In Memory

Harvey Wannenberg

Harvey Wannenburg, with his confident manner, huge smile, and outgoing personality, had star quality about him at DHS.   In our final year he played for both the 1st XI and the 1st XV.   He stayed on a year after our class matriculated and became head prefect and captain of rugby.  After leaving DHS he attended Rhodes University. He suffered serious injuries there in a road accident, which caused him problems in later years.  He worked for SA Breweries, and in time suffered from alcoholism.

Harvey died of septicemia in Cape Town on 7th December, 1995.  Please see classmates' words about Harvey below.

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12/04/18 11:02 AM #9    

David Sawers

Thank you Roy for setting out, very succinctly, my thoughts.


Dave Sawers

12/04/18 01:48 PM #10    

Clive Halberstadt

Richard, sorry about the  faux pas , I was busy reading about a Graham and it just crept into my post. I should have double checked before posting!



12/04/18 04:56 PM #11    

Richard Bell

That's okay, Clive.

Thank you for supplying information on something I have been wondering about for years.

Keep well.  See you in Israel in 2021 ?  


12/04/18 07:26 PM #12    

John Cruise

I knew Harvey in primary school at Penzance Road. He was my pal. What bugged me most about Harvey was that he was the fastest runner (not by much) and I was second fastest. I lived on the Bluff and many times I went with Harvey to his home which was in King Edward VIII hospital. I think his father was the registar or equivalent what did I know except that he was a big cheese there. One day Harvey had some darts and we played a game as to how close we could throw them at each other. Harvey won as his dart hit me in the leg and I looked down in amazement to see  it sticking in my thigh. He also looked shocked. So I pulled it out and it left a hole as a good inch (remember those measurements) deep. To this day I have dot scar from that event.

At school I was quite a small guy and to my chagrin I remained small up to Matric. I played rugby in under 14 B, under 15 C, under 16 D and the Fourth 15 in matric. Fortunately Harvey and I had Izak van Heerden as our coach in the under 15s. He taught us that there is no such thing as a bad pass as the guy trying to pass is probably under pressure being tackled, but it is a bad catch. He aid that we should be able to catch any ball coming to us whether it was high, low, forward or behind us. If we dropped a pass, he would advance on us and make us hold out our hands and he would spit in them and make us rub our hands together, more often than not with a big green gillie in our palms. We never dropped a pass after that.

The other thing tha Izak taught us was "don't kick the ball", "you just give it to your opponents".

When I left DHS I grew a bit and ran faster and I ended up playing rugby for Wits Under 20 side which won the Transvaal Grand Challenge trophy with Diggers. the score was 6 -6 and we played extra time with no additional score and it being the last game in November, they pulled down the posts as we left the field totally exhausted.

I then wenton to play for the Wits 2nd team on their tour to Zululand against a strong Empangeni side and later to play for the mines team in Springs when I was earmarked to play for the Eastern Transvall provincial team when fortunately I got injured. I always wanted to tell Izak that his under 15 C player made good, but he passed away before I could.

I will never forget Harvey's expression on his face when he first received Izak's gillie.

