Rondebosch Boys' High School
Rondebosch Boys' High School is a public English medium high school for boys situated in the suburb of Rondebosch in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is one of the top and most academic schools and also the oldest schools in South Africa, The high school was established in 1897.
|Rondebosch Boys' High School|
Rondebosch Boys High School
Canigou Avenue, Rondebosch
|Type||All-boys public school|
|Motto||Altius et Latius|
|Established||2 February 1897|
|School district||District Metro Central, Circuit 10|
|Assistant Headmaster||Shaukat Ebrahim|
|Houses||Andrew House |
|Colour(s)|| Blue |
|Rival||Bishops Diocesan College |
South African College Schools
Wynberg Boys' High School
|Accreditation||Western Cape Education Department|
In the late 1800s, the residents of Rondebosch got together to consider the need for a boys' school in the near future. The idea of an English-medium school was chosen and the Dutch Reformed Church representative of the district, Reverend Benard PJ Marchand, took the lead of this initiative. Marchand obtained the help of several prominent dignitaries and businessmen, including William Philip Schreiner, an old boy of SACS and future Prime Minister of the Cape Colony and Sir Lewis Mitchell, the manager of the Standard bank, to guarantee the initial funding that would be required. In 1897, Dr Thomas Muir, Superintendent-General of Education, approved a grant of £50 to cover the salary, and housing, allowance for the principal of this new boys' public school, the man chosen for the promising job was 38-year-old Robert MacLennan Ramage, a graduate of Edinburgh University. Ramage was an experienced teacher, gaining his experience by teaching at the flourishing new schools of the Colony, having been a teacher at the Stellenbosch (Paul Roos) Gymnasium.
On 2 February 1897 the school opened as the Rondebosch High School for Junior Boys in Glena Hall, a Dutch Reformed Church building in Erin Road. The school started modestly, with the number of pupils enrolled just 8, the maximum it could accommodate at the time. By the end of April, the number of boys on the roll had increased to 28, with the school teaching boys from standards 2 to 7. The first inspection report to Dr. Muir was a positive one, saying: 'This school has made a promising commencement and deserves the unhesitating support of the neighbourhood. The accommodation and equipment are both satisfactory. The teachers are able and zealous.'
By August of the same year, the school in the little church hall was attracting a lot of interest, and its name had been changed to the Boys' High School, Rondebosch. With the large number of applications the school was receiving from the local residents, the school committee was forced to become more selective in acceptances. Before the end of the year, the committee was looking for a site to construct a new, considerably bigger school. Soon after their search began, a nearby property - The Firs, a site with an area of almost one acre of ground, at the corner of Campground and Rouwkoop roads came up for sale. The committee negotiated a loan with the Standard Bank and bought the property for an amount of £1 900. The architect commissioned to design the new school was G G Milne. Teaching in the new school commenced on 7 September 1898. In 1947 the High School on Campground Road moved to its current location on Canigou Ave. The buildings at this location, see photo attached, including the Canigou boarding house were designed by architect Kilgour Parker, who was an Old Boy of the school, and well known Cape Town architect. His firm also were the architects for Wynberg Girls' High School and Rustenburg Girls High School, as well as several other schools in the Western Cape.
Rondebosch's school song was written and published in 1914. The words were written by Cocky Wilson and the music was composed by Mrs Elsie Skaife.
Pride of our school in ev'ry heart
Fain are we all to bear our part,
Singing in chorus her rightful praise,
Joyously we our love proclaim,
Proud of her fair and honoured name,
Loyal and true to her all our days!
Altius et latius
Arbor nostra floreat!
Semper natos nobiles
Alma mater pariat!
Higher and higher we would grow,
Ever aspiring more to know,
Lifting our heads to the stainless sky.
Broader and broader we would be,
Spreading a boundless charity
Wide to the world as the years go by!
Old Boys’ verse:
Here's to the school we loved of yore!
Though we may roam the whole world o'er,
Still do the old affections stir,
Seeing her fame grow brighter yet,
Knowing her deep foundations set
Firm as the mount that shelters her.
The chorus translated from Latin:
Higher and wider
May our tree flourish!
May our Alma Mater
Always produce noble sons!
Boarding at Rondebosch Boys' was established in 1904 to accommodate boys from the farming areas of the Western Cape. The tradition of boarding at Rondebosch continues to this day, as a large number of the boys who board at Rondebosch come from rural areas. The boarding houses at Rondebosch currently accommodate 135 boys, with the Grade 8 and 9 boys being accommodated in Mason House and the Grade 10-12 boys in Canigou.
The Rondebosch Boys' High School Memorial Hall was built to honour the Rondebosch Old Boys who died in World War I and World War II. The hall was built after WWII and can comfortably accommodate 950 seated people. The Memorial Hall has recently undergone construction, adding a 3rd gallery to the hall to accommodate more people.
