St Charles celebrates 142 years

2017-07-26 06:01

ST Charles College for boys celebrated their 142 years on Friday.

The celebration included a Founders Day Dash race, which they do annually. The race is 540m and they have been doing it for six years.

St Charles turns 142 years old today, Wednesday, as it was built on July 26, 1875, but they celebrated their birthday last Friday.

St Charles headmaster Allen van Blerk they are excited to celebrate their 142nd birthday this year.

“This is one of my favourite days of the year. This is quite an achievement to survive for 142 years. The school had its challenges in 1913 and 1979, but those challenges made us who we are today, self-disciplined.

“It is satisfying [to know] that despite the age we still remain a relevant independent school,” he said.

Van Blerk said although they have turned 142 to them the burden has just begun because they have many visions of how to make the school even better.

“This school began as an idea in the mind of Bishop Charles Jolivet, who was concerned about the number of young boys who roamed the streets of Pietermaritzburg without education and he was determined to do something about it.

“From humble beginnings the college has grown to be where we are today. Now 142 years later we are standing here talking about being the leading independent school for boys in Africa. That is a remarkable journey,” said Van Blerk.

He said the dash race was their way of celebrating the new gate that was built six years ago as they didn’t have one because the small patch of land where they wanted to build the gate was owned by the municipality.

“After many months of trying to think of a solution, I asked whether we could move the gate backwards into the land we did own, to my surprise the board agreed. We built a gate in less than six weeks and finally we had an entrance we could be proud of.

“This race means a lot because whoever wins it their name is recorded, but since 2012 no one has beaten Mason O’Connor’s record of 1:16,7 seconds which he did in 2012.”

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