Each year there is much excitement when the Struisies play the Kwaggas, i.e. the high schools of Oudtshoorn and George meet, on the rugby field.
Baron Pieter van Rheede van Oudtshoorn gave his name to the town – or perhaps it was his wife, Baroness Gesina van Rheede van Oudtshoorn. The Baron had been appointed governor of the Cape in 1773 but died at sea on his way out. But he had been to the Cape as he had previously been a senior functionary at the Cape for many years.
The town did not get going till 1839 when then owner of the farm Hartebeesrivier, CP Rademeyer, gave land for a church. In 1847 the town was established and grew to be the main town in the Little Karroo, gaining universal importance as the centre of the ostrich feather industry which boomed through the 1880s into the 20th century till World War I put an end to it and resulted in the feather palaces in the area. The feather market is no longer as frenetic as it was but the ostrich still has many uses and there are other farming activities in the area. For tourists, apart from the ostrich farms, there are also the massive, famous Cango Caves which farmer Van Zyl's slaves lowered him into in 1780.
Oudtshoorn was also the home of famous CJ Langenhoven, the author of Die Stem – a lawyer, poet and writer who did much to have Afrikaans recognised as an official language in 1925.
The town now hosts an annual festival which is enormous fun.
Oudtshoorn Boys' High and Oudtshoorn Girls' high were founded over a century ago. In 1906 Boys' High moved into a magnificent, green-domed sandstone building which is now a museum. The two schools amalgamated in 1963 and moved in 1967 to new premises.
Badge: The school badge is derived from the family crest of Baron Pieter van Rheede van Oudtshoorn. The three horns are hunting horns, used to assemble people for important announcements, e.g. the arrival of the mail coach.
Name: Hoërskool Oudtshoorn High School
Motto: Per laborem ad astra (Use effort to get to the top)
Pupil numbers: The school is coeducational and has 620 puils. It has been bigger in the past.
Waar berg verrys met kruin omhoog
na die lug daarbo so blou,
staan ons skool waaraan ons trou beloof.
Stewig sal ons bou
waar kennis en ons vriendskap
deur die jare word versterk.
Aan Hoërskool Oudtshoorn bly ons trou
naas God en Vaderland.
Address: PO Box 194, Oudtshoorn. 6620
Phone: 044- 279 1623
Four Springboks are Old Boys of Oudtshoorn Boys' High – Hansie Brewis, flyhalf from 1949 to 1953, Loftie Fourie (1958), André Bestbier (1974) and Barry Wolmarans (1077-81). In addition the Test referee Hansie Schoeman was at Boys' High.
The Springbok Willem Ferdinand van Rheede van Oudtshoorn Bergh, despite, his name was neither born nor educated in Oudtshoorn. He represented five provinces in his career. One of them was South Western Districts, but even then he played for George, not Oudtshoorn.
The school has nine rugby teams.
The biggest rugby day in the year is the Interschools with Outeniqua, when the Struisies play the Kwagga.