Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Grey Institute – The Tumultuous First Three Decades

In tracing the arc of the development of the schooling system in Port Elizabeth, one rapidly focuses on the first school of significance: The Grey Institute on the Hill. Ultimately the precursor for the more spacious Grey High School situated in Mill Park, the Grey Institute laid the foundation for this venerable institution.

In order to fully operationalise their vision of having a central “campus” with outlying feeder schools, would take twenty tumultuous years. Finally, by placing the organisation of the school under the microscope, it reveals an educational system diametrically opposed in many ways to the present method of operation and its attendant rules and regulations.

Main picture: An early photograph of the Grey Institute in Belmont Terrace before the clock tower was added in 1875

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Stories from the Class of 71

Like all friends, we should swop stories from our libraries of our lives – the funny, the surreal as well as the sublime. What use are books in a library unless we on occasion dust them off and page through the long forgotten episodes of our lives. Many hoped that by enlightening us with their Life Stories that their obligations to their class mates, would be fulfilled. Instead to kickstart the process, I have tapped a number of the class of 71 to contribute their stories.

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