Edition 5: 20 February 2020

A Farewell Message from the Prep School Principal

Dear Clifton Family

I put pen to paper for the last time at Clifton. My five years as a member of the Clifton family has been a fulfilling, exciting and very happy time. Starting a new chapter inevitably leads to a time of reflection. This process started, for me, at last year’s College Speech Day when I looked at the College Honours Boards in The Ken Mackenzie Hall. They were littered with names of Clifton Prep boys however two boards really grabbed my attention. I noted that every Clifton Prep boy who was awarded the Dux or Dux Proxime in Grade 7, achieved the same at the College. I then cast my eye to the Head Boy and Deputy Head Boy boards. I was delighted to note every year, without exception, a Clifton Prep boy has been Deputy or Head Boy and in 2020 both the Deputy Head Boys and the Head Boy are Clifton Prep lads.

I write this, not to praise the Prep School, but rather to emphasize that ‘One School, One Family’ is lived and breathed at Clifton School. These notable achievements are the result of the Foundation Phase laying the bedrock and ‘foundation’ to the boys’ journey at Clifton, followed by the Senior Preparatory School ‘preparing’ the boys during this journey and then the College ‘bringing it home’, enabling our gents to face their next chapter well-armed and well-prepared. The end product of this journey is a well-rounded, confident “Clifton gentleman”. A young man who is ready to take his place in the 21st Century not only as a problem-solver, inventor, and critical thinker but also, and perhaps more importantly, as a caring human being.

We are aware there is no utopia in schools, however I believe I have been part of a school that continues to ‘walk the talk’. We are all, boys, staff and parents, indeed blessed to be part of Clifton School.

I leave you with a quote that has always been close to my heart, and perhaps even more relevant for the times in which we live.

People take different roads seeking fulfilment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost. – Dalai Lama



A Message from the Executive Headmaster


Dear Parents

I last wrote to the Clifton Family at the start of the term, barely a month ago – and now we are already at half term! We have sweated through some incredibly hot and humid days, endured the frustrations of load shedding, and now it’s raining in buckets as I write this.

As the boys and staff start to enjoy a few days’ break from the busyness of school, today we also mark a moment in the school’s history, when the ninth leader of the Prep School steps down and takes his leave of Clifton. Mr Victor White has been at Clifton for a little over five years, having come down from Gauteng where he was a successful Head of Kyalami Prep. I didn’t know Victor in Gauteng, other than by reputation, and that was as a dedicated “Preppy”. In other words, he loves the Prep version of school, as opposed to the high school scenario. On his appointment at Clifton in 2015, he brought with him vast experience and a homely type of wisdom that perhaps is not always appreciated in our fast-paced world. Those who know Victor will know that his great pride and joy, and his love of the job, comes from working with the Prep boys in his care. For him they are the priority, and he has always expected his staff to give of their best for the boys.

Like many Heads and Principals, very often the highlight of any day will be when one is not actually in one’s office dealing with the issues, but out there with the boys – the reason, of course, why one goes into this profession in the first place! Victor loves to read to the FP classes, for example, and anything to do with the Red Ants will draw his attention and put a smile on his face – like the famous “Red Ant Comrades Day”. 

Similarly, he teaches Life Orientation to the older grades, and went on the UK Cricket tour in 2015 to keep in touch and stay connected with the boys. His compassion for the boys (and indeed the Prep staff), and his understanding of how boys of this age group think, act, develop and eventually flourish, is one of his strengths. He always had a concern that boys can grow up too quickly.

Victor takes great pride in Clifton Prep, and is fiercely protective of “his” school, especially with the growth of the College on the campus. Under his guidance the upgrades of all the Prep classrooms has happened systematically, as well as the upgrade to Stubbs House and the official opening of the Art and

Science Block. More recently, the naming of the Helen Joseph Library warmed his heart. Victor has spearheaded the thinking around the next phase of building projects for the Prep and has passed on those proposals to his successor. Over his five years, innovations were made in the curriculum, with new ways sought to keep the young minds of our boys engaged and active.

Victor has also played his part on the provincial and national stage. As one of the more experienced and respected Heads, he chaired the provincial sector of SAHISA, the Independent Schools Heads’ association, and sat on the national council. I would hope that he is not lost to education once he has recharged the batteries. I anticipate that we will see him involved in some capacity, probably in a different guise, fairly soon.

Victor has worked hard with Mr Jason Brown, his successor, to ensure a smooth hand-over. They have spoken on the phone and met on numerous occasions, and Jason feels that he can hit the ground running when he officially takes over on Tuesday. For this I wish to compliment and thank Victor, for finishing his tenure well and ensuring that the Prep will be well looked after during the hand-over period.

On a personal level I wish to thank Vic for his help to me, particularly when my wife and I first moved to Durban and to Clifton. As a fellow ‘Gautenger’, his advice and insight into the school, the community, and what makes Clifton tick, were invaluable to me.

