Old Harward News JUNE by monkey6


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The Newsletter of the

PO Box 1799 Pietermaritzburg 3200

Established 14 August 1990

JUNE 2009

From the Chairman
For years I have been writing this report for the magazine, wondering whether members even bother to read it: or do they flip through to the main articles. To my amazement, in response to my request, quite a few people have sent in their e-mail addressees which in turn will save us on postage. Thanks also to those who have responded to my “Springbok” list which I hope to publish in the December issue of the magazine for verification and amendment. It would be great if a honours board could be erected in the Clubhouse displaying all Harward “Springboks”. Please keep sending in the names of any person you know of that I might have missed. It is wonderful to receive letters from old boys who have left our shores but still remember the good times they had whilst living in South Africa. (See letter from Edgar Weston in this issue). How about looking for some local “lost” members and encouraging them to come along to our functions. Mrs Tina Vogal has written to me suggesting that as many of our members are reaching the elderly stage, we consider changing our year-end get-together from an evening supper to a mid-day luncheon. Many of the older folk no longer drive at night for safety reasons and find it difficult to attend the night functions. E-mail your thoughts / opinions to me at colin@fivestarlectricmotors.com and we will discuss the suggestion at our AGM in August. Look forward to seeing you all at our next function.

Regards Colin Hemingway

From the Editor
Firstly a big thank you to Roy Roberts, Brian Swart and Edgar Weston for submitting articles for the Newsletter. If anyone has any interesting articles, reminiscences or any other contribution, please contact Rob on 033 347 2747 or 072 149 8655 or by e-mail at rpnfurn@mweb.co.za. A reminder - please diarise the date of 25 June 2009 as this is the date of our annual Anniversary Function at the Clubhouse. The details appear elsewhere in this Newsletter. Please come along and bring another Harward Old Boy/Girl with you – if you cannot find an Old Boy to bring along, bring a friend - the more the merrier! Another reminder – our AGM will be held at the Clubhouse at the School on 27 August 2009 at 18:00. Please do try to attend as we need 20 members to form a quorum. And now on a lighter note! A nice, calm and respectable lady went into the pharmacy, walked right up to the pharmacist and asked for some cyanide. The pharmacist asked, “Why in the world do you need cyanide?” The lady replied, “I need it to poison my husband.” The pharmacist’s eyes got big and he exclaimed, “Lord have mercy! I can’t give you cyanide to kill your husband! That’s against the law! I’ll lose my license! They’ll throw both of us in jail! All kinds of bad things will happen. Absolutely not! You CANNOT have any cyanide!” The lady reached into her purse and pulled out a picture of her husband in bed with the pharmacist’s wife. The pharmacist looked at the picture and replied, “Well now, that’s different. You didn’t tell me you had a prescription.” See you at the Anniversary Function on 25 June. Rob Furniss for EDITORIAL COMMITTEE


Letter to the Editor by Brian Swart
It was a great pity that, unlike today, school sport, in the 50’s and 60’s, was limited to rugby, cricket, athletics, swimming and, to a lesser degree, tennis. If soccer and basketball were then, as now, recognised school activities, Harward would, I believe, have reigned unrivalled. Consider the case of soccer. Names that come to mind are Noel and Jeff Butler, Snowy Vaubell and his brother,Terry (who may have been a bit young at the time) Basil du Plessis, Brian Swart, Kenny Haynes, John and Stiggy Musgrave, Squire Flint (the best South African goalkeeper I have ever seen) Mike McGregor and Mally Fearn. If there are any others I’ve omitted (the memory slips after some 45 years) I apologise. There wasn’t a school in Natal, and probably not in South Africa, that would have stood a chance against that group of players who were all at Harward at the same time. But when it comes to basketball, I very much doubt that there was a school in the WHOLE WORLD that could have competed against a quintet comprising the Musgrave brothers, John and Stiggy, Squire Flint, Butch McKenzie and Lennie Coleman? I doubt it. Of course, these questions will never be answered, but it certainly makes one think about the unrecognised talent that Harward had at the time. If there are any other names that you can think of, please add them. Regards Brian Swart

