Dear Old Boy

A reminder that the 99th Annual Old Boys Dinner will be held on Saturday, 2 June 2018 in the Central Dining Hall at Pretoria Boys High School.

We will do our best to accommodate all last minute bookings.

Old Boy Patrick Conroy (1990) will be the Guest Speaker at this year's Annual Dinner. Patrick Conroy is a media executive with 20 years' experience in broadcasting.

He worked for Talk Radio 702, e.tv launched eNCA and now consults to Cell C.

Based on his book Everest Untold, Patrick Conroy reflects on key lessons in Communication.

Conroy was the only journalist with the First SA Everest Expedition.

He reported live from base camp for Talk Radio 702 as the tragedies unfolded on the mountain that year.

Copies of his book will be available for purchase at the Annual Dinner at a cost of R250.00 each.

James Orr addressing the school at the pipe band assembly last year.

Old Boy and current Pretoria Boys High School Master James Orr will be the Master of Ceremonies at the Annual Old Boys' Dinner this year.

James attended Pretoria Boys High School from 2005-2009 and was a boarder in Solomon House. After school he studied a BEd and was employed by the school at the start of 2016. James is currently an assistant Housemaster in Solomon House and teaches Life Sciences and Natural Sciences.

He received Full Colours for Piping as well as the Drummers' Efficiency Trophy and Paula Whitehead Cup in his Matric year. In 2017 he took over as Master in Charge of the Pipe Band from Rob Blackmore.


If you need assistance to make a booking for the Annual Dinner:
Click here to download a PDF guide.
Alternatively please contact the PBHSOB Association office at
info@pbhsob.com or 012 460 2246 x 200 for further support.

DATE: Saturday, 2 June 2018
VENUE: Central Dining Hall, Pretoria Boys High School
TIME: 18:30 for 19:00
DRESS CODE: Black Tie or Lounge Suit
INCLUDES: Three course dinner & refreshments: welcoming drink, wine, malt and cool drinks
ENTERTAINMENT: Guest Speaker - Patrick Conroy
Pretoria Boys High School Musical Item
Per Person: R420.00
Per table booking (10 people) R3800.00
STAG DINNER: This event is only open to Old Boys of Pretoria Boys High School


Old Boys are invited to attend assembly at Pretoria Boys High School on Friday, 1 June 2018 at 7:45. Old Boys who will be attending are requested to please wear a jacket and tie and RSVP to the school at pr@boyshigh.com. Tea will be served in the Media Centre afterwards.

If you would like to purchase an Old Boys' Tie please click here >>


On Saturday 2 June 2018 Old Boys are invited to support the Pretoria Boys High School hockey and rugby teams as they compete against Jeppe High School for Boys at Pretoria Boys High School during the day.

The first XI Hockey will be at 11:00 on Hill Astro and the first XI Rugby match at 13:15 on Brooks Field.

Old Boys who are travelling from around the country to attend any of these events and are in need of accommodation will be pleased to know that reduced rates for Old Boys over this weekend have been arranged at a number of establishments in Tshwane.

Please email info@pbhsob.com for more information.

60 YEAR ON 2018 - CLASS OF 1958
BACK ROW STANDING: (L to R) – Ray Vincent, Derek Brown, Giles Battiss, Tom Brown (1962), Stan Brown, Andrew Loughor-Clarke, Glen Terry, Robert van der Velde, Paul Hoogstad.
MIDDLE ROW STANDING : (L to R) – Michael Brett, Clifford Bentley, Anton Thompson, Thys Botha, Michael Belling, Eric Schmikl, David De Klerk, Wolfgang Schmikl, David von Broembsen,
Theo De Wet, Felix Starker.
FRONT ROW SEATED : (L to R) – Peter de Jager, Tony Birrell, Rodney Falkson, Dudley Aylward, Neville Holmes, Tony Murray (Head Prefect 1958), Allister Rogan, Clyde Campbell, Otto Bolweg, Simon Bold

The morning of 18th May 2018 dawned with a clear blue sky, but a very chilly easterly breeze reminded us that winter had arrived and lead to thoughts that any self respecting pensioner wouldn't out of choice venture into this environment if it weren't for a really worthy cause. But this cause, being the celebration of the Class of 1958's Diamond Jubilee - 60 years on - made the sacrifice worthwhile.

