About the Old Stithian Association

The spirit of the OSA is built on the daring adventures undertaken by men and women of character. We owe our foundation to the first Matric class of 1956, who had the idea to form an Old Boys’ Association. A committee was formed with Michael Lewis (1957) as Chairman and Ronald Rankin (1956) as Secretary. The purpose was to arrange a Founders’ Day Dinner.

By the end of the year, a Constitution had been drawn up., The focus was on building a network between Old  Boys and the College, arranging sports fixtures, financial assistance and the renting and leasing of land for the Association. At its heart, was the determination to see the College thrive and prosper.


The first 10 years of the history of the Association rings with names such as Michael Lewis, Clive Abraham (1956) and Jimmy Vickers (1957) as Chairmen, with Ronald Rankin, Michael Lewis and William Moir (1962) featuring prominently as Secretary and from 1965, Ross Bradley (1960) as Treasurer. Saints is a family and parents, Duncan McMillan and Blen Franklin, with the managerial experience that would steady the fledgling association, responded to the call to serve. Clive Abraham later became the first Old Boy to serve on Council.

The beautiful campus with its playing fields was soon hosting cricket, rugby, hockey and tennis matches. These initial fixtures may have been a little erratic but they didn’t lack enthusiasm. It was Mark Henning who linked sport to Founders’ Day and the tradition has continued.


The Association’s impact was widely felt, from the sundial in the Boys’ College quad (donated in 1968), to the keeping of a visual history of the College with portraits of the Heads of schools marking just a few of the contributions.

Like all journeys, the OSA journey has not run a straight line. The dream of having a home on the campus in the form of a clubhouse was realised in 1976. A Porta-Cabin acted as the first clubhouse and by 1984, the first stage of the One & All Club had been built. Situated overlooking fields where cricket and hockey were played, it soon became an important gathering place for Old Boys and their families. By 1997 the Club’s  popularity meant the buildings needed to be expanded. The building imposed a burden of debt on the Association but in 2000, Chairman Cliff Jackson not only flattened the debt in one year but saw to it that a profit was made. Fund raising to make sure that the aims of the Association continue to be realised  has remained a priority.  

The year 2000 marked an important change in the composition of the Association. With the completion of the Girls’ Collegiate, as it was first known, St Stithians really became a family of schools. The constitution, amended to include Old Girls, became the Old Stithian Association.

With the building of the Junior Prep in 2001, the One & All Club seemed to be a perfect extension to the JP grounds. The OSA had set its sights on a bigger clubhouse, so there was a common goal. The wheels turned slowly, but with a generous donation, by 2009 the OSA climbed to its Higher Ground. From a Porta-Cabin in a muddy field to this Club House with its panoramic views of Johannesburg and the College grounds, the OSA has achieved its dream.

Under the Chairmanship of Shaun Edmeston (2009– 2020), the OSA achieved financial stability. With this solid foundation, the OSA is determined to be part of a thriving Saints community.


The OSA is represented on all major school committees. In return, the Rector, Celeste Gilardi, along with Alistair Stewart from the Advancement Office, staff and student leaders from the Girls’ and Boys’ Colleges, staff representatives from the Girls’ and Boys’ Prep and the Junior Prep, all form part of a team dedicated to a College and OSA that work tirelessly towards transformation, diversity, and inclusion in all areas. This is a  mountain which we are determined to climb.

From a small committee of boys meeting to organise a dinner, we have become an Association with global impact as we number nearly 11 000 alumni, men and women of courage and character, living the legacy of St Stithians College across the world.

Walter McFarlane, in ‘To Serve the Future Hour’, reflects that St Stithians has been blessed by people who ‘arise to serve the school selflessly and brilliantly’. We would not exist without the countless moments of service and generosity rendered by our alumni and the Saints community.

Our new Chair, Israel Skosana class of 2000, is alive to the journey ahead. The path will not be straight, the climb will not be easy, but we stand firm on the ground prepared for us, a bedrock of faith, grit, and bold courage.

OSA Newsletters 2022

OSA Newsletter March 2022