Dear Old Boy

David and Graeme Hedding matriculated in 1998. As Rissik House boarders, Graeme recalls that the House Masters Liam Webster, Peter Franken and Dr van der Watt left a lasting impression on him during his time at Boys High, "from the imparting of knowledge in my education to setting an appropriate example to follow as a young gentlemen. " David resonates that the "Rissik House Masters at that time were always fair Masters who instilled in me a sense of right and wrong." He admits he was always interested in Geography as a school subject and Peter Franken and Elwyn van den Aardweg inspired him greatly.

David recalls that one of his fondest memories at Boys High was the entire dorm bunking out of hostel to go slide on the covers of the various cricket pitches. "It was always great fun! I'm sure the prefects and masters allowed us to get away with it because we must have sounded like a herd of elephants trying to get out of hostel!"

Graeme accounts that as a boarder, one cannot ignore a memory involving food, and once a week at breakfast they were served Welsh rarebit with toast which was a standing favourite!

Rissik House Form V 1998
(L-R) Standing: C O'Flaherty, P Harrison, J Middel, H Liebenberg, R Eva, A Vink B Linsell, C Parton, M Boshoff, S Bowring.
Seated: G Otto, B Jedrijevich, C Holt, G Hedding, Mr L Webster, T Bannatyne, D Hedding, K Sekgobela, R Haak

"I think beyond my parents the school has had the most direct and profound impact on me as an individual." - Graeme Hedding

Both Graeme and David were Rissik House and school prefects. David received half colours for cross country in Form III and Graeme received half colours for Academics, was the 3rd XV Rugby captain and received the Headmaster's award in 1998.

One of David's fondest sporting memories at Boys High was kicking a penalty on the final whistle to win the 3rd Team rugby game 8-6 against Afrikaans Hor Seunskool in front of both schools. "In 1998, the 3rd team rugby game was held on the Friday before the Big Derby weekend so the subsequent pitch invasion was something unreal. My other fondest sporting memory was sharing the field that day, and many others, with my twin brother. Since I played fly-half, it was always great to have Graeme as my scrum-half."

School Prefects 1998
(L-R) Back row: G Schmikl, C Meyer, C Holt, G Hedding
Middle row: G Zietsman, B van Wyk, F Olivier, F D'Oliveira, K Sekgobela, G Gilbert, R Haak, B Jadrijevich, D Hedding
Front row: G Brosnan, W Kuit, T Lagonikos, M Agostini, D Sherwood (Deputy Head Prefect), T Bannatyne (Head Prefect), S van der Post, T Michaeletos, S
Dahlmann, Clinton Zerf

David obtained a BSc (Geoinformatics) in 2002, followed by a BSc (Hons) in Geography in 2003, an MSc (Geography) in 2006 and a PhD (Geography) in 2014 from the University of Pretoria. David is an Associate Professor in Physical Geography at the University of South Africa and has conducted research in the Antarctic, on sub-Antarctic Marion Island, where he lived for 14 months, and on Round Island, north of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. He recently returned from research trips to the Southern Alps of New Zealand and the Altai Mountains of Siberia, Russia and will be travelling to China later on in the year to investigate landscape evolution on passive margins.

"Boys High taught me to have an enquiring mind and to explore. I guess this is what led me into the field of Physical Geography and these traits have always helped me on my research expeditions. " - David Hedding

Graeme obtained an undergraduate degree in B.Com Accounting Sciences from the University of Pretoria in 2001, an Honours degree & Certificate in the Theory of Accounting in 2003 and completed his articles at Ernst & Young and registered as a Chartered Accountant with SAICA in 2007. Graeme has worked with Ernst & Young as an external auditor since 2004 and will have completed 15 years of service at the end of this year. In that time he has worked in four different countries: Johannesburg/Pretoria in RSA, Calgary in Canada, San Jose in the USA and is currently working in Melbourne, Australia.

Graeme Hedding (left) and David Hedding (right) at Milford Sound, New Zealand (March 2018).

