PBHSOB
PRETORIA BOYS HIGH SCHOOL OLD BOYS' ASSOCIATION
NEWSLETTER

Dear Old Boy

Mr Keith Ernest Gibbs passed away on 6 January 2018 after a long illness. Mr Gibbs was a Life-Vice President of the Association and is the only person to have been under the leadership of six Headmasters in the history of the School.

As a school boy:
1947 - 1949 Mr Matheson
1950 - 1952 Mr Pollock

As Staff:
1962 - 1973 Mr Abernethy
1974 - 1978 Mr Armstrong

As curator of the school museum:
2005 - 2009 Mr Schroder
2010 - 2018 Mr Reeler

A funeral for Mr Gibbs was held on 10 January at the St Wilfred's Anglican Church in Hatfield, Pretoria. Below is the eulogy by the Headmaster, Mr Tony Reeler.

KEITH GIBBS: A TRIBUTE
(With thanks to John Illsley, Paul Ewart-Phipps and Geoff Meyer for their input and assistance)

It was almost exactly a year ago that we acknowledged Keith Gibbs' 70 years of association with Pretoria Boys High School. This was done at a Friday assembly and it was fitting that his beloved wife Di was there by his side as the school rose to acknowledge this remarkable achievement - firstly as a Form I boy who rode to school on his bicycle from Riveira and later Sunnyside, ducking through a hole in the fence to gain access, then as a master where many a boy was brought to a shuddering halt by the words "That Boy", as an Old Boy and finally as the first curator of our school museum, a position he held for 13 years and one he loved so much.

Mr Gibbs was one of the first staff members I met, along with my family, as we walked around the school for the first of many times. He was tasked as part of a welcome to the new Headmaster and his family to show us round the school. This would be the 6th Headmaster he had worked with. He took us into his special place, the museum, where he explained as he had many times over, the history of the school and, what the school meant to him and to so many thousands of people. It was very clear how much it meant to him but this was also the first indication I had of the man himself and his special, caring nature as he showed me a photograph of my father in the Sunnyside U15 tennis team and the register entry of my father from 1951 which he had taken the trouble to find. This was important to him that I felt part of his school.

From the time when Keith first entered these gates in January 1947 to last week, when, despite being terribly ill and in great pain, he asked to see his beloved school again and was driven round as per his request with his family, Keith described Boys High as his own happy place, a place where he felt home and where he felt he belonged. It is going to be hard to imagine Boys High without Keith.

After his time as a schoolboy and master and, indeed after his retirement, Keith was asked to assist John Illsley in the creation of a completely new school museum, the opening of which coincided with the centenary of the school buildings. That huge undertaking in 2008/2009 involved the gathering, framing and displaying of hundreds of images and artefacts. Keith was in his element. To be involved with the preservation and presentation of the school's heritage was a huge privilege for him. But the school was itself privileged to have someone whose knowledge of the school stretched back over most of its history. His insights played a valuable role in shaping the museum and its archival collection by providing invaluable background. His seemingly endless store of anecdotes, drawn it must be said from a remarkable memory, could make even the most mundane artefact have an interesting context or twist.

After its opening, it was only right that Keith should take on the role of museum curator. His greatest joy in this regard was showing groups or individuals around the museum. Groups of current school boys, particularly Form Is; Old Boy's reunion groups; past pupils and staff and their families visiting the school from overseas, would all receive Keith's full attention and, if you had the time, he could regale you with many a wonderful story from several decades. Before any reunion group visited, and it didn't matter of what vintage they were, Keith would chuckle and say that he would have to get out what he called the "trouser duster", (by which he meant one of the canes in the museum) and use it to maintain order when the old boys visited the museum! And then he would host groups with his usual mix of charm and knowledge to make their visit that much more special. His love for the history of the school was singled out by the matric speaker at last year's Valediction as a special moment in his schooling career.

