Hinc Orior 1977
Volume 6 - Number 1
1927 - 1977
O God, who has brought us through the darkness of night to the light of the morning, grant us this day penetration to understand, the capacity to retain and method and facility in study. Order the beginning, direct the progress and perfect the achievement of our work. To the Honour and Glory of Thy Name. — Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536).
Art Club, 1976
Badminton since 1965
Bee Hive, 1967-1976
Boys of Gifford, 1977
Bursaries and Scholarships since 1934
Carol Concerts, 1951-1976
Changing Face of a School
Clarence Ralstein Educational Fund
Colours and Awards, 1976
Dalton House, 1931-1977
Davy House, 1939-1976
Decorations for Gallantry
Deputy-Headmasters of Gifford
Do You Know? A Feature
Do You Remember? (A survey of the
development of the School)
Emblems and Awards of Gifford
Evening Department, 1927-1953
Examination Results, 1976
Faraday House, 1931-1976
Fifty Years On, a Look Back
Gifford Trophy, 1951-1976
Head Boys of Gifford, 1927-1977
Head Boy’s Report
Headmasters of Gifford
Jubilee Athletics Track
Message from A. Hart, Esq.
Message from H. J. Sutherby, Esq
Miles Andrew Johnson Scholarship
Newton House, 1976
Old Technicians’ Association, 1931-1976
Photographic Club, 1976
Pioneers of 1927
Printing Club, 1976
Prizes and Awards
Prize List, 1976-1977
Pupils of Gifford, 1977
Red Cross. 1972-1976
Ron Pate Pavilion
School Advisory Council, 1927-1976
School Awards — Standards and Purposes
School Diary, 1976
Science Club, 1976
Scripture Union, 1960-1976
Sixth Form Forum, 1976
Speech Night Awards
Table Tennis since 1937
Team Captains since 1961
Their Name Liveth For Evermore
They Served Well
Twenty-one years at the "Tech"
Whitworth House, 1931-1976
It is a great pleasure for me to write the foreword for this commemorative issue of HINC ORIOR and to be able to extend my congratulations and good wishes to the school community of Gifford High School — parents, staff and pupils — on this the School’s Fiftieth Birthday.
Opening in 1927 under the enthusiastic guidance and drive of P. H. Gifford, the school very quickly earned an honoured place on the roll of Rhodesian schools and it is a source of very considerable pride to me that it was here that I started my teaching career. No one could have been given a finer start in life — fine boys grand staff and an outstanding Headmaster.
Although over the years boys, staff and Headmaster have changed, the school has not and it can be every bit as proud of its present fine record of attainments in all spheres of school life as it was of yesteryear’s. I am confident the the years ahead will see many more fine achievements to add to the School’s illustrious history.
Long may Gifford High School prosper and hold her proud place in the annals of Rhodesian education.
Secretary for Education
Hinc Orior 1977 is a review of the School's fifty years of existence;
incorporated additionally are those facts and figures of the past academic and
sporting year, facts which by themselves often believe the vast amount of
effort and achievement that characterises any good school anywhere that is
concerned with its reputation and standards and traditions.
Each set of facts from each passing year means also a new set of faces in the classroom to replace an older set that leaves to brave a world where progress is bewildering and so rapid that the miracle of to-day is the commonplace of tomorrow. But, it is not only the pace of scientific advancement with which the school-leaver has to cope: we would appear to be living in an age where there is an insidious erosion of moral, social, family and national standards on the profane altar of expediency. Social disruption now seems almost an act of political policy, and often governments seem unable, or unwilling, to cope. All this often leaves the thinking adult be, wildered. Worse, as each set of school-leavers enters the adult world, it tends to accept as the norm what so often distresses the so-called older generations.
In this flux of life, stability in one form or another is necessary for the peace of mind and emotional and moral security of every individual. In an age when it is unfashionable to be conservative, where patriotism is in some quarters a dirty word, where pride in one's culture is often decried and denigrated, then as never before is there truth in the old adage that the best days of one's life are often one's school-days where tradition and pride in achievement are in this part of the world thankfully still of paramount importance.
To-day no one is so naive as to believe the alleged comment of the Iron Duke that Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton. Nonetheless, the remark sums up the values of tradition: tradition is a stabilising factor, it is a belief in one's own ability based on the achievements of one's forebears. Tradition is this, and much more: tradition is an accepted way of doing things, a way which has proved its merits and has been accepted by others. Traditions can be destroyed certainly, but not created just at the wave of a hand. Traditions grow, they are not invented, nor do they spring up over night. Tradition in a world where insecurity is rife, is valued and valuable.
A strong tradition lends strength. This very fine School has both, and one of the objects of this Jubilee magazine is to collect together the threads of a vast, and considering the history of the School, a somewhat scattered tradition. The early 1960's of Gifford were not a little traumatic in as the school changed in character, but it has emerged all the stronger for that, and its present this rooted very firmly in the traditions of the "Tech." of the past. When unwritten school laws governing codes of behaviour and conduct are traditional, as they are at Gifford, then is one privileged to be part of that living tradition. And also, the boys who leave this School as young men would do well to reflect on the manifold traditions of Gifford because traditions are synonymous with codes of conduct, and one hopes that our traditions will fortify the future of each school-leaver: let each, both now and in the years to come, leave secure in the knowledge that no matter what his personal achievements at the School, no matter how laudatory they be, he has been, or will have been, part of something greater than himself, something permanent, noble school with respected traditions which have become the individual's own.