Graeme regards Pretoria Boys High as an excellent school with a deep history of producing fine young gentlemen who are separated from other school kids by the highest standards of discipline, ethics and good old fashioned manners. "Being a Boys High boy means you excel in all spheres of Academics, Sport and Cultural. What is important is that the school offers a plethora of opportunities to all boys with many and varied interests and allows any boy to excel to any level that they might achieve whilst enjoying the experience and improving their education."

I am comfortable with the school not necessarily having the best rugby team in the country, it is far more important that the school can field 30 rugby teams or multiple teams of any sport against other schools; while it is the quality of the education through the academics, sporting and cultural activities that ultimately define Boys High boys later on in life and result in good standing members of society who contribute wherever they stay.

Boys High has ultimately become a tremendous export for the country with many Old Boys residing overseas and making meaningful impacts in those countries/communities."

Amongst other hobbies, both brothers enjoy riding their mountain and road bikes in their free time.

"The school taught me a lot about discipline and working hard but, more importantly, it made me realise that people have various talents and there was a place for everyone at Boys High."- David Hedding

The Palace of Anthony Exposed - PHOTO: MR J ILLSLEY - The Pretorian 1988

An athletic young teacher called Paul
Who swam, ran, cycled and played ball
Fell down on his knees
When they cut down his trees
His hide-out exposed to them all

P.J.K - The Pretorian 1988

Prepping for class - Paul Anthony getting pumped up.
PHOTO: ANDRE UYS IVB - The Pretorian 1988


The 12th Annual Eastern Cape Dinner will be held on 24 August 2018. Pretoria Boys High School Headmaster, Mr Reeler will travel down from Pretoria to attend the function. Old Boys in the area are encouraged to attend.

Date: 24 August 2018
Time: 19:00 for 19:30
Venue: Old Grey Sports Club, 2 Lennox Street, Glendinningvale, Port Elizabeth
Price per person: TBC - Cash bar available
Dress: Smart Casual
Please RSVP to Mark: mark@rcgins.co.za or 064 616 7681


Mammalis Jockalis: A very common species at the School, obsessed with rugby and/or their muscles.

Mammalis Megajockalis: A sub-species of the Mammalis Jockalis who are found to sleep with their rugby balls under their pillows.

Quantamis Physicistem: A very clever species at Boys High, generally seen wearing academic blazers and staying away from sunlight.

Iamanwedopolis: This is a species about as common as the Mamalis Jockalis. This generally tends to even out the natural scale at Pretoria Boys High. They are often characterised by large glasses and their tendency to use words and phrases such as "RAM" and "I'm going to Megabyte you and it's going Gigahertz."

Smokeriferis Dudeimis: This particular species feels very at home at Boys High. This is largely due to the fact that their natural habitat consists of anything containing bushes and shrubbery, and at Boys High there is a lot of that. They have highly developed reflex action which enables them to take off at a great speed in any direction when trouble (a teacher or prefect) approaches.

Kleptomaniacalisem:A dangerous species at Boys High. When one walks past, make sure your wallet is empty.

Lostdrifteronalis: This species can be found drifting aimlessly along corridors and staring at walls. They are, generally a rarer form of the Smokeriferis Dudeimis. Over the centuries this species has developed a handy technique of being able to sneak up on people without their noticing. This can be particularly dangerous if the Lostdrifteronalis has inherited certain characteristics from the Kleptomaniacalisem.

Mediamonitoral: In general this species is fairly harmless out in the open. In their preferred habitat, the Media Centre, however, they become quite aggressive and territorial. This is most probably out of protection for their young, the Books.

Generalokenessism: This species makes up the backbone of the School and is a vital part of the ecosystem. They are often mistaken for the Mammalis Jockalis of the Smokeriferis Dudeimis.

Frigginmentalcrazyass: The Frigginmentalcrazyass is a species at Boys High that you don't want to meet in a dark alley at night. They can be found throwing large rocks at people smaller than they are and punching boys at random, as a sign of affection. A good counter-attack when face-to-face with the Frigginmentalcrazyass is the foetal position.

