Mansfield High

My informant Clive Herron  wrote in recently about Mansfield High School, and some missing memorials. He had this to say:

Hi Alan
Great Website!

This year would have been the 100th of Mansfield High School, now incorporated into the Steve Biko Campus of the Durban Institute of Technology. Mansfield in it’s own way turned out many outstanding citizens, among whom are business leaders, councillors, sportsmen. The school was noted throughout Natal for it’s shooting team under Mr Valentine. Music Master, geography teacher and Durban Historian Gilbert Russell (Bugs to the pupils) was awarded Civic Honours (1972) after being proposed and seconded by 2 Durban City Councillors Pieter Breytenbach and myself Clive Herron (both ex Mansfield).

It was indeed a sad occasion when a decision was taken to close the school. I am keen to find out what happened to the 2 memorials (lives lost in the 1st and 2nd world wars) that were hanging in the school hall. Rumour has it that these were stored at the RDLI now DLI but I have been unable to confirm this. It would be fitting if they could be erected in some visible place. I would suggest St Thomas’ Church in Musgrave Road, where Principal Mr Newton Parry was a lay minister for many years.

It would be great to get those memorials back, as Clive says, and to put them on display. Contact me here if you know anything about them.


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85 Responses

  1. Allan Jackson
    | Reply

    My informant Raymond Kirby-Hirst has sent in the information that the missing memorials are on display at Glenwood High School. It seems that quite a number of the people named on the Mansfield memorial were also pupils at Glenwood. The whole story is on the Glenwood website:

    • Norman Bevan

      I am an old boy of both Mansfield Junior & Mansfield High School- I matriculated in 1961. I was pleased to read the post that the War Memorial Board has found a home at Glenwood High School. I recently had the occasion to visit the Durban North Methodist Church hall and was surprised to see tucked away at the back of the hall a wooden lectern which was presented to Mansfield High school by old boy Pieter Breytenbach. I have no idea how this lectern has ended up in the Durban North Methodist Hall! Any comments?

  2. kieronmccuaig
    | Reply

    do you remember mr lamont and mr le roux principle and deputy also mr mc cloud
    geog teacher we called him birdy mr de klerk afrikaans teacher please contactme

    • Gerald Buttigieg

      Hi Kieron
      I lived close to Mansfield School for a few years and was friendly with Claude van Rooyen who lived in Bewsey Grove and close to me. Sadly he died at a very young age. There was a Mrs Truter, now deceased, who taught Afrikaans I think at Mansfield. Apparently her nickname was “Ducky”. Her daughter is married to a very good school friend of mine. Bewsey Grove was swallowed up into the Durban Technikon complex when the whole area was absorbed by it right up to Botanic Gardens Road. Amazing how one links up these days with people and places through this amazing internet.

    • Bryan

      Claude was the rugby captain in matric, I believe that there is/was a Mansfield plaque in storage at George Campbell High School.

    • Brian Hurt

      Afrikaans teacher I remember nic name was Hettie,she wore white bobbie socks,a good teacher.

    • John Mulhatton

      Hi Kieron
      I was at Mansfield from 1961 – 1964. During my early days at the school Claude van Rooyen was our Head Prefect. A big burly but friendly fella. As Bryan states, yes he was the captain of our 1st rugby team. In later years Malcolm Swanby was captain of the rugby team and also Head Prefect(1964). His (Claude’s) younger brother J (sorry cannot remember his name – too long ago) and I were Prefects as well in 1964. Mr McLeod more affectionately known by all MOB’s as “Birdy” was almost “the” most remembered member of staff.

    • Jorge Gaspar

      De klerk , my ( our ) afrikaans teacher played rugby in the national team, many times arrived to class all bruised up. Teacher birdy i also remember , old and skinny.
      I am born in febuary 1968. Any photos from that era ?

  3. Vaughan Roche (Matric 1976)
    | Reply

    Hi all,

    I could not resist writing in. I am reading this from Canada, where I have lived for the last 18 years. Those names you mention are still so fresh in my mind.

    I was fortunate enough to have been taught by all those nicknamed above – Bugs (Russel) – who also taught my dad!!, Bird (McLeod) and Duck (Truter) – all solid teachers – and I honour their memory.

    Best wishes to all ex Mansfield’ers!

