Port Elizabeth of Yore: Erica Girl’s School – The Early Years

The establishment of the Erica School is a pointed example of what is possible when one person has the passion and determination to achieve their goal. In the case of the Erica School, it was a young woman of 26 who exuded this zeal and an almost fanatical determination, despite patriarchy being the dominant social norm. 

The name of this trailblazer was Mary Anne van Wyk. The reasons for this intensity and forbearance is not particularly clear; suffice to say that she displayed an apparent timidity which concealed “a brave independence and an inflexible adherence to duty.” 

Main picture: Erica School building

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