Current DHS Activities

Report on DHS 150th Anniversary Events

Perhaps the best way to report on the 150th Anniversary events is to reprint the June 10, 2016 DHS Herald, which appears below:

If you do not recive the DHS Herald, but would like to, please send an email to  editor@durbanhighschool.co.za, and ask to be added to the emailing list.

Best regards,

Stuart “Mossie” Clark

Posted June 15, 2016

Head Master’s Speech Day Address - October, 2015

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen, my colleagues from other schools, parents, staff, Old Boys, Matrics, Gentlemen of DHS and our guest of honour and guest speaker, Dr. Govender. Welcome back to your old school Dr. Govender.

Next year we will be celebrating our 150th birthday and a steering committee under the leadership of Mr. Alan Norton is already hard at work for next year. The slogan for our celebrations has been unveiled:

The slogan is: "Honour the Tradition, Explore the Future".

The theme for this year was again to "Get Involved" and a lot of our boys did exactly that. On top of that, a large number of our boys have excelled in a number of areas and have made us as a school extremely proud. Having said that, it is important to also acknowledge the contributions of all our boys and not only those who achieved in various areas. I want to use this opportunity to thank the Matrics of 2015 for their contribution. They got involved in many areas of the school and the tremendous spirit that existed was largely because of them.

Congratulations to all the prize winners this morning. You deserve to be rewarded for your hard work. Good luck to all of you for the exams and for whatever you have planned for next year and beyond. I have no doubt that you will all make a success of your lives.

Academics:

In 2014, 197 boys were registered for the National Senior Certificate examinations. We achieved a 96% pass rate, with a 75% Bachelor pass rate. Of the 1371 subject symbols that were awarded: 253 were A symbols, 274 were B symbols, 314 were C symbols and 209 were D symbols.

Eight of our boys achieved 7 A's: Yasir Sacoor, Nischay Chetty, Ahmad Mota, Jared Lakhani, Tshepo Ngidi, Kabir Jivan, Yushir Phalad, and Jared Pillay. Six of our boys achieved 6 A's and another six achieved 5 A's.

The Junior Awards Ceremony and Prize-Giving was held in February this year to honour the learners who excelled in the internal examinations at the end of 2014.

Nikyle Bisseru made us proud by winning the UKZN Outstanding Achievement Award   for Mathematics and Physical Sciences.

With a large investment from our donors, Datatec and Sabvest, and with the assistance of the DHS Foundation, and Mr. Justin Paul, we were able to finally roll out our Information Technology (IT) Upgrade. This enhanced our service delivery in the field of technology greatly.

A number of academic outings were undertaken with trips to Shakaland, as well as the Business Expo and the Twinstreams Environmental Education Centre to name a few.

Culture:

Our Jazz and Blues bands continued to produce performances of the highest quality. The Deo Fretus Choir, under the expert guidance of Dr. David Smith, was phenomenal this year. The Mambaso Singers, under the guidance of Ms. Smith, continued to delight audiences and our Brass Band has gone from strength to strength. Haydn Henning, together with the KZN Youth Choir, performed at the International Choir Competition in Poland over the June Holidays, where they won their category. 

URBAN DK took our annual Fashion Show held in April in the school Hall to a whole new level this year and the Eastern Evening as well as the Zulu evening were again popular events and showcased our diverse school.

Sport:

Matthew Hamilton was selected to represent the South African U17 Water Polo team and he, together with Jeandre Petersen, were recently selected for the SA U 18 team that will compete in an International in December.  Nathin Pillay, Rylan Naicker and Sridhar Chandraduth won Gold Medals at the SA Chess Championships in Kimberley and Reegan Tait continues to excel internationally in Open Water Swimming. Ruben Coetzer was selected for the KZN U23 Golf Team. Sebastian Terblanche won the "Matchplay Champion" (A Division) at the Royal Durban Golf Club this year. He is the youngest winner to date as well as the Junior Champion for 2015. Sicelo Dzingwa (Captain) and Latrell Beukes were both chosen for the SA U16 Basketball Team and Samkelo Cele for the U18 side. Our very own Mr. Letha Zulu was selected as the Coach of the SA U16 Basketball Team. Five of our boys were selected for the SA U16 Rugby Elite Squad. They are Kamvelihle Fatyela, Phendulani Buthelezi, Sanele Nohamba, Sean Barnes and Cham Zondeki. Tonderai Ndudzu was selected for the SA U19A Badminton team which participated in the SA Challenges Tournament in Pretoria earlier this year.

