DURBAN HIGH SCHOOL TURNS 150
Written by: Nqobile Msomi
The Durban High School (DHS) celebrated 150 years as the oldest school in Durban after it was founded in 1866.
The school opened its doors in 1866 with two rooms and seven pupils in Mansion House on Smith Street, formally known as Anton Lembede Street.
They are the second oldest in KwaZulu-Natal after Maritzburg College, founded in 1863.
Leon Erasmus, principal of DHS felt very honoured to be the principal of this school during this prestigious period.
“This school was built 150 years ago on the foundations of loyalty, trust, pride, honour, and courage – foundations that continue to this day. As the 14th Head Master, I am truly honoured and at the same time humbled to be leading this great school in our 150th year. We owe it to all those who have come before us, and those who will be here long after we have moved on, to continue the legacy and the important traditions that have been formed and built over the last 150 years,” said Erasmus.
“We will continue to evolve, but we must also continue to develop young men of good character who will pave the way for future generations” concluded Erasmus.
Christopher Seabrooke, chairman of DHS Foundation Trust which acts as a custodian of culture and traditions of the school, praised former pupils who had contributed to the Foundation.
“The Old Boys have embraced the philanthropic spirit and have contributed to the Foundation in recognition of the unique and enriching role of the school in their education and development in their formative years,” said Seabrooke.
DHS has produced many sportsmen such as Imraan Khan, BJ Botha part of the national rugby team in 2007 and Rory Sabbatini who won the World Cup of Golf in 2003.
Bongani Gema, former pupil of DHS said that he was proud of what the school had achieved.
“I’m proud of the fact that it has produced fine men who have gone to become leading players in sports, politics, academia and the arts. The likes of Hashim Amla and others,” said Gema. “It fills me with joy and honour to know that I’ve walked in their footsteps and became a part of such a great history. I’m a horse-fly till I die.”
Former pupil Felo Sangweni, an aspiring rugby player who is at the Sharks Academy, felt grateful to be a part of the DHS family.
“The school fetched me from the township and gave me a good education and it was not only me, there are many boys DHS has done this for,” said Sangweni.
Sangweni continued to say that he is very excited to be part of DHS especially this year as the school is celebrating 150 years.
“I mean when the school was celebrating 100 years of rugby in 2010 and I was a first team player. And now I’m back for 150 years of the school as an old boy, added Sangweni.
Jireh Mabamba Deputy Head boy and Vice Chairman of the student body in 2010-2011, who is currently studying in America said DHS had impacted positively his life.
“From a shy boy to a confident gentleman, who is well prepared to lead with high ethical value and morals. I am excited to see that 150 years later DHS is still producing fine young leaders that are changing the world today. Go DHS. Our blood is always blue and gold,” stated Mabamba.
Mathew Henley, a student at the school said that he felt as though DHS was more than a school fro him.
“We are more than a school, we have this concept called brotherhood. Which has been a driving force in our successes over the past 150 years. I believe that as a school we try to instil these values into our learners and transform the boys from primary school to gentlemen going to the outside and the values will definitely be continued to be installed in the future,” he said.
“Being a boy that goes to DHS is one thing, but being a DHS boy is an entirely different thing. I feel that it is an honour as I have a name, a badge and a school to uphold in whatever it is I might be doing,” Henley continued.
Moro Mbadi student, commented on the values that headmaster Erasmus touched upon.
“The values are still around, as we are constantly reminded through discipline, if we, however, do step out of line, these values become part of you as you grow up from grade 8 until matric, creating a gentleman, which is what DHS strives for and sets them apart from other schools,” said Mbadi.
Nkanyezi Mncube said there was a bond they shared as DHS boys as they celebrate 150 years.
“To say that the school is exactly how it was 150 years ago would be a lie, as the school grew older things around the school changed , the school had to adapt to South Africa changing, as it didn’t allow boys of different races, creeds, and backgrounds but then that all changed and the bond became stronger,” concluded Mncube.
*Picture: DHS Boys form the number 150