The task of the planning, compiling and editing of this magazine has been personally very rewarding for I have become fascinated by the history of Gifford. It could have been very much longer, but one had to balance volume against budget. This is the result. We have tried to show the many individuals that have comprised the School have collectively and individually raised it above an average school.
Inevitably lists of facts and tabulations have cropped up; those that have been included serve, we hope, to show the history of the School, and of its achievements. Many delightful anecdotes have come to light, and regrettably have been discarded as almost all had too limited an appeal to warrant the space and hence the expense.
One of the truly valued aspects about Hinc Orior 1977 has been the vast amount of assistance that has been lent in its preparation. No fewer than twenty-four members of staff wrote articles, some requiring enormous amounts of research and many hours of their own very limited personal time which was freely given. A number have modestly declined recognition within these covers, but to all of them the thanks of the School are due for a very fine job done.
Perhaps mention should be made of the
voluminous assistance of Mrs. A.L.L. Furber, the librarian, who has been a
font of information, and of the Headmaster, Mr. H. Fincham, and Mr. R.A.
Furber, who in no small measure assisted in hunting out information and
preparing articles. I should like to thank many dozens of other folk who have
shown an interest and have helped, in particular the very willing and
competent Staff in the Office. Numerous pupils have assisted as well and given
freely of their energies, and I should like to record my thanks to C. Grieve,
C.L. Heuer, D.C. Hoile, D. Koufopoulos, A.C. Mcilwrick and R. Young in
particular. My colleague, Mr. D.A. Jack deserves praise for his efforts in the
darkroom, as also Mr. D. Maclean, a parent, C.D. Maclean, his son, and Miss
Len Lawes of The Chronicle, who have helped with the photographs. Also, our
most grateful thanks go to Dr. P.A.S. Evans for making it possible to take the
fine aerial photograph of the School.
Lastly, at R.C.P. I have always had the
most cordial co-operation, and in the printing of this jubilee addition Mr.
H.W. Flanagan, Mr. D. Payne, and Mr. R. Hargreaves have been the
personification of assistance and in no small way sustained flagging
enthusiasm towards the end.
Finally, let the last words be words of thanks to the advertisers who have made this Magazine possible. Many are staunch supporters of this School, and we should like to pay tribute to the following who have advertised consistently for more than ten years (the numbers in brackets indicate the number of occasions an advertiser has supported the School’s Magazine):
McCullagh and Bothwell (Byo.) (Pvt.) Ltd. (42);
Haddon & Sly (Ltd.) (41);
Sanders (Pvt.) Ltd. (37);
Meikles Bulawayo (28);
Justin Smith (Pvt.) Ltd. (23);
Vigne Bookshop & Library (Pvt.) Ltd. (23);
Philpott & Collins Ltd. (20);
Townshend & Butcher (1957) (Pvt.) Ltd. (20);
0. Conolly & Co. (Pvt.) Ltd. (18);
Ozalid Rhodesia (Pvt.) Ltd. (17);
Rhodesia Cycle Industries (Pvt.) Ltd. (17);
Bulawayo Bottlers (Pvt.) Ltd. (16);
Premier Woodworking (Pvt. )Ltd. (16);
Lobel Brothers (Byo.) (Pvt.) Ltd. (15);
Arenel Sweet & Biscuit Manufacturers (14);
Rhosmans (Pvt.) Ltd. (14);
Grey’s Inn (Pvt.) (13);
Voyager Trouser & Suit Manufacturers (13);
Barclays Bank International Limited (11);
Douglas Hadfield & Sons (Pvt.) Ltd. (11);
Scotties General Supplies (11);
B & S Trucks (Pvt.) Ltd. (10);
Eric Davis (Rhod.) (Pvt.) Ltd. (10);
H. M. A. Esat (Pvt.) Ltd. (10);
Geoff Lacey Motors (10);
Matabele Steam Laundry (Pvt.) Ltd. (10);
Stansfield Ratcliffe & Co. (Rhod.) (Pvt.) Ltd. (10);
Ward’s Transport (Pvt.) Ltd. (10);
Mr. Robert McGeoch
THE EDITOR, BLESS HIM ...
Mr. Robert McGeoch, Editor of "Hinc Orior 1977" needs to come out of the back room for a moment so that we may thank and congratulate him. His absorption in his task has been a major factor in the production of this splendid record of our fifty golden years.
H. FINCHAM, (Headmaster).
To Headmaster, Staff, Boys, Old Boys and Friends,
As I sit down to write this to you, on 27 January 1977, fifty years on, to the day, I realise that I must not open wide the flood-gates of reminiscence so I propose to reflect for a few minutes on people and events connected with the early history of the School; no more than that. What did one think on taking up the chalk on that first day of the life of this School? What does one say now, fifty years on?