Thoughts on where Harward School was sited
By Roy Roberts
Do you remember what the date is that is displayed on the front of the oldest part of the Harward School building? It is 1910. That was the year when, on 31st May, the two British Colonies of Natal and the Cape Colony joined with the two Boer Republics of Transvaal and Orange Free State to form the Union of South Africa. So the planning and building of the school must have been carried out under the Natal Colonial government. Also, it is now only a couple of years short of a century since the school was founded. It is interesting to think of what site was chosen for the school. It was on the bare veld which bordered the town that the Voortrekkers had laid out in 1839. When I think of it, I am amazed that a group of farmers had the courage and confidence to lay out so huge a town. Only Cape Town could have covered a larger area at that time. Durban (“Port Natal”) hardly existed, and Pretoria, Johannesburg and Bloemfontein had not started. Voortrekker Pietermaritzburg covered an area roughly 3 km by 1 km. The Voortrekkers were regarded by the British government as still being citizens of the Cape Colony and four years after Pietermaritzburg was laid out the British declared Natal to be British territory (10th May 1843). Then the British began to expand this very new Voortrekker town and to divide up the large plots that had been laid out. They made a road along one edge which they named Pine Street. Along another edge they made 4

Victoria Road. The same with Prince Alfred Street and East Street. And, eventually, on the other side of Pine Street they chose a site for our School. The Voortrekkers were farmers and they planned to stay farmers, but they needed a town where there could be shops from they could buy those things they could not produce themselves. Important among them were gunpowder and lead for casting the round bullets for their muzzle-loaded guns. Also cloth, farm tools, household goods and anything else that was imported from factories overseas. Their visits to town would be mainly at the time of the quarterly communion (Nagmaal) services. In the town they could sell farm produce and people could be married in the church. They could enjoy the fellowship of friends who they saw infrequently. So they needed to stay in town for several days at least, but probably for a week or two. They therefore needed a large plot where their trek oxen and horses could graze while they lived in their wagons or in a house they had built on the plot. The nearest plot to the future Harward site stretched from Pietermaritz Street to Berg Street - 450 ft /137 m. The frontage of the plot along Pietermatitz Street was 150ft/ 44m. In other words it was as wide as a rugby field and as long as one and a half rugby fields! It was allocated by the Volkraad on 26th February 1939 to someone known as Widow Smit. There were 4 more plots of the same size next to it until you reached the cross-road which the British later named West Street. (I unfortunately do not know the Voortrekker name for it.) The next section had ten plots until you reached the cross-road which the Voortrekkers named Retief Street. The British changed this name to Chapel and named another road Retief Street. Recently there has been a change of name again to Peter Kirchhoff Street. Then 10 more plots until you reached Nel Street. The British changed this name to Commercial Road because it carried the traffic through the town from the coast to the interior. You will know that the name has recently been changed again to Chief Albert Luthuli. Nel was the surveyor who, with Greyling , laid out Voortrekker Pietermaritzburg. One could go on a long time giving original street names and later names, but let’s consider the names around Harward. The British named several in this area after the Governors of Natal, who lived on the property at the top of Church and Longmarket Street that is surrounded by a handsome brick wall. The Natal Training College moved there in 1910 when the colonial era ended. Pine Street, along one boundary of the Harward site, got its name from Sir Benjamin Pine. He also had a street in Durban named after him and, of course, Pinetown. Another road along the Harward boundary, an extension of Pietermaritz Street, bears the name of Sir Arthur Havelock. You will know that the school was first named Havelock Road School. When that fashion of naming schools after roads changed, it received the name of its first headmaster, Mr Harward. Another boundary of Harward School is the extension of Berg Street which is known as Mayor’s Walk. I do not know who the Griffin was whose name was given to the fourth boundary road to Harward. Other streets in the neighbourhood of Harward that bear the names of Governors are West (Mr Martin West), McCallum (Sir Henry McCallum) and Scott (Sir John Scott). With its association with such illustrious personages and with its history as a school that helped mould so many boys into useful and often admirable citizens, it makes me sad to see the state of neglect that the school grounds and buildings have been allowed to fall 5

