1977 - 2007
with contributions from:
Shirley Visser and Ron Dingley
This history document
is dedicated to all the pupils,
past and present
from 1977 to 2007.
The “Flag of Learning”
1977 - 1981
FOUNDING TO FOUNDERS’ DAY - GROWTHAND SUCCESS
This is the story of a school which started at a time of political unrest in South Africa. It has
experienced three decades of change and transformation, both politically and in education.
After only twenty years, Fairmont was rated as one of the top 100 schools in the country.
The story actually begins in 1973, when the Provincial Administration of the Cape Province
decided on the establishment of the school.
The site on which the school is situated was expropriated by the Provincial Education Depart-
ment for school purposes on 26 January 1966. The site at that stage, measuring 10.3511 ha,
was expropriated from a Mr Schabort, and the purchase price was R34 140. It was part of the
Eversdal farm, which originally measured 800 morgen and had been in possession of the
Schabort family since 1830. Portions of the site were transferred to the Municipality for road
purposes, leaving an area of 9.5871 ha.
A notice “Proposed closing of public place and proposed exchange of land” appeared in the
Cape Times and Die Burger on 9 and 16 November 1973. The relevant owners were informed
that: “A new High School is to be erected on the school site between Durbanville Hills and
Durbell and an improved entrance from Durbanville Avenue to serve Durbell and the new
school is necessary. A portion of the school site is required for this improved entrance and in
order to provide the necessary school facilities the open space in Durbell is required for tennis
courts for the school”.
In the early 1970’s, development occurred in the northern sector of Bellville, including
Ridgeworth, Stellenberg and Eversdal. In Durbanville part of Wellway Park in the north and
parts of Durbanville Hills and Valmary Park in the south were developed. This sectoral pattern
remained during the next few years, but the northern part of Bellville was to meet the southern
zone of Durbanville by 1977.
Durbanville High School was the only high school in the area. It was a dual-medium school with
an enrolment of over 1000. On the recommendation of the Parow School Board and the Educa-
tion Department, the Provincial Administration agreed to erect a new school, as an English-me-
dium High School and to change Durbanville High into an Afrikaans-medium high school.
The school was to comprise a hall to accommodate 900, classrooms, typing, music and art
rooms, a library, laboratories, offices and storerooms.
During 1976 there was much speculation as the building, with its attractive design and distinc-
tive arches, was constructed.
During the second half of the 1970’s, South African troops began to withdraw from Angola,
and the bush war raged on in Rhodesia. In 1976 violence swept through many townships and
even into the centre of Cape Town. Protests and unrest were experienced in various parts of
the country. On 16 June 1976 a student march in Soweto was stopped by police bullets.
There was to be further death and rioting during June of 1977 when the riots of the previous
year were commemorated. Disturbances were to continue throughout the country until 1980,
and return in a different form in 1984/85.
Clive Wigg: Principal October 1976 - December 2002
It was during this period of upheaval that the school staff was appointed, requisitions were
placed, pupils were enrolled and the Eversdal English-medium High School was opened. It
was the third such school in the Northern Suburbs, The Settlers having started in 1965 and
Fairbairn also starting in January 1977.
The position of Principal was advertised in the Education Gazette dated 15 July 1976. Inter-
views were conducted at the Parow School Board offices and Mr Clive Wigg, the Deputy
Principal at The Settlers High School in Bellville, was appointed, to commence duties on 1
October 1976. Mr Wigg, aged thirty-six, had taught previously at Muir College, Paarl Gymna-
sium and Sea Point Boys’ High.
He was required to appoint the new staff and to ensure that everything was ready for the first
term in 1977. The new school building was still being constructed. He was thus faced with the
daunting prospect of starting a school from scratch without an office or any assistance. Fortu-
nately, Mr Gerrit van Wyk, Principal of Kenridge Primary, and Mr Mike Reeler, Principal of
The Settlers High School, provided the use of offices. Mr Wigg thus did most of the requisi-
tioning of furniture, books and equipment from his old office at The Settlers, and enrolments
and interviews from a medical inspection room at Kenridge.
Interviews for the position of vice-principal were conducted at the Parow School Board office.
Mr Don Gibbon of Grey High School, Port Elizabeth, was nominated. The applications for all
other posts were supplied to the Principal, and he had to submit his nominations through the
The school had to provide for Standards Six to Eight in the first year. The majority of new
enrolments were thus for pupils then at Durbanville High School. The subjects to be offered
would be the same as those at Durbanville High School. The first name to be entered into the
admissions register was Petra Abel. Needless to say, a new school attracted applications from
pupils at many different schools. It would be the task of the staff to weld these into a new
identity. This would not be an easy task without a common uniform and with new rules to be
formulated and observed.
The first circular to parents, dated 10 November 1976, stipulated that if an official school
uniform was worn, it must be complete. The principal of the school concerned had to give
permission. For those who did not possess a uniform or whose uniform was too small, white
shirts and grey trousers were prescribed for boys and a “plain one colour school uniform length
and style” dress for girls. Most of the rules listed in this circular are still applicable.
Further paragraphs of the circular read:
“The committee will be elected as soon as the hall becomes available. A PTA will be estab-
lished only after the formation of the school committee. Until such time, I hope to work on a
system of small voluntary committees. Attention will have to be given to fund-raising, ground
development, the tuck-shop, the design of the school uniform, the name of the school and the
names of the Houses, library facilities and the provision of library assistants.
The Department does not provide funds when a new school is established. Naturally, we will
need funds before we can purchase, for example, any sports equipment.
To start with, the voluntary (school fund) contribution is:
R20 for one child for one year,
R30 for two or more children for one year”.
The founder staff were to be:
Principal: Mr C Wigg
Vice-Principal: Mr D Gibbon
Senior Assistants: Miss L Coetzer
Mr A Viviers
Secondary Assistants: Mrs D Carstens
Miss D Durand
Mrs C Esterhuizen
Mr T Gilman
Miss V Hill
Mr K Milford
Mr W Roux
Miss N Smuts
Miss E Strauss
Mrs E van Rijswijk
Secretary: Mrs Y van Wyk
Janitor: Mr S Engelbrecht
Six of these were beginner teachers. One teaching post and posts for cleaners were still to be
Additional teaching posts were granted on the strength of the enrolment, and Mrs F Gillman,
Mrs E Els and Mrs I Murray were appointed later to start in January.
The caretaker and two cleaners, Mr W Herwil and Mrs EArendse, started work on 1 December
1976, all other posts taking effect on 1 January 1977. Mr Engelbrecht, the caretaker, the
longest serving member of staff, was still at the school in 2007. Miss D Malan replaced Mrs
Els in April of 1977 and Mr W Ladewig replaced Mrs Murray in October.
As the end of 1976 approached, a storeroom was finally made available for the receipt of
material requisitioned from the Provincial Stores Department. The main quadrangle was still
a pile of sand and soil, and the builders’ huts and stores extended across the site of the present
swimming pool. The only developed areas were the grass strip in front of the entrance and the
field next to the partly constructed Hall. The grass at the front had to be cut with a lawnmower
brought from home!
In January, everything was ready for the big day. The offices were furnished with standard
desks, four-door cupboards and chairs. There were no curtains. The secretary’s office was that
now occupied by the Finance Secretary, and visitors had to sit on a hard wooden bench while
waiting to go down the short passage and into the Principal’s office. The secretary was pro-
vided with only a typewriter. Standard-issue chairs awaited the staff as they arrived for the
staff meeting on 17 January 1977, the day before the pupils were to arrive.
As can be imagined, all were excited; thrilled to be a part of a new venture in a wonderful
building, but somewhat wary about what to expect the next day. The list of thirty-three items
for the meeting included items such as procedure for the first day, record books and schemes of
work, dress, control, duplicating, equipment, inspectors’ visits, the model library and the for-
mation of a uniform committee to investigate and to present proposals to the school committee
when it was formed.
Everyone was impressed by the design and appearance of the school building, which was
different from that of other schools. The brickwork and aluminium windows would be main-
tenance free. The ramp was a new innovation and led to much speculation and rumour that the
building would be used as a hospital in an emergency. What was most striking, however, was
the multi-coloured interior. Every classroom had a different colour combination of walls,
floors and doors. The magnificent view across to the mountains was a talking point and al-
ready people were picturing what the grounds would be like when fully developed. The prin-
cipal made it clear that beautification of the grounds would be a priority.
The next few months would see a flurry of activity as classrooms were organised, teaching
progressed and sports and societies started. This, of course, took place with the building still
unfinished, the hall not available for assemblies until the start of the third term, and very
limited facilities for sport. No sports fixtures could be played at the school itself.
There was great excitement on 3 February when the tennis teams played their first matches.
The girls beat Tygerberg Commercial by eight games to four and the boys lost badly to Bellville
Certain basic equipment was still required. A diary entry on 25 February shows the purchase
prices of a vacuum cleaner (R199.50), a floor polisher (R796.00) and an adding machine
On 16 March the staff considered the appointment of the first monitors - prefects would come
later. Leon van der Merwe and Lesley Windell were named as Head Boy and Head Girl.
The gymnastics requisition for ropes and apparatus for the hall was placed on 31 March.
The First School Committee
On 20April School Board officials conducted the election of the first School Committee. This
committee met on 25 April. The office-bearers were elected unanimously as follows:
Chairman: Mr E J Fivaz
Vice-Chairman: Mr F J Egan
Secretary: Prof T J McCarthy
Other members present were: Mr F Choice, Mrs D Matchett, Mr B Starke and Mr E Windell.
The Principal was present in an advisory capacity. It would be many years before Education
Department regulations changed to allow for staff and pupil representation. The agenda for
this meeting included the following items:
• transport payments
• refreshments for home games
• Speech Night
• bus services
• flooding from sports field
• establishment of a PTA
• an intercom system, the school name and school uniform.
The financial statement was considered and “it emerged that the current balance on school
funds was R940.36”. It was resolved that an “additional levy of R20 per family would have to
be requested from parents”.
A list of possible school names had been circulated to parents and it was clear from the re-
sponses that the name “Fairmont” enjoyed most support.
Building in progress 1976 (Courtesy: the Tygerburger 1976)
The Chairman was delegated as a one-man sub-committee to have uniform samples made up
as well as to report on the various cloths to be used. The official school colours were declared
to be chocolate brown and white. At the next meeting on 10 May, the committee “unani-
mously accepted that the name ‘Fairmont High School’ be forwarded to the School Board for
approval as the future name of the school”.
