WESTERING HIGH SCHOOL and WESTERING PRIMARY SCHOOL, Westering, Port Elizabeth
These two co-educational English-medium schools were founded in 1971. Their arms were originally designed by the wife of the founder principal of the high school. They were revised in the early 1990s, and in 1993 negotiations for their registration began with the State Herald. Arms published in the Government Gazette (Notice 496) on 26 April 2002 and registered under certificates No 3275 (Westering High) and No 3276 (Westering Primary). The arms as blazoned by the Bureau of Heraldry are:
Arms: Azure, a chevron argent, ensigned of a single-handled lamp or, flamed proper.
Crest: Upon a wreath of argent and azure, an eagle displayed, its wings inverted or, armed and langued gules, statant upon two bulrushes, or papenkuils, in saltire proper, issuant from the wreath.
Mantling: Argent and azure.
Motto: Optima Petamus.
About the arms:
The motto is translated as: “We strive for the best.”
The lamp was taken from the arms of the South African College School (SACS) in Cape Town, where the high school’s founder principal had previously taught. In its Westering context it symbolises learning, and can also be seen as symbolising the Christian values mentioned in the school’s mission statement.
About the school:
In 1971 Westering High School took over the teaching of English-speaking children from the western suburbs of Port Elizabeth, who had previously attended English-medium classes at Framesby High School, which then became an Afrikaans-medium school. Westering Primary similarly took over the English-speaking pupil base of Linton Grange Primary School, which then became an Afrikaans-medium school and subsequently changed its name to Laerskool Verkenner.
Westering High and Primary are both located in Papenkuils Street, Westering, the high school having acquired the second-last block of Papenkuils Street and incorporated it into the school grounds. The final block of Papenkuils then became Baobab Street. The valley below Baobab Street is one of the two legs of the Papenkuils River, both of which rise in Parsons Vlei, and which have their confluence near Algoa Park. The river is more commonly known as Smelly Creek, because of the stagnant nature of its canalised estuary near the sea. Its mouth is the site of a major freeway interchange.
The name Papenkuils describes the bulrushes that are characteristic of the middle course of the river. The crossed bulrushes in the crest represent both the street and the river, and point to environmental awareness.
The high school for a long time used a gold eagle for its crest, but the State Herald found it unacceptable because of its similarity to the crest of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek and the Transvaal Province. The bulrushes were added for difference. The primary school did not use a crest before registration.
An anomaly on the registration certificate is that the eagle’s claws are shown as white (or silver), although the blazon clearly states that the bird is “armed gules”. However, when a discrepancy occurs between illustration and blazon, the blazon is regarded as being definitive, so the drawing is incorrect on this point.
Westering High School has its own website.
Die wapen kan in Afrikaans so geblasoeneer word:
Wapen: In blou, ’n keper van silwer waarbo ’n goue lamp, natuurlik gevlam.
Wrong en dekkleed: Silwer en blou.
Helmteken: ’n Goue adelaar met rooi tong en kloue, vlerke omhoog, wat op ’n paar skuinsgekruisde papkuils in natuurlike kleur staan, wat op hulle beurt vanuit die wrong spruit.
Leuse: Optima petamus.
Die leuse vertaal as “Ons strewe om die beste.”
The word papenkuil – in modern Afrikaans, papkuil – is not found in present-day Dutch because it is a taunt dating back to the religious wars. The papen- element refers to the pope, and is not complimentary. The modern Dutch name for this reed is lisdodde. An English name for it seldom heard in South Africa is mace-reed.
Comments, queries: Mike Oettle