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EDITORIAL Phobian 59 he year is 2013 and this is our first electronic Phobian. I must at the outset apologise for it taking so long. There were a number of things that needed to be put in place and hopefully that has all happened now and we can go ahead as planned. Those who wish to continue receiving a printed edition, some of you have already let us know, must inform us of this and we will ensure that you get it. The changes have been rung in at the Association. After nine years as Chairman I stood down in May and Thomas Rundle (Class of 2001) was elected as the new Chairman. Thomas was head prefect in the centenary year, and as an enthusiastic and singularly dedicated Old Boy is already well-known to many of you. I am sure that I speak on behalf of all Old Boys in taking this opportunity to wish Thomas well for his term in office. Many of you would already have made a pledge to the fundraiser that is currently underway. By all accounts it is going well, but we need the support of every Old Boy out there to make this a success. The reality is that a school like PBHS cannot survive on what the State and parents contribute and if we are to remain a school at the forefront of education, then Old Boy support is essential. If you have not as yet been contacted, please take the time to visit the dedicated website ( and pledge. Mr Bill Schroder is running the campaign and will happily answer any questions which you may have.

For those Old Boys who get to the club, Hofmeyr Park, you would have noticed some recent work

on the main building. This is part of an effort to improve the facilities and to ensure that the club

remains viable into the future. I am sure that you do not need reminding, but the club is there for

every one of us. Please contact the club manager should you wish to join.

The planning for the Pretoria Dinner is well

underway, along with a whole host of reunions, and we look forward to seeing you at any one of

these. To ensure that we are able to contact you, please update your contact details.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank

Kyle Schmulow, who has worked endlessly in the background to ensure that the Association

moves with the times, and Lincoln Keeton and Trebot Barry for their assistance in making this edition possible.

Wishing all the very best for the year,


Eugene Ashton





















t is indeed a great honour and privilege to have been elected as Chairman of the Old Boys Association. I am thoroughly looking forward to this huge challenge and leading our great alma mater into the near future. The new committee has quickly set to work with two specific goals in mind and that was to ensure we dramatically improve our communication to you the Old Boys and that we develop a database that is user friendly and continually updated to provide us with quick and accurate data on where our Old Boys are around the globe. I am pleased to let you know that by the end of February an entirely new database software program will be implemented which will give us the functionality to communicate regularly and freely with you. A decision has also been taken to employ a full time lady into the position of Association Office Manager. She will not only be a contact point for all Old Boys but will also be tasked with the distribution of communication and handle the database maintenance. This position should hopefully be filled by the end of April. For this to work effectively I encourage you all to visit the newly designed Old Boys website which


EDITORIAL was led by Kyle Schmulow and his team of Shaun

opportunity to include your families at the club for a

Gouws and Jason Webber. The website address is

Sunday picnic lunch. For 2013 the dates are Friday and please ensure that you use

31 May, Saturday 1 June and Sunday 2 June.

the contact page form to update your details. Alternatively you can e-mail to

We have done this in the attempt to make this

request your details to be updated.

weekend an Old Boys weekend and I encourage you to block this weekend out every year in your

Via the website you can also access our social

diaries and spend the weekend with many other

network platforms being Facebook and Twitter

Old Boys sharing the incredible passion we all have

which will used extensively to communicate on a

for our school.

daily basis. Kyle and his team have also re-designed our entire corporate identity. Kyle to you and your

Other matters currently on the Association agenda

team thank you, you have done an incredible job,

include the refurbishment of the club.

this Phobian edition is a true testament to the many hours you have put in.

To James Lourens the Vice Chairman of the Association and Chairman of the Club and his team

We have also streamlined our activities calendar as

and in particular Mike van Bardeleben thank you for

from 2013. The focus will be on two main events

the incredible work you are doing in this regard.

during the year, they will be the Summer Sports Day on the first school weekend of the first term.

From a reunion perspective a 10, 20, 30, 40, 50

Summer Sports Day is where Old Boys get the

and 60 year reunion take place every year at

opportunity to play Cricket, Waterpolo, Tennis,

the school. There are various Old Boy branches

Squash, Basketball and run Cross Country against

around the country that continue to remain active,

the current pupils. (This has come and gone for

including Durban and Cape Town. Together with Mr.

2013, a massive success, thank you to all those

Schroder who handles this portfolio the intention is

that participated and made the day such an e

to open branches across the world, I am please to

njoyable one.)

let you know that a branch in London has recently been established under the guideance of Alistair

The second event on the calendar and the main


event of the year will be Founders Day Weekend. This will always be on the first weekend in June.

The Association continues to support the school

The weekend makeup will include attending the

financially by means of an annual grant of R270 000

Friday morning assembly at the school, followed

which will be used to help 6 boys in 2013 who might

by our annual Golf Day. Saturday morning will give

have had to leave the school for various reasons.

us the opportunity to watch a sporting fixture at

The Association also grants a rental subsidy of

the school and then followed on Saturday evening

R150 000 for school staff at the flats on the clubs

with the Annual Old Boys Dinner. Sunday will be an



I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr.

A massive thanks to rest of the directorate of the

Tony Reeler, our current headmaster, who has

Old Boys Association who have been a pillar of

continued to lead the best school in the world with

strength over the last few months to me and who

great passion and vigour.

have continued to play a critical role as Old Boys.

I would also like to pay a special tribute to Eugene

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Founders

Ashton who led the Association for 10 years, under

Day weekend celebrations.

his guidance the Association reached new heights and has laid a solid foundation for us going forward. Eugene on behalf of all the Old Boys thank you for your tireless work, I am glad you have accepted the role as Secretary of the Association and I look forward to working with you.



Thomas Rundle

The Association’s official website can be found at



Chris Morris Gets National Call-up Chris Morris (2006) the son of Willy Morris (1972) got his national T-20 call up in May this year. Following in the footsteps of his father, Chris is proving a very talented cricketer from whom we will surely see much more in the years to come.

by Chris Lee (Rissik 1978)


ere is an extract from an ESPN

Morris has just completed his first full season

provincial coaches, Lawrence

former Highveld Lions coach Gordon Parsons in

article: ‘One of my former

Mahatlane called me up to say congratulations and I wasn’t

sure what he was talking about,’ Morris, who has also been picked in the South Africa A side to play Sri Lanka A, told ESPNcricinfo.



know what to do yet. I’m not sure if I should jump

and down or what. I was

as a franchise cricketer, having been spotted by Centurion in 2009.

‘Gordon saw me there and asked me if I wanted

to go to trials at the Lions and I did,’ he said. ‘Before that I was playing

club cricket in Pretoria

and to be honest, I didn’t really set the scene alight. But then I got offered to

just happy to be playing franchise cricket and I

go to the Lions academy and the rest is history.

I’ve come such a long way in such a short time,

I know about my game.’

didn’t even think about the national side at all. that definitely wasn’t in my thoughts.’

