St Dunstan’s College turns 100

Michael McConnachie (headmaster of the college) with Lorraine Barry (chairlady of the college), Con Roux (past chairman), Dylan Chicken (council member) and Craig McIlrath (headmaster of preparatory).

St Dunstan’s College and Preparatory School celebrated their centenary and Celebration of Gratitude on October 6 at their premises in Rynfield, and invited several guests to partake in the milestone celebration.

This was an opportunity for everyone to be thankful for all who brought St Dunstan’s College to this point in time, and to look forward to the next chapter in the school’s history.

“In 1918, in the shadow of the horror that was World War One, a small group of men decided to pay tribute to the sacrifice of their fallen comrades by creating a living memorial,” said centenary coordinator, Lorraine Emmett.

“That memorial was to take the form of a school for the children of the area, to provide them with an opportunity to receive a meaningful education which was centered on Christian teachings.”

On February 4 in 1918, in the grounds of St Dunstan’s Anglican Church, the St Dunstan’s Memorial Diocesan School officially began its journey.

“Over the following years, the school grew steadily and established itself as a leader in education on the East Rand,” Lorraine said.

“It did also, however, face many difficulties including the threat of closure and inadequate classroom and sports facilities.”

In 1940, Ernest John Butler was appointed as the headmaster, a time the school was at low ebb.

“His foresight and determination lifted the school to new heights, and undoubtedly the school owes its very existence to him,” Lorraine said.

“The new centenary building which was opened in May this year, is fittingly named in his honour – The E John Butler Centre for the Arts.

“From the humble beginnings of one headmaster, an assistant teacher and one pupil, the school has grown to a total of 1221 pupils.”

During the course of this year, the school community paid tribute to the ‘leap of faith’ taken by that small group of men, and their determination to establish a school for the children of the area which would provide them with an opportunity to receive a meaningful Christian education.

The centre boasts a beautiful new campus with extensive sporting and cultural facilities.

“After one hundred years, we continue to remember and remain grateful for the service and sacrifice of those who came before us, and we are proud of the school that lives in their memory,” Lorraine said.

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  AUTHOR
Sheina Razack

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