John Cruise









12/04/18 09:30 PM #13    

Dave Guy

Ja this question of repeats and non repeats is a contentious issue and long in the past so should one really care. Not so maybe. But I suppose that the outlook on the issue depends whether one was a repeat or not. In many cases repeating was a very definite advantage. In the case of rugby it was a very definite advantage. There is a big difference in the physical development between a 17 year old and a 18, 19 and 20 year old. I think that Pierre Melin (sp???) was 21 at school. He was a very pleasant fellow. By the way there can be no doubt whatsoever that Harvey Wannenburg failed deliberately. Being a racehorse enthusiast I am prepared to wager anyone on that issue. I do not want to say that everyone who failed at DHS failed on purpose. That would be ludicrous and unfair. I followed the normal progression through from U14A, U15A rugby as a lock. However when my turn came the two locks in the 1st team were both repeats and that was it for me. However it may  may well be rightly said that I was not good enough anyway. Still I enjoyed very much playing for the 2nd side. I was lock with John Meyer who incidently failed matric (not on purpose) and went back in 1962 and played for the 1st XV. That day in 1961 when we beat College at College was a great and unforgettable day. Against all of Wrinkle's threats the whole school went either by car, thumbing or in Beare Bros trucks. However DHS had a tremendous advantage having so many repeats in their side. I do not know how many College had. There is the story that one of the staff at DHS rode on his bike to College, lay a bet and rode all the way back loaded with the money he had won. Reminds me of a wonderful day I had at the Scottsville racecourse in PMB. My Dad had horses and he persuaded me to include a horse called Tommy Armour who was a scottsville specialist in my jackpot. This horse was the biggest outsider in the field and had to beat the great Syd Laird's horse Ocean City who was an odds on favourite. Anyway this grey horse duly won by the shortest of noses and I came away having won R26000. I still have the photo of that finish. The two horses were separated by a hair's breadth. So I know how that staff member felt. The same as after I finished my 1st Comrades in PMB.There was a prevalence of repeats in those days and this was obviously encouraged by the staff. So Ian Wallace became head boy after he failed matric;Harvey Wannenburg was peeved and so he failed knowing that he would be rewarded when he failed. He took a gamble but must have had preconceived notice that if he did indeed fail he would be rewarded. I wonder whether the lad whose place Wannenburg had taken also failed and came back to become head boy.. It could have become a circus. I remember going to a practice at DHSOB's club and being asked what team I had played for at school. I just packed up and left never to return. I decided to go overseas to England where I was born and played rugby and cricket there. Nobody was interested in what team I had played at school. I proceded to do pretty well in both sports. The highlight of my rugby career was playing in a county match at Twickenham before an England/Wales match. After the match I was invited to join a bigger club in England. After my rugby and cricket days came to their inevitable conclusion I took up road running. A great sport. No bullshit, Just you and the road. I still go to overseas marathons and do the big city runs. I have finished London, Paris, Greek, Berlin. No repeats around fortunately. Ian Wallace was a great chap. He certainly did much for the school. I believe it was him who brought back the war cry which had been banned. Not his fault that he repeated. Not anyones fault that they failed. We were just the result of a dubious system perpetuated by some teachers lacking in moral conviction. When I taught at DHS from 1981-1984 under Des Thompson the school had regained its integrity..

13/04/18 12:53 AM #14    

Jeff Linder

I was never in the same classroom as Harvey, but I guess I admired his sporting ability as I did with all the other  school heros.

Below is my 6th form class photo and it should be noted (now I did not want this to be about me) but

it may be said that I deliberately plugged 3rd form so that I could be in the same 6th form class as Animal and all the other excellent sportsman seen there and most particularly,so I could spend another year being flogged by the swine we knew as Dog.

As far as my sporting ambition and ability goes, I intend to state this very clearly on my soon to be updated profile.

Lighten guys -I love you all.

13/04/18 02:24 AM #15    

Jeff Linder

Forgot the word "up " after lighten.

13/04/18 08:20 AM #16    

Roy Henry

Final five cents on this subject Jeff- Archie Moore was 21 when he played for College  and could not attend Natal school trails ABF point - Poor WSC was a lost soul at school didn’t turn out to bad ?  How you run your race is all that counts -never never give up 

13/04/18 01:09 PM #17    

John Bartlett


To add to what Clive has said on Harvey's family life, he married Bronwyn Clemitson. I knew Bronwyn and her equally attractive sister Dawn who became a croupier at the Royal Swazi Casino in its more glamorous days. She was tragically paralysed in a car accident. The Clemitsons lived near me in the Mitchell Park area at one stage. I did introduce Bronwyn to Harvey on the Norh Beach and it obviously developed from there.

Despite the controversy regarding Harvey's staying back for another year I remember him without that baggage as a very talented, charasmatic and personally friendly member of our group and it is a great sadness that he passed away so young 

13/04/18 06:04 PM #18    

Christopher Harris

I have a confession:  I also deliberately repeated matric in 1962.  However, I didn't fail matric.  I did, however, fail to achieve an exemption, so successfully requested Wrinkles to let me have another go.  In doing so, I kept my role as captain of the hockey, so no doubt wrecked someone else's aspirations.  Shit happens and you just have to make the best of what circumstances throw at you.  Animal/Harvey et al all took their opportunities and made good, if only temporarily in some cases.  Notwithstanding all the manoeuvring that went on, 1961 seems to heve been an excellent vintage.

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