On top of this a large number of boys represented KZN in a multitude of sports.  The DHS Golf side was placed 2nd in the KZN schools challenge. Our Basketball side represented KZN as the top team from the Province, and swept all opposition before them to end 1st in SA. We also won the U14 and the U19 sections of the Inter-Schools 5-a-side Football tournament held at DHS.

Our Chess team was placed a credible 9th at the prestigious Grey Bloem Tournament. Our Badminton team won the SA Schools Championships and our Sevens Rugby team won the Crawford La Lucia and the Pioneer Tournaments. The 1st Water Polo team came 3rd at the prestigious SACS tournament.

Our sports teams attended a number of Tournaments and Festivals and we also hosted a number of Tournaments and Festivals. These include the Football 5-a-side Tournament, the U16 National Water Polo Tournament, the DHS Easter Basketball Tournament and the U12 Sevens Tournament. The 1st Water Polo team also travelled abroad to Serbia during the June/July Holidays.

As a school we need to stay ahead of the chasing pack. Scott Mathie, our Rugby Coaching Co-Ordinator, has introduced a state of the art high performance conditioning programme to help develop our Rugby boys.

Leadership:

I want to thank the Prefect body and RCL under the leadership of Liam Whitfield, Justin Diedericks and Thandolwethu Hlongwane for all they have done for the school this year. I also want to again congratulate and wish our incoming leaders, Head Prefect, Mvumeleni Mathenjwa, Deputy Head Prefects, Joshua Spooner and Libo Mngomezulu (who is also the RCL Chairman), as well as Lloyd Mtshali, the RCL Vice Chairman; all the best for the rest of this year and 2016. I am confident that, with their skills, they will make our 150th year a major success.

There are numerous opportunities for boys to develop their leadership skills at DHS. These include the RCL, Prefects, Mentors, Captains for Sport and Culture as well as Class Captains to name a few.

We again had the Cobham Leadership Experience for our Grade 10s as well as the trip to Shongweni for the Grade 9s. The annual Grade 8 Campout, another highlight in the leadership activities at DHS, was held in January on the school fields.

It is important that we take our boys out of their comfort zones and expose them to the challenges that these kind of trips have to offer.

I attended my third Headmaster's Conference for the 24 traditional state boys' schools and found it again to be a very rewarding and enriching experience. We were also privileged to host the dynamic Rector and Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State, Professor Jonathan Jansen.

The Matric dance was once again a major success and I am sure a night that will always be remembered by our Matrics. It was held at the Sibaya Casino this year.

Blackmore House:

Mr. and Mrs Hellenberg took over the running of the BE this year and I am delighted that ,they have been able to make a significant impact in such a short space of time. This year the families of the boarders of .Blackmore House attended the inaugural Boarders' Family Picnic on the grounds of the School. This event proved to be a great success and I am sure will become a yearly event. The BE is a very important component of the school and as I said before it is something we need to nurture and cherish.

Community Outreach:

On Thursday 6 August, the Representative Council of Learners (RCL) hosted a Women's Day assembly and we held our annual walk in support of Women's Day. We held "The Saving Race" this year for the first time. This was an initiative by Sizwe Malinga and a group of Grade 11 boys to create awareness and to cut our dependency on fossil fuels here at DHS.

Old Boys:

DHS Old Boy, Hashim Amla, was made Test Cricketer of the Year at the Cricket South Africa Awards and Richard Curtis, was selected as the Goal Keeper for the SA Men's Indoor Hockey team which competed in the Indoor Hockey World Cup in Germany. Old Boy Sibonelo Makhanya was again selected as the captain of the SA U19 Cricket team that toured Bangladesh in April.

On Wednesday 6 May a special Memorial Service was held at the school in honour of Major Edwin Swales, DHS Old Boy and War Hero. The Memorial Service was held to commemorate 100 years since his birth, 70 years since his death and the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day in 1945.

We also had the privilege to meet the Portuguese Ambassador to South Africa, His Excellency Dr. Antonio Ricoca Freire, and the Honorary Consul for Portugal, Mr. Elias de Sousa, when they joined us in laying a wreath at the statue of one of our greatest Old Boys, Fernando Pessoa.

The Foundation continued to support the school financially with capital projects like the Blackmore House Refurbishment, Change Room Facility Upgrade and Staff Accommodation to name a few.

