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 Harvey attended Rhodes University. He suffered serious injuries there in a road accident, which involved a very long recovery and caused him problems in later years. He married Bronwyn Clemitson and they had two children, but the marriage ended in divorce. Harvey 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. (Note that these comments extend over three pages -- use the page counter at bottom left below this entry to navigate the pages.)

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13/04/18 12:53 AM #13    

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 #14    

Jeff Linder

Forgot the word "up " after lighten.

13/04/18 08:20 AM #15    

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 #16    

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 #17    

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.

22/12/20 02:40 PM #18    

Richard Bell

The picture of Harvey, which Ian cleverly added, appeared in the recently-published book about Sas Nourse.  Harvey clearly shows his film-star qualities.  The late James Dean springs to mind !

23/12/20 03:08 PM #19    

Lee Irvine

I agree with Jeff's comment about "lightening up"...amazing how some guys cannot get over the inequalities in our school education. Both of my sons had similar unfair treatment at their different (and private) schools and both feel the better for having to overcome it.

Harvey was a multi-talented sportsman and no fool academically. He was an early developer and this was an advantage. Having not played rugby at Prep school, he rapidly picked up the game and finished up as fly half... I felt that his speed was wasted in that position and he would have been better suited to outside centre or wing.

As a fastish bowler, he bowled good enough outswingers to be chosen for Natal Schools and he contributed to the success of the unbeaten 1962 team.

His prowess with the ladies was most impressive and he was seldom short of a beautiful girlfriend.

As an aside, my wife remembers him from Rhodes University, where they shared many courses en route to their B A degrees, for which she claims a large amount of credit as he borrowed all of her diligently prepared notes, plus her cap on graduation day, where fairly under the weather he almost fell down the platform steps.

Fate cruelly played its part when he suffered the serious accident that affected him both physically and mentally, ending his sporting career.

His employment at S A Breweries enhanced his popularity as he regularly generously invited many of us to the free Friday "Happy Hour" that usually lasted double that. Beer never tasted that good.

When I moved away overseas and then to the big smoke, we lost touch, but to my mind, he was one of the most memorable characters of our era.


24/12/20 08:36 AM #20    

Richard Bell

Well said, Lee !

24/12/20 03:48 PM #21    

Dave Guy

So Lee Irvine has resurrected the Harvey Wannenburg issue. He is obviously having a go at me "some guys cannot get over the inequalities in our school education". He indicates that both government and private schools mete out unfair treatment. I can assure him that this is true judging from the experiences of my grand children who all go to private schools both here in Natal and London. It doesn't mean that it is right and acceptable. To console them I always relate to them the Harvey Wannenburg debacle.
I have long got over the inequalities of our school education. So much so that I taught at DHS and was the 1st X1 coach. Fortunately the DHS of my time under Des Thompson had a greater moral compass than the DHS of the 50s and 60s.
We all have our opinions which need to be respected and not be subjected to snide comments.
Harvey Wannenburg was certainly one of the most memorable characters of our era. Depends on how one defines memorable. By failing deliberately he certainly showed a flawed character lacking in morality, honesty and credibility. Even Lee Irvine admits that Harvey Wannenburg was no fool academically. I am able to attest to this as whilst teaching at DHS I was able to access his academic records. These records throw a dark shadow over his failing matric.
In my humble opinion Harvey Wannenburg's life after leaving school was indeed memorable for all the wrong reasons. Was not too dignified when he on his graduation day was fairly under the weather and almost fell down the platform steps. And on such an auspicious occasion. Surely not very befitting for a former DHS head boy.
Pity that those taking advantage of his generosity at the Free Friday "Happy Hour" did not help him over his looming alcoholism. Instead he became a bit of a joke and lost his dignity. I met him on a few occasions in the late 1980s and 90s at road races, where he represented SAB, the sponsor. He was a shadow of his former self. A tragic and forlorn shadow of his former self. Where were his mates back then?
I often think of those boys who were cheated when they were in line for head boy, captain of rugby and vice captain of cricket. Harvey Wannenburg by his self centredness deprived them of their just desserts
So to did the headmaster and teachers who were at the school at the time. They too were the villains of the piece. Not much morality and fairness to be found among them. What was Mr Nourse's thinking when he appointed a failure as captain of rugby and Mr McIver making him head boy. An interesting question. It is understandable as DHS in those days, richly rewarded academic failures and thus encourage this practise.
So there it is. Harvey Wannenburg was indeed one of the most memorable characters of our era. However in a notorious way and an example of how not to live a moral and righteous life. That is a reality.

24/12/20 11:33 PM #22    

Anthony Crosby

Happy Christmas to all my old friends from School.  Wonderful to read all the comments about our late  friend Harvey Wannenberg.    

I remember his so well and was lucky enough to become a close friend both at DHS and for many years after our school days as young men enjoying the time of our lives in Durban during the swinging 60's 

I first me Harvey when he arrived at DHS from the Bluff where his father was a senior DR. All of us who played under captain lee Irvine for DPHS U13A though we were the only boys who could play cricket.  

Harvey and Bruce Heath soon proved us wrong. I was lucky enough to open the bowling with Harvey for the U14 A's but being both smaller and with about one 10th of his ability I had to bowl into the breeze while the senior opening bowler had the priviledge of choosing both the brand new ball and which end to bowl. 

My career was indeed a short one while Harvey weny onto to paly for the great DHS sides as well as Natal and SA schools.  

He was also a very good 1st XV winger and captain. 

After leaving school we all knocked around the beach front in Durban and spent probably far to much time at DHS old Boys club. 

Many of the stories regarding, Harvey and the likes  of Ant Drew, Flabs Dyer, David Sawers, Barry Purdham, Rob Strannack, Rob D;Aubrey and many others and best left to our own sectets . Memories of another time but memories to be cherished forever.  Luckly fo me many of there were shared and enjoyed with Harvey. A wonderful, charming friend and as someone said. Harvey had that unique abality to lite up a room.  We all enjoyed his company. HW thanks for the years of memories. .  RIP. 


Ant Crosby. 


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