    • Marlena de Villiers

      It may have been before your time, but did you know an Edzard Biermann, who taught Afrikaans at Mansfield High. He was transferred there in September 1969. I would love to hear about his whereabouts. He must have been about 27 – 32 at that stage, very blue eyes, dark hair. Amazed to see that Mansfield closed its doors long ago!! Marlena de Villiers

    • John Delport

      I left Mansfield High end of 1972 and was in the class with Allan Meloney, John McVean, and gammy-leg who was once suffered with polio as a kid, was the most mischievous character in class, other names have escaped me as hard I try to recall them, I just cannot remember them but their faces linger in my mind. Our class was one of the naughtiest in school. Reading the names of Byrd, Duck, and Bugs, literally brought back tears to my eyes. Only Mansfield Junior remains standing on my last visit there in 2013, when I went there to bury my Dads ashes at Stellawood Cementary.
      I have trying to locate Allen/Allan Maloney/Meloney. His Dad was a contestant on the Durban radio show of General Knowledge, and was very knowledge in all kinds of facts, and he often won the evenings contest, from what I can recall. Gavin Cox was also a student there and I just happened to bump into him in Cape Town, where I have resided since 1988. Johnny Ray was another who I also met in Cape Town, both like myself, were part of Mansfield Junior.

      It just saddens me that we all have gone our separate ways, and the school no longer exists. Also there is no place where we could reunite, and if possible, it would be too expensive for some and impossible for others. Ironically, we will only meet once again in the unseen realm of the hoped for after-life, if it really does at all, truly exist?
      Best regards John Delport 63yrs.

      I’d appreciate if you have any photos of school mates and the school, and any more names.

  4. anthea maure
    | Reply

    Good day does anyone know a Owen Emlynn Jones and a Clifford Brynn Jones that attened ….Mansfield High ,,,,I am the daughter of Owen and would like some closure and info as I don’t know my family. My email

    • Richard

      I remember our teacher being absent and our class having to sit in on another classes lesson, perhaps 1982, and Owen Jones sitting on a chair and it collapsing under him, he was a big lad. There was a lot of laughter. This might be the same person that you are looking for but unfortunately that’s all that I can remember about him as he was older than me and this was my first year at Mansfield.
      You could try or

  5. Thomas Bolton
    | Reply

    I am an old boy of Mansfield High School.I left there in 1974 to jion the Fire Department,after sitting on the bank steps every lunch break,and watching these men practising climbing up the old Metz Turntable ladder,which incidently,I ended up driving after being with them a few years.
    I was also in the Band,which also won the local competitons for 5 years in a row!
    I am now at resident in the Uk,and will hopefully return soon someday,Ive been here for over 6 years….and miss my home town terribly…..

  6. Thomas Bolton
    | Reply

    Hey..almost forgot…Mrs.Truter was my teacher,short stocky built lady…….

    Edit: One for Memory Lane. Thomas I knew Mrs.Truter through her daughter who married a close school friend of mine. We are still friends and visit regularly. Click on link for picture taken in 1991.
    Gerald Buttigieg.

  7. Kevin Davis
    | Reply

    This is like a blast from the past and I remember as if it were yesterday. I knew all the teachers that are mentioned and lots who are not.

    I was there from 1967 to 1969 and was Head Boy in my Matric year.

    All Old boys write back if you see this

    • Norman Golan

      I finished my school days there in 1949, left Durban in 1952, travelled the world for 20 years and am now in Wales, went back for a visit in 2002

    • Jeff barber

      How’s it Kevin,

      Came across this website somehow ! … Truly blast from the past.

      Hope your keeping ok. Seem to remember you always being carried off !!

      Best wishes,


    • Marlena de Villiers

      Kevin, if you were head boy at Mansfield High in 1969, you may know about an Afrikaans subject teacher, Edzard Biermann who was transferred to Mansfield in September of 1969. I am trying to get in touch with him. He would have been 27 – 32 at that stage. Would appreciate any info. Perhaps you still have an old yearbook where you have a photo of the staff?

    • Alvin Stevens

      Hi Kevin i remember you. I was in one of the matric clases of 1969 with Joe Marais as class teacher. .regards. Alvin Stevens

    • Alvin Stevens

      Hi Kevin
      Good to hear from you.
      I was in Joe Marais class in 1969. Along with Graham Elbourne etc
      my work email is
      Alvin Stevens

    • Carl Meyer

      I was in 6OBH with My Holman as class teacher. I was with the likes of Larry Metcalf Robert Philogene, Robert Ferns, Jasper Kaplan, Tay Donaldson, Vivian Getkate, James Riley, Lindsay Whyte-Sweet.

  8. Rodney
    | Reply

    Does anyone remember a Miss Henderson? She was Art Teacher at Mansfield round about 1970. I think it was her first year of teaching.

