Celebrate Hermannsburg’s 154th birthday this weekend

2016-05-11 06:00
A typical scene on a Monday morning, in the early 1900s at Hermannsburg, the ‘Inter-city Express Delivery’ from the railway siding at Ahrens, delivered provisions to the growing boarding establishments at the school.

A typical scene on a Monday morning, in the early 1900s at Hermannsburg, the ‘Inter-city Express Delivery’ from the railway siding at Ahrens, delivered provisions to the growing boarding establishments at the school.

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“THE growing enrollment soon meant that the boarding establishments needed to be renovated and expanded. At the high school additional classrooms were added to the science laboratory built in 1949, so that four extra classrooms were gained, two of which could be joined via a folding door to make a larger auditorium.
“These extensions were built in 1958. The swimming pool was built at this time as well and is a sign of how the parent and past pupil bodies stood together to assist the school in its development and growth.
“Finally in 1960 a long established dream of Reverend Kistner­’s was fulfilled - a school chapel was built. The school community had grown to such an extent that the morning devotions, the characteristic start to the Hermannsburg school day, could no longer be accommodated in any of the other facilities of the school.

“The years 1962 and 1964 were important building years at Hermannsburg. The Alte Jugendheim, the oldest boarding establishment building in Hermannsburg – and oldest school boarding house in South Africa, built in 1862 – needed to be renovated and its amenities needed to be brought up to standard. Opposite this boarding establishment a new boarding facility was constructed in the same year - the senior girls boarding establishment. This boarding establishment could accommodate 60 girls. The boys boarding establishments were extended as well. The Jungsheim, located next to the school chapel, was extended through the construction of a common room in 1964.
“The Altes Mädchenheim, which from 1962 on was used to accommodate the junior boys and as such was then called the Knabenheim, was also extended to create new bathroom facilities in an annex to the existing building.

“However, not only the building contractors changed the ‘look’ of Hermannsburg in these years. Parents and past pupils from the district and surrounding congregations combined their resources to create new sport fields and facilities for the school close to the campus.
“In a large and concerted effort, tractors, graders and lorries were used to create two rugby fields and two hockey fields that were planted with kikuyu grass. The four tennis courts, located between the sport fields and the tennis courts, were resurfaced in 1967 and 1969 with concrete as the result of an initiative by some parents.

“Some changes were introduced to the curriculum of the school - Afrikaans A was introduced in 1964 in Grades 11 and 12 to afford pupils from Afrikaans-speaking districts a better chance in their matric examinations. In other areas existing developments and principles were reinforced to strengthen the character of the school.
“An example would be that from 1956 onwards the teaching of German was primarily the task of seconded staff from Germany, who were originally recruited through the German embassy, but later seconded directly to Hermannsburg from the authorities located in Cologne, Germany.” - An extract from Hermannsburg’s Jubilee Publication, published in 2006.

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