Since it opened its doors in 1967 to 71 Grade 8 pupils, Danville has grown into a respected learning facility that is recognised throughout South Africa for its academic, sporting and cultural achievements.
Like the milkwood tree that is symbolised on its badge and planted at the heart of the school, Danville’s traditions are deeply rooted and anchor the ever growing tree. The trunk of the milkwood tree symbolises the strength and stability of the management, staff and parents of the school and this “trunk” has supported the growth of the pupils as they have gone from strength to strength.
The branches of the tree symbolise the opportunities afforded pupils academically and culturally, in sport, service and leadership. These branches bear fruit…the achievements of each pupil at the school. Each girl is encouraged to be the “golden seed” in the area in which she shows potential enabling her to step through the doors into life as an accomplished, confident young lady ready to live her life happily and successfully.
Danville, through all its seasons, has remained constant in 2 ways :
It has consistently delivered on excellence throughout its history and it has remained a happy school. Many people comment on the feeling as they walk into the school that there is a positive energy. This is achieved through the synergy of all elements of the school – all working harmoniously toward a common goal.
The School Badge
‘FORTEM FACIT FIDES – FAITH MAKES STRONG’
Mrs Peggy Trewin, the first Principal of Danville Park Girls’ High School, wanted the school badge to be heraldically correct. She sought the help of Mr Alan Woodrow, a leading architect in Durban who was a member of the Heraldry Society of Great Britain and an expert in the field.
In the August of 1967, Mr Woodrow submitted his design which was accompanied by a beautifully executed citation detailing and explaining each of the various features within the badge. Mr Woodrow also explained that, because it was a girls’ school, the badge was ‘lozenge’ – shaped, as opposed to the ‘shield’ shape customarily used for a boys’ school badge. The small bow at the top of the badge provided an additional feminine touch.
Close inspection of the citation revealed the detail and depth of thought that had gone into the production of Danville’s very own coat-of-arms, making it particularly meaningful and unique. For example, the four green leaves represented the leaves of the milkwood tree. Arranged in the form of a cross, they symbolised an educational system based on Christian ethics and principles. Within these leaves, the four gold berries represented the fruit of the milkwood. They symbolised the age-old ideals of education – Gentleness, Tolerance, Courtesy and Love.
Danville’s first Headgirl and Dux, Mary-Lou Thomson, was placed first in the province of Natal with seven A’s, a remarkable achievement for those days