Armoria academica


Moregrove Primary School

Arms registered by the Bureau of Heraldry on 19 June 1989, under certificate No 2060. The blazon (translated from the Afrikaans text) reads:

Arms: Azure, within an annulet argent a roundel gules charged with a dove in flight argent, the whole within a border, also argent.

Motto: Officium valeat.

About the arms:
An anomaly in this blazon is the colour of the roundel, which is called red (gules) but is illustrated on the registration certificate as being maroon (a colour called murrey in heraldic language).

The school’s colours are blue, white and maroon – and were those colours long before the arms were registered – and it would seem that the school is entitled to request a corrected registration certificate.

The white dove[1] is traditionally a symbol of peace, and of God’s blessing. The school explains the choice of one as of fitting into the area where the school is situated, where the streets all have bird names.

The motto, Officum valeat, translates as: “Do your duty.”

About the school:
Moregrove Primary is a parallel-medium co-educational school (Grades 1 to 7 or, according to the old Cape system, Sub A to Std 5), and also includes pre-primary classes.

Starting in January 1970 the school was built to serve pupils in the then recently established township of Cotswold Extension, lying north of the N2 freeway.

In 1971 two proposed names for the school were submitted to the Port Elizabeth School Board, and the name chosen was that of the farm on which the township was laid out. The other name proposed was Alouette, but the parents preferred Moregrove.

With Mr W C Nel as principal, the teaching staff comprised six people, and there were 103 pupils: 47 English-speaking and 57 Afrikaans.

At first the school had no sports facilities, and an arrangement was made that the children could use the sports fields at Cotswold Primary. Gradually Moregrove school acquired more than adequate sports grounds.

In 1972 a bird in flight was chosen as the school badge. Curtains were bought for the school hall, coloured maroon.

In 1973 the school received permission to offer pre-primary classes, and these classes began in ’74.

By 1976 the school had more than 300 pupils, and in 1978 the figure was 353.

In 1988 the school coat of arms and motto were accepted by the Bureau of Heraldry. The following year the registration certificate was received and formally presented to the school.

The school song was also taken into use in ’88. The lyricist-composer was Crescendo Award winner Greta Delport, who was teaching music at the Hoërskool Andrew Rabie.

In 1991 a junior pre-primary class (for five-year-olds) was started.

Also in 1991 it was realised that the two neighbouring primary schools should merge. However, Cotswold Preparatory School (also parallel medium) was not included in these discussions. (The three schools’ premises formed a triangle less than a kilometre across.)

The outcome was that the two primary schools became one, and in January 1992 the children of the Cotswold school walked from their school buildings over the footbridge across the N2 to join Moregrove. The Cotswold school buildings later became the premises of the Northern Lights School.

In 1993 the school, under the so-called Model C arrangement, first admitted pupils who were not from the white population group. For more information on Model C, see here. The following year the school’s admissions were, in terms of legislation, no longer on a racial basis.

[1] The word dove is used here to describe a white-feathered bird belonging to one of the species of pigeons, rather than one of the smaller related species which are generally called doves.


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  • Sources: information and illustration provided by the school.

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    Remarks, inquiries: Mike Oettle