We profile Outeniqua in beautiful George.
Outeniqua? It’s a khoi word meaning the man loaded with honey. It’s a land flowing with milk and honey, one of the most beautiful parts of the world – real mountains, green rolling hills, ancient forests, fynbos and close to the sea. The mountains are called the Outeniqua. The pass up them to Oudtshoorn in the Karroo is the Outeniqua Pass and the school in George is Outeniqua High School.
The school is in George, the first town founded by the English in South Africa, back in 1812 and called then George Town, named for King George III, who gave a bible to the church which became a cathedral in 1911, turning George Town into a city.
George III, the first of the Hanoverian monarchs to be born in England and to speak English, reigned from 1860, when he was 22, till his death in 1820, the second longest reign of a British monarch. It was not altogether a happy reign. He fought with his prime minister Pitt the Younger, lost the American colonies and was declared mad in 1810. He suffered, sadly, from porphyria. A recent film, The Madness of King George, starred a South African, Nigel Hawthorne, in the leading rôle. He was also regarded as an especially cultured king, as distinct from other Hanoverians, and took a keen interest in agriculture, which earned him the nickname Farmer George.
When George III was Prince of Wales, he is believed to have had a son by Hannah Lightfoot, the Fair Quakeress, whom he is reputed to have married secretly in Kew, a marriage not later acknowledged. In 1795 George Rex, a young man, arrived in the area and lived near Knysna. He was believed to have been the son of George III and Hannah Lightfoot. His grave is in Knysna.
The school is an Afrikaans-medium, coeducation school with roughly 1350 pupils, including about 80 boarders.
Name of School: Hoërskool Outeniqua
Motto: Nobilitat Labor (Work ennobles)
Foundation date: January 1923
Principal: Mr Christo Vorster
Address: Courtenay Street, George
Pupil numbers: 1640 (820 boys of whom 130 are boarders)
The school’s badge is in the shape of a honeycomb – representing healthy, wholesome food in a milieu of order and discipline, the teamwork of diligent bees. The mountains nearby are also represented, symbolising the heights to which the pupils should strive. All of this is summed up in the school’s motto.
The school has been a rugby leader in the South Western Districts. More than 150 of its pupils have been to Craven Week since it started in 1964. Many of its Old Boys have played provincial rugby.
A famous schoolmaster at the school was Sas de Kock, a Springbok in 1921-24. Three old boys have been chosen for South Africa – the late Faan Conradie, who went to Ireland and Scotland in 1965 as a replacement without playing a match, the great fullback of the Eighties Johan Heunis and versatile forward Marco Wentzel.
The international referee, the last South African to referee a match involving the Springboks, Frans Muller, is an old boy.
Chris Heunis, who played provincial rugby for Eastern Province and South Western Districts, was the president of the South Western Districts Rugby Union, restoring the union to prominence and developing the ground, Outeniqua Park as the union’s headquarters. He was a member of SARFU’s executive committee.
The Kwagga Rugby Academy was founded in 1999. It makes rugby a part of the school’s curriculum.
The main rivals are Oudtshoorn High School, known as the Struisies. Outeniqua are known as the Kwaggas. When the match is in Oudtshoorn it is called Struisiesdag. In George it is Kwaggadag. It has been an interschools occasion – the whole schools involved in various activities – since 1965.
Other traditional rivals are Hoërskool D F Malan of Bellville on the second weekend of the second quarter, Nico Malan of Humansdorp and Framesby of Port Elizabeth.