The system of voluntary committees had been working well from the start. Mrs Maureen
Windell convened the Tuck Shop Committee, Mrs Val Williams the Fund-raising Committee
and Mrs Beryl Fivaz was the convenor for the first fête. A grand total of R2042.16 was raised.
Keen support from parents led to the presence of twenty-five stalls, the most successful on the
day being handwork (R321.87), cakes, plants and sideshows. Two plants left over grew into
big trees in the small garden next to the Administration block passage. The original iron
support is still embedded in one.
As a certain amount of money would now be available, the School Committee discussed the
purchase of an intercom system, an electric typewriter, a stencil cabinet, an automatic signal
clock for the bell, letterheads, report cards and cups and saucers.
The next significant event in 1977 was a meeting of parents held on 31 August. The staff and
approximately 150 parents were present, with Mr Wigg in the chair. He gave an outline of the
nature of various PTA’s and a brief history of such associations. “The main aim was to pro-
mote co-operation in the education of children and not merely to establish a fund-raising body.”
Discussions followed and it was decided that the provisional constitution presented be used for
one year. A committee, comprising Mrs B Craddock, Mrs B Fivaz, Mr B Froneman, Mrs S
Jordan, Mr I Shepherd, Mr D Stewart, Mrs V Williams and Mrs M Windell was elected.
The first meeting of this new PTACommittee was held on 8 September and included Mr Fivaz,
as School Committee representative, and staff representatives Miss Coetzer, Mr Gibbon and
Mr Wigg. Mr Stewart was elected as Chairman, Mr Shepherd Vice-Chairman, Mr Froneman
Treasurer and Mrs Craddock Secretary. It was agreed that the tuck-shop and fund-raising
committees would continue functioning with Mrs Windell and Mrs Williams as convenors
respectively. A Careers Evening was planned and a fund-raising competition proposed. Mr
Wigg requested that consideration be given to the composition of a suitable school song. It
was suggested that songs in addition to the one with words written by the Principal and music
by Miss Malan be composed and presented to the School and PTA Committees.
At a subsequent meeting quotations for curtaining of the school hall and other requirements
were presented as follows:
Curtaining R3000 - R5000
Public Address System R900
Stage Lighting R3000 - R5000
The Careers Evening, held on 19 October, was a great success. More than 600 parents and
pupils attended. The most popular careers, with numbers attending, were:
Ground Hostess 131
Primary School Teaching 123
Marine Biology 107
Kindergarten Teaching 102
Prizes for the fund-raising competition were drawn at a special meeting on 6 December - 1st
Prize - R400 worth of paint; 2nd Prize - a portable TV set and 3rd Prize - a R50 shopping
The first cricket team to represent the school
Fairmont Karate Club
In July a group of volunteers - Mrs Greshoff, Mrs Greaves and Mrs Shaw - assisted with the
selection and planting of a number of trees and shrubs as a first step in beautifying the grounds.
A large number of golden privets were also planted alongside pathways, and ficus trees pro-
vided by the Municipality were planted down Medway. Pupil Heather Stewart was to write
“I catch my first glimpse in twenty years of my old school. Through the mist and rain it looks
like some majestic castle high on a hill in the moors, dominating the broken skyline. The road
up towards the school is now an avenue of equally majestic trees. I can remember when this
road was lined with tiny saplings...”
In August of 1977 a circular listing a number of suggested school mottoes was sent to parents.
“Stand Fast,” suggested by Mrs Wigg, was the clear favourite.
Three potential school songs were prepared and sung at a school assembly. The song origi-
nally proposed by Mr Wigg and Miss Malan was chosen and later ratified by the School Com-
mittee. A suitable badge was the next important item to be designed.
By August the first school uniform, apart from the badge and the tie, had already been
designed. Dr C Pama was asked to design a school badge. His proposed design was
completed by November. The school committee discussed this at their meeting on 24
November and asked for amendments to the original design, including a battle-axe as the
crest! A new design was presented in January 1978. The committee reversed the original
decision, and the battle-axe was changed to a sphinx. This required a change to the design
of the mantling as well. The design was finalised in May 1978, the heraldic description
ARMS: Or, three vine leaves conjoined in a fess-point and a chief dancette Vert
WREATH AND MANTLING: Or and Vert
CREST: a sphinx or
MOTTO: Stand Fast
For some reason the incorrect colour (light brown) was used on the shield instead of gold
(or) and for a number of years the blazer badges were thus actually incorrect. The original
drawing of the coat of arms had “disappeared”. Dr Pana did a new drawing in 1987. The
school badge was finally correct in both colour and design of mantling and the vine leaves.
Subsequently, an attempt was made to trace the coats of arms of Superintendents of Educa-
tion Dr James Rose-Innes (1939 - 1859 term of office), Sir Langham Dale (1859 - 1892)
and Sir Thomas Muir (1892 - 1915) after whom the school Houses were named. Registra-
tion of the school arms with the State Herald was considered
Limited facilities did not prevent a wide range of sports from being offered in the first year. In
addition to boys’ and girls’ tennis teams, mixed teams were also entered in leagues. Badmin-
ton started under the guidance of Miss Malan. Three boys’hockey teams entered leagues. Mr
Gibbon was in charge. The Durbanville Hockey Club granted the school the use of their fields.
This was to lead to a long association between school and club. Four girls’ hockey teams were
entered and also relied on the kind support of the Club. Miss Coetzer was in charge. There
were two rugby teams. All matches were played on an away basis. Softball started during the
summer term at the end of 1977, and netball teams were entered in all four sections of the Co-
Ed Schools Competition. An U14 soccer team initially played in the league. Karate-Do was
established as one of the first activities, with Mr Milford in charge. The Durbanville Cricket
Club kindly provided facilities. Two teams were entered in the first year. A start was also
made with swimming and athletics, and a cross-country competition was held. Initial develop-
ment was again hampered by lack of facilities. The first drum-majorette squad was to be
formed at the start of 1978. Provision was also made for golf, squash, table tennis and volley-
ball. By the end of the year it was proudly announced that individual pupils had represented
the province in tennis, sailing, gymnastics, cycling and ice-skating.
A Drama Club was founded. Mrs van Rijswijk, Miss Hill and Mr Gilman ran a course on
speech training, movement and creative drama, leading up to the first One-Act Play Competi-
tion in the second term. The stage had no curtains or backdrops, so flats were constructed.
Pupils themselves chose the plays, rehearsed and acted in the plays. The Houses were desig-
nated Blue, Yellow and Red as a temporary measure. Red House’s play, “The Crimson Coco-
nut”, produced by Angela Bremner, was the winner. Other groups to start were the Students’
Christian Association and the Chess Club. Three teams were entered in the Northern Suburbs
Chess League. The Choir performed twice. A number of pupils assisted Miss Hoogenhout
with the classification, shelving and covering of books in the library. Aroom, next to the boys’
changing room, was set aside as a photographic darkroom, and Mr Roux constructed the nec-
essary cupboards. The Grapevine, a quarterly newspaper, was started in the second term.
In April 1977 the grand opening of the tuckshop took place. As the kitchen was not yet ready,
thirty-seven enthusiastic mothers decided to start working for school funds, operated from two
classrooms, and made an excellent profit of R1000.
The first Fairmont Speech Night (Prize-giving) took place on 2 November. This was an im-
portant occasion as it would be the bench-mark for all subsequent functions. It would be a
formal occasion with the staff in academic dress. The programme was:
1. Introductory Remarks
2. Annual Report Mr C Wigg
3. Piano Solo Miss J Hall
4. Introducing the guest speaker Mr E J Fivaz
5. Address Mr E Louw
6. Piano Solo Miss G D Malan
7. Vote of Thanks Mr F Egan
8. Presentation of prizes and trophies Mrs E Louw
9. National Anthem
In addition to the academic and sports awards, there were also special awards including those
for best actor and actress, best orator and the winner of the general knowledge quiz.
It was announced that the full school uniform would soon be available, that provision had been
made for recognition of honours and merit awards and that a school badge was being designed.
The system of monitors would continue until the first prefects were appointed at the end of 1978.
An analysis of examination results revealed that one could be reasonably satisfied with the
progress. Unfortunately, a new school could not provide immediate answers to those with pre-
existing problems. The creation of a teacher-psychologist post was, therefore, particularly
Two high points of 1977 were the Fête and the Careers Evening. Two lows were the non-
payment of the voluntary school fees and the fact that only nine parents assisted with guarding
the school during the June holiday, considering that this was a time of unrest in the country,
much focused on schools. Staff members had thus to bear the brunt.
The rapid growth in numbers meant that additional teachers were appointed. The average
enrolment was 500. The year proved to be a most exciting one in that three new fields were
levelled. This came about because of the generosity of Mr Basil Starke, a member of the
School Committee and a parent. As a result of a very low tender by Mr Starke, the Provincial
Administration had sanctioned the preparation of an additional three sports fields for the school.
This would mean that all sports would be played at the school from 1979. The provision for
these facilities so soon after the school’s inception was unique. It would be necessary, how-
ever, to raise the necessary funds for the purpose of grassing the fields and paying for the water
supply. To this end the teachers and pupils would embark on a sponsored twenty kilometre
walk on 1 May. It was hoped to raise R5000 in this way.
The appearance of the school altered rapidly as the slope down to the road was terraced. Grass
was planted in November after a pipe to supply water points for the additional fields was
supplied by the Works Department of the Cape Provincial Administration.
Mr Clarke, the teacher in charge of the grounds, reported: “In an effort to encourage pupil
participation in the development and funding of the grounds, a sponsored Big Walk was held.
This event formed part of the school’s contribution to Conservation Year. The Big Walk was
preceded by a talk on conservation and a tree-planting ceremony in which the monitors of
each class and Mr Wigg, Mr Gibbon and the Head Boy and Head Girl each planted a tree.
Additional shrubs and trees (nearly 200 in all) were also planted. By the end of 1978 trees had
been planted to form surrounds for all fields. In an effort to produce some shade in the quad-
rangles, shade trees were planted in pots.”
During 1978 new innovations included a “Meet the Teachers” evening after the May examina-
tion, a “Subject Choice” meeting for standard sevens and their parents and a “Fairmont Get
Together” in September. These were to become annual events.
