The name “College”
After Union in 1910, the Transvaal Education Department instructed Potchefstroom College to change its name to Potchefstroom High School for Boys as the term “college” could only be used for tertiary educational institutions. The tradition of calling the school “College” however, never stopped, and by 2005 the school headmaster, Titch Cartwright, finally succeeded in getting official recognition from the Department of Education that “College” is an alternative name for the school.
Old Boys Society
On 25 November 1911, in Granton House, “The Potchefstroom College Old Boys’ Society” was established. They are affectionately known as “The Old Moois”.
The War Cry
The School war cry is a particularly strong characteristic of the school. The origin is clouded in mystery but is a highlight and climax for any occasion were both current and past Collegians get together.
The early 18 th Century student song, De Brevitate Vitae (“On the shortness of life”), better known as Gaudeamus Igitur is the official School Song. The Houses compete annually to determine who sings it the best, to honour the original choir master Haldane Hofmeyr (1942 -1966).
New Boys’ Concert
For more than half a century, New Boys have entertained the school with a concert in the beginning of the first term of school. They perform either individually or as part of the group resulting in much hilarity.
Polar Bear Club
On the coldest day of the year, the bravest learners (as well as all grade 8’s) participate in an icy swim of four lengths in the C.D. Hope Swimming Bath. At the end of the ordeal, swimmers are handed a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Tradition dictates that new teachers and Principals must also participate.
Cross country running is a sport in which teams and individuals run a race on open-air courses over natural terrain such as dirt or grass. Sometimes the runners are referred to as harriers. The course, typically 4–12 kilometres (2.5–7.5 mi) long, may include surfaces of grass, and earth, pass through woodlands and open country, and include hills, flat ground and sometimes gravel road. It is both an individual and a team sport; runners are judged on individual times and teams by a points-scoring method.
At Potchefstroom High School for Boys cross country is a highlight of the Woodsbowl Inter House competition in the first term. All the boys are encouraged to participate in the 2 km run around and through the school. In an Inter-School level, it has had a checkered history.
Parkrun was founded by Paul Sinton-Hewitt (an Old Mooi) on 2 October 2004 at Bushy Park in London, England. The event was originally called the Bushy Park Time Trial. It grew into a network of similar events called the UK Time Trials, before adopting the name Parkrun in 2008 and expanding into other countries. Born in Zimbabwe, he grew up in South Africa. At age five he was made a ward of the state and then lived at boarding schools. He was educated at Potchefstroom High School for Boys and was a crew member supporting Bruce Fordyce in the Comrades Marathon.
Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France at 5:45 am, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. The tradition of Remembrance Day evolved out of Armistice Day. Remembrance Day (sometimes known informally as Poppy Day owing to the tradition of the remembrance poppy) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty.
Potchefstroom High School for Boys Holds a Memorial Service on the Saturday closest to the 11th of November at 5:45 every year. Wreaths are laid down at the Memorial Light that shines throughout the year.
The Woods Bowl
The Woods Bowl for Efficiency is awarded annually to the House which best reflects balanced achievements in sport, academic and cultural fields. It was introduced in the 1920s when it was donated by the wife of Mr B.F. Woods, one of the school’s long-serving and most influential masters, and remains possibly the most sought-after of the Inter-House trophies with fierce competition to win it.