Milton 75 Years
A Diamond Jubilee for 60 years is impressive, but the same celebration for 75 years is even more so. Milton has had both and the 1985 celebrations will long be remembered by Miltonians.
Our celebrations in the second term were a result of lengthy deliberations and much hard work by the committee consisting of Messrs Bullivant, Fincham, Gracie, Stephens, Thomas and Miss Bortolan.
A wide and varied programme of events was arranged, advertisements appeared in the local press inviting interested parties to contact the school and join the celebrations. Persons driving into the school would have noticed a new and exciting board displaying the 75th Anniversary logo designed by Mrs. Lorraine Coates. Mail leaving the school bore stickers of the same design. The pupils soon found out about the stickers and in no time at all the logo was found adhering to all manner of surfaces - hymn books, exercise books, suitcases, car windows and even the wearing apparel of the boys themselves. A flurry of activity in and around Milton was to culminate in a week of special events.
Saturday 20th July saw an historic procession winding its way through Bulawayo from St. Gabriel’s (where Milton's ancestor St. John's School, was housed via the city centre to Milton Junior and then up Selborne Ave to the School. The procession was led by the standard bearers with the School Colour and the float, "Class of 85 - The New Generation". It is symbolic that Form 1 boys should have been chosen to lead the school into the future. The schoolmaster on this float in gown hood and mortar board was perhaps a little Dickensian in his appearance but symbolized the high academic standard of the school.
Following behind were the Milton's boys mostly in uniform, but some in sports kit, since "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy".
The Marimba band on a float in the middle of the procession provided music and right at the tail end another float – Anti Litter, Anti Vandalism· a fine example of the co-operation the school and City Council have enjoyed for ¾ of a century. Only one school master has been mentioned in the procession, so one may well ask where were the rest? Scatter some 50 teachers amongst over 1000 pupils and they may be a little difficult to see, but their influence will be felt and the boys know that they are there guiding them. Early that same Saturday morning, a group of Milton boys set out with Mr. "Baldie" Walker on a marathon relay from Plumtree School. They arrived at the school just after the procession having taken a little over 7 hours to run the 110 kilometres from Plumtree. It is significant what Mr. Walker had arranged a similar long distance marathon 15 years earlier at the first diamond jubilee.
The school was opened in 1910 when Edward VII was King and to celebrate the era of our birth the Milton/Townsend 6th Form Society held an Edwardian Ball on the evening of the 20th July. One was transported back 75 years as one entered the Dining Hall with its Parlour Palms, heart shaped pool with a fountain and elegantly dressed ladies (and gentlemen). White tie and tails, pin stripe longs and bowlers, kilts, long dresses, feather boas and even a genuine specimen of Penguinus Bullivantis, all combined (with Mrs. Thomas' delicious food) to make a memorable evening.
Monday 22nd July was a normal school day. In the Chronicle, however, there appeared a fine supplement with pictures and an interesting article about the school. The celebration reached a climax on Thursday 25th July, the school's birthday. 75 years earlier on this day Sir William Milton had opened the doors of a school which was to bear his name. In 1927 the seniors of the school left Borrow Street and came to the present site. Sir William obviously had faith in the future and as an act of affirmation of our faith a tree was planted in the school grounds by the Head Boy, Russell Edwards and our smallest Form 1, Ebraim Abdul. This tree, whose growth is being carefully monitored by the Mathematics department, is a living memorial of our 75th Anniversary.
At 12 noon the entire school gathered in the Morgan Quad for a service. The National Anthem was sung and the Flag raised. The lesson was read by the Head Boy and after a hymn and prayer (by the Rev. Father de Sylva), the Hon. RS Garfield Todd addressed the School and unveiled a mosaic of the School Crest. The School hymn and a blessing from the Anglican Bishop of Matabeleland concluded the short and thought provoking service.
Rugby in the afternoon was very entertaining. Falcon played Plumtree and then Milton and Sevenoakes (from Kent, UK) played a hard game.
Sherry was served in the Beit Hall at 6.00 p.m. and the Milton Museum (our major Anniversary project) was opened. In his opening address, the Hon. A E Abrahamson paid tribute to Miltonians and emphasised the importance of preserving History.
