Dear Old Boy

Many people have asked how they can make a difference and support the school financially.

The Headmaster has spoken about the school's vision to provide bursaries for deserving boys from all backgrounds.

We are pleased to announce that the new Pretorian Trust website is now fully functional to enable us to receive donations, and we ask you to have a look at www.pretorian.co.za

We thank you for your support.

Yours sincerely,


One of the true beauties of our school is the fact that each and every individual who has attended Boys High since its establishment has experienced the school differently. If somebody had to ask you to describe your journey and time at the school in one sentence, every boy's answer would be different. To me, Boys High has been my sanctuary. It took me at my most vulnerable and tender state and has built me into a person that I never thought I could become.
Although our journeys and experiences at this institution are all unique and inimitable, there are major facets of life as a Boys High Boy that we have all experienced and that we have all experienced together. These milestones of our high school career amalgamate into a beautiful collage of memories that have molded us into honourable young men.

In a year full of "one last times", we have finally reached our last milestone and only as we approach the end of our experience at Boys High do we begin to understand and appreciate the value of all the major and minor events that have influenced the young men that we have become. It is a pity that we had never realized their worth as the events unfolded.
A day that had once felt like an unimaginable eternity away is upon us and it has reached us within the blink of an eye.

All the memories that you wished to make have either been made or become missed opportunities and all that you wished to achieve as a form one boy has either been added to your accomplishments or to your "what if's". There are no more memories to be made and there no more accolades to obtain whilst wearing this uniform. Is that not frightening? As matrics, we stand upon the cusp of infinite possibilities and outcomes; all that might come our way exists beyond the gates of this school.

As a young boy, I was always encouraged to be modest and humble in my doings. Humility was a quality that my father valued and therefore it is one that I value today, but there is one aspect of my life that I just cannot keep myself from boasting about.

The fact that I have attended this prestigious school fuels my pride above any achievement or title and it is just something that I refuse to hide from the word. I pity those who have not attended this school and I laugh at those who deny its value or wish to tell me that they have attended a school that is superior to this one.

This school is a cauldron that brews a potion of success made from a recipe of honour, respect, loyalty and integrity. These are the constituent qualities of the men found in the minority of today's society and in the majority of the school's and its alumni's community, the type of man that this world needs more of!
This is a community that celebrates and glorifies diversity in culture, religion, and human nature, an institution that breeds excellence, nurtures and uncovers talent and an institution that knows the value of today's greatest asset, knowledge, and wishes to share it with all that roam these corridors.

I cannot help myself but boast of the times that we danced and chanted war cries in pure jubilation on the stands of Brooks, Hill Astro or beside the pool.
I cannot help myself but boast of the iconic flag that we matrics held together to welcome the Candies onto the field.

I boast of our unique traditions, our funny Boys High accents, our lingo and our pride for our pristine grounds and facilities. I cannot help myself but boast of this school's musical brilliance, its incredible annual events, its sporting excellence, its marvel and its academic triumph. The list is never ending.

This year has also been a year of reflection and it was through this reflection that I stumbled upon something that frightened me as a proud Boys High Boy.
Despite the school's reputation and all that makes it so astoundingly great, far too many of us ignore this aspect of our school, far too many of us do not appreciate it and far too many of us disrespect it.

We speak amongst ourselves of boys who just simply wear the uniform and do not buy into the ethos of this school, but that is all we do, we just speak of them and we take no action against it. This mindset can be seen as an ailment and a threat to all that makes this school so prestigious and its passion amongst the boys. I am fully aware that this is not something that we wish to hear, but unfortunately it is something that needs to be said.

