St John's College (Johannesburg, South Africa)

Infobox Secondary school
name = St John's College

motto = "Lux Vita Caritas" (Light, Life, Love)
established = 1898
city = Johannesburg
country = South Africa
type = All-Boys Private High School
headmaster = Roger Cameron
students = 1350
grades = 8 - 12 (+ 13th year)
colours = Navy blue and maroon
newspaper =
yearbook =
free_label_1 = Dayboy Houses
free_1 = Alston, Clarke, Clayton, Flemming, Hill, Thomson
free_label_2 = Boarding Houses
free_2 = Nash, Hodgson, Runge
free_label_3 = Fees
free_3 = R 109 260 p.a. (boarding)
R 64 725 p.a. (tuition)
free_label_4 =
free_4 =
website = []
footnotes =

St John's College is a private school for boys in Houghton, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.


St John's was founded in 1898 and is an Anglican school. It has a friendly rivalry with St Stithians College.

It began at St Mary's Anglican Church, Eloff Street, Johannesburg where Rev. John Darragh is regarded as the founding father. He persuaded his parish council to open an Anglican school for boys. His curate Rev. JL Hodgson became the first Headmaster.

On 1 August 1898 opened in the porch of St Mary's with 11 boys (6-14) sons of congregation. Weeks later the school moved to a large house on 32 Plein Street. It didn't last long for it closed at the end of 1899 owing to the outbreak of war. St John's re-opened in 1902, Rev. Hodgson came back with 8 staff and 130 boys.

St John's eventually outgrew Plein Street and moved to the Union Grounds between Joubert Park and the old Wanderers (now Johannesburg’s main railway station.)

The College has two chapels, the first one is in a crypt located underneath the main chapel. It was used as a bomb shelter during the war years and seats about 100 pupils. Each house of the College has a week in which it is to attend the chapel service in the crypt. The main chapel is situated directly above the crypt and seats about 500 pupils, including staff, and has a side chapel attached. It has a fully functioning pipe organ and a choir gallery at the rear of the chapel above the main entrance.

The main chapel has an "M" engraved into one of its outside walls. This bears a great significance to the political and educational front in South Africa at the turn of the twentieth century. At the time Lord Milner believed that private schools were not beneficial to society and so set about creating public schools within a short distance of their private counterparts, hoping to close them down. Due to his policies, schools such as King Edward VII School near St. John's were created. Milner was later to concede that his policy would never work and private schools form as much a part of society as state schools and he agreed to have the letter "M" engraved on the side of the chapel.Fact|date=February 2007

In 1955 Deane Yates became the first lay headmaster.

The College

It offers schooling for boys from the pre-primary (kindergarten) level upwards, with a boarding option from grade 8, with leavers writing the Independent Examinations Board exams and a post-matric A-level course for boys and girls. It has a student body of roughly 700 pupils within the college and 1350 pupils through out the school.

Desmond Tutu has links to school. Here the bishop penned an historic anti-apartheid letter to the then white government, as well as being the St. John's Visitor for many years.

Desmond Tutu also came to St. Johns in 2003 where a bridge crossing the road between St. Johns and Roedean was named after him, and the ribbon cutting ceremony took place. Nelson Mandela also attended the event although he didn't give a speech as Desmond Tutu did, Mr. Mandela did though stand up unaided to sing the national anthem and Shosholoza.

The present headmaster is Roger Cameron.

Tuition for 2007 is approximately R59,379 whilst tuition and boarding is R100,245 + extras.


St John's leavers consistently achieve good results in their exams.

The College has produced one Rhodes scholar, a recipient of the Chancellor's Award at Harvard University and in 2003, a leaver was admitted to Yale University.St.John's has produced many students that have attended world famous universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and their American counterparts.

Notable Old Johannians

* John Edmund Kerrich (1903-1985), Professor of Mathematical Statistics at Witwatersrand University
* Owen Nkumane - First St. Johns pupil to play rugby for the national side (Springboks)
* Ian Player, international conservationist
* Oswald Austin Reid - Victoria Cross recipient [] (1893-1920)
* Eric Rosenthal, historian and author
* Omphile Ramela - Gauteng Cricket
* Tony Trahar, CEO of Anglo American 2000-2007
* Clive Rice, RSA Cricket


*Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa
*Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference
*International Boys' Schools Coalition

See also

*List of boarding schools

External links

* [ St John's official site]
* [ Old Johannians official site]

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