Dinner at 7:00 p.m., another of Mrs. Thomas' epicurean delights - was followed by the Milton address from Mr. Garfield Todd and reminiscences from Old Milt0nians, Ben Baron, Trevor Wright and A E Abrahamson.
The proceedings concluded about 11.00 p.m. and the guests retired home.
Friday afternoon saw a soccer match against Cyrene and in the evening a splendid Old Boys re-union sundowner party. Many Old Miltonians from all ages were present with wives, girlfriends and supporters. Michael Bullivant's history of Milton "No Ancient Pile" found a ready market, as did the commemorative beer mugs.
Sports of all types were played on Saturday, culminating in an exciting rugby game against our ancient rivals St. Georges. The Milton Ball (at the modest cost of $20.00 double including dinner and wine) commenced at 8.00p.m. The Army Dance Band and a small orchestra provided a wide variety of music and happy couples danced into the early hours of Sunday morning.
Later great numbers of people managed to rise from their slumbers and conclude the weeks celebrations by giving thanks to God in a memorable service at St. John's Cathedral. The Lord Bishop resplendent in Cope and Mitre conducted the service and Rev. Fr. Chris Ross - The sub dean, and a former schoolmaster at Milton - delivered the address. A very large choir sang the Te Deum to Stanfords setting in B Flat, during which the altar was censed by the Bishop.
After the service, guests retired to the Headmaster's residence for Sherry with a gratifying feeling that the celebrations had been a success.
The final victory of the 75th Anniversary was Jimmy Millar's production of the Classic Farce "Chase Me Comrade".
by HF DAY
The Hon. RS Garfield Todd's address to the school at the Unveiling of the Mosaic - 25th July 1985.
If I were to say, "Tell me about your most memorable experience - not necessarily the most exciting moment, or even the most frightening event of your life", I am sure that your replies would fill more than one interesting book. When Milton School honoured me by asking for a five-minute speech, I chose to tell you of a memorable five minutes from my own experience.
So! You stand now in Westminster, at the entrance to the House of Commons in London. The jet you travelled on was going backwards in time for the year is 1954. We pass a helmeted "bobby", go up the steps and along a passage till you enter a great and high hall with stained glass windows. Scores of people are sitting round on padded benches, waiting to see their own Member of Parliament, or hoping to be allowed into a gallery to see a session in action. Come with me as I go to a desk and tell another policeman who I am and that I am to see the Commonwealth Secretary, Lord Snowdon. The policeman summons a messenger and we walk along more long passages. When the messenger knocks and opens a door we still have to pass through another great door before I meet Lord Snowdon in his office.
"Ah! Prime Minister", greets Lord Snowdon ... for thirty years ago it was in order to welcome me by that title. He adds "The Prime Minister is about to hold a Cabinet meeting, but he is expecting you."
Together we walk along more passages until we enter a very large room with thirty or more men sitting casually around. Of course I am nervous, but not trembling. Anyway I am not an Englishman. I am a much-diluted Scotsman of New Zealand extraction who was adopted fifty-one years ago by Zimbabwe.
The first man I recognised was Harold MacMillan, later to become Foreign Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer and finally Prime Minister. Then I saw a little man with a round face stand and walk quietly towards me: Winston Churchill, who was 80 years old that year. He put out his hand and I will not forget that the hand I grasped was the softest I had ever held. "How nice to see you, Prime Minister," he said, "and what a great responsibility has been laid upon you." I quietly remonstrated and said, "It is a great honour to meet you, but I don't know how you can lead a nation which defeated Nazism and still governs a great Empire, can equate my station with great responsibility".
Churchill was silent for a moment and I followed his eyes as they looked from one Minister to another. There they were: Butler, Swinton, Lennox-Boyd, Lyttelton, Duncan Sandys, Anthony Eden, all men who were to be famous in their time. "The secret, you see," said the Prime Minister, "is that we share responsibility. We are friends. We have known· one another for a long time. We trust each other." I was 46 then, with much still to learn.
Would it not be a sound idea for a Miltonian, whether at home or at school, or in his business or profession, to aim for accolade, "You can trust him."