It wasn't the moment for seeing visions and dreaming dreams, to tell you the truth, but I think all of us had the thought that we were at the start of something new in education, something that might help to shape the future of this young nation.
Southern Rhodesia, as we called it then, was a land crying out for development. Life was uncomplicated. We all lived very happily in the present, but serious men were thinking in terms of the future.
The thoughts of some of them lay in the direction of industry. They foresaw the need for young men able to take their places in a wide range of technical activities on leaving school - in engineering, transport, mining, communications and so on - at skilled levels.
In the end thoughts took tangible shape in the form of a school with a bias towards preparation for industry. So was born the Bulawayo Technical School.
And now, half a century later, I look back with quiet satisfaction on the stony path that took us slowly upwards so that you look round today on a fine, virile School rich in dignity, in tradition and in performance - a School respected throughout the land.
Mr. Gifford would never allow himself to be spoken of as a pioneer
because that word, with a capital "P", has a special meaning in Rhodesia. So I
will not offend his spirit; but, he was the founder and is rightly honoured as
such. Founders also were the early members of the Staff - Mr. A. E. Farrell,
Mr. A. C. Vaughan, Mr. T. M. Shand and Mr. H. A. Pingstone - my colleagues,
who shared with Mr. Gifford the arduous tasks of the early years. It was
twenty unbroken years before any one of us broke away.
Let me not omit the founder students: tough in body and spirit, gentle in manners, bright responders to the mood and function of the School, deeply loyal to it as boys and Old Boys.
Nor let me omit those whose names are on the War Memorial who died while expressing the deepest loyalty of all.
The School has always been rich in friends who gave their services as organisers, games coaches and as willing helpers in a score of ways. Two names stand out as if as stars in a clear firmament, those of Sir George Johnson and Mr. R. S. Perry, in the early days, but in reality there were scores of others and over the years they were to be numbered in hundreds.
For myself, it is a matter of the most extreme regret that uncertain health makes it impossible to be with you in person on the great occasions of this year. I send you, of course, my very best wishes for the success of all your functions.
In saying farewell I salute you - Old Technicians and young Giffordians and charge you to honour your School - its traditions, its colours, its motto, above all its name.
The very last words shall be William Shakespeare's from Julius Caesar, perhaps my favourite among a score of quotations from that play. Two great Roman generals, allies and friends, are parting, and give me words that I may aptly pass on to you. I address them particularly to my many many friends among Old Boys ;
"If we do meet again, we'll smile indeed,
If not, 'tis true this parting was well made".
I was proud to be associated with many fine boys, able members of Staff and
helpful parents - not to mention the Old Technicians whose monthly committee
meetings I regularly attended.
To all those I send my greetings and best wishes. My wife joins me in this. We live in an uncertain world, with decisions to be made which none can safely predict. To the present generation I would say that few of us have complete freedom of choice in deciding the details of a career. But, whatever tasks we find ourselves committed to, we should try to perform with zest. It is a great thing to be able to do the sort of work that we enjoy. If work becomes a pleasure, it is done all the better for that. When times are hard, one can gain encouragement from Shakespeare's lines:
"Receive what cheer you may,
The night is long that never finds the day".
Or, as a great saint I once knew used to say,
"This also will pass".
The first issue appeared in August 1929 and cost one shilling and six pence. The editor was Mr. A. C. “Daddy” Vaughan, who continued to edit the magazine till 1950. Compared with the size of to-day’s magazine, it was small in size being but 205 mm x 130 mm, and small in bulk, about twenty-six pages pIus photographs and advertisements.
There were three literary articles by boys and very good they were too. Their names were S. Perry, M. Taute and F. D. Wickwar; and several by members of the Staff, together with articles dealing with School boxing, plus details of a swimming gala in which the School participated.
So began the School’s printed history. In the following year, 1930, there were two magazines published, in May and November, the first and last time that ever happened. Thereafter the magazine appeared regularly in November each year till the decision was taken in 1970 henceforth to delay publication in order to include the publicexamination results of the academic year in thy magazine of the past calendar year. Consequently no edition appeared in 1970.
The cover in use from 1950 to 1963 was designed by a pupil, M. J. Bancroft, and that was used with variations till 1967 whereafter the cover as we know it to-day was adopted. In 1973 the word “Technical” was dropped from the cover.
Tracing the editors has been a task in itself as their anonymity has been well preserved. After Mr. Vaughan I suspect Mr. C. A. Carlow was the editor till 1961. Mr. D. N. McKinley edited the 1962 magazine, while Mr. A. T. E. McCormick
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edited some, if not all, of the remainder, till Mr. R.T.McGeoch took up the editor’s red pencil in 1967.
Over the years successive editors have cajoled staff and pupils alike in order to get together the magazine, and the comment in the 1937 edition suitably echoes an editor’s thoughts:
"I think every fellow ought to try and write something for the magazine. Otherwise the Editor might have to write some of the articles himself, and that would be very bad for the magazine."
The printing history of the magazine may be as follows:
1929-1949: The Rhodesian Printing and Publishing Co. Ltd.
