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2002 Peterhouse Boys Speech Day

Jon Calderwood’s First Address

Mr Chairman, Mr Fuller, Governors, Ladies and Gentlemen.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you here today and to welcome our Guest of Honour, Ross Fuller, and his wife Riette.
Speech Day has become the most important day in the Peterhouse calendar, and so it should be, for today we acknowledge those who have excelled during this year.

Jenny and I first attended speech day in this Chapel in 1984 - I was at the time, Headmaster of Hartmann House and Headmaster designate of Springvale House. Dr Alan Megahey was, at that time, Rector, and as one might expect, it was a grand occasion.

In my initial association with Peterhouse we certainly lived in 'exciting' times - to coin a phrase often used by Alan. The post-Independence boom in Zimbabwe was highlighted by growth and development, and although there were shortages of certain luxuries, new schools mushroomed up throughout the country. I felt very privileged to be working alongside men like Alan Megahey and Michael Hammond. Alan was, and still is, a man of vision. Mr Guy Cary likened him to a whirlwind, in his farewell tribute. Quite often in those days I felt as though it was my feet that anchored him to the ground.

When the Megahey's returned to England, I moved to Peterhouse Girls' and Mike and Tiggy Bawden arrived in the Trinity term. A time of consolidation, tidying up, taking stock and continued growth followed. I admired Mike a great deal and enjoyed working with him. I have always been most resentful of those who implicated him, and Peterhouse, in the racial scandal of 1996 and 1997. It was without substance and very damaging. When Mike left at the end of last year-a full year earlier than anticipated, I felt privileged to be offered the position of Rector. I only wish that I had had some time to visit schools outside this country before taking up the challenge.

I have, however, valued the support of staff at Peterhouse and thank in particular Mr Allen French, Mr David Shaw, Mr Paul Davis and our bursar Mr Jerry Lousada. They have helped me a great deal this year. I have an intimate knowledge of the workings of Springvale House and Peterhouse Girls' and realise the need for us to pull together in these difficult times. I thank Mrs Sue Davidson and Mr Graham Peebles for their support - I am fortunate to work with such devoted and experienced colleagues. Before I continue I would like to read to you a prayer entitled "for the school." It can be found in the Peterhouse service book.

'Almighty God, we dedicate our school to your service. Teach us all that we have a necessary share in our common task. May uprightness, courage and honour grow here. Grant to us the determination and strength to do our best, and crown our efforts with such success as will minister most to our true need. Make us champions of freedom and justice, so that our school may be used for the service of our fellow men and for the honour and glory of your son, our lord and master, Jesus Christ.'

Background issues
It is quite evident that the government has chosen this year to redress the inequalities that existed in the pre-1980 period, all be it 20 years on - politics and their survival have made this necessary. One feels they have made the issue of "haves" and "have nots" relate to "whites" and "blacks", not always the case now, and sadly old wounds have been re-opened.

You have heard the Chinese saying "may you live in interesting times" - times are certainly interesting in Zimbabwe at the moment and I feel most of us would gladly settle for a nice boring era!
Interesting times can be exciting, threatening, full of opportunity and full of danger. Interesting times go hand in hand with change. Sadly change does not necessarily mean progress, Real progress does require change.

Peterhouse is built on rock, it is not afraid of change, but the change must lead to progress.
Our aims and goals at Peterhouse will and must remain the same. They have, this year, been a comfort for the boys, the staff, parents and our local community.
Henry Ford said that: "obstacles are those frightful things that you see when you take your eyes off your goal". I have tried during the course of this year to ensure that we have kept our eyes focused on our aims and goals.

Sadly, this year, the aims and goals prescribed in the country have confused many and many have left. We have lost several teachers for the wrong reasons. In the first term we lost Roy and Jenny Currie. Roy had accomplished so much in Grinham, in Gosho Park and in the classroom. At the end of the second term, David Makwindi left to dedicate his life to his church. He achieved much in Founders, in the classroom and in the tuck shop (he ran the tuck shop!)
We lost too, Suzanne Barrington. She made a tremendous contribution to Peterhouse and Peterhouse Girls' - she was extremely talented and hard working - and Tenson Tinofirei left to teach physics in England.