THE FOURTEENTH MILTON ADDRESS
delivered on July 25th, 1985 by The Hon R S Garfield Todd
In the latest issue of the Miltonian, Mr. Headmaster you spoke of Milton School as "a launching platform for greatness". That 'up to the minute' phrase has kept repeating itself to me as I have prepared this address.
I have never been able to give advice and yet remain anonymous. Some people are more fortunate. I think of your local seer, Njini the Mullah' who is probably no more a Mullah than Ecclesiastes was King Solomon, whom he pretended to be. Anyway amongst many good 'throw away lines' in Eccles-iastes is one that impressed me "there is a time for speech and there is a time for silence." At first glance you might think that Ecclesiastes has said it all. I agree in principle but in practice I have rarely been able to determine which is the time for which. That is a sad fact of my life and I should probably have taken more seriously an omen which came my way in the time of my glory, when I was Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia. All the Prime Ministers have their portraits done in oils as part of our history. All of us who are now dubbed
"Colonial Prime Ministers" used to have our portraits hung (or is it hanged?) in various places of honour around Parliament, but they now hang together in a corridor in the Senate just opposite the entrance to the men's room! That may be an omen but it is not the omen I wish to tell you about. When the artist completes the portrait it is then submitted to a committee for approval. My portrait was at first rejected. The artist had made me stand with my notes before me, just as I am doing tonight, looking into the future, just as I am doing tonight. As I was speaking it had seemed appropriate that my mouth should be slightly open. "Take it back," said the Committee, "and shut his mouth!" Tonight I am honoured by being asked to open my mouth.
I am entirely a twentieth-century man. I was born early in the century and I will die before it ends. The less-distinguished but more important section of my audience this evening (dare I say that?) are men who will come to their prime in the twenty-first century. You will be twenty-first century men.
I look back over a long lifetime and it is my experience that by the time you have completed your schooling, done your stint at university or whatever alternative training or experience you undertake to fit you for life and perhaps are even fortunate enough to have made your choice of a wife or (let us not forget) possibly be chosen by a life-partner, you will probably be nearly 25 years of age. I hold that for many people they just come alive at 25! Then come 20 years or more of tough striving, of making your contribution. If you are really fortunate you will come alive by 25 and arrive at 45 men of the twenty first century!
Not all twentieth century people have a compelling desire to live in the twenty-first century and that is understandable when you consider today's scene of drug-traffic, highjackings, the threat of nuclear war and the plain selfishness of men. It is my belief nevertheless that you not only have a future but that it is the most exciting challenge that has ever faced a new generation. Our ancestors learned to use the lever, invented the wheel, the steam engine, the internal combustion engine, nuclear power and now the computer age has dawned.
Throughout the years men have harnessed technology both to their use and to their advancement. I spoke to the "dawn" of the computer age but when I read a recent issue of ‘Time’ it seemed to me that the computer-age had already reached high noon and that computers can now store more information than mankind ought to know. I see that the "Cray 2" Computer works 50 000 times faster than a personal computer and can, admittedly at top speed, carry out 1,200 million arithmetical operations per second! What computers took a year to accomplish in 1952 can be done, by 'Cray 2' in one second. It is mind-boggling and, being just a twentieth-century man, I don't really believe it but I suspect that Mr. Seymour Cray knows his number range and that 'Cray 2' will be followed by 3 and 4! In the picture of Cray 2 the operator, amongst other items, was wearing a pair of spectacles and a rather supercilious smile. I was slightly surprised that a man so advanced in computers should be so dated in optics that he had to wear spectacles. The supercilious smile I quite understood for a man remains the master of the machine, even of the super-computer: man can always pull the plug!
I am told that more and more students today wish to advance in the Sciences and this is understandable but in an age of space-ships and computers the truly momentous decisions should be made by men and women who are well versed in such subjects as history, language, literature and religion. No-one is able to advise people of the next century on what they should do. We take experience from the past and scrutinise it under the light of the wisdom and morality of the present. I have been part of the last five decades of Zimbabwean life and there were many lessons to be learned.
