Johannesburg Girls’ High matric 50th reunion

The gates at Barnato Park High School are all that is left of randlord Barney Barnato's mansion.

JOBURG – The Johannesburg High School for Girls matric class of 1963 is gearing up to celebrate its 50th reunion next month.

This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the school on the historic site of randlord Barney Barnato’s estate.

Former pupil Helen Popplewell said the school was only one year younger than the city.

“As the city has changed, so has the school. In 1887, Fanny Buckland opened her school in the mining village of Johannesburg, and in 1913, the school moved to its present site, Barnato Park, Berea,” she said.

After Barnato’s death, his nephew Solly Joel presented the estate to the new Union government for use as a school.

“Sadly, Joel House, Barnato’s mansion, was demolished, and all that remains of the original Barnato Park are the beautiful wrought iron gates which were made in Bristol, England,” said Popplewell.

Today, the school is known as Barnato Park High School, a dynamic, co-educational institution that attracts pupils from Hillbrow and the inner city.

“This year marks both Barnato Park High School’s 100th anniversary on the site, and it marks the 50th year celebration for the approximately 100 matric pupils of the class of 1963,” she said.

Popplewell invited her former classmates to celebrate their 50th reunion on 25 October at the school.

“We’re looking forward to a wonderful trip down memory lane. Vincemus, vincemus, we will win yet again,” said Popplewell.

Details: Helen Popplewell (van Vliet): 083-226-1622; [email protected] or Gill Morris (Mulholland): 082-490-9696; [email protected]

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