We profile Monument, the great rugby school from Krugersdorp.
The monument in question is the Paardeberg Monument on Krugersdorp, built to commemorate the decision of the South African Republic in 1880 to resist Britain’s decision to annex their country. Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg, is named after President Paul Kruger and was founded in 1887 by Abner Cohen and others.
Monument High School, known as Monnas, is a coeducational, parallel-medium school. It has some 1 100 pupils. 320 are boys with 60 of them boarders.
Name of school: Hoërskool Monument/Monument High School
Motto of school: Liewers slyt as roes (It’s better to wear out than rust out)
Date of foundation: January 1921
School address: corner of 2nd & Blommestein Sts, Krugersdorp. 1730
Words: J C Mentz (1951) Music: Pierre Malan
Soos die dagbreek oor ons velde
Is die stukrag van ons jeug
In ons strewe na wat skoon is,
Na die kennis en die deug.
Vir wat mooi is in ons eie
Is ons wil en krag en werk,
Vir wat hoog is en verhewe,
Vir wat edel is en sterk.
Ons durf tot daad en lewe
Sal geen weerstand ooit verwoes,
Maar gebuk by taaie arbeid
Sal ons liewer slyt as roes,
Laat ons saamstaan in ons keuse,
Laat die vaandels dan ontvou
Met die Monument se leuse
Op ons Ougoud, Bruin en Blou!
When the school opened in 1921 ML Brink held a meeting of boys to find out what games they wanted to play. They all opted for soccer, as was the custom on the bare fields of the Highveld at the time, and he then democratically decided that they would play rugby! The school played its first match ion 1 April 1921 and drew 3-3 with Krugersdorp High School.
Since then the school has had many great sides – as in 1924, 1953, 1979, 1980, 1984 and 1993 when the team scored 143 tries in 28 matches.
Monument first won the Administrator’s Cup in 1953. It won again in 1973 and then again in 1992 and for the seven years which followed. In 2003 they were Media 24 National Schools champions. These are all huge achievements given the number and quality of the competing schools.
After Brink famous coaches have been Jan Lange (1936-53), Pa Pelser, the famous Transvaal loose forward and coach, and Hans Coetzee who still has a finger in many of rugby's pies. Hans says nobody is compelled to play rugby but the players live for the game.
In 1993 the 1st XV toured France and Britain and went unbeaten.
Monnas, as the school is usually known, has by far the largest representation of any school north of the Vaal River at Craven Week and in SA Schools.
It started with Martin Brink who later became the school’s principal. Then there was Jan de Lange, who coached the 1st XV for 16 years, Pa Pelser, the Junior Springbok, Christo Meyer and Wollie Strydom who coached together from 1964 to 1980, Frans Grobler, Neels Bornman and Hans Coetzee.
Four old boys have played for South Africa, all as centres – Christo Wagenaar, Brendan Venter, Jorrie Muller and Jaque Fourie. Gert Peens has played for Italy.
SA Schools: Kolie van Genderen, Dawie du Toit, who scored 28 tries from fullback in 1993, Jacques Niewenhuys, Gielie Swiegers, Morné Kruger, Jorrie Muller, Jonathan van der Schyff, Jan van Genderen, André Venter, Brendan Venter, Johan van Biljon, Hein van Rensburg.