In the thirties I looked at sun-lit villages, watched children at play and wrongly concluded that life in the villages was good. I had yet to hear mothers say "I have seven children but three are alive" and had yet to learn that life, where there were few schools and no clinics and where there was great poverty, was far from easy or desirable.
In the forties came Hitler's war which threatened the liberty which many people had never experienced but of which they were to learn from the news of the war and from statesmen of the democracies, some of which were still Colonial Powers. Eventually Russia and the Western Powers combined their forces and at a frightful cost in suffering and death proclaimed victory for freedom for all men, but in fact that was only part of the story. As the political ferment intensified in the "Overseas Territories" India achieved Independence but another decade had to pass before Britain's first African Colony, the "Gold Coast" won it's Independence under the name of Ghana. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah invited my wife and me to come to Accra and share in the Independence Celebrations. Two years earlier I had visited the Gold Coast to see for myself how the people were working their way towards freedom from Colonial rule. I was looking for ideas that might help my own Government as I considered that the time had come to make vast changes in our electoral laws in Southern Rhodesia. I say that the time had come for change in Southern Rhodesia but I fear that even at that point we were many years too late. Rab Butler who played an important role in the freeing of India from British rule held that when a colonial power or a racist minority government accepts that it is time to introduce reforms it is already too late.
Power must be ceded before negotiations will have relevance. We had a joyful time in Ghana in that Independence year of 1957. Hundreds of Chiefs with ceremonial umbrellas, Heads of State, Vice-President Nixon, all had gathered to share the joy of the people of Ghana. There had been no war of liberation but leaders had been imprisoned and at midnight we joined happy crowds who applauded Nkrumah, Botsio and Gbedema as they danced in prison clothes! But standing out from all my memories I see a little girl of 10 or 11 who met me on a footpath. She gave me a great smile and raised her arm, "Freedom, white man," she shouted. Yes it was freedom for Ghana and 23 years later it was to be freedom for Zimbabwe. In our case the transposing of power from white to black was traumatic but it was limited in time: the period beginning in 1980 stretches into an unknown and unbounded future and its concern is with the transformation of power. The foundations of the Zimbabwe of the twenty-first century are being laid in the here and now.
The future safety and progress, not only of Zimbabwe but of the whole world depends upon a developing unity. If you want a picture of misery and gloom then draw up a list of bits and pieces from the news-columns: Shi'ites, Christians, Assyrians, Lebanese, Israelis, High-jackings, Mrs. Thatcher's rhetoric, Mr. Reagan's operation, Bulawayo's nude statues. You could stretch that list right around the world, but where do we look for hope? Seek for unity and a discerning eye will see it everywhere. The latest example is the great rock-concert which was staged in Philadelphia and London. Caring people around the world responded with more than $50 million for the starving people of our continent. That was an offering for brotherhood but we should also note the potential in communications when more than 1,500 million people can share a TV programme. Then consider the Red Cross Society with its wonderful record of service to all mankind. Also, for more than 40 years the United Nations Organisation has endeavored to keep the peace and to establish justice. The Organisation has not succeeded in many of its efforts but its subsidiaries, assisting in such matters as agriculture, health, labour, education have fostered mutual understanding and worked for unity. Just on 20 years ago Pope Paul made his historic visit to the U.N. and said, "The people (of the world) turn to the United Nations as the last hope of concord and peace ... your vocation is to make brothers of not only some but of all peoples." Great statements from great leaders reveal a deeper truth when the broad concern is shown not to the world audience but also to the individual. The same Pope Paul gave a medal and a message to a visiting Bishop to carry to Rhodesia. In due time a transfer was made to Bishop Haiene of Gweru who then applied to the Protecting Authority for the Midlands for permission to visit me in the "protected area" of Hokonui Ranch. It was a memorable day when I received from the Pope a gift and a message of encouragement to continue to work for unity and peace.
When I was younger I used to enjoy hearing Odetta sing "He's got the whole world in His hand." but I never took this sentiment as either reason or excuse for evading the duty that made its demand. Whether we are Buddhists or Christians or Jewish or Mohammedans or whatever, we are all the children of God: we have each a responsibility, of which our daily profession or other work is only a part. Dr. Michael Gelfand died this week. His medical training was important but the greatness of his life was expressed in his devoted service to the people, to all the people. Zimbabwe will miss him.