The appointment of only one stockist to provide the school uniform led to some dissatisfaction
until the decision was clarified and explained by the School Committee at a special meeting.
“Film Evenings” were started, the first being on 10 February.
The PTA planned quarterly meetings with themes, The teenager and the school, the teenager
and his problems, The teenager and the community, and The teenager and his career. A mini-
fête was held on 27 May, at which approximately R2000 was raised. The final total for the Big
Walk was R4260.
By June the principal could report that the curtains for the hall had been ordered. The cost
would be R5219. A refund of R1400 would be received from the Education Department.
First tennis team - 1978
Standard Eight play - “Sorry wrong number “- 1978
The official opening of the school took place on 5 September. During the afternoon, class-
rooms and subject exhibitions were on view. The programme for the afternoon included: a
Physical Education class on the top field, the drum majorettes accompanied by the Paul Roos
Gymnasium Band, and boys’ hockey, girls’ hockey, netball and chess Inter-House matches.
The evening programme was:
1. School song - sung by the choir
2. Welcome - Chairman
4. Lesson (Psalm 119, verses 1-8) and prayer - led by Mr P Holgate
5. Introduction of the Guest Speaker - Mr A D du P le Roux, Circuit Inspector
6. Address - Mr P S Meyer, Director of Education
7. Unveiling of Plaque - Mr P S Meyer
8. “Do You Know Where You’re Going To?” - sung by the choir
9. Thanks - Mr C Wigg, Principal
10. The National Anthem
Here follows an extract from Mr Meyer’s address:
“Tonight may be compared with the christening ceremony of a new baby and, on such an
occasion, it is wise to cast the thoughts ahead.
“What are the influences which are going to affect the future of Fairmont High School? What
is going to determine its ultimate character as an educational institution, and how is it going
to compare over the years with its fellow schools?
“I believe that a school must stand and fall by its end product. In other words, what is the quality
of the pupils who will leave its portals after having written their final school examination?
“What will be the quality of the lives they lead as adults, and what contribution will they make
as young South Africans to the corporate life of our country?”
Anew draft PTAconstitution was prepared and was adopted at theAGM of the PTAon 18 October.
In 1978 Speech Night was held on 1 November. Dr Sandra van der Merwe, who was to be the
guest speaker, was indisposed, and Prof McCarthy replaced her at short notice.
In his report, the Principal outlined the growth in enrolment and staffing. At the start of 1979
there would be thirty-one teachers. Two of the new posts would be promotion posts. Mr W
Ladewig and Mr P Holgate had been nominated to fill these posts. The projected enrolment
was 670. The school thus also qualified for a part-time Secretary and a fifth cleaner.
A printed supplement to the report detailed progress in all sports, societies and clubs. A
similar supplement was to be provided at all future speech nights. One significant event was
the Inter-Schools Athletics meeting against Fairbairn High. This competition was to be held
annually until 1992. The first tour was undertaken when both the boys’ and girls’ hockey
teams travelled to George.
A professional dancing teacher held weekly ballroom dancing classes. Drum majorettes started
and the squad performed on the day of the official opening of the school. The Photographic
Society was functioning well. The darkroom was a distinct asset. Unfortunately, the predic-
tion that “this society should prove to be of great value as it will assist with the recording of
school events, a photo library will be compiled and photographs may be used as teaching aids
and for projects” did not hold true for more than a few years. Sadly, this was also to be the case
for various history and archive groups formed through the years. An innovation was the pro-
vision of activities boards. These were situated outside the Needlework Room in the main
passage. The colourful plastic tags were intended to enable one to see at a glance in what way
every pupil in the school was participating in the school’s extra-mural programme. The year
was one of extra-mural consolidation and growth.
The first Fairmont prefects were announced at the Speech Night function. From the next year,
they would be announced during the Valedictory Assembly.
The important role that prefects were to play in succeeding years is shown clearly in these
words from the principal’s address:
“Although students cannot make final decisions, they may certainly participate in and influ-
ence decision-making. Given the opportunity to raise issues, debate and discuss them, mem-
bers of the student council will find it necessary to keep in touch with the members of the
student body. The council must act then as the voice of the student body...The students’coun-
cil, as I envisage it, will, aside from being a forum for ideas, be given responsibilities quite
within their capacity to perform.
We have, therefore, drawn up a constitution embodying such articles as general goals, specific
aims, duties, committees and sub-committees. Embodied in the constitution are also the pre-
fects’pledge and the pupil leaders’creed.”
The prefects acted as leaders of the full Student Council, which included elected members
from each of Standards 9, 8 and 7.
The first Fairmont prefects were Torsten Moëhl (Head Boy), Lesley Windell (Head Girl), KevinWebb
(Deputy), Vanessa Koening (Deputy), Robin Craddock, Vanessa Edmunds, Diane Eva, Stacy Jonas,
Roderick Leerkamp, Hilary Middleton, Leon van der Merwe, Donna Vos and Gillian Williams.
The prefects attended a leadership and training camp at Steenbras Dam.
Cast of “What a Weekend”
The school developed rapidly. The enrolment grew from 330 in 1977 to 636 in 1979 and the
staff from seventeen to thirty-eight. The Principal reported: “As the school was built to cater
for 750 pupils, we are fast approaching the position where the school will have the maximum
numbers of pupils possible.” The fact that few men were entering the profession was a cause
The Works Department provided much improved outside lighting, and the first set of theatre
lights was installed. One of the cloakroom (peg) areas was converted into a store for the
Clothing Exchange. This conversion, opposite Room 57, was to be the first of many similar
conversions in later years as enrolment grew and the demand for accommodation increased. A
timber hut was purchased to provide a second outlet for the tuckshop in the main quadrangle.
This came to be known as the “Cabin”.
The PTA adopted the theme “Relationships and Responsibilities” as the theme for the year as
a further development of the theme “The Teenager”.
A major event during 1979 was the fête held on 5 May. This included a Pick a Box Show. The
Fairmont drum majorettes and the J J du Preez High cadet band paraded up the main street in
Durbanville to draw attention to the fête, which was a great success.
Apart from the financial benefit, a very happy atmosphere had been created in which parents,
pupils and staff worked together. Special thanks were expressed to the conveners, Mrs Cradock
and Mrs Williams, and to Mr Peter Hough, the organiser.
Other significant events were the staging on 27 July of the production “Anna and the King of
Siam”, produced Mr Peter Merrill for the Festival Players, and the Dinner Dance on 25 Au-
gust. The latter was the first of the many such PTA dances in later years.
The Dance, held at the Brackenfell Town Hall, with the band “The Pied Pipers”, included a
floor show arranged by Mrs Wigg, and was a tremendous social success.
The Springbok Radio show “Check Your Mate” was held on 12 November.
Matters receiving much attention during the year included traffic flow and the need for a cycle
lane in Durbanville Avenue, the introduction of a school uniform bank and alterations to the
tuckshop/hall kitchen servicing hatch. A first mention was made of “urgent attention...to the
provision of additional change room and toilet facilities”.
The first musical
Fairmont’s first musical was “What a Weekend”, with words and music by Professor T J
McCarthy. The report in the first school magazine read: “It was a pleasant surprise to see a
play written by a parent, produced by the headmaster, and most competently acted by the
pupils of the school”.
Inter-House Athletics 1979 - Dale win
One-Act Play Competition - Innes House: Christopher Payne, Michael McCarthy, Paul Bidder,
CAST - “WHAT A WEEKEND” 1979
Colonel Lancelot (Pongo) Pilkington : Michael McCarthy
Mrs Mabel Pilkington - his wife : Susan Bremner
Deborah Pilkington - their daughter : Michelle Faulhammer
Joan - Deborah’s friend : Jennifer Hall
Captain Reginald (Whacko) Worthington : Kevin Seeley
Mrs Dulcie Worthington - his wife : Tracy McCarthy
Archiebald Worthington - their son : David Parkes
John - Archiebald’s friend : Christopher Payne
Jarvis - the butler : Lisa Brown
Professor Percy Weedsworth : Andrew Steyn
French Maid : Bonnie van der Walt
Hockey Girls and Cricketers
Another enjoyable function was the Music Evening in October. In addition to a number of
music items, the choir sang thirteen songs, the theme being Ben and Michelle.
The Grapevine newspaper was the mouthpiece for the pupils, and was produced entirely by a
pupil staff. The 1979 Editorial Staff was:
Editors: Christopher Payne and Denise Hammer
Sub-Editors: Kim Record, Sharlene Heath,
Printers: Jannie Kolovos, Paul Bruins
Art & Advertising: Jennifer Hall
Assembly & Distribution: The Editorial Staff
This was still the time of wax stencils and manual printers. Covers were printed courtesy of
Mr and Mrs Wulfse. The Grapevine comprised letters, features, sport reports, comments,
articles, society reports, film reviews and literature. Two extracts from the second term edition
to the Sportsman of the term
Junior World Sailing
Sailing a “420”
An appeal for understanding
Sitting while the world goes by.
Not saying a word.
Proud, putting on a bold front.
Feeding crumbs to pigeons
Thinking of yesterday,
and a house full of children
Until now -
the one day of the year
when it would be nice
to be remembered.
You won’t forget - will you?
Literature would become a feature of future issues and of the school magazine. The annual
literature competition was to gain in importance. Parents and friends donated prizes and tro-
phies for academic, sporting, cultural and special achievements. A strong poetry tradition also
Traditions commencing in 1979 were the ValedictoryAssembly, including the induction of the
new prefect body, the first Matric Farewell Dance, and the meeting for parents of the Standard
The Matric Farewell Dance
The farewell took place in the school hall on Friday 5 October. Tracy McCarthy reported:
“All the matrics attended, with most of the staff and their respective partners. The Std Nine
Farewell Committee attended and many standard nines were working behind the scenes.
Thanks to our efficient cooks, waitresses and washer-uppers, we were served with delicious
food: fish cocktail, hot tropical chicken and vegetables, and cheesecake triangle. The theme
was ‘Asterix.’ Large murals, the length of the hall, were painted by some standard nines
during the holidays. The ceiling was lowered with a net and silver streamers were attrac-
tively looped around the hall.”
“That everybody thoroughly enjoyed the evening is indicated by the fact that the band was
requested to play on after midnight.”