The Lions have taught me everything



THE PHOBIAN | ISSUE 59 | 2012 2013 Photo: Jason Webber Head Boy (HOF 2008)

FEATURES Good evening Gentlemen, Thank you for inviting me here tonight to give a few brief insights on the state of our school. The Headboy has given you some of the achievements in his address and I do not want to repeat his words save to say that the school is going well. I am not the keynote speaker but do have an opportunity to share a few thoughts with you. Our academic programme is working well with a 100% pass rate and just under 90% of our boys obtaining the necessary marks to enable them to study further. What is more important to me, though, and this was repeated to me in a meeting this week with the Vice Chancellor and Rector of Tukkies, was the success rate of our boys at tertiary institutions. Boys High boys cope well – adapting easily to university life. When questioning why, one comes up with reasons for this. The boys are not molly-coddled for exams, we do not teach to exams and we expect our boys to learn independence – particularly academic independence. Students who chase A’s and students in schools that worry about matric results for marketing reasons tend not to fare well because they haven’t necessarily been taught to think, to reason for themselves, to take the hard knocks that life gives them and to learn that quality that I keep repeating to boys – that of ‘resilience’. Our boys do. We do not dumbdown our exams, we teach boys to struggle and ultimately to succeed. The sports programme has gone well and we had a good day today in particular against our old friends King Edwards with 28 rugby teams and 18 hockey teams representing the school well. Our cultural programme has been wonderful, with performances of an excellent standard at all

events. Almost 200 boys take music as a subject at the school and play a vital role in ensuring the soul of the school lives on. But tonight is not about bragging about a successful school. Tonight is about you, the Old Boys of the school and what makes you proud to call yourself one. Tonight I wish to pay tribute to the ‘common man’. The Boys High boy whose name may not be remembered but who gave his all for the school in his time here. This is the boy who truly represents us and many of you here tonight are just that. You may not have been a high profile person at school but you went into the world proudly as an Old Boy and made your own mark. Many lessons learned at the school were put into practice in your life. At school you played your sport, you attended classes, you made friends, some of whom remained as friends for life. You learned the school values and believed in them, you learned what was really important as opposed to what the world might have thought was important. You learned brotherhood, morals, manners, discipline and, above all, integrity and honour. Each school needs heroes – the Head Boy whose presence fills a room, the match winning player, the top academic, the virtuoso musician – but more than that each school needs the common man. The common man probably represents 70% of the school and is the man who makes up the backbone of our institution. Tonight I acknowledge the common man and I thank him.

Continued on page 16


THE PHOBIAN | ISSUE 59 | 2013 Photo: Jason Webber Head Boy (HOF 2008)


FEATURES My second point tonight is to talk briefly on a subject that links to the common man but goes far deeper than that. I pose a question to you, ‘What is important in schools?’ Is it important to have a rugby team that wins every Saturday, or isn’t it? Sure we would all like to have victorious teams week after week but at what cost? If we have to buy players, robbing the common man who has worked his way up through the ranks in the hopes of pulling on a first team jersey one day of his dream, that would cost us. If we have to emblazon our jerseys with advertising slogans in order to finance that programme, we sell our souls. If we have

to employ only professional coaches to teach the game yet forget the values and ethos of the school, we miss the point. The time is right in our country for schools to take a stand and to decide what actually is important. School scandals break almost every week – steroids, buying of players, playing over-age players and so on. Do we sacrifice our values and our beliefs for shallow victories or do we steadfastly stand with those who think the game is far bigger than the result, the lessons learned both in victory and defeat valuable ones that will help our boys in their later years? It doesn’t help that the world we live in is one of instant gratification. Everywhere we go we are inundated with slogans saying ‘do it now’, ‘get it now’, ‘don’t wait’. I think this is wrong and we


run the real danger of losing sight of what really is important. My understanding of what makes our school special is that we do things differently. Whenever possible, we use our teachers to teach – both within the classroom and without. Our teachers understand what the school believes in and what values are important. Our teachers know how to deal with their boys – how to motivate them and how to console them. The same might not be able to be said should we make extensive or exclusive use of outsiders. Some call this attitude arrogant. Some say we

need to get with the times and employ specialists to teach or coach our boys. We will supplement our coaching programme with specialists where needed but I say we are already employing specialists – those who really understand education and all it encompasses – our teachers. I believe that Boys High can continue to be the school it is only if we prize who we are above all else. The values that you and I believe in and that bring us back to functions such as this. The sense of belonging that we have as ‘common men’ linked to our fine school, believing in what is actually important and standing by those beliefs. I wish you all well for the year ahead until we meet again. Know that your school will still stand for the important things and will continue to produce fine young men who will go on to later success. Tony Reeler, 2 June 2012.



SOUTH AFRICA At the Old Boys Dinner 2012 by Chris Lee (Rissik 1978)

We should all attempt to triumph against adversity, more so because it is the year of the Olympics. In the words of the founding father of the modern Olympics, The Baron Pierre de Coubertin, ‘The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning, but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.’ The Olympic games being hosted in London in two months’ time will be spectacular, and if any South African sportsman or South African sport’s team wants to learn how to sing the National Anthem, they need to go no further than watching the video of our Springbok Hockey team singing the Anthem on 6 May 2012 at the Gifu Green Stadium in Japan shortly before the final where we beat Japan 2 – 1 to qualify for London. The controlled passion and pride on the player’s faces and more particularly Justin Reid-Ross’s face when he was singing our National Anthem was awesome. One could feel their pride, passion and patriotism for their teammates and their country. THE PHOBIAN | ISSUE 59 | 2013

Justin as you may know is an Old Boy who matriculated in 2004. We therefore have three Olympians who will be participating in London, which of course makes the Olympic and the Paralympic Games so much more interesting to watch, and gives us even more reason to celebrate. I do not think that there are too many schools who can boast having three Olympians participating in the Games! The story of the South African men’s hockey team is worthy of Olympic legend. The men endured bug-infested hotel rooms, diesel spilling buses billowing smoke taking them to training grounds, political interference and administrative incompetence and bungling at


The Olympic games being hosted in London in two months’ time will be spectacular, and if any South African sportsman or South African sport’s team wants to learn how to sing the National Anthem, they need to go no further than watching the video of our Springbok Hockey team singing the Anthem on 6 May 2012 at the Gifu Green Stadium in Japan shortly before the final where we beat Japan 2 – 1 to qualify for London. The controlled passion and pride on the player’s faces and more particularly Justin ReidRoss’s face when he was singing our National Anthem was awesome. One could feel their pride, passion and patriotism for their teammates and their country.

Justin as you may know is an Old Boy who matriculated in 2004. We therefore have three Olympians who will be participating in London, which of course makes the Olympic and the Paralympic Games so much more interesting to watch, and gives us even more reason to celebrate. I do not think that there are too many schools who can boast having three Olympians participating in the Games! The story of the South African men’s hockey team is worthy of Olympic legend. The men endured bug-infested hotel rooms, diesel spilling buses billowing smoke taking them to training grounds, political interference and administrative incompetence and bungling at the highest level, absolutely no financing and

sponsorship. This team had only passion, selfbelief, amazing dedication and discipline to overcome the odds and qualify to represent themselves, their families, us and the country in London. Despite many of our county’s ills, incompetence, corruption, crime, obfuscation, lying and cheating we have one of the most beautiful countries on Earth because ordinary South Africans are wonderful people who have had access to great primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, who are ticking the boxes and who are genuinely trying to add value to our society. Theodore Roosevelt said in his speech entitled ‘Citzenship in the Republic’ that ‘The average citizen must be a good citizen if our republics are to succeed. The stream will not permanently rise higher than the main source; and the main source of national power and national greatness is found in the average citizenship of the nation. Therefore it behoves us to do our best to see that the standard of the average citizen is kept high; and the average cannot be kept high unless the standard of the leaders is very much higher.’ Of course, we can join the ranks of the naysayers, and if you are well read you will have an intimate understanding of the political and social ills of our country, and we know there are many. Tonight is, however, not the night to dwell on these. An evening like this evening is about remembering and celebrating the good things. One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said: ‘My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, Continued on page 20


superiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness and faith.’ The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’ The old Cherokee simply replied: ‘The one you feed.’ Benevolence, empathy and generosity.

Let us remember the words contained in our School Prayer. Let me remind you of some of them – humility and teachableness, patience and understanding, honest and earnest labour and the spirit of justice, gentleness and mutual goodwill – so let’s go out into the world and attempt to practice them with our fellow South Africans. But before we do that let us toast our Olympians and our country. Let us therefore be upstanding, raise our glasses and toast our wonderful country. South Africa!