At my age a man doesn't cling to many ambitions but I have a brand new one. I wish yet to own and enjoy a C.D. machine and discs. Phillips of Holland and Sony of Japan have worked together on the production of the Compact Disc machine which uses a laser beam to scan the disc and then feeds its instructions through a microcomputer which converts them into perfect sound. That marvel is the result of the working together of people from different ends of the earth ... not just within a community where, as in Bulawayo this month, Mr. Derek Hudson produced the marvel of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. What co-operation, at the highest level of excellence is called for on such an occasion. So many of the finest things in life's endeavour can be accomplished only if people learn to work together. Philips decided to make a 60-minute disc but the Chairman of Sony, Mr. Akio Morita, demanded a disc big enough to record the whole of the Ninth Symphony so D.C.'s give 75 minutes of playing time with, I am informed, Mr. Bullivant, not even one "ragged edge". Said Mr. Morita, "The Ninth has a special significance in Japan because we 'traditionally' play it over and over at year end.''
When you come nearer to the ends of your lives and you find that you have fulfilled most of your ambitions then you probably failed to set them high enough in the first place. You don't have to wander amongst the stars or even invent a monstrosity like Cray 10 to have lived a full life within a progressive community in this wonderful country.
I have said that you can expect to come alive at 25: to arrive at 45 and one of you, at 65, might be given the great honour which I have enjoyed tonight: you may be the speaker but it would be at the 125th anniversary of Milton High School.
RECOLLECTIONS OF ONWARDS OF 75 YEARS AGO
from an address to the school on 25th July, 1985 by Ben Baron
Prior to 1910 we had only the three Church Schools serving Bulawayo - St. John's, St. George's, and the Dominican Convent, so when the time came for me to start my education my parents sent me to the Convent School in Lobengula Street. We sat on the verandah of the old school which is still there and we wrote on Slates. One morning I dropped my Slate and it shattered on the cement floor. I was so shocked that I ran all the way home and refused to return to School! The Milton and Eveline Schools were the first Government Schools and the first non-denominational schools to be established by the B.S.A. Company which governed this Country under Charter from Queen Victoria. My parents were delighted to be able to send me to School again, so on Monday, 25th July, 1910, my brother, Ezekiel (Zeck) nearly 5 and I nearly 6 enrolled at the
I was fortunate to be able to refresh my memory (very necessary!) by having access to the Chronicle Report of the ceremony. As Eveline was the larger school the opening ceremony took place in its quadrangle and was attended by the Administrator, Sir William Milton and Lady Milton. It was addressed by the Mayor, Mr. Emanuel Basch, and was well attended by the public, pupils and parents. Invited guests included the Town Councillors, representatives of the Clergy including the Rev. C. E. Greenfield, father of the brilliant sons who later attended Milton, and the Rev. M. I. Cohen, the Hebrew Minister who was an active member of the Committee formed to promote the Schools. Also present was Mr. D S Forbes representing the B.S.A. Company, and the Beit Trustees, Mr. Alan Welsh - later Sir Alan and Speaker of the House of Assembly for many years. Mr. C. P. J. Coghlan, later Sir Charles Coghlan who as Prime Minister negotiated our new status of a Crown Colony in 1923, Mr. G. Duthie, Minister of Education, and Mr. J. B. Brady, a School Inspector.
There were no School residences but these were later provided by the Beit Trustees. After the speeches Lady Milton unlocked the main door and the flag (the Union Jack of course) was hoisted. The same ceremony was then repeated at Milton. It was a grand stirring ceremony.
Our Headmistress at Eveline was Miss Milne Langdon, who was quite a tartar. The School grounds were bare veldt and completely undeveloped, and during the break it was our habit to roam the grounds searching for snakes. It was a fascinating sport so we often missed hearing the bell summoning us back to class. When we eventually arrived Miss Langdon was waiting for us at the door of our Classroom and as she caught each of us in turn she put us on her knee and gave us a good spanking.
