Gaudy Day is a cherished tradition that fosters a sense of camaraderie as our Old Johannians come together to reminisce and celebrate their shared love of St John’s. The attendance of so many generations of Old Johannians in the various activities on offer is a testament to our school's enduring legacy and strength.
The day began with the Old Johannian Mass featuring the wonderful voices of the Old Johannian and College Choirs and conferring the Golden Eagle Award to Dr Gus Mills (Alston 1963) and The Thompson Family for their service to their country and the world.
2023 Old Johannian Mass
The 125 Heritage Exhibition, a permanent exhibition in the Rene England Auditorium that celebrates our 125-year-old history, was officially opened by The Visitor, the Right Revd Dr Steve Moreo, Bishop of Johannesburg, with a special address by former Chairman of the Heritage Committee, Dr Daniel Pretorius.
As part of our 125 celebrations, a new addition to the traditional Gaudy Day programme was the Adsum Tea for Old Johannians who had matriculated before 1978.
Our Old Johannians and First Teams went head-to-head in basketball, chess, debating, rowing, squash, tennis, water polo and hockey. The Prep boys played the Old Johannians in Football, and the Old Academians faced the young men of the St John’s College Academy on Mitchell Field.
Artworks from the Pre-Prep through to Sixth Form were on display in the Pelican Quad and the magnificent music from our College and Prep bands featured at various times throughout the day. The museum was open for Old Johannians to explore the heritage and history of St John’s, while others enjoyed a guided tour of the College to visit the old and the new.
A highlight of Gaudy Day was the international clash between our U17A and B sides against Eton College from the United Kingdom.
The U17B team took to the field first, showcasing an incredible performance as they clinched a hard-fought 29-12 win after a big second half.
The U17A game was an amazing contest, which saw Eton win by a narrow 19-17 scoreline. It was a slow start for our boys, who trailed at the break. A massive effort in the second half almost saw a spectacular comeback, but it wasn’t to be in the end.
The Peter Raney Trophy, in memory of Peter Raney (Head of Nash 2012), was conferred by his father, Steve Raney (Nash 1974) and brother Andrew Raney (Nash 2019), for the winners of the Leavers vs Stayers XV match. The Leavers vs Stayers game traditionally played on Gaudy Day, had been played in advance in a titanic and hard-fought game, with the victorious Stayers putting up a final score of 12 - 7.
Gaudy Day ended with the Old Johannian Lunch overlooking Burger Field and the magnificent northern facade in a Marquee on Endean Field.