English philosopher Dean William Inge described the aim of education as “the knowledge, not of facts, but of values“.
The original Treverton Preparatory School for Boys operated on the present Prep School site in from 1939 until 1957 when the administrators decided to close the school and put the property up for sale in 1961.The Rev Sydney Hudson-Reed, then President of the Baptist Union of South Africa, cherished the idea of establishing a school embracing the Baptist ethos. He visited the derelict Treverton in 1963, shared his enthusiasm with friends and encouraged his brother Derek Hudson-Reed, a teacher at St Stithians, to visit the school site. This nucleus of dedicated and farsighted men was responsible for establishing the Treverton Trust, organising the purchase of the property, applying their organisational skills and also forming weekend work parties to assist with the transformation of the old buildings. The Preparatory School opened in 1964 with 51 pupils under the headmastership of Derek Hudson-Reed, who took the school through to the first Matric class in 1970. The commitment and resolve of these men who became founder governors was to increase the size of the school property and establish a high school. The Mooi River Municipality donated 73 acres of adjoining land and a neighbouring farm was purchased.
In 1968, the first four classrooms and a staffroom were built for the College and it was decided that the two schools should operate separately. The first College hostel, Harland House, was completed. Mr John Robertson was appointed College Headmaster, while Derek Hudson-Reed continued as Prep Headmaster. Two future Headmasters Jeff Fetting and Alan Staples were appointed to the teaching staff. In 1978, Treverton became a co-ed school with the enrolment of girls at the Prep in 1978 and at the College in 1979.
The eighties witnessed a number of changes: Derek Hudson-Reed became Rector, with Jeff Fetting, Headmaster at the Prep and Alan Staples at the College. The school hosted an international environmental conference in 1982, reinforcing its leadership in environmental education. The schools also opened their doors to students of all races. The late Neil Solomon, a College teacher, developed the Outdoor Pursuits Award System and implemented the Post Matric Course in 1986. Founder Headmaster Derek Hudson-Reed retired in 1987. College’s first Girls’ Hostel, Trew House was completed and in 1989 a second girl’s hostel Lind House was established.
The last decade of the century saw more girls enrolling at the College, which led to extensions to Lind House. In 1990 two stalwarts in the founding and development of the school the Rev Sydney Hudson-Reed and Rita Burdett both retired. Further improvements to amenities included the half Olympic size pool, the College sanatorium, Post Matric Centre, a new College classroom block and the establishment of the College Computer Centre.
A multi-disciplinary Equestrian Centre was developed and the school farm evolved into the Treverton Wildlife Area. The indigenous antelope were re-introduced and and systems put in place for the protection of a range of eco-systems; these have contributed to maintaining the school’s strong environmental education bias.
New senior staff replaced those who played such a vital role in the first forty years. Bob Reynolds became Head of Resources on the retirement of Jeff Fetting, followed by bursars Sandy Benkenstein and Gavin Shone, Les Stanley became the Prep headmaster, later followed by Mark Chaperon and then John Huggett; Graham Nolan was appointed Headmaster of the College, followed by Dave Cato and then Kean Broom. Lind House was extended to provide accommodation for a further 16 girls.
In late 2020, there were changes to the Board: Debbie Davidson stepped down due to her imminent relocation abroad, together with Dr Alan Staples due to his health; Sandy Benkenstein was appointed Chair and Mofedi Nkabinde as Vice-Chair. In addition, John Huggett left for the Western Cape and the preparatory has been left in the capable hands of Ross Barrett.
Sadly on January 29th, 2021, we announced the passing away of Dr Alan Staples.
Facing a knew landscape we begin the new year under Covid-19 conditions once again but with a strong and committed team.