    • John Delport

      Yup! I remember her, I ended up getting caned because I whistled after her as she walked past while we were waiting to enter class. She called in the whole class in and demanded who whistled at her. Every damn kid in class pointed me out, got 1 of the best from the headmaster. Hee hee.

      I saw her years ago in 1985, in Durban, she was with her son and daughter both 16-18yrs old, she had streaks of grey in her hair, looked a lot older and mature, but still very striking for her age. She was tall, dark hair, wore white fish net stockings the one day to school, all the kids in class had a field day of gawking at her, with tongues hanging out!

      What an amazing school, I did art and technical drawing, remember that math teacher, always wore a safari suit, curly brown hair? was excellent at teaching math. Can’t remember his name, his face though, is clear as if I saw him yesterday.
      Best regards John Delport 63yrs

  9. J.Dube`
    | Reply

    Hi All, I was reading the Mansfield stories and would like to add a few memories for the old 50s &60s pupils. A lingering memory was the Principal Mr Newton-Parry known as “The Bat” due to his flowing cape, he would come sweeping down the passages like a bat and your heart sunk if you were standing outside the class due to doing something wrong. He would look at you and call you by name (he seemed to know every pupils name) and invite you to wait outside his office for him and you knew “cuts” were on order, if he was busy you were sent to Mr Board the Vice Principal. He was of small stature but boy could he use that malacca, you just about %%%% yourself. By the same token if you needed help or guidance both Mr Newton-Parry and Mr Board would do everything in their power to help you. (you never appreciate these people until years later). We had another fantastic teacher who taught Afrikaans and everything else also, he was a mine of information but you would never take the chance not to do as you were told, this gem of a teacher was the late Mr van Eisering known fondly as “Kalahari” due to his resemblance to the Kalahari Wild Man wrestler. Kalahari had shares in the Grand Tea room in Berea Road where you always found him marking papers. You could take any problem to him and he would sort it for you, he was like a father to the pupils. All the teachers of the 1950 – 1960’s at Mansfield were the greatest and moulded us into the success stories. We all owe these people our gratitude for what they did for us all! There were too many great teachers there to mention now and we all know who they were. They were all so devoted and without them where would we be? I am extreemly proud to have attended both Mansfield Junior and High Schools.

    • Allan Jackson

      Hi J Dube.
      We had Mr Newton-Parry as our career guidance counsellor at Glenwood in the 70s. I recall he also had something to do with cadets and, although I can’t remember if his ‘bat’ nickname carried over to Glenwood, he did have the bushiest eyebrows I’ve ever seen.

    • Les Milner

      Hello, I was wondering if you by any chance knew my uncle who attended Mansfield School in the 50s. His name is Stanley Milner. He is 80 years old now and lives in Calgary, Canada. Thanks.
      Les Milner – lesmilner

  10. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    I have recently been informed that Andy Cunningham who went to Mansfield and matriculated round about 1971/72 is not very well. I mentored Andy for a few years as a pupil technician when he was placed under my control. I know he played for the 1st XV.
    He still lives in Durban.

    • Ariel (Philip) Rudolph

      Hi Gerald,
      Any news on Andy Cunningham. We were old school mates and of course fellow Post Office Technicians….

    • Ariel (Philip) Rudolph

      Hey Gerald, I have recently made contact with Victor Cunningham, Andy’s younger brother, who was in the same standard with me through high school.
      I will make contact with you on FaceBook with more info.

    • John Delport

      Did Andy Cunningham have light coloured hair, this name rings a bell, and I have an old black and white school photo of us kids in STD 3, and I am wondering if this person I can recall from the photo is the very same Andy Cunningham? For some weird reason, this face from the school photo popped up in my mind. I am willing to rephoto it and send it to anyone interested, for all I know I could wrong, and mistaken the name to a wrong face?
      Regards John Delport 63 yrs

  11. Claudette Irvine
    | Reply

    Does anyone remember Allan Sabatini who went to Mansfield in the 60’s

    • judy fidler

      Hi there – I stumbled across this FAD website, quite by chance, last week. Today I was still looking at posts and saw your.
      Did you find Allan?
      I know a Gary Sabatini, brother to Rory. I know him only as our plumber but can easily ask him if he knows Allan.

    • Glen Adams

      Hi Claudette
      You can get Allan on facebook

  12. Marshall Wilson
    | Reply

    I am at present researching the life of David James (Kiloh) Grantham for a family tree and wonder if you have any list of past pupils? He lived in Ritson Road and Botanic Gardens Rd as a boy and it is assumed he may have attended either the Mansfield Road Junior School and /or Mansfield High School between the years approximately 1920 to 1935. If there is any information available including photographs I would be most grateful to hear from you.