1950-1954: Philpott and Collins Ltd.
1955-1975: The Rhodesian Christian Press (Pvt.) Ltd.
1976-1977: Rhodesian Commercial Printers (Pvt.) Ltd.
Volume I: nine magazines, 1929-1937.
Volume II: ten magazines, 1938-1947.
Volume III: ten magazines, 1948-1957.
Volume IV: ten magazines, 1 958-1967.
During this period the size of the Magazine was from its original size of 205mm x 130mm to 250mm x 185mm.
The first number in the new size was number 7.
Volume V: eight magazines, 1968-1976.
In this volume, the first number is erroneously given as number 11 of volume IV.
Lastly, newsprint was used to print the 1976 magazine for the purposes of economy and to conserve imported paper in the national interest.
1976 was a year of achievement and preparation. The achievement was in various fields; the preparation was for our Golden Jubilee, 1977.
The decision was taken to make general science compulsory in B-streams from 1977 onwards; physics-with-chemistry will be offered only in A-streams. Internal examinations in music and Art were set for the first time.
These will be reported on in detail elsewhere. The fact that in 1976 fifteen boys gained national colours in various sports, a feat equalled only once before in the history of the School, bears testimony to the enthusiasm not only of individuals but of coaches. We have experienced manpower problems; they have been overcome.
The fact that our 1976 athletic sports meeting had to be cancelled because the tract was soaked underlined the need for the magnificent new cinder track which is nearing completion. This is our P.T.A.’s main Jubilee project.
Two squash courts were brought into operation in April, and squash is now a popular and growing sport. A squash club for parents and Old Boys was also formed.
Mr. R. Furber’s outstanding production in the first term of The Trial of Mary Dugan won the Rhodesian High Schools’ Drama Festival Award.
New clubs made great strides during 1976. These were the Toastmasters’ Club (an offshoot of the Sixth Form Forum), the Printing Club, and the Drama Workshop.
The annual Magazine was supplemented during the year by two editions of The Honeycomb, which is a commendable English Department venture designed to fill the gap left by our decision, for reasons of economy, to delete the literary section from the Magazine.
The Games House system was boosted by having boys in the same house standing together in assembly and also the mounting, in the Hall foyer, of the original cabinet in which the Gifford Trophy was housed long ago and is now once again housed. The splendid score-board from days gone by was re-furbished and mounted on the opposite wall, Further, an honours board bearing the names of winning houses since the inception of the competition was put up near the Gifford Trophy.
The work involved was done by members of the Technical Department, who, together with Mr. B. Stone, made a major contribution to School projects in 1976, as they do each year. This included items such as the building of a new rugby stand for the “Supporters’ Club” (another 1976 innovation), work on the Pingstone Gates which have been erected on the 16th Avenue entrance nearest the pavilion, and a magnificent pedestal on which the bust of the Founder Headmaster has been mounted.
Friends of the School donated trophies to be competed for in various sports, thus promoting interests in these sports. These were the Bolton
This page sponsored by. - Mr. and Mrs. R. M. Park
Hockey Stick, presented by Mr. J. E. Bolton, to be awarded annually to the best hockey player in his first season in the first team, and the Nick Booyse Memorial Trophy to be awarded to the most improved player in the first XV.
GROUNDS AND BUILDINGS
One highlight during 1976 was the official opening, by the Regional Education Officer, Mr. C. 0. Benson, of the new squash-courts and of change-rooms (another P.T.A. project) for the McLachlan Pool. At the same time he inaugurated the pillars and name-plaques on various fields which had been named in honour of men who had contributed much to the School. These fields are the Cowan Field, the Sutherby Field, the Andrew Hart Field, the Farrell Field, the Stan McLoughlin Field, and the Sandham Field. The old pool which had been cleaned and repaired, was named the Anderson Pool and the plaque denoting this was also inaugurated. Present among guests at the ceremony were Mrs. Gifford, widow of the founder Headmaster, Mrs. Anderson, Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Sandham, Mr. Ian Farrell (son of “Tinky” Farrell, who died during 1976), and Mr. Roy McLoughlin (son of Stan McLoughlin).
Four new classrooms in an extension to the Library Block were taken over at the beginning of the second term. This made it possible to rationalize the grouping of subject departments. The Ministry of Works undertook an extensive cleaning and painting programme at the School during l976. This was but one of the many ways in which they served the School so splendidly; other ways included the laying of paths, road repair, drainage work and expert advice, as well as the installation of adequate lights in the school outer office.
Lights were installed in the Cowan Memorial Gates and at the vehicle shelter, largely through the good offices of our P.T.A. chairman, Mr. Cyril Hart.
Over sixty more trees were planted during the year and gardens were extended. Mrs. du Preez, on the Staff, was responsible for the creation of two new aloe gardens, one on the east side of the Administration Block and one north of the extension to the Library Block.
The garden outside the matrons’ quarters in the Dining Hall has been transformed through the combined efforts of the Ministry of Works and Mrs. R. Gray, who kindly offered to take on this task.
