Secondary School

History of Welkom Gimnasium High School

Name of the school

The energy and founding of Welkom-Gimnasium came about as a result of the incredible pace of development that occurred in the pulsating Free State Goldfields that was seemingly transformed from bare veld into a sprawling city by a magic wand. The staff and school commission felt that various high schools would mushroom in future decades and therefore deliberated on a name that would set them apart. The input given by the spouse of one of the staff members (Mr. M.J. van der Vyver) to name the school “Gimnasium” was immediately ratified. Because the Gimnasia were the first and oldest high schools in the European school system – this first high school in Welkom would be known as “Welkom-Gimnasium”.

The staff committed themselves through instilling the famous traditions of the European Gimnasia in an unassuming way at Welkom-Gimnasium. namely:

Firstly the Greek tradition of:

  • Cultural forming
  • Physical education
  • play

Secondly

  • the Western-European tradition of educational tuition of the various high schools in Holland, Germany and Scandinavia.
  • The school will, with all aspects considered, combine work and play into a harmonious unit and aspire to teach the learners the correlation between the two.

Our new school badge and motto

The old school badge that was instated in 1953 by the first temporary staff members was aesthetically pleasing, however the strange emblems and heraldic did not suit a Afrikaans-medium school. As the school colours were already changed under the previous dispensation of the parallel-medium school, it was decided to maintain a “Status Quo” until the separation of the new English medium-school.

With the school becoming Afrikaans only in January 1957 a competition was launched for the design of a new school badge. Over a 100 designs were received by a totally neutral committee who tirelessly went through and scrutinized all the entries. The design of Mrs J J Fourie, wife of the principal was chosen. (Mention has to be made that the committee and staff were not aware from whom the entries were and the principal could not participate in the decision.)

Historical relation.

The two emblems in the shield, the torch and the Iconic pillar with the horn of a ram are both of Greek origin as well as the historical connotation to the name “Gimnasium”. This lends a strong unity and form to the badge. It is however not an emblem strange to the nation as the pillar is still found in our architecture and the torch is symbolic of the aim of the Afrikaner.

Motto:

A strong and powerful motto, with inner meaning: “Be strong, there’s work!”

Symbolism:

The two emblems strongly accentuate a twofold meaning of the motto: “Be strong, there’s work”. Strength is the first or qualifying part of the motto:strength is needed because there is an accentuated duty – “there’s work!”: physical strength (the Greek ideal of games in the Gimnasia), but also strength in faith – the might of a strong character as well as the might of education! This is the foundation of the motto; while the badge is the pillar that symbolizes the supporting strength. The emphasis in the motto is on the subsequent part “there’s work”, symbolized by the bright flame that keeps burning in anticipation of the accentuated duty – as a duty conscious Afrikaans-medium school. A third motive is symbolized by the firm hand with a tight grip on the torch, namely: we take this motto out into the world.

School song

Net so ferm soos die leuse is, so fors is die skoollied wat, volgens ‘n persverklaring van mnr. D.H. Maree, onderhoof van die skool, “die stryd en strewe van die skool en die dinamiese lewe in Welkom”, vertolk. Vir ‘n skool soos hierdie wat ‘n baie harde stryd in sy wordingsjare gehad het en uit die “polsende lewe” van ‘n worderde stad in aansyn geroep is, kan en mag daar niks idillies en landeliks in sy skoollied wees nie.