Old Boys' UnionEdit
The Rondebosch Old Boys' Union was established in 1909 to support the Rondebosch boys and staff and to help Old Boys maintain links with the school and with each other. Over the last century the Old Boys’ Union has assumed a greater role in raising funds for the benefit of both the Prep and High schools and providing other support.
Rondebosch has one of the strongest and oldest Old Boys' unions in South Africa and it has been growing exponentially ever since it was first started in 1909. On 13 March 1913 the first official Founders' Day was commemorated by a cricket match between Old Boys and school boys. This tradition is still continued today with the addition of various other sports matches as well.
|Year||Pass rate (%)||No. of candidates who wrote||No. of candidates who passed at bachelor's degree level||Note|
Music lessons are offered at the Music and Performing Arts Centre on the school premises. Rondebosch offers music as one of the grade 10-12 subject choices. In 2013, 7 candidates wrote the music exam, of those, 5 achieved "A" symbols and the class achieved an average of 83%.
Rondebosch is the traditional rival of the nearby school Diocesan College (Bishops) as well as SACS and WBHS. Bishops is considered Rondebosch's main rival in rugby, with the first match between them played in 1908. Derby sport matches between the schools are played almost every weekend during the winter sports season a year in both rugby and cricket, as well as in a number of other sports. RBHS, Bishops and SACS participate in the annual Triangular athletics event.
- Peter Beaumont, archaeologist
- Allan McLeod Cormack, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for work on the development of Computer assisted tomography (CAT scan)
- David Earl, composer and concert pianist
- Chris Fallows, shark expert
- Robert Fokkens, composer
- Nick Gevers, science fiction critic and editor
- Tim Jenkin, political prisoner, author, escapee from Pretoria Central Prison
- Jonathan C. Knight, physicist
- Daniel Rajna, principal ballet dancer with the Cape Town City Ballet Company
- Athelstan Spilhaus, scientist and inventor
- Lyall Watson, author
- Zapiro, cartoonist
- Ian Goldin
- Ken Andrew, politician
- Ryan Coetzee, strategist for the Democratic Alliance
- Richard Spring, Baron Risby, former British MP
- Franklin Berman, judge and international law specialist
- Michael Corbett, Chief Justice of South Africa
- Oliver Schreiner, judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of South Africa
- Sir Robert Clarkson Tredgold, Chief Justice of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
International sports playersEdit
- England: Neil Broad
- South Africa: Andrew Cronje
- South Africa: Gary Kirsten, HD Ackerman, John Commins, John Nel, Kenny Jackson, Paul Kirsten, Andrew Puttick, Zubayr Hamza
- England: Jonathan Trott
- Ireland: Ralph Coetzee 
- Netherlands: Michael Rippon 
- South Africa (Springboks): Frank Mellish, Bennie Osler, Jack Gage, Zain Davids, Ian McCallum, Chris Pope, Joel Stransky (at Rondebosch till his under 16 year), Hanyani Shimange, Gcobani Bobo, Roy McCallum
- England: Frank Mellish
- Ireland: Dion O'Cuinneagain (captain), who also captained the South African Sevens side.
- USA Sevens: Dallen Stanford 
- Germany: Justin Melck
- France: Eric Melville
- USA: Marcel Brache
- South African Sevens: Zain Davids
Notable past teachersEdit
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- "2013 Senior Certificate Results". Rondebosch Boys' High School. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "UCT Mathematics Competition". Retrieved 1 June 2016.
- "Music". rondebosch.com. Archived from the original on 14 April 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
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- Vaughan, Christopher L. (2008). Imagining the Elephant: A Biography of Allan MacLeod Cormack. Lansdowne, South Africa: UCT Press. p. 324. ISBN 978-1-919895-08-6.
- Allan McLeod Cormack - Biographical, www.nobelprize.org. Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2014
- Barker, Dennis, Obituary: Lyall Watson, www.theguardian.com, Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- Bonorchis, Renée (20 September 2006). "Inspiring Research At the Dreaming Spires to Benefit the Poor". Business Day. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
- MANAGEMENT:Strategy is the political steering wheel, www.bdlive.co.za, Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "International Sportsmen". www.rondebosch.com. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
- The legend Archived 15 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine, www.garybaileyspeaks.com, Retrieved 29 March 2014
- Jonathan Trott: 'The red mist happens very rarely now', www.theguardian.com, Retrieved 29 March 2014
- "Ralph Coetzee". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
- "Dallen Stanford and Brian Vizard Set to Call Major League Rugby Action on CBS Sports Network". Glendale Raptors. Retrieved 23 July 2019.