Durban Preparatory High School – Second Stint

Durban Preparatory High School – Second Stint


I returned to DPHS with Mr.R.Haysom having replaced Mr.R.H.W. Bullimore as headmaster. The Beisiegel’s house was in the same road within a few hundred yards.
I cannot speak highly enough of Donovan Beisiegel. As a gifted sportsman and perfect gentleman he was my ultimate roll model. Although two years my senior, he included me in his sporting activities and with friends such as Frank Dickens, who I later met in Rotary. Through Don I joined the Royal Durban junior golfers and played in the annual Prentice Cup competition. It was a big thing for me to be included in his Sunday “DHS”cricket team when we played the Scottney’s “Glenwood” side. During my time with his family Don attended Durban High School while I was at Prep. It was a blow to me when, in later years, he was killed as a fighter pilot in Italy.


Don’s father, known as Bike, was born in Holland and Mrs. Bike was nee Braby. Don’s sister June taught elocution and Anita enrolled me as one of her pupils. My memory of this episode is reciting “How now, brown cow” and “Round the rugged rocks, the ragged rascal ran.”


The DPHS Tuck Shop was close at hand offering “Popular Pop” in a quart size bottle. A Twistee was a popular ice cream in a tube of twisted paper that could be peeled down whilst being eaten from the top. The bottom of the tube, empty of ice cream, provided the luxury of a paper serviette. Sherbet was also sold in a cardboard tube with a licorice tube through which to draw the sherbet.


The Beisiegels owned two chocolate coloured Pomeranian dogs one of which was named “Pooh”. One afternoon, while Mrs. Bike was entertaining a bridge four, Don peeled the chocolate covering off a toffee bar, curled and shaped it, then placed it on the sofa. He announced to the bridge players that Pooh had done his business on the sofa, causing great consternation to all. “Don’t worry” he said as he popped the toffee into his mouth.


Sydney sometimes took me to the local Stamford Hill airport. Passenger aircraft of the time were three engine Junkers 88’s. Such aircraft, with corrugated body work, were converted to German bombers in world war 11. We were also treated during an air pageant, to outstanding formation flying by the bi-wing single seater Hawker Furies of the South African Air Force.


My stay with the Beisiegels helped me to settle back in my old school with old friends and await joining for the first time with Anita and Dick.

Sailing is great