From 08H00 on that chilly morning a group of 30 Old boys and 11 wives gathered at the Sommerville Cricket Pavilion from whence the school provided a shuttle bus to transport them to the lawn in front of Solomon house.

Here they received their nametags and over a warming cup of tea or coffee had an opportunity to meet and greet their old classmates. At 09h00 precisely the Headmaster, Mr Tony Reeler welcomed us from the steps of Solomon House and gave us an outline of the programme for the day.

Considering the various physical capabilities of the group we were given the option of a leisurely walking tour of the school grounds which Mr Reeler led down Main Drive, along Jacaranda Drive past Loch Armstrong, sports fields, the central dining room the swimming pool and the heated water polo pool before returning to the school up Polly Shorts. Their tour ended with a visit to the School Museum. The group were hugely impressed by the development of the school grounds and sporting facilities.

Those who felt they could not manage the walk went on a tour, which included the School Museum and the very impressive "Bill Schroder Centre" which encompasses the schools media centre, library and Music Department.

Both groups then met in the Library for tea and eats at 11h00. Here there was time for some fellowship, viewing of a display of photographs, including class and team photographs, casual photographs of several schoolmasters and two group photographs from the 1958 Matric Dance and reminiscing about our schooldays.

We were requested to take our seats, in the gallery of the magnificent new hall, by 11h55 as Assembly starts at 12 noon sharp.

The boys sang the school song "Tis here we learn to live" after which the headmaster dealt with school matters, the previous weeks sports results, details of the weekends sporting fixtures and welcomed the Class of 1958 to their 60 Year Reunion. In his opening remarks of his address to the school Mr Reeler made a very thought provoking statement that some of the boys seated there that day may in 2078 be seated where we were now, attending their own 60 year reunion. 2078 seems to be so far in the future and yet the sixty years since we were at school seem to have passed so swiftly.

After the headmaster's address the School Orchestra and cast of the current school production of "The Pirates of Penzance" entertained us. Two extracts from the operetta were performed – "I am The Model of a Modern Major General" and "A Policeman's Lot is not a Happy One". Both very competently performed and indicative of the high standard achieved by the school's music department.

The headmaster then introduced our Head Prefect of 1958, Tony Murray, to address the assembly.

The following is an extract from his address:

"The School has over more than 100 years developed a very special personality which makes it unique.
It has built up traditions and values, which are really at the heart of a liberal education.
The school has believed in encouraging the development of all-rounders, rather than making a fetish of examination results or sporting achievements. It has given every opportunity for the development of the individual, but it has never felt that the interests of the individual should be put before the interests of the team. As John Smit, Head Prefect in 1996 and former South African rugby captain, so aptly put it in a Founder's address to the School in 2017, the School gives boys "the best chance to be the best version of themselves"
The school has not set out to produce prototypes and there has always been room for the "characters", both boy or master. Twenty per cent of the boys at the School may be prefects or excel at some activity, while 80% are common folk. Boys High creates the vital sense of belonging for both groups".

The values which have made the School what it is are not values that have been contrived in order to meet particular circumstances. They are eternal values which ensure that equity and decency will prevail. These include, honour, humility, integrity, loyalty, mutual respect, dependability, responsibility, and tolerance. Also the ability to engage in healthy robust debate, and to appreciate a different point of view. In order to do this, one has to have developed the difficult task of listening. Desmond Abernethy headmaster from 1956 to 1973 frequently stated, "that a man with knowledge speaks, while one with wisdom listens". Finally in terms of values it is important to approve what is worthy of approval and to condemn fearlessly that which deserves to be condemned.

This was followed by the singing of the Hymn "O God Our Help in Ages Past". The Scripture reading was done by Dudley Aylward and finally "Forty Years On" was sung. The words of the song really hit home under these circumstances and the familiar refrain heralded the end of an era with many a moist eye or silent tear shed by our group.

After assembly we gathered in front of the school building where a group photograph was taken and then we made our way down to the Sommerville Pavilion for lunch.

