School Motto, Uniform and Houses

Mr Udal’s signet ring bore the words, Tant Que je Puis – archaic French, meaning “I do my very best”.  For the motto this was translated into the Latin, Summa diligentia laboro, which means “I work with diligence”.

Then Mr Udal, the first headmaster, and his wife chose the distinctive colours of sky blue and maroon. Until the early 80s, Colours and Honours blazers were sky blue, but they were changed to navy blue, due to the problem of sourcing the fabric.

Straw ‘bashers’ were compulsory headwear for all pupils until late 70’s. Founders’ House pupils continued with ‘bashers’ as part of their uniform until the early 90s.

Mr Udal designed the school emblem himself, using the Maltese Cross from the royal coat of arms of Queen Alexandra, the elephant indicating Pietermaritzburg, and the Wildebeest of Natal.

Maltese Cross – Mr Leo Boyd, M.E.C. for Education in the N.P.A. at the time of the school’s inception was a Knight of da Gama in the Roman Catholic Church. The cross was given to Boyd’s House as their symbol.

Mr C. B. Downs, Mayor of Pietermaritzburg, was approached for permission to use part of the city’s coat of arms and so the elephant now represents Downs’ House.

Mr A. T. Allison was an elected member of the Natal Provincial Council, who lived in Alexandra Road and took an interest in the school. Allison’s House is named after him, and the stars from the City’s Coat of Arms is used as their symbol.

Shepstone House was named after Mr D. G. Shepstone, Administrator of Natal at the time of the purchase of land for the school. As he had attended Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953, the crown was to be Shepstone’s symbol.

Succeeding Mr Shepstone as Administrator, was Mr A. E. Trollip. He was approached for permission to use part of the Natal badge. Permission was granted, provided they faced the correct way and had white manes and tails! These wildebeest represent Trollip’s House.

Download the Uniform Requirements