Keith loved attending Friday assemblies. This would be the time to chat to him as he sat resplendent in Old Boy tie and blazer or his Harris tweed jacket and listen to the events of the past week. He would, without fail, find me, and look at me in that way - almost with sadness in his eyes, as he shook his head and tell me he couldn't believe how lucky he was to be at a school like this. He would thank me for the day's message and then stand in the staffroom drinking tea and catching up, usually about the boys and what they had achieved or chatting about cricket. He loved the continuity of tradition; he loved the talents of the boys and was very supportive of the school as it strove to come to terms with the changing times. As the person on stage taking assembly, it was always comforting to know that Keith was in the gallery and his being there will be greatly missed.

Keith has meant so much to so many of us from his beloved Di (aka Badger - we are not sure why, whether she displayed the qualities of one of Africa's toughest, intelligent and courageous animals or someone who constantly badgered and annoyed him!) to his children and grandchildren and rest of the family, including his fourth "child" and surrogate son Geoff Meyer and to those with whom he worked.

In talking to a number of people in preparing this eulogy, he is described universally as the quintessential gentleman with old world values and standards and yet a gentle man, one who was considerate of others, one who was kind. Keith has kind eyes - for those who knew him. Yes he was "old school" but he believed in doing the right thing. He was hardly ever cross or ill tempered, never complained and had endless patience, particularly with Di and Geoff and their countless visits to the Kruger park where every sighting of a tree or a bird would require Keith to stop and back up so its particular characteristics could be discussed at length!

Keith's rather dry sense of humour was loved by us all although it was good to get one over on him once. We embarked on a project in 2011 and 2012 to clear the alien vegetation on the koppie which entailed removing a number of bluegum trees. Keith understood and approved of the project but his face was a picture when I told him that the two Norfolk pines in front of the school would also have to go as they were not indigenous! It was only after I smiled that a look of relief crossed his face as he had seen the planting of those two trees take place.

It was only fitting and right that, apart from his friend Margie Prinsen bringing him Boys High roses, his other friend Paul Ewart-Phipps, who visited him every day when he was ill, once brought Keith a piece of each pine tree, the East and the West. These pieces were placed in a vase next to his bed and I am convinced he knew they were there. They now reside in Di's flat where they, remarkably, have shown signs of roots! If they do, in fact, take root, there can be no better cenotaph for Keith than these two trees planted near a cricket field at Boys High.

Keith's love for the school and for Di and his family was only marginally greater than his love for what I teased him was the second-best game in the world - cricket. He was an integral part of Boys High cricket for decades, through the years of the masters league to the days of coaching U14s and umpiring when he was no longer a coach, Indeed it was only two years ago that he stopped standing as an umpire in the annual Old Boy games. He loved to discuss the game and its nuances - provided you played in the right way - and would have been most approving of the latest Protea victory.

Keith Ernest Gibbs was one of a kind and will be sorely missed. His devotion to duty was acknowledged not only at Boys High but also at King Edwards Prep where he taught for 23 years. When he retired from there, his parting gift bore the inscription "Beyond the call of duty". Our memorial plaque which will be placed on our wall of remembrance will bear the same inscription.

For the past year or so, Keith was often in agony as he fought cancer bravely, without complaint, always with a smile on his face. He was determined to be on duty at his beloved school. He was a truly remarkable man whose presence will live on in the corridors of the school he loved so dearly and in the museum in particular. To the love of his life and partner for 38 years, Di, we offer all our love and support and thank her for sharing this special person with us. To his family Kerith, Charles and Loren and his grandchildren and to his close friends we offer our comfort too. You can be most proud of Keith and all he has done. Keith Gibbs was a special man indeed and I leave you with words he once commented upon to me when I shared then with the boys one assembly:

"Being male is a matter of birth. Being a man is a matter of age. But being a gentleman is a matter of choice."

Keith made that choice.

Mr Tony Reeler
HEADMASTER


PBHSOB CHESA NYAMA

Old Boys are invited to the 2nd Annual Old Boys Chesa Nyama. Come enjoy braai meat, a drink and some good company in one of Pretoria's more popular establishments.

Date: Saturday 17 March 2018
Venue: Jackbudha, Mashabela Street, Mamelodi
Time: 12:00-17:00
RSVP: 9 March 2018
Address: Mr Tony Reeler - PBHS Headmaster

  • Complimentary welcome drinks
  • Cash bar available
  • Plates of braai meat will be sold
  • There will be two screens showing live sports on the day
  • Old Boy DJ's will be on the deck

Click here or here to make a booking for this event. For more information and event queries, please contact the convenor Aphile Molefe: aphilem@gmail.com

This event is only open to Old Boys of Pretoria Boys High School.