The Valedictory Assembly
The Valedictory Assembly programme, which was to be similar (but with amendments) in
following years, was:
1. Choir - Guadeamus Igitur, prefects and other matrics to enter the hall from the foyer, in
2. Introductory remarks - Principal.
3. Announcement of the names of the new prefects.
4. The Prefects’ Pledge (said by one of the new prefects).
5. Presentation of badges and certificates - prefect to prefect.
6. The outgoing Head Boy/Head Girl address, and handing over of the School Flag to the
new Head Boy/Head Girl and to charge them with their responsibilities.
7. The outgoing prefects leave the stage.
8. Address to Std 10’s - Principal.
9. Scripture reading.
11. School song.
12. Pupils leave the hall, with standard nines leaving first.
13. Stage party leave Hall, the 10’s leaving last.
14. 10’s to pass through 6’s, 7’s, 8,’s, 9’s to leave at front gate.
15. Past Pupil representatives to greet Matrics at front gate.
The Valedictory Assembly, which took place on the day after Speech Night until the introduc-
tion of Matric Day on that day, followed breakfast for the staff and the matrics, the matric
concert for the school and tea for staff, committee members and matrics. Mrs Lyn Wigg
organised the tea for a number of years.
The camp for the new prefects (the second such camp) was again held over three days from 3
November at Steenbras Dam. Mr Gibbon reported: “An overflowing Steenbras Dam added
excitement to the initial proceedings...and provided a promising omen for the year ahead. The
spirit of the group, their willingness to learn and their determination to contribute positively to
the school provided a sound base from which to launch.”
The goal of the camp was to prepare prefects for their role as members of the Student Council
• styles of leadership
• creation of team spirit
• clarity regarding duties and responsibilities.
The 1979 school magazine was the first. The editors were pupils, Tracy McCarthy and Lynn
van der Hoven, under the supervision of Mr Parsons. The magazine covered the events of the
first three years. The list of contents read:
• Principal’s report
• Thoughts (literature)
• Fairmont in action (sport)
• Fairmont’s other activities (societies and cultural)
• Inter-House Competition
• Looking back
• Prizes and awards
• Class of ’79
The teaching staff had grown from an initial seventeen to thirty-three. Only eight of the origi-
nal teaching staff were still at the school, and also MrsYvan Wyk (secretary), Mr S Engelbrecht
(caretaker), Mr W Herwil - who was to become an institution at the school as “Willie” - and
Mrs E Arendse (cleaners). Nine staff members were married during the period 1977 - 1979
and seven babies were born.
Outstanding achievements in sports offered at the school were those of Janet Grieve (cross-
country), Tracey Jordan and Belinda Ireland (squash) and Ashley Ware-Lane (hockey), all of
whom were selected for WP school teams.
Carol-Ann Brown won the WP U14 javelin event, establishing a new record.
Robin Craddock hit the first four, six and fifty on the new cricket field, and Russell Davies
scored 105 against SACS.
P Hough, T McCarthy, P Ireland, D Smith, A Parker, E Fivaz, F Choice
The examination results of the first matric class, published on 1 January 1980, elicited much
interest and comment.
Matriculation Exemption: 43
Fifteen of the twenty-three subject averages were above those of the province.
Three founder members were among those who left at the end of 1979. The staff looked
forward to greeting the new faces in 1980, but possibly did not realise the extent to which the
complement would be altered.
Thirty-eight teachers comprised the academic staff in 1980.
As the year started with 700 pupils, the main concerns were accommodation and staffing.
Rapid development was taking place in the area which the school served. “The Education
Department is aware of the situation, and we trust that an answer will be found in the provi-
sion of another school or extensions to your building in the foreseeable future.” These words
from the Annual Report were a foretaste of what would occupy the minds of the School Com-
mittee for the next few years.
Widespread publicity was given to the “crisis in education” and it was increasingly difficult to
recruit Mathematics and Science teachers. An encouraging development was the reservation
of 15% of posts for the permanent appointment of married women.
Another matter which was given much attention was the system of examining and testing. The
cycle examination system, in which pupils were examined weekly throughout the year, was on
trial. A modified and more flexible system would be introduced in 1981.
The year saw a number of innovations such as the S.C.A Mission Week, the contact with The
Settlers High School staff and pupils over a number of days, a number of inter-disciplinary and
subject excursions, an inter-class sports day, the planning of a Std 6 camp and the establish-
ment of a course in first-aid. Kelly Austin from the USA became the second Rotary Exchange
Student to attend the school. Kim Cowley fromAustralia was the first in 1978. It was said that
“these new events and activities on our calendar will give a better indication of the spirit and
nature of this school than a thousand words can say”. The Settlers Contact and the Standard
6 Camp were to become important annual events.
Three events which brought great satisfaction were the pupils’ response to the call to partici-
pate in the Spring Walk, their appeals for sponsorship and their participation leading to an
amount of R6718 being raised, in the World Vision 40-Hour Fast, in which 150 pupils partici-
pated and raised R2100 for the World Vision Hungry Children’s Fund, and the establishment
of the Past Pupils’Association in June. Evangelos Kolovos, the first PPA chairman, described
the formation of the Association in his report in the 1980 School Magazine: “At the first
Valedictory Service breakfast, the first Std 10 class chose five of their number and gave them
the unique task of drawing up a constitution for the newly-christened Fairmont Past Pupils’
Association. The steering committee was: E G Kolovos (Chairman), M S Hansen (Secretary),
R A Craddock, R M Davies and K C Usmar-Blake.
First Softball Team - 1980
Drum Majorettes - 1980
“At the inaugural meeting at the Boston Hotel in June 1980, the nine-point constitution (pro-
posed by the steering committee) was unanimously approved. The following Executive Com-
mittee was elected for the year ending February 1981:”
Chairman: E Kolovos
Vice-Chairman: M S Hansen
Secretary-Treasurer: H M Middleton
Additional Members: C A Mostert, G S Williams
Staff member: L Coetzer
Principal (ex officio): C Wigg
Head Prefect (ex officio): J Cranke
The position of Honorary President was not filled initially.
“The main objectives of the Association are:
1. To promote the welfare of the school in all branches of its activities.
2. To promote the welfare of past pupils and to provide such social, cultural and sporting
functions as shall be to their interest.”
Among the items discussed at the first meeting of the PTA Committee in 1980 were a Dance,
a Big Walk, the sale of House T-shirts and the formation of a 100 Club.
It was resolved at the meeting held on 15 July that the PTA constitution be amended to move
the annual general meeting from October to February, and to elect parent representation per
standard. The draft amended constitution would be circulated to parents.
The PTA Dance was held on 26 July at the Brackenfell Civic Centre. Although the support of
the parents was disappointing, the dance proved to be an enjoyable occasion.
The General Secretary of the South African Teachers Association, Mr R Cope, addressed a gen-
eral meeting of the PTAon 27August. In his address he drew attention to the alarming increase in
resignations amongst teachers and the fact that certain schools in the country could not effectively
operate due to the staff shortage. He warned parents that if conditions did not become more
favourable and if future incentives did not draw student teachers and keep present teachers in their
profession, the future learning abilities of their children might be seriously jeopardised.
It was decided by those present that an effort should be made by every parent to address a letter to
the Minister of Education expressing dissatisfaction and concern about the future of teachers in
South Africa. This decision was later amended after discussion with the School Committee.
In September the Committee felt that a decision should be reached regarding the type of func-
tion for the Fifth Year Anniversary in order that planning might be commenced.
The only fund-raising event of any significance during 1980 was the Big Walk organised jointly
with the School in April. Other minor sources were the Dance and a recording session of the
Springbok Radio Show “Check Your Mate”.
The 1980 Annual Report had a supplement detailing progress in sport, societies and clubs. The
remarkable progress made in only a few years is evident from these extracts from the supplement.
Approximately 35 pupils have attended regular weekly classes conducted by professional teach-
ers. The pupils have received tuition in both ballroom and disco dancing.
The choir has performed in public on four occasions this year and has been very well received.
They were invited to the European Immigration Festival as a result of their good performance
in the Tygerberg Song Festival. On 8 December the first Carols function will take place.
15-20 players have participated regularly and two teams have competed in the schools’ league.
This society has had a successful year and there have been numerous outings.
A successful Variety Show was held on 6 October, and a one-act play was presented on 23
October. A music revue, “Head Over Heels”, with words and music by Prof T McCarthy, was
presented in our hall on 7 May. This was a most enjoyable and successful production.
Inter-House One-Act Plays
The competition, held on 26 March, was a great success and a high standard was achieved.
“See How They Run”, the first three-act play to be presented at the school, ran for two nights
in October. This excellent production was very well received.
The drum majorettes have had a full programme and performed in public nine times.
An enjoyable evening was arranged for those senior pupils taking German at Brackenfell,
Durbanville and Fairmont, and will be an annual event.
Much greater use has been made of the library, mainly due to the increased number of books.
Over R3000 has already been spent on an additional 800 books this year.
Matric Farewell Committee
The Dinner /Dance, held in an Arabian atmosphere, was a great success. Few parents and
pupils realise exactly how much effort goes into such a function. The Committee works to a
strict budget, has to seek donations, borrow materials, paint during the school holiday, and
consider numerous other aspects such as gifts, printing, ordering and preparation of the dinner.
Regular Wednesday afternoon classes are held under the auspices of the Charlotte Field Danc-
ing School. The girls performed successfully in public on 23 October.
Fourteen pupils use the Darkroom regularly. The Club was placed second in the Cape Educa-
tion Department’s photographic competition. M. Faichnie and G. Liebenberg won individual
awards. A great deal has been done to expand the Society and to utilise the facilities fully. An
extensive training programme was conducted. Individual interest has been keen, and members
have assisted with other school projects, such as the School Magazine.
This year each class was asked to raise Rl,00 per pupil, either by direct payment or by means
of fund-raising activities. This has contributed greatly to class spirit. Mrs Wulfse again worked
tirelessly on our behalf and raised over R1700 from sponsors.
Students’ Christian Association
50 pupils attend meetings regularly, but up to 180 pupils attend on special occasions. Prayer
meetings are also held on Mondays, and area meetings with committees from other schools are
held quarterly. The full programme has included guest speakers, discussions, films, a very
successful “Focus Week”, and a welcome for the new Standard Sixes.
