Weltevrede Hoërskool is a relatively new school situated in beautiful Wellington, a big school that was born big.
Wellington is in a comfortable basin amidst mountains, just beyond Paarl, about 72 km from Cape Town.
The mountains are the Groenberg and the Hawequa, the river the Kromme, though the Berg River between Paarl and Wellington is the big river with its famous canoe marathon each year.
Wellington is a place of religion and education – and rugby, for it is home to Boland Rugby Union's headquarters at Boland Stadium, not a swanky ground but a comfortable ground.
Stone Age man lived there and so did the San and the Khoi till people came from Europe, mostly Dutch, French and then English.
The Dutch called it Limietvallei – the boundary (limit) of their African world. The French came and called it Val Du Charron which became in Dutch/Afrikaans Wagenmakersvallei. The English came and their hero was the Duke of Wellington, the Iron Duke who smashed Napoleon's ambitions at Waterloo and then became Prime Minister – the saviour of his people. The place then became Wellington in 1840.
It became more accessible in 1853 when Bain's Kloof Pass was built and even more accessible in 1863 when the railway reached Wellington. Because the farmer who gave the land for the station did so on condition that every train stopped at Wellington, every train stops there.
The school was founded in 1983 because of the sharp rise in pupil numbers at Bergrivier Sekondêr. Weltevrede started big – with 484 pupils in Std 6 and Std 7 and 20 teachers, five of whom are still at the school which now has 1 300 pupils and 40 members of staff.
At present Weltevrede is one of four high schools in the valley, fed by 20 primary schools.
Many former pupils have achieved in various fields – as doctors and nurses, engineers, lecturers at tertiary institutions, bank mangers, businessmen and, in one case, as a television journalist.
Name: Weltevrede Sekondêre Skool
Address: PO Box 375, Wellington. 7654
Motto: Vincit omnia veritas (Truth beats everything)
Number of pupils: 1 300
Number of rugby teams: 5
The school has five teams. So far one pupil has played for Boland at Craven Week and two at the Academy Week. Alshaun Bock, the Craven Week player, plays for Griquas.
The derby between Weltevrede and Bergrivier is synonymous with Wellington. It has been a unifying force in the community, an occasion for the whole family. Originally clubs in the area organised the derby till Weltevrede decided to go it alone, one of their most successful undertakings.
The derbies are organised by coordinator who happens to be a Past Pupil of Weltevrede. He has done so for the past four years during which time the derby has gone from strength to strength. Originally the matches were played at Pelikaanpark, the community sportsground, but because of the huge growth in spectator numbers it was shifted to Boland Stadium, the union's headquarters.