The Rolling Stone by Shaun Farrell Form 1B

One day a stone called Rocky was quietly rolling down the neighbourhood slope ... ...when he noticed some leaves fighting. It was most unusual to come across anything of excitement happening in this peaceful corner of the universe, so Rocky rolled over to investigate. He saw three leaves, a sunflower seed and an obese palm tree enthusiastically cheering a rather intense fight between two Mulberry leaves. On enquiry, Rocky was informed that the two were practicing for the annual “Featherweight Fighting Tournament”. Rocky immediately decided to enter the contest himself. This required that he lose several stone, and do some cardio-vascular training. One hot day, quite engrossed in the hamstring shuffle (a move which has subsequently brought him much fame), he pulled a muscle. The pain was excruciating. He could barely manage to roll down a hill, let alone compete in a tournament. He was utterly devastated. The Mulberry leaves were not. They were delighted, and devised a cunning plan to ensure Rocky’s withdrawal from their tournament.

the two Mulberry leaves knew they would be too late for the competition. On their return, to their great disappointment, they heard of Rocky’s great victory. (Rocky had improved significantly after rolling into a hot spring accidentally.) Today, Rocky lives with his wife Pebble, and their three stones (all sons). He retired from professional fighting thirteen years ago, and remained undefeated. He has great hopes that his stones will follow in his rock prints. (The wind has also continued with his ‘Be fair to all’ policy, and the leaves have agreed to try being nice.)

Fortunately for Rocky, the wind caught wind of this devious plan. The wind is very fair. He blows alike on good and bad, and so he decided to blow them away. As they rushed down to the ground, 21

OBITUARIES Below follows a list of Old Boys and Masters for whom we have received notification of their passing. Should there be any omissions please send us the details so that we may update our records. Full obituaries, where we have been furnished with information, are published on the Old Boys website:

Lloyd Adams

Byron Hugo

Paul Blignaut

Jan Kuyper

Thornton Vivian Booth

Patrick John Macartney

Berton Bosman

Charles Maltby

HOF 1994

SUN 1969

RIS 1947

TOW 1994

MAT 1995

RIS 1948


SOL 1954

Cliff Briggs

Brian Hugh McIntosh

William Gordon Chapman

Barry Philips

John Neil Cullabine

Lionel Rankin-Smith

Karl Forssman

Michael Geoffrey Twycross

Alexander (Sandy) Grant

Michael John Leinberger

Peter Hill

Chris West


SUN 1944


TOW 1958



TOW 1939


TOW 1944

RIS 1945



Reuben Rutowitz

Ian Slabbert

TOW 1930’s


David Henry McLean Clark 1949

This serves to advise you that David Henry McLean Clark an Old Boy of Pretoria Boys High School passed away on 28 February 2013 having recently suffered a stroke. He was a pupil at your school from 1945 – 1950. He was a prefect, 1st Cricket XI vice captain, played 1st & 2nd rugby and was a king scout. He went on to obtain a MSc Agriculture degree in 1956 at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg. He subsequently worked in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) from 1957 to 1967, and then moved to Swaziland where he worked from 1967 to 1990 until he retired. His last work position was that of Managing Director of Mhlume Sugar Company in Swaziland. He first retired to Kloof in Natal, and then in 1997 moved up to a retirement village in Johannesburg. He spoke about attending some Old Boys functions at PBHS between 1997 and 2007, so I presume he met up with some of his old school friends at this time. He moved into the Frail Care centre in his complex in 2007 and so has not been able to maintain contact with anyone since then. He is survived by his three daughters, six grandchildren and one great grandchild. His wife, Barbara, passed away in 2001. If you have some Old Boys publication or form of communication, would you be so kind as to publish a notification of his death for any interested friends or Old Boys. Kind regards Jocelyn Harth (neè Clark) youngest daughter of David Clark

Justin Ronald Guy SCH 2008

23 May 1990 - 4 January 2013 1st Team Squash Captain School House 2004 - 2008 A friend like no other, carried with him an infectious happiness that touched every person that was fortunate to cross paths with him. A charismatic man who never had a dull moment, living life to the full, 100% of the time. Taken too soon. He is now and will forever be loved, cherished and remembered by all. Justin Ronald Guy..... Never forgotten Gareth and Dean Sutherland 23


Ronnie Edwards

1 April 1917 – 26 February 2013

Photo: Martin Gibbs


onnie (Ronald Arthur) Edwards died

As an old boy of the school, his contribution was

damn near a hundred years old when

and a half decades following his leaving that he

in late in February this year. He was

he died and his innings is one that can only be celebrated.

Ronnie will be remembered for many things, but

it is as President of the Old Boys Association, that I pay tribute to him today.

In January of 2005, in the company of Roddie Stewart, we headed out to go and meet with our good President at his home in Magaliesburg.

Roddie, who knew Ronnie well, thought it

important for the new chairman to meet him, and brought with him a question which only Ronnie

in the context of the Club, and it was in the two made the greatest contribution.

In the late 1930s there was no Old Boys Club. The Association, in keeping with the times,

thought it a thing to do. After rejecting a host of sites, Lynnwood was to be made a suburb, Hofmeyr Park was born. At the time of settling on Lynnwood a motion to buy in Waverly had

been rejected. The Johannesburg attendees at the meeting numbering 150 to Pretoria’s 50, felt it was simply too far to travel. How grateful we are for the Johannesburg contingent.

could answer.

The Association of the late 1940s built the

after a brief welcome were made comfortable

Colin Ritson, particularly, it prospered. To a

We arrived on the hot summer afternoon and outside. Ronnie insisted that we each have

a beer, telling how he still enjoyed them, but

could probably only manage one perhaps two ‘these days’. He was evidently well and spoke

Club. Under the enthusiastic stewardship of large degree it became what it is today. Ronnie Edwards, and many others, worked to buy, build and make it happen.

about his happy retirement, and how it was fast

His contribution, as one of the greats of that

the Club.

the Club, would have been sufficient motivation

approaching his working life in length, he missed

Ronnie Edwards matriculated, after a very successful time, from PBHS in 1934. He had

been the captain of the First XI, a School Prefect, and all round accomplished boy. His

peers thought well of him, and it was clear that Ronnie would make a success of it. Following

school he played for North Eastern Transvaal,

an accomplished cricketer, and built a life with his wife, Betty.

generation and as one of the key builders of

to elect him as President of the Association. But remarkably there was more to his time. Ronnie, along with ‘Dollar’ Murray, and a couple

of others, understood that sport’s clubs could not survive without alternate income. It was

through their effort – without taking away from the particular effort of ‘Dollar’ Murray – that the

Association built the flats that support the Club, the Association and the School today.

Continued on page 26


OBITUARIES Ronnie was a remarkable man. We sat there

It turned out that they, the makers of the pitch,

Highveld, and walked through the history of the

bakkie, every Saturday, drove ash from Pretoria

that afternoon, looking out at the summer Club. He looked alive, he was animated, and in

the couple of hours spent together he explained,

had dug an eight foot hole, and Ronnie with his Power Station, laying the base.

retold, regaled and even celebrated it all. The

Roddie, satisfied, thanked him, explaining that he

Club, flowed with more endless enthusiasm.

grateful that the matter had been explained.

anecdotes, the people, the happy days at the

Before the day was up, before we headed back

thought the pitch looked like it could go forever,

to Pretoria, Roddie came out with his secret

Ronnie Edwards died in February of 2013. He

tell us about the pitch. He can’t figure it out. It’s

a role in either the Association or the Club

mission. ‘Ronnie’, he said, ‘we’ve had a guy in to a great pitch, but we can’t work out what it has under it.’

Ronnie smiled a prolonged and satisfied smile. ‘I’m not surprised!’

has not, to the best of my knowledge, played for almost fifty years, and yet his legacy has

everything to do with what we have today. He was a remarkable individual and his loss a very

sad one, indeed. At the same time, he will never be forgotten.

Eugene Ashton Secretary


Thank you for the opportunity to pay a

short tribute to your Dad. The more I have

spoken about him in the past few days, the more I have come to realise that he was a

very special person to many. Keith Gibbs,

a former master at PBHS and currently the Curator of the outstanding Boys High

Museum, kindly supplied me with some

biographical material. It appears that he had a very close relationship with Ronnie and as such asked that his condolences be specially mentioned this afternoon.

Ronald Arthur Edwards was admitted to Pretoria Boys High on the 21st of January

1929, 84 years ago at the age of 11. He matriculated in 1934 as a School Prefect, Captain of Cricket and the recipient of Full Colours for Cricket. From 1937 to 1949 he played cricket for Pretoria High School

Old Boys during which time he played for and captained the North Eastern Transvaal Cricket side including captaining them

against the MCC. He also played provincial hockey until 1951.

