Jacques House



College Prefects 

Bianca Walker
Lubabalo Zote 


Student Assistants:
Mieke Grobler
Monica Ives
Keagan Moodie
Margo Staffen 

Click here for the Jacques House Boarding Information Booklet

History of Jacques House

With the closure of the WHS, the preparatory section moved to the building vacated by the school, soon to be called Jacques House.

The year 1935 saw the biggest physical expansion of the school since the move from the 'Tin University' in 1897. Through the intercession of the Rev GHP Jacques, Chairman of the Council, the Methodist Church offered two of the old WHS buildings to Kingswood for the paltry sum of 12500 pounds. Jacques himself procured 6500 pounds and the school covered the rest through a loan from the Methodist Conference. Jack and Rene Slater moved the preparatory boarders (now 85 of them) into what became the Jacques House and set up shop, using the classroom block for schooling - a vastly improved arrangement.

Howard Emslie's wife Rosemary, an excellent junior school teacher, was destined to play important roles at Kingswood both in this capacity and as housemistress of Jacques House when it became the main girls' hostel. In 1973 Kingswood went co-ed and in 1982 the Headmaster and Mrs Todd were host and hostess at a special WHS centenary function at Jacques House, where Miss Mildred Dorothea (Bay) Wood, was guest speaker. Appearing with her in a photograph published with a contemporary report of the occasion in the Eastern Province Herald, is Ann Thompson (nee' Slater), who, before her marriage to Stewart Thompson, had known no other home than Jacques House, where she lived with her parents for 22 years. Old WHS girls undoubtedly derived considerable satisfaction from the news that their Main House was once again in use as a girls' hostel.

'In all probability next year will see the Juniors accommodated in what was the Main House of the WHS for Girls', reported the Kingswood College Magazine of December1934. 'This imposing building, standing in its delightful grounds overlooking the town, commands a fine view of the pineclad hillcrests and grassy slopes which flank Belmont Valley towards the sea, and will make an ideal home for the young people… But, in spite of the interesting prospect and even the fact that for some time we have been rather cramped for space, not only for ordinary requirements but for recreation and wireless rooms and things that were never dreamt of in boarding schools of years ago, we cannot but feel sad that we are to quit these haunts which hold a wealth of varied association for all of us.' And the April 1935 issue of the magazine reported: 'The buildings were formally dedicated and handed over to the College at the Sunday afternoon gathering during Reunion 1935… (when) a large number of members of the Council and Staff and old boys and their wives, besides many friends of Kingswood, took tea in the library and dining hall… The Headmaster (HT Crouch), on behalf of the College, gratefully accepted the gift of the trustees and thanked Mr Jacques for all the efforts he had made (to acquire the WHS buildings from the Wesleyan Methodist Church). A message was received from Miss Slater, a former WHS Headmistress, wishing Kingswood success in the old buildings. She regrets, as do all who knew the WHS and its proud record, the circumstances which lead to its closing down, but she is happy to think that voices perhaps not quite so sweat as those of yore, will be heard again in the corridors and common room… The Library has retained its identity so that old girls may return there and feel at home. The trophies remain and the tennis shield as well as the more suitable books, and if it were only the piano - a special gift from the girls - that was still there everyone would be more than happy.'

Bruce began his responsibility in 1968, his first year at Kingswood, when he was appointed assistant to Stewart Thompson at Jacques House. Kevin Whitehead stepped into the gap at Jacques House for the remainder of the year and when 1976 dawned the building reopened as a girls' hostel under the firm but kindly jurisdiction of Rosemary Emslie and her husband Howard, better known in cricketing circles as 'Bushy'.


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