Dear Old Boy

At 09:30 on Friday the 2nd of November 2018 at a special farewell assembly, Pretoria Boys High School paid its respects to the retiring Headmaster of Afrikaans Hor Seunsskool, Doctor Pierre Edwards. That astounding disciplined sudden silence enveloped all as the Headmaster and guests walked onto the stage. Mr Reeler introduced Dr Edwards and Mr Jason Webber, Chairman of the Old Boys Association and proceeded with routine announcements, and the congratulating various prize winners.

The Headmaster then spoke about Dr Edwards, highlighting his rugby prowess representing the then Northern Transvaal Province and the Springboks. Mr Reeler recounted how generously Dr Edwards welcomed him when he was appointed as Headmaster at the School and the respectful manner in which their friendship had grown. Dr Edwards spent 45 years at Affies, 5 years as a pupil, 14 as a maths teacher and 26 years as Headmaster. Dr Edwards, Mr Reeler said, was not only a gentleman but also a gentle man. 'n Kort toespraak ter ere van Doktor Edwards en Affies is gelewer deur Christian Pretorius namens die Boys High seuns.

 'n Dank aan Dr Edwards

Dit is 'n eer om namens my 1500 broers vir Dr Edwards te s: "Dankie." U jare as Hoof van Affies was 'n uitstekende voorbeeld van lojaliteit en leierskap en was niks behalwe 'n reuse sukses nie.

Ons dank U vir al U moeite om die strawwe kompetisie tussen Boys High en Affies te onderhou. Affies is ons sterkste teenstanders en ons wardeer hulle goeie sportsmanskap. Ons dank U ook vir U bydra aan die verhouding tussen ons twee skole, dit is verseker nie 'n liefdevolle verhouding nie, maar dit is en sal altyd 'n verhouding vol van respek wees.

Ten slotte wens die seuns van Boys High 'n gelukkige and voorspoedige aftreding vir Dr Edwards en sy gesin, en s ons eerlik dankie vir sy leiding and diens in ons gemeedte.

- Christian Pretorius, Form IV Solomon

The School's Boere Band then played Sarie Marais, Petronella and Kalfiewals to great acclaim from the boys. The Pipe Band followed with the soul-stirring Highland Cathedral, Mr Phillip Loots at the organ console. After this musical tribute, the Headmaster asked Dr Edwards to address the School and he was given a standing ovation by all. Mr Jason Webber, on behalf of the Old Boys Association acknowledged the banter and bond of friendship amongst past pupils who met after leaving school in business and on the sports fields. He then presented Dr Edwards with a certificate of Honorary Life Membership of the Association and a silk Old Boys tie to further enthusiastic applause. Assembly ended with the reading by the Headmaster, of Psalm 23, the School Prayer, singing of Hymn no. 7 and Our Father. All a momentously moving memory.

- Trebot Barry (1956)

Images: PBHS & Text: Trebot Barry


Greetings to all Old Boys.

Once more 2018 has been an eventful year with quite a number of reunions some of which I was privileged to attend. They are truly a great way of once again meeting school friends some of whom you have not seen since your matric year and bringing up to date what has happened to them in the interim. It says something about Boys' High when Old Boys are prepared to fly in from overseas just to be able to attend their reunion.

I was also delighted for my wife and I to attend the Old Boys dinner at Hermanus in June, It was really a glittering affair with more than thirty Old Boys in attendance including Greg Hassenkamp who is headmaster of Hermanus High School.

Looking back over the years it is fascinating to note the calibre of Guest speakers who have addressed the Matric boys at their Valediction ceremony. It is exactly fifty years ago since Professor Chris Barnard the world famous surgeon who pioneered in South Africa the first successful transplant of a human heart spoke to the leaving group of 1968. His address began with this meaningful verse:

To each is given a bag of tools
 A shapeless mass, a book of rules
 And each must make ere time has flown
 A stumbling block or a stepping stone. 

And now as 2018 speeds to a close and as this will be the last newsletter of the year, I would like to take the opportunity of wishing all Old Boys and their families a joyous Christmas season and a happy and peaceful year ahead.

With regards
Tony Wilkes


Summer Sports' Day 2019 will take place on Saturday 12 January at Pretoria Boys' High School.