Staff Matters:

During the December holiday period we were shocked to hear of the death of two of our educators. Mr. Justin Ward and Mr. Patrick Collyer were two educators who have left large and very deep footprints here at DHS. They often went well beyond what was expected of them and they will be greatly missed by the DHS family. We also heard of the passing of two of our ex teachers, Ms Jean McBean and Mr. David Robinson.

We welcomed a number of new educators and they found their feet quicker than expected. We welcomed our new Deputy Head Master, Mr. Roy Hellenberg, and the new Business Manager, Mr. Chris Green. Mr. Hellenberg attended the Summer School on Education for Sustainable Peace Conference at the Georg Eckert institute in Braunschweig, Germany where he presented a paper to post-doctoral students on: What is necessary to build a just society in South Africa?

We also learnt of allegations of sexual misconduct against a past educator and another one against a recent past educator who was subsequently sentenced. This led to much introspection and a full review of related employment policies and practices which address the safety of learners and educators at DHS.

150th Celebrations:

We held the launch for our 150th celebrations at the end of the 3rd term and I am sure you are as excited as I am for next year.

In 2016 we will be hosting various Festivals, Tournaments and other Functions, but I am most excited about the new developments that will include a new Maths and Science Centre and a new Music Centre. This is again made possible because of the generosity of Old Boys. We owe it to all those who have come before us and those who will be here long after we have passed to continue with the legacy and the important traditions that have been formed and built up over the last 149 years. We will continue to evolve but we must also continue to develop young men of good character.

In conclusion, I want to once again thank my staff, and here I include the teaching staff, admin and Finance staff under Mr. Green and the members of the estate, the SGB under the leadership of Mr. Paul and now Mr. Winston Owen, the DHS Foundation under the leadership of Mr. Fennell, our Circuit Manager Mr. TT Mthembu, the parents and young men of DHS for the support they have given me this last 12 months and their involvement in their beloved SCHOOL.

Lastly, I want to thank my deputies, Mrs. Vermaak, Mr. Norton and Mr. Hellenberg. Without them my task here at DHS would be impossible. Thank you Lady and Gentlemen!

To the young men here this morning remember the following:

There will always be mistakes

There will always be people who doubt you

You will fail many times

 But with hard work and determination, anything is possible.

Thank you.

Leon Erasmus, 14th Headmaster

October, 2015

DHS Apologises For Jiggs Gray Misconduct

On June 5, 2015 DHS issued an apology, in that day’s issue of The DHS Herald, for the misconduct of Jiggs Gray and another, more recent, teacher who has been charged in connection with what the Natal Witness described as a “child porn scandal” occurring back in 2007.

The Jiggs Gray apology was forthcoming after a campaign led by Graham Bell (DHS Class of 1964) to seek an apology from the school for Jiggs’ misconduct.  This misconduct apparently continued into the 1980s, and was apparently a lot more serious than most of us at the school ever suspected that Jiggs was engaged in.

The full apology, and the School’s statement regarding its no tolerance policy on sexual abuse, is reproduced below.  The portion of the statement containing the apology reads as follows.

We have to bring to your attention a matter of the utmost concern which has affected the school at two different time periods. We have learned that charges of alleged sexual misconduct have been laid against one of our recent past educators. Furthermore, a group of concerned DHS Old Boys have recently brought to our attention, by way of sworn affidavits, a series of acts of sexual abuse perpetrated by a former staff member, who taught at DHS from the 1950s to the 1980s This educator is now deceased.

We were completely shocked and devastated by both of these revelations. We find any criminal activities wholly repugnant and they go against everything that the DHS Community stands for. We, as the School Board, in our fiduciary position in perpetual succession, take it upon ourselves to apologise, unreservedly to all DHS learners and their families who were ever affected by any unacceptable abuse.  It is regrettable that the school management of this period did not take appropriate action to stop the abuse.

The full statement by the School reads as follows:

Since the School did not identify Jiggs as the perpetrator of the abuse that occurred back in our day, Graham issued a press release naming him.  The full press release can be found on the DHS Class of 1964 website at http://www.dhsclassof1964.com

Today the Natal Mercury published a front page article based on Graham’s press release, a copy of which is reproduced below.  The link to that article is http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/sex-abuse-teacher-named-1.1868730#.VXXBw-rn-73.

It is unfortunate that Jiggs was not made accountable for his misconduct during his lifetime, by being fired and prosecuted.  Nevertheless, the School’s apology will hopefully give some solace to those of our classmates who suffered at his hands.

