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A School in Africa: Peterhouse and Education in Rhodesia and by Alan Megahey

By Alan Megahey

While Peterhouse opened in 1955, the British Empire in Africa used to be nonetheless intact and the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland - with its excessive hopes and fears - had simply come into being. It was once a boarding institution based at the British version, yet making sure that it should 'adapt all that's top within the Public institution culture to African conditions'.For 50 years, in Rhodesia after which in Zimbabwe, its governors and employees have tried to do this, and feature noticeable it develop from a boys' university of 350 to a gaggle of faculties teaching over one thousand boys and girls.But the tale of Peterhouse is not just approximately paintings and game, song and drama, chapel, construction advancements and syllabus adjustments. it's set within the context of academic improvement and political switch in a Southern African country.This historical past of the college indicates the way it turned a pioneering multi-racial establishment in 'white Rhodesia'; shared the sufferings of the rustic throughout the 'bush war'; increased enormously within the new Zimbabwe, survived the contradictions of a black 'Marxist' executive, and has saved its enterprise dedication to being a 'Church School'.

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A School in Africa: Peterhouse and Education in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe

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 university based at the British version, yet to ensure that it can 'adapt all that's most sensible within the Public tuition culture to African conditions'.

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We know he met Bishop Paget who was on holiday in Natal, and in September 1951 Paget wrote to Snell virtually appointing him as head of a school which did not yet exist: 'I think your appointment as Head would be cordially welcomed... ' 39 Carver and Grinham of Ruzawi were indeed keen to support any such new venture; they had left India just as Fred was going out to teach there, and had subsequently taught in South Africa before establishing their school at Ruzawi in 1928. They now offered Fred a teaching post as a base from which he could pursue the dream of a Church school.

The Michaelhouse estate got its own school for workers' children. These were the actions of a man who viewed with unease the National Party's policies, which after their election victory of 1947 were taking South Africa in the direction of a more divided and intolerant society. Still not 50, Fred had to decide what to do next. Britain hardly beckoned: the public schools in the early 1950s were replete with men who had served with distinction during the war, who had done their apprenticeship as housemasters, and were the kind of men likely to appeal to Governing Bodies.

When Fred returned to Natal, he was fired up with the possibilities of this site, and delighted when the Principal of St Augustine's wrote to him equally enthusiastically about the prospect 'of having two Church schools side by side, one black the other white'. 45 And meanwhile - before leaving Rhodesia Fred had come up with a name for the proposed school - ' "Peterhouse", for the sake of the kinship with Michaelhouse'. 46 The dream of having Peterhouse alongside the prestigious and thoroughly Anglican St Augustine's was, however, soon shattered: Fred's enthusiastic response to the Principal crossed another from the Principal to Hodgkinson, reporting that a meeting of the Chapter had unanimously decided that the Community should not sell any land for fear of jeopardising its future expansion.

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