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1979 From the Magazine

979 was the last of the "lean years" during the uncertainties of the "guerrilla" war. With the departure of the 100 or more Zambian students in the mid-'70s and the general uncertainty, numbers in the school reached their lowest point since the founding years - 180.

Ably led by the Rector, Bruce Fieldsend, with the support of the Board of Governors which raised considerable financial support from industry and sacrifices by both staff and students, the school survived until enrolments once again rose to more acceptable levels after 1980. But in Dickens' immortal words "They were the best of times and the worst of times." The boys and staff were probably more involved and committed than ever before or since.

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1978 From the Magazine

The past year has brought all too close to us the tragedy of the present war, not only in the death of young Petreans in the service of their country, but also in the brutal slaughter of women and children of their families. Great men - poets, philosophers and divines - have written much to comfort those bereaved in war; to remind us that to die for one's country has its own special immortality; to urge those that survive not to leave unfinished the work the dead strove to advance; to make us recall that death is not, in fact, the end.

Their words do comfort and do inspire, but still the sense of loss is there, and still the sense of inadequacy - how can we console those nearest to the dead with mere words? We cannot. But we can at least do all that is possible to ensure that those brave men did not die to no purpose and that the hideous power that urges its servants to murder women and children shall not prevail.

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1977 Makalali Expedition

nce again we had a mixed group consisting of 15 Peterhouse Boys, 10 Nagle House girls and one girl from Marandellas High School. Unfortunately we found that we had a number of members who were more interested in the members of the opposite sex than in the work of the expedition. This had an adverse effect on our work.

We had gone to a lot of trouble to ensure that we would have a camp which could function in wet weather. In the event we need not have worried. We had a shower as we arrived and one just after we had packed up.

The weather was exceptionally dry and hot. We were forced to rise at first light and found that by 1100 it was too hot to operate. A swim, lunch and an hour's rest restored our energy so that we could go out in the late afternoon.

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1974 Kalahari Expedition

This expedition was notable for a number of "firsts"; it was the first time we attempted an expedition in January and thus during the rainy season, so we had to allow for sufficient cover in case it rained. It was the first time we had taken girls along, so special provision had to be made for them. It was the first time we had taken the School bus rather than the truck and this nearly turned the expedition into a disaster.

It was also the thirteenth expedition I had organised and there was some dark muttering before we left about this.By the time we set off in early January, it was obvious that this was to be an exceptional rainy season. I had had reports from Botswana telling me that water had been over the road in a number of places and I had made contingency plans to visit another part of the Makgadigadi if the Mumpswe area was under water.

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1974 From the Magazine

fter 10 years of the sanctions which has followed the declaration of UDI money was tight and various commodities scarce. 1974 was the calm before the storm of the "lean years."

The school with 5 houses was full to bursting with 380 boys, but the first sign of the deteriorating "security situation" were there with the Chimanimani Expedition being unable to cross into Mozambique, as in previous years.

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