“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” – Charles R. Swindolls
Benjamin Pine History
A Little of the History of Benjamin Pine
From small and humble beginnings, Benjamin Pine Primary School has grown and developed into a multicultural school that is well known in the Pinetown and surrounding areas as a school with high academic standards and impressive sporting achievements.
Benjamin Pine Primary School in Blenheim Road, opened in 1970 but the real beginning was in 1968 when a school was started in Trafalgar Road. This is down the road, across the bridge and the spot today is marked by a cell phone tower which is decorated like a huge palm tree. The school was called Farningham Ridge Infants’ School. Mrs Maureen Wright applied for a post at this new school. She was teaching in Durban at the time and lived in Sussex Place in Pinetown, just near Benjamin Pine. She arrived at the school in January to discover that she was the only teacher there.
The school was a prefab building on stilts. It had 3 rooms – a staffroom, a classroom and a storeroom which was also an assembly room. They had a caravan toilet. Mrs Wright became the principal and the teacher. She started with 25 class 1’s (grade 1). It was a happy year.
In 1969 the second 3 roomed prefab was built and 2 more teachers were sent to the school. Now there were two grade 1 classes and one grade 2 class. In 1968 they had 25 pupils and in 1969 they had 69 pupils.
When Benjamin Pine opened in 1970, the school on the hill remained. They had three grade 1 classes, and three grade 2 classes totalling 123 pupils. Only in later 1970 were the prefabs and the pupils moved to Benjamin Pine, named after the first Governor of Natal – Sir Benjamin Pine.
The school uniform has changed over the years. The children used to wear cherry red blazers, the boys, long sleeved shirts and maroon ties. The girls wore blue and white checked dresses. Today the children wear a smart modern uniform. The girls wear a white cotton shirt with a red trim and a black skirt/scooter. The boys wear smart black shorts with a white shirt.
When Benjamin Pine opened there were 172 pupils from grade 3 to grade 6. (there were no grade 7’s). When the infants’ school moved across there were 295 pupils in the school
Today’s Media Centre was originally the school hall. The classrooms housing the Grade 4 classes were not built then. There was a house where the foundation phase now has their reading room, before it was the school library. Some of the school buildings that we know today were only completed in 1982. This includes the new foundation phase classes and the hall. The library was where the grade R classes are today.
Sport has always played a big role in life at Benjamin Pine and the sports houses were named, Fletcher (after Mrs Edith Fletcher the first principal), Woodrow (after Allan Woodrow, who designed the school badge) and Adams (after Dorothy Adams who wrote the school song).
There was no swimming pool in those early days. Every Wednesday, the school was taken grade by grade in a bus to Lahee Park for swimming lessons.
Our school hall, named after Mrs Edith Fletcher was opened in 1982 and it has since then hosted many of our school productions. We have now grown to over 680 learners and for the last 20 years have offered Grade R classes to our community.
Throughout the years we have continued, with the support and donations of parents and friends of the school, to develop our campus. Besides the obvious physical improvements what can be seen in our grounds, we also have a computer room, a team teaching room and a swimming pool. Our future projects include an Arts Centre and an extension to our reading room. We are currently fundraising for these projects and are very excited about them.
Get in Touch
07:00am – 15:00pm Monday – Thursday
07:00am – 14:00pm Friday
11 Blenheim Road, Farningham Ridge, Pinetown
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