R Johnson

Name ID 2001

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Nettelbeck, David A history of Arusha School, Tanzania
Page Number: 38

e. AN ENRICHING SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT:

While Hamshere found day pupils an annoying appendage to the school, it must be said to his credit that he provided for the boarders a rich and stimulating environment. It is worth listing here briefly the significant extra-curricular activities which feature in the school records.

In the very first years of the school, Wynn Jones organised students to level the playing fields and as soil was removed to top-dress them, a 15 metre swimming pool was dug. Swimming; became an important sport and recreational activity, and both a swimming gala and swimming sports day involving former pupils were held annually.

An important annual event in which Hamshere himself always took the lead was the climb of Mt. Meru (14,979') near Arusha. Some 12 to 20 trained and physically fit children made the climb and an attractive certificate was presented to those who “conquered”.

A school sports day was held each year, usually in the presence of some distinguished quest such as the Governor and Lady Twining in 1955.There was also an inter school sports day against the Greek and Dutch schools, but no competitive sports with African schools.

Carols by Candlelight, begun by the music mistress in 1947,,became a significant even for Arusha town.

A Christmas play preceded the annual Speech Day at which the Warden or his deputy presented the prizes.

A proliferation of cups and shields, was accumulated from old students members of the School Council. These included

the Wynn Jones memorial scripture prizes,

the Rasharasha prizes for “dependability, helpfulness and behaviour”,

the Ann Revington Cup for the best all round girl and

the Du Toit cup for the best all round boy;

there was a Selian cup for physical culture,

an Ann Hazel Cup for swimming.

House Shields for swimming and athletics carved by a blind African wood carver and house trophies for rounders, hockey diving, football, rugby, netball and cricket.

There were inter school visits and sports matches with Nairobi School and Mombasa Primary School.

An annual school magazine was published from 1955 to 1965, and

there were troops of Guides, Brownies and Scouts.

From fund raising within the school, horses were purchased in 1954 and 2 tennis courts built in 1958.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the founding of the school in 1959, a bronze plaque noting the association of the school with the Diocese was unveiled in Christ Church Arusha, a special thanksgiving service was held, and £2,000 was collected for a Silver Jubilee Library. Bishop Chambers, whose foresight in 1927 had set plans in motion for the school, came at the age of 83 to open the library.

In 1943 the school was the venue for a conference of translators of the Bible into Swahili;

in 1947 delegates to the Pan African pre-history congress were accommodated in the school;

in 1950 Lady Baden Powell the Chief Guide, and later that year Lord Rowallen, the Chief Scout, visited the school;

in 1956 Princess Margaret spent 15 minutes with. the pupils in the school hall while the Hellenic and Dutch schools were allowed to line the drive! A cupboard full of Union Jacks, kept firmly locked in these post Independence days, remains as memento of the occasion.

In 1961 a conference on the preservation of wild life was held at the school and included such distinguished guests as Sir Julian Huxley, Peter Scott, Professor Monet, Armand and Michaela Dennis and Dr. Grzimek.

In 1969 the Presidents of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania met in the school to establish the East African Community.

In spite of the rapid turnover of teachers, matrons and some pupils, a strong school spirit and tradition was established. This was contributed to materially by the continuity of the School Council and of senior staff members as exemplified by

the Headmaster 1946 - 1964,

Miss I. Brown, Senior Mistress 1949 - 61,

Mrs. Fischer, Senior Matron 1950 - 59,

Mr. R. Johnson 1952 - 59,

Mr. H. Jones, Second Master 1953 - 61,

Rev. B. Jones Chaplain and from 1963 Headmaster, 1954 - 69, and

Mr. J. Hazel 1956 - 63.

Such continuity, even if for only a small proportion of the staff, was most unusual for the Colonial Service. The Department of Education, the statistics for which are not reflected in the above staff sample, could say in 1957, “there is a high rate of turnover of staff and delays in recruitment and by the end of the year, there was not one mistress who had been them 3 years previously”

Extract ID: 4942
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