Mother Cecile

“Pursue diligence, sparkle and don’t let the fun go out of the place”
– Mother Cecile’s exhortation to the CR Sisters on her deathbed.

The Good Shepherd School was established by Sister Cecile (later to become Mother Cecile), Founder of the Community of Resurrection of our Lord in October 1884. It was located in a building near St Peters building on Rhodes University campus. In 1918 the CR Sisters purchased the current building in Huntley Street (which housed the Cathedral Grammar School, forerunner to St Andrew’s College from 1849) and the Good Shepherd School moved in to its current home. Through funds secured from PetroSA in 2010 the new classroom block was built and the Administration block totally refurbished to provide for a Staff Room, Library, Computer Lab, Kitchen (from where the School Nutrition programme is run) and Meeting Room.

Good Shepherd School has a rich tradition as an Anglican School. It is now a ‘Public School on Private Property’, with the Good Shepherd Trust having stewardship of the school buildings and property. The Good Shepherd Trust, along with the staff, the SGB and parents of the school, is looking to provide excellent education by rediscovering the riches of the school’s tradition as a church school with a strong religious ethos as its foundation.

The original parish School Building, 1850

Key Dates in the History of Good Shepherd School (1884 – 2012)

The School Buildings

Jun 1844 Building commenced in Huntley Street of oldest church built by the Anglican Church in South Africa. The foundation stone laid by Mrs Hare, wife of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Eastern Districts.
Oct 1849 Building of the Parish School completed. Started as the St George’s Grammar School.
1855 Rev Armstrong founded St Andrew’s College and first classes were held in the St Georges Grammar School for 3 years (joint Headmaster). St Andrew’s College then separated.
1857 Named the Cathedral Grammar School
1859 Mr John Evens became Principal of the Cathedral Grammar School and it became known as Evans House(although spelling apparently incorrect)
1860 First Synod of the Diocese of Grahamstown held in the school building.
1869 Eastern Extension built with attractive rose carvings in it gable, known as the “Guild Hall and Assembly Room”.

The Good Shepherd School

1884 Good Shepherd School (GSS) established by Mother Cecile, Founder of the Community of Resurrection of our Lord (CR). It was located in a building near St Peters building on Rhodes University campus. The School was multiracial, catered for poorer section of Grahamstown community and English was the medium of instruction.
1855 GSS moved to Smiths Avenue on the North side of High Street
1887 GSS moved to the old pro-Cathedral of St Michael (now where the Post Office is)
1896 GSS moved to the Douglas property where Oatlands Prep School is today.
1901 The Building were no longer used as a school rented out to the Cape Goverment as a Laboratory.
1918 The CR Sisters purchased the Huntley Street Property which had been built in 1844.
1950s Due to Apartheid Legislation the school changed to a “Coloured” school with Afrikaans as medium of instruction. Indians also attended.
1966 The building was declared a National Monument.
1978 Ms Rose Daniels started as Principal of GSS.
1992 Ms Rose Daniels retired after 14 Years as Principal.
1993 Ms Prudence van der Linde started as Principal of GSS.
Restoration of the building (buildings were vacated for 6 months and school held in the Old School Board building which the CR rented for that period)
1994 Dramatic increase in numbers of learners.
Mar 2007 The Good Shepherd Trust took over ownership of the school property.
Nov 2008 Petro-SA donated R9m for the reconstruction and refurbishment of the Good Shepherd School.  Sod-turning ceremony held.
April 2010 Opening of new classroom block and refurbished school buildings.
Nov 2011 Prudence van der Linde retired as Principal after 18 years.