Potchefstroom High School for Boys

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Potchefstroom High School for Boys
Potch Boys Crest.Jpeg


North-West 2531
South Africa
Type British public school
Motto Crest
Established 1905
Head of school J. Van Vuuren
Staff 36 (excluding faculty)
Grades 8-12
Gender male
Number of students 500
Color(s) Gold, Blue
Hostels Barnard, Buxton, Granton, Milton
Sports Rugby, Cricket, Hockey
Publications The Mooi

Potchefstroom High School for Boys is a high school situated in Potchefstroom, South Africa. It is one of the oldest schools in South Africa.[1]

Historical Perspective[edit]

School History[edit]

With the Transvaal under British control, Lord Milner, the Colonial Secretary at the time created educational facilities (known as the Milner Schools) for English-speaking pupils. The site for the school had been an infamous concentration camp during the 2nd South African War. The first school on the land was for the children interned in the camp. On 31 January 1905, accompanied by the band of the Border Regiment, Sir Richard Solomon, Lt-Governor of Transvaal opened Potchefstroom College upon instruction from the then Education Department, the school was renamed Potchefstroom High School for Boys. "College" is a boarding school based on the English boarding schools system.[2] Founded by C.D. Hope (who was also the first principal of Pretoria Boys High School as well as Jeppe High School for Boys), the original structure had been built long before and had to close during the Anglo-Boer war. The school-building itself was designed in Cape Dutch architecture design as was prominent in style during those times which has since been declared a local heritage site. There are 3 boarding houses: Granton (Oxford Blue) (1909), Milton (Cambridge Blue) (1910) and Buxton (British Racing Green), which was constructed much later. The fourth house, Barnard (Royal Red) is the 'Day-Boy' house. These later buildings did not follow the traditional Cape Dutch styles and were built more suited to the period they were built in. The school's motto, Iustorum Semita Lux Splendens (Latin), was adapted by the founder C.D. Hope, from Proverbs 4:18, and means "The path of righteousness (alternately: the just) is (as) a shining light."

During the 1905 hunting season, just before the first Springbok team went on their rugby tour, the headmaster C.D. Hope was given the horns of a springbok by his brother-in-law. These horns, mounted, are in the school’s museum and a springbok head forms part of the school’s badge.

Past Headmasters[edit]

  • 1905–1926: C. D. Hope
  • 1927–1940: F. G. Tyers
  • 1941–1955: A. D. MacDonald
  • 1956–1975: W. J. B MacFarlane
  • 1976–1988: H. D. Ackermann
  • 1988–1994: T. J. Blake
  • 1994–2009: M. C. Cartwright
  • 2009 – Present: J. Van Vuuren




The school has a reputation for being very sports-orientated as every student is required to participate in at least one sport during each sport's season. Since the schools inception "Boys High" has produced many internationally recognized sportsmen. A wide variety of sports are offered at the school of which the more popular ones include: rugby, hockey, cricket, tennis and swimming. Beyond this, each student is then required to do athletics at inter-house level.

Apart from the local schools Potchefstroom Boys' traditional sporting rivals include Pretoria Boys’ High, King Edwards, Jeppe Boys, Parktown Boys and St Stithians each year.


The school's cultural activities are run with the school's teaching staff in collaboration with the students, activities such as plays and public speaking occur regularly.


Old Boys Society[edit]

The school's alumni is formed of old school members who join the school's Old Boys Society.[3] This is often referred to as Old Mooi because of the schools close proximity to the Mooi River which bisects the town of Potchefstroom. Among other tasks, the society is responsible for the over-seeing of the school and helps with the SGB (Student Governing Body). The society is also responsible for meetings and student reunions.

Notable Alumni[edit]


External links[edit]