Balmoral Badge and Symbolism

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Argent, a bend sinister cotised gules, in the first quarter an aloe plant bearing three racemes proper. Motto: Altiora Peto

The school badge was designed by the second headmistress of the School, Miss Gertrude Gunn, who also chose the motto.

The design is closely influenced by the design of the Queenstown Girls High School badge and demonstrates the close ties between the two schools. It also reflects the origin of Balmoral as arising from Girls High School.

The meaning of the colours and symbols is as follows:

  • The shield is white to symbolise purity and truth.
  • The bands are red to symbolise courage and sacrifice.
  • The highlights in navy symbolise order and discipline.
  • There are three bands to symbolise pupils, parents and teachers working together.
  • The scarlet aloe is a proud symbol of the Border region.

The motto, “Altiora Peto”, is in latin and means “Seek the Height”. The motto is meant to inspire us to seek excellence in school and on the sport field, but also to seek higher things and strive for moral and spiritual growth.

Foundation and History

The Balmoral Girls’ Primary School dates its beginnings to 1929, when it was decided to remove the Sub-Standards (Grade 1 and 2) and Standards 1 and 2 (now grades 3 and 4), from the Girls’ High School.

In January 1930 the new Preparatory School – for boys and girls – was opened in the old High School building in Shepstone Street, later to become the Queenstown Museum.

The first headmistress was Miss Bessie Muir.  A decision to take over Standard 3 (Grade 5) from the Girls’ High School increased the roll to 137 pupils.

Miss Muir was succeeded by Miss Gertrude Gunn who took office in 1931, and designed the School badge and chose the School motto.

An outstanding member of the staff at this time was Miss EL Heward, kindergarten teacher.  She retired in 1935 to start The Aloes hostel, which for many years was to play a great part in the life of the Preparatory School.

After 12 years Miss Gunn was succeeded as Headmistress by Miss Dorothy Street, followed in turn by Miss JC Davidson, who assumed duty in January 1949.

During the years following the ending of the Second World War the School had grown rapidly.  Prefabricated buildings had been erected until the then Cape Provincial Administration, realising at last that the School could no longer remain confined to a small area in the middle of the town, decided that the only answer was the building of completely new premises.

On 17 January 1961 the new Balmoral Girls’ Primary School in Haig Avenue was formally opened, with the addition of Standards 4 and 5 (Grades 6 and 7) from the Girls’ High School.  Miss Davidson was still Headmistress, but she retired at the end of 1963 and was succeeded by Miss EA McLeod.

Over the years must development of the grounds took place, but the School lacked a hall.  This omission was taken care of in November 1970, when one was formally opened by the Deputy Director of Education, Mr John Perry.

At the end of 1979 Miss McLeod retired and was succeeded by Miss MJ Morris.  In January 1982 Miss SE James, Vice-Principal since 1970, was appointed Headmistress.

Headmistresses (and Headmaster)

[icon_timeline timeline_style=”csstime” timeline_line_style=”dashed” custom_width=”200″][icon_timeline_sep time_sep_title=”1930-1931″ line_width=”1″ line_radius=”5″][icon_timeline_item time_title=”Miss Bessie Muir” icon_type=”noicon” img_width=”48″ icon_size=”32″ icon_color=”#de5034″ icon_style=”circle” icon_color_bg=”#ffffff” icon_color_border=”#dbdbdb” icon_border_size=”1″ icon_border_radius=”500″ icon_border_spacing=”50″ time_read_text=”Read More”]Miss Elizabeth (Bessie) Muir, was the eldest daughter of Mr. And Mrs. J. Muir, of “Craigmuir,” district of Molteno.

She was head Prefect in 1921 at the Queenstown Girls School and was one of the leaders of the Debating Society. She was highly regarded and an accomplished thespian.

In January 1930 Miss Muir took charge of the new school as its first principal, her prominence and leadership positions held in the Girls High School was considered a guarantee that the new school would be closely linked with its elder sister in Frost Street.

The little School was situated in Shepstone Street, in what is now the Frontier Museum, and she presided over about 120 pupils dressed in the then school colours of green and brown.

However in 1930 the parents committee were faced with the resignation of Miss Muir, who was leaving to be married, it being considered unseemly at the time for a married woman to work as a schoolmistress. Miss Muir had done so much for the school and had won the affectionate regard of pupils and parents, the parents committee decided that an expression of the Committee’s appreciation of her efficient work should be placed on record.

She was married on 28 April 1931 to Mr A.S Cardno of Aberdeen, Scotland and still lived still lived near enough to the school to continue showing an interest in its welfare.

Although her stay was short, such was the force of her personality and efficiency that it left a continuing legacy for those who followed her.[/icon_timeline_item][icon_timeline_sep time_sep_title=”1931-1943/5″ line_width=”1″ line_radius=”5″][icon_timeline_item time_title=”Miss Gertrude Gunn” icon_type=”noicon” img_width=”48″ icon_size=”32″ icon_color=”#de5034″ icon_style=”circle” icon_color_bg=”#ffffff” icon_color_border=”#dbdbdb” icon_border_size=”1″ icon_border_radius=”500″ icon_border_spacing=”50″ time_read_text=”Read More”]Miss Gertrude M. Gunn, previously of King Williamstown, was appointed to be Principal as from April 1, 1931. She taught Std. III (now grade 5) and had 22 pupils in her class.