He is probably best remembered by the older Old Boys for his unstinting work for the Association and the Club over many years and the fine facilities which current Old Boys enjoy today are largely due to his

foresight and considerable personal efforts. The are annual comments made with regard

to his work culminating in the opening of the Grounds and Club at Hofmeyr Park in 1952.

At the official opening, Ronnie played in Will

Hofmeyr’s team against Murray Hofmeyr’s

Team. His involvement at the Club over the

next ten years was legendary and is best summed up in the Pretorian of 1963 – “

At the beginning of the year the Club and

Association were deprived of the services of one of their great stalwarts when Ronnie

Edwards successfully obtained a higher situation in Nigel.

Ronnie Edwards had

spent the best part of fifteen years in being a prime mover in the development of Hofmeyr Park and much of his work can be seen

in the bowling greens, tennis courts and cricket fields belonging to the association.

His wife, Betty, was also an ardent “Old Boy” and did a great deal towards the cultivation of gardens at the Club.”

With what amounted to a life time of service to the greater Pretoria Boys High

community, there was no one more fitting than Ronnie Edwards to succeed Desmond Abernethy as the President of The Pretoria

Boys High School Old Boys Association.

We pay tribute to him for the hundreds if not thousands of lives he touched – a Boys

High boy of whom all associated with the School are very proud.

To the family, condolences, from all involved

with the Association, the Club and the School.

Bill Schroder

Former Headmaster 1990 - 2009



Professor Francis Brooks 1932-2012

rofessor Francis Brooks was an international expert in the field of

neutron detection, developing the

technique for revealing hidden explosives and the location of landmines.

Francis ‘Frank’ Dey Brooks was born on

December 9, 1931, in Pretoria, South Africa, where he attended local schools before moving

to Rhodes University to read Physics. Under the

supervision of JB Birks, and later JA Gledhill and GT Wright, he undertook his MSc research in

the field that would become the focus of much of his future work: scintillator materials. These are materials that when hit by a particle, absorb its energy and give out light.


In 1955 Brooks moved to the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell in the UK as a Commonwealth Junior Research Fellow in the

Nuclear Physics division. Here he continued to work on scintillator materials, developing a new

method for pulse shape discrimination (PSD) – the technique by which the particle or ray which hit the scintillator material and caused it to glow can be identified.

Brooks returned to South Africa in 1964 to take up the inaugural Chair of Nuclear Physics at the University of Cape Town, becoming Professor of

Nuclear Physics and later Emeritus Professor despite never taking a PhD. Brooks continued

to work on the detection of neutron particles using scintillator materials and was a dynamic

figure in developing nuclear physics research in South Africa. Brooks’s later work in the 1980s

focussed on nuclear fusion catalysed by unstable subatomic particles called muons, where he

used PSD techniques to gain information about the process from neutrons emitted during fusion.

From the 1990s Brooks explored more applied, humanitarian applications of his branch of physics,

using neutrons to detect hidden explosives and

reveal buried antipersonnel landmines. Brooks worked closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency and was appointed to act as their consultant between 1999 and 2004. Brooks was a dedicated educator, particularly enjoying

laboratory teaching. He supervised 19 MSc and

18 PhD students over the years, and between 1979 and 1983 he was Head of the Department

of Physics at the University of Cape Town. In 1996 Brooks was awarded the degree of DSc by Rhodes University.

Frank Brooks is survived by his wife, Kathleen, and his daughter and three sons. Professor

Francis Brooks was born on 9 December 1931, and died on 30 August 2012.

From article3626503.ece 2/3



From Clinton Harrop-Allin

GOLDEN DAYS in the Art Room

Walter Battiss (1906 - 1982) Silkscreen “Mad Man World”

or a brief period, some fifty

technical instruction nor any substantial Art-

air-filled upstairs room at the

disapproving but didn’t dare say so). What

years ago, in a large light and school, the contrasting and yet complementary



Walter Baltiss and Larry Scully brought about a unique chemistry of teaching and learning. The

school was, of course, proud to have two artists

of stature on its teaching staff and was ready to

bask in any reflected glory that might accrue, but

Historical knowledge (School Inspectors were Battiss and Scully did wonderfully do was create a milieu, an atmosphere, an ambience, where

eye-opening discovery, freedom of expression and plain enjoyment were all part of a journey

towards the ultimate goal: enthusiasm for the subject, for ART.

the real benefit of the Battiss - Scully presence


in the Art Room of that era.

criticism for his unorthodox methods and for

was reserved for those of us who actually dwelt

What did we gain? If truth be told, neither of

our Art masters provided much in the line of THE PHOBIAN | ISSUE 59 | 2013





eccentric, and never dull. He inevitably attracted what were seen by pedants and disciplinarians

as “the chaotic conditions” in his classroom, but he remained blithely unconcerned. He simply

didn’t live and breathe in the world of orthodox

2 metres tall) and kindly presence. He provided

administrative matters. The daily life of his own

a kind that have even the most dull and ham-

teaching methods and discipline or of mundane current fads, fancies and preoccupations but behind it all there was a deep concern with creativity and imagination, and if some of this rubbed off on those of us who crossed his path so much the better.

For his farewell to the school Battiss persuaded

a reluctant Headmaster to hand over the entire school for an hour for a pop concert in the

assembly hall. Held as it was in the heyday of The

Beatles, it was received with wild acclamation by the boys. Although the disciplinarians were once

again incensed it was, as Battiss had intended, a joyous event and a far cry from the customary dry speeches and presentations.

Larry Scully also had his pet interests and projects but in his case these were rather more

substantial and durable. Beyond the classroom he was a theatrical producer-director and he presented innovative ‘kinetic’ slide shows long

before technological advances made such things properly feasible. As a hands-on art-historical

exercise he put some of the boys to work on a facsimile of the Van Eyck Ghent Altarpiece

which has survived and is to be seen today in the school museum.

I remember Scully as a man with an instinctive

encouragement and ideas and inspiration of handed boy a glimpse into the magic world of visual imagination and creativity. As a pupil

and, later, a teaching colleague of his I cannot

remember him ever imposing his own vision or

methods upon the boys. He proceeded rather by a sort of visual Socratic method, taking a boy’s initial halting effort (no matter how horrible) quite seriously and turning it, with a couple of gentle

suggestions, into a springboard from which something more promising might be launched.

The process, repeated may not have produced

a schoolboy masterpiece but the end result was often a pleasant surprise and a sense of achievement for its author.

And even if nothing presentable was, after all, forthcoming, the art room boys could still agree

with one of their number who said: ‘ This year has been the most interesting I have yet experienced

at school. Soon after the first term I realised I was not a Geographer, and so I became an

artist. Now I realise I’m not an artist either, but it’s much more fun trying.’

Ah yes! The Gods of the Art Room of old. They are long gone, but never forgotten.