The duty of Master of Ceremonies at the lunch fell on Neville Holmes who acquitted himself very well indeed. He introduced our special guests for the day, Mr and Mrs Tony Reeler, Mr Bill Schroder, Mr and Mrs Tony Wilkes and Tiny Barnetson, and his wife Jan, who was representing the Class of 1959 who will be celebrating their 60 Year Reunion next year.

Neville then invited our classmate's resident artist and poet, Simon Bold, to come up and read a poem he had written especially for our reunion.

Simon's Poem:

PBHS 2018 Reunion,
Class of '58.

Silver, see-through hair,
bright future to the rear;
out of armchairs baring wares
of banter, conquest, bawd
and dusty souvenirs:
great lads,
old wags
bring bonhomie, elation
with chronic medication;
creaking rock-n-rollers,
amalgam in their molars,
making shaky hay
in achy shades of grey.

Mulled memories to trade,
pale sepia, school-made;
catch-up time and to distil
prized moments on ‘The Hill'.

Bless their constant compass,
abide their dodgy reign,
the nineteen-fifties rockers
are back at school again.

- Simon Bold.

One of Simon's etchings of the West Tower of the school building was reproduced on back of the lunch menu.

L-R: Neville Holmes, Stan Brown & Tom Brown, Allister Rogan

Thys Botha said Grace for us whereupon the starter for lunch was served. Anton Thompson proposed the toast to South Africa and Allister Rogan, resplendent in his Old Boys blazer, proposed a toast to absent friends. These included those who were unable to attend and the 44 classmates who are known to have passed on to higher service. Many of our number have moved locally or overseas and have become untraceable for this or other reasons, so it is difficult to know exactly how many are still with us.

Stan Brown, a retired Headmaster, who travelled all the way from New Zealand especially for this reunion, proposed the toast to the School. Stan was a member of the First Cricket team of 1958 and recalled a number of memories and incidents of his time in the team. There were, in fact, five members of the 1958 First XI present at this reunion.

The headmaster in his reply gave us another of his very insightful talks in which he shared some thoughts about leading an authentic life. When talking about people, being authentic has to do with being sincere. It is when our actions and words are the same as our beliefs and values. It's about being ourselves. Not an imitation of what we think we should be or have been told to be. It is generally accepted that people are really only truly authentic and perfectly honest when we are very young, before the age of six or seven, and then again towards the end of our lives. In between these extremes of age most of us are not truly authentic. Authenticity is a quality we should all aspire to achieve in our every day lives in dealing with others and be truly genuine, reliable, trustworthy and honest.

Tony Murray proposed a vote of thanks to Tony Reeler and the School for hosting the reunion. Thanks were also expressed to the Organising Committee for an outstanding job, well done, as well as Inge Paulsen-Liddle and the catering staff. The headmaster; Bill Schroder and Inge Paulsen-Liddle were presented with small gifts.

The floor was then open to anyone who would like to contribute. We heard from Dave von Broembsen, who related his experiences in emigrating to the USA and setting up a very successful water treatment business. Dave and his wife Diana, who live in Atlanta, Georgia, had travelled to Pretoria especially for this reunion.

Of course no reunion of ours would be complete without a word or three from Felix Starker who regaled us with anecdotes of his school days in which his father, the legendary Joe Starker, featured prominently. Much to the enjoyment of all old boys who still carry vivid memories of Old Joe.

The afternoon flew by and soon it was time to make our way up to the school buildings for the playing of the Last Post from the West Tower at 17H30. An event which takes place every day. Port and Sherry were served as the last rays of sun disappeared behind the pines and the haunting notes of the Last Post drifted across the buildings and grounds of our beloved school.

This brought an end to a day full of camaraderie and fellowship with our classmates. It was a very moving experience and there was an air of reluctance on behalf of the old boys to leave the school that evening knowing full well that it was very unlikely that we would meet again at a similar reunion.

- Derek Brown (1958)

L-R: Wolfgang Schmikl, Simon Bold, Ray Vincent, Felix Starker, Mary Vincent


The Annual General Meeting of the Pretoria Boys High School Old Boys' Association was held at the Pretoria High School Old Boys' Club, Hofmeyr Park, Lynnwood, Pretoria on Wednesday the 16th of May 2018.

