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It was in a spirit of re-union that the Society was founded. Its originator, Claude E. Mann, had been one of the first four boys to be enrolled in the Kerk Street Government School when it was opened in 1902. After some years of closest association with a happy band of schoolfellows and an acquaintance, perhaps not so happy, with noble masters, he suddenly found himself alone in the world. He began to wonder what had happened to them and longed to renew old friendships. He went to see his old Headmaster and out of this idea was born the Johannesburg College Old Boy’s Society in 1908.
In the beginning:
The Society had an impressive first committee with the headmaster Mr. J.M. Crofts as President, Mr. H.D.F. Davis, Mr. F.J. Robinson, Mr. (Later Sir) Abe Bailey, Mr. C.P. Hill, Mr. S. Pegler and Mr. A. Troye as Secretary. During the first year of inauguration a soccer team was entered in the Second Division of the Association League. Early in the history of the Society which was largely a family affair carried on by some twenty or so old boys three of the members played soccer for Colonials vs. Home Borns, one played hockey and two received their Provincial Rugby Caps in Currie Cup Competition. This small handful of Old Boys of a school then not yet ten years old laid a solid foundation on which our Society has been built up.
In 1912 the association took on a new lease of life under the title of The Old Edwardian Society for the school had changed its name in the previous year. Just when the Society was about to reap the first fruits of its labours came the war and a complete cessation of all proceedings for nearly five years.
The return to civilian life brought with it a new stimulus making for keener co-operation, and a desire for reunion on all sides. Mr. Desmond Davis took the initiative and organized a smoking concert in the School Hall on June 21st, 1919 and no less than 120 old boys attended this. About two and a half months later an advertisement was published in the daily press calling Old Boys to attend a meeting with a view to resuscitating the Society. They did not waste much time in becoming active for it was reported in December 1919 a successful dance had been held and Pounds 20 had been raised to be handed over to the School War Memorial Fund. The search for grounds had begun and was to last for nearly five years.
Although Soccer, Hockey and Cricket Sections were formed in the next few years, the Society’s activities were limited in those early days before a home was found.
Search for a home:
The real “search” started some time in 1922. At last progress was made and negotiations were made for a plot of 17 acres at Houghton Estate in 1925….where the Society still operates from and after many ups and downs is still flourishing.
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