Grey High School

Grey High School is a semi-private English medium high school for boys situated in the suburb of Mill park in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. It is one of the top schools in the country for its rugby, cricket and hockey, as well as being one of the oldest schools in South Africa.

Grey High School
Grey high school.jpg
Grey High School main entrance
College Dr, Mill park

TypeAll-boys semi-private
MottoTria Juncta in Uno ("Three joined in one")
Established1856; 165 years ago (1856)
FounderJohn Paterson
Sister schoolCollegiate Girls' High School
School districtDistrict 9
HeadmasterChris Erasmus (2018-)
Age14 to 18
Number of students950 boys
Schedule07:30 - 14:00
CampusUrban Campus
Campus typeSuburban
Houses  Lang House
  Noaks House
  Johnson House
  Way House
  Meridith House
  Thurlow House
  Vipan House
Colour(s)  Blue
NicknameThe Grey
RivalGrey College
Muir College
Selborne College
AccreditationEastern Cape Department Education
NewspaperGrey Matter
YearbookThe Grey
School feesR70,000 (boarding)
R50,000 (tuiton)

The boys high school was founded in 1856 as Grey Institute by John Paterson. It is one of the most prestigious schools in the Eastern Cape.[citation needed]


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]


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 students) 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 contributions Robert Selley 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, 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 Jeff Taylor, forms part of the show. The Grey Voices represents the school's choir, for which Ruth Lyon is the teacher and conductor. The Grey String Orchestra precedes the Grey Orchestra and is conducted by Marliza Taylor. The Grey Orchestra is the final ensemble to perform under the direction of Shawn Lyon. The concert concludes with the school song, "The Grey".[4]

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


The school offers 13 sports: athletics, rugby, hockey, rowing, swimming, water polo, cricket, tennis, squash, air-rifle shooting, golf, basketball and cross-country. Association football is not offered.[6]


Grey is the only school in Port Elizabeth to offer rowing as a sport.[7] Grey's rowing boats are named after the wives of previous rectors at the school.

2014 has seen the club travel to Cape Town, Durban, and Pretoria in order to race, with the latter being SA Schools Championships.[7] Also in 2014, two U16 boys were selected to represent South African Schools Rowing in Belgium and returned with gold and silver medals.[7]

Notable alumniEdit

Grey Cycle TourEdit

The Grey Cycle Tour 2008 was a cycle around the country of South Africa completed by seven students from 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 mediaEdit

The school was featured in the second episode of the Australian Seven Network's version of the TV show The World's Strictest Parents.[16]


  1. ^ "History of The Grey". Grey High School. Archived from the original on 11 September 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Young, John. The Spirit of the Tower. Grey High School and Grey Junior School, 2006, p. 208.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 March 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "House Masters".
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c
  8. ^ "JJ Engelbrecht". Who's Who SA. Archived from the original on 25 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Hockey". Grey High School. 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  10. ^ defenceWeb
  11. ^ Magdeburger Dommusik website
  12. ^ "Siya Kolisi's Springbok Debut". MyPE. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Ogilvie, Grania (1988) The Dictionary of South African Painters and Sculptors. Everard Read p. 368
  15. ^ Markman, Ivor. "St George's Park - Atholl Henry McKinnon". St George's Park History. Darryn van der Walt. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  16. ^ "The World's Strictest Parents". Seven Network. July 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2009.


External linksEdit

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