The following Directors & Office Bearers have been appointed for 2018/2019:

Mr Jason Webber (Chairman)
Mr Memos Kavallineas (Vice-Chairman)
Mr Nick Alton (Hon. Treasurer)
Mr Geoff Meyer (Hon. Secretary)
Mr Rodney Bench
Mr Mike Carnie
Mr Quintin Eva
Mr Kyriacos Floudiotis
Mr Humphrey Lewis
Mr James Lourens
Mr Karabo Matang
Mr Eddie Penzhorn
Mr Eddie Shelwell
Mr Ben Viljoen
Mr Mike von Bardeleben

Additional Life Members and the Headmaster will be formally co-opted at the first Full Board Meeting in June.

Click here to read the 2018 Acting Chairman's Report.


Pretoria Boys High School Headmaster, Mr Tony Reeler will be attending a conference in Australia during the June / July school holidays this year and the following Old Boy gatherings have been arranged during his visit:

30 June 2018 - Sydney

Old Boys living in Sydney are invited to attend an Old Boys Dinner on Saturday 30 June 2018 at The Lord Dudley in Woollahra at 6pm.

For further information on the Sydney event and to RSVP, please contact Robin Freedman rimfreedman@gmail.com

4 July 2018 - Melbourne

Old Boys living in Melbourne are invited to attend an Old Boys Dinner on Saturday 4th July 2018 in the Heritage Room at Yarra Bend Gold Club at 6 for 6:30.

For further information on the Melbourne event and to RSVP, please contact Rob Blackmore robert.blackmore4@gmail.com

11 July 2018 - Gold Coast / Brisbane

Old Boys in these areas are encouraged to attend. Please email info@pbhsob.com for more information.

Parents, Friends and Family are invited to the National Highland Gathering and Celtic Market to be held on Saturday 16 June at PBHS.
Well done to Keaton Urquhart, Joshua Meisie, Christain Pretorius and Darryl Nyamayari who won the Pretoria Rotary Senior Inter-School Quiz competition, beating 31 teams from schools around Pretoria
Images & Text: PBHS


This year sees the 25th year of one of the school's most active societies, the Aeronautical Society of Boys High. Many past members have gone on to make a career in aviation or retained an interest in flying beyond their school years.

To celebrate a quarter of a century of this activity at the school, a dinner is being planned for the 20th October 2018.

Further details will be provided in due course, but if you are interested in attending, please reserve the date and also let John Illsley know if you are likely to attend, using the e-mail address john@boyshigh.com

Send us your news, stories and letters: info@pbhsob.com


Our school has been proven to possess quite a capacity for mystery and wonder. Year after year, rumours and myths infiltrate our conversations and shuffle themselves in amongst common REALs. Here are some things that might have had you wondering.

Mrs Holliday was a nuclear physicist
RANDOM - Mrs Holliday did, however, work as an elementary particle theoretical physicist. In her own words, this means that she was responsible for splitting the atom as opposed to building the bomb.

Mrs Sparrow can hypnotise people
REAL - Mrs Sparrow practiced as a psychologist for seven years before becoming a full-time teacher. She attained the skill of Hypnotherapy during her training at the Hypnotherapy Society of South Africa. She explains that it is used to access the subconscious rather than to entertain. Three friends and I were allowed the experience one afternoon in her Pollock classroom.

"The white blazer" is awarded to boys with honours for academic achievement, sport and a cultural activity.
RANDOM - A white blazer used to be awarded to achievers in secondary sports (everything besides rugby and cricket) during the 1950's but the concept was eventually discontinued. The rumoured white blazer for three combined honours, however, has never existed.

Mr Blackmore used to play drums for Cutting Jade.
REAL - Our modest geography and technology teacher used to be a member of the rocking local success story but was not on the bandwagon when they peaked with songs like "Ten Seconds" and "She Says". In fact, all of the original band members attended Boys High and matriculated in '96 and '97.

What is now known as Pollock Campus used to be a separate school.
REAL - Most of the buildings at Pollock used to form part of an English-medium art, ballet and music school, which was completely independent of Boys High (little wander that we have to descend a mountain on the way from English to Life Orientation). The school was separated from Boys High by a fence and it eventually merged with Pro Arte in Alphen Park.