The Council comprises fifteen prefects and thirty-six sub-committee members and monitors.
It has been very active this year under the leadership of John Cranke and Tracy McCarthy.
Evening meetings, ending with tea and cake, have been held two or three times a term. Particu-
larly pleasing areas of involvement have been a party at the orphanage, a garden party for the
members of Huis Aristea and Green Pastures, meetings with The Settlers and Durbanville
prefects, standard six orientation, initiation of the Fairmont Settlers contact, and certain im-
provements in the grounds.
Five teachers and approximately 120 pupils have participated. Four teams competed in the
league and six teams compete internally. The internal Vineyard League has grown in popular-
ity, particularly during the fourth term. Standards have continued to improve and results have
been most encouraging. John Cranke and Gavin Taylor have represented the Tygerberg re-
gional XI, and Victor Hawken has played for the U15 Tygerberg XI.
Janet Grieve represented W.P. at the S.A. Championships at Voortrekkerhoogte. The Schools’
Cross-country races, the “Spring Runs”, were successful and enjoyable, with much greater
participation this year.
Ten riders have participated in two teams. The teams fared well at the opening of the Cape
Hunt and Polo Club clubhouse and course, when they came second.
Juliet Kruger represented Western Province.
This has again been a very successful season. The School is fortunate in having a number of
experienced coaches. Mr Phillips, a qualified umpire, did much to develop umpiring skills,
and a number of pupils were able to handle games with confidence at the end of the season.
The enthusiasm of the coaches soon led to great keenness on the part of the players, and a
successful 24-hour fund-raising hockey marathon was held. The 1st XI was again invited to
participate in the prestige Outeniqua tournament in George, and during the third term the 1st
and U15A Boys’ and Girls’ teams played in Oudtshoorn and George. This was a successful,
enjoyable and educational visit. The internal “International League” also ‘“encouraged par-
The girls also enjoyed a successful season. Four teams participated in senior leagues, the first
team participating in the Southern Suburbs league for the first time. The second and third
teams both won their respective leagues. The tour to Oudtshoorn and George was one of the
highlights of the season.
A small group entered the annual Karate-do competition as the Fairmont Club.
The historic first game on our home field was played against The Settlers High. Matches will
be played on two home fields next year.
Forty girls have played regularly. The first team performed with credit in the Women’s League
during the second half of the 79/80 season.Anumber of players participated in the trials for the
W.P. team. C. Brown was chosen for the team, and A. Richter was the home reserve. Two
teams have now entered in the new Schools’ league. Our players have done so much for the
school and are to be congratulated on being among those responsible for the development of
softball as a sport in schools.
Twenty players participate. Two teams compete in the Schools’ league. Stephen Armstrong
won the National U13 championship and Belinda Ireland and Tracy Jordan represented W.P.
There was a tremendous upsurge in interest and enthusiasm. The first Inter-House gala, held at
the Sanlam Bath, was a happy and successful occasion. The lack of training facilities remains
a serious obstacle, but the initiative and interest shown compensated greatly.
Head Prefects at play - 1980
Teams: 1 Girls, 1 Boys 2 Mixed League. The girls won the first league for the second time.
About fifty pupils also participate internally, but additional facilities are urgently required.
André Wulfse, Heidi and Cindy Freudenberg, and Janine Lambert all represented Western
Province. Cindy is the current W.P. U14 champion.
Pupils were entered in both the Cape Town Eisteddfod and the Tygerberg Eisteddfod. The
following pupils all obtained Highest Honours for their respective items: Tracy McCarthy,
Louise du Preez, Michelle Faulhammer, Sanette van der Mescht and Grace Elliott.
All twenty-two Standard Nines who participated passed the first diploma in First Aid after
attending classes for a term during the Youth Preparedness periods.
Leadership and Subject courses: Tracy McCarthy was selected for the course
organised by Die Burger in December 1973. The Head Prefects attended a course organised by
Stellenbosch University, and six pupils attended the Jaycee’s “Tomorrow’s Leaders” course at
Muizenberg. The Principal and Mr van Stormbroek attended a Youth Preparedness Course, Mr
Shaw a History course, and five English teachers a refresher course. Various teachers attended
Youth Preparedness: Some of the subjects covered were as follows: Std 6 orientation
a Best Speakers’ competition; a show on Bob Dylan; Std X Careers Guidance, a demonstration of
weapons, talks on camping and school societies. A number of guest speakers visited the school.
The School - 1980
In his report at the PTA AGM on 9 February 1981, the principal indicated that the enrolment
stood at 783. As the school had been planned for 750, accommodating more pupils would be
a problem in the near future.
Matric Results 1980:
The School Committee considered accommodation requirements in a serious light. Action
taken is evident from these extracts from the minutes of the first term meeting in 1981:
• “Sports facilities: Notification that school is entitled to additional facilities is
noted. Mr Choice suggested a letter be sent to School Board confirming
approved additional facilities and requesting earliest provision/execution by
Works Department (done: 20 Feb 1981)
• Additional Sports fields: Further meetings/discussion with Municipal authori-
ties and Education authorities to finalise agreement to be held.
• Long Term Development Projects: Mr Wigg tabled sketches of school pavil-
ions with the suggestion/request that the PTA should work toward a similar
project on a staged, phased basis.
• Changing Room/Toilets/Clubhouse/Swimming Pool Complex: Mr Choice
reported that the Cape ProvincialAdministration would provide working draw-
ings of proposed complex free of charge.
Messrs Choice and Parker confirmed as sub-committee to investigate the
possible building of the proposed complex.
• Tennis and Netball Courts and Cricket Nets: Copy of urgent letter from School
Board to Department tabled.”
Other items handled by the committee included:
• the conveyance scheme for pupils
• use of the school building by the Methodist Church
• school signboard
• honours boards
• raising/flying of school and national flags
• a burglar alarm system
• the possible introduction of a cadet corps.
Buildings and Grounds
In July the School Board informed the school that three prefabricated classrooms had been
allocated to the school for use in 1982. (These were to be the first of many such ‘prefabs’
extending eventually along the parking area to near the front gate and including a prefabricated
toilet block for some time.)
Erf 713, the ground below DurbanvilleAvenue, was acquired by the school on a twenty-five year
lease and grass seeding was completed during the year. These new fields would be used for
hockey and cricket in accordance with an agreement reached with the neighbouring residents.
A number of improvements and conversions were carried out. The original requisition store
was converted into an audio-visual theatre stocked with television camera and monitor, video
recorders and various projectors. Part of the Hall basement was partitioned off as a store.
Cloakroom areas were converted into a store for the clothing bank and a new Deputy Princi-
pal’s office. Staff room chairs and tables were provided.
LETTER FROM DURBANVILLE MUNICIPALITY 28 OCTOBER 1980
Dear Mr Wigg
TRAFFIC : FAIRMONT HIGH SCHOOL
Your letters dated 24 September and 23 October 1980 refer. I wish to inform you that my
Council considered the matter at its meeting held on 27 October 1980 and Council has
agreed to change Medway to a one-way street down from its intersection with Hillrise to
its intersection with Durbell Road. Steps will also be taken to create a no stopping zone
from the intersection of Medway and Hillrise to a suitable distance beyond the front gates
of the school. A pedestrian crossing will be provided in the vicinity of the gate leading to
the school sports-fields. In addition angled parking will be provided on the southern side of
Medway and parallel on-street parking is to be provided on the northern side of Medway.
A strip of road reserve on the northern side of Medway will be tarred for use by pedestri-
My Council unfortunately did not see its way clear to provide a pavement for pedestrians
and cyclists as contemplated in paragraph 6 of your letter of 23 October 1980. The neces-
sary road works will be commenced with as soon as possible and it is anticipated that all
works and traffic signs will be completed and erected by the beginning of January 1981.
Another important innovation in 1981 was a Founders’Day function. The first Founders’Day
Dinner was planned for 4 September. Mr and Mrs Isgar organised a most enjoyable Founders’
Day Banquet at which the guest speaker was the MEC for Education, Mr W Bouwer. Asimilar
anniversary function would be held every five years.
The Past Pupils’ Committee, under the leadership of Evangelos Kolovos, had an active year.
Their functions included a braai for the 1980 Matrics, a highly successful Max Collie (hypno-
tist) Show, the first PPA dinner-dance and the first Founders’ Day sports fixtures against the
school teams. The committee presented a new lectern for use in the hall.
The PTA Committee was elected according to the new system of representation per standard.
The Fifth Anniversary Féte, organised by Mr Gawler, was especially successful. A Fashion
Show was held in April, and the quarterly meetings were interesting and rewarding.
Two additional teaching posts were created. Ten new teachers joined the Staff. Five teachers
filled temporary positions.
USE OF SCHOOL PREMISES
For many years official permission had to be obtained for outsiders to use school facili-
ties and premises or to address gatherings of pupil and parents.
Similarly, permission had to be sought for wine to be served.
This letter, dated 24 July 1981, is an example:
Parow School Board
FOUNDERS’DAY DINNER: 4 SEPTEMBER 1981
It is the intention to hold a Founders’ Day Dinner at this school the evening of 4 Septem-
ber to commemorate the 5th year of the school.
At the dinner the organisers would like to serve sherry and light wines. The serving of the
wine will be by senior pupils. We request your formal permission to organise the event
and the serving duties as outlined.
Secretary: School Committee
Notable successes included the victories in the Inter-School Athletics and Swimming compe-
titions in one week in March. A number of pupils were chosen as provincial representatives,
and Carol Brown (U19 Softball) and Katherine and Theresa Keet (Roller-Hockey) were cho-
sen for South African A teams. Softball, hockey and dance marathons were held as pupils
raised funds themselves for various activities. A prefects’exchange with Wynberg Girls’High
was initiated. Rugby teams toured to George, and the Girls’Hockey team attended a course at
the University of Port Elizabeth. Anumber of subject excursions were undertaken. The Stand-
ard Six four-day excursion/camp was especially noteworthy.
The first Panel Inspection was held from 3 to 7 August. Seven circuit inspectors and twelve
subject planners and advisors visited the school.
SOLAR ENERGY PROJECT: FIRST IN SOUTH AFRICA
“There was great excitement when the SABC TV crew arrived at the school to interview
and film the Solar Energy Group. The filming took place on the lawn outside the offices -
now part of the Pool lawn. More excitement followed as Fairmont was featured in the
evening news broadcast.