While I acknowledge that I did not support Graham’s campaign seeking an apology, I congratulate him – and those who supported him – for the principled stand that they took, and for the result that they achieved.

Stuart “Mossie” Clark

DHS Class of 1963

June 8, 2015

P.S.  If you wish to comment on this subject, please do so using the "Tuck Shop Chit Chat" page of this website.

Refurbishment of Blackmore's House

Over the 3-week July holiday, the Durban High School Boarding Establishment, Blackmore's House, which is home to about 120 boys at present, underwent a much needed refurbishment. The revamp of the interior of the house was undertaken by Taylor'd Interiors, a Morningside based company that is owned and managed by Vanessa Taylor. Her vision for the house was clean, neat, tidy and modern.  The exterior of the building was completed by Gordon Verhoef and Krause, the leading specialists in building, renovation and recycling of buildings.

By the end of the holidays the project was near completion and was therefore handed over by the contractors to the DHS Foundation CEO, Mike Fennell, to mark the official opening.  On Sunday, at the start of this term, the Blackmore boys arrived back to a new and improved living environment, with upgraded toilets, bathrooms and dormitory bedrooms, as well as a newly refurbished reception area, prep and common room.  A few minor touch ups, here and there, and the revamp is set to be wholly completed by the end of the term.

Restoring Blackmore House to its former glory has been part of current Head Master, Mr Leon Erasmus’s vision for the School. The DHS family believes that a strong and vibrant boarding house is essential and that the boys need to live in a homely, neat and safe environment – the final completion of this project will create exactly that.

Mr Erasmus would like to thank Chairman of the DHS Foundation, Mr Chris Seabrooke, CEO, Mr Mike Fennell, and the DHS Foundation Trustees for their financial and moral support of this project.  And a special thank you to the Old Boys of DHS who have contributed to the Trust for their on-going support of the School.

(Article courtesy of the DHS Trust Newsletter of October 6, 2014)

DHS Strides Confidently Into The Future

With its dynamic new headmaster Leon Erasmus, and the support of the DHS Foundation and a growing band of Old Boys dedicated to restoring the School to its former glory, and then enhancing that stature, these are exciting times for DHS.  Reprinted below are two recent announcements of key importance to the School - the report of the DHS Foundation, and the announcement of the sale of the DHSOB Club property in Durban North.

The commitment of Old Boys of over R12 million in a matter of months to suppport the School is an impressive accomplishment.  Of that amount our Class of 1963 Bursary Fund comprises over R70,000, and the bursary fund continues to grow.  The first Class of 1963 bursary will be awarded for the 2016 school year.  So if you are able to contribute to the Class of 1963 Bursary Fund and have not yet done so, please send your contribution to the trust bank account referenced below - but please be sure to designate your contribution as being for the Class of 1963 Bursary Fund, so that it is properly allocated.

Most of you will share my sadness at the demise of the club, but like me you will probably also come to the reluctant conclusion that nowadays clubs are simply not as popular as they once were - with those that remain struggling to survive.  So the sadness of seeing the DHSOB Club disappear will at least be tempered by the consolation that this will have the positive effect of going a long way to upgrading the School's facilities, and ensuring its financial good health for the foreseeable future.

Stuart "Mossie" Clark

January 18, 2014

LETTER/REPORT FROM MIKE FENNELL, CEO OF THE DHS FOUNDATION

Dear Old Boys

Greetings to you from the Foundation office.

The response to our request for financial support from the DHS Old Boy community has been overwhelming – a huge thank you. For your information, I list the pledges (donations) to the DHS Foundation Trust since 1 January 2013.

PLEDGES
MATRIC TOTAL
1940  - 1949 52 000
1950  - 1959 8 500
1960  - 1969 3 288 890
1970  - 1979 3 202 000
1980  - 1989 3 852 725
1990  - 1999 13 600
OTHER   1 075 000
    12 492 715

In the run-up to our 150th Anniversary celebrations in 2016, we are aiming to complete a series of projects at the school. Blackmore House will be refurbished along with the school buildings as a whole and we would like to be able to upgrade the IT Centre.  We would also like to build a dedicated Mathematics and Science Centre, an ambitious goal which we believe can be achieved with the support of the Old Boys.  DHS remains a prominent educational institution in KZN and with the support of the whole school community we believe that Durban High School’s future will prove as illustrious as its past.  We are proud to have maintained excellent standards despite the challenges facing all government schools today.  Although some funding does still make its way to the school by way of the State, the school’s financial needs are not met by this funding and school fees alone.  The Foundation aims to provide financial support for investment in additional facilities for our boys, such as the capital projects detailed below, and for scholarships for deserving boys.

