Tue, 27 Apr 2004 00:00
Large 2507 5534 0 0 2055012

We profile Dale College of King William's Town.

School profile

We profile Dale College of King William's Town.

King William's Town started off as a mission station, founded by the Rev. John Brownlee of the London Missionary Society on the banks of the Buffalo River which flows into the sea at East London.

It was then in a war zone and the Xhosa destroyed it during the 6th Frontier War in 1834.

Sir Benjamin D'Urban, governor of the Cape, decided to establish a new district called Adelaide after Queen Adelaide and built its capital on the destroyed mission and called it after King William IV, who was king of England from 1830-37 and succeeded by Queen Victoria, his neice, as he and Queen Adelaide had no surviving children..

The Xhosa sacked the town again in 1846. The territory between the Kei and Keiskamma rivers was then proclaimed British Kaffraria and German legionnaires and families were settled in the area where towns were called Berlin and Stutterheim.

After the 9th Frontier War of 1878, King William's Town grew as a garrison town and as commercial, administrative and manufacturing centre.

The King William's Town Public School was founded in 1861. It changed its name to Dale College in 1877, taking its name from Sir Langham Dale, superintendent-general of the Cape, who died in 1898.

School information

Name: Dale College
Founded: 1861
Motto: Per ardua ad astra (Up steep climbs to the stars)
Numbers: 600

Rugby at Dale

After playing the game from 1880, Dale dallied with soccer before finally reverting to rugby in 1910 and adopting its red and black colours inn 1911. Soccer ceased at the school in 1917.

For many years Dale played its rugby against men's teams in the Border leagues.

LJ Lazarus was the most famous of Dale coaches, running the team from 1929 to 1954. He was followed in the Sixties by Eggie van Niekerk.
The 1913 team was the first to be unbeaten. Other unbeaten sides were those of 1916, 1938, 1964, and 1990 sand 1993. Many regard the 1993 side as the best ever. That year Dale had ten players in the Border Schools side.


Dale's greatest rivals on those on the Border - Queen's of Queenstown, first played in 1891, and Selborne of East London, first played in 1892.

Old Boys

The first old boy Springbok was Sonny Taberer in 1906. He was followed by Cocky Brooks, Brem Neill, CB Jennings, Peewee Howe, HO de Villiers, and Mike Jennings, CB's son. CB played for the Border Currie Cup side in 1934 while still at school. The first team field is the CB Jennings Field. Border shared the Currie Cup with Western Province that year. Gcobani Bobo learnt his rugby at Dale before going to Rondebosch Boys' High in Std IX (Grade 11). Luke Smith was a Sevens Springbok.

Then there is an All Black Old Dalian. Greg Somerville spent a year at Dale as an exchange student. He went back to New Zealand to a great rugby career.