Fri, 16 Apr 2004 00:00
We profile Rondebosch Boys' High of Cape Town.

School profile

We profile Rondebosch Boys' High of Cape Town.

The Dutch who came to the Cape in 1652 were businessmen, not colonists. They were from Holland but not Holland. They ran a business - the Dutch East India Company.

Some of the people who worked for them, understandably, decided to settle at the Cape and the Company allowed them to do so and allowed them to have farmland.

The first bit of land they were allowed was at the foot of Devil's Peak where the northwester was not so fierce and growing wheat was possible.

There was a round grove of trees there, a round bush, and so the practical Dutch called the place Rondebosch, as it is called today.

Cape Town grew first at and around the city. Then the railway line opened a ribbon of housing down its spine, and villages grew. They had their own municipality and town halls - Mowbray, Rondebosch, Claremont, Wynberg and so on. The Rondebosch town hall is now the library at the station.

Schooling was needed. Thread was SACS in town and Wynberg down the line. In Rondebosch there was Bishops but that was private and fee-paying.

In 1897 a school was founded in the Dutch Reformed Church Hall, Glena Hall, in Erin Road, nearer Bishops than the present site of Rondebosch Boys' High. The school was not long there as classrooms were soon built along Campground Road.

It grew and became a famous school.

Rugby at Rondebosch

There was a time in the Sixties and Seventies when Rondebosch teams and players bestrode the Cape and many became famous.  The beginnings were less auspicious.

The Scottish staff in early days say to it that the bops played soccer. In 1906 soccer ceased. By then rugby had a foothold but in 1908 it nearly died.

Rondebosch played Bishops a short way along Tullyallen Road and lost 112-0. Painton Cowan scored 86 points for Bishops. Rondebosch gave up rugby.

In 1913 Rondebosch won the Under 15 and Under 13 Shields in the Western Province. By 1942 400 boys out of 600 were playing rugby.

In 1960, 1964, 1967 and 1977 Rondebosch was unbeaten

School information

Name: Rondebosch Boys’ High
Nickname: Bosch
Motto: Altius et latius (Higher/deeper and wider)
Foundation date: 1897
Address: Canigou Avenue, Rondebosch. 7700


Men who have had a great influence on Rondebosch rugby include Japie Louw, Bill Olivier, Tickey de Jager, Tinkie Heyns and Gus Enderstein.


South Africa: Gerald Thompson, Frank Mellish, Jackie Tindall, Willie Rousseau, Bennie Osler, Stanley Osler, Jock van Niekerk, Mervyn Ellis, Jack Gage, Alvi van der Merwe, John Apsey, Dendy Lawton, James Starke, Mike Lawless, Ian McCallum, Roy McCallum, Chris Pope, Derek van den Berg, Joel Stransky who was at Rondebosch till, his Under 16 year, Gcobani Bobo and Hanyani Shimange.

England: Frank Mellish

France: Eric Melvill

Ireland: Dion O'Cuinneagain (captain)

Traditional Rivals

Above all Bishops some 400 metres away. They have been playing each other since 1911 and do so twice a year in amiable conditions.

Other established rivals are Paul Roos, Paarl Boys' High and Paarl Gim, SACS and Wynberg.