Mrs Holliday was an Olympic medallist in the 200, hurdles event.
RANDOM - It seems that her European charisma has provoked the imaginations of far too many boys! Despite having a history crowned with athletic roots, Mrs Holliday has never competed in the Olympic games.

There used to be a smoking room for pupils at the School
VAGUE - Upon braving the question to Mr Illsley, I was answered with a reluctant "yehwellhmmaybedonthinkso" which disappeared into the staff room. It is possible that such a room was available to boarders long ago. If the idea ever existed, it must have been discontinued when smoking became bad for you.

The boss-skiv system is an age-old tradition of the School.
RANDOM - Most of the masters who are Old Boys cannot recall belonging to a matric or receiving their personal Form One. Thus us because the system was instituted only within the last 15 years. The initiation of boys used to be more underground than organised, but Form Ones have been tuck-shop couriers for longer that the span of living memory.

One of Jacon Zuma's sons attended Boys High.
REAL - Siyabonga Zuma would have matriculated from our school this year (2008 - Ed). His Boys High career ended abruptly when he left for Pinetown Boys High. Siyabonga is remembered as a likeable peer and the reasons for his departure are unknown to most.

There are horse hormones in hostel food.
RANDOM - We have all noticed the hairy necks and grunting noises that characterise many of our school's boarders but such accusations are usually stalled.

Boys High is haunted by the spirits of the departed.
OOOOOOH - There have been many countless claims of supranational activity at our school. One of the most famous myths is the ghost named Gamtoos. It is said that the markings on the walls in both fountain quads were created by Gamtoos's scratching hands as he tried to escape the purgatory of the school grounds. In Rissik House, there is a photo from which a boy named Graeme Mokkel is rumoured to disappear every midnight. This is somehow linked to the apparent apparition of an ominous black cat on S-bend. The snag in these myths us that they cannot be proven or disproven.

Barry-Jay van Wyk - Boys Highlights Number 10 - May 2008


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 must please email their queries to info@pbhsob.com


EXTRA TIME: Mark Fish goes on a trip down South Africa's memory lane

In this case it is for a good cause and so we are enlightened to see Mark Fish (1991) showing us soccer fans and media, which museums to visit.


Lowveld Air Show rocks the runway like never before

... Other aerial stunners included the Huey helicopters, the jet display and aerial acrobatics by the country's leading pilots, including Nigel Hopkins (1990)...


On Friday 25 May 2018 the annual PBHSOB vs st Albans Old Boys game took place.

The young men in Red, White and Green took on a very experienced st Albans team, with a few of them even flying up from Cape Town. It was a very physical and close game, but in the end the Red, White and Green men came out victorious to win 26-17

A big thank you to all the Old Boys who played as well as all the Old Boys that came down to support.

Next up is the Maritzburg College Old Boys game... Until then... 2-3 Boys High!

- Stephen Eagle

Old Boys Ashley Kemp (2013) and Mark Chong (2016) are members of the Tuks Varsity Cup Hockey team who beat Stellenbosch 5-0 in the final. Gilbert de Villiers, English teacher at Boys High assistant coach .

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


or email


The Pretoria Boys High School Old Boys Association is pleased to announce the following advertising options available on our new AlumNet Portal:

Home Page Sponsor
Purchase one of five rotating spaces on the PBHSOB Association AlumNet home page for R600.00 per month.

Title Sponsor
Displayed at the bottom of the home page and rotate with other sponsors within the online portal. Purchase this prime advertising space for R700.00 per month.

Please click here or email info@pbhsob.com for more information


The Lowveld Dinner was once again a great success. The final numbers were 36 which was sadly a little less than expected as a result of unforeseen circumstances at the last minute.

An informal finger-dinner was enjoyed, followed by an update on the affairs of the School by Mr. Reeler. After that a few entertaining yarns were revisited to the enjoyment of all.

Kind regards,
Kuen Pappas


The Cape Town Branch of the Pretoria Boys High Old Boys' Association will hold its Annual Function on Tuesday 5 June 2018 at Rondebosch Golf Club.

The Headmaster Mr. Tony Reeler will travel from Pretoria for the dinner. Jacket and tie would be appropriate.

A dinner has been organised at a cost of R225.00, payable before by EFT. Drinks at the bar will be for your own account. Hopefully you will not have to bring your own ice!

