Rustenburg celebrates 125th anniversary

Rustybugs Dascha Farr and Zoe Shoko enjoy cupcakes from the 125th anniversary party.

Rustenburg Girls’ Junior School marked its 125th anniversary with a day of festivities and visits from former pupils.

The campus in Rondebosch, was transformed in preparation for the celebrations on Friday January 25. The theme was: “125 – Inspiring and Connecting Girls”.

The school was founded on January 29 1894 in the historic Rustenburg House, which dates from the early years of the Dutch settlement. The house was declared a national monument in 1941.

The objective of the school was to provide education for girls equal to that given to boys.

The school has had nine principals in its 125 years.

Acting principal Karen Dallas said the school’s goal was to develop a strong focus on understanding South Africa’s unique heritage and, through that, to appreciate the strength provided by the diversity of people who make up this country.

“We aspire to be a school where all pupils, parents and staff feel included, valued and able to
contribute to our school culture in a meaningful way.”

She said they were committed to making Rustenburg the most inclusive school for current and future pupils. Ms Dallas called on parents to help build a school where everyone felt their uniqueness counted.

At the campus celebrations, the Rustybugs and staff came to school in their favourite party outfits. The term “Rustybugs” is believed to have come from retired teacher Marilyn Sieborger, although Ms Dallas said the origin was uncertain.

“The nickname was in use when I started in 1957. As I remember, the Rondebosch Boys’ Preparatory School boys referred to their sisters at Rustenburg as Rustybugs. Perhaps some Tatler readers and Rustenburg Old Girls have another version of the origin of the name.”

“Old girls” Neda Isaacs and Lauren Lyons shared memories of their school days with the Rustybugs and encouraged the girls to embrace the opportunities afforded to them at school.

After decorating party hats and placing special wishes for future Rustybugs into time capsules, the Rustenburg family congregated on the tennis court for a photograph.

Ms Dallas said they had learnt valuable lessons as a school over the past few years and were excited by what the future held and how they could best contribute to society.