Dear Old Boy

Gregory Taylor is a commercial helicopter pilot and has been working at Chopper Worx for over seven years. He started refuelling helicopters for them in the bush as a young commercial pilot and now he is a utility vertical reference pilot for the company. "We recently helped Eskom build a 765kV powerline in the Ceres Mountains in the Western Cape. This powerline has been formed as the back bone of the country's electricity. The company specialises in powerline maintenance, powerline audits and powerline construction throughout Africa. I have been fortunate enough to travel to vast areas of Africa in a helicopter and seen places that are untouched. I have worked in Guinea, Angola, and Kenya just to name a few."

Gregory was the Head Prefect of Abernethy House in his matric year (2006) and recalls his fondest memory at Boys High was when standing on a sporting field and hearing the faint trumpet in the distance playing The Last Post. "Everybody would stop in their tracks, remove their hats, hands on their heart and stand still to show their respect."

"It is not called the best school in the world for nothing."

"Firstly, the tradition in the school is second to none, it pumps through your veins during your five years and it continues to grow when you leave as an Old Boy. Secondly, the sport and education is better than most private schools in the country. Boys High has always set a high standard when it comes to education and the high work ethic was always maintained and expected of you. We went in as boys and we left has gentlemen."

"Not many schools around the world have an Old Boys day when the students play the Old Boys in all the summer sports. I make an effort to attend every year and aim to gain bragging rights over the youngsters on the tennis court. This has also allowed us as Old Boys to interact with the boys, see old friends and reminisce over the good old days when we were at the "School on the Hill".

Gregory attended the Aeronautical Society and achieved Full Colours for tennis. He enjoyed playing water polo, in particular attending the festivals. "There was always a massive togetherness during these festivals, because we fought and competed for each other in the team. There were plenty of laughs and unfortunately some tears, but it always brought us together and made us tougher which formed a stronger brotherhood." He also fondly recalls the train trips for a sport weekend to Kearsney or Maritzburg and says there was always a sense of excitement in the air when they were boarding the train on Friday afternoon.

Mr Mansfield, Mr Acres and Mr O'Brien inspired Gregory at school and when his father, who was in aviation, passed away in Form II there was a massive support structure not only from his friends, but from the teachers as well. "This allowed me to speak about anything that was bothering me or even if I needed advice while at school. This has taught me never be afraid to ask anyone for advice or help in the industry that I am currently in."

"The school taught me work ethic, not just in studies, but also on the sports field. They also taught us manners and to be passionate in all that you do. They taught us to take pride in our uniform which would soon change into our work uniform."

Gregory has recently started to do Triathlons and trains for "the next race" at every opportunity he gets. "This is the fittest I have ever been in my life, something I am sure my school coaches do not want to hear!!"


On the 17th of March the Association hosted its second Old Boys' Chesa Nyama which was a follow up to the very successful inaugural Chesa Nyama which was held at the same time last year.

We had nearly a 100 RSVPs this year which was a substantial increase on the previous year. The final attendance could have been severely dampened by persistent rain the previous night and that morning but the turnout was very satisfactory with the final turnout being close to the number of RSVPs.

As per last year, the gents trickled in as the day went on and after a steak the Old Boys were called for an address by the Headmaster who updated the Old Boys on the "state of the school" and the initiatives it has gone through in order to make the school feel more inclusive to all the boys that attend it.

In closing, the Chesa Nyama was a great success and thanks have to go to all of those who contributed to it, namely:

  • The Headmaster, Mr. Tony Reeler, Masters and Mrs. Holliday for their support of the event
  • The Association leadership for coming out in great numbers and in PBHS colours
  • The Old Boys who donated their time to DJ at the event
  • Athenkosi Yenana who arranged welcome drinks courtesy of Skyy Vodka
  • Tebatso Kiewit and Chris Kaniki who assisted with arranging all the logistics and marketing
  • And finally our generous hosts, Peter and Rami Moatshe and the staff at Jack Buddha who went out of their way to make sure all the gents had a good time

Aphile Molefe


The Pretoria Boys High School Old Boys' Association Annual General Meeting will take place on 16th of May 2018 at the Pretoria High School Old Boys' Club, Hofmeyr Park, Lynnwood at 18:00.

We would like to encourage all Old Boys and PBHSOB Association Members to attend the evening and use the AGM as a platform to have a say and voice opinions.

If you are unable to attend, please complete a proxy form allowing another PBHSOB Association Member to vote on your behalf - click here to download the proxy form.

Kindly return the completed form to info@pbhsob.com as soon as possible. The cut-off time for returned proxy forms and apologies is 13:00 on 15 May 2018.