into in recent years. You Old Boys who keep the name and the memory of your school alive, even after it has been closed for over a quarter of a century, deserve praise. I am sure that you will celebrate its founding in an appropriate way in a couple of years time. Roy Roberts worked in the Harward School building for 23 years, 13 of which were on the Harward staff. After Harward had closed he worked on the staff of Natal Training College and the College of Education for Further Training.

Contemplations on being an Old Hawardian after 43 years!! By Edgar Weston
Although I am not officially a member yet I thought it would be acceptable to drop you a few lines about what Haward means to me after 43 years of having left school. Haward was an amazing school. Since leaving I have taught in a number both in South Africa and in New Zealand where I now reside and I guess I have some sort of insight as to what can and does go on from the other side. I am not sure that pupils or teachers for that matter realise the impact they have either on their peers or students. What I do know is that the teachers and guys I was privileged to be at school with were amazing characters; who still visit me in my dreams or in my quiter, more reflective moments; maybe when I am sitting out on the back deck sipping a cold beer or just staring off into the evening as it settles in, here, down under. Sometimes the memories are as close to me as Bobbo my dog sitting at my feet or as the blackbirds calling in the closing hours of their daylight world. It really doesn’t matter because for all the time that has passed the memories are there, as fresh as if they had happened yesterday!! There is little it seems that I forget! Looking at the drawing on the Old Hawardian I was able to see the classroom where Miss Boyes taught me in Standard Two with Geoff Butler, Johan De Koning, Sticks Musgrave and Squire Flint; Tim Booysen and Kenny Day, Kenny Cook and Dopey De Klerk, Desmond Vaubell and I am sure many others. Next door was 3A with Mrs Oscroft where I smartly learnt that Inspectors of Schools were not be meddled with. There it is the headmaster’s office where Messrs Attridge, Douglas,Tittlestad and Green all laid bare their respective recipes on how to discipline boys and bring them up - as Dickens would say through one of his characters - “by hand” - not too bad Mr Van Heerden [?]. And here let me digress to suggest, just for a moment, how lucky we were to have had the wise and compassionate teachers we did. Libby Van Heerden was just one of many I could name who inspired me to become a teacher - to understand what fair play meant - to realise that hard work. well done was what mattered more than anything. Libby did not just teach me English and History, he taught me to love English and History - to cherish poetry and Shakespeare and Macbeth, which we studied together in Std 7 in 1962, is still my favourite of all the plays; yet I cannot agree with Macbeth when he expostulates on life as a “walking shadow ......a tale told by an idiot, full of 6

