Paarl Boys' High School

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Coordinates: 33°44′21″S 18°57′37″E / 33.73917°S 18.96028°E / -33.73917; 18.96028

Paarl Boys' High School


 South Africa
Type Boys' State School
Motto "Tandem Fit Arbor Surculus" - "The Twig Will Eventually Become A Tree"
Established 1868
Principal Derek Swart
Color(s) Blue, Navy, White

Paarl Boys' High School, known in Afrikaans as Hoër Jongenskool Paarl (also known as Boishaai , Paarl Boys', built in 1868, BHS or HJS) is one of the oldest schools in South Africa. The school is situated at the heart of Paarl, a town in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The first headmaster of the school was Rev. George Jeffreys, after him followed James Rettie,[1] Mr J Inglis and the esteemed Mr T. Engela followed by Mr L Knoetze. As of 2007 the headmaster of the school is Mr Derek Swart.

Early history[edit]

The first building to house the school was a granary on Zeederbergplein, the owner of which was Mr. D. Beyers (a close friend to the first headmaster, Rev. Jeffreys). The first years of the school were unstable ones, with the school increasing in size every year, larger facilities were required frequently. The grounds on which the school stands today were originally formed part of the farm Berlyn owned by Mr. P.J Malherbe.

A certain mr. Molls purchased the farm and donated the land to the school. In 1901 PJ du Pré Le Roux became headmaster. Du Pré Le Roux was the first headmaster to establish the school as a prestigious institution and remained at the reins for over two decades. Mr. Le Roux also saw the construction of the boarding hostels of Monte Bello (1901), Bellevue (1904), Villieria (1907), Berlyn (1908) and Imhoff (1923). The hostels of Berlyn and Villieria were dismantled and were replaced by another hostel, namely Werda.


Each year the school takes part in one of the biggest interschools in South Africa against its archrival, Paarl Gimnasium High School. The main event (the u/19A rugby match) attracts over 20 000 spectators to the Faure Street Stadium. The school has produced many Springboks, from legends like Boy Louw, Mannetjies Roux and "Prince of Wings" Carel du Plessis, to more recent players like Corne Krige (former Springbok Captain), Gurthro Steenkamp and Frans Malherbe.

Other sports that are also included in interschools are: field hockey, cricket, swimming, squash, tennis, chess, golf and even debating. Golfing professional, David Frost, also matriculated at Paarl Boys' and continues to make a contribution to golf at the school. Paarl Boys' High School is currently ranked as the top rugby school in South Africa. Students of the 2 schools have traditional nicknames; the Boishaaiers are known as 'galpille' and the Gimmies as 'bloedworse'.

Uniform and tradition[edit]

The school uniform consists of a light blue shirt adorned with the school coat of arms, grey shorts or trousers, a striped blue and white tie, a dark blue blazer striped with light blue and white. Brown shoes over grey socks are worn as well, the socks are edged at the top with the school tricolour. All grade 8s wear silver buttons on their ties and blue buttons on their blazers, marking their low ranking in the school. Merit colours are only awarded to matrics and grade 11s who have achieved with distinction on the sporting field, academics or the cultural front. These merit colours differ considerably from the standard uniform; the blazer is solid and deep navy blue in colour, without stripes. The tie is also navy blue and stripeless with the addition of the school crest in silver at the knot. The so-called "full colours" blazer, which is only awarded to those who have attained the top achievement in his field, is adorned with a more prestigious looking badge of the school, which is silver in colour and rests on top of two laurels. The standard "half colours" blazer is the same as the "full colours" blazer, but instead features the normal school badge.

At the beginning of every year just before the start of school all grade 8's take part in a boot-camp style orientation which lasts two days. These grade 8s are put through military drills as well as physical training exercises. The most infamous of these exercises is when they have to climb a section of Paarl Rock whilst carrying logs. This is done in groups and builds group spirit. After this "boot-camp", the grade 8's go through the year with daily drills for the first 3–6 months depending on the group of grade 8s.

School song[edit]


'Neath the far famed rock of granite grey

Stands a school the best all people say

Boys and youths to train and educate

Model men to rear for Church and State

Or for tendered field, for track and sporting ground

And its name and fame throughout the land resound.

For the school, renowned from Berg to Vaal

Is the Boys' High School of Upper Paarl.

Of all the school throughout the land

Alma Mater thou shalt stand.

Supreme and great far o'er the rest

Highly honoured, glorious and blessed.


Aan die voet van Paarlberg gebou

Staan 'n skool aan sy tradisies trou.

Seuns word hier gelei en ook gebrei

Tot 'n skone toekoms voorberei

Deur op allerlei terreine uit te blink,

Het sy roem en eer oor heel ons land weerklink

En met trots van Suid tot oor die Vaal

Word die HJS se roem herhaal.

Van al die skole, ryk aan faam

Alma Mater bly jou naam

Voortreflik groot deur roemryk werk

Bly verrig tot heil van Staat en Kerk.

War cry[edit]

The Paarl Boys' High War cry, or 'Kreet', has changed much over the years, but the current Warcry is as follows:

Shimalaya wha!

Shimalaya wha!


Wha 'sop - 'sop 'sop 'sop

We are - we are


Wha 'sop, Shimalaya wha![2]


  1. ^ "Photograph of staff members and pupils, Gymnasium Boys' School, Paarl.", National Archives and Records Service of South Africa (depot KAB, source AG Collection, ref. AG16780), 1885.
  2. ^ "War Cry". Retrieved 2016-05-01.