Eunice High School’s long standing tradition of excellence is the result of our unique staff, learners and parents collectively supporting, upholding and contributing to the myriad of activities and opportunities offered at our multi-faceted school.
“Happiness is not pleasure – it is victory” – Zig Ziglar. We are committed to the realisation of every learner’s potential – be it in the classroom, on the sports fields or on the stage – as it ensures that Eunice, true to her name, is the place of “happy victory” for her proud learners.
Not only is it a privilege for me to be at the helm of such all-round “happy victory”, it is also an honour to lead a school that is synonymous with high expectations, multi-talented diversity and all-round excellence. Eunice’s victories are truly anchored in the echo of our founding ideals: “That our daughters may be like cornerstones, polished after the similitude of a palace”. This is the echo that is a resounding reminder of past achievements and offers a glimpse of what the future holds.
Eunice is and will always be the school where learners have faith in the possibilities of the future. It is here that they experience their greatest teenage victories – where they conquer the world through conquering themselves.
“Vincit qui se vincit”
The kopje at the old school is firmly etched in the memory of all our ‘older’ old girls. A feature of the kopje was the statue of Miss ELM King, Eunice headmistress (1913 -1924), who was the author of the school song.
There, on the kopje, she saw the boys catching a quick visit. Today she enjoys a central position in the fountain of our new quad. Here she listens to our girls’ animated conversations, inner thoughts and wishes.
The statue is symbolic of the verse in the school song (written by Miss King) “She dwells besides the waters of wisdom and of life.”
Any ‘older’ old girl visiting the school will feel proud that Eunice’s spirit and tradition have certainly survived the move to the new school.
The wings which make up the hostel – Eunice House – are known as Lower House, Eirene, Retiz, Upper House, Mimosa and Kopje. The school’s road and walkway system boasts King Crescent, Posthumus Drive, Sandal Walk and Meiring Avenue.
New headmistress, Zinnette de Wet, is the fourth Eunice principal since 1942. She began her leadership of that privileged hot seat in February. A champion of girls’ schools education, De Wet was formerly deputy-head at Potchefstroom High School for Girls where in earlier days Eunice old girl, Moira Thatcher, was headmistress.
Eunice was founded in 1875 by the Dutch Reformed Church in response to the establishment just months earlier of the Anglican St Michael’s School and the Catholic Greenhill Convent. Not generally known is that Elizabeth Laird, Eunice’s first principal, brought out from Scotland, resigned to marry the director of Education, Dr John Brebner. So she was Mrs Brebner and when she died, he married the third Eunice principal, Miss Van Pommeren.
Perhaps the best known headmistress is Miss E.L.M. King, who made a name for herself as an artist, poet and a great educationalist. She guided the school through its major crises: the fire which gutted Eunice House, the First World War, and the Spanish flu epidemic. King wrote the school song, No other school so dear, which is still sung today, and her sister, the artist Bertha Everard, designed the school banner.
Many ‘older’ old girls will remember Adele de Jager (née Murray), a Rhodes graduate who came to Eunice from the Central High School in Bloemfontein in 1942 and stayed until 1968, despite failing health. She developed the school’s facilities and numbers and was vehemently opposed to the enforcement of mother tongue instruction in the senior schools in the late 1940’s which changed “the very nature and soul” of Eunice.
She also introduced the prefects’ induction ceremony which remains unchanged to this day. Old girls in their late forties and fifties had their schooldays dominated by the legendary Miss Vos, a brilliant history teacher, parttime John Orr’s model and friend to many a girl with one recordmark too many. Besides that deep voice and that sense of fun, Miss Vos will be remembered for pioneering and moving Eunice to its “new” position alongside Grey College.
For almost three decades, Paul Cassar, first “gentleman headmistress” and longest serving Eunice head, guided the school into its very successful modern era as the Free State’s top school and a national competitor in many varied fields.
Eunice has close ties with Bloemfontein’s other top schools. Eunice and Grey shared the same governing body for many years. Grey boys struggled to pronounce “Eunice”. They called it “You Nice Girls!”
Jock Meiring was principal of Grey while his sister, Minnie, was headmistress of Eunice, both children of Maria Meiring, principal of Eunice from 1881-1885. Gwen Storey was the first principal of Eunice Primary while her brother Oubaas Storey, was headmaster of St. Andrew’s. Gladys Steyn, daughter of Pres. Steyn, was a Eunice girl who went on to become principal of Oranje, as Gwen Gallow later became head of St Michael’s. The Eunice infant school – an early addition of the Ladies Institute – was the beginnings of the President Brand Primary School.
In Grey’s 150th celebratory coffee table book, Mr Paul Cassar writes: “It was the principal of Grey, Rev. Gustav Radloff, who in 1872 took the lead in the establishment of a girls’ school in Bloemfontein. The public meeting called to found the Oranje Vrij Staat Dames Instituut ‘Eunice’ was held in the Grey College building. In 1876 Dr Brill the principal of Grey conducted examinations at the Dames Instituut. So Eunice was not only ‘fathered’ by Grey’s principal but also born at Grey. A noble birth.”
It’s a Eunice tradition to invite old girls to address the school. Their willingness to return and to share, their obvious connection to current girls and their unique experience of life after school offer so much richness and inspiration. Among them recently were:
Tel: +27(0)51 444 1765
Fax: +27(0)51 444 1760
Finance: +27(0)51 410 1401
Old Girls: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +27(0)51 444 1761
Fax: +27(0)51 444 1578