Origins with a heart for education and transformation…
St Martin’s was founded on the ethos of upliftment as is evidenced by its rich history. Its origin can be traced back to the foundation of St Agnes School for the training of domestic helpers in 1908. In 1922, St Peter’s Priory and College were added, offering a boarding-based high school education to the young men of South Africa.
In a country divided racially by law, St Peter’s College stood out as a revolutionary educational lighthouse, illuminating the way ahead to an equal and just educational system for all. It soon became known as the “Black Eton”producing powerhouse individuals who went on to transform the nation. The list of alumni is truly impressive including the likes of Oliver Tambo, Fikile Bam and Hugh Masekela, with many more former learners now holding key positions in government and large international corporations. The much-loved and respected anti-apartheid activist, Father Trevor Huddleston, served as chaplain to the school.
The governing council was later put under pressure from the Apartheid Government and the school was closed in 1956. However, the Anglican Church ensured that education continued in this attractive part of southern Johannesburg. After various renovations the school was renamed and reopened for business in 1958. St Martin’s School was born.
A preparatory school was added in 1971 and girls started attending in 1977. Against the laws of the country at the time, black pupils were given access to St Martin’s as early as 1981.