At the end of this term, we lose several more staff. Miss Seranne Jack leaves to get married, she has contributed much in Snell, in the classroom and in the Fieldsend hall - we wish her happiness in her new life. Chris Davison completes his two-year bonding and moves to Falcon. I thank him for his input and wish him success in the future. Taurayi Muronda leaves to further his studies in England. Jenny Milne our senior san sister leaves to nurse in the UK - and I thank her for caring for the boys in our san over the years. I am very sad that Chris Nyazika is leaving. He has been outstanding as acting Housemaster in Founders this term. We wish him every success in England. Robert Tandi retires - he has been Assistant Chaplain, and has taught divinity and shona - he will be best remembered for his excellent work in our villages.
John Davidson also retires - and I reckon he deserves to! He joined Peterhouse in 1958 and has at one time been Housemaster of Grinham, Senior Master, Director of Studies, Head of History, Head of English, coach to the first XV rugby for 15 years - he has run the library and he helped in the tuckshop! He left for a short time in 1982 to try farming, but returned a year later and stayed on for six years before moving to Watershed. It was at Watershed that he married Sue - now Headmistress of Peterhouse Girls. While at Watershed he was Deputy Headmaster and acting Headmaster for one year. He returned to Peterhouse with Sue in 1998 and soon took over as Head of English and has run the library. We wish him every happiness in his retirement and as the headmistress's "accompanying partner" in the future.
Staff appointments for next year have not yet been finalised, we will not need to replace every teacher who is leaving. I can assure you that we will employ the best staff available.

I would like to thank all members of staff at Peterhouse. In these difficult times Peterhouse continues to get stronger and better and it is due to their efforts. Last year Mr Phil Ward notched up 100 terms at Peterhouse. I ask him to come forward and receive an Honours tie in recognition of his service and commitment.

Educational issues
A school's reputation is determined largely by the efforts of its pupils. It has been a difficult and confusing time for many of them but they never cease to amaze or to inspire me with their efforts. It has never been easy to cope with teenage behaviour but as Educators and parents it is our responsibility to train young people to establish for themselves a sense of internal boundaries and also to ensure that they respect the boundaries of others.

However, in the global context, if you look at the last 25 years, you will notice that the rights of individuals seem to have become paramount.
A belief in God (or God's word) does not seem to be an issue anymore. The central reference point has become the human right to choice and freedom and I'm afraid that the Internet has ensured that every conceivable fancy or train of thought is globally and instantly available -the choices are now endless. The attitude, "I have a right to this or to that", comes, not out of concern for human rights, or love for others, but from selfishness.

So at Peterhouse it is important that we uphold discipline, tradition and maintain a routine. Discipline is a simple matter - rules are set and the consequence of not sticking to them is made clear. But sadly, in our world, the boundaries I referred to are becoming more and more blurred. During the course of the year I have had to redefine and clarify our boundaries and sadly there have been casualties on the way.
The majority of boys, however, keep within the set boundaries and live up to, and even exceed, our high expectations and thus much has been achieved during the course of this year.

Prior to the start of the year I attended the Prefect's "Team Building" course at Outward Bound and was very pleased to appoint Alastair Sole - Head of School, with Lionell Faull and Rufaro Mapanda- as his deputies. The role of the prefect body has been considerable this year and I thank Alastair and his team for their support. They have certainly played their part in keeping the school on an even keel.
Naturally they were wary of me to begin with and, to be honest, I was wary of them! Before they leave I would just like to remind them that - "tradition at Peterhouse will never be abandoned with contempt, just as innovation should never be regarded with suspicion!

Examination results
Early in the term the public examination results arrived, they were outstanding considering the uncertainties that prevail with the changes in syllabuses, and of examining bodies. Sadly, I fear many of the Ministry's decisions are now made for political rather than for educational reasons.
The boys wrote both "O" level and IGCSE examinations in certain subjects. The pass rate was 76.3%. (76,3% of all subjects written were passed.) The top candidate at this level was Ryan Oosthuysen with 4A*, (stars) 5A's and 1 B grade. Edward Arkle wasn't far behind with 4A*, 5A's and 1C.
Vth form pupils, and their teachers, were apprehensive of the newly introduced 'AS' examinations. Their fears were unfounded; the pass rate of 91.1% was excellent. The introduction of this examination meant, however, a great deal of extra work for our already heavily committed and dedicated teachers.
At "A" Level the combined pass rate of the boys and girls of 89,9% was outstanding! - again, I commend the teachers and especially Mr David Shaw - our Director of Studies.
The Academic Tutor system introduced this year, should engender an even more positive work ethic and our results will, I hope, be even better in the future.

First Term
The Presidential Elections took place in the first term, It was a disruptive, tense and strained time. We decided to involve the boys even more in school activities, this helped them and us to cope better.
Mrs Sinclair produced a variety concert "Songs from the Shows". It proved to be a real morale booster, and I will never forget what an elderly visitor said after one of the performances - She said "it was so wonderful to come to Peterhouse where things were normal and where people were getting on with life in such a positive way", and I suppose that sums up what we have been trying to achieve this year. The term however ended on a tense note. The election results spelt out for many, realities about their future! Sadly many of our parents have lost farms. Their futures are uncertain. Some boys have left and more will have to leave. The land question has had a devastating effect on our school and on our economy.
In the Easter holidays Mrs Zaayman took a team of 4 to the World Debating Championships at Michaelhouse. They represented Peterhouse and fared extremely well against world-class opposition. Muvirimi Kuparo was placed 25th out of 60!

