JEPPE HIGH SCHOOL FOR BOYS
We profile Jeppe High, one of the first schools in Johannesburg.
Jeppe High is nearly as old as Johannesburg. Johannesburg was a four-year-old toddler in 1890 when St Michael’s School was opened. Mind you, the toddler was rough and tough – a mining camp filled with crude physicality.
In 1896 the Witwatersrand Council for Education, a private business seeing to the education of English speakers in the Dutch-speaking republic, bought St Michael’s. The next year the school was renamed Jeppestown Grammar School, taking its name from Sir Julius Jeppe, a wealthy man of philanthropic bent who was the dominant personality in the Witwatersrand Council for Education. The South African War closed the school but Lord Milner, in his zeal for education, had it opened again as Jeppe High School for Boys and Girls. In 1911 the school moved to Kensington, then a pleasant suburb for mining magnates. In 1919 the girls moved off to their own school.
Jeppe and Johannesburg grew up together and the school had a great effect on the city over the years. That went for sport as well, both at school and afterwards in the Jeppe Quondam club.
Name of school: Jeppe High School for Boys
Motto of school: Forti nihil difficilius (Nothing is too hard for a brave man)
Date of foundation: 1890
School address: Good Hope Street, Kensington, Johannesburg
Winter sport for many years was soccer till kikuyu grass made the fields less harsh. In the Thirties Jeppe, along with many other schools, switched codes, playing its first match against KES, still its most serious rival. Like most English medium schools in the old Transvaal Jeppe did not take part in competition for the Administrator’s cup and resisted pressure to do so. But it certainly did not lack exciting and demanding fixtures.
The 1st XV field is named the Collard Field after Jack Collard who coached the 1st XV from 1942 to 1960. He was succeeded by George Killian, the big Transvaal forward who coached till 1970. From 1989 to 1994 Jake White, a Jeppe old boy who had played for the 1st XV, coached the 1st XV before becoming assistant coach of the Springboks in their successes, the SA Under-21 team when they won the World Cup and of the Sharks, and then in 2004 the coach of the Springboks. .
No match has greater importance for Jeppe than the match with KES. They have been playing each other since 1935. Other traditional opponents are Pretoria Boys’ High, Potchefstroom Boys’ High. Parktown, St Stithian's and St John’s.
The following Jeppe Old Boys have played for South Africa – Des Sinclair and Wilf Rosenberg, both centres and contemporaries in the Springbok team, James Dalton and Brent Moyle, contemporaries in the Jeppe front row.Dalton is South Africa most capped hooker.