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Pretoria Boys High School Old Boys' Association will be held at the Pretoria High School Old Boys Club, Hofmeyr Park, Lynnwood, Pretoria on Wednesday the 16th of May 2018 at 18:00.


1. Notice convening the meeting
2. Apologies
3. Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 17 May 2017
4. Matters Arising from the minutes
5. Annual Report
6. Financial Reports and Balance Sheet
7. Resolutions

a. All other acts and things performed by the Directors on behalf of the Association during the past year are hereby confirmed.
b. Such others of which notice may be given
Note: Resolutions must be submitted in writing and must reach the Hon. Secretary seven days before the meeting.

8. Election of the Directors and Office Bearers for the ensuing year
9. Appointment of the Auditors and fixing of their remuneration
10. General

Date: 16 May 2018 | Time: 18:00
Address: 378 Queen Crescent, Lynnwood, Pretoria


The Gilbert and Sullivan operettas represent a unique combination of memorable tunes, witty lyrics, whimsical plots and colourful costumes. This makes them something to be enjoyed by the whole family.

The very first musical productions at Boys High, way back in the 1930s, were chosen from operettas written by Gilbert and Sullivan and so generations of boys from this school have enjoyed being part of these productions. They have become an important part of the tradition of the school.

Now thanks to a modern co-production with our sister school, you can enjoy all of the elements that have made these musicals timeless in their appeal. You won't be disappointed.

The production will take place from Tuesday 22 May to Friday 25 May at 19:30 pm at the Abernethy Hall, PBHS.

Tickets are R85.00 each and can be purchased online. Click here to purchase a ticket.


Making Boys High proud - Matthew Arnison (Form IV Armstrong) was chosen to be 12th man for the Titans this past weekend. Matthew is pictured here with PBHS Old Boys, Chris Morris.

On the 3rd and 4th of March, Pretoria Boys High School had 3 boys taking part in the SANESA (South African National Equestrian Schools Association) Qualifier 2 of the Gauteng (North) Tshwane schools Equestrian Championships.

The boys really did the school proud and all rode very well in various disciplines.

Daniel Aitken (Form II Matheson)
Newcomers Level
Performance riding - 2nd place
Working riding - 3rd place

Donald Geerthson (Form I Arcadia)
Level 2 Show Jumping 80cm - 5th place

Michael Buchan (Form I Sunnyside)
Level 4 Equitation 90cm - 9th place
Level 5 Working Hunter 90cm - 3rd place

For live streaming of the PBHS 1st XV matches at the Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival, please see the following links:

29/03 @ 10h45 PBHS vs Queen's College - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIpr1CgG1Wk&feature=youtu.be

31/03 @ 09h30 PBHS vs Hoërskool Framesby - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrFcl9QCLBU&feature=youtu.be

02/04 @ 15h45 PBHS vs Kearsney College - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtkd5vNa3k8&feature=youtu.be

Images & Text: PBHS


Leon Kok, Johannesburg

A month ago I reported in the Association Newsletter on the apparent death of a prominent Old Boy, Murray Hofmeyr. Fact is that I got it wrong, only to discover since that he is alive and well and being well cared for at the Brenton Care Home in Knysna.

I'm delighted about this good news, though take full responsibility for the faux pas. I also apologise unreservedly to the Hofmeyr family, the School and the Old Boys Association for any anxiety endured.

Click here to

March 2018

To whom this may concern

On behalf of the Pretoria Boys High School Old Boys' Association we would like to apologise for the publication of the article on Murray Hofmeyr.

Whilst the article was received by the Association for publication in good faith, we would further like to convey that any articles or news items received and published in the Association Newsletter express the opinion of the writer and not necessarily the Association.

Yours sincerely

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


Monitor - Keeping an eye on the braai
Download - Get the firewood off the bakkie
Hard drive - Trip back home without any cold drinks
Window - What you shut when it's cold
Screen - What you shut in the mosquito season
Byte - What mosquitoes do
Bit - What mosquitoes did
Mega Byte - What mosquitoes do at the dam
Chip - A snack
Micro Chip - What's left in the bag after you have eaten the chips
Modem - What you did to the lawns
Dot Matrix - Oom Jan Matrix's wife
Laptop - Where the cat sleeps
Software - Plastic knives and forks with your KFC order
Hardware - Stainless steel knives and forks from Checkers
Mouse - What eats the mouse in the shed
Mouse pad - Where the mouse takes the grain it does not eat
Web - What spiders make
Web site - The shed (or under the stoep)
Cursor - The old bloke who swears a lot
Search Engine - What you do when the bakkie won't go
Yahoo - What you say when the bakkie does go
Upgrade - A steep hill
Server - The person who brings out the lunch
Mail Server - The bloke who brings out the lunch
User - The neighbour who keeps borrowing things
Network - When you have to repair your fishing net
Internet - Complicated fish net repair
Netscape - When fish manoeuvres out of reach
Online - When you get the laundry hung out
Offline - When the pegs don't hold the washing up

- Boys Highlights Number 13 - November 2009


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


Incredible primate species captured on film in new charity book

... The coffee table book, which is scheduled to be published on October 15, will feature breathtaking images donated by some of the world's top wildlife photographers, including Tim Laman, Jonathan and Angela Scott, Daryl Balfour, Greg du Toit (1995) and Will Burrard-Lucas..


