The History of Durban North College
The history of Durban North College is inextricably intertwined with that of the “Albert Street Boys School” in Durban, which on the 1st of August 1911 led to the creation of “Stamford Hill Hoërskool”, a English-only medium school. With the ever growing Afrikaans community and the increasing developments of the time of areas such as Durban North, Greenwood Park and Rosehill, a demand was slowly increasing for an Afrikaans-medium school in the areas.
After a protracted period during the late 1950’s Stamford Hill became a dual-medium school, however many of the parents in the community felt that the school needed to expand further. This was achieved when in 1961, the parents of grade 1’s and 2’s had a “stay-in” strike at the start of the year, in order to get permission to have the school give classes from grade 1 through to grade 12. During the period of this strike the parents kept the students busy under the trees on the grounds and the permission was given by the then Director of Education in February 1961.
After this period the city was expanding north towards the new suburbs Durban North, La Lucia, etc. and once more the community and parents felt that a school offering Afrikaans was needed north of the Umgeni River. This coupled with the fact that there were four English-only High schools north of the Umgeni river and the ever increasing numbers of our school meant that the parents-committee started negotiating for the purchase of grounds for the new bigger school.
In 1951 there were only 133 Afrikaans students in the school, this increased in 1960 to 438 students and towards the end of 1969 the school had over 800 students. There was not sufficient space for the growing school and sports such as athletics, rugby, hockey and cricket could not grow, in fact students had to use facilities at Kings Park where the last athletics meeting took place during 1967.
On Friday 4 September 1964 Mr. Wilks, MEC and the Mayor of Durban met with the parents committee to negotiate the purchase of the then Newmarket sport grounds and horse riding stables. This did not pan out, and they finally agreed on a proposed site reserved on Prospect Hall Road in the Municipality’s planning scheme. This site was originally reserved as a primary school site and it was just over 7 acres in extent, which was to small according to the then Mayor.
The new proposed site was created out of 17 acres land, and the municipality gave a valuation of the property at:
LAND – R18 000
BUILDINGS – R19 000
Initially there were only plans for one rugby field and the parents had to once again struggle to get more land for an additional field. The city council was heavily against this as they had planned a high-rise development on the ground.
It came as a surprise then when the planned development was cancelled and the grounds were offered to the Department Of Education. Not only this, but the ground offered formed part of the farm “Paallaer” owned by the Voortrekker, Karel Landman and this meant that on 3 February 1969 the school ground-breaking ceremony could take place. The contractors used were called – A.W. Johnson.
HISTORY: The Post-1970’s overview
The naming of the school was a headache for the then parent committee of Stamford Hill High school. Various names were presented for consideration such as…
… Goede Hoop
However it was felt that the names had no connection to the history of Kwazulu-Natal, it was felt that the names could lend themselves to other interpretations and nobody wanted a school name that had any connection to a past or present public person.
In the end the Governing School Body and parents decided on the name “Blye Vooruitsig” meaning “Good Prospect” and it referred to the history of Kwazulu-Natal as well, whereby when “Piet Retief” and his fellow travellers came over the crest of the Drakensberg and saw Kwazulu Natal ahead of them, he said “dit is het land der Blye Vooruitzicht” meaning “It is the land of Good Prospects”. A feeling that all the interested parties had for the new school. The school officially opened it’s doors on 17 August 1970, but the name was short lived and on 26 October 1970 was changed by the department of education to “Afrikaanse Hoërskool Durban-Noord”.
HISTORY: 1994 to present
The name was later shortened to “Afrikaans Hoër Durban-Noord” (a.k.a. AHDN or Affies, 1971) and “AHDN” decided to expand as a school and became a High School starting with it’s very first Grade 8s class that year.
The old premises in Stamford Hill are currently where Livingstone Primary School is based. In 1996 the government created a policy whereby all previously Afrikaans-only schools had to diversify, and the school once again changed its name. This time to Durban North College (1997) and adopted a dual-medium language policy, offering all subjects in both English and Afrikaans.
Currently today Durban North College is a High School, Primary School as well as Pre-primary School (Toktokkie) and it is an educational institution with a Christian Ethos, maintaining high standards whilst providing opportunities for every learner to develop to his or her full potential within a diverse community.