It has become too easy to defer to mediocrity. It has become too easy to support one or two fixtures a year. It has become too easy to sing chants with little or no pride. It has become normal to find "passion" in posts on Instagram or Whatsapp statuses. It has become too easy to take part in no sports or cultural activities. It has become too easy to disrespect our uniform and wear it incorrectly. It has simply become too easy to be a drifter. Too many of us accept the reputation that the School's name has given us without realizing that our actions and the way in which we conduct ourselves influences Boys High's reputation either positively or negatively. It is our responsibility and our duty as Boys High boys, past, present and future, to safeguard and respect its values so that Boys High's reputation remains intact and ultimately progresses. To the minority of boys who can relate to what has been said, I hope that the tears of those who are leaving and the way in which they sing the school song for the last time inspire you today.

For some it may be difficult to leave and for others not, but one generation of Boys High Boys is needed to depart in order for another to enjoy its splendour. It is time for us to hang up our ties and our blazers, fold up our uniform and take all that we have learnt into the world beyond the gates of our school.

To my fellow matrics, it has been an honour to share the Boys High Experience with you. I cannot wait to hear of all your successes, for I know that they will be in abundance.

When asked what surprised him most about humanity the Dalai Lama responded, "Man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die and then dies having never really lived."

I wish you all a long, healthy and prosperous life. I wish you all wealth in knowledge, happiness and currency. I urge you to plan for the future but to live solely in the present. I urge you to LIVE because it was HERE that you have learnt to do so.

An extract from the Head Prefect, Kyle Brown's speech at Final Assembly 2018.

Click here to read the full speech.

CLASS OF 1968 - 50 YEARS ON 2018

The much anticipated 1968 matric class reunion took place on the weekend of the 21st and 22nd September 2018. About 40 members of the class were able to attend the celebration, the most notable being Etienne Sochett who flew in from Ontario in Canada and Clayton Christie who flew in from London.

We met on the Solomon House lawn at 09h00 for tea and biscuits and to receive our name tags. The name tags were probably the most important item of the weekend as some of us had not seen each other since we had left school in 1968. More importantly though as most of us were not far off 70 years old, we kept forgetting names even though we had been introduced only an hour or so ago.

The Headmaster Mr. Tony Reeler then took us on a tour of the school grounds, which had changed (for the better I might add) since we had left Pretoria Boys High back in 1968. The cricket fields which in our day had been known as A field, B field, C field, D field and E field had now been named after various masters and one of the groundsmen who had served at the school. Hence the names of Hofmeyr Oval, Shalang field and Mulvenna field to name to name a few. The cricket pavilion has been named after Mr. Paul Sommerville alias Chalkie.

Other improvements included the squash courts which were being built when we left school, the astro hockey field, a 10 lane swimming pool, and a dedicated water polo pool. The new Abernethy School Hall was most impressive as is the Bill Schroder Centre, which is the library. A quick tour of the School museum was also very interesting and informative.

After the tour of the school grounds we all met in the Bill Schroeder Centre, for tea and cake, before heading off to Friday assembly. The school is considerably larger now (about 1500 pupils) than back in 1968 when we were just under 1000 pupils. The address to the assembly on behalf of the class of 1968 was done by Dr. Derek Swemmer, who is a former registrar at the University of the Witwatersrand and is still involved in education affairs in South Africa. Click here to read the address by Dr Derek Swemmer. In honour of our Deputy Headmaster in 1968, Mr. Bill Brooks, I read from Ecclesiastes chapter 3, a reading Mr. Brooks always did when he did the reading in assembly. After assembly there was the obligatory photo in front of the School building.

Accompanied by our wives, we then went off to the Sommerville Cricket Pavilion for lunch, an event which went on long into the afternoon. We were lucky enough to have 2 masters from our era present, Mr. Chalkie Sommerville and Mr. Clinton Harrop-Allin, as well as the present Headmaster Mr. Tony Reeler and the previous Headmaster Mr. Bill Schroder. The master of ceremonies for the occasion was Ian Flint and grace was said by Neville Read, both from the class of 1968.