The following sporting activities will be on offer:

Cross Country
Table Tennis
Water Polo

The following additional activities will be on offer:

Fantasy War Games

We look forward to see a great turnout of Old Boys supporting each other and the school!

In order to secure your place at Summer Sports' Day 2019, we encourage you to please complete an entry form and return it to info@pbhsob.com as soon as possible or for more information, please contact the following persons:

Water Polo Luvuyo Rubushe waterpolo@boyshigh.com
Squash Craig Stephens cstephens@boyshigh.com
Cross Country Lincoln Keeton LKeeton@boyshigh.com
Basketball Rob Fourie rfourie@boyshigh.com
Tennis Gerald Stoffberg gerald.stoffberg.pbhs@gmail.com
Table Tennis Chan Dowra CDowra@boyshigh.com
Fencing Nick Zambara nzambara@boyshigh.com
Chess Jeanne De Meillon jdemeillon@boyshigh.com
Bridge Chris Davies cdavies@boyshigh.com
Sketching Debbie Cloete dcloete@boyshigh.com
Photography Joni Jones jjones@boyshigh.com
Fantasy War Games   info@pbhsob.com

Click here to for more information on Summer Sports Day 2019


On 9 November 2018, as is tradition, our school celebrated Remembrance Day during the Friday assembly closest to Armistice Day, the 11th of November. This year, which marks one hundred years since the guns fell silent across Europe, an extra effort was made in order to ensure that it was a special ceremony.

The Great War, now more commonly known as World War One, ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day, 1918. Mr John Illsley, who arranged the assembly, was able to co-ordinate a fly-over by four Harvards at eleven o'clock. After the planes had passed over the school twice, the Westminster chimes sounded from the Eastern Bell Tower followed by eleven tolls of the bell to signify the hour.

Mr Illsley's address to the school was centred on the involvement of members of our school and country in the First World War. Perched at the top of the Western Bell Tower, one could not help but feel an immense sense of gratitude towards each member of the school's Roll of Honour.

The school prefects laid twenty-eight crosses in honour of each boy, Old Boy or member of staff who paid the ultimate sacrifice all those years ago in the foyer as tribute. The Roll of Honour for both World Wars was read by the Headmaster, as well as the names of members of the school community who have lost their lives in military service to date. In addition to this Mr. Reeler also paid tribute to all members of our country who lost their lives and sacrificed much in the pursuit of freedom and democracy in our land. The laying of the wreaths was accompanied by the haunting sound of a lone piper playing the traditional lament "The Flowers of the Forest" from the Western Bell Tower. It is a privilege to have attended, and be employed at, a school that recognises the importance of honouring the fallen whilst reminding the living of what came to pass all those years ago. Lest we forget.

- James Orr (2009)

Images: PBHS & Text: James Orr


This was held at the school on Saturday 20th October and was attended by a mix of past and current members. The Society has throughout its existence been run by John Illsley, himself a pilot and aviation historian.

Mr Dick Bradley (past chairman of the Magalies Gliding Club) was thanked for his unstinting support throughout the years in making possible an annual gliding day for the Society.

Captain Martin Louw of Comair was thanked for all he did to make the anniversary year a special one for the current members of the Society.

Most of those who have held the position of chairman over the past quarter of a century were present at the dinner, including George Tonking (presently chief pilot at Bidvest Coin) who was the first person to fill the position and Rui De Pinho, a current matric pupil, who has been chairman for the past two years. Dylan and Kyle Patterson, both past chairmen, both professional pilots (for a helicopter company and Cathay Pacific respectively) and now both residing in Hong Kong both attended the dinner.

John Illsley, who spoke at the conclusion of the evening, related how gratifying it was to have seen so many of the past members going into the aviation industry as professional pilots. Currently they are flying for at least seven airlines in SA and overseas, with at least five past members flying with Cathay Pacific at present. Teachers often don't get to see the fruits of their endeavours, particularly in some subjects, but sharing a passion for flying through the activities of the Society, has been incredibly rewarding as it has ignited or sustained an interest that has helped to put many young men on to a career path in aviation. This "gift of wings" has been a wonderful part of a career spanning thirty years at PBHS. John, speculated whether his 1944 Auster Mk 5 had not inspired more airline careers than any other aircraft in the country.

