A previous bulletin from the Archives referred to the removal of the Prefects and Student Leaders(2004-2006) boards from the walls of the old hall. The old hall had been converted into a modern drama theatre and with limited space in the theatre foyer, these boards had an uncertain future. These boards now hang in the Archives Room where they serve a number of purposes which were discussed in the last bulletin.
Many Old Boys and visitors to the school who pass through the theatre(hall) foyer, show an interest in names on the HONOURS boards. These particular boards list the names of pupils who have been awarded Honours for a variety of sports or academics. There are a lot of names, over one thousand four hundred and fifty and therein lies the problem of space. A similar problem to that of the Prefect and Student Leader boards. These boards are all valuable for recognition of pupil achievement and WBHS history. It would be a pity if these lists of “honourable” pupils were relegated to some obscure corner of the school.
The HONOURS boards date back to I959 when T.O. Blackman and Howard Roberts were awarded Honours for Athletics. The latter was to become a Springbok Athlete. Between 1959 and 1964, when the school was still coed(Westville High School),eleven boys were awarded Honours, all for sport.
However, in 1968, the first Honours for Academics at WBHS was awarded to the brilliant Helmut Schumann who was also placed first in the Natal Senior Certificate. Mention here should be made of the remarkable achievement of the three Davidson brothers who all became Dux of WBHS. James was dux in 1967, Tim in 1969 and Robert Davidson in 1972.Both Tim and Robert Davidson were awarded Honours for Academics in their respective years but not older brother James! Perhaps the school management were still debating the issue of Academics versus Sport and whether Academics qualified for the Honours award.
Between 1959 and 1995(36years) a total of 319 Honours were achieved. During the next 10 years(1996 to 2005) roughly the same number of Honours were awarded. It could be argued that standards had dropped. Unlikely! Over the years the number of boys in the school had increased and participation in school activities had been on the incline. More important the range of sports and activities offered by the school had increased exponentially. Besides the main line sports, honours have been awarded in Badminton, Chess, Canoeing, Cross Country, Debating, Dramatics, Golf, Softball and even Rugby 7’s .
WBHS remains a school of achievers who aspire to great heights. There is an award beyond the honours award – PROMERITIS for exceptional achievement. Established in 1986, PROMERITIS is not awarded every year. It was last awarded in 2016.
As they advance through the school, Westville boys may aspire to be awarded a Scroll or Half Colours for Sport or Academics. If they progress, the boy may well earn his colours blazer or even Honours. If his ability is exceptional he may be considered for a Pro Meritis award. This honour was first awarded in 1986 and the Pro Meritis award is at the discretion of the Principal.
Obviously the names of the Head boys and Dux have pride of place in the foyer but there are many others who have served the school with honour.
A list of boys who have served as chairman of the Learners Representative Council(LRC) has its own Honours Board. The LRC was first established in 1997 and the LRC is a legal requirement for all high schools in this country. Adjacent to the LRC board are the winners of the WBHS Trust Scholarship. On another distinctive board is the Dennis Hamilton Award for Altruism, which is a long standing prize dating back to 1974.
Also in the foyer is a quaint reminder of the role that girls played in the history of Westville High School(on this site) from 1959 to 1964.This small honours board lists the names of the Head Girls, Dux, captains of Athletics, Hockey, Swimming and Tennis as well as the Tennis champ for those years .
Service to others is much respected at WBHS and those boys who are committed to give their time to help others are now honoured on a large board in the foyer. In support of this worthy cause, the Walton Cup for service to the school has been presented annually. Likewise, Westville Rotary also presents a prize for service to the community.
Another more recent addition to the honours boards in the foyer is the Pro Meritis for high achieving WBHS Old Boys. This innovation was first introduced in 2008. It is perhaps the school’s way of honouring Old Boys who are leaders in their particular field, whether it is Academia, Commerce, Education, Medicine, Politics, Sport and others. A perusal of the list of these successful men does give great credit to the school’s ability to provide an excellent academic grounding.