  13. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Marshall,
    Whenever anyone asks for info re a Durban family from way back, I normally look up the name in the 1938 Durban Directory I have just to see what comes up. One cannot expect too much personal info but what is listed may be of help. Here is what Grantham brought up.
    Grantham A.S. & A.H. living at 91 Botanic Gardens Road.
    Grantham C.E. living at 472 Manning Road
    Grantham D.J. living at 64 Enterprise Buildings 49 Aliwal Street.
    I know it is not what you are specifically after but sometimes vague leads take you further.

  14. Richard Murphy
    | Reply

    Hi all -I was at Mansfield High and matriculated in 1970. I see reference to Andy Cunningham who was in my class at that time. It just great to see so many fantastic comments on the old school. I was a motorcycle fanatic and at that time there were many motorcycles at the school. Head boy in 1970 was Hugh Pike whom I’m still in contact with today. There are so many teachers in the trail of comments that I knew well. I’m still in touch with Joe Marias, Peter Basel and Peter Kelsall. Will add more to this.

    • Marlena de Villiers

      Hi Richard
      If you were at Mansfield High in 1970, you may have known the Afrikaans teacher, Edzard Biermann. He was transferred there in September 1969. I am trying to trace him (if still alive). He must have been about 28 – 32 then, deep blue eyes, dark hair. Perhaps you have a year book of 1970 with a staff photo?? Will appreciate any info.


    • Alvin Stevens

      Hi Richard

      Good to hear from you. I was in Joe Marais class of 69′

  15. anthony els
    | Reply

    hi all i was there aswell for 2 years and only remembered my afrikaans teacher miss adel thenussen very sexy woman that time and all so mr mccleod from the band but i did not like him because he said i took to long to learn the bugle

    anthony els

  16. Colin
    | Reply

    Hi Can anyone tell us the name of the principal of Mansfield between approximately 1970 & 1973?

    • Bob van der Molen

      Colin _ Principal at Mansfield in 1973 Mr Nourse

      I taught at Mansfield for the year 1973 (Physical Science)

    • Dave Guy

      Mr Hurley taught at Mansfield in 1972. He went to Australia. He was the brother of Archbishop Dennis Hurley. When Hurley left Noel Rowe became the acting head. Then SAS Nouirse became headmaster in 1973. He had taught at DHS and was the 1st team rugby coach there for a number pof years. I taught at Mansfield in 1972

    • Chad Lingard

      The principal in the photo with the rugby boys is J.J. Hurley.

  17. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Colin
    I did not go to Mansfield but just recently I attended the funeral of Andy Cunningham who was a great Mansfield supporter. Andy was posted to the Reservoir Hills Exchange as a young pupil technician in 1973 and he came under my direction for field training. Later when I commissioned the Beach 37 telephone exchange in Seaview St in 1975, Andy was posted there as permanent staff so he again came under my control. I got to know Andy quite well over the years we worked together. Sadly Andy passed away on 19th February 2016 after a long illness. Andy apparently was very upset when Mansfield was closed down and apparently made some attempt to stay the closing but to no avail. I have managed to get this photo of the 1971 First XV, which Andy captained. I would assume the Principal whose name you seek is in the photo along with the coach. It would require other Mansfield Old Boys of that era to name the players as well as the Heads pictured.

    Mansfield 1st XV 1971

    • John Delport

      Greetings Gerald, I posted a remak about Andy Cunningham because his name was so familiar to me. The school rugby photograph posted on your site, is that Andy Cunningham the fair haired schoolboy dressed in red, middle row and at the far, your right? If memory serves me correctly, was he also the same lad back then, who used to work the cricket score board on the field? Do you have any photos of him before he deceased that I may perusal. If it’s someone else, I’d still like see any photos, and put a face to that name.

      Basil Siebrits was also a Mansfield boy, he died while been operated on for a faulty heart valve in the late seventies. He left school early and was employed by SAR at the old central train station.

      Does anyone remember Andre Grundling. He was in my class 1972. Wondering where he is today?
      Best regards, John Delport 63yrs

    • John Delport

      Oh dear I think I really got my memories mixed up, some memory tells me of a Mr Cunningham. Is that Mr Cunningham the teacher in the dark suit? If it is him, yes I do recall him, was always stern looking, unfortunately he was never my teacher, I think he taught mostly the Matrics? But I what I can remember of him, he was always smartly dressed and revered by us in the lower standards 6-8. He always gave me an impression of a well educated academic who took his teaching seriously. If it is indeed him, I am really sorry to learn about it, he is undoubtedly an academic loss to the teaching fraternity.