A small rose garden (known as the McGeoch Garden) has been planted between the Pool Block and the Anderson Pool and the rest of the area has been planted with grass, as has the space between the Pool Block and the Library Block. Once established, this should remove most of the scars of building operations.
A large area of ground north of the existing tennis courts was levelled during the third term and three courts will be built there after the rainy season.
Mrs. E. Clelland (mathematics department) was on leave in the first term. Miss B. Mcllroy took her place. Mr. G. Townshend joined the staff as acting master-in-charge of mathematics, a post to which he was permanently appointed at the end of the term. Mr. D. Wakefield joined the mathematics staff, as did Mr. M. Maylam.
The second term began with further troubles in the mathematics department when Mr. Maylam left. This problem was eventually resolved when Mrs. M. Lewis took over.
The Deputy Headmaster was on long leave during the second term. His place in the classroom was taken by Mrs. M. Pinte-Reich. Mr. A.Menne acted as Deputy Head, Mr. A. van Heerden acted as Senior Master in Mr. Menne’s place, and Mr. B. Webb acted in the Additional Post.
Two members of the Afrikaans staff, Mrs. M. Smuts and Mr. H. Griessel, left at the end of the first term to go to South Africa; their places were taken by Mrs. D. Jones and Mrs. A. Williams.
Mr. R. Pate (woodwork) was also on long leave in the second term, and his place was taken by Mr. L. Newson-Smith.
Mr. B. Stone was away on army service for the first half of the second term and his place was taken by Mrs. K. Lemmer.
Mr. R. Strickland was appointed caretaker at the beginning of the second term.
The staff-changes saga continued during the third term when Mr. D. Davis went on long leave. Mrs. Pinte-Reich took his place in the classroom and Mr. A. Daly acted as head of the geography department.
Mrs. Williams left the Afrikaans department at the end of the second term and her place was taken by Mr. C. M. Viljoen.
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Mr. T. Brine was away for a spell in the army, and Mr. F. Wilson, Mr. R. McGeoch and Mr. J. Boyce were away for spells of Police Reserve duty. None was replaced, as we were able, because of public examinations, to provide supervision for their classes.
Mr. A. Menne went on a half-term’s leave from the beginning of November, during which time Mr. D. Beere acted as housemaster of Russell House, Mr. A. van Heerden acted as Senior Master, and Mr. D. Gray acted as superintendent.
At the end of the third term Mr. B. Stone (art) left on transfer to Marandellas, after six years at Gifford. His place was taken by Mrs. D. Hardie. Mrs. 0. Jones and Mrs. R. du Plessis, both of the Afrikaans department, also left and have been replaced by Mrs. M. Phillips and Mrs. J. Woollacott.
To all the staff at the School both in the hostels, in the office, in the grounds and in the classrooms, I owe appreciation for the way in which they rallied round when difficulties arose. Their loyalty and dedicated effort throughout the year must not go unregarded. In particular I wish to record my thanks to Mr. R. Furber, my Deputy, who continues to show in his work his own special level of efficiency and involvement. His co-operation and judgement and friendship I value.
SCHOOL ADVISORY COUNCIL AND P.T.A.
Gifford has for many years been blessed with Advisory Councils and P.T.A. Executives, well above the run of councils and executives. 1976 was no exception. To all these good people I should like to express my appreciation and that of the School for the time, thought, effort — in a word, service — they have brought to their appointments. In particular we owe much to our chairmen: Mr. W. Townshend, of the School Advisory Council, and Mr. C. Hart, of the P.T.A. Executive — good men and good friends. The support the School has had in such matters as advice on traffic problems, coping with non English-speakers in the School, the major P.T.A. projects already mentioned, plus things such as the printing of report forms and Certificates of Excellence, the entertainment of new intake parents, catering at inter-school sports, daily assistance in the Tuck shop — all these indicate a very happy and healthy relationship.
“HINC ORIOR 1977”
Hinc Orior 1977 is a review of the School’s fifty years of existence as well as being our annual magazine. The amount of preparatory work which went into this effort in 1976 and 1977 is beyond belief. All members of staff involved made a superb effort, but the one person whom I must mention in this connection is Mrs. A. Furber, our Librarian. She did two gigantic exercises in preparation for our Jubilee. One was research to provide the matrix material for all the aspects of Hinc Orior 1977. The other was contacting Old Boys and recording addresses. The work involved here such as consulting admission registers, correspondence, card indexing, she began in 1975 and has continued steadily ever since. She has the gratitude of us all.
In the School our prefect body in 1976 did a fine job, an often unenviable job. That they did it so well is in large measure ascribable to the splendid leadership they had in the person of the Head Boy, 1976, Graham Biffen.
During 1976 the most senior Ministry of Education official to visit Gifford was Mr. M. E. Richardson, now the Deputy Secretary for Education. The School was also from time to time visited by the Educational Psychologist and by various members of the Inspectorate, including the Senior Inspector of Schools, Mr. J. Ryan. I should like to express my thanks and that of the School to all of them. Their advice and direction have been invaluable to us.