The Saturday evening stag dinner was also held at the Sommerville Cricket Pavilion. Neil Cowie was the master of ceremonies on this occasion, Gavin Manley did the grace and the toast to South Africa was done by Clayton Christie. The toast to the School was done by Ian Flint and the reply on behalf of the School was done by Mr. Tony Reeler. Master of ceremonies, Neil thanked all those who had helped organise a memorable weekend especially Neville Read, John Blackmore, Ian Flint, Peter Daniel and Inge Paulsen-Liddle from the Old Boys Association. Neil Cowie and his secretary Sue Head also need a special mention for all the effort they put into making sure the weekend would be a success.

All in all a most enjoyable weekend was had by all and the chance to catch up with long lost school friends was an especially emotional occasion. We all felt blessed to be healthy enough to attend this special weekend. On a sad note about 30 of our 1968 classmates are no longer with us on planet earth and a toast to absent friends brought a tear to many an eye.

Peter Daniel - On behalf of the Matric class of 1968


The Remembrance Day Assembly will take place on Friday 9 November at Pretoria Boys High School. Old Boys are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The Assembly will take place at the front of the school - weather permitting. Please wear a jacket and tie and be seated by 10:50. Tea will be served in the east fountain quad thereafter.

Please RSVP to pr@boyshigh.com


The school can be a tough place for new pupils. Boys High has multitudes of different cultures, lending it to have diverse social customs. The most essential being the handshake. This will serve as a guide to the various handshakes for newcomers and current pupils who just cannot master its complexities.

The Firm

This is probably the most conventional of all handshakes and is used by an immense cultural spectrum. However, as the intensity of the squeeze and importance of eye contact increases, the greeting tends to associate with people who play rugby and/or speak Afrikaans.

The Slap

Obviously derived from the Firm, the Slap must have infiltrated interaction around the time when students started to shun the mundane. It is commonly used by those who are seen as alternative or rebellious.

The Irrie

The Irrie is originally of Rastafarian descent. Although it radiates cultural significance, the boys who still use this greeting, reverent of their ethnicity, are rare. An even smaller number acknowledge that the interaction is deemed correct only if specifically the left fist is used.

The Sowetan

Not to be confused with the Irrie, the Sowetan employs a protruding thumb. It is the handshake of choice for boys who are acquainted with town and is often accompanied by an echoing "etha" or "hola majents".

The Hi-5

The Hi-5 characterises boys who have a taste for the old-school. This gesture's diversity usually results in its nostalgic instigator being labelled random. That said, the process of raising your hand to the air and including a joyous CLAP could result in nothing but mutual happiness.

The Bluetooth

The occupied palms of academic enthusiasts, along with their tendency to avoid superflouos physical effort, gave rise to the distance effective Hi-5 during the past decade. Easily mistaken for a wave, this subtle greeting is nothing more than two hands that are elevated above a corridor crowd and flanked by eyes that make the slightest contact from behind the glare of their glasses.

The Not-Cool

Tisk tisk

Artwork & text: Barry-Jay van Wyk Boys Highlights Number 10 - May 2008

Pretoria Boys is happy to announce that Mr Paul Anthony will be taking up the position of Director of rugby as from the 1st of January 2019.
Paul has a long-standing relationship with Boys High, having taught at the school for over 20 years and coached the first rugby team on and off for 17 years. He left teaching in 2007 to go into full time professional coaching.

He spent 7 years with the Bulls U19 & U21 structures, before leaving for the Sharks to be one of the Super rugby assistant coaches. During the past 3 years Paul has been coaching the Sharks U19 & U21 Currie Cup teams.

Paul's main focus as Director of rugby will be to build rugby skills and develop talent at Junior level, but he will also be involved with the other teams. While he will not coach a specific team, he will have significant input and lead the coaching structure at PBHS.

Congratulations to the new Head Boy for 2019, Justin Cross and Deputy Head Boy, Alvin Drabile. CONGRATULATIONS to the following PBHS cricketers that were selected for Northerns teams:
U/19 Provincial team: Wisani Mushwana
U/17 Provincial team: Zeeshan Ismael, Wald Truter and Hanu Viljoen
U/17 Framework team: DaniŽl van der Merwe
U/15 Provincial team: Edumisa Dlulemnyango and Chearn Manus
U/15 Framework team: Kieron Croome
Images & Text: PBHS


The Pretoria Boys High Old Boys will again be partaking in the Storage Old Boy Tens rugby tournament this year in November (OBX18).