Written for inclusion in Zest, Mark Henning.

empathy and sympathy for the travails of the

miserable adolescent. I think of him in that Art Room – with musical background produced by an ancient record player – as a large (well over



Memory Hold The Door From Donald Williams, Form 5D, 1961

bout four weeks after starting at

Jackie Grobler was a PT teacher and an ex SA

necessary to cane me, and every

was goaded into accepting a challenge from a

PBHS the Headmaster found it subsequent year of my high

school career he again found it

necessary at least once in the year. Why I grew

Heavy Weight all in Wrestling Champion. He

big immigrant Dutch boy called Jan Wildenboer, to a bare knuckle fight.

to love that school is difficult to tell. It probably

The word spread: ‘Fight, ‘C’ Field, One Thirty.’

helluva lot of that.

and masters. The combatants stripped to the

wasn’t the ‘Ra Ra Ra’ although we seemed do a

I think it was more to do with the rich assortment of teachers whom the boys were encouraged to engage with. ‘Engage With’ is the key of the following story:


The whole school was there except prefects

waist and the fight began without ceremony. The hundreds of boys formed a ring which surged around the fighters. Both inflicted real damage. How long the fight lasted I don’t remember. It ended when ‘The Boss’ intervened. We never saw Jackie Grobler again. Jan Wildenboer

basked in fame. What other noble school can

without knocking with me still in tow. Dr Menge

Mr. Ted Jones: Head Maths Teacher, deadpan

The Boss, Mr Abernethy, might easily have

one generation of boys with a love of singing in

previous headmasters of the school, a professor,

boast of such a fight?

humourist and choirmaster. He left more than harmony, and most of them at ease with maths as well. There was Dr Menge: tennis and swimming

coach, German and Latin teacher, Doctor of German Literature, beekeeper and rumored

Nazi. ‘Die Fusse im Feuer’ came alive when he

recited and acted it. His room was next to the Boss’s office, with a walk-in cupboard separating

them. He had knack of hearing when a boy was

will have been counting.

been a tightrope walker. On his staff were two several doctors, diligent teachers, weaklings

and indolent ‘skelms’. On this lot and the twelve

hundred boys, he managed to impose a relaxed

discipline. I was once called before him to answer for some alleged misdemeanor: Was it you?’ he asked. ‘No Sir.’

being caned, and would count the strokes in

‘I suppose your ridiculous schoolboy honour

pitch of his voice would rise a bit more. Once he

Followed by a long nervous silence.

German. With each stroke his eyebrows and the

reached ‘sechs’ and was beside himseDr Schiff was rumored to be a member of the family who

prevents you from telling me who it was?’ ‘You may go.’

originally started Bayer AG in Germany. He was a chemist who hoped to play a leading role in the

family firm. That was before Herr Hitler took over and kicked them out because they were Jews.

He and his wife fled to South Africa. When the War started he joined, for ethical reasons, the Medical Corps of the Defence Force. When

“He once dragged me by

the ear all the way from junior lab to the Boss’s office.” the War was over, he came to PBHS and taught Science. He was a gentle man, and we boys

tormented him for no other reason. He once dragged me by the ear all the way from junior

lab to the Boss’s office. Enraged, he barged in 33

LETTERS From Ernest Last

School was a good educator, a builder of character

Thank you so much for Number 58. I have indeed enjoyed reading The Phobian over the years. And I have kept them all. Unfortunately I lost the first fourteen editions after moving to Australia.

of being a good man: scientists, farmers, civil servants,

and at times a leveller. It prepared us for life. For some

I thought you might like to read my brief letter to my class of 1958 on the occasion of our 50th reunion. Unfortunately I could not be present. I also thought you might like to see some notes about my post-1958 activities.

further education, the professions, business and the art

doctors, dentists, chartered accountants, lawyers, engineers, politicians, chemists, architects, quantity surveyors, business owners, ministers, teachers, artists, bankers, brokers … they were good and carefree years

for most of us. Each had the opportunity to learn and participate and benefit from the other activities – sport, cultural and, of course, cadets.

Many gifted masters contributed to moulding of our young lives. I recall those who influenced me over the

I trust this will enable me to continue to have access to The Phobian.

five years to 1958, particularly Messrs Ashton, Fair,

Please convey Headmaster.

I am proud our School was founded and established






Many thanks for the endless hours you have given to folk like me from 1958 to

Logie, Schiff, Meyer, Gevers, Batty, du Toit, and Hendry.

by those who at the time were examples of courage, enlightenment and tenacity. They were all men with

vision and products of the Great Commonwealth of

maintain contact with School.

Nations. Their example of respect, discipline and fair

Letter included:

boys over the years, in peace and war, to do their duty

Dear Tony It has been extremely difficult for me to express my

play has not been surpassed. It enabled so many of our to God, King and Country.

This ethos and the spirit of justice, gentleness and goodwill survive and flourish in us to this day. Our

feelings on paper about our 50-year-on reunion.

heritage is unsurpassed and the roots we claim as

I remember well the singing of ‘Forty Years On’ at our

growing older. We are shorter in breath as in memory

one! We’re strong, young and free and forty years is a

rheumatic of shoulder. We forgetfully wonder what we

our own go back a thousand years. We are grey and

School Valediction Service and Thinking, ‘That’s a good

long. We are now a little feeble of foot and some,

long long way off.’ How profound, prophetic and true

were like at school or on the playing fields as visions of

those words of our song were.

boyhood sometimes come to mind.

Fifty years on when afar and asunder parted are

We thank God we were at PBHS in 1958 and the years

enthusiastic greetings from Brisbane, Queensland, and

wish for the future of School.

best at this time. We also quietly remember with affection

May God bless each one of us, our families and our

those who sang on that happy day. I bring warm and wish all of those of 1958 who are still with us the very those of our classmates who have passed away. THE PHOBIAN | ISSUE 59 | 2013

that have passed. With fond memories and every good


From Darryl Moss I am an Old Boy (Class of 1964) now serving as a city

councillor in the Tshwane Metro. I recently discovered

that one of my colleagues, Stanley Rens, is also an Old Boy. This led to a discussion on other Old Boys

who may have served as city councillors. I know Tertius Spies was a councillor in the 1980s, and have a vague

idea that Bill Horak, later a member of parliament, may have also served as a councillor.

Are you aware of any other Old Boys who became ‘City Fathers’? Perhaps you could put something in

The Phobian to try gather information on this bit of Old Boy history.

The Association would love to hear from you. Send any news or photographs for inclusion in the Phobian and on the Association website or Facebook page to

I am not aware of anyone specifically. This is the sort of thing that Roger Herbert would have been able to

answer in a flash. But let’s see who out there knows of anyone. Ed.

From Stan Brown The Phobian arrived today by post. Thank you

was the end of that for me. When we came to New

be in contact with the school one really loves when

Captain, an Old Boy, to deliver my Springbok

very much for keeping in contact. It is special to one is as far away as New Zealand.

I played bowls for Natal from 1971 to 1985. When

Zealand, I asked Moray Smit, the SA Gymnastic jersey and tie to the school.

I don’t know if you ever got those items.

I moved to Johannesburg in 1986 I had my hands

I have been on crutches and in a lot of pain for

but I still managed to play inter-provincial bowls for

replacement. My brother Wilf told me that Guy

full opening Ferndale High School in Randburg, Southern Transvaal in 1991/2.

I was selected to play three tests for the Springboks

vs USA in South Africa in 1977. After that we were banned from international competition and so that

the last seven months. I am waiting for a total hip Rosset is now staying close to Tauranga. I have tried to contact him without success.

Best wishes to you all and thanks for keeping in contact.


LETTERS From René le Roex

From Joe de Beer

I received the 2012 edition of The Phobian from André

Thank you for the most recent edition of The Phobian.

names from my days at PBHS – Martin Mentz and

I often think of PBHS and would have matriculated in

Joubert, and I read with interest. It mentioned two Jerry Rose-Innes.

I am afraid I have not been a member of the Old Boys

1957 if my dad had not been transferred to East London in 1956. So I matriculated at Selborne College.

Association even though I have always been proud of

I then joined the SABC where I worked in out

to have been a pupil there.

University. I am still living in Durban where I have an

my alma mater and am still grateful that I was privileged

We two old fellows, André and myself, are now

neighbours in a retirement village outside Plettenberg Bay.

I matriculated in 1943; André, in 1947. I guess that not many from my year are still around. I am a very retired surgeon who spent many years in Pietermaritzburg and Durban before moving to the Knysna area.

broadcasting for three years and then attended Natal air-conditioning business.

I think somebody who really influenced my life in those years (although the teachers were all good teachers)

was Harry Bennett. I have never forgotten the difference between a ‘straight edge’ and ‘a piece of plank’. Funny the things you remember. Ed.

René, I am sure that something can be done about that membership? Ed.

From David Metelerkamp (Class of 1945 & 1946) Like most older Old Boys the first thing I look at in The Phobian is the obituaries. There are not many of our class left.

