Contact Artefacts
please if you have any comments or more information regarding this record.

Ebenezer School - William Oates Memorial School
KwaNojoli (Somerset East), Eastern Cape

Date:1843 : 1936


Click to view map

32°42'51.73" S 25°35'20.62" E Alt: 743m

Thomas Merrington, a teacher, started a mission on behalf of the London Missionary Society in 1843 on the plot bequeathed by Dorothy Evans. The school was originally called the Ebenezer School, and only became the William Oates Memorial School in 1936 when it was enlarged. It means that the school is 26 years older than Gill College, and one of the oldest schools in South Africa.

The William Oates School enlargement was built by the congregation under the leadership of John and Appolis Hufkie. The congregation burnt the bricks and put scrap metal and old brass from beds between the layers of bricks to make the walls strong. The Hufkies said they were going to build it like Fort Knox, and it wouldn’t crack.

The school was named after Rev. William Oates, the minister to the Dutch-speaking Congregational Church of Somerset East from 1880 until his death in 1927.

(Blue Crane Tourism)