We profile Sao Bras, the Mossel Bay school with a Portuguese name.
Sao Bras, in the beautiful coastal town of Mossel Bay on the famed Garden Route, has a Portuguese name. The early Portuguese navigators in their search for the seaway to India in the 15th and 16th centuries visited Mossel Bay, most notably Barthomew Diaz, who took on fresh water there on 3 February 1488, as did Vasco da Gama on 26 November 1497. Vasco da Gama called the place Aguada de São Bras - the watering place of St Blaize. The name is perpetuated in a suburb of Mossel Bay of that name and in the name of its school as well as the cape with the lighthouse, Cape St Blaize.
In 1500 Pedro d'Ataide left an account of a storm in an old shoe hanging from a milkwood tree. This milkwood tree was sued by several sailors as a post office, the first in South Africa and now a national monument. In 1501 João da Nova built a small church there, the first church in South Africa. He changed the name to Golfo dos Vaquieros, the bay of the cattlemen for the Koi herdsmen in the area. In 1601 a Dutch navigator, Paulus van Caerden changed the name to Mossel Bay, because his crew gathered mussels there. People lived there and the harbour was developed and eventually a township was proclaimed in 1848, named Aliwal South in honour of a Sir Harry Smith victory in India. But the old Dutch name prevailed.
Hills rise from the bay giving splendid views of the sweep of the bay and Seal Island. Sao Bras school is situated on one of the hills overlooking the bay.
The school, which has some 1300 pupils, is proud of the exceptional sportsmanship shown by its players over the years. The school takes part in many sports and games - soccer, netball, chess, badminton, cricket, table tennis and tennis - but rugby
remains the king. The glorious rugby tradition has been built up over the
years, as the number of players in representative teams shows.
Name of school Sao Bras Senior Sekondêre Skool.
Motto of school Fortuna Audaces Iuvat (Fortune favours the bold)
Date of foundation 1964
School address PO Box Da Gamaskop, Mossel Bay. 6501
Some outstanding players have been John Cooper, Isak Jacob, Raymorthy du Preez, Lordney Scheepers, Charlton Petersen, Marius Plaatjies, Duayne Saayman..
Isak Jacob finished his schooling at President Steyn and went on to play for the Cheetahs. Raymorthy du Preez went from Sao Bras to Grey College in Bloemfontein.
In the SACOS days the school produced several SA Schools players. In 1987
there were even four players in the SA Schools side. Several of these
players later played for SARU sides. The dedication and self-sacrifice of
the players and their coaches and the natural talent of the players
contributed to these great achievements.