Morningside Primary celebrates 90 years

MORNINGSIDE Primary School hosted a special assembly on 1 February to celebrate its 90th birthday.

Speaking at the assembly, deputy principal, Alta Coertzen, told the children how the school opened its doors on 1 February 1928, and at the time, it was called North Ridge Government School. The name was changed to Morningside Primary School in 1952.

“When the school opened, the dress code was different and dresses changed to the current checked material, but with a rounded collar, in the 1950s. The boys wore hats and ties in winter. In the 80s, the school fought to get rid of the hats, and the style of the dress also changed,” she said.

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When the school opened, there were 50 learners and three staff members and ran from Grade 1 to Grade 8. Today, there are 565 children and a staff component of 40.

“See how we have grown over the years! You can only turn 90 once and this is a special day. This is still a young school compared to others in Durban, but it was built with solid bricks and will last for many years to come,” said Coertzen.

She said she had read up on the history of the school and told the children how the learners used to hide in a hole under the current principal’s office during World War II.

“During bomb raids the children went into the shelter under the school, and had to keep quiet by biting on a stick until everything was safe again. Those were very different times. We can now see the growth of the school, including advancements in technology,” she said.

Coertzen and the chairman of the school governing body, Colin Hill, cut the 90th birthday cake and the children sang ‘happy birthday’ before going off to class where they were treated to cake, chips and cooldrink to celebrate.


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