Cost: R225.00 per person
Drinks: For your own account
Dress Code: Jacket & Tie
Time: 19:00

Account Details:
Name: Pretoria Boys High School Old Boys Association CT
Bank: First National Bank
Branch: Constantia. Code: 250148
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 62216338641
Reference: Surname & Last Year at School

When paying, please put your surname and year in which you left school as the reference

Please send RSVP and copy of bank EFT by e-mail to mark@gleeson.com

Your assistance in contacting some of your old schoolmates and encouraging them to attend will ensure an enjoyable evening among old school friends.


An Old Boys' Dinner will be held for the Overberg Old Boys and their partners in Hermanus on Wednesday 6th June 2018.

The Headmaster Mr. Tony Reeler will travel from Pretoria to attend the dinner. We look forward to sharing the evening with you.

Venue: La Pentola Restaurant
Date: 6th June 2018
Time: 18:30 for 19:00
Cost: R 250.00 per person (includes wine at tables). Cash bar available.
Dress Code: Jacket and Old Boy's Tie for the men. Ladies to dress accordingly.
More information: Ed Meyer 082 880 7604


Dear Inge

Thank you for the invitation to the 99th Old Boys Dinner on 2nd June.Unfortunately I am unablie to attend, please give my apologies and best wishes for a successful Dinner to Geoff Meyer.

I so enjoy reading the Old Boys Newsletters. The recent ones featuring Peter Bantock, Murray Hofmeyr and Keith Gibbs were of particular interest.

Peter and Murray and their partners were at my 21st birthday party/dance which was held at Hofmeyr Park in 1954

Murray was our Old Boys cricket captain in the 1950s and an excellent captain he was. He was unlucky not to be chosen for Jack Cheetham's Springbok side that went to Australia.

I first met Keith Gibbs in about 1947 when he was scoring for Old Boys cricket where I was a spectator and my Dad was Umpire at Loftus Versveld. In those days spectators and teams sat under trees that lined Lynwood Road side of the field.

The newsletters bring back so many happy memories of my time at the School and Hofmeyr Park. Thank you.

Kind Regards
Robin Shorney (1950)

What an absolutely brilliant News Letter in every respect !!!!! Well done !

I was a PBHS for 1946 and 1947, then sadly transferred to Potch BHS, to finish school, which however was also brilliant.
Those memories of my time at PBHS are constantly with me.
In my memiors I have covered that time with 11 pages.
The most outstanding memory was when Mac was going through our cycle marks in front of the Class and got to my Art mark. He stopped and said "There is a mistake here!" He left the Class, went up the stairs to the Art Class, which was above our Class and the following discussion took place all heard by the Class and the Teacher Mr Heystek "Walter (BATTIS) you have made a mistake with Mouton's mark !"
Walter replied and said " No that is not a mistake " "Walter how can a kid get 32 out of 30 ?"
The reply came "Well let me see, he got 30 out of 30 for all his tasks, watercolor, sculpture, pencil drawing, and let me think, oh yes, twice I said to him that if he collected my cream bun and Coke from the Tuck-shop I will give you an extra mark on your Cycle mark"
"Walter don't be stupid, I am changing it to 30 for the Cycle" said Mac.
"Mac if you change that I will resign !!!!!"

Well to my knowledge that is the only time in PBHS history that a kid got 32 for a Cycle, Kind regards and keep up the good work !

Carl Mouton (1947)

I don't think I have enjoyed a newsletter and its content from anywhere or anyone as much as the latest... the pirates piece and experience of two current master who were once donned the outfits was brilliant!!!! And then it took me 30 mins just to navigate the 'detention' article.... Finally through tears of laughter...I had to pass it on to my eldest daughter to finish reading it to me... Absolute gold...

I cannot thank you enough for the joy this issue has brought. I fear however the benchmark for future issues is higher than a hippie in Colorado.

I am also looking forward to meeting Mr Reeler in July...here in Melbourne...

Can I ask him to bring me sandpaper?...i can't find the exact type I need locally for the next domestic club season here ;)...

God speed PBHS and to those who put this letter together...top marks!

Best wishes.

Gareth Rogers (Arcadia 1998)

Dear PBHOB folk,

I have been meaning to write to you for many months now just to say 'Hi, I'm still alive!'