Titans emerge from the mayhem

... Simon Harmer (2006), the off-spinner, was the outstanding bowler, with 47 wickets from just 13 innings, including a match-best of 12-148...


Morris crowns Titans' charge

Chris Morris' (2006) 6-55 paved the way for the Titans to become the Sunfoil champions after a remarkable two-day match in which they beat the Knights by four wickets.


Returning faces after league switch guiding Corowa to CAW District grand final

... English import wicketkeeper Tyler Easton (2014) has been consistent with the gloves, Damien and Matthew Wilson have been good with the bat, Mark Athanitis has been another reliable addition...


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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.

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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 KZN Branch of the Pretoria Boys High Old Boys' Association will hold an informal get together during the Kearsney College Easter Rugby Festival. On Monday 2 April 2018 Pretoria Boys High School will play Kearsney College at 15:45. Old Boys are requested to get together from 13:00 before the game in the beer tent.

Venue: Kearsney College
2 April 2018
Time: 13:00
Lunch and Drinks: For your own account
RSVP: For more information and to RSVP, please contact: pkirsten@kearsney.com


The Lowveld Branch of the PBHSOB Association invites all Old Boys in the area to attend an informal dinner on Friday 11 May 2018.

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

Venue: Picasso's Mexican Taqueria, Baghdad Centre, White River
Date: 11 May 2018
Time: 18:00 for 18:30
Dinner & Drinks: For your own account
Dress Code: Smart-Casual
RSVP: Kuen Pappas, 083 256 6591 | kuen@halls.co.za


This is an early advisory that 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 venue will be the popular 'La Pentola' Restaurant with great views overlooking the bay - the owner and Masterchef is a PBHS Old Boy, Shayne Sauvage (1989). Shayne has assured us of a memorable evening.

What will make this a very special occasion is that the current Headmaster, Tony Reeler, will come down to join us in Hermanus, after he has attended the Cape Old Boys' Dinner at the Rondebosch Golf Club the previous evening. Added to that, retired Headmaster at PBHS, Bill Schroder has also accepted our invitation to attend the function and Greg Hassenkamp, Principal at Hermanus High School, who has had close association with both Tony and Bill will be much involved in helping us to organise this dinner.

This will be a unique get together which will really put the Hermanus Old Boys on the map. Our Old Boy numbers in this great part of the country have been increasing and although still fairly small, the evening with partners promises to be a warm and friendly occasion. All Old Boys in the Overberg area and retired PBHS teachers, should diarise the date WEDNESDAY 6TH JUNE 2018! Personal invitations with more details will be sent to all on our data base, but meantime you can contact the organisers David Leppan (082 455 6439) or Ed Meyer ( 082 880 7604)


I have read the article on manners in the latest newsletter and I want to endorse what has been said there.

In 2013, my husband and I re-visited Pretoria Boys' High because he has always enjoyed his memories of the school.

We weren't too sure of the way to go and asked a young boy to show us the way. His manners were exemplary - he showed us by taking us there, and he was so courteous and it made a strong impression on both of us.

Every boy, without fail, greeted us politely and the whole experience was so memorable.

It is a beautiful school and it is no wonder that my husband who is 78 now, remembers it so fondly.

Best Wishes,
Val De Beer.

To whom it may concern,

My name is John Dickason and a Newcastle High School old boy, residing in Canada now. I came across this newspaper clipping from 1968 and thought that you might find interesting. Great sportsmanship and respect between our 2 alma maters!

Further to the history on the clipping (above), I'm aware that Newcastle High School went on to win the National Competition in 1969, 1970 and again in 1973. The last National competition was held in 1974.

Yours sincerely
John Dickason


No legislation or regulation ever devised by politician or bureaucrat can make a bad school out of a good one, a slave school out of a freedom-loving school, or, given the support of their community, bondmen out of schoolmasters determined to be free.