The Group was formed in 1980, following the announcement of a major competition by
the S A Institute of Mechanical Engineers, and comprised nine senior physics pupils. The
competition required that a working model which could harness the energy of the sun, be
designed and built by June of 1981.
The results of the regional judging were made known at the end of September. In Novem-
ber we learnt that Fairmont had been placed first in South Africa.”
An interesting consequence was a letter from a gentleman in Mexico, including the fol-
“Dear Senor Stefan
I see where you have developed a producing machine to make alcohol from the sun. I am
much interested as we have plenty of sun here but alcoholic beverages are expensive,
especially imports from Scotland.
Would you be kind enough to send me details...”
(Mexico would feature again many years later when an invitation was received for the
Girls’ Basketball team to participate in a schools’ tournament in Mexico)
COMMENTS (MADE IN 2006) ON RULES AND REGULATIONS
• We weren’t allowed to ride bikes in the school grounds - we had to push!
• Not being allowed to use haversacks was a big gripe.
• The colour of the school uniform was a huge problem - not cool!
• Not being allowed to wear scarves in class!
• Girls weren’t allowed to wear clear nail polish...
• The lengths of our school dresses were checked!
• Not being allowed to sit in front of the school hall during breaks.
• Not being allowed to bring boyfriends/girlfriends to the Matric dance.
Matric Farewell Dance 1981
1982 - 1986
FACILITIES, FUND-RAISING AND TRADITIONS
At the PTA AGM on 10 February 1982 the School Committee Chairman, Mr Fivaz, reported
on the distribution of funds for the year:
R5000 on sports equipment
R3100 on office equipment
R5600 on office equipment
R8400 on teaching aids
R2000 on library
R2000 on grounds
R2000 on transport costs
Buildings and Grounds
“According to a master plan, the Fund-raising Committee must set its sights on a building
complex to be erected on the middle terraced field. Improvements for the future would be
changing rooms, swimming bath, squash court, clubhouse and a second squash court.”
The cost of the facilities would be in the region of R250000-00. Mr Fivaz urged parents to
donate on a monthly basis and quoted from the 1981 Income TaxAct, with particular reference
to tax-deductible donations to secondary schools. The aim was for a three-year development
Further development of facilities was in progress. The principal was able to report inApril that
four tennis courts and two netball courts were being built, and that additional cricket nets
would be supplied by the Education Department.
The Sports Complex and fund-raising for it was to be the focus for some time. By July the
wording for the special appeal pamphlet was finalised. Fund-raising was to continue into
1983, when a special fund-raising drive would be launched at a finger supper.
It is interesting to note that the PTA catered for teachers who remained at the school after
normal school hours so as to attend the evening meetings. Mrs Page handled this much appre-
ciated support role in 1982.
Problems with laboratory and hall floors were to be considered a number of times before
satisfactory solutions could be found.
The proposed lease for Erf 713 was read paragraph by paragraph and agreed to by the Commit-
tee on 28 July. It was recommended to the School Board for approval.
The constitutions of the Sports Complex Fund and the Educational Fund were ratified in Au-
gust. All funds deposited in the School Fund would henceforth be deposited in the name of the
Educational Fund. Receipts would be issued for purposes of section 18A of the Income Tax
Act of 1962.
A committee election took place in September and the new members were welcomed at the
meeting on 23 September. It was resolved at this meeting that “The Chairman, Headmaster
and Mr Choice to see the MEC as a matter of urgency to further motivate an application for
additions to our existing building and also to discuss the rapidly growing need for a new
English-medium school in the area”.
The opening of the new field would be a “low-key affair” - a cricket match between the school
and the municipality would take place.
The main fund-raising events during 1982 were a Big Walk and the Ken Higgens, Pip Freed-
man and Vincent van Rooyen show. The Walk was reported on in the 1982 magazine in these
words: “The Winter Wander was held on 11 August this year, in which 1600 feet raised nearly
R11 000 towards the Sports Complex Fund. That’s nearly R1.00 per foot...”.
The Past Pupils’Association had a successful year in spite of initial difficulties. A successful
variety show was held early in the first term and two film shows were held at the school. The
traditional braai for the Matrics took place after the final examination.
The opening of the Teachers’ Centre in Parow was an encouraging development.
The Media Centre was being used more extensively. Mrs Paula van Wyk was appointed as
secretary in the Media Centre, and the provision of better printing facilities helped greatly.
Some excellent television programmes were produced, one of which was shown as part of the
Speech Night displays. Thirteen subject displays were on view before and after the Speech
Honours boards were hung in the Hall foyer, and House Flags would soon be available. Fur-
ther conversions led to the provision of offices for the newly appointed laboratory assistant,
Mrs R van der Riet, and the fourth Head of Department.
The purchase of a computer to be used initially for administration purposes was being considered!
• Two Std 10’s were selected as exchange students - Karen Davies on
Rotary Exchange to the USA and Kinga Sebesteny as an American Field
Service scholar to Thailand.
• Moira Paveley was placed nineteenth in the English Olympiad.
• Janet Grieve (cross-country) and Belinda Ireland and Trevor Davies (squash)
achieved national recognition.
Visitors to the school included the Jazzart Dance Company and CAPAB Opera and Drama Groups.
A special feature of Valedictory Assemblies at Fairmont has been the singing of a special song
for the matrics. For example, in 1982 Colleen Newham, music teacher, wrote these words to
the music of C Jacobs-Bond:
“When you come to the end of this perfect day
And you sit alone with your thought
You will know through the years there’ll be memories
Of the joy that these days have brought.
You’ll remember your friends and the golden days
And tears, happiness and love
And mem’ry will paint you this perfect day
With colours that never fade.”
The English Department submitted a request in March relating to inter-racial contact during
prefect and student exchanges. Unfortunately, at this time such contact was not officially
permitted. Other matters handled by the School Committee during the year included reim-
bursement of petrol expenses to teachers on official school business, advanced reading tech-
nique courses and the purchase of a sundial for the senior quadrangle.
The enrolment in 1982 stood at 850, with a staff of forty-four teachers, one laboratory assist-
ant, three secretaries, a caretaker and six cleaners.
The projected enrolment for 1983 was 940. Three additional teaching posts would be created.
Only two of the permanent staff left at the end of the year.
It was agreed at the Committee meeting of 23 September that all first teams would be permit-
ted to wear different socks so as “to distinguish them” (from the other teams).
In November it was agreed that fees be increased from R15 to R25 per term per family.
Mr Hardy and Matric Invigilators for Matric Examination 1983
The Matric results were again very pleasing. Five pupils obtained A aggregates and seventy
(50.7% of the class) obtained matric exemption. Qualification for an A was to change in the
future, but at this stage it was still a genuine 80%.
Dear Mr Wigg
MATRIC RESULTS, 1982
It is a pleasure and a privilege to me to congratulate you and your staff on your school’s
excellent 1982 matric results, in particular in respect of those 5 pupils who obtained the
highest marks, namely an A symbol in their aggregate.
It is only through hard work that good results are obtained, which proves to me that you
and your staff carried out your vocation as teachers in a conscientious and dedicated
manner, thereby enabling both school and pupils to share in a great achievement.
Once again hearty congratulations and may 1982 be an incentive to aim at even greater
achievements during the new year.
ADMINISTRATOR OF THE CAPE
Buildings and Grounds
Accommodation issues continued to predominate in 1983.
The Principal reported, at a Committee meeting on 16 March, on a meeting with the Chief,
Physical Amenities. Fairmont was not included on any building or sports facilities list up to
1985. A new high school was planned for the Stellenberg area. The school should open in
1986. The Education Department policy was to have schools with a maximum of 750 pupils.
If it was found that Fairmont stabilised at 850, for example, additions would be considered.
The policy was to provide mobile units as a temporary measure.
The Department would refund 100% of the cost of new changing rooms, provided they were
built according to the Department’s plans and specifications. Any extensions and additions to
the Department plans would have to be at the school’s own expense. Refunds would not be
provided for five to six years.
The Committee considered an extensive range of proposed expenditure items including a vacuum
cleaner, a cinema screen, a trailer, reception area improvements, additional intercom speakers,
hockey posts and physical education apparatus.
In June Mr Choice reported on his consultation with Mr R Nixon (the architect who had de-
signed the school building) concerning the proposed Sports Complex. The Committee de-
cided to proceed with sketch plans by Mr Nixon. These were presented at the meeting in
August. At this meeting it was decided to change the name of the Sports Complex Fund to
“Fairmont Development Fund”.
By the end of November the sketch plan for the Sports Complex had been approved and work-
ing drawings were being prepared by the architect.
15 September. At the Committee meeting on 7 September twelve appointments were ratified.
A finger supper was arranged for 14 November for the School and PTA Committees, eight
senior teachers and certain parents who had rendered special service to the school. This was to
be the forerunner of many similar functions.
In a letter to new parents the School Committee chairman commented on the fact that Fairmont
was already the biggest English-medium high school in the Cape Province.
The following comments were among those made by the principal in his annual report:
Enrolment and Staff
The enrolment stands at 933. The subdivision of the school into three manageable units has
been an attempt to provide more individual attention.
Six new tennis courts and four cricket nets were used for the first time this year, and the Oval Field
across the road has relieved the pressure on the original site. A large percentage of our pupils,
especially in the junior standards, participate in sport and all facilities are extensively used.
Aqualified Drama teacher, Miss Chait, has been appointed for next year and each standard six
class will have a drama period once a week. I hope that a strong drama society will develop and
that the school will present regular productions. Attention will thus have to be given to the
purchase of additional theatre lights, the stocking of a drama store and the improvement of
facilities in the drama room on the top floor of the changing room block.
The Media Centre will also be extended. Additional facilities will be provided and, with Mr
Holgate joining the Media Centre team of Mrs Du Toit and Mrs van Wyk next year, I trust that
this Centre will be used to an even greater extent by staff and pupils. Improvements have
already been effected in the A-V Theatre.
We are very short of office space and we hope to convert a cloakroom area to three offices for
Department Heads as soon as possible.
Attention is also being given to facilities for those in the Advanced Learning Programme,
started this year, and for the provision of computers when this becomes feasible. Three addi-
tional prefabricated classrooms have been provided.