Hats off to Jerry Rose-Innes for a most informative

Jerry is a fine artist and draws superbly. Some of

living legend of our time at school. He stood six-

detailed figures of his immensely fertile imagination

article about the Thunder Gun Club. Jerry was a foot-five inches tall in his bare feet and he was

often bare, even in those conservative days. He

swam like a fish, ran like a rocket and jumped in

the lineout just a little better than the best locks of the day, and he was as robust as his humour. His high jump record stood for about twenty years. THE PHOBIAN | ISSUE 59 | 2013

his cartoons of the masters are legendary and the

had even the great Walter Battiss in fits of laughter.

It is so pleasing to see that at his great age he has now ventured into journalism. Salutations to the truest of friends.

From Mike Gedye Thank you for the latest edition of your excellent

and stern discipline. His ability as a cross-country

I was particularly interested in the contribution by Jerry

Any boy who had the good fortune to be in one of his

events and people all those years ago. Martin Menz

of the art world was phenomenal and his enthusiasm


Rose-Innes as it brought back many memories of and ‘Houtie’ Woodhead were from my schooldays

era with ‘Houtie’ and me at primary school together and Martin as the revered head prefect when I was in

Form III. I have a vivid vision of him standing at the

runner put many of us to shame!

classes will never forget Walter Battiss. His knowledge

certainly rubbed off on us, as did his fatherly way of

discussing life in general. He was a truly remarkable man.

entrance to the assembly hall at the start of each day’s

Others who made an impression on me but who were

school’s most successful athletes of his time, excelling

our headmaster, who once gave me his well-known

proceedings. Jerry Rose-Innes I recall as one of the at the high jump event. Martin Mentz and I followed the

same route into the SAAF and Korea as fighter pilots,

although he was some eighteen months ahead of me, and our paths diverged.

not actual classroom masters were ‘Baldy’ Matheson, tanning! Mr Jandrell, I seem to remember, tried hard to make future soldiers of us in the school cadet force.

This, of course, was common practice in South Africa during WWII.

I have very fond memories of my years at PBHS.

Last but surely not least was Willie Brooks. He will

I had may be of interest. As I matriculated in 1947 I

service to the school in so many ways. He seemed

I thought a few anecdotes about some of the teachers doubt any of them are still with us but, for me, their contribution will always be remembered.

forever be remembered for many years of faithful to me to be everywhere and involved in all that was happening.

Mr Davis was my English master and his love of

I know I have omitted some worthy people from this

legendary. His productions were always enjoyed by

brain becomes lazy. The man who tried valiantly to

stage musicals, particularly Gilbert and Sullivan, was players and audiences alike.

My introduction to mathematics brought the stern and rather serious Mr Ogden to my schooling. He was also one of the authors of the then well-known ‘Ogden and

Nash’ mathematics textbooks. I still have a vivid mental picture of his stocky figure marching purposefully down

trip down memory lane, but after some 65 years one’s

teach me German is one of them. And I can still recite some of the conjugations he drummed into us all those years ago.

Life at Pretoria Boys High School was a truly great experience. Long may it continue.

Duncan Street in Brooklyn near his home.

Then there was the inimitable ‘Stokkies’ Joubert who

lived in the same vicinity in Pretoria. His love of the

Afrikaans language and culture was transferred to his students by a mixture of a wonderful sense of humour


LETTERS From Douglas Craig I still wish to receive a printed copy of this PBHS Old

was sent to America to study Health Physics (radiation

it, if that is necessary. I work on the computer all day,

stayed on at the University of Rochester to do a PhD in

Boys Association newsletter. I am prepared to pay for and when it comes time to read, I like to relax in my LazyBoy.

I am curious to know whether you are related to a

control and protection). After completing that training, I Radiation Biology and Toxicology. I returned to work at the AEB Nuclear Research Centre in Pelindaba for the next five years.

person I used to know as Terry Ashton. He was a final-

I returned to the United States in 1969 where I worked

College (JTTC), along with Burridge Spies, John

time work in 2003 but have continued working as a

year student at the Johannesburg Teacher’s Training

Stewart, Terry Mulvenna and others when I went to

Knockando (the JTTC men’s residence in Parktown) as a freshman in 1950. I have had no contact with any of these individuals since they left Knockando. (I am

at several research institutions. I retired from fullconsultant for the US Department of Energy’s Office of Emergency Management. I celebrated my eightieth

birthday in April, and still cherish my years at Boys High.

indeed, Terrence was my grand uncle. That is, one of my grandfather’s younger brothers. Ed.)

From Bob Reid

Mr Gary Matheson was headmaster during my PBHS

Greetings from a beautiful day in Cape Town.

years (1945 – 1949). I studied for a BSc at Wits with

Mathematics and Physics as majors, and completed teacher’s training year in 1953. When I told my matric

maths teacher, Mr Thomas, my intended majors, he

A month or so ago we had a social evening to

meet Tony Reeler at the Mowbray Golf Club.

said to me: ‘If you take mathematics, you will fail.’ I was

It was a great evening but we should have

assessment was based on my lackluster performance,

dad was in my class from Form I to Form III.

one, and never failed a class at any level. The most

running action and it was a pleasure to discuss

more interested in sports than studying at school, so his

had snacks to cool down the drinks! Tony’s

but he did me a big favour. I started working from day

He was a good athlete with a strange stooped

important legacy I had from my PBHS years was that I was taught how to study, how to learn, with little

emphasis on test scores – lessons that served me well at university level.

this with his son.

Three of the Old Boys there, all residing in the Helderberg Village Estate, Somerset West,

I lasted only two years as a maths and science teacher

were Andre du Toit, Tup Thompson and me. At

job as a physicist at the Chamber of Mines Dust and

out to be Andre, second oldest was Tup, and

at Potchefstroom Boys High School before taking a

the roll call, the oldest Old Boy present turned

Ventilation Research Laboratory in Johannesburg.

me third! We three suddenly felt quite ancient.

While at Potch, I commenced part-time study towards an honour’s degree in Physics and completed an MSc at Wits in 1960. I then applied for and received a

bursary from the SA Atomic Energy Board (AEB) and THE PHOBIAN | ISSUE 59 | 2013

From Norman Keeton My friends tell me that with my birthday in

because as boarders we were always starving.

was in Solomon House from Form II to Form V

the lock back in place. And there were never any

December I get my OBE (Over Bloody Eighty). I (about 1945 to 1948). Those years left me with some fond memories.

One memory I have is raiding the pantry with Bruce Dengler. At two or three in the morning we’d head down and use a screwdriver to open the food area. The old Aga stoves were always hot and we were

able to fry eggs and bacon. Milk was also good

I don’t remember cleaning up but we did screw repercussions.

I often visited my mother in Pretoria and she would give me a cake to take back to school on a

Sunday. Doons Meyer, Jap Kolbe and me would

bunk evening prep and head up to our ‘house’ on the koppie and feast on the cake.

Form 5D received religious instruction from old

Baldie (Mr Matheson, the school Headmaster). It

was very boring and at the end of the lesson he said we needn’t come to the class if we didn’t want Sometime during the evening Tony mentioned that

to. Terry Steyn and I took this literally and each

for students who were awarded national and /

and read our novels.

they were planning to create an Honours Board or international sporting colours. This brings me

to one Alex Collier (Class of 1953) who played

soccer for South Africa against either Newcastle or Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves) – or both. The games were played at the old Caledonian

Soccer ground to record crowds. Because soccer

is not a school sport, his Springbok jersey was

never recognized but I do think Alex deserves to be on that board.

My son, Robert (Class of 1978), is a Captain on Emirates Airline, living in Dubai (twelve years now)

and asked me to include his regards to old friends who might be reading this.

Friday lesson we would head up to the ‘cottage’

One day the assistant matron came in and accused us of having our feet on the beds. Despite our pleading we still met with Willy Brooks. We told our

story about not being required to attend the class and Baldie must have remembered what he had

said. We escaped punishment, but had to attend the classes for the rest of the year.

I can still remember Afrikaans lessons from Stokkie Joubert and I remember his words ‘Jy moenie the

languages so mix, dis ‘n baie slegte habit wat jy maklik kan avoid as jy net ‘n bietjie try.’ If he caught us talking, our best bet was to escape his class through an open isle before we were literally thrown out.



