On 4 June 1856 Sir George Grey, Governor of the Cape Colony, gave his approval to an Act of Parliament to found the Grey Institute. The building commenced on the top of the Donkin and the Grey Institute opened its doors to 40 pupils in 1859. From this humble beginning the school flourished over the years, and with the rapid expansion of Port Elizabeth in the early 1900’s the Institute was becoming more and more cramped. The move to the present site along Cape Road took place in 1915. Many criticised the site for being too far out of town!
The school had grown to 683 boys by 1930, resulting in a shortage of accommodation. The completion of the Junior School in 1930 relieved the situation, and 26 July saw the opening of the school with Mr F G Draycott as the first headmaster. Situated on the same site as the Senior School, the Junior School soon developed an identity of its own and became an autonomous institution with its own committee and staff.
Under the leadership of its past headmasters, Messrs S F Edwards (1946 – 1966), R W Jardine (1967 – 1972), R C Davies (1972 – 1980), T E Griffiths (1981 – 1997) and its present headmaster, Mr L M Pearson, Grey Junior has flourished both in the quantity and quality of its facilities. The Way Hall accommodates its assemblies and many school functions, while the music block, art room, two computer rooms and the Terry Griffiths Media Centre all offer specialist services to our boys. The Martin, Osborn and Pautz Fields, the swimming pool, as well as the access boys have to cricket nets, tennis courts, hockey fields, hockey astroturf and squash courts, ensure that their physical development is well-catered for.
After re-locating a number of times, the Grey Junior Hostel has finally settled into Warring Lodge in King George’s Road, where it is home to some 35 boarders.
Four houses operate within the school, namely Draycott House (yellow), School House (red), Edwards House (purple) and Faure House (green). Inter-house competition is fierce, which helps to maintain the high standards of academic, sporting and cultural excellence which have become a hallmark of the school. This balanced development of body, mind and spirit is also encapsulated in the school motto – TRIA JUNCTA IN UNO – meaning three joined in one.
The Grey Schools celebrated their 150th anniversary in 2006, and Grey Junior celebrated its 75th anniversary as a separate school in 2005. We look back on the outstanding contribution made by many parents, staff and boys and look forward to the exciting challenges in the future.