Darnall Primary School

Courtesy and Courage

History of Darnall

History of Darnall

Darnall Village got its name from a prospector, David Brown, who was one of the first settlers in the area. He bought a farm and named it Darnall after his hometown in the United Kingdom. When sugar cane came from Mauritius it was planted on the North coastlands. Brown set up a sugar mill in Darnall. He was not very successful and so Liege Hulett took over from him. That is how Tongaat Hulett started.

History of Darnall Primary School

At the end of 1914, some of the parents of the Darnall District gave notice to the headmaster at Stanger School that they would be withdrawing their children from the school because of the unsatisfactory school train service. The train was little more that a cane truck with one coach for the children of Darnall and New Guelderland.

First teachers at Darnall: Miss Marion Maggs (Music), Miss Jenny Hagemann (Class Teacher), Miss Edith Maggs (Principal 1916 - 1923)

A committee was formed and a wood and iron building consisting of one very big and one small classroom were built. Wide verandahs surrounded the rooms and there were separate lobbies for the boys and girls. The hours of the school day were from 9a.m to 3p.m. The majority of the children walked to school, but little Doreen Stewart of Sinkwazi Park arrived in a cart drawn by a king-size white Billy goat. All the other children envied her.

Miss E.L. Maggs was invited to be the first Principal and only teacher of the school. She had pupils from Class 1 to Std. 4 to teach and in a short time she realized she could not cope on her own. She asked Miss Jenny Hagemann to help with the junior classes. She earned one pound (two rand) a month. When the committee heard this they agreed to pay for a second teacher and raised the salary to one pound, ten shillings (three rand) per month. This was the birth of the Darnall Government Aided School in 1916.

A cutting from the Natal Mercury reports that a successful fancy dress party at Darnall raised seven pounds fifteen shillings (R56) for school funds and a gramophone would be purchased for the school – 1930.