You will have noticed the magnificent new trophy cabinet in the front foyer. This is a gift from
the Matric Class, aided by funds raised by last year’s class. We thank them most sincerely for
providing such a necessary and much appreciated facility.
Our school will be the venue for the Annual Conference of the South African Teachers Asso-
ciation in June 1984; the first time the Conference will be held in the Tygerberg.
Some of the noteworthy achievements this year were:
• Greater community service, for example, the work of the Service Society, the partici-
pation in the SANCOB operation to save gannets affected by the oil tanker disaster,
and participation in the ‘Blisters for Bread’, ‘World Vision’ and ‘Beauty without
cruelty’ fund-raising activities.
• The boys U 15 A Hockey team won the WP Indoor tournament.
• A Junior Parent- Pupils’ Day in March was a great success.
• Table tennis and basketball were introduced as school sports, and have been very
• Birgit Hein was chosen for the WP basketball side.
• The standard 6 Camp and tours to Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown were again very
• Success of a std 8 science group in the Expo 83 competition.
• Success of Helen Letord in the English Olympiad.
• A number of our pupils in outside activities.
We are fortunate in having Mrs Smit, a Springbok, as our senior basketball coach. We much
appreciate the help of coaches Mrs Smit, Mrs Holdsworth (Basketball), and Mrs Steyn (Softball).
We now have an official Cadet Detachment.
Among the highlights of 1983 were the following events: Standard Six and Seven Parent -
Teachers Day, when the parents were invited to participate in cricket, tennis and softball matches
against their children. Over 500 people participated at this highly successful function organ-
ised by Peter Bishop.
No No Nanette: The musical was a dream come true for pupil Sanette van der Mescht, who
produced the show. The performances were outstanding successes. This was to be the stimu-
lus for continued dramatic achievements. The proposed policy was that musicals would alter-
nate with three-act plays annually. The appointment of Miss Cheryl Chait in 1984 was to lead
to an upsurge of interest in drama at the school.
The Standard Six Concert: Standard Nines accepted responsibility for producing class plays.
The theme for the evening was “Fairy Tales 1983”. The highly enjoyable function was to be
the forerunner of many similar Standard Six concerts in following years.
The senior boys’ soccer team was allocated a home field for the first time and celebrated with
several victories in the A section of the Western Province Schools Soccer League. Eleven
boys’ hockey teams participated in the school leagues.
True love never did run smoothly. “No No Nanette” - 1983
The school was divided into three sections - Lower (Std’s 6 & 7), Middle (Std’s 8 & 9) and
Upper school (Std 10), each headed by a teacher in a promotion post.
While the School and PTA Committees had been devoting much time and attention to accom-
modation, fund-raising and provisioning, development in all fields was progressing apace.
Fifty-seven staff members appear in the staff photograph, as opposed to seventeen in 1977.
Three 1983 matrics obtained A aggregates, and sixty-seven matric exemption.
TheAdvanced Learning Project: This project was initiated to accommodate the needs of those
pupils able to cope with the demands of the syllabus more easily and efficiently than others.
Pupils were allowed to withdraw from class for up to twelve periods a week in order to pursue
project work. The team, under the guidance of Mr Cliff, came second in the Provincial Prob-
lem-Solving Bowl competition.
The prefects organised a highly successful exchange with nine other schools.
Festival had already become a major event in the calendar of SouthAfrican schools.
Miss Chait’s production of The Boyfriend was a huge success. Eighty pupils were involved,
with Mrs Newham again an excellent music director.
The annual Standard Six Camp was again very successful and enjoyable.
6Ca, with their production of Red Spying Hood were winners at the Standard Six Concert. One
pupil commented: “The spirit all through was fantastic. (It should have been, with all those Std
6’s - we had to beware of untimely dives from the stage).”
The first year of the Home Economics Society was action-packed with interesting demonstra-
tions and excursions.
The highlights of the Debating Society year were The Fairmont-Settlers debate and the Best
The Matric Representative Committee consisted of twelve elected members, a boy and a girl
from each class. The group “felt it would be a good idea to...establish some traditions amongst
the matrics. We...organised the buying and delivering of red carnations to matrics on St Valen-
tine’s Day. We helped to make a reality the buying of matric badges. We started another
tradition: the planting of a tree by the matrics. Our tree is the Cape Fig Tree and was planted
on the matric lawn. (The original matric lawn was that behind the Hall next to the covered
walkway from the main building to the Woodwork room). We ran a competition for the best
design of the Matric tops. Next on our calendar was the tea-party for the aged.”
The History Society, under Mr Shaw’s leadership, arranged visits by two members of parlia-
ment and by Mr Chipole, a lecturer from UCT, who gave a broad outline of the problems faced
by black people. The group visited the Crossroads squatter camp.
The annual SCA Camp was attended by eighty members. The group organised the SCA wel-
come for Standard Sixes and held weekly prayer meetings.
The Animal Welfare Society had 118 members and was awarded a Gold Star by the Beauty
Without Cruelty Society for contributions made in 1983.
The 1984 Drum majorettes “astounded all at the annual inter-school Sports Day against
Fairbairn”. The squad participated in three major competitions and enjoyed many marches
The Service Club enjoyed a wide and varied range of activities. The biggest ongoing concern
was for the De Novo old-age home in Kraaifontein. They were visited on a monthly basis and
the group organised a birthday party there for 170 people.
The P.R.O Society organised and displayed the various trophies in the display cabinet in the
foyer - a gift from the 1982/1983 matrics, and presented the first three volumes of the pictorial
history of Fairmont to the Principal.
The Boardsailing Club had grown significantly. Highlights were the Regatta at Zeekoevlei,
the camp, and three teams participating in the schools’ league.
Cricket: Seven teams participated in the leagues while another eight “battled for supremacy”
in the internal “International League”.
The Boys’ Tennis Team was promoted to the A league.
The U19 Table Tennis team won the Peninsula School Trophy in its first season and during this
season the team remained unbeaten.
The Athletes ran out comfortable winners against Fairbairn. Patrick Day was selected to rep-
resent Western Province at the South African Schools Championships. Heike Longwitz was
placed fifth at the S.A. U13 Biathlon Championship.
The lack of depth in rugby was a concern. A useful foundation, however, was laid during the
rugby camp held at Hout Bay. The first team appeared in its first match with its new brown and
white striped jersey.
THE RUGBY JERSEY
The first team wore the plain brown jersey until 1983. A brown and white striped jersey,
based on the design of the WP jersey, was introduced in 1984.
This was worn until the introduction of a standard first team top for all sports in 1990.
This white jersey with a broad brown band was based on the design of the then Transvaal
Boys’ Hockey had a very successful season. Highlights were the visit of the first team to the
York Easter Tournament, the home derby against Settlers and the highly successful annual
hockey awards evening. (Separate awards functions and dinners would later be stopped when
the combined awards functions - summer and winter - were introduced).
The Girls’ Hockey season was “characterised by some outstanding performances and some
rather mediocre results”. Rhondda Davies was chosen for the Western Province Peninsula
The 1984 Cross-Country season was “one of active excitement and full of surprise”. The girls
won the N.S.P.A. league competition, while the U14 girls won the team competition at the
There were fourteen netball teams, six in the leagues and eight playing internal matches.
The 1983/1984 Softball season “proved to be another ‘grand slam’year for Fairmont. The first
team won the Norman Brown Floating Trophy. Six girls were chosen for the two W.P. teams.”
Teams that performed with varying success were chess, girls’ tennis, swimming, soccer, golf,
badminton, squash and basketball.
Inter-Schools vs Fairbairn at the Bellville Track - 1984
Matric Dance - Standard Nine Group - 1984
At the PTA meeting on 29 February 1984 it was reported that the first stage of the Sports
Complex would cost approximately R125 000. The C.P.A. would eventually refund an esti-
mated amount of R106 000. In a letter in March, however, the School Board informed the
school that the refund would be limited to R87 500.
A‘Gold Rush’was planned for the afternoon of the Settlers/Fairmont Contact. The PTAwould
organise the annual supper for the teachers of both schools during the Contact Week.
Mr Peter Bishop, in an article in the Tyger Burger, reported on the Gold Rush: “Fairmont
High School of Durbanville flooded over on Saturday morning as a crowd of 3000 took part in
an unusual Gold Rush which would satisfy the craving of the wildest speculator. Notwith-
standing gold’s discouraging price of $333 an ounce, on offer was over R1000’s worth of gold
coins, plotted over the schools’main field. The school raised well over R10 000 through this
initiative and is now all set to start on a major building project providing changing facilities
and, in time, a swimming bath and squash courts.”
The Mayor of Durbanville, Mr B Andrag, presented the prize to the winner, Mrs Shirley Smith
In October the chairman of the Building Committee reported on developments. No final deci-
sion had yet been reached, but the PTA Committee wished the project to proceed. The Com-
mittee accepted as fund-raising projects for 1985: a School Levy, a Big Walk and a Big Draw/
Fête. It was hoped to raise R86 000.
TheAnnual Conference of the SouthAfricanTeachers’Association was held at the school in June.
This was the first time the conference was held in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town. The staff
room became The Tiger’s Lair for five days. The participation of the PTA in the catering was
much appreciated. Many favourable comments were received from conference attendees. The
facilities were considered outstanding.
Four additional mobile classrooms were to be provided for 1985.
Gas geyers were provided for the staff showers at the back of the hall.
In May further attention was given to toilet facilities, soundproofing of the music rooms, cables
for the intercoms in the mobile classrooms, a burglar alarm system, a proposed rifle range for
Cadets, and additional catwalks for the hall. InAugusttheprincipalwasinformedthatanothermobile
parking area at the end of the road. By October all the prefabricated classrooms had been repaired.
As a new staffing structure would take effect in 1985, the number of Department Heads would
double. As all applicants had to be evaluated by an inspector, the principal suggested that evalu-
ations be done so that appointments from within (the existing staff) might be made. The position
of second deputy was also to be advertised.
MrAlastair Frost was nominated to fill the post of Deputy fromApril 1985. Mrs E Müller and Mr
S van Wyk were nominated to fill Department Head posts.
A second laboratory assistant was appointed in July.
