KIMBERLEY BOYS HIGH
Mon, 31 May 2004 00:00
We profile Kimberley Boys' High, the alma mater of many Springboks.Diamonds made Kimberley. They gave the city its reason for existence, caused it to be cut off from the Orange Free State, to which it
geographically belongs, and shunted into the Cape and caused the railway line to connect it to Cape Town.
Kimberley, originally called New Rush, was founded in 1871 and named after the Earl of Kimberley, who was the British colonial secretary at the time.
It was founded because of diamonds and the Big Hole, the biggest man-made hole in the world, is testimony to its diamond-digging days.
Kimberley and its mine attracted many physically active men and many wealthy men. The wealthy men provided sporting activities for the physically active
men as an important outlet. One of those wealthy men was CJ Rhodes, who guaranteed the finances of the first British team to tour South Africa in 1891.
Kimberley settled down and schools were founded. Kimberley Boys' High's lineal ancestor was founded in 1887 in a warehouse in De Beers Road and moved the next year to Lanyon Terrace as Kimberley High School. That year De Beers Consolidated, which was to become the school's main benefactor, was founded.
The School was closed during the siege of Kimberley and in 1913 moved to its present site, the land on Monument Hill a gift from De Beers. Its foundation stone was laid by Viscount Gladstone, the governor-general of South Africa and Kimberley Boys' High with its Cape Dutch architecture arose.
Name: Kimberley Boys' High
Motto of school: Per labores ad honores (Success through effort)
Date of foundation: 1887
School address: PO Box 451, Kimberley. 8300
The first match was played in 1901, against St Cyprian's Grammar School. Originally the school used public fields but then it took over the bankrupt Pirates Club, including its pavilion. The big match of the year was regularly played against Christian Brothers' College at the Kimberley Athletic Club on a Wednesday afternoon with the whole of Kimberley to watch. Now matches are played at the school.
Diamantveld are just across the road and neighbourliness always makes for keen rivalry. Then there are Noord-Kaap, the top rugby school in the area, and HTS Kimberley. These rivalries have changed greatly in recent times with the changes in the demographic compostion of the school.
Kimberley Boys' High has a long list of great players, but then Griqualand West is the second oldest union in South Africa, used to host test matches and was stronger than places like Transvaal and Natal for several years. When the 1891 side came from Britain they brought with them the Currie Cup to be given first to the team that played best against them and then to become a floating trophy. They presented the trophy to Griqualand West, who were reluctant to part with it when it was due to become a floating trophy. Provinces have been reluctant to part with it ever since.
The following old boys played international rugby for South Africa: Fred Alexander, whose grandfather had been Napoleon's gaoler on St Helena, Jack Braine, William Cotty, Sid de Melker, who was the last husband of the notorious Daisy, the last woman publicly executed in South Africa, Jack Gage, Bertie Gibbs, Sep Ledger, who was killed in France during World War I, John McCulloch, Rajah Martheze, who was born on Robben Island, Klondyke Raaff. AD van der Hoff, Ginger Clarke, Ned Delaney, who died in the great flu epidemic at the end of World War I, Uncle Dobbin, Ian Kirkpatrick, who was for many years a national selector and top coach, and his brother-in-law Dick Lockyear, Cooper Meintjes, Bertie Powell, who played cricket for South Africa and whose younger brother Jackie also played for South Africa, Fred Smollan,who died recently, and Jack van der Schyff. Jack Gage played for Ireland before playing for South Africa in 1933.
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