Veritas College was founded in 1992 with the amalgamation of the Convent of Our Lady of Mercy and Saint Brendan’s Christian Brothers College.
Both had been gender based schools but would now be co-educational. The Preparatory and Pre-Preparatory sections made their home on the Convent property and the Senior School was situated at CBC. Many months of preparation preceded the opening and as a result the College quickly revealed its unique nature.
Our school name “Veritas” (truth) was suggested in a competition by Mr Andrej Karez. The school motto “Ora et Labora” (Pray and Work) was the ancient motto of the Benedictines and of St Brendan’s. Our school badge was created by Mrs J. Hattingh which combines the important elements of the Dominican and Christian Brothers’ badges.
The unique school uniform made our learners readily identifiable. We were the first school in South Africa to use a tartan – the Gordon Dress Tartan – although many schools now boast a tartan skirt.
The parent schools both enjoyed an excellent reputation in Springs for sound education grounded in traditional Catholic values. Many of our parents and teachers are past pupils of the founder schools and in this way ensure that the core ethos remains as we constantly rise to the challenges of these interesting times.
The older of the Founder schools dates from 1930 when a group of Dominican Sisters led by Sr Winifride Simpkins opened a school to 25 pupils ranging from pre-school to Matric. The school quickly grew, and by 1945 had 530 pupils. From the beginning the Convent enjoyed a reputation for academic excellence but it was the special Dominican spirit of community participation, hard work and prayer which set the school apart. Saint Brendan’s College was established on the property of Springs Mine in 1964. Initially only Standards Two and Three were available, but by 1972 there was the first Matric group. CBC catered for boys from Standard Two to Matric. At that stage the “little men” attended the Convent until they had made their First Communion after which they graduated to the boys’ school.
Both schools were very involved with the community, participating in the Junior Town Council, Rotary Youth Leadership Association and Rotary Quizzes and Debates. A very cordial and competitive relationship has always existed between the private and public schools in our town, and inter-school sporting leagues and cultural events are a feature of our school-life. We continue to participate in the Rotary Youth Leadership Association.
Veritas College honours its Founder Schools by maintaining their ethos essentially through hard work, prayer and a caring school community.