Ernest Hobbs – the founder principal of The Settlers High School in Bellville, who died aged 91 on Monday May 21 – has been remembered as a walking encyclopedia.
Posting a tribute on Facebook to the school’s first principal, Settlers vice-principal Paul Haupt described Mr Hobbs as a very “friendly but stern” man.
Mr Hobbs was 38 when he was appointed headmaster in 1965. He held the post until 1969 – the year the school had its first batch of matrics – when he was appointed as an education inspector.
By that stage, the school had grown from just 129 pupils to 726.
Mr Haupt said Mr Hobbs, even his old age, had been “able to recall, with astounding clarity, the developments at the school during his time as headmaster”.
And he had continued to share “valuable insights” on the changes in education he had seen over many years.
“He was an astute man and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of history which it was a great pleasure to tap into.”
Mr Hobbs would be “sorely missed as someone to whom one could turn for sound advice and clear insights”.
Mr Haupt saluted Mr Hobbs for his “great integrity and sound intellect” and said he would be long remembered by pupils and teachers who had known him and been mentored by him.