I should like also to make known my deep appreciation of the support, encouragement and guidance I have received from the Regional Education Officer, Mr. C. 0. Benson. His staff at the Regional Office likewise maintain a relationship with Schools which makes it a pleasure to work with them.
Our links with Head Office are of necessity more tenuous, but I must record my thanks also to the good people there. Importunate communications from Gifford have been treated with courtesy and thoughtful consideration.
The existing harmonious relationship between the School and the Administration will, I trust, be enhanced during our Jubilee Year, 1977.
This page sponsored by . . Mrs. M. Smillie, Mrs. B. A. Miller, Mr. and Mrs. G. Saunders
THE HEADMASTERS OF GIFFORD
“Fifty years on”
The First Headmaster,
An Appreciation by the Second.
The celebration of the School’s 50th Anniversary calls first and foremost for a tribute to the work of Philip Henry Gifford, whose energy and personality were largely responsible for bringing the School into existence and shaping its successful evolution.
The only remaining member of the original teaching staff — all of whom worked with him from the beginning and stayed with him for twenty years — takes it upon himself therefore to set down these words of appreciation as an integral part of the history of the School.
Little is known of his life before he came to Rhodesia. I believe he was born in the British Embassy in Tehran where his father was a member of the Embassy staff. He never spoke of his boyhood and rarely of his education. He took his degree, in science, at the University of Manchester. During the Great War of 1914-1918 he held a commission as lieutenant in the Royal Navy and served in a destroyer at a naval engagement in the early months of that War. His contact with the Navy stamped his character and personality with an indelible mark.
In appearance Mr. Gifford was tall and thin, almost to the point of being gaunt. He spoke always in a clear voice, with a touch of a Lancashire accent. He played tennis, golf and squash.
Before coming to Rhodesia in 1923 he taught at a school in Ireland and at the Edinburgh Institution. He joined the staff of the Salisbury Boys’ High School before it received its present name of Prince Edward School, became its vice-principal and was appointed to be the first Headmaster of the Bulawayo Technical School on 1 January 1927.
He was well endowed for the tasks ahead of him and he gave it his full zest and capability, unstintingly. He had a marked talent for getting to know the leading people of the town and he gained their sympathetic interest in the School.
Mr. Gifford was no martinet, although he did not suffer fools gladly. He was broadminded and patient. In twenty years I never knew him to lose his temper, nor did he ever bear a grudge. He taught mathematics throughout and put a high value on mathematical ability in boys, seeking it, bringing it out and nurturing it. He believed that every boy could be taught something. His classroom style was very forceful and his scornful use of the word “Dolt!”, applied to an unfortunate boy slow in replying to a question, was long remembered by the boy.
Mr. Gifford put a high value on physical activity for boys and from the beginning took the lead in developing organised athletics, rugby, cricket, boxing, swimming, water-polo and, in time, gymnastics as part of a boy’s education. Under Captain Farrell the Cadet Corps achieved a high level of efficiency.
While all this was going on the School was thrusting forward in respect of numerical strength, academic and public esteem. One by one the Headmaster’s plans matured. The new School building was opened in 1929, High School status was won in 1931, a Beit Hall was presented by the Trust in 1933. Later in the thirties a strong form V developed and a course evolved which led to university entrance so that senior boys could expect to reach the B.Sc. (Eng.) degree of the South African universities.
Mr. Gifford rarely showed his feelings, but I
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think he was very proud on the day when the first of his boys left for Cape Town.
As the years went by there flowed from the School a steady stream of young men with a good general education and a firm interest in the prospect of a career in a technical profession.
Mr. Gifford gave up his position in 1947 on promotion to Chief Inspector and before he left he had the satisfaction of seeing many of his Old Boys occupying positions of great responsibility in manufacturing industry, in transport, in mining, in personal engineering enterprises, in architecture and in building.
Thus the educational experiment of 1927 was justified and the dedication of 20 years of the Headmaster’s life made evident.
The greater part of Mr. Gifford’s out-of-school happiness came about as a result of his marriage in 1932 to Miss Gladys Terry and from his son and daughter. Mrs. Gifford was a source of strength to him, and thus to the School, through-out their married life. She is remembered for her readiness to be at his side at public functions and School occasions and for her grace and charm at all times.
On his retirement Mr. Gifford was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. He died in 1962. He was, by any judgement, a man of outstanding stature with a singleness of mind rarely met with. He was a great Rhodesian and a very great Headmaster.
HENRY JOHN SUTHERBY
Henry John Sutherby, the second Headmaster of the School, succeeded Mr. Gifford in the third term of 1947. Mr. Sutherby had been a founder member of Staff. At the beginning of 1947 he had gone to Salisbury as Principal of the Polytechnic (he is an M.l.Mech. E.), but returned to the School as Headmaster after two terms away.
He was born in 1901, at Portsmouth, and it is not surprising that he entered the naval dockyard there as an apprentice in mechanical engineering in 1917. During his six-year apprenticeship, he was given the first elements of a technical education, supplementing this by the first elements of a cultural one, obtaining ultimately the matriculation of the University of London, in the course of which a strong interest in English literature arose. This was to extend itself with the years and to become very rewarding.