Transport was a big problem in those days, particularly as we lived near the Railway Station. Just imagine - no Buses and no Motor Cars. My father solved the problem for us by acquiring a double decker pram with our own piccannin who used to push us to school, wait until school was over and push us home again. Later this service failed because our driver went on strike and refused to continue pushing us 4 miles each way every day. We then had to walk to School and back. I remember it took us hours to get back- we used to dawdle at all the shop windows and pick up empty match boxes and picture cards. Later my father acquired a Rickshaw - which were a favourable form of transport in those days - and when it rained all the neighbours' children piled in as well. Finally we reached the bicycle age, but there were always more Barons than bicycles so we were generally two to a cycle. The roads were dirt roads and we often got stuck in the mud when it rained. Bulawayo was a small town in those days and we rarely used the streets - we used to take short cuts through the residential blocks.
In 1912 when I had reached Standard 1, I was eligible for Milton. I have vivid memories of our Headmaster, E. B. de Beer, and his straw boater which he always wore. He was distinguished looking - tall, well built with a very fair complexion. He was a strict disciplinarian - he believed in the old adage "Spare the rod and spoil the child" and every Friday after school the week's defaulters used to parade outside his Study and receive their desserts. I had the experience of being sjambokked by him for sloppy homework. I can still clearly recall the occasion even after all these years. We were lined up on the stoep outside the Headmaster's Office and awaiting our turn with considerable apprehension. When I was called in we had a short discussion. I tried to explain how difficult working conditions were at home with so many brothers, sisters and visitors playing around, but to no avail, I was told to bend down and the sjambok descended on me several times. I had blue and purple weals on my back for several weeks, but the effect was salutary. Nevertheless, we all loved DAB, as he was affectionately known. Even in those early days Mr. de Beer was concerned about the future of the white man in Africa and often talked to us about this. He envisaged the future to be a mingling of all the races, eventually producing a coffee coloured people from the Cape of Cairo.
In 1935 the Old Miltonian Society, of which I was then the Chairman, collected sufficient funds to bring him out of his retirement at the Cape to celebrate our Silver Jubilee. We had a wonderful Reunion Dinner with 100 Old Boys attending at the Old Dining Hall in the Junior School in Borrow Street. He was also one of the guests of honour at the memorable Jubilee Milton-Eveline Old Boys and Girls Dance at the Grand Hotel the next night. I'm sure it was one of the highlights of his life. Mr. Michael Bullivant, who must be congratulated for his share of work on tonight's party and all the other celebrations, kindly extracted the MILTONIAN reporting these events which I have with me tonight for anyone interested to see.
Talking of the Miltonian, I remember during the period I was the Editor Mr. de Beer telling me that at the time there were - 6 Barons - 4 Knight’s - 2 Kings, and 1 Lord at the School, so you can see we were quite an aristocratic school. This information duly appeared in the .next issue of the Miltonian. Another memory I have was when DAB met me one day on the Stoep and saying to me. By the way, Baron, where are those 300 lines I awarded you for whistling on the Stoep. 'I protested and said I was sure it was another Baron but he insisted it was I, so after questioning every other Baron who all denied responsibility I spent a miserable week-end writing out 300 lines 'I must not whistle on the Stoep' which certainly didn't improve my handwriting, and the joke of the matter was that at that time to my chagrin I couldn't whistle! Many months later my brother, Eze, confessed, but I soon forgave him - he was a wonderful fellow and we were great friends. Talking of handwriting, in those days it was forbidden to write left handed, which I was, and in one of my early classes my School Mistress used to stand over me with a ruler and rap my knuckles every time I put my pencil in my left hand.
Needless to say, this also didn't improve my handwriting! Milton has been extremely lucky in its choice of Headmasters - I can't remember an indifferent one, and the present Headmaster, Mr. Harry Fincham, is doing a magnificent job in changing circumstances.
