A brief history of the Legend.
Mopanie started out as a residence in 1969, however it was only in 1971 that we started to occupy the building in which we currently reside in. The building as we know it today was designed by Brian Sandrock, who also designed the residences Madelief and Magretjie.
In 1969 and 1970 Mopanie’s home was in RoosMaryn. The building quickly became known as “KoosMaryn”. The first house father was Prof. PJ Grabe. He and his wife, lived in Roos/Koos Maryn, although there wasn’t a separate building for the house parents. They had their hands full on a daily basis with the students and all the new traditions that was busy forming. Therefore by the end of 1968 it was the responsibility of Prof. Grabe to establish the first House Committee of House Mopanie as it is known today. KoosMaryn did not have a dining hall so all the residents ate at Jasmyn together with all the ladies from Asterhof which in itself was a treat.
Mopanie’s first Chairperson was Herkie Sandenberg who was formerly in Sonop. The first House Comittee was Johan Basson, Herkie Sandenbergh, Klippies Kritzinger, Barry van Rensburg, Chris Cloete, Willie Joubert and Jan Breed.
The first mascot of the house was a large white dog which was built on the design of Charlie Brown’s Snoopy. “Moepie” as it was known was inaugurated on the 30th of May 1969 by Mrs. Ida Grabe. On the 30th May 1971 on a house meeting there was decided to get a new mascot in the form of a worm. Of course what the name of the new mascot would be led to many arguments and different opinions. A remark that it was “’n bul van ‘n wurm” led to the decision that the mascot should be called EL TORRO which in Portuguese means “The Bull”! Unfortunately the original EL TORRO was burned by Marole in 1981 therefore it was decided to replace it with a smaller version.
In 1977 it was decided that the “Rollerball” replace EL TORRO as the official symbol of the House. The ”Rollerball” is significant for the following reasons.
- The Ball simbolises unity.
- The Lane simbolises the attainment of higher accolades.
- The Ball is on its way up and won’t be coming down.
Therefore it sums up our House creed:
“Through Unity still higher.”
Through the years Mopanie has grown from strength to strength. The unity and brotherhood that is experienced here cannot be experienced at any other place. We pride ourselves at being the best in everything we take on. Our recent run of achievements symbolises this as we were Residence of the year from 2006-2009, Won the annual Drastoel in 2012 and we are the two time defending rugby champions going into the league in 2013. We are also the only residence with our own newspaper, namely the EL TORRO GAZETTE.
Some of our most profiled old House members include Dr. Johan van Zyl, former principal of the University of Pretoria and currently Chief Executive of Sanlam. Old Springbok Captain Burger Geldenhuys, the most capped Blue Bulls player of all time and lastly Heyneke Meyer, former Bulls coach and current Springbok coach.