Beaconhurst Highschool East London – Fees, Uniform, Aftercare, Address, Registration

Originally there were several dairy farms in the Beacon Bay area. The largest dairy farm in the area was known as the Beaconhurst Dairy. The name Beaconhurst was derived from the trigonometric beacons situated in Beacon Bay. “Hurst” is a hill – hence the name Beaconhurst.

A development company bought up a large track of land in Beacon Bay for the development of the East London North Township. They introduced an affordable housing scheme for young couples and a very good house could be bought for £1500. Soon afterwards Beaconhurst Dairy was sold to residential developers and its name was changed to Beaconhurst Estate.

In 1951, shortly after its completion, floods swept the first bridge that was built across the Nahoon River away. The original Batting Bridge that was completed in 1953 suffered a similar fate. In 1965 Beaconhurst Estate and Bonza Bay Village combined to form a Village Management Board. This new board was granted municipal status in 1968 and became known as Beacon Bay, with its own mayor, town clerk and councilors.

Beaconhurst Primary School opened on January 21, 1959, as a temporary school, in a house – 4 Hillcrest Drive- with Mrs. van Rooyen as temporary headmistress. Most of the Bonza Bay residents, however, did not send their children to the newly established school and only 14 pupils enrolled. In 1959 Mr. J.J. Coetzer was officially appointed as principal. There were 26 pupils and he had one assistant teacher, Mrs. Anna Wanda Willis, to help him. Mrs. Willis was in charge of the Sub A – Std 3 learners and Mr. Coetzer was in charge of the older learners. The lounge and a bedroom served as the first classrooms. Mrs. Willis taught in the lounge. The kitchen eventually became the third class room.

Mr Fred Cooper, a member of the Provincial Council invited Dr. Smith, the Director General of Education to visit the premises. Soon afterwards plans for a school building were approved. On 21 September 1962 Mrs. Ruth Mc Jannet, Chairman of the School Board, laid the foundation stone to the new building that consisted of 2 kindergarten and 2 Junior primary classes, an office block and a staffroom. The building was officially opened by Dr. D.J. Liebenberg, the Superintendent–General of Education, on 23 March 1963. There were 75 pupils and the teachers were Mrs. Willis, Miss. Motar, Miss. Maclachlan and Mr. Coetzer. The enrolment soon increased to such an extent that the staffroom and even one of the storerooms were used as classrooms.

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