Westville Boys' High School

Westville Boys' High School

Infobox School2
name = Westville Boys' High School

motto = "Incepto Ne Desistam"
established = 1955
type = Public school, Boys
locale = Suburban
grades = 8 - 12
head_name = Headmaster
head = Trevor Hall
head_name2 = Exam board
head2 = [http://www.kzneducation.gov.za KZN Education Dept.]
city = Westville
state = KwaZulu-Natal
country = South Africa
students = 1200 boys
school_colors = Red and blue
mascot =
free_label = Pupil-teacher ratio
free = 30:1
website = [http://www.wbhs.co.za/ www.wbhs.co.za]

Westville Boys' High School, often referred to as WBHS, is a public high school for boys located in Westville, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.


2006 marked the 41st anniversary of WBHS as an all-boys' high school. The roots of the school however can be traced back to 1861, when German immigrant farmers operated a school from a 9 by 4 metre wattle and daub structure sited on the main Durban-Pietermaritzburg road. They were the first large group of settlers to populate the area, named after Sir Martin West, the first Lieutenant Governor of Natal.

Details of school activities after this time range from the sketchy to the non-existent. The next recorded date of a school in Westville was in March 1935 when the Westville Kindergarten School, a private farm school, first opened its doors. Under the careful guidance of Miss Gladys Carr, the school eventually outgrew the Church Hall used at the time. In 1941 the school was moved to Bernard's House, an old house situated on the present school site. This residence on six acres of land had been bequeathed by Mr and Mrs Bernard to the people of Westville for educational purposes. It was near this site that the Outspan Tree, which marked the first overnight stop for the old ox wagons travelling to the interior, once stood. The Outspan Tree today forms part of the WBHS badge.

By 1944 the admissions roll had increased to 66 pupils. The following year the co-educational Westville Government School opened as a provincial institution and operated at primary level until 1955. In 1949, Bernard's House was demolished to make way for the new school buildings which were opened in January 1950. These buildings, built at a cost of £27 500, were hailed as the finest erected by the Administration since the war.Fact|date=March 2007 The year 2000 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of these buildings that today form the inner quadrangle of the school. A special ceremony was held in recognition of the contribution made by the Bernard family, and a memorial in their honour was erected on the site of the original farmhouse.

Birth of a High School

Secondary education at Westville can be traced back to 1955 when a group of 21 pupils formed the first Standard Seven (Grade Nine) class of the then Westville High School. The secondary school initially co-existed with the infant and primary classes but by 1961 the last of those classes were accommodated in separate institutions.

In 1963 work on the building of a new Westville Girls' High School commenced and at the end of 1964, the split into the boys' and the girls' high schools was completed. The Headmaster who laid the foundation and guided the School into full secondary status was N. W. Bowden (19551963). The main sports field bears his name.

A number of large capital projects aimed at developing the school physically were initiated between 1961 and 1963. In 1961 work on what was later to be called Commons Field began and a pavilion and scoreboard were erected on Bowdens field. Work commenced on the school hall in 1962. In this year WBHS produced the top pupil in the matric examinations.Fact|date=August 2007 In 1963 the three-story complex overlooking the tennis courts was started and this was the beginning of a building program which developed at a rapid rate of expansion over the next ten years. H. Commons became the new Headmaster in 1964, the year in which the School split into two single-sex schools. Commons' years as Headmaster ended when he was promoted to the Headmastership of Maritzburg College.

July 1966 saw the arrival of D. C. Thompson as the new Headmaster. For three years in succession, 1968–1970, and again in 1972, WBHS provided the top pupil in the Natal education Department's matriculation examination, and whose successes in the Olympiads was also outstanding.Fact|date=March 2007 Thompson also adopted a new focus on extra-mural activities, as he said: "The essential thing is that every boy in the school should do something in and for the school, and, in giving unselfishly of himself, should contribute to the growth of that corporate spirit that is so prominent a feature of the alive school."

C. D. Harcourt (19711973), P. C. Doyle (19751983), R. W. Couzens (19831989) and K. Elliott (1990), each served subsequently as Headmaster

chool Badge

The emblem of the WBHS badge is a shield, quartered by the red cross of St. George. In the upper left-hand quarter is the griffin taken from the coat of arms of Martin West, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Natal, after whom Westville is named. In legend, griffins are portrayed with a lion's body, an eagle's head, long ears, and an eagle's claws, to indicate that one must combine intelligence with strength. The upper right and lower left divisions contain the Book of Knowledge and the Lamp of learning respectively. Represented in the lower right quarter is the familiar historic monument, the Outspan Tree, which is in Jan Hofmeyr Road, where the ox-wagons made their first stop after leaving Durban.

