Paterson High School - Port Elizabeth,
South Africa


Pupils of Paterson High

A LITTLE BACKGROUND INFORMATION

We are from Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Port Elizabeth is situated at the south eastern tip of the African continent. It is a former British settlement area which grew into one of South Africa's major cities. It has a harbour, airport and is known for its motor industry, beautiful beaches and comfortable size.Paterson High School is the oldest Coloured (people of mixed race) high school in Port Elizabeth , turning 71 this year. The school is situated in the Schauderville residential area, one of the first Coloured settlements after the declaration of separate residential areas for the various races under the apartheid regime. It serves pupils from Schauderville, the Black townships and pupils from outlying areas, who have to be bussed in. Most of these pupils come from lower socio-economic backgrounds. In total we have +/- 850 pupils and 44 teachers. But what makes this school unique? It is its proud history of making history and being a breeding ground of people who made history. Today in a new South Africa we want to move away from racial references, although it is necessary to take into account in some cases. But Paterson have for years admitted pupils from different race groups as education and knowledge knows no prejudice. As a predominantly Coloured school, and without any prejudice, we would like to share and celebrate our achievers. But we would also like the world to know that there are many unsung heroes not in the public eye who went forth and still goes forth living exemplary lives and doing extraordinary things without recognition. We salute them all, male & female, people from all the colours of the rainbow. We are also proud of members of the school who made their voices heard,set the pace,sacrificed and were brave to challenge the wrong to bring about justice, equality and freedom. There is still much to be done! May other Patersonians also show their courage and work hard towards a better world for all.
"Mountaineers are always free." Be free in mind!
The leaders we are listing all have some connection with the school and made their mark locally, provincially, nationally and in some cases even internationally. They include: Academic/Political Administrator at National level , ex-Pupil.Renowned academic, freedom fighter and respectable leader. A man not always in the limelight, but an influential leader never the less. Today the past rector is Director-General of the President's office. Politician, National,ex-Teacher. He is known as a national political figure, having been part of national political structures past and present and leader of the then Labour Party that held the majority seats in the tri-cameral parliament. Local Government,ex-Pupil. He is the first Coloured Deputy Mayor of our city. A man very much involved in community development. Health/Nursing, Provincial/University level, ex-Pupil. Most probably the first woman from the Coloured community to be appointed professor in the field of nursing sciences. A leader because this lady broke ground in a service orientated career path. Sport,Local/Provincial/National, ex-Pupil. He is known for his Hockey skills, his sport administration and promotion and development ability. Poet,Knows no limits, ex-Pupil/Teacher. He is a science graduate whose poetry is prescribed for schools. A contemporary poet. Education, National, ex-Pupil. He was involved in organisations fighting for equality and better education. Today he is part of the national education executive, with first hand involvement in changing our countries education. Freedom Fighter and poet now residing in the USA. The pupils were so impressed with our 19 year old National team cricketing hero, Paul Adams, that they wanted the world to know a bit about him, if they don't know everything already.This young gentleman is currently the only black in our national cricket team. Young, talented and with the support of a nation behind him and the team, he gives hope to the youth in our country. Hope that that they too now have a chance.

Summary/concluding remarks

Simply looking at our 'racial' community the following aspects also seem to be evident:
  1. The majority of the recognised leaders are men.
  2. The majority of them followed careers in government services such as education.
  3. The majority of the leaders are involved in politics.
Now what does it say! It tells us the sorry tale of oppressed people ending up on a government payroll to be of service to their people and eventually becoming politically active in order to address the injustices. Their work is far from complete. We appreciate their efforts. A special thanks to all Patersonians past and present who is in the forefront of trying to bring about a positive change.
Mountaineers are always free!

Copyright 1996 Paterson High School - All Rights reserved 3/27/96 Comments and Questions