A word about sport - Jock Thompson's book about Rhodesian Sportsmen - including numerous Miltonians and Old Miltonians, should be read. Jock later became Lieut. Col. J. de L. Thompson DSO and he commanded the Rhodesian contingent in the Second War. Our main sport was Rugby. We played on the old grounds in Borrow Street which were hard and rocky and if you were tackled you invariably cut your knees which developed septic sores as a result, which took a long time to heal. We played against Plumtree School several times a year and there was tremendous rivalry, as no doubt there still is today. A few of the top players I remember were the Peiser brothers - Sonny and Georgie who still lives in Bulawayo, and Carlie Wienard who was also a good trainer, my brother Hymie, who at University later did a record 4 tours in 1 year – two Rugby, 1 Boxing and 1 Athletic tour, and Syd Longden who was probably one of the finest players Rhodesia has produced. He boasted that he was never injured in a football game – he was tall and powerful, but ironically one morning whilst shaving in his bathroom he slipped and broke a leg! As you can imagine, I went through many School Mastersone who made a great impression on me was Mr. J. A. Robinson, known to us all as 'Stinks Robbie' who taught us Chemistry by rhyme, such as "Oxygen puts out my light-made by heating Ammonium nitrite" or "If some H (hydrogen) you wish to make, zinc and acid you must take." He was a great moralist and lectured us continually on our duties and standards of morality in adult life. He was a notable character and we were all very sad when he retired.
During the first World War practically every one of our Masters enrolled, as did many of our old boys and senior boys, who cheated on their age, so we had mainly lady teachers who found it hard work trying to discipline unruly boys. After the war we got a lot of new male teachers. I remember one, who shall be nameless and who used to visit the old Imperial Hotel, later the Fairway Hotel, near the School during the break and who always returned in a much more cheerful mood. Some boys also came back after demobilisation to take their Matric, including the late Ben Fletcher and W. G. (affectionately known as 'Daddy') Swanson, and Syd Longden. Our Form Master in my Matric class was Mr. William Gebbie, a very fine learned and gentle man, but no disciplinarian, and when his back was turned we used to throw books and paper aeroplanes about. I was smaller than many of the others and generally well behaved. However one day Mr. Gebbie caught me playing the fool with the others, and he reproached me sadly saying 'Et tu Brute!'
We were very fortunate - we had a wonderful School and fine teachers and my own school days were happy and memorable. You boys are lucky to be at Milton. I am sure you will carry on the great traditions and make the most of your school days - the happiest days of your life.
J B BRADY
''A few words about the famous Headmaster who controlled our destinies at that time (1925 - 1932)" freely adapted from an address by Trevor Wright.
John Banks Brady, otherwise known as Binks, and occasionally as Bimbo, was the great man who was Milton when he was its Head. A man in every sense of the word - big, understanding and every inch the soldier that he was. It has been said that a lot of what he was can be summed up in one small sentence "He was Irish'". But for all his stern discipline, he had a kind heart. It was a well known fact that Milton possessed an unbeatable 1st XV and an equally fine 1st XI. because Brady himself helped by paying the school fees of boys who excelled in the games concerned who might otherwise have left school to make their respective ways in the world. It often meant that a Fifth former would celebrate his 21st Birthday while still at school, but what did that matter? In those days, we had three houses, Pioneer and Charter for boarders and Oppidans for Day-scholars. For boarders to get away from school and into town, an exit pass was required. The story is told about 3 boarders, who, on one Saturday afternoon, bunked out of school and went to the local cinema. On their way back to the school they were walking up Selborne Avenue, when a car suddenly pulled up alongside them and offered them a lift. With horror they recognised the driver, as non other than Brady himself and realising that they would be asked to show their exit permits (which, of course, they didn't have) they politely refused the lift, adding, by way of weak explanation that they were in a hurry. I am sure that Binks was not taken in by all that, but he nevertheless turned a blind eye to it. He understood to the full the meaning of the school Motto "QUIT YE LI KE MEN'" and he made it his task that we all understood it as well. I am sure that had he been alive today, he would have been very proud of his old school and the way in which the old traditions have been fostered and carried on. I so well remember that traumatic moment when the time came for Brady to relinquish his post of Headmaster, and at the farewell concert, as he walked into the Beit Hall, the entire school rose to its feet, and to a parody of the song
"Goodbye Dolly Grey'" they sung:
'"Goodbye Bimbo, you must leave us”
"Goodbye Bimbo, you must go”
This gesture, as much as anything symbolized the affection and deep respect in which Bimbo was held. A respect which I might add kept us very much alive by his weekly '"Defaulters
Parades" at which he dealt with any school boy who had broken rules, etc., and had been unlucky enough to have been caught.