The School Motto: "Incepto Ne Desistam"

Westville Boys' High School's motto is taken directly from Virgil. These words, found in "Aeneid", Book 1, are used by Juno, queen of heaven who hated the Trojans led by Aeneas. When she saw the fleet of Aeneas on its way to Italy, after the sack of Troy by the Greeks, she planned to scatter it by means of strong winds. In her determination to accomplish her task she cried out "Incepto Ne Desistam" — "May I not shrink from my purpose!"

chool Houses

The school houses are all named after people or symbols closely related to the history of the school.
* Carr (after Mrs Gladys Carr)
* Cliff
* Hofmeyer
* Swain
* Wandsbeck
* West (after Martin West)

In 2004, two houses were added in order to account for expansion of the number of boys at the school.
* Bernard (after the donors of the school property)
* Outspan (after the Outspan tree or the outspan wagons which stopped in Westville)

Modern Times

E. W. Maddams (19911997) took over the School during the period which may be best described as the years of political uncertainty. 1991 heralded the introduction of Model B status and the School was for the first time permitted to open its doors to pupils of all races. In August 1992, as a result of an overwhelming majority vote by the parents, the School changed to Model C. This brought about additional financial burdens on the parent body but did give them more say in the development of the school.

Further developments during this time included the Ted Maddams Media Centre and the modernisation and expansion of the computer facilities. Ted Maddams retired as Headmaster in 1997.Fact|date=March 2007

In 1998 Trevor Hall became the first WBHS Old Boy to be appointed Headmaster of the School. Hall's vision has focused on producing and moulding the typical all-round "Westville boy". The first major developments under Mr Hall's leadership have been the development of an upper level of Bowden's Pavilion, which has provided a domicile for the Westville Boys' High School Association, and the introduction of the integrated timetable and Sports Academy.

In 2002 the launch of the Pharos Sports Academy introduced a new programme for all pupils in the school to participate in a wide variety of sports. The integrated sports time table has resulted in improved results in swimming, athletics, squash, cricket and other sports

The most significant recent development at the school has been the opening of the R6.5 million multi-purpose centre. This facility caters for school assemblies, timetabled sport, afternoon sports practices, indoor field hockey, tennis and four cricket nets (two for bowling and the other two have bowling machines), choir festivals, dramatic productions, a gymnasium and offices. The School has been granted a donation to cover this cost. The preferred site was originally the area where the swimming pool is currently situated, but costs in relocating the pool were prohibitive. Consequently, the centre is built on three of the four tennis courts adjacent to Commons Field.


In the [http://www.kzneducation.gov.za KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education] matric exams each year WBHS students often feature in amongst the top performers provincially and nationally.Fact|date=March 2007 Of the 47 classes that have matriculated from WBHS since 1959, six WBHS learners have emerged as the top learner in the province and in 1999, the Dux of the school, Colin Bigg, achieved the top matric results in South Africa.Fact|date=March 2007 In 1999 WBHS was also rated the top state-aided school in the country in a survey by the Sunday Times newspaper.Fact|date=March 2007 Following the 2006 matric examinations, WBHS was admitted to an elite group of only 13 schools in South Africa that achieved more than 100 passes for maths on the Higher Grade. It is the only school in KZN province to win this accolade.

Notable alumni

*Errol Stewart (SA cricketer & Natal rugby player, the record as the only South African to be part of the winning Currie Cup teams in both Rugby and Cricket in the same year)
*Mickey Arthur (Free State, Griquas and SA 'A' cricketer, SA national cricket coach (2005–))
*George Koumantarakis (SA Footballer in FIFA world Cup 2002 Korea/Japan)
*Ellis Ferreira (SA Davis Cup Tennis, Olympics 1996 & doubles champion Australian Open 2000)

External links

Much of the information from this page was obtained from the official Westville Boys' High School web site. Current news and further updates are available here often:
* [http://www.wbhs.co.za/ Westville Boys' High School]
* [http://www.wbha.co.za/ Westville Old Boys’ Association]
* [http://www.wbhs.co.za/pages/sport.php?section=international South African Representatives]
* [http://www.wbhs.co.za/pages/sport.php?section=saschools SA Schools Representatives]
* [http://debale.home.comcast.net/schools/schools.htm#wbhs Aerial and School Pictures]

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