So, we thank Vic sincerely for his important contribution to Clifton and wish him well as he leaves us and enters another chapter in his life. Hamba Kahle, Vic, and enjoy the golf!

Finally, we also wish Dr Sam Blom much happiness and many blessings as she starts her maternity leave this half term.

Have a wonderful half term with your sons, and if you are traveling, safe travels.

Yours sincerely



Clifton News Bits

Our Prep 1st XI cricket team continued their winning ways in a 30 over encounter against the touring Kings College boys from the UK.

Batting first, our boys amassed a very impressive 243 runs for the loss of 5 wickets with solid contributions from Jason Adams (41) and Jayden Roux (31). The evening however belonged to Tim Saulez who dismissed the opposition bowlers to all parts of the ground in a dominating knock of 117 runs off 92 balls.

Congratulations Tim on a very well-deserved century! Well done as well to Arav Soodyall (63 not out) and Ryan Futcher (53 not out) who contributed superbly to the 3rd XI’s victory over Kings College. Both games were played under lights.

Congratulations to the Prep 1st XI cricketers who were presented with their white caps yesterday prior to the day/night victory over Umhlali at our sports campus at Riverside. This is a long-standing tradition at Clifton.
Well done, boys.


Clifton congrats to the following Clifton Grade 4’s from Durban Surf who took part in the Nippers KZN champs over the weekend. The boys did Clifton proud, helping Durban Surf win KZN Champs and collecting many medals along the way.

  • Beach Run 1st U9 Male Keagan White
  • Run/Swim/Run 1st U10 Male Nicholas Taylor
  • Surf Swim 1st U10 Male Nicholas Taylor
  • Beach Relay 2nd U10 Mixed Max Fowlds
  • Beach Relay 2nd U10 Mixed Keagan White
  • Bodyboard 2nd U09 Male B/b Keagan White
  • Beach Sprint 2nd U10 Male Max Fowlds
  • Bodyboard 2nd U10 Male Nicholas Taylor
  • Beach Flags 4th U09 Male Keagan White
  • Run/Swim/Run 4th U09 Male Keagan White
  • Taplin Relay 4th U10 Mixed Keagan White
  • Taplin Relay 4th U10 Mixed Nicholas Taylor
  • Beach Sprint 5th U09 Male Keagan White
  • Beach Flags 6th U10 Male Alexander Verster
  • Beach Relay 6th U10 Mixed Alexander Verster
  • Surf Swim 8th U09 Male Keagan White

Well done Matthew Adams, Marco Mottura and John Munford who received their commemorative caps on their 50th appearance for the school’s 1st X1. The team celebrated the occasion in style as they beat Westville by 67 runs after posting an imposing total of 267 runs. Three half centuries were recorded by Nabeel Jeewa, Josh Platford and Matthew Adams. A great all-round day for our 1st XI.


Despite the rain, the swimmers gave it their all at the KZN Top Schools Gala hosted by Clifton on Tuesday evening.

  • 1st Westville 222
  • 2nd Clifton 174
  • 3rd DHS 144
  • 4th Hilton 132
  • 5th Kearsney 126
  • 6th Maritzburg College 108
  • 7th Northwood 107
  • 8th Glenwood 92
  • 9th Michaelhouse 51

Well done to all competitors.

On Wednesday the Clifton swimming team travelled to Michaelhouse where they placed first, followed by Hilton, Kearsney, Michaelhouse and St Charles.

Well done, team Clifton!

This week Mr Knowles caught up with some of the gents that were new to Clifton College this year. Pictured with Mr Knowles from left to right are Andrew Rustin in Grade 12, Zaid Jadwat, Dylan Palm and Matthew Beuster in Grade 10. They enjoyed a delicious doughnut and juice while chatting with Mr Knowles about their adjustment to the Clifton way.

All seem happy and well-settled, which is great news!

Clifton Old Boys

A reminder for all Clifton Old Boys from the Prep and the College to get in touch with our Old Boys secretary, Susannah Knowles: cobweb@cliftonschool.co.za

Make sure we have your contact details so that we can keep our growing database updated.

As we build towards the celebration of our Centenary, make sure you keep connected and feel free to send in your news and updates!

Clifton Classifieds


Please call Amy Mezher on 064 687 5934 or email: amymez6@gmail.com if you are looking for a reliable House Sitter or Baby Sitter.

Tersia Brenna has eighteen years of experience in supervising and teaching children from 3 months olds to 5year-olds. She also has experience with autistic and ADHD children. She is available to au pair, assist with homework and holiday care Monday to Friday and weekends from the 15 December onwards. Please contact her on 063 535 1952.


Live in full time maid required in the Morningside area, preferably in her 30’s, well spoken and presentable. Must have cooking skills.

Au Pair with solid experience looking after children, honest and dependable for ad hoc au pair work.

Please contact Greg on 083 775 6992



Clifton Classified advertising is open to current parents and staff of Clifton. The cost per advert is R100, which will be debited to your son’s school account.

For bookings, email: marketing@cliftonschool.co.za