SCHOONSPRUIT SENIOR SEKONDER
Schoonspruit Senior Secondary is a big school in Malmesbury in the peaceful heart of the Boland wheatlands.
Malmesbury in the Swartland of the Western Cape takes its name from the oldest borough in England, Malmesbury in Wiltshire. That came about because Sir Lowry Cole, governor of the Cape, named the town after his father-in-law, Sir James Harris, the 1st Earl of Malmesbury. The present earl, also a James Harris, acceded to the title in 2000 as the 7th Earl of Malmesbury.
Malmesbury in England is an ancient town, dating back to a 7th century monastery around which a town grew. In the 9th century Alfred the Great granted it the status of a borough, the oldest in England.
Farmers in the Swartland, needed a church and started one near springs of fresh water and a warm sulphur, the fifth Dutch Reformed Church in the Cape, back in 1744. The town/village was then known as Zwartlands-kerk.
Zwartlands? It was taken from the renosterbos (rhinoceros bush) with its black appearance. The town, some 65 km north of Cape Town up the West Coast, is an agricultural centre with wheat, wine and poultry farming in the area.
Schoonspruit Senior Sekondêr was founded in 1952. Its first principal was PJ Philander, one of the best Afrikaans poets who emigrated to America in 1969. In 2002 he returned from Las Vegas for a visit when his eighth book of verse was published.
The present principal is CP van der Merwe.
The school was at one stage the only Senior Secondary school up the west coast and pupils came from as far afield as Vredendal and Springbok.
Pupils still come from far afield and Schoonspruit has a hostel to accommodate 200 pupils.
Name: Schoonspruit Senior Sekondêre Skool
Motto: Volhard en oorwin (Stick it out and conquer)
Address: PO Box 1046, Malmesbury, 7299
Medium of instruction: Afrikaans
Number of pupils: 1600
Number of rugby teams: 7
Schoonspruit has seven rugby teams. It is proud of its six Old Boys who have made national teams, especially McNeil Hendricks, the big Springbok wing. 165 Old Boys have played provincial rugby.
In all Schoonspruit has had 64 pupils at provincial rugby tournaments – 36 under SARU, 12 at Craven Week and 16 at the Academy Week, including Vincent Roberts and Ryno Cordon of this year’s team. In 2004 Denzil Adams played for the South African Academy team which beat the SA Schools team.
It’s great rugby rivals are naturally Wesbank. The two have been playing derbies since 1999. In that time Schoonspruit have lost just once.
The derby match with Wesbank is the biggest match of the year, attended by about 10 000 people. Since 1999 Schoonspruit has lost just once to Wesbank in the derby.