Sir George Grey
Grey College is the oldest school north of the Gariep River and third oldest in
the Republic of South Africa. The then Governor of the Cape Colony, Sir George Grey,
visited the new Republic of the Orange Free State and on 13 October 1855 donated
a sum of money towards the establishment of an institution for higher education.
The school was officially opened on 17 January 1859 with dr. Andrew Murray as the
first headmaster. The Model Republic, Bloemfontein and Grey College grew and developed
together - the school under the leadership of headmasters like dr. Johannes Brill,
messrs. James Lyle, Jock Meiring, J.M.B. Faure, A.K. Volsteedt. J.L. Cronje, dr.
M.G. Heyns and since 1993 mr. Johan Volsteedt.
In 1950 the secondary and primary sections were separated and the Primary School
developed rapidly under messrs. C.C.F. Bornman, Steve Strydom and Chris Bester.
Mr. Lindsay Mould is the current principal of the primary school.
Grey College is one of the best known schools in the country, and its past pupils
are to be found in all walks of life - not only in South Africa, but also abroad.
In many respects Grey has developed into a unique school since it was founded in
1855. Here pupils receive their tuition through the medium of Afrikaans or English
in separate classrooms. The two groups participate together in extramural activities,
play together on the schoolgrounds, live in the hostels and attend the hall periods.
The pupils take great pride in their school and loyalty is a hallmark of the Grey
boys. The traditions and good name of the school bind them all together and inspire
them to give even more than their best. We believe that in our parallel medium policy
lies the solution to many of our country's problems, especially since each language
group maintains its own cultural heritage but is enriched by the other cultures.
New school buildings have replaced old ones and some old buildings have been restored
thereby giving the whole complex a totally new, modern appearance without affecting
the rich traditions of the school.
An atmosphere of moderation and tolerance pervades the school.
Grey College Coat of Arms
Grey College Coat Of Arms
The three orange circles represent three canon balls. These canon
balls in turn represent the values of faith, hope and love. Separately, these
three values are excellent character attributes. When they are put together, they
are however, invincible.
If you can truly say that you have every one of these attributes, you have accomplished
a great deal in life. Each of us should strive to embed each of these canon balls
deep in our hearts.
The knight's head symbolises courage. One requires this characteristic
to make a success of life and to overcome the difficulties that lie ahead. Many
years ago, the knight's head appeared on the emblems of untitled gentlemen. This
is rather appropriate, because even today, Grey boys are referred to as Grey Gentlemen.
The white unicorn, which looks lively and ready to run, represents
vigour and virility. The white colour denotes peace. Just as the unicorn is ready,
so should every Grey boy be ready to enter the world with peaceful vigour.
The sun symbolises new generations. Through our education we are
rising, just as the rising sun - ready to build on that which the generations of
the past have left us.
The motto comes directly from Latin:
NIHIL STABILE QUOD INFIDUM
Nothing is steadfast which is not true.
Mystery of the Grey Handshake
According to the late Japie Steyl, school captain in 1926, the use of the Grey handshake
originated in 1922 and became general practice in 1924. The reason why this particular
manner of greeting was adopted can now be properly clarified with the latest available
In 1565 the king of France, Charles IX ordained that each master knife maker affix
an emblem on the blade of his knives in order to guarantee the originality and quality
of his workmanship. Master knife maker Joseph Opinel chose as an emblem The Crown
Hand. This right hand, called the benign or benevolent hand with three fingers
raised and two fingers tucked in and a crown under the hand. This is depicted on
the coat of arms of the village of St. Jean-de-Maurienne. Since the 6th century,
the village cathedral had a shrine containing three fingers of the hand of Saint
John the Baptist. These fingers were brought back from Alexandria in Egypt by Thécle
a young girl of the village. The crown is an indication that the person was someone
Is it possible that a knife or sword, with the Opinel emblem, could have been brought
to Bloemfontein by a soldier serving in France, during the First World War, where
most of the fighting took place?
The Opinel Logo
An Opinel Knife