At this point, I would like to say something about music at Peterhouse. Music is so good for my soul and we were indeed blessed to acquire the services of Mrs Frances Yiend this year. She has co-coordinated a resurgence of music at Peterhouse not only through her efforts but also through the efforts of our extremely talented VI Form group, the efforts of Mr Hudson and his Jazz Band and Mr Foakes and Miss Stirling and the school Orchestra.
The Jazz Band has had a particularly successful year. Last term Mrs Yiend produced a "Little Light Music". This term we were able to enjoy the Music Department's dinner dance.
Four boys have made an outstanding contribution to music, Tendai Chitapi, Eric Matambo, Farasai Kambarami and Simbarashe Zimuto. Peterhouse has certainly been enriched by their contribution over the years and how welcome it has been this year. Thank you!

Second Term
The general feeling around the school during the winter term is not determined by any political or economic factors, it is determined by how well our 1st XV cope on the rugby field. The week after the St John's match was pretty dismal! But who will ever forget our first PE encounter? 22-11 down with five minutes to go - we managed to win 23-22!, and on their home field. Beating Falcon, at Falcon was also most gratifying! During the term Mr Nick Stott and a team from Zambezi Holidays Mission spent a week with the boys - it was a most constructive, positive and spiritually uplifting time for us all.
During the year we have used our chapel services and prayer to help guide and direct us - I believe that the first "United Service of Prayer for Peace" scheduled for next week will strengthen us even more and I hope that as many parents as possible will join us in our worship.

Last term, thanks to the efforts of Mr Pennant-Rae we were able to set up a new computer room in the SHGC. Mr Pennant-Rae sourced 30, second hand computers in the UK and sent them to us. This is the second batch he has sourced and sent to Peterhouse. I would like to award him an honours tie in recognition of his continued support and loyalty.
Those in 'D' Block, Vth and VIth form are now involved with the International Computer Driving Licence. We are an accredited centre for the ICDL and local individuals and organizations use our facilities for the exams. At present we have about 210 Peterhouse pupils, 15 staff and 60 outsiders actively involved in the course. Currently some 150 pupils and staff have taken up the option of an email address and there is controlled access to the Internet. This term the Sir Mark Weinburg computer room was moved -it is now adjacent to the new computer room in the Sir Humphrey Gibbs Centre. My thanks to Mr Brian Foakes and Mr Nat Snook for making this possible.
During July nine boys travelled to America to attend the global youth leaders conference visiting Washington and New York. They were outstanding ambassadors of Peterhouse and of Zimbabwe and returned enriched by the experience, and proud to be at Peterhouse.

Bob Williams
Sadly at the end of last term - Dr N A F Williams our patron died. Our Chairman has paid tribute to Bob. I feel privileged to have known him - he did so much for Peterhouse over the years. Two weeks before he died he telephoned me for an update on the examination situation at it affected us and strongly advised me to keep the International option open.

ATS/CHISZ Teaching Bursaries
Our two candidates who applied for the prestigious ATS/CHISZ teaching bursary (this bursary was the brainchild of Dr Williams) were successful and ranked first and second - out of over 30 applicants. Congratulations to Jonathan Davy and Eric Matambo!
We have excelled in sport this term - especially in our younger age groups and especially at swimming. Older boys, I hope, have been preparing for the external examinations, which they are currently writing.

Team building
Mr French and I have met with Mr Rob Hounsell of Nutac - we intend doing a team building exercise with the school management team and hope that the exercise will help with next years revisiting of the Strategic Planning Programme.
One of the most uplifting experiences has have taken place this year was, for me, the Vth form team building and bonding exercise that took place in Gosho Park. It was organised by Mr Ashley Denman and Mr Bernie Cragg.

There was a degree of resentment amongst the boys, and getting them across to start the course on time, in Gosho Park, wasn't easy. It was a Sunday - their free time - they had reservations and dragged their feet as they moved across in groups determined by house and race.
In the park they were split into new groups. They had to interact and co-operate with boys they were unsure of - from different houses and different races. The groups were again changed in the afternoon session. Each group had a specific task to complete - and complete the tasks they did. It was heartening to see them working together, using each individuals strengths regardless of House or race. It was wonderful to see them return with a spring in their step, walking, jogging and chatting, happy - a fully integrated and more unified group.

I intend exposing all boys at Peterhouse to such courses in the future. The exercises will, I believe, contribute towards an even better Peterhouse.
I wish those leaving every success in the future, especially those writing examinations. I ask them to remember what they have learned at Peterhouse and to "use it for the service of their fellow men."
To those returning - get to know yourself better - get to know and understand those around you better so that you will all have "a necessary share in the common task' - that of making Peterhouse a better school and Zimbabwe a better place in which to live

In conclusion I would like to thank my wife Jenny for all she has done at Peterhouse during the course of the year. I could not have coped without her.

Thank you.

9 November 2002

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