Although a joke, it also reminds me of sad news I have gleaned recently about two of my school friendship group who passed away suddenly. These two are, Ray Stroud and his younger brother Athol. I had been searching for Ray as, although we had made contact by email, this suddenly ceased. I searched for some time and finally traced one of their family members as well as a friend and the information I got from them is that they both died in the same year, 2015, Athol before Ray. I was really shocked at this as it all seems cruel as well as premature. They were both very lively and Ray, who was one of my best buddies, had a lovely eccentric sense of humour. I remember that while he worked at the weather station in Durban we exchanged a lot of Goon show type letters, but he trumped the lot by sending me what he called 'The famous one-page letter'; it was hand-written on a telex roll!

What really prompted me to write to you was the address to the form I's by Mr. K. Mansfield on Thursday, 18 January 2018, about why you should send your son to Pretoria Boys High School. Excellent stuff; it could become the school's Desiderata. I remember many similar remarks made by Mr Desmond Abernethy, but one sticks out above all when he said: 'Remember, you are always a representative of this school even when you are out of uniform'. It is a message I gave to my team when I was in a clinical leadership role in the NHS here in the UK. Whatever they do, say, write, or do not do, will say something about the team. I hope that some of Mr Abernethy's wisdom rubbed off on them!

On to other good news. I recently had a clinical handbook published. What an extra-ordinary feeling of relief and elation. Naturally, it was not easy; getting something published it seems, requires a load of cheek and a degree of pushiness. I suppose this amounts to a belief in the material one produces.

What I did not know was that once the book had been published, my publisher had submitted it for scrutiny by the British Medical Association for their book awards in the Health and Social Care category for 2016. Although not scooping the prize, it got onto the short list and my wife and I attended the awards in London with the publishers. An absolutely amazing experience, although I think Mr Abernethy may have frowned his special frown at the colour of my shoes!

It is interesting that I felt the same kind of elation when I found that a poem I had written (Recollections) and sent on to you had been published in the Phobian. I include a copy for you as at one point, there was some confusion as to the author - it is I! (Please feel free to use it whenever you want to). The background photo is also one of mine taken I think in 1962. Click here to read Recollections.

Just to round off, for you who do not know, my wife, Lynette and I retired to the Isle of Skye, a beautiful wilderness area of the Highlands of Scotland where we had our own wood frame house built. Did I say 'retired', well that is not entirely accurate as we also run a small studio holiday let here. As well as oiling the somewhat squeaky financial wheels, we love sharing the view with our guests. And, it keeps us out of mischief.

Best regards,
Keith Butler (Form VD, 1962)


After matriculating at PBHS in 1971 I went to sea with Safmarine as a Navigating Officer. I became 2 nd Mate and was Navigator on their passenger vessel SA Vaal. On one trip I met Bob Fair ( PBHS Vice Principal) who came to the bridge for a bridge visit) .I met my wife on that ship.

On leaving the sea I became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Shipbrokers London ( a Shipbroker) and an Associate of the Institute of Arbitrators London ( Marine Lawyer) .

I worked for various Charterers, Operators and Shipowners worldwide in senior capacities over many years.

Most of the friends that I started out with in Safmarine in 1972 are Captain's at sea and have been for many years now. I went into the more commercial / legal side of the Shipping Industry worldwide after meeting my wife and coming ashore . I was told by management that if I stayed at sea with Safmarine I would have had my command / been Captain in my late 20's early 30's . I left the sea though and have enjoyed the commercial side of the Shipping Industry immensely including family life.

If I lived in Pretoria I would love to give a talk on the Worldwide Shipping Industry? at one of your functions. This is something that few people know about.

My good friend Paul Le Sueur (PBHS year 1970) went to sea , has been Captain for many years, and still is. He was the person that convinced me to go to sea.

I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wife Katrine. We have 5 married children and 11 grandchildren.

I have fond memories of my days at PBHS.

We emigrated to Canada in 1982 but I have returned for visits to SA several times over the years.

Kind regards,
Philip Theunissen (1971)


I thought that this might be of interest to you. We thoroughly enjoyed the occasion!