Reminiscing about some of the many activities undertaken by the Society during the past 25 years, he singled out the flight with over twenty boys in a SAAF Boeing 707 tanker refuelling Mirage F1 fighters; a low level flight through the Magaliesberg in an Oryx; the rebuilding of a Pietenpol Aircamper as a hands-on project; involvement with the Children's Flight initiative and the hosting of several vintage and classic fly in events at Petit airfield. The Society had always aimed to expose boys to as many different parts of aviation as possible and will continue to strive to plant these seeds in the future in the hope that they germinate in the inspiring world of flying.

Images & Text: PBHS


The PBHS Fencing team attended the Gauteng Fencing Association awards ceremony at Wanderers sports club on Saturday 17 November. The boys did very well and received the following awards:

GFA Schools League - PBHS placed first as the top ranked school with 14 medals for the season: 4 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze

Jason Visser - Top ranked U15 Epee fencer

Jesse Ndjeka - Top ranked U17 mens' Epee as well as GFA Colours Certificate.

Pictured in the photograph above from left: Mr Chris Mostert (GFA Chairperson); Ethan Van Heerden; Jason Visser; Jesse Ndjeka; Mr Nic Zambara (MIC).

Images & Text: PBHS

Pretoria Boys High learners help less privileged

A Pretoria Boys High club is involved with various outreach programmes to help the less privileged.

Penny Vlag, who helps organise some projects, said the school usually collected stationery at the beginning of the year to help the less privileged as the school year started.



The annual Old Boys 10s rugby tournament took place at the Pirates Rugby club on the weekend of the 9th and 10th November 2018. This is the biggest Old Boys gathering from schools all around the country. All proceeds for this tournament were donated to the education endowment fund to enrich education in South Africa.

Pretoria Boys Highs Old Boys put together a squad of about 15 Old Boys ranging from boys who matriculated in 2015 all the way up to 2002.

The tournament had a round robin approach where there were 4 pools of 5 teams. Each team then played 2 games on the Friday and two games on the Saturday, after that the leading teams in the pools would participate in playoffs for the spoon, bowl, shield, plate and cup. Unfortunately, the Boys High Old Boys did not manage to bring home a trophy this year.

We had a few awards we gave out within our team, the Biggest Hit (or biggest bounce) was given to Dylan Goosen (2013) who showed an Old st Albans Boy what a contact sport is. The Team Spirit award went to Ryan Townsend (2013) for his bubbly personality. Our Thank you for Coming award went to Darren Smalley (2009) for supporting the team throughout the tournament and Stephen Eagle (2008) for organizing the Boys High Old Boys side. Our Superstar Award went to Ricky Hui (2009) who will most probably feature on supersport as he was interviewed by them. Last but not least, our Most Valued Player (MVP) was awarded to Dylan Hayes (2011) who had an outstanding performance in every match over the weekend, his presence on the field was superb.

We would also like to thank everyone that donated towards the event especially Dylan Goosen for his generous donations.

We hope that next year is even better and bigger. If you did not know about this event and would like to get more info in future Old Boys rugby events, please follow the old Boys Rugby Facebook page.

Images & Text: Stephen Eagle


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 



Writer-director Jerome Pikwane on the films that shaped The Tokoloshe

Richard Kunzmann (1994) is an internationally published South African author, whose first novel, Bloody Harvests, was short-listed for the lucrative Crime Writers' Association John Creasy Award for Best New Novel in 2005.


Chris Morris the hero as South Africa beat Australia in truncated T20

... Australia began the daunting chase well but lost three wickets in seven balls including the dangerous Chris Lynn (14 off 10 balls), who was clean bowled by the excellent Chris Morris (2006).


BRAVE News: Brave Combat Federation Announces Fight Card for South Africa

Fleury faces Carlos Graca. The other bouts features Cedric Doyle against Gareth Buirski (2003) and Nkosi Ndebe against Ahmed Faress in featherweight bouts..


