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Our History

Our History

The College can trace its origins to modest beginnings when on 1st February 1962 it opened its doors to only 55 pupils, all boys. Co-education was not to come for another 14 years. Founders Robin Savory and Chris Hurley long had a dream of starting a Catholic School run by the Catholic laity. In this they had the support of Archbishop Denis Hurley. So, from the start the School had a strong religious element strengthened in later years with a broader Christian base. Between 1962 and 1992 the School was served by 3 Headmasters, Robin Savory, Chris Hurley and Bill Pickering. Much was achieved in that time, notably the acquisition of considerable tracts of land, some of which carried buildings which have remained part of the central core of the School. However, numbers never rose above a maximum of 197 and in 1990 the School was facing closure. A vigorous campaign was launched and a major step was the establishment of a Primary School, based in the Farmhouse.

In 1992 Peter Habberton was appointed as Principal, and in 1993 the Junior Primary School opened, based in the Farmhouse and led by Jacquie Habberton, Hilton Stander joined as Primary School Headmaster the following year, followed by Greg Brooks in 1999, Nigel Sloane in 2005, and Barbara Taljard in 2009. Much expansion in terms of buildings and other facilities took place and, thanks to the generosity of Peter Savory, the Robin Savory Pavilion was erected above the Savory Field. The Ken Mackenzie Centre was also built on the other side of Savory Field, thanks to the Ken Mackenzie Foundation. The boarding facility closed at the end of 2002 due to a significant drop in demand, and the rooms which became available as a result, were converted to offices and specialist classrooms. In 2002 Shane Cuthbertson followed Peter Habberton as Principal. In 2009, due to restructuring in the High School, Shane retained his position as Executive Principal of the whole school, and Allan Chandler, Senior Master at the time, was appointed as Headmaster of the High School. After 20 years of dedicated service to TMC, Allan Chandler retired at the end of 2015. Dave Wiggett took over the reigns as High School Headmaster at the start of 2016.

After 16 years of service, our longest serving Principal, Shane Cuthbertson retired at the end of 2017. Thomas More College benefitted immensely from his leadership strategies and the school grew both exponentially and in stature, also acquiring during his tenure 39 new classrooms, the newly completed double storey High School Classroom block, Ken Garside Centre, the Ken Mackenzie Centre, new and improved PS and HS library blocks, a full size heated Akal pool, netball courts, a Past Pupils’ pavilion and Coffee Shop, an Astroturf, Music school, upgraded and expanded AEU facilities, an expanded Pre School programme from crèche to Grade 00 in addition to vastly improving our IEB matric results. Pupil numbers have risen to about 1200, from Grade 000 to Grade 12, making Thomas More College the largest independent co-educational school in KwaZulu-Natal.

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