The Committee addressed a letter to theAdministrator of the Cape supporting MrAvan Niekerk’s
candidature for Ward 1 - the ward in which the school was situated - for re-election to the Parow
School Board. An urgent request was made that consideration be given to nominating at least two
of the four nominated members to be representative of English-medium schools in the area. There
had been a significant increase in the numbers of English pupils. Afavourable response was later
received from the MEC for Education.
In November the principal attended a computer seminar for principals. Recommendations in-
cluded one that the school should obtain a computer immediately, this to be available to clerical
staff initially. A needs assessment should be carried out in consultation with the C.E.D. Planner.
At least as much should be allocated to software as to hardware. In-service training would com-
mence in 1985. The C.E.D. would possibly provide computers.
School Committee matters
The medical inspection report indicated that 277 of the 1006 pupils at the school were examined.
117 parents were present at the examination.
The Committee again considered queries about why the school had only one uniform stockist.
An excellent report was received from the Guidance inspector. Mr Phillips and Miss Middleton
were congratulated and thanked. The Sports Complex Fund and the Educational Fund were
combined into one account.
1984 also saw the introduction of the Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading period and the
various questionnaires to be completed during panel inspections.
New Staff 1984
In 1984 Fairmont had 1018 pupils, making it one of the largest English-medium schools in the Cape.
A number of new teachers were appointed. Front from left: Mr P H Phoenix, Mr D A Marnewick,
Miss A Mukheibir, Mr P Vegter and Miss D Middleton. In the back row are Mr J Dempers,
Mrs S van Niekerk, Mrs E Boonstra, Miss D van Niekerk, Miss C Chait, Miss S Lockett, Miss M Kitshoff
and Mr T A Cleevely (Courtesy: the Tygerburger 1984)
In his circular to parents on 24 January 1985, Mr Wigg gave details about enrolment, staffing
and communication with the school.
The enrolment stood at 1126.
The new staffing structure meant that the school now had two Deputy Principals and eleven
Department Heads. Mr Gibbon was in charge of the Senior School (Stds 8 - 10) and Mr
Holgate, acting Deputy, in charge of the Junior School (Stds 6 - 7). Each standard had a
teacher in a promotion post as head.
In a note to the Committee he listed factors affecting teacher satisfaction including overcrowded
corridors and quadrangles, overcrowded changing rooms for girls’ physical education classes,
strain on toilet facilities, lack of tarred parking areas and the fact that sixteen teachers had to
teach in prefabricated classrooms.
There was much joy, therefore, on receipt of a letter from the School Board stating:
“A building scheme for extensions to provide accommodation for 850 pupils at your school
has been approved by the Department and it was also confirmed that the highest priority pos-
sible will be given to this scheme.”
A further mobile classroom and a prefabricated toilet block were provided.
An on-site meeting was held to consider alternative siting for the Sports Complex - the rival
sites being the corner of the Vineyard Field (an area to be utilised in later years for garages and
a rifle range) and an area near the library, including the gravel parking area overlooking the
end of the rugby field.
It is interesting to note that in a memorandum to the School Committee on future requirements
the principal included as an item to be considered: “Indoor Sports/Examination/Gymnasium/
Hall: Could this be sited between the two sets of tennis courts or should it be included in the
plans for extension to the main building?”
Eventually, Mr Fivaz, Dr Ireland and Mr Wigg met the MEC at the Provincial Building on 8
May in connection with the various accommodation matters. This was discussed at the subse-
quent Committee meeting.
The Department would first study the effect of the new (Stellenberg) school for some time
before making any decision.
This approach was unacceptable to the Fairmont delegation and an immediate plea was made
for financial assistance towards the sports complex. The MEC agreed to direct a delegation to
visit the school.
Re-siting the sports complex to the parking area site was going to compromise parking se-
verely. This matter would thus receive further attention.
At the Committee meeting in June the Robert Nixon Sports Complex design was cancelled.
New Departmental drawings would be available shortly.
The minutes of the meeting ended: “The meeting closed in record time! Members rushed for
the exits to be in time to see Bobby Ewing’s exit from Dallas!!!”
The Joint Association of Parent Associations of the Cape Province was inaugurated on 15
November 1984 to represent the views of parents of children at English-medium schools in the
Cape Province. This was brought to the attention of the School Committee for membership
Three pupils obtained A aggregates in the 1984 Matric examination. Sixty passed with Matric
Pupil Barbara Simon was a finalist in the Rooi Rose Home Economics competition. An amount
was allocated to enable the teacher, Mrs Kriek, to accompany her to the final in Margate.
Mr Ladewig and Mr Bishop left on promotion at the end of the second term.
Representations finally resulted in the Department allocating a third full-time secretary to the
school. Mrs Paula van der Wyk was appointed.
School Committee matters
At a meeting in September following the School Committee election, the new office-bearers
Chairman - Mr D Truter
Vice Chairman - Mr K Cloete
Secretary - Mr J Cammidge
In his report in the school magazine, Mr Wigg paid tribute to Mr Fivaz, Mr Choice and Mr
Parker, who had served on the committee from 1977 to 1985.
In October new instructions regarding the raising, utilisation of and control over school funds
Tenders for the new Sports Complex to be built according to the modified Departmental plans
were opened on Thursday 31 October. At the subsequent Committee meeting it was resolved
that the tenders from Louis Naude Construction for the building at R207 817 and Micro Elec-
tric for the electrical installation at R13 771 be accepted.
The Department required annual inventory checks and stocktaking. At the time the general
inventory of furniture and equipment had to be divided into three sections - items provided by
the Department, Rand-for-Rand purchases and School Fund purchases and donations. Subject
inventories were also required. The Department provided separate general and subject cata-
Following instances of suspension and expulsion of pupils and an administrative inspection,
detailed instructions relating to these were given to all staff members. These included the
words “suspension involves a complicated procedure. The school psychologist must be con-
sulted, the School Committee must meet within seven days, interviews may be required and
the Department must be involved.”
Of the numerous items handled by the Committee in November some of the more interesting
were: the site for the Sports Complex would be handed over on 18 November, the school need
no longer refer requests for use of the school building to the School Board, queries again about
one school uniform stockist and the donation of a ‘tennis ball popper’ by the Rotary Club.
Items to proceed included a rubbish enclosure, a tennis shelter, micro jets and fertilising the
fields. Mr Truter was elected at the regional congress concerning parent representation.
Class of ‘85 - (Die Burger) - Valedictory Day 1985
The Swimming Team - 1985
THE THREE HOUSES
The highlight of the year for the 1985
Matric Council was the presentation
on Matric Day of the coats of arms of
South Africa and Fairmont and the
badges of the three houses.
The PTA general meetings during 1985, on a Standard basis, were Std 10 in June, Std 8 in July,
Std 9 in August, and Std 7 in October.
The AGM had as theme “Focus on Fairmont - A face in the crowd”. This was a pupil and staff
presentation in two parts and included the participation of three Rotary Exchange students.
The Big Walk was the main fund-raising activity. R16 500 was raised. The Rotary Careers
Evening (the Std 9 meeting) was also most successful.
Founders’ Day, on 7 September, included a braai organised by Mr Hudson and was a great
The PTA braai was held on 16 November. School Committee members and sub-committee
convenors were included.
Twenty-two pupils were selected to represent the Province during the year.
Softball was flourishing as these comments from the teacher-in-charge, Mr Steve Wright, indi-
“Fairmont continues to dominate WP Softball. Seven of our girls obtained Provincial colours.
Softball is possibly Fairmont’s biggest and most successful sport”.
Highlights of the year included the production “Relative Values” and the Spring Run - this had
become a tradition to celebrate the beginning of Spring. An extract for the magazine report
gives an indication of the spirit of the occasion:
“Mr Wigg started, first the girls and then the boys, by sounding the now traditional siren. The
boys set off at a blistering pace (obviously trying to catch up with the girls) with Patrick Day
in the lead.
“As usual, the Spring Run had the runners, the joggers, the walkers, the slouchers and...the
teachers. The light drizzle caused some people to look rather soggy and caused others to look
considerably cleaner (no doubt, a serious side-effect). On the whole everyone thoroughly
enjoyed the occasion and we are looking forward to the event next year.”
During the Youth Week contact between Fairmont and Durbanville High Schools, the Public
Relations Society compiled, published and distributed 1500 copies of a sixteen-page booklet
informing the youth of Durbanville of the many sporting and cultural activities available.
Mr Raymond Ackerman was the guest speaker at Speech Night. He very kindly offered to
assist the school with its swimming pool project by way of the Pick ‘n Pay “Till Strip Scheme”.
Pick ‘n Pay would commit 1% of R1 million worth of till strips handed in, that is R10 000. The
period for the scheme would be 1 March to 30 September 1986.
The first rugby and netball teams toured to Lutzville.
The Computer Club was introduced by Mr Ladewig. As Fairmont still did not have a compu-
ter, the first few months were spent on computer basics. Finally, towards the end of the second
term, a BBC computer was purchased.
The art and literature included in the magazine was again of outstanding merit. Bronwyn
Kelly, Linda Padfield, Andrew Loudon and Neil Walker were among those whose contribu-
tions were included.
The magazine again featured individual photographs of the matrics with - in most cases -
humorous comments. A random selection:
“René Burbidge: This1984/85 drum majorette leader wishes to become a graphic
designer. She wants to invent a jet-propelled mace with a magnetic-field link with her
Grant Catto: ‘Commodore’ will proceed in life digging up old trees in search of trunks
(trees of treasure?). He played first team rugby and golf and hopes to retire at an early
age to enjoy his findings.
Gavin Perrow: Although Gavin wants to be famous, he also wants his name in lights,
preferably floodlights. He wants to continue life as an earthworm trainer extraordinaire.
Sally Williams: ‘Willy’was Chairlady of the Outdoor Club. Too much sun has led to
her believe she can become a fairy. She described her impact on Fairmont as amazing!”
MATRIC AND HOUSE BADGES
The Matric Representative Council introduced Matric Badges in 1984. The 1985 coun-
cil presented on Matric Day the coats of arms of South Africa and Fairmont and the
badges of the three houses. All the funds were raised by the matrics of 1985.
In December, Mr Don Gibbon, Deputy Principal and member of the founder staff, left the
school to take up the position of Principal of Muizenberg High School and Mr Holgate left to
become a Department Head at Plumstead High.
Opening of the Recreation Centre: Dr S W Walters and Mr C Wigg - 1986 (Courtesy: the Tygerburger)