Parallel with this came a strong interest in the drawing side of mechanical engineering. As an Admiralty draughtsman, he had permanent employment and assured promotion, yet he decided to change careers and conceived the idea that a teaching post with engineering as his main subject might offer greater scope. And so he came to Rhodesia.
Mr. Sutherby had no teacher-training when he took up his first piece of chalk. He claims to have taught by the light of Nature, acquiring the basic principles as he went along. His methods were no doubt informal but, as he says, “they seemed to work I” He was much helped by the well-mannered willingness of boys to learn and by the attraction his subject had for them.
Draughtsmanship was a new subject in the curriculum of a Rhodesia School. He brought to it the vivid interest of real engineering and drawing-office experience. He went beyond classroom instruction by creating an Engineering Society and arranging visits to local firms engaged in technical work.
His appointment as Headmaster in 1947 was
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a happy appointment in view of his long association with the School. His teaching record in the Engineering Department of which he had been Head, was legendary. He had a long association with the School’s hostels, the last being Russell House, of which he was superintendent from 1939 to 1946. His interest in drama is remembered at the School, and it was Mrs. Sutherby who started the first formal School dramatic society, producing plays by Bernard Shaw and J. B. Priestly among others.
He was one of the founders of the Old Technicians’ Association in 1931 and helped it as counsellor and friend for 20 years; he still retains a strong interest in the “Old Techs”. During the war years of 1939-45 more than 500 old boys were with the armed forces. He urged them to keep in touch with their School, sent School magazines to all whose whereabouts were known and wrote many hundreds of personal letters. Later Mr. Sutherby inaugurated the War Memorial fund to which the first subscriber was Ronald Goldhawk in memory of his friend Henry Paterson.
Mr. Sutherby’s period as Headmaster was marked by change and development and by several landmarks in the School’s history. Among these were the dedication of the War Memorial, the presentation of the Gifford Trophy, and the School’s Silver Jubilee.
In 1952 Mr. Sutherby was appointed the first Principal of the Bulawayo Technical College, which had just been established. He remained as Principal until his retirement in 1959 and now lives in Worthing, England. In 1976 the old South Field was renamed the Sutherby Field to perpetuate Mr. Sutherby’s name in the School to which he contributed so much. He retains a strong link with the School and has contributed valuable historical material which is being used in Hinc Orior 1977.
The main work of his life has been to contribute to the technical education of Rhodesian Youth. He considers his life well spent.
Andrew Hart, the third Headmaster, had a long association with the School before being appointed Headmaster in January 1953.
He joined the Staff in January 1941, coming to us from Plumtree, where he had been since 1928. He is a graduate of Oxford, where he studied classics and English. English it was he taught at Bulawayo Technical School and he remained as senior English master until he was appointed Headmaster.
He was acting housemaster of Russell House for a term in 1942, became superintendent of Heyman House in Suburbs for just over a year and was then appointed superintendent of Johnson House in September 1946. He remained there until January 1961.
In the meantime he had been appointed Deputy Headmaster in January 1948, under Mr. Sutherby, who had just been appointed Headmaster after Mr. Gifford’s retirement.
Apart from the very high academic standards Mr. Hart set and demanded, he founded the Debating Society, the Chess Club and the School Library and also took a keen interest in drama in the School.
In 1976 one of the School fields was named the Andrew Hart Field in recognition of Mr. Hart’s contribution to the School. His period as Headmaster, from 1953 to 1961, was a period which included considerable development of the
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grounds at the “South Branch” or “Russell House Branch”, where in fact the School was finally centred — also during Mr. Hart’s period of office - in 1956. It was a period on which Mr Hart, in his retirement in Bournemouth, England must look back with satisfaction.
DONALD ROBERT WHITE
Donald Robert White succeeded Mr. Hart as Headmaster in January, 1962, and remained in this post until November 1966. Mr. White (now Dr. White) was born in London and before finally deciding to become a teacher, he had an unusual life which included becoming a King’s Scout, working as a junior chemist at Whitbread’s Brewery and serving in the Royal Marines with the “Cockleshell Heroes”.
After the war he took a B.Sc. degree and a Teacher’s Diploma, both reflecting his strong and enduring interest in mathematics.
After teaching for three years in Britain, Mr. White came to Rhodesia in 1952 and was actually posted to Bulawayo Technical School as an
assistant teacher. In 1954 he returned to Britain, but returned to Rhodesia in 1956. He was appointed lecturer in mathematics and physics at the Bulawayo Technical College (where Mr. Sutherby was Principal), and was later appointed senior lecturer in mathematics.
In January 1959 Mr. White became an inspector of schools in Northern Rhodesia. In that same year he also took his BEd. degree which was to be followed by an M.Ed. degree in 1966 and later by a doctorate. This high level of academic interest was to be the hall-mark of Mr. White’s headmastership. He came to the School from the inspectorate in 1962 and left it for the post of Senior Inspector of Schools, Salisbury, in November 1966. During those four years he concentrated on consolidating and extending the academic base of the School.