During the recent Marion Island takeover during April/May, there were 3 PBHS Old Boys on this sub-Antarctic island. These were Michael Voysey (2010), Stephan Keys (2006) and Rowan Jordaan (2010).

Each year Marion Island plays host to an over-wintering team. Members of the team have various jobs during the year and amongst this team is a group of scientists from various academic institutions. Work conducted by these scientists varies depending on the species that are studied. Some of the work includes Southern Elephant seal censusing, seal pup weighing, killer whale observations, penguin and albatross monitoring and attaching GPS tracking devices onto many of these species.

Two of the three Old Boys on the island, Michael and Stephan, are part of the current over-wintering team (Marion 75) whilst Rowan was part of the previous over-wintering team (Marion 74). Rowan was a Killer whaler/sealer for the Marine Island Marine Mammal Programme at the University of Pretoria. Michael has the same position. Stephan is a birder for the Marine Apex Predator Research Unit at the Nelson Mandela University.

What makes this combination of Old Boys interesting is that all attended Solomon House. Stephan was in Matric when Rowan and Micheal were in Form I in 2006, Rowan and Micheal went on to matriculate in 2010 and have remained friends ever since. What a great experience to have the three of us experience Marion for a short period of time, particularly how the 'tides have turned' with Stephan now being considerably shorter than his two Form I's. We are looking forward to the experiences Stephan and Mike will have during their year.

Attached are a few pictures of the three of us just before the ship left the island. Michael is wearing the blue Land Rover t-shirt, Stephan the blue/grey hoodie and buff and Rowan the black golf shirt.

I hope this story is of interest to you. Please shout if there is any more info you would like or have any questions you would like answered.

Thank you for the great newsletters! I always look forward to them!

Kind regards,
Rowan Jordaan (2010)


I will always remember how strange the School House method of getting up in the morning seemed to me when I first came to this school. A "rising" bell is rung at quarter to seven. This noise appears to have no effect on anybody. At five to seven a new boy shouts "Time, gentlemen, time!" - At this stage a few might roll over and stretch. Shortly after seven the new boy shouts, "five more, gentlemen, five more" and then goes to each "gentleman" and shakes him very gently until he hears a grunt or some similar noise coming from under the blankets - a few early birds now start getting dressed. A few minutes before quarter past seven he shouts, "Three more, gentlemen, three more" - a few more begin to stir.

The breakfast bell at a quarter past seven, however, has an electrical effect on the whole house. Everybody flies out of bed at high speed and start getting dressed with frantic haste. The fine art which the seniors of the house have cut this process down to, is what used to fascinate me most of all.

Among the boys with less experience, however, there is absolute chaos. Their shoe laces break and they go running about in despair looking for clothes which they could have sworn were next to their beds.

I remember, as well that it boosted my ego considerably by being called a "gentleman" during my first year. This terrible error was noticed and corrected by Thompson this year and the new boys are now woken to the call of "five more, scum, five more."

- H. R. CABLE, Form IV B - The Pretorian 1958


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  • 2 June 2018 - Rugby & Hockey vs Jeppe (H)
  • 9 June 2018 - Rugby & Hockey vs St. Stithians (H)
  • 16 June 2018 - PBHS Highland Gathering
  • 22 June 2018 - End of Term 2

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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



13/5/18. A short note to advise that my brother, Brian, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday morning. He had been receiving chemotherapy for the past 3 months. He never recovered from the virus or infection which seemed to have enveloped him these past few weeks. Craig, his eldest son from Sweden, and his ever-loving wife Patsy, were with him.

Vale Brian,
God bless, Anthony

Click here to read a full obituary >>


On Thursday morning (17 May 2018) at 1:20am my dad passed away. He went very peacefully and was surrounded by people who loved and cared for him.

Kind Regards
Rein Hofmeyr


Good day,

It is with sadness that I inform all Pretoria Boys' High School old boys of Tshenolo Nathi Seripe's passing. He matriculated in 2003 and joined the SA Navy in 2005, where he studied Nautical Science through the University of Stellenbosch.

He will be laid to rest on Saturday 12th May 2018 in Johannesburg. His funeral service will take place at the Westdene Recreational Centre, Park Lane, Johannesburg at 8am.

He is survived by his daughter Akia and fiance Makgotso.

Sibusiso Mjikeliso





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