Daar moet vuur en krag uit elke versreël straal. Let veral op die kontrastering in die eerste twee versreëls van die lied wat op die eerste bladsy van hierdie Jaarblad geplaas is: die skool word met die harde rots vergelyk waaruit die kosbare fyn goud gehaal word. Dit verleen nie slegs lokale kleur aan die lied van ‘n Goudveldse hoërskool nie, maar sinspeel veral op die krag van die skool waaruit die kosbare skat van die opvoeding gehaal moet word, d.i. die fyn goud (opvoedingsideaal van verfyning en kultuur) uit die sterk rots. Dit kan ook verder vertolk word dat die skool se harde geskiedenis hom sterk en lewenskragtig gemaak het ….”Sterk soos die rots ….” Die orige versreëls spreek vir hulself – veral ook die middelste gedeelte (in ‘n mineurtoonaard) wat op die ideale van die Afrikaans-medium-skool sinspeel, en die woordspelings in die laaste strofe en die refrein wat om die beurt deur seuns en dogters afsonderlik gesing moet word, om na ‘n groot gesamentlike klimaks op te werk. Die woorde van die lied is die digterlike skepping van iemand wat die veelbewoë geskiedenis van hierdie skool baie intiem en intens deurleef het en wie se hele strewe opgegaan het in die verhewe ideale wat hy vir hierdie Afrikaans-medium-skool koester – ons skoolhoof, Dr. J.J. Fourie. Mnr. Dirkie de Villiers, Sang-inspekteur van die Vrystaat, het vir die eerste musiek gesorg. In 1963 word die musiek herskryf om dit meer singbaar te maak. Die musiek word deur mnr. Louis Fourie, ‘n musiekonderwyser van daardie tyd, gedoen …. die opdrag kom vanaf die Skoolhoof, mnr. Piet Clase. Oor die heerlike musiek en toonsetting van die lied het Dr. Fourie hom soos volg uitgelaat in ‘n brief aan die komponis: “Dis iets groots, iets heerliks, besield en vol besieling, tegnies tot in die fynste besonderhede afgewerk en afgerond, en elke noot het vir my net die regte gevoelswaarde. Die sterk marsritme, afgewissel deur die ernstige en byna gewyde dog nietemin forse middelste gedeelte in die mineurtoonaard (“Trou aan ons taal, aan die God van ons vad’re ….”), die kragtige gevoelsopwelling in die note en die ruising van die triomf dwarsdeur die lied, die variasies in die herhaling van die tema – alles is groots en geïnspireerd, en vertolk vir my presies daardie gevoel wat ek vir ‘n lang tyd in my omgedra het as ‘n ideaal vir ons Gimnasiumskoollied ….. totdat die Muse een nag my hart ontsluit, die woorde op my lippe gelê het, en baie sterk in my ore gefluister het: “Gaan na Mnr. de Villiers! Hy sal jou help en jou die taal van die musiek gee wat jou ideaal sal bevredig en soos ‘n magtige ruising tot die hart van jou skool sal spreek!”

Parallel medium

In April 1994 the first democratic elections took place in SA and the 46 years of Afrikaner dominance ended when the ANC (African National Congress) became the political leaders in the country. The inequalities in eg. education were immediately addressed. In 1996 the Governing body (after much consultation with parents and learners) decided that the school must once again become aparallel-medium institution (Afrikaans and English).

The reasons for this decision was:

    1. The demography of Welkom changed immediately and black people bought houses on a large scale. And the Afrikaans-speaking learners were becoming fewer and fewer.
    2. Past pupils returned every year to say that they struggle at university because a lot of the work is in English and their second language is underdeveloped.
    3. Welkom high School is overwhelmed by black learners and white English speaking parents approached the Governing Body to start English classes so that they can have an alternative to Welkom High.

It was however decided that:

      • The school’s name will remain “Welkom-Gimnasium” and will not be translated.
      • The school colours and uniform will remain the same.
      • The second and third verse of the school song will be translated into English by ms. Theron (music teacher) and ms. Redpath (English teacher).
      • The school badge will remain the same but the motto will be changed to Latin “Persevera et Labora” (“Wees sterk, daar’s werk”; “Be strong in your work”; “Persevere in your work”). The Latin links back to the European background of the Gimnasia and the school’s ideals stays the same.

In the first year of parallel medium two English classes, gr 8 and 9, were take in. The best of it all is that the white English community responded immediately by sending their children to Welkom-Gimnasium.

