Mom went to this school, as did all three of us kids. Annie, Mom’s Mom, would not have, as it seems it was established in 1915, see below, and Annie was 22yrs old by then.
Before us, Etienne Joubert went, and he remembers:
Playing ‘Hasie’ under the Bluegums near the old Golf club house; Eating ‘Manna’ under the Bluegums; Playing ‘Bok-bok’ behind the bottom class rooms; Playing marbles in the main playground.
Also he remembers the woodwork teacher Giel du Toit – his mother Joyce had a hilarious ‘heilige’ nickname for Onse Giel – Heilige Giel, I think it was; and he remembers the smell of the old fashioned wood glue; And the wood vice where ‘we tied a guy’s tie in & walloped his behind. I’ve forgotten his name, but not his face … I can see it now!
He then confesses – I do not remember much about plays & music . . .’ – No worries, sister Barbara does:
Sister Barbara was a year or two later – she finished Std 5 in 1965. She definitely remembers about plays and music, you Philistine, Etienne! She remembers that year was the school’s Golden Jubilee year – so established 1915, I guess? – and an exciting concert was planned and held on the 28th and 29th of October 1965, with all the classes in the Kleinspan School and Primary School – Volkskool – participating.
How could she remember in such detail? Well, she had her program carefully stored away in a shoe-box! She remembers the play her class put on: ‘TO BE OR NOT TO BE’ – by B.J.J. (Bruce) Humphries with Pierre du Plessis and Llewellyn Mileham – or was it Kevin Crawley? – as the smart guys, and Timothy Brockett as Mr. van Snoggery-Boggery, the drunk guy – Pierre remembered this name – and herself – Barbara Swanepoel – as the unnamed lady on the railway station platform.
Interludes between plays were filled by music by the ‘Harrismith Volkskool Orkes / Primary School Band.’ Band members were Rina Minny en Estelle Meyer on trekklaviere – pull pianos – piano accordions; Sylvia Doman on piano; Barbara Swanepoel on melodica; Pierre du Plessis on drums; Willie du Plessis on electric guitar; So much of du Plessis!; Theuns Bam en Bertus Hattingh on acoustic guitars; Almost like The Village People – it was Die Dorps Mense:
Then came the Primary School Boys Choir – Die Seunskoor. Under the charming direction of Miss L. Fourie and that delectable redhead Miss Ethel Cronje. I was a soprano in this lot, warbling away merrily before my balls dropped. We sang (according to that program which won’t lie) Wiegeliedjie van Mozart; Drummer Boy; and Dominique; I still remember – and can still sing majestically – the second and third of these liedjies. My kids dispute this fact, unreasonably.
Barbara asks: ‘Now wasn’t there a record produced for this choir? I think so – our own famous ‘Platberg Boys Choir.’ Indeed there were two records cut. Vinyl. The Vienna Boys Sausages were nervous. Especially when we launched a smash hit successful sold-out tour of Zululand. If it wasn’t for rugby and puberty, we’d have usurped those Austrian suckers. We’d have parum pu pum pum’d them out of business . .