The building known as ‘Stubbs House’ was originally a private residence called ‘Townsleigh’. It was bought by Harry Stubbs in 1915 when he was Headmaster of Durban Preparatory School.

When Harry Stubbs opened Clifton in 1924 it continued as his residence, but the ground floor was converted into classrooms and a dining hall; whilst some boys, as boarders, slept in dormitories on the enclosed upstairs verandahs.

‘Stubbs’ House’ has served various purposes over the years but now is used as the Prep Library, IT Centre and classrooms.

From 1930 – 1931, well-known Apartheid Activist, Helen Joseph – as Miss Fennell – taught at the Prep School!

Helen Joseph had befriended Harry Stubbs’ daughter, Dorothy whilst they were studying in London. Helen had taken a job in India in the late 1920s and was returning to England when she was offered a post at Clifton to replace Dorothy Stubbs who was getting married.

Helen married a local dentist, Billy Joseph. In due course Helen became a social worker and began a journey of activism, embodied in her being part of the Women’s March to Union Buildings on 9 August 1956.

In 2020, the Prep School Library, now situated in Stubbs House was named in her honour.


The school motto of Prodesse Quam Conspici was only introduced in 1938 by the Headmaster, Kenneth Haworth.

The motto was at time being used by the ‘Rydal School’ in Colwyn Bay in North Wales; of which Mr. Haworth was past pupil, having attended it from 1916 – 1920!

The earliest evidence of the use of the motto can be traced back to John Somers, 1st Baron Somers who was the Lord Chancellor of England under King William III and who chose the saying when he was granted a coat-of-arms in 1697.

Prodesse Quam Conspici

To be humble in your achievements