150 Reasons to Celebrate
150 reasons to celebrate
THE STORY OF THE WALL: The Wall is what separates the DSG school from the grounds of St Andrews. The wall is also the common place for the meeting of the two schools. The Evergreen book describes the wall as “ a place through which the lovers did often whisper very secretly “. Today’s Wall is something quite different. In the centre of the Maths Block, one can find the beautifully decorated coffee shop, selling everything from freshly popped popcorn to jam donuts and samosas. However, one thing about the original wall still remains, girls and boys still go meet there and have endless conversations and solve the “world’s problems.”
THE CENTENARY MEMORIAL WINDOW: All Saint’s Chapel. Set into the south wall of the chapel extension is the Centenary Memorial window, a gift from the Guild, to honour the memory of all those who worked in and loved the DSG who are no longer with us.
The Hug is DSG’s much loved sculpture positioned at the heart of DSG’s campus, outside the All Saint’s Chapel. It was gifted to DSG in 2006 by Michelle Key, a celebrated artist and sculptor. The act of hugging has become synonymous with life at DSG, and in honour of her daughters, who both loved their time at the school, Michelle felt the hug would be the perfect subject matter to symbolise their respective experiences. The Hug is a young girl being welcomed to ‘the sisterhood’ with a warm embrace by Senior girl as she looks towards her promising future. Interesting facts: Weighs 140kgs. One of the models was Michelle’s daughter Nicky – her actual blazer, shoes and uniform were part of the casting process. Doc Watson, Head of Council in 2006 commented “signifies the emotion of DSG which is one of warmth and caring.”
DSG OPENS 1874:‘The Diocesan Synod of Grahamstown, under the chairmanship of Bishop Merriman, decided in 1874 to open a sister school to St Andrew’s College. “The Grange” was bought in the March and the Diocesan School for Girls was opened in July, with Mrs Catherin Espin, as Headmistress.’ Irvy Gledhill
MIXED CLASSES: “So much is making history for DSG – not the least of which is the Centenary! It promises to be an exciting start to the next century of life at DSG as so many things are new. In the first week of this momentous year we experienced “firsts” such as the first boys attending classes, the first Saturday morning school, the first time that all senior forms were represented in classes at St Andrew’s – to say nothing of the three very junior classes at St Andrew’s Prep! I wonder what Mrs Espin would have thought of it all.” J. Porter, Headmistress (1969-1974)
THE FORMATION OF THE GUILD: The Guild for past girls was inaugurated on All Saints’ Eve, 1885. Foundation members were Miss Strong (Headmistress, mid 1883-1888) and Miss Burt (Headmistress 1888-1891) as they were both members of Cheltenahm Ladies’ College in England which DSG was affiliated for many years. Miss Burt cemented the aims of The Guild which was to “weld the old girls together, serve the school and encourage service to others”.
THE BASHER: Ms Beamish, Headmistress (1952-1955) introduced the berets - “the wet weather alternative to droopy panamas. The berets shrank and stank of wet wool and were gone by 1954.” And as a result “it is universally agreed that the most outstanding event of 1965 to date, at the DSG, is the introduction of the basher.” Miss J Porter, Headmistress (1969-1974)
DSG’s FIRST HEAD OF SCHOOL & HEADMISTRESS, CATHERINE ESPIN: The first Headmistress of The Diocesan School for Girls was Mrs Catherine Espin in 1874. She was married to Canon John Espin, the sixth Headmaster of St Andrews College. Mrs Espin was said to have a warm smile and filled the mother role in the girls' lives, with her kindness, care and empathy. Canon and Catherine Espin lived in the Grange, now known as the Junior School Boarding House.
THE CROCODILE CRAWL: “Level field and lawns on which games might have been played did not exist at DSG from the very beginning . So, for those initial years, the girls, for daily exercise, were taken for daily walks. These ‘crocodile walks’, or in the jargon of the day ‘crocodile crawls’ became a daily ritual. A wearisome aspect of them was that every afternoon they would have to put on their walking shoes, which meant digging their own shoes out of an enormous boot basket containing scores of others that looked exactly alike.” John Axe The first formal sport was tennis, it was introduced in 1888.