Dr. White was later the Principal of the Teachers’ College, Bulawayo, and he went from there to join the Education Department of the University of Rhodesia, where he still is.
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IVOR JOHN McLACHLAN
Ivor John McLachlan, fifth Headmaster of Gifford, was born in Johannesburg in 1919. He matriculated at Durban High School and went to the University of Natal, where he took his B.A. degree and U.E.D.
He had ten years with the Natal Education Department, three of these years being spent away from teaching with the South African Air Force during the war. Schools he taught at in Natal included Port Shepstone Secondary, Eshowe High, Glenwood High and Warner Beach Secondary.
In 1951 Mr. McLachlan emigrated to Northern Rhodesia, where he joined the staff of the Frederick Krupp School in Kitwe. He became senior master there in 1953 and in 1955 became deputy headmaster of Kitwe High School. From here he was appointed founder Headmaster of Lord Malvern School, Salisbury, in 1959. He transferred to Gifford in 1967.
Mr. McLachlan as a youngster played rugby, cricket and hockey and was also a swimmer. He promoted these interests throughout his career and continues to do so in Umtali. His other varied school-orientated interests include drama, printing, careers guidance and sixth form studies. Outside school his interests centre on his family (two sons — one a lawyer and the other studying medicine — and his wife, Margaret, who was much involved with the School during Mr. McLachlan’s headship.)
Mr. McLachlan’s period at Gifford was marked by several major physical developments, which included the building of the Hall, the establishment of three new playing fields and the building of the new pool, which he officially opened in September, 1974. It is named the McLachlan Pool in his honour.
Mr. McLachlan started the School’s weekly newsletter, The Bee Hive in 1967.
The School’s premier award, the Gifford Award, was introduced by Mr. McLachlan, as was the system of merit awards.
He was an innovator, but every innovation was based on sound experience. His identification with the interests of the School was complete.
Mr. McLachlan left Gifford at the end of 1973 to become Headmaster of Umtali Boys’ High School, where he continues to apply the philosophy of education which he himself sums up in the statement that “Education is the academic, cultural, physical and moral development of Youth”.
Harry Fincham, current Headmaster of Gifford, was born in Kimberley, South Africa, the year before the Bulawayo Technical School was born. He went to school at St. Andrew’s in Bloemfontein, O.F.S., and after matriculating there served for a little over two years with the Imperial Light Horse/Kimberley Regiment in Egypt and Italy.
After the war he took a B.A. degree at the University of the Witwatersrand and a Teaching Diploma at the Johannesburg Teachers’ Training College. After teaching in the Transvaal and the Cape for eight years, he came to Rhodesia. His first post in Rhodesia was at Jameson High, Gatooma.
From there he moved to Sinoia High School, where he was deputy Headmaster for ten years before being appointed Headmaster of Gifford in January 1974.
R. A. Furber
DO YOU REMEMBER?
(A survey of the development of the School)
The Birth of a School
In January 1927 technical education in Rhodesia began quietly under the sure hand of Mr. P. H. Gifford, newly-appointed Founder Headmaster of the Bulawayo Technical School. The School’s own buildings were not yet built, so we began life in the St. George’s Buildings, in Main Street. St. George’s College, originally established in Bulawayo, had just moved to Salisbury, so we rented their buildings.
Anderson Pool, which the School used three days a week; while in exchange the R.A.F. used our fields for sport. In 1945 the R.A.F. handed over the whole complex to the School - a considerable bonanza. It was decided in 1955 that only one gymnasium was required, namely the South gymnasium, which is still probably the best school gymnasium in Rhodesia. The other gymnasium was converted initially into two workshops, which in turn were converted into four classrooms in 1969. In 1975 yet another conversion was done here when two of the classrooms and some of the storerooms were stripped and made into an Art-andCraft centre. The squash courts were converted to classrooms in 1956, when classroom accommodation was at a premium, and remained as classrooms for twenty years, though they were converted back to squash courts in 1976. The pool, which is still in use, was tiled in 1956, and a new chlorination plant was installed, This was some small compensation for the loss of the squash courts.
the drama of 1948, when an African strike in Bulawayo paralysed essential services and boys
from Gifford, among others, helped to run them. A year too late to record our activities then for poterity, the School Photographic Club began its existence on 15 July, 1949.
In 1952 the new South Field, now known as the Sutherby Field, was used for the first time. It was for some years to be the main rugby field. In that same year the buildings of what had been the Famona Kindergarten School were handed over to us. A programme of alterations to these buildings were completed in 1962, and in 1969 they were once again altered to make them acceptable as a technical drawing centre which is what they are today.
built, and a new engineering workshop was completed — this is the one next to the Anderson Pool.
Merit ties were awarded for the first time in 1960, but this award seems to have been largely quiescent until revived and redefined in 1967 when, in addition to a Merit award, a Merit-with Honours award parallel in status with a Colours award was instituted. (A more detailed exposition may be found on page 77).
The Bulawayo Technical School becomes Gifford Technical High School
Speech night on 19 August, 1961 was a very important occasion in the evolution of the School, for it was then that the official announcement was made that what had been the Bulawayo Technical High School would henceforth be known as the