Principals & governing body chair persons

Principals

Dr J J Fourie

1954 – 1959

6 year

D J Coetzee

1961 – 1962

1yr 7 mnt

J S v d Walt

1963 – 1965

3 yearr

P J Clase

1966 – 1974

7yr 8 mnt

R G Fourie

1974 – 1979

5 yr 3 mnt

C R Peyper

1980 – 1987

8 year

C R Peyper

1988 – 1991

3yr 5 mnt

RPJJ Cloete

1992

Acting Principals

F H D Bedfird

1 Jan – 31 Des 1953

12 months

D Maree

1 Jan – 31 Des 1960

12 months

J C de Klerk

6 Jul – 31 Des 1962

6 months

P F Rautenbach

1 Jan – 1 Jul 1966

6 months

R G Fourie

4 Feb – 8 Okt 1974

8 months

J J van Rensburg

1 Aug – 31 Des 1979

5 months

E H Schoeman

1 Jan – 31 Jul 1988

7 months

R P J J Cloete

1 Jan – 30 Mai 1992

5 months

Governing Body Chairpersons

Chairperson

Date

Term

Ds D W Krynauw

1953

6 months

Mnr A I Beck

1953 – 1955

2.5 years

Ds J J van der Walt

1955 – 1958

3 years

Mnr H S van der Merwe

1958 – 1961

3 years

Mnr R J N Brits

1961 – 1964

3 years

Ds H L M du Plessis

1964 – 1966

2 years

Ds P T Jacobs

1966 – 1970

4 years

Ds M Kruger

1971 – 1974

3 years

Dr P Zwiegers

1974 – 1977

4 years

Mnr RPG Dreyer

1977 – 1980

3 years

Ds D J van der Merwe

1980 – 1981

1.5 years

Dr P J C Nel

1981 – 1985

3.5 years

Mnr G F P Cronjè

1985 – 1986

1 years

Ds D W S Bester

1986 – 1990

4 years

Mnr W M van Heerden

1990 – 1993

3 years

Mnr F A du Toit

1993 – 1997

4 years

Dr J J Langeveld

1997 – 2000

4 years

Dr J S Marais

2000 – 2006

6 years

Ds LM Foot

2006 – 2010

5 years

Mr H Collins 2011 –

THEY REPRESENT SOUTH AFRICA

Willem Roos

Boks

Jacobus Liebenberg

Karate

Piet Herbst

Vierkamp

Johan Coetzee

Karate

Gerrie Sonekus

Rugby

Johannes Kemp

Karate

Marinda v Wyk

Pistoolskiet

Stephanus Kemp

Karate

Elize Kapp

Driekamp

C Bosman

Atletiekr

Tjaart Schoeman

Valskerm

Mark Buter

Karate

Elinda Rademeyer

Atletiek

Marius Wessels

Karate

Christo Ferreira

Rugby

Stanley van Zyl

Hengel

Linda Olivier

Gholf/Krieket

Nico Groenewald

Atletiek

Frans v Vuuren

Stoei

Anel Cronje

Hokkie

Bennie Greyling

Atletiek

Nadia Combrinck

Atletiek

Katinka Minnaar

Hokkie

Lizelle J v Rensburg

Netbal

Heine Bense

Akro Gim

Willem Rademeyer

Tennis

Tobie de Jager

Akro Gim

Lodewyk Joubert

Atletiek

C J Steyn

Akro Gim

Andre de Klerk

Karate

Sampie Botha

Karate

Piet Bezuidenhout

Stoei

Guniel Viljoen

Hengel

Ludwig Steyl

Musiek

Wayne de Haas

Gholf

Esmaret Hartman

Atletiek

Renier Nel

Hengel

Andrew v Huysteen

Atletiek

Lilly-Ann Louw

Karate

Nicolaas Geldenhuys

Expo

Adriaan Kriel

O/W hokkie

Hendrik de Villiers

Tweekamp

Michael Adendorff

L/redding

Cindy van Zyl

Judo

Johannes Bezuidenhout

Karate

Thinus Koekemoer

Atletiek

Louis-Dawid vd Merwe

Karate

Thomas Liversage

Tennis

Geraldine Wood

Karate

Theresa Lombaard

Atletiek

Emile Fouche

Karate

Jonathan v Vuuren

Moto GP

Nick Steyn

Hengel

Jaco Steynberg

Vliegkuns

Riaan Beuken

Stoei

Marieta Viljoen

Pistoolskiet

Lucas v Biljon

Rugby

Nico le Roux

Hengel

Louis Schlebusch

Atletiek

Hendrik Zwiegelaa

Hokkie

Melt du Toit

Atletiek

Ryk Pienaar

Hokkie

Christo Badenhorst

Atletiek

Morne de Jager

Fietsry

Loezytha Westraad

Atletiek

Michelle Havenga

Karate

Jaco v Zyl

Gholf

Augustinus Mokoebetane

Karate

Theuns Pieterse

Gholf

Ina Pittendrigh

Stoei

Ralph Prior

Swem

Chantelle de Beer

Karate

Bennie Esterhuizen

Boks

Aubrey de Wet

Musiek

Nico Jacobs

Stoei

Marinda Potgieter

Atletiek

Gideon Jacobs

Stoei

Wilma du Toit

Atletiek

Johan Rademan

Stoei

Marietha Holtzhauzen

Atletiek

Billie Nel

Stoei

Hennie Bosman

Atletiek

Petrus Jacobs

Stoei

Leon de Jager

Atletiek

Patrick Karpakis

Stoei

Susan Wagner

Atletiek

George Fullagar

Karate

Angelique Martin

Karate

Hennie Smit

Stoei

Thelani du Plessis

Netbal

Johan Dreyer

L/redding

Henti Pretorius

Atletiek

L van Staden

Judo

Lourens Prinsloo

Atletiek

J Lehman

Judo

Annelie Steyn

Netbal

Chad Nel

Karate

Griffin Nieuwoudt

Krieket

Gezelle J v Rensburg

Krieket

Eric Claassen

Karate

Marius Theron Rugby Andries Kotze Military games
Calvin Kühn Hokkie Jessica Tlali Netbal
Mirium Lelimo Expo Bianca Erwee Atletiek
Jeanri Coetzee Netbal Danelle Erwee Atletiek
Elri Neethling Stoei Peet Marais Rugby
Jandré Marais Rugby Deidre Erwee Netbal
Joani Podbielski Mev. SA Andries Marais Atletiek
Pierre van den Berg Stoei JJ van Zyl Uitv. Kunste
Lourens Koekemoer Rugby
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