SUMMER SPORTS DAY 2018

Summer Sports Day was held on 20 January 2018 and we would like to thank all Old Boys who attended for their support. There was a wonderful turn-out of Old Boys and a very enjoyable day was had by all.

The results were as follows:

CRICKET
PBHS First XI

OLD BOYS XI 275 FOR 9 (DYLAN GREEFF 4/60)
PBHS 1ST 243 ALL OUT (ANRE SCHUTTE 67 & JOSHUA WIENAND 53)
PBHS LOST BY 32 RUNS

OLD BOY 2ND 219 FOR 5 (BRANDON KRUGER 3 FOR 39)
PBHS 2ND (OF 2017) 188 FOR 7 (BRANDON KRUGER 52, BRANDON LOCHNER 41 & RYAN JOYCE 35)
PBHS LOST BY 31 RUNS

PBHS 3RD (OF 2017) 109 FOR 8
OLD BOYS 110 FOR 6
PBHS LOST BY 4 WICKETS

OLD BOYS 188 FOR 7
PBHS 4TH (OF 2017) 159 FOR 4 (MURRAY HUDSON - LAMB 68)
PBHS LOST BY 29 RUNS

PBHS 5TH (OF 2017) 175 ALL OUT (JAMIE DAVIS 74)
OLD BOYS 176 FOR 6
PBHS LOST BY 4 WICKETS

Whales XI

OLD BOYS 178 FOR 7
PBHS U15A (OF 2016) 179 FOR 5 (TIM FERGUSON 51 * & BRANDON FOURIE 35)
PBHS WON BY 5 WICKETS

OLD BOYS 324 FOR 8 (JOHN – MICHAEL STRYDOM 2 WICKETS)
PBHS U15B (OF 2017) 145 ALL OUT (NATHAN SCHAAF 50)
PBHS LOST BY 179 RUNS

OLD BOYS 195 ALL OUT (C PRETORIUS 3 FOR 31)
PBHS U15C (OF 2017) 196 FOR 3 (EMILE VAN DEN BOOGARD 64 & H BAILEY 67)
PBHS WON BY 7 WICKETS

OLD BOYS 279 FOR 8 (DE BRUIN 3/31)
PBHS U15D (2017) 119 ALL OUT
PBHS LOST BY 160 RUNS

OLD BOYS 179 FOR 9
PBHS U14A (OF 2017) 182 FOR 6 (KEERAN CROOME 57)
PBHS WON BY 4 WICKETS

OLD BOY 141 ALL (BRAXTON 4/11 & PADI 4/32)
PBHS U14B (OF 2017) 145 FOR 7 (VAN MALSON 65*)
PBHS WON BY 3 WICKETS

Woodrow XI
The Recruits
Blackmore XI

BASKETBALL

PBHS 1ST LOST TO OLD BOYS 1ST 27-23
PBHS 2ND LOST TO THE OLD BOYS 2ND 44-23
PBHS U16A BEAT THE OLD BOYS 3RD 10-7


CROSS COUNTRY

1ST MATTHEW FORRESTER 14:33 (NEW RECORD)
2ND LORENZO CARVALHEIRO
3RD XAIDON WITBOOI
5TH MARCUS HUGE

PBHS BEAT THE OLD BOYS BY 54 POINTS TO 11.


SQUASH
Old Boys 1st Team Won 5-0
Henning Holtzhausen 3 1 Zian de Swart
Craig Ruane 3 0 Gareth Craigen
Mark Southwood 3 0 Gabriel de Ponte
Cleelynd Potgieter 3 0 Dale Holloway
Justin Cook 3 0 Dino de Sousa
Boys High Second Team Won 3-2
Freddy Lapage 3 2 Kian Trathen
Jason Lazarus 2 3 Calvin Botha
Matthew Velcich 1 3 Euan Jenneker
Cornelius Smit 2 3 Jarod Coetzee
Martin Davis 3 0 Aren Repko
Old Boys 3rd Team Won 5-0
Gareth Hearn 3 1 Sello Mgayiya
Jean du Preez 3 0 Jonathan Nordengen
Jacques Ehlers 3 2 Kyle Holloway
Duart Booysen 3 0 Jean-Lou Steyn
Kyle Gaunt 3 0 Quillan McIntyre