Miss Gunn announced her retirement as from end of June 1943. The parents committee voiced their regret at her departure after twelve years service as Principal during which the school had grown tremendously. Everything had gone on smoothly and her relations with the school committee had at all times been very happy.

Miss Gunn- now married to Mr. D.R. Ryall – continued her association with the school by continuing to act as a substitute for her successor until she retired from all teaching in July of 1945.

She was greatly respected and did much to shape the school we now know as Balmoral, including designing the school badge and choosing the school motto. It is also during her tenure that the school colours changed to red and white.[/icon_timeline_item][icon_timeline_sep time_sep_title=”1943/5-1948″ line_width=”1″ line_radius=”5″][icon_timeline_item time_title=”Miss Dorothy Street” icon_type=”noicon” img_width=”48″ icon_size=”32″ icon_color=”#de5034″ icon_style=”circle” icon_color_bg=”#ffffff” icon_color_border=”#dbdbdb” icon_border_size=”1″ icon_border_radius=”500″ icon_border_spacing=”50″ time_read_text=”Read More”]Miss Dorothy Street was the Head Girl (along with Miss Barbara Smith) at Girls High School in 1922.

In 1943 she was appointed as Principal with the outgoing principal, Miss Gunn, agreeing to act as her substitute until Miss Street was released from Active Service during the Second World War. In July 1945, after the cession of hostilities, she commenced her duties.

However at the end of 1948 she announced her approaching marriage to Mr A.W. Dunthie of the Cape Provincial Education Department and left for Cape Town with the general congratulations of her many friends.[/icon_timeline_item][icon_timeline_sep time_sep_title=”1949- 1963″ line_width=”1″ line_radius=”5″][icon_timeline_item time_title=”Miss JC Davidson” icon_type=”noicon” img_width=”48″ icon_size=”32″ icon_color=”#de5034″ icon_style=”circle” icon_color_bg=”#ffffff” icon_color_border=”#dbdbdb” icon_border_size=”1″ icon_border_radius=”500″ icon_border_spacing=”50″ time_read_text=”Read More”][icon_timeline_sep time_sep_title=”1964-1979″ line_width=”1″ line_radius=”5″][icon_timeline_item time_title=”Miss EA McLeod” icon_type=”noicon” img_width=”48″ icon_size=”32″ icon_color=”#de5034″ icon_style=”circle” icon_color_bg=”#ffffff” icon_color_border=”#dbdbdb” icon_border_size=”1″ icon_border_radius=”500″ icon_border_spacing=”50″ time_read_text=”Read More”][icon_timeline_sep time_sep_title=”1980-1981″ line_width=”1″ line_radius=”5″][icon_timeline_item time_title=”Miss MJ Morris” icon_type=”noicon” img_width=”48″ icon_size=”32″ icon_color=”#de5034″ icon_style=”circle” icon_color_bg=”#ffffff” icon_color_border=”#dbdbdb” icon_border_size=”1″ icon_border_radius=”500″ icon_border_spacing=”50″ time_read_text=”Read More”][icon_timeline_sep time_sep_title=”1982-” line_width=”1″ line_radius=”5″][icon_timeline_item time_title=”Miss AE James” icon_type=”noicon” img_width=”48″ icon_size=”32″ icon_color=”#de5034″ icon_style=”circle” icon_color_bg=”#ffffff” icon_color_border=”#dbdbdb” icon_border_size=”1″ icon_border_radius=”500″ icon_border_spacing=”50″ time_read_text=”Read More”][icon_timeline_sep line_width=”1″ line_radius=”5″][icon_timeline_item time_title=”Mr Stuart Cranna” icon_type=”noicon” img_width=”48″ icon_size=”32″ icon_color=”#de5034″ icon_style=”circle” icon_color_bg=”#ffffff” icon_color_border=”#dbdbdb” icon_border_size=”1″ icon_border_radius=”500″ icon_border_spacing=”50″ time_read_text=”Read More”][icon_timeline_sep line_width=”1″ line_radius=”5″][icon_timeline_item time_title=”Mrs S Airth” icon_type=”noicon” img_width=”48″ icon_size=”32″ icon_color=”#de5034″ icon_style=”circle” icon_color_bg=”#ffffff” icon_color_border=”#dbdbdb” icon_border_size=”1″ icon_border_radius=”500″ icon_border_spacing=”50″ time_read_text=”Read More”][icon_timeline_sep line_width=”1″ line_radius=”5″][icon_timeline_item time_title=”Mrs R Taylor” icon_type=”noicon” img_width=”48″ icon_size=”32″ icon_color=”#de5034″ icon_style=”circle” icon_color_bg=”#ffffff” icon_color_border=”#dbdbdb” icon_border_size=”1″ icon_border_radius=”500″ icon_border_spacing=”50″ time_read_text=”Read More”][icon_timeline_sep line_width=”1″ line_radius=”5″][icon_timeline_item time_title=”Mrs S Els” icon_type=”noicon” img_width=”48″ icon_size=”32″ icon_color=”#de5034″ icon_style=”circle” icon_color_bg=”#ffffff” icon_color_border=”#dbdbdb” icon_border_size=”1″ icon_border_radius=”500″ icon_border_spacing=”50″ time_read_text=”Read More”][/icon_timeline]

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