Our history

The history of St David's Marist lnanda is more than just the story of bricks and mortar over a period of time. St David's is the heritage of a young French priest, Marcellin Champagnat, who founded a congregation in 1817 to teach poor children in country areas devastated by the French Revolution.

Responding to appeals for teaching Brothers from Bishop Grimley in the Cape, the first Marist Brothers arrived in Simon's Town in 1867. They opened the first Marist school on African soil in Cape Town, before going on to open a number of schools across South Africa. The Marist Brothers opened their first school in the then Transvaal Republic in Koch Street, Johannesburg on 9 October 1889, and in 1926 Marist Brothers Observatory opened as the second Marist School in the then Transvaal province. 

In the late 1930s both schools were full to the point of bursting and the Brothers were invited by Bishop David O'Leary to open a new school. They acquired a beautiful 21-acre property, outside the municipal boundaries of Johannesburg, in the lnanda peri-urban local authority area. St David's opened in 1941, by 1948 had its first matric class and by 1953, the boys were participating competitively in athletics, swimming, tennis, rugby, football and cricket. 

By 1982 the number of Brothers in education had decreased. The needs of township and rural schools were becoming critical and so the decision was taken to hand over the well-established schools to the laity. However, we continue to enjoy strong support from the Marist Brothers, who are represented on our Board of Governors and the St David's Marist Foundation. 

St David's has gone from strength to strength, presently totalling over 1 300 pupils across the school and blessed with magnificent facilities to support the development and growth of the boys in our care. We now find ourselves situated in the heart of the thriving metropolis of Sandton, the skyline of which provides a constant reminder that we are preparing boys to enter an ever-changing, but exciting world beyond our gates. 

However, despite these changes, the Marist values of Humility, Simplicity and Modesty, and the ethos upon which the school was founded, remain at the heart of all that we do. They continue to define our mission to be "an African school preparing boys to take their place in society and to build South Africa as enquiring, well-balanced individuals aware of their social responsibilities to the wider community, and ready to respond with compassion and justice to the realities of society."