WATER POLO

PBHS U15B LOST TO OLD BOYS OF 2015 11 - 3
PBHS U15A LOST TO COACHES/STAFF 7 - 4
PBHS U15A LOST TO OLD BOYS OF 2009 13 - 4
PBHS U16B LOST TO OLD BOYS 11 - 10
PBHS U16A LOST TO OLD BOYS 2006/2007 4 - 2
PBHS U16A LOST TO OLD BOYS (MIXED) 10 - 2
PBHS 3RD LOST TO OLD BOYS OF 2013 13 - 0
PBHS 2ND LOST TO OLD BOYS 8 - 3
PBHS 2ND LOST TO OLD BOYS 2ND 10 - 2
PBHS 1ST LOST TO OLD BOYS OF 2015/16 6 - 4
PBHS 1ST LOST TO OLD BOYS LEGENDS 1ST 11 - 8


TENNIS

Old Boys competed in a Round Robin doubles tournament with the top 8 eight schoolboys. The eventual winner was the team of Johan Nel and Wim le Roux.


TABLE TENNIS

PBHS 1ST BEAT THE OLD BOYS 1ST 13-12


CHESS

PBHS 4 ˝ - Old Boys 5 ˝


The Old Boys' Summer Sports Day is like a pressure cooker on the stove, cooking up a healthy concoction of years and years of tradition, energy, memories, friendships, nostalgia and respect to mention a few. Food for the soul and more. It is an amazing experience! Driving to the school, one can almost hear it cooking and as the 'lid' opens on the day you must stand back, not for fear of a scalding injury but simply to take in the overwhelming enormity of the event! Over and above the tireless hustle-bustle of kids and adults alike, there is something happening everywhere you look and the excitement and enthusiasm that abounds is so contagious one might expect the masters to swap their gowns for lab coats.

The air you breathe is thankfully as fresh as the new season and as old as the day you wrote your last exam, your lungs can't get enough of it. When you walk around the grounds you walk among giants. From the magnificent buildings on top to the tall pine trees below, from the current masters keeping control of the masses to the memory of the legends afore, from the Loch, to the Koppie, to the gate at Abernethy, and every blade of grass in-between, the school and every pupil past and present, are swept up into the same euphoric wave of the day.

Arguably the most exhausting and yet utterly satisfying and treasured activity on the day was not the afternoon in the sun, but rather the indefatigable politeness and respectfully engaging manner of the pupils. Year after year, it never waivers and only ever grows in intensity and sincerity. One does not simply wonder around Pretoria Boys High School unnoticed. At each and every corner, as if lying await to pounce with their enthusiastic greeting, is a Boys High boy just waiting for you to get within earshot. If you happen to fall outside this invisible boundary, the boys will jump up and run over to close the gap and greet you. Significantly, there is no effort to their actions, only choice. That's the thing about Boys High, it teaches all pupils that they have the right to choose but more importantly, they are taught which option is the right one to choose.

If ever we were creatures of habit then this would be proof because we marvel at the same things every time we set foot onto the school grounds.

In fairness it is impossible not to be impressed by the fact that so much about Boys High has remained as we knew it and yet so much has changed. I guess it comes down to one thing, perhaps it is, as they say, a Boys High thing. Sometimes said through old school rivalry, sometimes out of admiration but rarely ever mentioned in a negative context, there is a Pretoria Boys High phenomenon that binds us all. It is a part of you that gets in your blood from the very first moment and shapes you. Somehow it has the pride of place and the same time a profound effect, be it on your first day at the school or 40 years on.

The Old Boys' Summer Sports Day happens for just a day and it happens every year and every year it happens, makes it more than just a day. It was again a fantastic day! Oh ja, I played cricket this year.

A toast to all at PBHS for shaping the future of our country starting with one Form I at a time, all the time!

