We profile the most southerly high school in Africa, Hoërskool Bredasdorp.
Bredasdorp is at the end of Africa – and that's official. It is the most southerly municipality on the African continent and Hoërskool Bredasdorp is the most southerly high school on the continent. (There is a little private school at Struisbaai which is slightly further south.) After all Cape Agulhas is just 25 km away and that is the very end of Africa.
The town was founded in 1838 and named after the most important farmer in the area – Michiel van Breda, the first mayor of Cape Town. It is at the heart of the sheep industry.
In fact there is a statue of a merino ram nearby.
The merinos were on their way from Spain to Australia when the ship became another shipping casualty down the road from Bredasdorp and Michiel van Breda gave them a home on his farm Zoentendals Vallei, thereby becoming the father of South Africa's sheep farming. The name Zoentendals was taken from a wrecked Dutch Vessel down at the Agulhas.
Shipwrecks were common down the road and include the wreck of the Birkenhead at Arniston. There is a shipwreck museum in Bredasdorp.
For the rest it is an open, peaceful area where blue cranes, storks and secretary birds stalk the wheat fields and great proteas bloom as the land slopes up towards the Preekstool and away from the mountains with broad, flat fields down to the sea.
The school was founded in 1957 and has some 490 pupils. It has developed a great interest in target shooting and underwater hockey. Carien Gagiano, Jaco van der Walt and Daniele van der Westhuizen have all represented South Africa at underwater hockey in Australia.
Name: Hoërskool Bredasdorp
Motto: Aarbeid adel (Work ennobles)
Number of pupils: 490
Number of rugby teams: 4
The present coach of the 1st XV, Arthur Janson, was the coach of the Boland Under-15 team and then the Under-16 team, now is the assistant coach of the Boland Craven Week side and the coach of the Boland Cavaliers Sevens team. Under him the school has flourished.
In 2001 Clinton McMaster played for the Boland Langeberg Regional team. In 2003 flank Douw Lourens and prop Theron Kleinhans played for the Boland side at the Grant Khomo Week for Under-16s.
In 2004 Theron Kleinhans, prop PG le Roux and wing Retief Venter made the Boland Academy team. Douw Lourens was in the Western Cape Regional team. Rouvaun Appel played for Boland at the Under-13 Craven Week,
The school has four teams. Of its 13 matches this year the 1st XV lost three.
The Under-19 team won the Souther Region champions for Small Schools by beating Lückhoff in the Strand, Calvinia in Moorreesburg, Piketberg in Worcester, Langenhoven in Riversdale and then Zwaanswyk in Wellington.
This made them the Southern Regions representatives in the Media24 competition, and they played HTS Nic Diedrichs of Alberton in Bredasdorp in the semifinal. It was tough and desperately close. Four penalties by scrumhalf Kim Valentine got the home side home 12-11.
Then they travelled to Johannesburg to play Vryburg at the Johannesburg Stadium. The whole of Bredasdorp was talking about its rugby team.
Bredasdorp started nervously and were down 19-0 after six minutes and 36-10 at half-time before fighting back to 36-32. Vryburg eventually won 46-32. Bredasdorp were brave.
Rugby Old Boys
The most prominent rugby Old Boy at present is Corné Uys, the big Matioe and Western Porvince centre.
The big Interschools is with De Villiers Graaff of Villiersdorp.