The aim of the tournament is to align synergies amongst existing Old Boy Associations of South Africa's traditional schools, through the game of Tens rugby.

The tournament wishes to create an annual sentimental and nostalgic event that most Old Boys can identify with that will benefit education through funds raised by the event.

Old Boys Associations across the country have represented the following schools in OBX14, OBX15 & OBX16: Queens College, Dale College, Jeppe High, K.E.S, Grey High, St Andrews, Hilton College, HTS Middelburg, Michaelhouse College, Kearsney College, St Johns College, Pretoria Boys High, Trinityhouse, Kingswood College, Wits Kudus, Selborne College, Monument High, Soweto Old Boys, CBC Boksburg, Southern Suburbs CT, Parktown Boys, St Sthithians.

By growing the event annually by gaining more entries from Old Boys Associations, the Old Boys Tens aims to leave a legacy - a legacy that will enrich disadvantaged lives by using education as a tool of self empowerment.

There will be various food stalls, beer tents, live entertainment and a really great vibe. It is a perfect opportunity for Pretoria Boys High Old Boys to come and catch-up with Old friends (especially friends from some of the other schools) and support the Old Boys playing.

Venue: Pirates Rugby Club, 25 Braeside Rd, Greenside, Randburg, 2034
Click here for the Google map link.

Date: 9 November 2018, 4pm - 8pm & 10 November 2018, 8am - 6pm

Click here to visit their Facebook Page


We appeal to all Old Boys to please send recollections of events at Pretoria Boys High School that you found particularly poignant or humorous. With the help of Dr Trebot Barry (1956), the PBHSOB Association would like to put together a coffee table collection of reminiscence. This can only be done through the participation and contributions we receive by Old Boys.

Please send your recollections to info@pbhsob.com


Pollock record-breaker retires

Batsman Johann Myburgh (1998), who broke the great Graeme Pollock's record as the youngest double-centurion in South African first-class cricket, has retired.


Gloucestershire: Graeme van Buuren signs one-year contract extension

Gloucestershire all-rounder Graeme van Buuren (2008) has signed a one-year contract extension with the county.


Zimbabwean brothers win Lagos Tennis Open

ZIMBABWEAN tennis siblings Courtney and Benjamin Lock (2011) captured their sixth team title on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures Circuit after beating Franceís Tom Jomby and Alexis Klegou from Benin in the final of the $25,000 Lagos Tennis Open in the Nigeria on Saturday.


Springbok legend John Smit appointed to SARLA Board

DURBAN - Former Springbok captain and rugby great, John Smit (1996) has been appointed to the board of the SA Rugby Legends Association (SARLA).



Hallo, Inge, after a long time-almost a year I think but hardly a day goes by that I don't think or remember something about Boys High, my second home for 5 memorable years. I enjoy very much reading the 'news' I get on internet.

I was deeply moved to read about Mr. Matheson [Baldi] who was Headmaster when I was at school [1941-1945]. He was well respected by all of us. I had one 'meeting' with him. I had "crashed" heavily in Latin and went to request permission to leave Latin and take Art instead! His reply was to speak to Mr. Battis, the Art Master.

Mr. Battis sent me down to the sports fields where two oxen were pulling a heavy roller-this was in 1942. I felt that I had failed the test before even starting! My knees were shaking when I presented my first attempt at drawing to Mr. Battis-maybe he saw a tear in my eye and I was accepted to Art! Besides helping me to matriculate the study of art has added an extra interest in my life.

In 1944 I tried to imagine what the school badge might look like 20 years hence, taking into consideration technical progress. I substituted the book with a movie projector; the bulldozer replaced the pick and shovel, the ox-wagon by an aircraft of 1944 vintage. As a boarder I replaced the orange tree with a tin of marmalade jam. The motto is supposed to mean "Speed and Comfort".