      What made me think it was the lad in the red, was that he was very frail, had these white skinny legs, and was always soft spoken.
      Regards John Delport.

    • Chad Lingard

      My Dad, Lawrence Andrew Lingard is in the picture of the rugby boys, 2nd row, 2nd from the left. He passed in 2007. If anyone remembers him, please get in touch

  18. Richard Murphy
    | Reply

    Hi all -the headmaster of 1970 was J.J. Hurley. I’m not sure who succeeded him and when. I was saddened when I heard the news of Andy Cunning ham earlier this year. Mr F.T. Palframan was Acting HM in 1970. Cheers for now fellow Mansfield men. Domine Dirge Nos – Lord Guide Us.

  19. Ariel (Philip) Rudolph
    | Reply

    The headmaster in the 1st XV photo above in 1971 was still JJ Hurley. He was then followed by Mr Rowe (I forget his first name but Noel seems familiar).

  20. Margaret Manning
    | Reply

    I am trying to find Joey (Jo) Ahrens who was at Mansfield in the early 1960. I think he left in about 1962. He has a sister called Gloria and a broth Frederick (Fred).

  21. kenneth davies
    | Reply

    Hi all my mansfield brothers many years have passed but the memory of mansfield junior and high live on like it was yesterday 1963 till 1968

    • Alvin Stevens


  22. John Mulhatton
    | Reply

    So nice reading all these events of our old school. And the crowning glory that we are referred to as “Mansfield Brothers.”
    Yes, I believe we are “brothers in arms – Domini Dirge Nos” all united through teachers who did their utmost to guide us on the right road for our future. The nicknames that we over all the years, gave the staff seem binding and we cherish the memory when we hear the name. ‘Tis 52 years ago that I walked out through those gates to start a new life, as an adult.

  23. Donald Douglas DIESPECKER, PhD
    | Reply

    from Don Diespecker, student at Mansfield 1942-1947: good to read these. My favorite teachers included Grace Herron, Bugs Russell, Oscar Palan, Joyce Kidger. My claim to fame: first to receive rugby Honors (c1945 or 1946).

    • J Craig

      Interesting to find this entry. Suppose you won’t respond to it, as you haven’t replied to my previous emails.
      Anyway, I hope you’re well. JDC

  24. Donald Douglas DIESPECKER, PhD
    | Reply

    keep up the good work

  25. Graham Read
    | Reply

    Hi Donald
    Are you related to Durbyn Diespecker who made copies of bushman paintings in the Drakensberg? I have two of his copies done in 1953 at Kamberg, Natal.

  26. Ron Aitken-Smith
    | Reply

    So great reading about the old school. I attended in 1959 and 1960. All the old teachers come to mind. Mr Pritchard (English) Dolly Watson (science) Mr Miller, Bing Crosby, Mr Howell, Mr Valentine and I think it was a Mr Dean who was the PT teacher. And so many more. Ahead of me at school was Malcolm Garret and I met up with him years later when my son and daughter joined Hillcrest High and he was the Principal. We had some good sportsmen too, George (Titch) Wootton lived opposite the school, and I lived in Botanic Gardens Road.

  27. Mike Rathbone
    | Reply

    What a trip down memory lane. I was at Mansfield 1957-60.
    I remember so many of the names mentioned..Dolly Watson ( embedded in my mind today was Arcamedies Principle 😳) Colonel Martin….and of course “the bat”
    Does anyone remember Keith Tumner?

  28. Mel Smethurst
    | Reply

    I attended Mansfield Junior in 1949 but not The High School which was the Alma Mater of my father Horace Smethurst and his 3 brothers during the early ’30’s. Doubt if any contributors to this site will remember that era. I’m guessing but am sure Pieter Breitenbach may well have passed on but would appreciate it is anybody would have family contact details, however remote as such a request does seem a long shot.
    Gerald, you don’t perhaps have more ancient Dbn Directories, say 1920’s early 30’s? Names would be Smethurst & Geils.
    Neither is common and if any are bound to be family and addresses form part of my research. Many thanks.
    Mel Smethurst

    • Gerald Buttigieg

      Hi Mel
      Sorry I missed your post but only saw your request reading Garth Coetzer’s post. If Peter Breytenbach is the person you mention, ex City Councillor, DLI Officer then I know he moved up to Hilton KZN. Suffered a stroke there and what I hear never fully recovered. Not sure if he is still living. For a while in the mid 80s he had a weekend cottage in Byrne Village outside Richmond KZN.
      I will look up the names you mention and post what I find in a reply.
      I only have the 1938, 65 and 68 Durban Directories.

