By Alan Megahey
While 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 was once a boarding tuition based at the British version, yet to ensure that it should 'adapt all that's most sensible within the Public college 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' tuition of 350 to a bunch of faculties teaching over 1000 boys and girls.But the tale of Peterhouse is not just approximately paintings and activity, song and drama, chapel, construction advancements and syllabus alterations. 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 in the course of the 'bush war'; elevated enormously within the new Zimbabwe, survived the contradictions of a black 'Marxist' executive, and has stored its enterprise dedication to being a 'Church School'.
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Extra info for A School in Africa: Peterhouse and Education in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe
Almost on a whim, he applied. He got the job. At the age of 35, a few months after the Munich Crisis, Fred and his family arrived at Michaelhouse in Natal. It was one of some half a dozen schools in South Africa which were, as a history of the schools is entitled, 'little England on the Veld'. Many of them had English heads and staff; all of them perpetuated the traditions and styles which are easily recognisable as 'English public school'. Fred was the youngest Rector ever appointed at Michaelhouse, and certainly the youngest looking.
Perhaps he put in a word. 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.
In the broadest terms, the nature of the school had never been in doubt: it was to be a 'Church school'. That was from the first the intention of Paget and Snell, and it fitted into the relationship which the proposed school had - from the beginning - with the Ruzawi Group. But what more was it to be? Snell's first detailed memorandum, before the school had even been named, sketched out the 'Nature of the School': it was to be a Church school, with the bishop as a key player, though the school would be open to boys and staff of all Christian denominations.
A School in Africa: Peterhouse and Education in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe by Alan Megahey