“From small beginnings”
“Looking at the photograph taken of pupils and the staff of Durban Preparatory school in 1910, or as it was known then as DHPS, DURBAN HIGH PREPARATORY SECTION, It is hard to imagine that a collection of about 50 boys and teachers as the beginning of one of Durban’s proudest schools. Today, more than 100 years later, photograph of neatly uniformed DPHS, DURBAN PREPARATORY HIGH SCHOOL (as it know today) and their teachers prove that great things have indeed followed from the small beginnings of 1910.”
In 1910, Mr Aubrey Samuel Langley became Head Master of D.H.S. He bought with him from Maritzburg College, Mr. Harry Stubbs. He was to open a section at the school for small boys, some as young at 7. The young boys were taught in two classrooms in the Old Science Block (later demolished in 1959) and this section of D.H.S. was known as Durban High Preparatory Section. This D.HS. was divided into, The Upper School, The Lower school, and the Preparatory School. It was Mr Stubbs and Mrs E.M. McDonald’s responsibility to prepare these boys for entrance into D.H.S.
The boys, together with the rest of the school wore straw bashers. The distinguishing feature from the rest of the school was the ‘Prep Boys’ bashers were black and white speckled straw hats with a dark blue hat band with the D.H.S badge on the band.
The 1910 photograph shows a somewhat ragtag collections of pupils. Sprinkled amongst the pupils were a number of boys, who later became D.H.S. Old Boys, and who would go onto to make a name for themselves in a variety of ways:
Roy Campbell: internationally poet
Leif Egeland: South African High Commissioner to London
Clarence Oldfield: Olympic and silver medallist in the 1920 4 x 400m
Syd Atkinson: Olympic gold medallist in the 110m hurdles in 1928 and silver medallist in 1924.
(not the words of, but information obtained from ‘from small beginnings’ by Linda Horning and Tim Whitfield, D.P.H.S – 1910 – 2010)