Rodney Durbach matriculated at Boys High in 1990 after representing Northern Gauteng at U14, U16 and U19 level, achieving South African U16 colours in 1988 and being ranked no.1 in South African U19 in his matric year. He has since represented Northern Gauteng, Central Gauteng and Western Province at the annual interprovincial tournament and represented South Africa from 1996 to 2017 at various individual and team events. He is a 3 time national champion and achieved highest World ranking of 23 and beat the then world no.1 Peter Nicol. Rodney and Natalie Grainger he won a bronze Medal for South Africa in the mixed doubles at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

For the past five years the first squash team has attended the Stayers Festival in Cape Town in October as a way of measuring ourselves against some of the best schools in the country for the upcoming season. Although the festival starts on a Friday, we leave a day early so that we can have an on-court session and a braai with Rodney Durbach at his home club - Fish Hoek Squash Club.

These sessions are the highlight of the tour every year as he always gives the boys a different perspective on the game in the time he spends on court with them and then he hosts the team for a braai where he shares knowledge and experience from his time on the world circuit.

We are immensely proud to have him as an old boy and the value of these sessions with the team every year cannot be overstated.

Craig Stephens
Master in charge - Squash


Dear Inge

A photo for your Old Boys newsletter. Boys High's contribution to the Sharks winning the 2018 Currie Cup. Chilliboy Ralepelle (2004) the Sharks captain and ex Rissik House Karen Vermeulen (my daughter), video analyst at the Sharks.

Patrick Vermeulen

Dear Pretoria Boys High school

Recently I came across my father-in-laws School Report of 1913. I thought it might be of interest to the School historians/archivists.

Coincidentally I was looking it out - because my daughter and her husband - have just arrived in Cape Town for a holiday, I'm not sure which other parts of South Africa they intend to visit.

Please find attached the School report. And also - the memorial notice to my husbands grandfather- (father of the person mentioned in report) who had been Secretary of the Cape Town Chamber of commerce it was his son - who went to your school.

Grace Ellis


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


This is the last Email Newsletter for this year and we would like to wish all Old Boys and their families a safe and blessed Festive Season.

Thank you for your support during 2018 and we hope all Old Boys will continue to send news, letters and feedback on the newsletter to us in the New Year.

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


or email


Click here for the latest school sports results

  • 5 December 2018
  • 9 January 2019
  • 12 January 2019

Click here for more

Follow @pbhsob
on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram
Click here to visit the
PBHSOB Association Online Shop.


Mr Tom Bourquin passed away on 13 October at age 81.

He served both PBHS and the wider educational field over a period of more than 60 years with aplomb. He enjoyed successful teaching spells at our School and King Edward V11, and then went on to St Stithians, where he was a committed and popular teacher and coach.

He lived on the property there with his gracious wife, Sheila, and their toddlers, Lynn and Jeanette.

His next teaching post was at Sandringham High where he was made Deputy Head. This was followed by his appointment as Deputy Principal of Sandown High and he soon became its Headmaster.

"It was at Sandown where I believe my Dad did his best work", remarked his son Roger in a eulogy at a recent memorial service in Parkview, Johannesburg. Roger followed his father into education and is currently Head of the Mathematics Department at Roedean Girls School in Johannesburg.

Roger's further comments:

Sandown was one of the biggest and most successful schools in Johannesburg at the time. They had about 1 300 pupils when he was Head there. Being a Headmaster of any school is an extremely difficult and demanding job. Gaining the respect and affection of staff, students and parents is almost unheard of.

From everything I have heard, my father managed to achieve this, and more. It has been moving to hear the glowing tributes paid to him by colleagues, students and parents from his time at Sandown.

In a letter to the Bourquin family after Tom's death, his Deputy at Sandown High, Mr Brian Wilkinson, expressed similar praise:

I regarded him as some kind of hero. I worked under, and with, several talented and highly respected headmasters in my life. And Tom stood head and shoulders above all of them.

His ability to care about and empathise with those who worked under him, even at times of great personal suffering, brought out the best in everyone. He was free of the kind of arrogance which is present in so many people in positions of power.

He also had a wicked sense of fun that made him such enjoyable company. When faced with tricky situations in my years in senior positions, I would always ask myself what Tom would have done. I admired and loved Tom, and am proud to have been able to call him my friend.


Images: Supplied & Text: Leon Kok



  • 12 JANUARY 2019
  • 17 MAY 2019
  • 26 & 27 JULY 2019
  • 16 & 17 AUGUST 2019
  • 30 & 31 AUGUST 2019

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

To unsubscribe click here