To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the School I felt that further updating was needed. The book is replaced by a computer ;the wagon by a space rocket; the pick and shovel by atomic power. I had a problem with the orange tree so as a pharmacist I made an ampule of Vitamin C. I think the motto is O.K. Today, 17 years on --any ideas for another update? For me the school badge as it is today and was yesterday is sacred not to be changed ever!

Two months ago I turned 91 but I'm on the badminton court 4 times a week helping with coaching of juniors in my club and playing "for fun". Unfortunately I have been a widower for 6 years but fortunately as I am in a good physical shape and so I'm active in a few "frameworks". I am also blessed to have all my family in the same town-4 generations.

Enough 'yapping' so I will sign off with Best Wishes from Jeff Geffen-Rissik House 1941/45, Ashdod, Israel

Have a Nice Day--Every Day--Jeff

I enjoyed the article about "Baldi" Matheson as he was our mathematics teacher in 1958. He was indeed one of the outstanding and dedicated teachers at the school.

His classroom was in the upper East wing, right under the bells. Our lesson was at midday and so, at noon, each lesson would have an enforced pause whilst the chimes pealed. He would roll his eyes and his hand would sometimes keep the beat with each stroke. Without any effort he somehow had all the pupils respect and I cannot recall any incident of disruption during his lessons, even though our class was one of the more unruly ones in the school. We were all fascinated at his ability to draw, freehand, an almost perfect circle on the board to explain a geometry problem.

He had a knack of detecting any pupil who was daydreaming and not paying attention and would immediately call on the victim to answer a question. Towards the end of the year this had become a game between pupils and teacher, us pretending not to pay attention and staring out of the window, but ready to answer the question the moment he detected your "lack of attention". When you answered he would get a little smile acknowledging he had been caught out. I am sure he knew what was going on and just played along with us.

Anton van Doornum
Years of 56 to 60

To Whom This May Concern,

Reading the potted pen picture of Mr Baldi Matheson was a treat. Thank you.
In his last year of life, 1960, he was Maths Master for Form 4c.
From the very first day we were with him, he taught us several valuable life lessons.
On that first day he told us we were going to have to absorb a wealth of information, most of which we would be needing to succeed in the end of year exams.
To help us with this, he said he had some advice for us.
Then Mr Matheson did a remarkable thing. He did not say the words, he wrote them down on the board, in his slow, deliberate, calligraphic hand:
"The strongest memory is weaker than the faintest ink."
He passed away during that year.
As is evidenced by this communication, I never forgot those - written - words, and I passed them on to who-ever cared to listen from then on.
Rest In Peace, Mr Matheson, you were a wise, gentle, knowledgeable man and I will always remember you with the greatest fondness.

Ronald Gordon Bell
Matric Class of 1961


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.

"Old Boyz" items are 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

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


We are proud to announce that the Pretoria Boys High School Parents' Association are hosting the Pretoria Boys High School 24hr MTB Relay Challenge from Saturday 10 November to Sunday 11 November 2018 and we would like to invite all Old Boys to to participate.

Held on the school grounds, the route requires riders to complete as many 6 kilometre laps as possible in the 24 or 6 hour race period. Featuring 120 metres of climbing per lap, the route is made up of jeep track, singletracks and sections across the car parks and sport fields of the School. Man-made obstacles provide additional challenges for those with the technical skills to take them on, while A and B lines are provided for each technical feature - allowing the less skilled riders to safely skirt the hazards.

Entry categories include:

  • 24 hour solo race
  • 24 hour relay race for teams of 2, 4, 6 or 8 riders
  • 6 hour solo race
  • 6 hour relay race for teams of 2, 4, 6 or 8 riders
  • 6 hour "schools" relay category for teams of 4 riders

Off the bike there will be a festive atmosphere throughout the event, ensured by food trucks and complimentary camping for all riders and their support teams.

