WESTVILLE BOYS HIGH SCHOOL
Westville Boys' High School of KwaZulu Natal is now one of the very strongest rugby schools in South Africa.
Natal was a British colony, and the first Lieutenant Governor of Natal was Sir Martin West – hence the name of the leafy suburb up the hill from Pinetown on the way to Pietermaritzburg. West a person, not a direction.
The development of the village of Westville has been inextricably linked with the development of the Westville Boys’ High School. The first record of a school in Westville was a wattle and daub structure built by German immigrant farmers sited on the main Durban-Pietermaritzburg road. The next recorded date of a school in Westville was 1 March 1935 when Miss Gladys Carr rang her school-bell in the Westville church hall. In 1941, this school moved to Bernard’s House, a farmhouse situated on the present Westville Boys' High site. Mr and Mrs Bernard had bequeathed the property to the people of Westville for educational purposes. In those years the school extended to Standard IV (present Grade 6).
In 1945 the School was converted to a co-ed provincial/public school as the village of Westville experienced unprecedented growth. The first Standard 6 class (Grade 8) appeared in 1955 and this first matric class in the School’s history wrote their public examinations in 1959. With the enhanced reputation of the School and increasing enrolment in those times, work began on developing a separate girls’ high school and in 1965, the remaining girls move across to their new site.
The School has, however, retained its community and village ethos. A new dimension has been added recently through the small privatised boarding facility for boys, Wandsbeck House, which is situated near the School.
The Academic reputation of the School was established in the early years and has been maintained into current times. The School is arguably one of the top Academic boys’ high schools in the country boasting a matric exemption rate of more than 90% and having produced the top matriculant in the province on no less than six occasions in its relatively short history.
Being a day-school, the institution was at a disadvantage in establishing itself on the sportsfields in the 1960’s. Recent developments such as the formation of the Pharos Westville Boys' High Sports Academy and the incorporation of sport into the curriculum, has seen the rise of the prowess of the School’s sportsmen across a wide variety of sports.
Significant Old Boys
Despite its relatively short history, the School has produced a number of old boys who have made their mark in the national and international arena. Examples are the international CEO of Old Mutual, Jim Sutcliffe; the youngest member of national parliament, Gareth Morgan; world-champion canoeists Oscar and Herman Chalupsky; Springbok cricketer Errol Stewart; Olympic swimming coach Graham Hill; and Springbok tennis players Ellis Ferreira, Robbie Koenig and Myles Wakefield.
Westville Boys' High joined the upper echelons of the Natal Schools Rugby leagues in 1968 when, for the first time, they played a set of fixtures against all the leading boys’ schools in the province. The School currently fields 25 Rugby teams, a greater number than any other school in KwaZulu Natal barring Maritzburg College. The First XV undertake overseas tours on a regular basis to the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the Far East, North & South America. Teams in all age-groups participate in local and national festivals on an annual basis.
The School has produced one rugby Springbok in Tim Cocks (1980), while the current internationals playing for other countries are Shaun Payne (Ireland), and Roland de Marigny (Italy).
Over the years, several Westville Old Boys have been selected for Natal provincial teams: Brian Borgen, Peter Ridl, Jeremy Ridl, Ant Taylor, Rod Bosch, Tim Cocks and Neil Penrose. Four Westville Old Boys were simultaneously chosen for the Natal Sharks in the season of 1995: Shaun Payne, Shaun Platford, Dieter Kriese and Roland de Marigny. Errol Stewart subsequently joined this elite band and in 1996, he went on to achieve the record as the only South African to be part of the winning Currie Cup teams in both Rugby and Cricket in the same year. Marc de Marigny is currently in the 2004 provincial Currie Cup squad. Those who have represented Currie Cup teams of other provinces are Clark Ellis (WP), Dean Hayden (EP), Hendan Wienand (South Western Districts) and Roland de Marigny (Blue Bulls).
Several Westville players have represented South Africa in other disciplines of the game: Marc de Marigny (2004 National Sevens captain), Neil Penrose (Sevens), Dieter Kriese (Sevens), Shaun Payne (Sevens), Guy Coombe (Rhinos) and Dean Hayden (Rhinos).
The School has also produced numerous KwaZulu Natal Schools players, some of whom have gone on to gain SA Schools selection, namely Errol Stewart (1987), Alistair Hawley (1987) and Sean Flanagan (1999). The current members of the KZN Craven Week side are Waylon Murray, Chris Micklewood, Njabulo Zulu and Rohan Boer.
Name: Westville Boys’ High School
Motto: Incepto Ne Desistam (Don't let me stop what I've started)
Physical address: Wandsbeck Road, Westville, KZN, South Africa
Postal address: PO Box 1019, Wandsbeck KZN, 3631, South Africa
Colours: Navy blue & maroon
Number of boys: 1100
Number of Rugby teams: 25