DHS Foundation

This section of the website is devoted to the DHS Foundation, which provides financial and other support to the school.  More detailed information can be found at the foundation website: www.dhsfoundation.co.za.

UPDATE July 28, 2015

The DHS Foundtion Trust has sent us a letter dated June 23, 2015 appealing to Old Boys to subscribe for membership - only R600 per year.  Please click on this Link  to read the letter, and respond directly to the DHS Foundation if interested.


The school is currently in serious financial difficulties as the result of changes in the amounts and sources of its funding.  Class of 1961 member Ray Lalouette has recently joined the Foundation's staff as a fund raiser. He has issued this very informative letter, along with an appeal for funds for the work of the Foundation.

Class of 1960 members who wish to learn more about, or support the Foundation Appeal, are encouraged to contact Ray directly at 082 552 0840 or raythelark@gmail.com



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No: IT 1146/1946/PMB



4th April, 2014

Dear Class of 1960

The DHS Foundation has been established to generate financial support for DHS through a partnership with the school community of Old Boys, parents, staff and pupils. The Foundation aims to assist the school achieve its strategic objectives, now and into the future and in so doing, to ensure the continued growth of DHS as a centre of excellence, learning and opportunity.

The DHS Mission Statement can be found on the school’s website and makes encouraging reading.

Unfortunately, DHS is no longer the pre-eminent school that it was in our day. Its facilities are worn and it lacks funds. Many families who would have considered sending their sons to DHS have chosen other schools.

The objective of the Foundation is to assist in the regeneration of DHS as the pre-eminent boys’ high school in Durban. The purpose behind the objective is to participate in the reformation of scholastic education in order to achieve school leavers who are not only functionally literate and numerate but who have benefitted from a broad education that will equip them with life-skills that will be relevant in their choice of careers.

A sad reality of so-called government schools is that the funding for the provision of education is woefully inadequate – DHS, by way of example, receives approximately 17% of its annual income, funded by the Department of Education; the balance needs to be sourced from students’ fees and fund-raising by the school. The source of funds derived from students’ fees is a constant nightmare as many pupils qualify for a reduction in their fees.

Fund-raising on the part of the school has been very challenging and for some time now has been inadequate. The shortfall has been funded by The Durban High School Foundation Trust. Now, while the Foundation is quite prepared to continue some level of funding, it has become apparent that it is most ill-advised for the status quo to remain. Something has to be done.

It is the considered opinion of the board of trustees of the Foundation, in conjunction with the school’s governing body, that a different approach needs to be embarked upon to encourage an improved student diversity, who understand that a school cannot exist unless its costs are paid for. The reality has to be faced that quality education has to be paid for. The Foundation’s trustees believe that improved and enhanced school facilities will attract pupils from families who are not only in agreement with the principle of paying for quality education but who also have the capacity to meet this commitment. In addition, cognisant of the need to support and encourage pupils from less financially secure families, who have the potential to achieve commendable levels of academic and sporting achievement, the Foundation must acquire the capacity to fund relatively significant numbers of bursaries.

The challenge will be to manage the appropriate ‘mix’ between fee paying students and those students who benefit from Foundation sponsored bursaries. Given the necessary financial capacity, it is the fervent hope of the trustees – and I am sure, that of all Old Boys – that the school will attract a suitable mix of really fine pupils who will develop and thrive academically as well as in the various sporting fields and cultural activities.

The initial project is to refurbish Blackmore House, which has been allowed to deteriorate to an unacceptable level. The budget for this refurbishment is estimated to cost in the region of R2.5 million which will include some fairly substantial re-wiring. One of the anticipated benefits, apart from the obvious improvement in the conditions for the occupants, is that it is believed that a refurbished boarding establishment will encourage pupils from areas other than the immediate environs of DHS, to join DHS as boarders. As places at Blackmore House are subject to interviews by the management of DHS, care can be taken that the applicants will be demonstrably capable of meeting their financial commitments to the school. Emphasis will also be placed on the potential for academic, sporting and cultural prowess. Without attempting to sound elitist, the reality of life is that the adage “success breeds success” will continue to apply.

Another goal of the Foundation is the general upgrading of school buildings. The plan for a dedicated Mathematics and Science Centre is being developed and it is also anticipated that the IT Centre will be upgraded.

