The school opens in 1888
The Anglican Bishop of Pretoria, Henry Brougham Bousfield, who has already established the Diocesan School for Girls in Pretoria (DSG), is pressurised by interested parties to establish another girls’ school in Johannesburg. He turns to a man with the energy and drive for the job – the Reverend John Darragh, who hastens from the diamond fields, makes a somewhat suspect deal with the Ford and Jeppe Estate Company and begins construction on his newly-acquired land. Conflict over the terms of the loan is to end some years later in a court battle that the school loses.
The school opens in September, somewhere in what is now central Johannesburg, with seven pupils. The exact location is not known but it is in the vicinity of the first Anglican Church in Johannesburg, St Mary-the-Less. For the first year, the Lady Principal is Miss Mary Ross. No known portrait exists of her.