1898 - 1907

The South African War breaks out. Miss Holmes-Orr, fearing for her boarders, sends them to Port Alfred and closes the college.


The tide of war recedes from Johannesburg. Miss Holmes-Orr returns to find her school in disrepair. Relocation is an option, but Miss Holmes-Orr does not have the finances. The school’s future does not look promising.


The South African War ends, with Great Britain victorious.

At some time, a banner is produced bearing the words “St Mary’s College Jeppestown” and the inscription “United in love and always faithful”. The letters ER are a reference to King Edward VII who reigned from 1902 to 1910. But the banner disappears, until it is discovered in a school desk in 1982. It is framed and once again put on display.


Compensation for expropriation and a loan from her brother-in-law enable Miss Holmes-Orr to build a new school close to Belgravia.


The school opens, and will be St Mary’s home for 30 years. Miss Holmes-Orr is never able to repay the loan.

Decade 2

The school’s foundation stone is laid by Archdeacon Furse