    • Gerald Buttigieg

      Hi Mel,
      I have looked up Geils in the 1938 Directory.

      A.K. Geils 44 Glenmore Crescent Durban North
      Rev. and Mrs Alston Geils 1 Lothian Court , 10th Avenue Greyville
      G Geils 1 Forest Road off Bulwer Road Glenwood
      J Geils 23 Leighton Place Umbilo
      W Geils , a wood work joiner , 29 Hopson Avenue off Davenport Road Glenwood.

      Only one Smethurst listed in Durban
      E.C. Smethurst address given as Old Fort Road and looking at Old Fort Road it could be that E.C. lived at the Old Fort where accommodation was existent.

      Not much but all I got.

  29. Garth Coetzer
    | Reply

    I had a chap named Clive Meyer who worked with me in the 1980’s in Jo’burg. I have an uninvited quirk of often remembering middle names and he was Clive Robert Meyer.
    Clive told me that he was Dux in 1949. Sadly I don’t know whether he’s still around or where he is.
    I matriculated in 1961, and for my sins was Head Prefect, Dux, Captain of Orrel House, Drum Major, shared 1st XV captaincy with the late Claudie van Rooyen (a good friend). His brother’s name is John. Also a great guy and a gentleman. Extra-murally I held Natal Amateur Boxing titles for a few years (Y-Club Boxing). Kelvin Rhodes (red hair) also boxed there and attended NMansfield. So did Hughie Miller.
    I remember Norman Bevan (lived in Cowey Road). Jack Knight, David Daniel (bass drum in our cadet band), “Skate” Sutherland, Stanley Albert Sutherland, Graham Lang (Dad was Kingsmead groundsman), Dennis Jacoby, Aubrey Friedman, Colin Kerdachi (father was a city councillor) and a big shot in municipal / provincial interest in our school, and Neville Fielder, David Pollman, Ivor White. Sorry for any unintended omissions. Miss Mickdale was one of the first lady teachers that I remember. The day of our last matric exam, our farewell prank was for a bunch of us to carry her “Messerschmidt” three -wheeler car up the stairs onto the first floor of the “new” building opposite the music room and then exit the school gates forever. Teachers? Oscar Palin; Stan Dean; Baralleit (sp?); Elliot; Henry Howell (and his strap “Pharoh”), V.L. Broad, Pops Koertse (Opera singer Mimi Koertse’s father), Mr. Engela, Kenny Hoch, Kenny Aldrich, Dickie Bird McLeod, Dolly Watson (“If you saw a cow and oxygen walking down the road, How would you know which one was oxygen.? The cow has horns/ Logic lost????). i remember the first teaching words he said to our second form science class; “Heat is a form of energy. Energy is the power of doing work”. More? Charlie Warren, Col. A.C. Martin (affectionately known as “Hairy Balls” – he served in the Burma war theatre in WWII), Earlier text referred to Mr. Valentine. In my day field officers were entitled to retain their ranks and we always referred to him as Major Valentine. Australian -born P.T. Master Stan Dean was a legend on his own, and conquered (and won) the ‘Dusi canoe marathon with his partner Graham Hall, on quite a few occasions. Mr. Eggers, Mr. Crossley, Mr. Philip Luck (who never retained his military rank, buy bore plastic surgery scars on his face, from an aircraft crash in WWII in which he served as fighter pilot), Phillip Hawkins who became head at Pinetown High. Geez guys, it was a tough but wonderful school. I knocked Norman Hurt out on the Botanic Gardens bus. He went to Addington, I went up the steps right outside the bus to the Botanic Gardens Police Station charge office. It’s a long story for another time but we both survived. I remember a visicious sonofa named Martinus Pieterse who was highly sports-talented, with Natal Colours for Boxing and Soccer, but insisted on settling differences at school with 10% fists and 90% boots. A mean one. I met my first love, Annette Grace Slinger, on the Botanic Gardens bus. She boarded earlier, being a pupil of Penzance Road (before that Oakford Priory up the North Coast) and she was the unknowing catalyst of the issues between Norman and me, but as I said, that’s another story. I’m 73 years old but and moving towards senile dementia, but as you can see, my memories (and my love) of Mansfield High are as clear and sharp as if it all happened yesterday. Perhaps we can chirp a bit more next time about Restmount, Underberg, Latin lessons, Snowy Suter, and Commander Robyn Myers, who was taking over on the bridge of SAS frigate President Kruger when it collided with SAS Tafelberg off Cape Point and lots more. Maybe this is just a few old man’s boring stories, but if anyone woulds like to read some more Mansfield trivia from my days there (1957 to 1961), I’ll happily oblige. Just let me know (Probably here in the “comments”?)

