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We profile Grey High of Port Elizabeth.

School Profile

We profile Grey High of Port Elizabeth.

People walked down Africa and came to the bay on the east coast of South Africa which acquired the Portuguese name of Algoa Bay. Bartholomew Diaz and his men were the first Portuguese to arrive in 1486. They saw the possibilities of harbourage and called it the lagoon - alagoa.

The English called it Fort Frederick in 1799. The 1820 Settlers arrived there and eventually a harbour was built and called Port Elizabeth. The Lieutenant General of the Cape, Sir Rufane Donkin, gave it his wife's name, Elizabeth.

The first school was established only in 1839 - by a Scot John Paterson, who also founded the Standard Bank of South Africa and was a member of the Legislative Assembly.

Paterson's efforts and Sir George Grey's interest led to the founding on 2 June 1856 of the Grey Institute, as the school was called till the 1930s. Then it was near the Donkin, before moving to its present spacious site and gracious buildings.

Grey High, whose principal is called the rector, has some 700 boys, amongst them about 120 boarders.

School Song

We sing of a home of old renown
With its front to the southern seas,
Whose halls are peopled with cap and gown
And filled with the sea-born breeze;
Where often one hears the ringing cheers
Of half a thousand boys:
And the eyes are bright and the hearts are light
With boyhood's laughter and joys.

For the south-east gales will blow
O'er the waves that smile below
And our flag shall answer to the breeze
So hurrah! with a will, for the School that crowns the hill,
With its front to the southern seas
With its front to the southern seas.

'Tis the School that arose in long-past days,
(With its front to the southern seas).
'Tis the town that remembers a lady's praise
On a hill of steep degrees.
And the loyal Old Greys, through many sunny days
Have laboured beneath the Tower,
For wisdom and wealth, and their soul's good health
And the glory of learning's power.

So the old School stands in its ancient fame
(With its front to the southern seas),
And the new Grey comes with an old Grey name
And falters, "If you please,
My father was here in a bygone year,
And he loves the tale to tell."
And the guard is proud and his voice is loud,
"You are here! Pass, friend; all's well!"

School Information:

Name: Grey High School
Foundation date: 1856
Motto: Trio iuncta in Uno (Three united as one)
Address: College Drive, Mill Park, Port Elizabeth

Rugby at Grey

Grey has been playing rugby since 1893 with great enthusiasm. It is one of South Africa's greatest rugby schools.

An Old Boy, Arthur Philip gave the money for its main rugby field in 19838. It is called The Philip Field.

The most durable coach was Boetie Gamble who coached the 1st XV from 1920 to 1950.

Famous Old Boys

Jack Hirsch, Fred Smollan, Freddie Turner, Bunny Reid, Roy Dryburgh, Ian Kirkpatrick, Wilf Rosenberg, Peter Allen, Mickey Gerber and Shaun Povey all played for South Africa.

Mike Catt played for England.

Henry Kemsley and Solly Baise were test referees.

Traditional Rivals

Grey have generally been too strong for other Port Elizabeth schools but have had great battles with teams from further afield - Dale, Queen's, St Andrew's, Selborne and Grey College of Bloemfontein.

Each year, at the end of the first term, Grey organises a rugby festival which attracts many of South Africa's top schools.