf and cross-country, with the exception being association football, which is not offered.[7]

Academic facilities

  • 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 room*
  • Gymnasium

Cultural facilities

  • 2 x Rehearsal auditoriums
  • Art Room

Other facilities

  • Centenary Pavilion
  • Mosenthal Pavilion
  • Edkins Quadrangle
  • Restaurant
  • Tuckshop
  • Memorial Quadrangle



Grey is the only school in Port Elizabeth to offer rowing as a sport.[8] 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.

The school year begins with an annual rowing camp, where new members of the club are taught rowing techniques and rules. With the first rowing competition in a matter of weeks, the camp creates an opportunity for coaches to ensure the crews are ready to race.

2014 has seen the club travel to Cape Town, Durban, and Pretoria in order to race, with the latter being SA Schools Championships.[8] Also in 2014, two U16 boys were selected to represent South African Schools Rowing in Belgium and returned with gold and silver medals.[8]


  • 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 Russell Crawford (2001–2017)
  • Chris Erasmus (2018-)

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.[14]



External links[edit]

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