Cheers
Silver Medal Winner
Old Boys vs U15B 2018

Gavin Briggs (1990) - Taken from Facebook with permission


SEND US YOUR NEWS
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JOURNEY TO THE BELL TOWER
PBHSOB

The last notes of the "Unfinished Symphony" echoed down the passages and died away. "All right", said Mr. Jones after a moment, "you can have a five-minute break now." The time had come. I glanced briefly at the other three. With one accord we rose and reached the exit to the Music Room simultaneously. "Come, we must hurry," I whispered. We walked briskly down past the quadrangle, past room 9 to the east staircase.

I glanced back. Light from the Music Room filtered through to the passage only to be extinguished immediately by the darkness and silence that hung like an oppressive fog; disguising, disfiguring, muffling…

As swiftly as we could, without making a noise we climbed the stairs. In a few seconds we had reached the top. "It's around here somewhere", I breathed. Then I touched something metallic. "Here it is. Come on", I told the others. I led the way, the two visitors followed and the fourth member of our party, a Boys' High pupil, brought up the rear. Thus in single file we proceeded. Up and up. Round and round. Would it never end?

Then I realized we had reached the top. "I've just got to lift the trapdoor", I informed the others. I began pushing. Just at that moment something happened that made my heart stand still. From the black depths I heard them again - footsteps. "Someone's coming!" "Shall we make a run for it?" "No. We would be seen. Better stay here." They were more distinct now, coming from the eastern stair case. My mind flew back to that night four years ago when I had been caught. Mr. Garsen had taken my name. Luckily, he had not reported me. But perhaps this time I would not be so lucky. They had stopped now at the door of the spiral metal stair case whose top steps we were standing on. Then the person below, whoever he was, coughed. The cough sounded familiar.

Was it Mr. Abernethy... or Mr. Brooks... perhaps.. no it was Mr. Hofmeyr.. but could it be Mr. Jones... We held our breath expecting to be addressed at any moment. Time did not exist. Quite unexpectedly the person began to move on again. Down the passage towards the library. Not till he had passed out of earshot did we let out our breath and scuttle back to the Music Room.

Entering it furtively we all began playing scales on our instruments, trying to look unconcerned and innocent. The break was not yet over. "Unbelievable", I thought, "we spent an eternity up there." Then I heard it. The same cough. I swung around. But the only person in sight was John - one of our 'cellists. He coughed again and began laughing. Then it suddenly dawned on me. I summoned the others and we laughingly told him of the suspense we had endured.

We have not tried again since then.

- D. H. JOUBERT, Form V A
The Pretorian 1958


PBHS - INFORMATION SESSIONS

Pretoria Boys High School will be hosting information sessions at the following venues in February 2018.

Lowveld
Friday 9th February from 5pm at Mbombela Golf Course Lapa

Hoedspruit
Saturday 10th February from 10am at Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate Shopping Centre

All interested parents and boys are welcome!


LETTERS

Good day Old Boys,

I refer to our Association Newsletter Issue 23 for 2017.

Ivan Epstein, a blast from the past!!! (65 years - wow!!). The photo of our van Riebeeck Efficiency Platoon ( indeed winners of the competition) ah! the memories.

I have added a few other photos which should be of interest to our era.

One is the original Pretoria News clipping of our return, the names of the cadets were supplied by Ivan. (top image)

The second is at Belmont siding, where our train stopped to take on water, as I remember it. The names L to R:- Opposition cadet - Gibbs - Myself - another opposition cadet - Vlismas - Isaacson - Fair - not sure - Groenewald (with mouth organ) - Howell - two unidentifiable cadets behind Ivan - Stead - and Ritson at the bottom.

Then there is the original H M S Pinafore 1951 programme with all the signatures - interesting on wading through them to find a Wheeler (under Chorus of Maidens).

Enjoy,
Ron Sutherland (1952)


REGALIA

Purchase regalia items via the Pretoria Boys High School Old Boys' Association online shop on the AlumNet portal or email info@pbhsob.com for more information.

Please note Regalia is only available to PBHSOB Association Life Members.

An exciting new range of "Old Boyz" items are now available. This range is available to all Old Boys of Pretoria Boys High School. Life Members of the PBHSOB Association can purchase these items online.