LUCAS VAN NIEKERK - Boys Highlights Issue 10, May 2018


The Pretoria High School Old Boys' Cricket Club will be hosting a golf day on Friday 17 August 2018 at Wingate Country Club. R 2200.00 per fourball and R3000.00 per fourball with a pro. Advertising on tee boxes for a mere R500.00!

Bookings and more information: Hugo Nel hugonel58@gmail.com



The Melbourne branch of the Old Boys Association enjoyed its inaugural dinner on the evening of the 4th of July, at the Yarra Bend Golf Club.

It presented an opportunity for 18 Old Boys, the Headmaster, and his wife to meet and share a few stories and memories from the great school on the hill. The range of guests varied from the class of 1970 to 2004.

The evening started with a few drinks, followed by a welcome to the guests and a few lines read out of the 1989 Pretorian. The Headmaster, Tony Reeler, was then introduced and given an opportunity to say a few words and deliver an informative and very descriptive presentation about the current status of education in South Africa, the school, and its hopes and aspirations for the future. Tony's address drew attention to some of the challenges facing not only the school, but education in general. He continued to inform us of some of the achievements and successes that the school has recently enjoyed, and developments that have taken place on campus. I think that everybody present was reminded, once again, of the enormous responsibility and dynamic nature of the Headmaster's role, along with the staff, at a school like Pretoria Boys High - a school that is often seen as a beacon of hope in an unpredictable environment. There was also a sense of reassurance, largely due to the proactive and forward-thinking nature of the school and its leadership. We were reminded that Boys High is a school for the common man, and that its most important asset is still the 'boys high boy'.

After the formalities came to an end, we continued to throw names, suburbs, houses, masters, places and stories around, often with a common thread or link between groups of Old Boys. It being a week night, we ended at a reasonable time, having made new memories and friends, all of whom, at some stage, walked the same corridors and grounds.

Rob Blackmore


Congratulations to Graham Mitchell who qualified to participate in the SA Physics Olympiad. He was also selected as the top performer in the recent National Science Olympiad where he came first in SA in the Physics section, which qualified him to participate in the London International Youth Science Forum which takes place in London next week.

Graham has also qualified for the third round of the South African Mathematics Olympiad which consists of the top 100 candidates from the second round - a very good achievement indeed!

Graham has made the top 100 every year for the past four years - well done!

What a great day for a Penguin Swim! Congrats to all the Matrics who took part on 24 June 2018 and kept this tradition alive.

Images & Text: PBHS


Were you a member of the Aeronautical Society between 1993 and the present? Many members developed a life-long interest in aviation which was fostered by being part of this Society while at Boys High.

This year, the Society is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a reunion dinner to be held on the 20th October. The cost of the dinner will be R270 per person. This dinner is not stag and you are welcome to bring your partner. The venue is provisionally going to be the Sommerville Cricket Pavilion, but this is subject to confirmation. If you are able to attend, please communicate this to John Illsley (john@boyshigh.com) so as to facilitate planning for the event. Final details will be confirmed closer to the date.

We hope to have a good turnout of past members to celebrate a quarter of a century of activities; the achievements of those who went into the industry and the passion for flying in its various forms.

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


Eddie Dorey was our register class teacher in Matric 1965. We would line up outside the classroom after assembly in the morning. He would klap each of us with his cane, two good shots as we entered the room. "No malice boys, but I know you will get up to nonsense during the day. This is just for in case he said."

R.J. Gaisford (1965)

Well, well! I was surprised and amused and embarrassed to see that my 1958 piece on 'Hilarity' has appeared in this email edition of the Newsletter... and had almost forgotten that in those days I had a double-barrelled surname. I later dropped the 'Lodge' as sounding pretentious, although I'd taken it on as a way of recognising the tremendous effort towards my upbringing provided my stepfather Jimmy Lodge - once himself a PBHS boy, whose under-16 long-jump record still stood when I was a pupil.

All good wishes from London

Dennis Walder (1959)


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

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There were 114 Old Boys who gathered at the Rondebosch Golf Club at the start of June for the annual Cape Town dinner, joined by headmaster Tony Reeler and his predecessor Bill Schroder.