We want to produce an ever increasing number of high achievers who will in turn contribute to the growth and development of this beautiful country, so that in another 50 years, Old Boys of the day can reflect with pride that DHS has continued to uphold its legacy of producing not only leaders and high achievers, but also a solid body of ‘boys’ who are the salt of the earth, imbued with a sense of pride in their own achievements as the ‘product’ of a really fine school. And your grandchildren can also bask in the pride of knowing that your contribution made that possible. The 200-year anniversary celebrations will include your name in pride of place among the benefactors who helped to restore DHS to its historical place as the top boys’ high school in Durban. Who knows, maybe it will be a co-educational school by then, but whatever its student body classification, it will remain the school to be proud to call one’s Alma Mater.

Our appeal to those Old Boys who have benefitted from a sound secondary school education at DHS, and who entertain an awareness of their need to reflect upon their success in life, is to identify with this very worthwhile enterprise. Help us ‘make a difference’ by restoring DHS as a school of excellence.

We are gathering a ‘war chest’ to address the needs of the school over the next couple of decades. The influence of the CEO, Mike Fennell (past headmaster of K.E.S.) and the appointment – in mid-2013 – of the new Head Master (that is how it is spelled, now) Leon Erasmus are already starting to bring about noticeable improvements. In a recent newsletter, Mike mentioned that Mr Erasmus had settled in well and had, “already made a marked impact on the school”. Donors should be reassured that the funds will not be frittered away in admin. or bureaucracy and will be managed for the foreseeable future by the Trustees in goal-orientated projects.

Your contribution would provide a legacy for your grandchildren in the widest sense, in that you would be contributing towards the uplifting of educated youths in general – albeit on a smallish scale – using the medium of Durban High School, which will perpetuate the image of ‘School’ as a beacon of secondary school education in Durban.

Last year, three Old Boys made a most commendable commitment. Stephen Saad, Christopher Seabrooke and Howard Buttery each committed R1 million per year for 3 years to the Foundation. They have appealed to the Old Boys’ fraternity to join in this most worthwhile endeavour and to donate funds generously. In addition to lump sum payments that some Old Boys may be able to provide, there will be many instances where Old Boys feel it will be more suitable to make monthly payments. Stephen Saad has expressed the hope that as many as 3000 Old Boys will commit at least R100 per month, for 3 years, to the Foundation. Old Boys will be well aware that donations towards the Foundation qualify as a deduction in terms of the Income Tax Act.

If you are willing to contribute to the Foundation, you can simply go to the Foundation’s website (see above) and click on “Fundraising” and then “Pledge Now” and enter the details on the form and email Liz Foster. All contributions will be acknowledged and recorded for posterity.

Yours sincerely
Ray Lalouette
I have recently joined the Foundation’s staff as a fund-raiser and would be happy to discuss any concerns or queries you may have. My contact details are 082 552 0840 and raythelark@gmail.com




The Governing Body of Durban High School are excited to announce the appointment of

Mr Leon Erasmus as Principal of Durban High School, effective from 8 April 2013.

Leon is joining the DHS family from Rondebosch High School in Cape Town, where he has served as Deputy Principal since 2004.  Leon has gained exceptional leadership attributes having had experience in many areas of educational responsibility at a leadership level, including representation on Governing Bodies over the past eighteen years. He is passionate about education and the moulding of youngsters into future leaders.

Leon was schooled in Queenstown before joining the education profession. He was then appointed HOD at Queens College and subsequently promoted to second Deputy Principal. In 2004, he moved to Rondebosch Boys’ High School where he took up the post of Senior Deputy Principal, a position he has held for the past eight years.

Leon also has an outstanding organisational and managerial track record within secondary education, believing in dynamic leadership whilst still being approachable and a good listener. He also has experience in performance assessment, academic curriculum, educational legislation and human resource management, external evaluation, whole school evaluation and has sat as chairman on a number of school committees.

He has a Degree and a Diploma in Education from the university of the Free State.

Leon is an avid lover of sport and its role in the development of boys at high school and has coached sport at provincial and national level.

He is married to Elmarie, also an educator, and they have two daughters, Chanel, who is studying in the USA and Cassandra who is in Grade 8.  Both have already proven themselves on the sports fields.

The Durban High School Governing Body congratulates Leon on his appointment and wishes him every success in the significant role he is to perform as Head of Institution in the future of DHS