    • Mike

      Hi Garth

      Clive was my father. His middle name was actually Rupert 🙂 He did not get dux as he left school in Standard 8. He passed away in 2022. He worked at Safcor in Durban after Micor.


  30. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Garth
    Your name is ringing bells for me and I am not sure if we met playing rugby at Mansfield, I played 1st XV for St Henry’s (Marist Brothers) 1961. I knew Claude as I lived nearby in Mansfield Road he lived in Bewsey Grove (now no longer existent swallowed up by DUT College). Or else we met up at Durban Regiment my service 1962 to 1966? .

  31. Garth Coetzer
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald,
    Amazing world we live in. My neighbour in Marino Heights (Puntans Hill) in 1961 was Holger Reis von Bergen, a speedy backline player for St. Henrys. We were close friends. We were both invited to a local house party. He had a date. I didn’t. On the said Saturday he played for Marists and somehow ran headlong into the post and suffered concussion. I gallantly stood in and accompanied his date to the party. I later married her and we were together for 30 years. She was a student from Mitchel High – our informal sister school. Mrs Cheeseman was headmistress and was also a legend. Apparently she used to stand at the bottom of the stairs and check up the girls’ dresses as they went up the stairs, to make sure they were wearing school uniform broekies. Commando obviously had a different meaning in those days. Cheers.

  32. Mel Smethurst
    | Reply

    Gerald & Garth,
    Appreciated. Many thanks. I’m sure Garth, many old boys would like to read your book when published!
    Mel S

  33. Mike Rathbone
    | Reply

    Fantastic read fellas… reliving the past. Does any remember Barry Carr great old boy cricketer?
    Mike Rathbone.

  34. Jeremy Oddy
    | Reply

    Good Day to the Men of Mansfield High,
    I have read the contributions above, and I am so thrilled the spirit of that great school Mansfield has been kept alive.
    I was a pupil at D H S from 1960-1963 and have been very concerned to continually top up with stories about our past pupils and staff.
    Mr D G Nourse was a master at D H S from 1941-1972, then he was promoted to Headmaster of Mansfield. I am collecting stories about this man. He is certainly remembered for his teaching style, mannerisms, rugby coaching and his inter- action with boys and staff here at D H S.
    Please, if any of you good men can recall any stories about Sas Nourse, I should be most grateful if you would send them to me as soon as possible via e-mail to the address below,it matters not how long or short the article is.
    Address ;
    Cheers,and good health to you.

    Jeremy Oddy

  35. Roger Ellison
    | Reply

    Interesting to read about Mansfield. My late dad Philip Ellison was vice principal in the 50’s under Mr Newton Parry.. I well remember the great school concerts that were so much fun (I was about 10 years old then).

  36. Gerald
    | Reply

    Hi John
    Andy is sitting in between the two masters in the photo above. I would assume he was captain of the rugby team that year. As I said he joined Telkom as a pupil technician roughly 1972 and was placed under my control in his training years. I do have a photo of him in his later years and will post it in due course.

  37. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi John
    Here are two photos that include Andy.
    The first is the Beach Telephone Exchange Seaview Street staff circa 1975. I will name them all for interest:
    Back Row : L to R Rob Sefton, Philip Anderson, Steve Hewing, Graeme Lyons, Roger Dell.

    Front Lto R: Dan Qumbisa, Andy Cunningham, myself, N Khuzwayo, Glenn Woodley.
    Beach 37 Staff

    Andy Cunningham’s memorial leaflet.