CAPE TOWN BRANCH REUNION REPORT by Mark Gleeson (Solomon 1977) @markgleesonfoot

total of seventy Old Boys attended Cape

Trevor Quirk was the master of ceremonies but

evening was hosted at the Mowbray Golf Club

enjoyed the opportunity to raise their elbows

Town’s annual get-together in April. A drinks and addressed by the Headmaster, Tony Reeler,

who regaled the audience with his experience of his first year in charge of the school and inspired them with his vision for its future. THE PHOBIAN | ISSUE 59 | 2013

formal talk was kept to a minimum as Old Boys together around the bar.

There was a significant turnout of a younger generation of Old Boys – many of whom were students in Cape Town and Stellenbosch – and

two of them were fresh from their Matric year.

Cape Town has a tradition of hosting a drink

who matriculated more than fifty years ago.

every odd year. Long may it continue.

They mingled seamlessly with the Old Boys

The oldest of this group was Andre du Toit, who

evening every even year and a formal dinner

finished in 1950, and it included former head prefects David Dalling (Class of 1957) and Tony Murray (Class of 1958).



10 YEAR ON... Good evening Headmaster, Mr Schroder, members of staff and the class of 2002. Welcome to our 10 year reunion. First of all I would like to thank you all for making

such a big effort to be here tonight. Many of you have travelled from all parts of the country Pretoria Boys High School Old Boys Association

and even from overseas, so thank you for the amazing effort.

Looking around the room I see a group that has


achieved so much, in a relatively short space of time. We have accountants, lawyers, engineers, teachers, professional sportsmen, successful

entrepreneurs and in my case, a long distance

truck driver armed with a code 10 driver’s license and a love for the open road.



At a school reunion, it is tempting to believe that we are still seen by others as the person

we were back at high school. That we are still defined by our old social status, by our

adolescent personalities, or by some action we

performed all those years ago. If this was true

I would still be a skinny teen, with a weak chin and no girlfriend. Luckily things have changed drastically since then.

The new Association Reunion menu cover (left) which falls part of an updated and improved identity currently being implemented by the Association. THE PHOBIAN | ISSUE 59 | 2013

The one thing the years should teach us is that

change is constant throughout life. We have all experienced changes in our circumstances, in

moments that we regret, but ultimately define us as the men we are today.

our relationships, in our hairstyles, in our careers

One such moment that unfortunately many of us

that these changes have caused us to become

saga of 1999. At the experimental age of 15, it

and in our dreams. Everyone here understands

different people. None of us is the same as we were back in 2002. Except Gareth Elliffe, who is, strangely enough, exactly the same.

Much has changed in the last ten years. Smart phones, tablets and social media have changed the way we communicate and do business. We have witnessed monumental events such as the

financial crisis, the soccer world cup and the Twilight Saga Trilogy.

Through all this change, Pretoria Boys High

was involved in, was the drinking on the train

was unrealistic to think that the train trip down to Maritzburg College would be a sober affair. The days that followed the trip will remain as the

most stressful of my life. With his super human

powers of persuasion, Mr Schroder managed

to get the entire U15a hockey and rugby teams to own up. Some might say that the writing was

on the wall for our group at a very young age; and judging by the amount of alcohol being

consumed already tonight, this doesn’t seem too far from the truth.

has remained a shining light for Government

The second incident that I look back on with

school still gives its leavers the best possible

I wrote in The Pretorian, and subsequently the

Education in South Africa. In my opinion, the chance of success in the real world; and this for me defines a world class institution.

In this regard I would like to compliment Mr Reeler on the fantastic job he is doing as Headmaster.

slight regret was the publication of an essay that English Alive Magazine. For those of you that

don’t know, English Alive is a national publication reserved for the most outstanding pieces of literature by students in South Africa.

Every time I visit the school I am taken back by the

To cut a long story short, the day before our final

place. It must have been a daunting task taking

myself sitting at my desk with a black piece of

beauty and subtle improvements of this magical

over from Mr Schroder, but I feel Mr Reeler is doing an outstanding job; and with his guidance

and leadership I am certain that the school will continue to go from strength to strength.

A ten year reunion is a fantastic opportunity

for us to reminisce about all the events that we cherish most from our school years. It is also an opportunity for us to look back on those

form four essays had to be handed in, I found paper in front of me and a classic case of writer’s block setting in. In utter desperation I opened

up my Zigzag magazine and copied an article about four surfers traveling around the coast in search of the perfect wave. Pretty chuffed with my efforts, I changed a few of the characters names and passed the story off as my own. Continued on page 44


REUNIONS To my delight I received 90% for my essay

I would like to take this opportunity to speak a bit

ultimately the English Alive magazine. Now

that he has had on my life and the lives of so

which was later published in the Pretorian and ridden with guilt, I had to receive an award from Mr Schroder during a Friday assembly, whilst my friends looked down on me from the gallery

with judging eyes. This was possibly the most

shameful moment of my life and needless to say

about Mr Schroder and the remarkable influence

many of us. In his 20 years as headmaster he was able to achieve unparalleled success. I have yet to come across an individual that processes

greater leadership qualities. He was able to get

I have never committed another act of plagiarism

again; except for this speech, which was taken from Google

These incidents, of which, there are countless

examples, all helped us to form unbreakable

bonds between each other. There are more than

half a dozen people in this room who are still among my closest friends, very special people

who, after all these years, are dearer to me than ever. There are others whom I haven’t seen in

10 years, but whom I am nonetheless happy and excited to see once again. Together with

family, friendships are our most valuable assets, and Boys High provided the arena needed to allow

these friendships to develop into what they are today. Pretoria Boys High was and still is the perfect

platform to send boys into challenges of adulthood. The values and lessons learnt at

School have provided us with personal attributes which others admire and respect. In this regard

we have our incredible team of teachers to thank. In a world where role models are so hard to find, it is remarkable that the school is continuously able to attract teaches of the highest quality.

I believe that this is one of the underlying reasons

why Boys High continues to be such a fantastic institution.

the very best out of all of us, and he taught us the value of respecting our fellow human beings. Mr Schroder led our school in an era of political

change and fostered the movement towards

an integrated School operating in a new South Africa. I will always consider myself extremely

fortunate to have spent time with this great man. Before I finish off I would like to thank everyone who has helped to make this evening happen.

First of all to the barman and the waiters, thank THE PHOBIAN | ISSUE 59 | 2013

you for your assistance. I’m sure the guys will tip you generously throughout the night.

Secondly, I would like to thank Stefani Kruger.

She is responsible for the incredible food we are enjoying. She also set up the dining hall and provided the flowers.

of the values we now hold dear, and many of the most precious and lasting friendships of our

lives. Let us celebrate those friendships and moments tonight.

Thank you all for coming and enjoy the evening.


} Devon Light, Head Boy (Armstrong 2002) Thirdly, I would like to thank Kyle Schmulow. Kyle does a tremendous amount of work for the

Old Boys Association, and often gives of his time and money. Kyle also sponsored the printing of the

The class of 2002 has already reached 53% of its goal of reaching R100,000-00 towards the “An Investment in Boys High is An Investment in South Africa” initiative. For more information visit

name tags and the menus for tonight’s dinner.

Lastly, I would like to thank all the teachers, Mr Reeler and Mr Schroder for attending. It is fantastic to share tonight with you. Tonight we are all together again to remember the wonderful

times we spent at Boys High. We formed many 45


THE 2013 FORM 1 COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY by Dr Niel van der Watt (Master)

The Commencement Ceremony started with

Next up on the programme was Imtiaz Salie

to represent the five years of PBHS – this

‘After You, Mr Gershwin’ by B Kovacs. This

our new tradition: the ringing of a bell five times incidentally is mirrored in the Final Assembly

when the same bell is again rung five times just before the boys leave the hall for the last time.

Following the final ring, Mr Phillip Loots (the organist) fires away on the organ with the wellloved ‘Trumpet Voluntary’ by Jeremy Clark.

