Fairbairn College

Fairbairn College

Infobox School
name = Fairbairn College

imagesize = 150px
motto = Veritas et Integritas
"(Truthfulness and Integrity)"
established = 1 October 1976
type = Public high school
staff = Mr B Marchand (Headmaster)
enrollment = approx 1000 learners
free_label = Colours
free_text = Navy blue and pale blue
free_label2 =
free_text2 =
location =Goodwood, Cape Town, South Africa
information = admin@fbc.wcape.school.za
website = http://www.fbc.wcape.school.za

Fairbairn College is a public, co-educational high school in the suburb of Goodwood in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.


The Goodwood/Vasco English-medium High School was founded on 1 October 1976 with the appointment of Mr CE de Wet as Headmaster. The deputy principal and secretary were temporarily accommodated in the board room of the Parow School Board until completion of the administrative section of the College in January 1977.

The Opening Assembly was held on 19 January 1977 with a staff of nineteen teachers and 356 pupils. In the first year, Fairbairn catered for Standards 6, 7 and 8 pupils. The majority of Standards 7 and 8 pupils were enrolled from the nearby JG Meiring High School.

Fairbairn was officially inaugurated a year later, on 24 February 1978, by Dr PS Meyer, Director of Education of the Cape Province.

At the first meeting on 28 March 1977, the School Committee unanimously decided to name the school Fairbairn College. [School Committee minutes.] However, the Parow School Board and Cape Education Department over-ruled their decision, approving instead the name Fairbairn High School. The School was named after John Fairbairn who was invited to the Cape by Thomas Pringle to start a school for the children of the 1820 Settlers. [Botha H.C., "John Fairbairn in South Africa", 336pp., hardback, d.w., No. 5, Cape Town, 1984.] After Fairbairn was declared a Model C state-aided school, the Governing Body, on 23 November 1992, unanimously resolved to use its new powers to change the name to Fairbairn College. [Governing Body minutes.] The Cape Education Department was informed of this decision and the name was changed in the official records on 11 February 1993.


* 1 October 1976 - 30 September 1983 Mr CE de Wet
* 1 October 1983 - 30 June 1998 Mr RK Weatherdon
* 1 January 1999 - 31 December 2001 Mrs SL van Zyl
* 1 July 2002 - present Mr B Marchand

Learning areas offered


Extramural facilities include a swimming pool, four rugby fields, five cricket fields, eight cricket nets, three hockey fields, four netball courts, nine tennis courts, two squash courts, a change-room complex and a club house.

The fields, Aurora, Chapman, Nautilus, Osborn and Weymouth, were named for five of the Government Settler Scheme ships that brought the 1820 Settlers to the Cape. [ [http://www.1820settlers.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Genealogy&file=browseships 1820 Settlers] ]

House system

Fairbairn operates a comprehensive intramural or interhouse competition. To this end, the school is divided into three houses.

The houses to which learners are allocated are Grey (White), Somerset (Blue) and Napier (Red). The houses are named after Sir George Grey, Lord Charles Somerset and Sir George Thomas Napier, British governors of the Cape Colony in the 1800s.

The highlight of the year is the Interhouse Athletics Competition comprising track and field events. This together with the Swimming Gala is held in the first term.

In addition to competitions in all the major sports, an interhouse quiz, in which every learner participates, is held in the third term.

Extramural activities


Summer: Cricket, Tennis, Swimming, Water polo
Winter: Hockey, Rugby, Tennis, Squash


Summer: Tennis, Swimming, Water polo
Winter: Hockey, Netball, Tennis, Squash

Cultural activities

Choir, Drama, Chess, Debating, Music ensemble groups

College Choir

In 1977, shortly after the foundation of the school, a mixed choir was founded which quickly became, and remains, the cultural showpiece of Fairbairn. In its early years, the choir performed radio broadcasts as well as performing for the Goodwood community, in churches, eisteddfods and pageants.