If you are in a position to contribute to the capital projects we have planned for 2014 and 2015, we would be most grateful.  There are several Old Boys who have already made exceptionally generous pledges to the school, notably, Stephen Saad, Howard Buttery and Chris Seabrooke, who have each committed R1 000 000 a year for 3 years to the Foundation and this money will go a long way towards securing the future of DHS into the next 150 years.

We believe that the catalyst for the re-establishment of DHS as the school of choice in KZN is the refurbishment of Blackmore House.  A building and electrical audit has been completed, and the cost of this refurbishment is R2.3 million.

A Durban based old boy (class of 1988) has committed R100 000 to launch the fund, and is calling on all old boys to join him in contributing to the Blackmore House Refurbishment Fund.

Furthermore, in the last week, we received R 120 000 from the Gauteng chapter of the old boy family, specifically towards the upgrade of computers.

Old boys who would prefer to see their donation being spent elsewhere, I itemise below the areas of immediate need:

•       Computer Upgrade
Blackmore House
Scholarships and Bursaries
School building refurbishment
Endowment (only investment income can be utilised by the School)

NB. There is a substantial Tax Benefit on all donations. You will be furnished with a Section 18A Tax Certificate on receipt of your donation.

Please find our banking details below:

Bank: FNB
Account Name: Durban High School Foundation Trust
Branch Code: 22 04 26
Account Number: 624 1172 8712
Reference: Name + allocation of donation (eg. Blackmore House)

The links that the Foundation establishes between the school and its Old Boys are very valuable to us and we would be delighted if you would visit the DHS Old Boys Facebook page and the Foundation website to join us in keeping abreast of events and news about the school.

Your support is appreciated.
Regards

Mike Fennell
CEO DHS Foundation

DHS SET TO BENEFIT FROM PROPERTY REALISATION

Durban High School (DHS), one of the oldest boys’ high schools in Kwazulu-Natal, is set to benefit from income on the investment of the proceeds of the sale of the property, which is currently occupied by the DHS Old Boy’s Club and some lessees. The property belongs to The Durban High School Foundation Trust.

The property, which is approximately 4,3 hectares (43 000 m2) in extent, is flanked by Marlborough Crescent and Gainsborough Drive in Durban North and is expected to realize above R45m. 

It was initially purchased as a memorial to Old Boys of the school who had fallen in the First and Second World Wars and was subsequently developed as a sporting and clubhouse facility for DHS Old Boys.  The Foundation has taken a decision that the property is to be sold with the proceeds to be invested by the Foundation for the provision of annual scholarships and capital expenditure at DHS. 

The Foundation is calling for proposals to purchase and develop the property.  It is intended that all interested developers submit proposals to the DHS Foundation by no later than 21 April 2014.   The relevant property information and proposal form can be obtained from the offices of Garlicke and Bousfield for a fee of R1 000-00 plus VAT.

In the interim, the property will be fenced, and existing lessees will continue to operate in the former clubhouse buildings.

The call for proposals is being networked locally and internationally to ensure that as many DHS Old Boys as possible have the opportunity to put forward proposals.  At the same time, other interested parties are also invited to submit proposals by the closing date.

The proposals will be adjudicated by the Foundation and Garlicke and Bousfield. The evaluation will include the purchase price, satisfactory financial guarantees and deposits, acceptable and realistic land usage, sustainability of the proposed project, effects of the proposed development on the neighbourhood and the likelihood of regulatory approvals being obtained.

The successful proposer will enter into a sale agreement, which will enable it to make application to the relevant authorities for the required statutory development approvals in terms of the planning and environmental legislation. The property is currently zoned Private Open Space, and transfer will only be effected once the necessary statutory approvals have been received.

Chris Seabrooke, Chairman of the DHS Foundation Trust has highlighted the future benefits of the process to DHS, saying: “The Foundation has for some time wrestled with how the full value and potential of the property could be unlocked. Developers now have an opportunity to put forward proposals to purchase or develop the property. Income on the investment of the proceeds will provide more substantial and more consistent funding from the Foundation to DHS for scholarships and capital expenditure, thus ensuring the perpetuation of the DHS Heritage of Excellence which started in 1866 out of humble beginnings in Smith Street”.