He was ably and enthusiastically assisted

(clarinet) and Mathilda Hornsveld (piano) playing fiendishly difficult piece is, as the title indicates,

a parody on the style of George Gershwin, the prominent American composer of the early

twentieth century. There is no irony here, just pure fun and entertainment. The best part was

the straight face with which Imtiaz delivered his performance.

by the Brass Choir – a group of players Mr

The next musical moment was the singing of

accompany all hymn singing during assembly

boys) which we have used since 1994. The new

Loots established some eight years ago to and processional music of formal occasions. The size of the group varies but contains trumpets, French horns, trombones and, when the occasion demands it, timpani. THE PHOBIAN | ISSUE 59 | 2013

‘Five Hundred Faces’ (a Harrow song for new boys learn this song along with the School Song

and ‘Forty Years On’ during their orientation and then perform it for the school at the inaugural assembly as well as at the Commencement

Ceremony for their parents. All told, they handled

Tune’ by Henry Purcell; and with flapping gowns

practices, the Form I Camp and their breaking

new parents and boys. Another year has begun!

the task well when one considers the war-cry voices. The piano accompaniment was provided

and hoods, the staff filed out to the awe of the

by Mrs Yvonne Reyburn and Dr Niel van der Watt, the conductor of the 303 voices.

The Dixie Band traditionally plays at the ceremony

as light relief after the Headmaster’s address. They performed, as usual, an arrangement of ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’, another important song in the school, heard mostly on the rugby

field as ‘Boys High Sweet Chariot’. The band’s

performance was tight and the solos showed promise of great things to come.

The Commencement Ceremony ended with the reversal procession to the music of the ‘Trumpet

PHOTO: 2013 Form 1 group singing “Five Hundred Faces” as has become tradition over the past 2 decades. photo by Samual Cohen 47


Connor Henry Boys High 1st Team Waterpolo Captain Head Boy 2013

Summer Sports D THE PHOBIAN | ISSUE 59 | 2013

aturday, 12 January 2013 marked a great start to the sporting year for School boys

and Old Boys alike, with the annual Summer Jacques Erasmus Old Boys Waterpolo Premier League Captain

Sports Day, held at the School. The day’s

events included basketball (3 games), cricket (11 matches), cross-country, tennis (40 games,

including both singles and doubles matches), squash (19 games) and water polo (7 games),

with over 300 Old Boys partaking in the various disciplines.

The day kicked off with a compulsory registration

for all Old Boys at the Sommerville Pavilion on Hofmeyr Oval, before they took to the fields,

courts and pools. Lunch was served for all first

teams, teams playing in full-day cricket matches, and staff. Regalia was also on sale to all Life Members of the Association.

Notable appearances in the water included three SA Men’s water polo players, with the oldest

player in the 1st Team coming from the class of 1966. Tennis saw Tucker Vorster take to the

court, an Old Boy who is currently on a gap year to play in the ATP tennis tour. Continued on page 52

Photo: Jason Webber Head Boy (HOF 2008)

Day 2013 by Jason Webber Head Boy (HOF 2008) 49

Photo: Jason Webber Head Boy (HOF 2008) THE PHOBIAN | ISSUE 59 | 2013


SPORT The Headmaster, Mr Tony Reeler, had the following to say about the day:

“Once again the school hosted a number of Old Boys who competed in a variety of sports against their old school. This is a wonderful tradition and almost 300 Old Boys enjoyed themselves

greatly. The boys learn a great deal from encounters such as this and I would like to thank

the Old Boys Association as well as the staff and boys at the school for ensuring that sport on the

day was played the way it should be. Apart from the obvious lessons learned in the sport itself, the

boys are able to see the good example set by Old Boys in terms of sportsmanship and camaraderie. Thank you to all for a wonderful day”

The Old Boys Association looks forward to the 2014 Summer Sports Day being bigger and better, and for a continued sporting relationship with the School for many years to come .



Old Boys 1ST 253 For 9

PBHS Lost By 106 Runs

PBHS 1ST 147 All Out

2nd XI

Old Boys 2nd 216 All Out

PBHS Lost By 128 Runs

PBHS 2nd 88 All Out

3rd XI

Old Boys 3rd 138 All Out

PBHS Lost By 38 Runs

PBHS 3rd 100 All Out

Photo: Jason Webber Head Boy (HOF 2008)

4th XI

PBHS 4th 201

8th XI

Old Boys 8th 167 All Out

PBHS Won By 13 Runs

PBHS Lost By 7 Runs

Old Boys 4th 150

PBHS 8th 160 For 6

5th XI

Old Boys 5th 185 For 8

Saxby XI

Old Boys 190 All Out

PBHS Lost By 90 Runs

PBHS Won By 1 Wicket

PBHS 5th 95 All Out

PBHS U16A 191 For

6th XI

Old Boys 6th 212 For 9

Daniel XI

Old Boys 98 All Out

PBHS Lost By 43 Runs

PBHS Won By 7 Wickets

PBHS 6th 169 For 3

PBHS U15A 103 For 3

7th XI

Old Boys 7th 147 For 7

Hannay XI Old Boys 156 For 5

PBHS Lost By 21 Runs

PBHS 7th /U16B 126 All Out

PBHS U15B 76 All Out

PBHS Lost By 80 Runs 53

SPORT BASKETBALL PBHS 1st Lost To Old Boys 1st

40 – 34

PBHS 2nd Lost To Old Boys 2nd

39 – 33

PBHS 3rd Lost To Old Boys 3rd

24 – 15

WATER POLO PBHS 1st Lost To Old Boys Junior Team


PBHS 1st Lost To Old Boys 1st

10 – 5

PBHS 2nd Lost To Old Boys 2nd


PBHS U16A Lost To Old Boys


PBHS U15A Lost To Old Boys

14 – 7

PBHS U16C/B Beat Old Boys


PBHS U15C Lost To Staff/Coaches



PBHS 1st lost to the Old Boys 1st 24 games to 16


PBHS lost to the Old Boys 19 games to 2




1st Shelton Mokuena 14:59 (new record)

4th Michael McLaggan 15:37 (new record)

2nd Thati Phele

9th Max Calitz

3rd Emmanuel Olusegun

14th Devon Walker

5th Gcina Mndebele

15th Claudio Barreiro

Boys beat the Old Boys 45 – 11 THE PHOBIAN | ISSUE 59 | 2013

55 Photo: Jason Webber Head Boy (HOF 2008)





THE OLD BOYS’ RACE by Lincoln Keeton I can find no record of the Old Boys’ team

The overall winner of the race was Shelton

country event. And so, as once again the boys

in a time of 14:59. The significance of the record

ever having won the summer sports day cross

proved a little too spry for the Old Boys, I have emphasised that it is indeed the Old Boys’ Race.

I was surprised to see that the last Old Boy to

Mokuena. He broke his own record for the race is that it is his 41st cross country or athletics record at Boys High. (This excludes athletics records which he broke twice in the same year.)

win the race was me in 2001, and disappointed

that my position has dropped by a little over one

place for each year on since then. There is no doubt that age is against us runners; and even

the unbiased cheers the Old Boys received from the Form Is who left their camp to line Main Drive was not enough.

Nevertheless, the first Old Boy home, Michael McLaggan, has been credited with the record for Old Boys. After scrutinizing the record books it

was found that his time of 15:37 is the fastest

Photo by Jo-Anne Beckwith

ever by an Old Boy.

The record of 14:00 which has stood all along as an Old Boy record is held by Rodney Lessing, an 800m SA Champion, who was a teacher at the school, but not an Old Boy.

Shelton Mokuena (left) and Thati Phele (right) breezing towards the lead pack.

The records for the event will be preserved as follows: Boy

Shelton Mokuena



Rodney Lessing


Old Boy THE PHOBIAN | ISSUE 59 | 2013

Michael McLaggan 15:37




Photo: Jason Webber Head Boy (HOF 2008) 61








The Phobian 59 - 2013  

The Official Magazine of the Pretoria Boys High School Old Boys Association