sound and fury, signifying nothing”. For me life is greater than that and so are my memories of all my friends from school and the teachers who gave their lives to teach us. The crush-pen was one of Libbies very unique ways of getting us to learn the basics of history which we would then flesh out with our versions of events as we in our innocence and naivety understood them to be. That year I did score 88 % for history. These days I regale my students with such stories and I can see them squirming in their seats thankful that the world has changed. As for me, I am not so sure about that. But what about my peers? What could they possibly have done for me - other than got into heaps of trouble with me for doing some silly thing or other. Or maybe lent me their maths book to copy out the answers and have old Ray Fish catch me out by asking me to explain to the class ‘how you, being the worst of mathematicians, have managed to get one of the most challenging questions correct”. But in the end I guess that is what friends are for - to help you out - by lending you a smoke or maybe a buck or two to get into the ‘Kings Movie House’ or ‘The 20th Century’ or the ‘Grand’ or the old ‘Excelsior’ in Chapel Street opposite Lewis’ Sweet Corner. Man, what the mind recalls! But more than that. What about guys like Mac Mackenzie, Jumbo Jordaan, Lenny Culverwell, Neville Clarke (bless his socks - he would often give me a lift on his Lambretta scooter from Boom Street to Harward) - he was the Headboy, after all! Mike Kearney, Mike Vida, Gerry Moss and Clive Salter. And of course my oldest and dearest friend Tim Booysen - we have known each other for 53 years this year!!!!!! These were the guys who put most of us to shame because when you were in classes with them there was no mucking about. Education was their prime concern. Some like Mike Kearney, had been in the work force and had come back to get his matric certificate and get on in the world. They taught me a huge amount and I can only imagine where I may have ended up given my ability to mess around in class and to give my teachers like Mrs [OMO] Odell hell until being removed and placed outside the boss’s office for the few weeks leading up to the JC exams to give the class a chance to get on. Oh dear - yet it did not mean everything was over, for the next year, I met this group of guys who told me quite clearly that they would brook no nonsense from me. I could go on forever really - you see Harward was that sort of place - there was a place there for everyone. It could be rough and tough, but on reflection now, not really. A lot of it was sheer bravado, fizzles and pops- and generally nothing more than that. A litany of teachers that I can recall were: Miss Boyes; Mrs Oscroft: Miss Gardner;Betty Sparks - a great art teacher - Mr Van Heerden - Mr English himself - Jan Wilkins - got me through my matric afrikaans - well done sir!! ; Mr Strydom;Mr Castle; Mr Dan Raath; Pops Kelly; JD Jotter Dell - Jimmy and scragging me and Geoff Butler, it was hell !!!!-Mr Attridge; Mr Peckham; Mr Shuttleworth - an amazing guy - taught me how to do kneck springs which I later used very effectively to impress the girls!!!!- Mr Currin; Mr Roberts; Mr Fish; Mr OMO - Odell and Mrs OMO; Vic Tittlestad; Mr Green and Mr Douglas who I thought rocked as a Principal; Terry Mc Gee; Allan Bowling; Mr Sauwerman and Mr Sandsbury. 7

But what about our seniors: Winnie Watts; John Musgrave; Basil Du Plessis; Mike MacGregor; Barry Van Vuuren; Neil Du Plessis; Geoff Eichbauer;Snowy Vaubell; Colin Hemingway; Robbie Robson; Andre De Tertre; Gladdy Robb; Henni Prinsloo; Ralph Booysen and many others. I would also like to mention some whom I have not included thus far - guys who made a huge impression on our shool and our lives like - Graham Blanche;Paul Prinsloo; Louis Prinsloo; Bryan [Moosh] Van Dyk; Rob Furniss; Nolen Koekemoore;Walter Marais; Kenny Hackland; Roy Cook; Ivan Butterfield; Rob Winfield - a good spin bowler if I recall?; Des Robb; David Nel;Hilton Bingham;Roy Oosthuizen;Leonard Boonzaier. And no doubt next time I am sitting out on the deck, sipping on a cold ale, letting my mind slip back in time to that place we called “Haward” a few more names will come floating into my mind. But I guess the most important thing of all is to remember guys that of all the houses - Mitchell -Green -[Geoff Butler]; West - Red-[McGregor]; Bulwer - Blue- [Johan de Koning]; Havelock - Yellow [Du Plessis] - Havelock was always the best!!!!! Edgar Weston Tauranga New Zealand Sadly I know that some of the names mentioned in this article have passed away, but being old Hawardians they will live in the memories of those who have known them and remain - they shall not be forgotten!

Members are invited to our Anniversary Evening which will be held at the Clubhouse on 25 June 2009 from 5pm. The evening will take the form of a pasta evening and a meal will be provided

to all Old Boys and their partners/friends. To enable us to cater for the correct numbers at the pasta evening, please advise either Mervyn (083 381 0948) or Rob (072 149 8655) before 20 June 2009 whether you will be attending and the number of people who will be attending.

Come along and make this an evening to remember!

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