The Parents' Association would also like to offer all Old Boys the opportunity to get involved by becoming a sponsor for the event, knowing that the success of such an event is as a result of the involvement of both riders and sponsors. Sponsors will be given branding / marketing rights for the event. Please email Jamie-Lee Fisher at the school, should you be interested in a sponsorship opportunity: pr@boyshigh.com

A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to Operation Healing Hands; a healthcare charity which provides life-changing surgeries to patients who would otherwise not be able to afford them.

Read more here: https://www.ohhsa.net/

Event times:

  • 24 hour race: Saturday, 10 November - 10:00
  • 6 hour race: Saturday, 10 November - 14:00
  • Prize giving: Sunday, 11 November - 10:00

For more information or to enter, please visit www.entryninja.com or contact Rudolf Botha on 083 236 8933 or via email at rudolf@petrichoradventures.co.za

To stay updated on all the news and important announcements, like the event's Facebook page: PBHS MTB Challenge


Click here for the latest school sports results

  • 3 November 2018: Athletics - U15 AGN Champs @ Pilditch
  • 9 November 2018: Remembrance Day Assembly

Click here for more

Follow @pbhsob
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Click here to visit the
PBHSOB Association Online Shop.


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



I learnt with sadness of the passing of an old and longstanding school House buddy on 4 August.

Rob (Oupa) and I walked up the School House stairs as new boys in 1955 and were in the Latin class until end of Form II when I gave up the Latin story because it had the better of me. An incident I do remember very clearly, was that at one stage we decided that we would rig up a zip line from one of the big gum trees in the koppie, just behind Mr Abernethy's tennis court. So we stole some 10 gauge wire and tied it high up in the tree, and stretched it out to another tree some distance away to which we secured the other end. Oupa decided that he would take first ride and so he climbed up the tree and grabbed hold of the pipe that was the sliding mechanism, and then let rip. But when the time came to let go of the pipe and hit the brakes, he went into a tailspin and slammed into the tree at the bottom. We all rushed to his assistance and when we got to him, we found that he was unconscious but at least breathing. Someone rushed back the School House and fetched a blanket into which we loaded poor Rob and made an improvised stretcher in which to carry him back to matron. On arrival back at matron's office of course nobody knew what had happened except to say that he had fallen off a rock on the koppie. An ambo was summoned and he was rushed to the Andrew McCollum Hospital down the road, from where he made a full recovery.

Kind regards,
Allan Stilwell


Rod Meyer was at PBHS as a boarder in Rissik House from 1958-1962. He matriculated in 1962, was a school prefect, played 1st XV and did well at Athletics. He went on to Wits, where he graduated as a Mechanical Engineer in 1967. After qualifying, he first joined Highveld Steel in Witbank, where he spent the rest of his working life. After 4 years at Highveld he joined Rand Carbide, who were later taken over by Highveld. At Rand Carbide he gained valuable experience as a project engineer in air filtration systems, which he was able to develop further on his return to Highveld Steel. He visited Scandinavia, Germany, Japan and Australia studying advanced systems for Air Pollution. In 1998 he was asked to organise the 11th World Clean Air Congress which was held in Durban, where he was recognised by the International Union of Air Pollution and Environmental Protection Associations. He retired from Highveld in 2004.

His interests included music (singing, nurtured originally at Boys High with Gilbert and Sullivan), a youth gospel band where he sang and played guitar and a double bass in his university days and singing in his church choir. His other interests included photography, building scale model sailing ships like HMS Trafalgar and HMS Victory and researching his family genealogy. He was also a member of the Witbank Probus Club, serving a two -year period recently as President.

After 49 years of marriage Rod leaves his wife Gail, a daughter Meryl and 2 sons both ex Boys High, Steve (1988) and Leith (1992) and 5 grandchildren. He died in Pretoria on 27th Sept 2018 aged 73, after a brave struggle to recover from a brain bleed sustained in an accidental fall in his home.

-Ed Meyer


  • 9 NOVEMBER 2018

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