Hilton vs Michaelhouse: The History Behind The Game

The Avenues Hilton is close to one of the top private schools in South Africa Hilton College.

Last weekend’s notoriously hyped up  ‘Hilton MHS’ rugby game, is where two of the top boarding schools in South Africa rivalled against each other on the field yet again.  Being part of this hype and excitement we started thinking about the history of Hilton College – especially as they are our neighbours and the reason we have our address, The Avenues Hilton on The Hilton College Road.

The school was founded in 1872 by Gould Arthur Lucas and Reverend William Orde Newnham, and it was arranged to purchase part of the farm called  Hilton, from the Henderson family, on the understanding that a school could be founded. Descendants of this family still live in Hilton.

Hilton College is a traditional boarding school where they only accept termly boarding scholars. Old family stories of past Hiltonian students tell the tale of enrolled scholars arriving by train from all over South Africa at the beginning of each term at the Hilton Train Station, opposite the now Hilton Village Centre.

In 1878, the school was taken over by an English rugby enthusiast, Henry Vaughan Ellis, who instilled the rugby culture within the college which led to the first Hilton vs Michaelhouse fixture in 1904, in which, Hilton College won 11-0.

Nowadays, Hilton College and Michaelhouse see each other as their biggest rivals and these notorious rugby games are held twice a year.  Each school hosts on an alternating basis and these games appear to be the event of the season and are not to be missed.

They are a fantastic opportunity for the parents of the boys to visit the school, old boys and the public to witness the pure enthusiasm, passion and patriotism the students have for their respective schools.

For more information on the history of Hilton College, one can visit the school archives which are preserved and displayed in the School Museum which is open from Monday to Thursday from 8.00 to noon.

Hilton is rich with history and tradition, and The Avenues Hilton is a premium address and is in close proximity to a wide range of excellent schools.