Matthew Currie, who was Head Prefect in 2010 when Mr. Reeler replaced Mr. Schroder, served as Master of Ceremonies. Mr. Reeler brought Old Boys up to date with developments at the school while Mulalo Mphaphuli (2016) said Grace and Chad Todd (2016) proposed a Toast to the School and Absent Friends. Wayne Mitchell (1979) added a musical accompaniment to the night with his bagpipes.

Significantly there was a positive response from more recent Old Boys with a strong turnout from those who have graduated through the school gates over the last decades, adding to energy of the evening. The oldest Old Boy on hand was Andre Nel (1950), who kept up his stellar attendance record at the dinner, driving through from Somerset West as he does every year. Again, the class of 1974 had strong representation, as did 1983 and 2007.

As usual, it took some persuasion to get the stragglers away from the bar at the end of another good night of bonhomie, memories and renewed acquaintances.

Mark Gleeson


One night I had a dream. I dreamt that I woke up and saw a light in the shape of a man standing beside my bed. I squinted to try and see who it was, but I could not make out who the figure was. He beckoned me to follow him. I felt myself being moved, as though I were in somebody else's body. I felt a strange warmth around me, even though it was winter.

I followed him to the highest point of the city. From there I saw a beautiful view of my School, Pretoria Boys High. I told the man beside me that this was indeed a beautiful sight and that I was proud to say that this was my school.

"Indeed it is a beautiful sight, " he said, "but look harder. Look into the heart of your school".

I looked, and to my surprise an amazing sight met my eyes. There was an area within the School containing a number of old-fashioned bottles - the kind you would find in a mediaeval wizard's chamber. What was inside them was even more odd, but became beautiful, in a way. In these bottles were all the things Boys High was made of.

There was the bottle containing Boys High Spirit. The cork was off and it was free to fly around and become part of everything in the School. There was a bottle that contained brotherly love, which seemed to bring everyone in Boys High together. There was also a bottle which contained something that made every Boys High boy feel at home, wanted and part of his School. That is very special to every true Boys High boy. Another bottle that caught my attention was the Freedom bottle. The freedom of expression that exists at Boys High is unique and special. Few schools have it and I thought we should cherish it.

More than ever, I realised that Boys High really is unique and how fortunate every Boys High boy is to be here. Many people don't realise it, though, and we must always be aware of it. We get reminded every day how lucky we are, but we should never take it for granted.

I felt extremely glad that Boys High is even better than I had at first thought and I know now that no-one is kidding when he says that Boys High is the best School in the world.

The Pretorian 1998 - RIAN BRITZ - FORM II


Click here for the latest school sports results

  • 27 - 28 July 2018 - Maritzburg College Exchange (H)
  • 4 August 2018 - Rugby & Hockey vs AHS (A)
  • 9 August 2018 - Public Holiday: Women's Day
  • 10 August 2018 - School Holiday
  • 18 August 2018 - Cross Country - AGN Champs @ TUT Soshanguve | RCL/Phobians Fun Run | Choir performance with Shalloway Youth Choir , 18:30 @ Up Musaion
  • 25 August 2018 - Cross Country - Noordvaal Final @ Potchefstroom

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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
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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



Good evening from Australia

I wonder if you know about the passing of Pierre Retief, who was an Old Boy, and (I am pretty sure ) he was in Rissik house ....I would suggest that he left school in about 1950, maybe earlier ..he lived in Rustenburg for the most, but moved to Magaliesberg in later years, to be in a retirement village .....I am sorry, I don't have any more details, other than he was a VERY proud old boy...he and I played in a few old boys cricket matches.

Kind regards

Paul Gilbert School House, 1977


  • 27 & 28 JULY 2018
    20 YEAR ON - CLASS OF 1998
  • 17 & 18 AUGUST 2018
    10 YEAR ON - CLASS OF 2008
  • 31 AUGUST & 1 SEPTEMBER 2018
    30 YEAR ON - CLASS OF 1988
  • 21 & 22 SEPTEMBER 2018
    50 YEAR ON - CLASS OF 1968
  • 26 & 27 OCTOBER 2018
    40 YEAR ON - CLASS OF 1978

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