In the last resort, government controlled or privately controlled, the quality of education depends on the personality of the men in the school. Buildings and grounds, as we saw this afternoon, are important; beautiful surroundings exert a continuous influence; but when you reflect on your schooldays, when you Old Boys foregather, it is not about buildings and grounds that you talk, proud as you are of them. It is about the men and fellows you knew. It is the human side that holds you, and every one of you must have in mind some strong, outstanding, eccentric personality, whose influence has remained with you throughout your life.

These schoolmasters are to be found in both private and government schools - no school can live without them.

- From the Old Boys Dinner Address delivered by D. D. MATHESON, Esq., Headmaster of the School from 1935 to 1949.

The Pretorian 1958


Click here for the latest school sports results

  • 28 March 2018 - Term I ends
  • 28 March 2018 - 2 April 2018 - Rugby: 1st XV Kearsney Festival @ Kearsney College | Rugby: U16A Festival @ Jeppe
  • 28 March 2018 - 31 March 2018 - Tennis: St Stithians Festival @ St. Stithians | U16 Nomads Hockey Festival @ Selborne College
  • 29 March 2018 - 2 April 2018 - Rugby: 2nd XV Krugersdorp Festival @ Krugersdorp High
  • 4 - 9 April 2018 - U14 Nomads Hockey Festival @ Wynberg
  • 5 - 7 April 2018 - Athletics: ASA Championships
  • 10 April 2018 - Term II starts

Click here for more

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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



My Grandfather Karl Röttcher was a Form I boy in 1950. He was in School House.

His parents wanted him to be schooled in English and for reasons which are unknown to me he was sent 400km by train to attend PBHS.

From the day he arrived at Boys High he was not overly eager to excel in academics. What he did however enjoy was art, shooting and running small businesses from within the School House walls which included barber services and biltong at a price.

In 1952 he completed the Danny Swart statue. The PBHS history books make almost no mention thereof - but in the 1994 version of the Pretorian the following was said:

Bottom: Mr Dan Swart, Mr Bill Schroder and Mr Karl Rottcher look on as the statue is hoisted into place. WHEN Walter Battiss embarked on the sculpture of "the Boys High boy" for the cupola on top of the main dome of the school he could never have anticipated the drama that would follow some forty-two years later. The "boy" was carved out of a solid piece of kiaat. The facts behind the sculpture have through the years been obscured by embellishments to the story. Originally thought by many to have been carved by Battiss himself, it came as a surprise to learn that one of his senior art pupils, Karl Rottcher, did the bulk of the carving. Apparently Battiss only reserved the carving of the face and genitals for himself.


On Friday 19 August, less than two months after he was removed, "Danny Swart" was returned to his place of honour. It was particularly moving to have both Mr Karl Rottcher and Mr Dan Swart present at the replacement ceremony. It should be noted that the funds have not yet been raised to pay for the full cost of the restoration project and any further donations would be appreciated. Other people who need to be thanked for their part in this venture include: Dr Buks Maré and Mr Wim Kossen for their help with the physical removal and replacement of the sculpture; Mr Werner Obermeyer for making the mounting for the replacement and, of course, Dr Trebot Barry without whose energy and motivation, this project would never have taken place.

(I apologise if this may be confusing - these are extracts copied from the digital version of what I think is the 1994 Pretorian.)

On the bottom right hand side of page 7 of the 2001 Pretorian there is a photograph of a boy standing next to the statue, that boy is my grandfather. (I believe the original is in the museum).

My grandfather did not matriculate - somewhere during his form 4 or 5 year he decided that " he had now learned enough" and he "knew what he had to know".

The story told by his age old friend - Glen Smith was that during an exam my grandfather simply got up and decided he had now had enough of school - he walked to his younger brother's (Peter Rottcher's) class and asked him "kom jy saam?" - he did. His younger brother went back to school - he did not.

He was well known to Mr Bill Schroder and had an extreme love and passion for the school.

His son Robert Max Rottcher attended Boys high and we, his grandsons, literally had no choice but to attend PBHS. He was extremely proud that all of his grandsons had been accepted into PBHS, and was equally proud when we were accepted into School House. His daughter Louise was also given no option but to attend Girls High.

He was an advocate of the school and would tell anyone who would listen how good the school was.

He sadly passed away on 8 February 2018 after a long period fighting diabetes.

Thanks to him when my brothers and I attended PBHS from 2001 to 2011 we were the third generation of our family to do so.

Kind Regards,
Heinrich van den Berg (2007)

Click here to view a copy of the 1994 Pretorian


  • 2 APRIL 2018
  • 11 MAY 2018
  • 16 MAY 2018
  • 18 MAY 2018
  • 2 JUNE 2018
  • 5 JUNE 2018
  • 6 JUNE 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

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