Where more than 120 years of history embraces the future …

Dear Fellow Alumni,

Greetings to All Alumni of St Patrick’s CBC

I would like to update you on all the exciting developments at St Patrick’s CBC over the past 2019 academic year. I am sure that they will make you proud of your Alma Mater.


All 26 Grade 12 pupils passed their IEB matriculation exams with 25 (96%) qualifying to enter university. This is the best Grade 12 academic performance since 2008.

The number of pupils entering high school continues to increase significantly. Whereas 64 completed Grade 7 (the last year in primary school) in 2019, 79 entered Grade 8 (the first year in high school) in 2020. This trend is expected to continue until all High School grades have a maximum of 75 pupils (three classes of 25 each) in 2023.

But not only are the numbers increasing in the High School, there is no longer much available capacity in the rest of the school. In total, the school has now 1118 pupils, up from 1032 in 2019 (and 467 in 2015!) with ultimate capacity of 1260.

Oppenheimer House

The main building on the adjacent Nazareth House property has been renovated to accommodate 47 boarders (there are currently 45 boarders, up from 4 in 2016) thanks to a 5 million rand donation from the Oppenheimer family. The building was accordingly renamed Oppenheimer House at an official function, attended by Nicky Oppenheimer, on 16th February of this year.

It should be noted that this donation is only the latest in the invaluable support of St Patrick’s CBC by the Oppenheimer family over the years. The De Beers Chairman’s Fund, the philanthropic arm of the De Beers Company which, at the time, was ably led by the Oppenheimer family, assisted St Patrick’s CBC in acquiring the huge property between Du Toitspan Road and Henderson Road from the Sisters of Nazareth in 2001.

This property not only includes the boarding house (now renamed Oppenheimer House) but also the building which houses St Patrick’s Early Childhood Development (“ECD”) Centre with 247 children. This building still carries the name of Nazareth House above its entrance.

In addition, the property includes a few apartments for teachers, and space to expand the High School to accommodate the increasing number of pupils mentioned earlier. And, finally, the property includes an open field and playgrounds for the Primary School and ECD Centre.

Other Major Renovations

Below is a link to a short video that reveals the extent of the renovations to the school buildings and property over the past twelve months.

You will note, inter alia:

  • Repair/replacement of the marmoran surface on the clock tower.
  • Painting of the main building roof
  • Renovation of Nazareth House buildings (roof of ECD Centre still to be replaced)
  • Replacement of High School roof
  • Borehole, storage tanks and irrigation installed on back field.
  • New cricket nets on back field

Obviously not visible is the total renovation of the interior of McManus Hall.

Current Renovation Projects

Some relatively minor renovation projects continue for which funds are available:

  • Repairs to (leaking) swimming pool
  • Replacement of ECD Centre roof
  • Replacement of main chapel roof, painting of interior walls, and completion of repair to organ thanks to kind donations from two alumni who specifically targeted their donations to the renovation of the chapel.

However, the two big projects for the year are the building of extra classrooms for the High School and the renovation of Keeley Park where the Astroturf hockey and netball fields are currently under construction.

Unfortunately, the school does not have sufficient funds to complete the Keeley Park project without support from the Trust and/or expensive bank loans.

Essential Donations

Consequently, on behalf of the St Patrick’s Development Trust, and the school itself, I appeal to all alumni to make donations to the St Patrick’s Development Trust according to your capability and in gratitude to your parents who most probably sacrificed much to provide you with an excellent education at St Patrick’s CBC. Furthermore,  the standard of education in South Africa is dismal and, in the interests of future generations, it beholds us to contribute to the upliftment thereof. So why not start with your alma mater?

Unless advised otherwise, the Trust will in future direct all donations towards the upgrade of Keeley Park. However, some alumni may prefer to support pupils via scholarships rather than investing in fixed assets. Both forms of support would be much appreciated.

Donations can take many forms – once-off donations and/or inclusion in one’s Will and/or monthly automatic EFT payments into the Trust, the latter from as little as the cost of a few beers a month. It all adds up and all would be most appreciated.

So whether you matriculated 50 years ago, or whether you matriculated in the last ten years, I appeal to you to support the Trust in either developing Keeley Park and/or in contributing towards scholarships for deserving pupils. Every cent helps!

Attached please find a copy of a document titled ”Benefits of donating to St Patrick’s Development Trust” which summarises both the income and estate tax benefits for an individual RSA taxpayer contributing to the Trust.

Should one rather donate via a company, the attached document also summarises the income tax benefits for the company plus the B-BBEE scorecard benefits due to the Trust being classified as a Specialized Enterprise with Level 1 BEE status.

Finally, if you are not in a position to financially support the school, please re-engage with the school’s activities and become a proud member of the family once again. Attend the anniversary celebrations in early September of each year especially those alumni  celebrating 10, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60 years since matriculation. Come and see for yourself the positive changes that have been made in pursuing St Patrick’s CBC mission “to be a faith-based school of distinctive excellence, growing well-rounded young people who are equipped to be socially responsible role-models in an ever-changing world”.

In conclusion, this is an exciting period in the proud history of St Patrick’s CBC. Much progress has been made but more remains to be done. The benefit thereof to future generations is invaluable.

Kind regards and God Bless,

Barry Smith.

Class of ’66 and Trustee St Patrick’s Development Trust.


The bank account details of the Trust are:

Account name: St Patrick’s Development Trust

Account number: 2007687526

Bank: Nedbank (savings account)

Branch Code: 198765

SwiftCode: NEDSZAJJ (for international payments).

Please notify any one of the Trustees of your donation and the purpose thereof. The Trustees are:

Barry Smith                         (

Michael “Doc” Doherty   (

Isaac Mophatlane            (

Sydney Ramutla                (

Jaime Goncalves              (

The Trustees

Barry Smith

Barry Smith

Mike Doherty

Michael “Doc” Doherty

Jaime Goncalves

Jaime Goncalves