By Alan Megahey
Whilst Peterhouse opened in 1955, the British Empire in Africa was once nonetheless intact and the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland - with its excessive hopes and fears - had simply come into being. It used to be a boarding tuition based at the British version, yet to ensure that it should 'adapt all that's most sensible within the Public tuition culture to African conditions'.For 50 years, in Rhodesia after which in Zimbabwe, its governors and employees have tried to do this, and feature obvious it develop from a boys' college of 350 to a bunch of colleges teaching over one thousand boys and girls.But the tale of Peterhouse isn't just approximately paintings and recreation, tune and drama, chapel, development advancements and syllabus adjustments. it's set within the context of academic improvement and political switch in a Southern African country.This background of the varsity indicates the way it grew to become a pioneering multi-racial establishment in 'white Rhodesia'; shared the sufferings of the rustic through the 'bush war'; accelerated drastically within the new Zimbabwe, survived the contradictions of a black 'Marxist' govt, and has saved its company dedication to being a 'Church School'.
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Additional info for A School in Africa: Peterhouse and Education in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe
Margaret Snell taught them science, Fred divinity, and the one and only assistant master thus far appointed, Bruce Fieldsend, took them for all other subjects. So even before the school 'opened', Peterhouse had some buildings, some boys and some staff. Bryan Curtis had arrived at Eastbourne as a new boy in 1938 just as the Snells departed for Michaelhouse. He was one of those 'orphans of Empire', educated in England while their parents toiled in remote areas - in this case, not quite the Empire, as Curtis's father (an Irishman) was Bishop of Chekiang (1929-50), and the first diocesan bishop consecrated in the newly formed Anglican Church in China.
Already much building had been completed - five staff houses, four workshops (where the design centre now is) and the swimming pool (later to become the staff pool) were ready, and a boarding house (now Ellis) had reached a respectable height. The ceremony took place on Wednesday 28 July: the bishop blessed the granite foundation stone; Godfrey Huggins, the Federal Prime Minister, introduced Sir Ellis who formally laid the stone, watched by the chairman of the EXCO, Humphrey Gibbs. Canon Grinham read a lesson.
He was appointed estate manager though, as Fred always averred, longed to be appointed to the academic staff - which happened in 1956. Bruce Fieldsend, the sole assistant master in 1954, had far stronger prior links with Snell. A Southern Rhodesian, he had been a boy at Ruzawi and at Michaelhouse during the Snell regime. After reading maths at Rhodes University, he won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford where, for the sake of mind-broadening, he read English. He taught at two government schools (Guinea Fowl and Chaplin), and while on honeymoon in December 1952 heard that Fred was to leave Michaelhouse and start a new school, so in May 1953 the two met at Ruzawi, and Bruce there and then became the first member of staff appointed to the new school.
A School in Africa: Peterhouse and Education in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe by Alan Megahey