A short history of the school
The school opened its doors in January 1940 in the Dutch Reformed Church Hall, off Walmer Road. There were 38 standard seven boys and girls, the headmaster, Mr Henry Arnott, and an assistant teacher. There were no desks, not even chalk!
By the time Mr Thorp took over as headmaster in 1947, the school had its own buildings comprising of just two floors of classrooms, which is currently the front of the school.
By 1965 the numbers had grown to over 500, and more classrooms, a woodwork block and the TC Thorp Hall had been added.
The growth in terms of accommodation, pupil enrolment and the curriculum – sporting, academic and cultural – was extremely significant during Mr Thorp's principalship of 18 years, and placed Victoria Park High firmly on the educational map in Port Elizabeth.
Mr GAC Pearson, from Berlin Secondary School, was appointed principal in April 1965. An important highlight of his term of office was the creation of the Dave Weinronk Sports Complex, opened in 1967. Mr Pearson retired in April 1982, as the long overdue renovation of the 'new' school had just begun. New principal, Mr David Blake from Milnerton High in Cape Town, took over in July 1982. Mr Peter Hollely suceeded him, and led the school into the new century.
Current principal, Mr Mike Vermaak has been leading our school since 2002.
“Our badge bears the laurel, the cross and the crown.”
The badge bears three distinct symbols: the laurel wreath, the Victoria Cross and a crown. The laurel wreath is a classical symbol that comes to us from the time of Roman Empire, symbolising victory and power. The Victoria Cross is a somewhat religious symbol, as well as a token of symbol of bravery and courage.
It was given to war heroes as a sign of their commitment to the crown, itself a symbol of the majesty and pride of the monarch and devotion and service of the people who were governed thereby. The fact that our school was founded at the wake of World War II somewhat inspired the choice of a motto which supported courage in the face of adversity. Simply translated, Vivite Fortes means “Live courageously.” This ties in with the themes of victory, bravery and success. It is a quotation from a classic of antiquity, Horace’s Satires. The courage of the Victorian is a classical virtue: as relevant for the ancients and the warring soldiers as it is for our Victorians today.