OLD BOYS IN THE NEWS
PBHSOB

India vs South Africa: Maturity beyond age makes Aiden Markram a special talent for Proteas

Aiden Markram's place is not very far from the SuperSport Park. He was born and brought up here, went to the Pretoria Boys High School, grew up watching cricket from the grass banks of Centurion..

Read More >>

Lock: Zim's doubles genius in the making

His year ended in brilliant fashion. Six consecutive doubles titles on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Men's Circuit in two different continents, 23 wins on the trot and towering Zimbabwe tennis player Benjamin Lock is justifiably a proud man.

Read More >>


Are you interested in joining the
Pretoria Boys High School Old Boys'Association?
Not sure if you are a Life Member?

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION >>>

or email
info@pbhsob.com


BOYS' HIGH BOOKIE
PBHSOB

Some smart guy attends the hours-long end-of-term assembly and then chooses to bunk registration: 1600:1
Wikus shouting "Twynie!" before Stan kicks: 2:1
Stan converting the kick: 1˝ :1
Being forced to play senior inter-house rugby, even though you're a Form III hockey player: 130:1
Your science teacher saying that the work is boring and that he or she would rather be sleeping: 20 000:1
Mr. McBride saying, "Boys will be boys," when you get send to his office: 999999:1
Boarders giving dayboys food: Infinity:1
Finding that all the boarders in your class have copied their homework: 3:1
Finding that all the boarders in your class have actually done their homework: 30:1
Accidently singing the school song wrong, and the whole school turning and staring at you: 500:1
Admitting that you have a girlfriend at Girls' High: 4:1
Walking past Foxy's classroom and deciding to lift someone so that it looks as if he is swimming across the top windows: 30:1
The 50 years on reunion speaker speaking WAY too long: 1:1
Being tired of these old jokes: 2:1
Reading this far anyway: 1:1

- Boys Highlights, November 2008.


PRETORIA BOYS HIGH SCHOOL
SPORTS RESULTS
PRETORIA BOYS HIGH SCHOOL
FIXTURES & EVENTS

Click here for the latest school sports results

  • 25 - 27 January 2018 - Basketball: U15 AIJS Tournament
  • 27 January 2018 - Athletics: AGN League @ TUKS/Pilditch
  • 3 February 2018 - Sport vs St Albans @ St. Albans | Swimming: Alan Burt 10 Schools gala @ St Stithians)
  • 9 February - 11 February 2018 - Squash: St Andrews Festival @ St. Andrews Bloemfontein
  • 10 February 2018 - Athletics: Sentral Top 10 & ANG league @ TUKS | Cricket vs Randburg & Northcliff | Water Polo vs St Peters & Crawford Lonehill
  • 15 - 18 February 2018 - Basketball: U14 Jeppe Tournament
  • 16 - 18 February 2018 - Water Polo: PBHS Festival
  • 17 February 2018 - Athletics: D4 Championships @ Menlo Park | Cricket vs Grey College

Click here for more


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PBHSOB Association Online Shop.

ALUMNET PORTAL
PBHSOB

The Pretoria Boys High School Old Boys' Association has recently teamed up with a company called AlumNet and most of you should have received an email or SMS from the new system encouraging you to log in. Click here to access the Alumnet Portal

All Old Boys will be able to register or log in and update their details on the new portal. As a Life Member of the Pretoria Boys High School Old Boys Association this exciting new platform will also allow you to:

  • Purchase regalia from our online shop within the system
  • Network and send messages to other Life Members
  • Place an advertisement in the classifieds section
  • Take part in forum discussions
  • And many more features

If you have not yet received any communication regarding the new online platform or are having a problem logging in, please email info@pbhsob.com


UPCOMING OLD BOY EVENTS
  • 17 MARCH 2018
    PBHSOB CHESA NYAMA
  • 16 MAY 2018
    PBHSOB ASSOCIATION AGM
  • 18 MAY 2018
    60 YEAR ON REUNION
  • 2 JUNE 2018
    ANNUAL OLD BOYS DINNER

If you have any interesting news items and photos or just want to let your fellow Old Boys know what you have been up to after school, please send all information to info@pbhsob.com

This e-mail is proudly sponsored by PBHSOB