As early as 1979 the College Choir made its first recording. This was either a tape or a long playing record. In 2004, the choir, accompanied by the school organ and orchestra, recorded a CD.

It has become tradition for the choir to perform The Hallelujah Chorus at the Founders’ Day service in February each year. It has also become custom for Past Pupils who were choir members to join the choir on Founders’ Day.

The Servant Song by Richard Gilliard has been sung by the choir at funerals of educators and learners.

The choir’s premier performance is on the first and second day of the fourth term at Prize Giving. On the third day it has to perform at the Valedictory Service without the matrics. The result is that, at that time of the year, the Choir Director is in effect running two choirs. The singing of Fill the World with Love from the film Goodbye Mr Chips is guaranteed to bring a tear to many an eye. As the matrics leave the CE de Wet Hall for the last time, the Choir leads the congregation in singing [http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/g/b/gbewiyou.htm God Be With You Till We Meet Again.]

Carols Service

A Carols Service, of one hour duration, is held in the CE de Wet Hall on the second last day of the academic year. The choir files into the darkened hall bearing candles and singing O Little Town of Bethlehem. [ [http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/o/l/olittle.htm O Little Town of Bethlehem] ] The programme is interspersed with Bible readings, prayers, congregational singing and choir and solo performances. The performance of O Holy Night is always memorable.

College Song

In June 1980, Mrs Bruwer, Head of Music, was in Salisbury, England with her family. Mr de Wet, the founder Headmaster, asked her to try to find a school song for Fairbairn while she was in England.

One evening she was sitting in Salisbury Cathedral and the gentleman sitting next to her introduced himself as the Reverend Hugh Blenkin. When she told him about her mission to find a school song, he offered to write it. [Correspondence in College archives.] The words were written by the Reverend Hugh Blenkin and the music composed by Mrs Bruwer.

The College song was sung for the first time in March 1981.

30th Anniversary

The 30th anniversary of the founding of Fairbairn College was celebrated during 2007. The highlight of the celebrations was the Founders’ Day assembly on Friday, 23 February. Mr Cameron Dugmore, Western Cape Minister of Education, was the guest speaker.

On Saturday, 24 February, a formal dinner was held in the CE de Wet Hall for staff, governing body members, principals of surrounding schools, education officials and friends of the school. Mr Barry Volschenk, Director of EMDC Metropole North, was the guest speaker. The guests were also treated to a Power Point presentation on the history of the school.

A special lapel badge, seen alongside, was presented to every learner and educator to be worn during the anniversary year.

Notable Past Pupils

*Ryan ten Doeschate matriculated in 1998. Whilst at school, he excelled at both rugby and cricket. His leadership potential was recognised with his appointment as a College Prefect. Because of his Dutch ancestry, he plays One-Day International cricket for the The Netherlands. He represented The Netherlands at the Cricket World Cup in 2007.
*Karen van der Westhuizen (1998) has excelled at the sport of squash. In 2007 she was the women’s champion in the Western Province Squash Closed Championships. She has represented South Africa at the World Tournament and the World Squash Federation Women's World Team Championship. [ [http://www.squashinfo.com/news-1427 Squash info, the definitive squash resource] ]
*Ryan Canning (Deputy Head Boy 2001) is a talented cricketer. As a schoolboy, he represented Western Province from under 13. He currently plays first class cricket for the Cape Cobras. [ [http://content-rsa.cricinfo.com/southafrica/content/player/44666.html Cricinfo] ]
*Andre Petim (2003) is the goalkeeper for Premier Soccer League club Ajax Cape Town. [ [http://www.ajaxct.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=44 Ajax Cape Town official club site] ]


External links

* [http://www.fbc.wcape.school.za Fairbairn College official site]
* [http://www.imaccs.co.za/fairbairn/index.html Past Pupils website]
* [http://curriculum.pgwc.gov.za/ Western Cape Education Department website]

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