    Memorial Leaflet

    • John

      Thank you so much Gerald, unfortunately I don’t remember him as a student, I joined the High School in 1969, failed once, and therefore was in std 7 in 1971. He must have been in Matric when that photo was taken?
      How cruel is life to make us age and eventually causes illness and the finality of death, it’s so unfair, especially when you lose a very dear close friend. I have lost both my parents, and my two brothers, 62yrs & 63 yrs. I am the last surviving member of my family, beating my 2nd eldest brother who died at 63 by 4 months and still kicking.
      All we can do I Gerald, is just cherish the bountiful memories of our loved ones and that of our very dear friends we have met along this journey of life. If what the Jews witnessed at Mount Sinai is indeed the truth, then we will all be meeting again in a different realm. How great that will be, to be amongst family and friends, never again to be separated, for an eternity upon eternity.
      Thank you for your response, be of good strength, good cheer and long life.
      Warmest regards always, John.
      Pp. I really did think that teacher in the dark suit was a Mr Cunningham, I think he taught accountancy? 40 yrs plus ago, does play havoc on our memories, the kid in my old school photograph is a David Cunningham, that’s why originally, his face popped up in my head. Same surname, different lad.

  38. peter bolton
    | Reply

    I was at Mansfield High for just the one year , between leaving Highbury Prep and starting at Marist Brothers, St Henry’s . I enjoyed my time there and met some unforgettable people . I recall one of the teachers , I am sure it was Mrs Truter , using the phrase ” neither a lender nor a borrower be ” , every time she overheard one of us ask someone else to lend us a pencil , rubber , pen , ruler etc .

    | Reply

    Hi I’m Ken
    I attended Mansfield during the period of 1986 to 1988 when it closed down.
    They handed the school over to the natal technicon at that time.
    Mr Lamont and de klerk was still there.
    The last day they had an evening farewell which I attended and got drunk there on the wine.
    I kept that wine glass for many years but sadly was lost.
    i am still in touch with some of the old school guys and will pass this link onto them so that they can also respond and chat with you guys

  40. James Wood
    | Reply

    I worked at Beach (ND) exchange with Gerald and Graeme in the 1977++ years.

    I was transferred to Head Office in 1981 and am still in contact with Graeme.

    I went on retirement in 2016.

    • Allan Jackson

      Hi James, It’s quite a coincidence your left a comment here because we are about to publish a couple of articles by Gerald on Durban’s phone system.

  41. Mel Smethurst
    | Reply

    Hi Alan,
    Subscribe. Many thanks.

  42. James Wood
    | Reply

    Hi Allan,

    I have quite a bit of knowledge of the Beach Exchange in totality. I was part of the Acceptance Testing Team of the Beach ND Exchange and reported to Mr Des Morley. If I recall correctly it was on the 5th and 6th floor. Prior to that I worked in one of the local exchanges below. A person I remember very well was Eric Coates. He also ended up in Pretoria at the NNOC (National Network Operations Centre). After completing the Acceptance Testing of Beach ND I was placed at Pine Street ND on maintenance and then transferred back to Beach ND on maintenance. I also did Acceptance Testing at Austerville and Overport Exchanges. If you need any info on Durban’s phone system please let me know as I have a vast amount of information to share. I plan on going down to Durban soon and will look up Graeme. I believe he is on the Bluff in Durban. I lived on the Bluff in Durban all my school life (Bushlands and then Grosvenor Boys). I used to go down to Durban regularly to visit my parents, but with them both having passed away, I do not go down much any more. It is very interesting coming across a website like this.

  43. stratton davis
    | Reply

    Hi my name is Stratton Davis,my father attended Mansfield high in the 1950s,does anyone remember Brian Davis?

  44. Clive Herron
    | Reply

    Hi Stratton – I remember Brian Davis – he was a class ahead of me right from the days of Botanic Gardens School (1945) which later become Mansfield Junior then on to Mansfield High (1951/52). If my memory serves me correctly Brian completed Matric studying Art as his main subject. He later joined the Durban City Police where he rose to the rank of Inspector. I seved with him of several committees whilstI was a Councillor

  45. Sean Greene
    | Reply

    My name is Sean Greene … I was a student in 1964 and remember Dickie Bird, Dolly Watson, Mr Marais, and “The Bat ” who was principal as well as Stobie who used to cane with glee!
    Mr Wetherstone was a great guy – Art Teacher, and really helpful … some of those in my class were Jimmy Boyde, and surnames of some of the guys … called Antsty , Sumna, a guy called Neil who played the piano and a few others …. I joined a couple of bands “Painted Mind”, “Spirit & Flesh” with a couple of other students Richard Dunnit, and Boyde (Leif) Stafney and we played gigs around Durban and Toti.
    I now live in Perth Western Australia.

  46. John Mcvean
    | Reply

    John Delport,
    You have no idea how long ive been trying to reach you.
    So much news,so many deaths,…….cant get hold of Michael Quirke, (Hop along )..
    Hope to hear from
    You soon
    John McVean 0824224494 Durban South Africa

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