Wynberg 175: Weekend Argus Reflects on our Schools

Wynberg Boys' High School 175: In the Media

Click the image to follow Wynberg 175 on Facebook; photos published in the article by Michael Walker

Transcript of an article in the Weekend Argus, Saturday 30 January 2016:

(Please note the spectator parking arrangements for Monday at Wynberg Boys’ High School on the link)

More than 1000 pupils from Wynberg Boys’ high and junior schools will parade through the historic Cape Town suburb that gave the schools’ their name on Monday, in celebration of the institution’s 175 anniversary.

The two schools, which split in 1943, trace their founding year to 1841, when a school for boys and girls in Wynberg was founded by then headmaster John McNaughton, from Scotland.

Only the South African College School (SACS) – which was founded in 1829, and with which Wynberg Boys’ High School maintains a longstanding sporting rivalry – is older.

The parade by 1300 boys will begin at Waterloo Green opposite Glebe Cottage, the premises that first housed the school and which is now a private residence.

Lead by pipers and drummers, a nod to the school’s Scottish roots, pupils will walk in formation to all sites that housed the school – from Glebe Cottage in Waterloo Grove to Brynderwyn Huis in Aliwal Street (sic), then onto Wynberg Boys’ Junior School, and finally to the Wynberg Boys’ High premises in Lover’s Walk.

Here, a parachutist will drop from a fixed-wing aeroplane just after 11 a.m., carrying a special commemorative flag to be raised with the South African flag at a special assembly.

Wynberg Boys’ High School headmaster Jan de Waal said the 175th anniversary was the first major milestone the school would celebrate since the end of apartheid, when the school opened to pupils of all races.

In 1991, he said, when the school celebrated its 150th anniversary, it was still “almost exclusively white”.

“The anniversary represents the democratic era and the opening of our society.” De Waal said.

He hoped old boys and friends of the school who attended Monday’s celebrations would see how it had changed to represent a new South Africa.

The schools will this year stage a number of commemorative events involving past and present pupils, parents, teachers and the wider Wynberg community.

Of special interest is the launch of its own signature tartan for use by the school’s newly established pipe band.

“There is a certain historical significance of the school taking on this project.” said De Waal. “This tartan is now part of the visual identity of the school, and celebrates what has gone  before and what is yet to be.”

The tartan, designed by local kilt maker and tartan expert, Will Carter, will be worn for the first time by the pipe band when they lead the parade of boys through Wynberg on Monday.

De Waal said the tartan was in the process of being recorded with the Register of  Scottish Tartans to protect its exclusive patterning and right of use.

The cloth was woven by Scotland’s largest tartan mill and arrived in South Africa shortly before Christmas.

To commemorate, the school has also sent a dozen “Wynberg 175 Flags” to parts of the world where old boys gather. Flags travelled to the UK, Australia, India, New Zealand and France. A dozen or so of these ceremonial flags are on display in the school’s Oude Wijnberg Museum.

On Thursday the school will also unveil a 2,5 x 2m bronze frieze that “encapsulates the four pillars which are the cornerstones of the school – academics, culture, sport and service”.

The frieze was executed by six Wynberg pupils under the direction of sculptor Jean Doyle.

Article by Jan Cronje, published in the Weekend Argus, Saturday 30 January 2016