Thu, 15 Apr 2004 00:00
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We profile Paarl Boys' High.

School profile

We profile Paarl Boys' High.

Paarl, the lovely old town of trees and thatched buildings in the midst of vineyards amongst dramatic mountains, on the banks of the Berg River, has two great rugby schools – Paarl Gim and Paarl Boys’ High’ High.  The rivalry between the two is as intense as any anywhere in the world of rugby.

Paarl Boys’ High’ High runs classes in English and Afrikaans.  In Afrikaans its name is Hoër Jongenskool Paarl, but everybody knows it as Boys’ High – spelt Boishaai for fun.

The school was founded in 1868 as the Paarl First Class Public School and moved to its present premises off the left hand side as the Main Street wanders through Paarl in 1900.  This year wt will have been a century on the same piece of ground.  In that year it was called Paarl Boys’ High’ High or, in Dutch, Hoogere School voor Jongens.

The present enrolment of the school is 721 boys, of whom 253 are boarders.


Name of school:  Paarl Boys’ High/Hoër Jongenskool Paarl
Motto of school:  Tandem fit arbor surculus  (Eventually the acorn becomes an oak)
Date of foundation: 1868
School address:  PO Box 11, Paarl.  7646


Rugby has been a passion in Paarl for many years.  Up at the school there was only one field but in 1971 the school acquired spacious grounds 

Great players

Many great players have attended Boys’ High – none more so than the great Boy Louw, known reverently as the master, a rugby man through and through.  

In all the school has had 18 Springboks amongst its old boys – Boy de Villiers, Hudie Hahn, Louis Louw, Theuns Kruger, Johnny Bester, Champion Myburgh, Boy Louw and his brother Fanie, Manie Geere, Ben du Toit, Ryk van Schoor, Theuns Briers, Piet du Toit, the genius Mannetjies Roux, Haas Schoeman, Carel du Plessis, who coached the Springboks in 1997, Wium Basson, who died so young, Corné Krige (captain) and Gurthro Steenkamp.  In addition two Springboks taught at the school – Dawie Ackermann and Chum Ochse. 

1st XV coach Richard Visagie hooked for Boland in more than a hundred matches.

Traditional rivals

Nothing in South African schools rugby equals the rivalry between Boys’ High and Gim which reaches a climax in a match at the Faure Street ground in August.

There are other great rivals – Bishops, Rondebosch, Paul Roos, SACS, more recently Boland Landbou on the way to Wellington and Grey College of Bloemfontein.