We remember a man who stood for everything good in the school and in doing so, we also honour the extremely able heads who have succeeded him:
H G Livingston
J H Downing
C R Messiter-Tooze
P M Brett
R K Gracie
It was a great school,
It is a great school
Let us keep it that way.
preached by Rev. Fr. C W Ross
THANKSGIVING SERVICE HELD IN CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST ON Sunday 28th July, 1985
When I was given the honour of preaching this sermon, my mind went back 25 years, to the Golden Anniversary of Milton School, and I remember the beloved Canon Rupert Cranswick, Old Miltonian and Rhodes Scholar, taking the service on what is now the Morgan Quad. This brought back a flood of memories, and I had to recall the real purpose of this service.
As the Title of the Service tells us, our purpose in coming together this morning is Thanksgiving. We give thanks to Almighty God for all who pioneered the efforts to provide schools for the boys and girls who lived here towards the close of the 19th century. In particular we remember this morning Bishop Gaul, Revd. Nelson Fogarty and Mr. Teychenne, all of whom contributed to the beginning of St. John's School in January 1898. 13½ years later, in July 1910, St. John's School closed its doors, and the pupils were transferred to the new Government Schools, Eveline and Milton, and so began the 75 years we celebrate at this time.
Our thanksgiving now is for those years of service in educating thousands of boys; for the continuing development and for the high standards maintained by successive Headmasters and their staffs, and by generations of pupils.
A school is a living organism, whose life lies in the succession of its members. As pupils, staff and all who work in it, we become integral parts of it for a period. And when we leave it, whatever our connection has been, we take with us a part of that school - not only in training and knowledge, but in memories of the Characters who shared our brief span with us, of the events and of the traditions we knew.
A great part of these celebrations and thanksgiving is typified by two things; the recalling of our history, as has been done so admirably by Michael Bullivant's history of the school, and the setting up of a Milton Museum. This looking back has two purposes. The first is that it is essential to know the tradition in which we stand. Only so can we make sense of the present, and begin to understand ourselves. It goes further than that. We find in our search, the heroes of our tradition and our faith, who serve as examples, and as signposts by which to direct our lives.
But the second purpose of the backward look is to show us where change and development and adaptation are necessary. The good tradition leaves us pointers as to how we should adapt ourselves to new situations, and prepares us to make such changes. Milton has always been ready to adapt to new situations, and has been in the forefront of educational progress in this country.
What really matters in the end though, is the quality of the ··products", to use that term, who emerge from Milton School. A verse from Wordsworth gives, I think, an ideal towards which we can all usefully strive:
The title of the poem is -
The verse concerned goes thus:
"Who is the happy warrior? Who is he
That every man in arms should wish to be?
It is the generous spirit, who when brought
Among the tasks of real life hath wrought
Upon the plan that pleased his Childish thought".
THE PERRY WINDOW IN ST. JOHNS CATHEDRAL
This memorial to an old Miltonian features the School Crest.
In our second reading we heard the school motto in its context of 1 Corinthians 16 vs. 13. It is one thing to say "Quit ye like men" - i.e. act with courage in the highest traditions of which mankind is capable. That is the ideal. But the context gives us the means by which this ideal is to be achieved: ··watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit ye like men". "Stand fast in the faith" - this is the essential element, that which makes our ideals achievable, because it is the recognition that our own strength and wisdom are inadequate. We need the power of God to do His work. "When I am weak, then I am strong" says Paul paradoxically, meaning that when we recognize our need of God's help, we open the way for Him to come into the situation - we no longer get in His way.
This need for faith is emphasized in the reading from Ephesians about the whole armour of God. Having listed the girding of the loins with truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace, Paul goes on to say –
"Above all, take the shield of FAITH ... ".
. And how do we achieve faith? By prayer- regular, frequent and continued prayer.
This is not to say that the prayer of faith releases us from further effort. True prayer leads to action. We need to pray as if everything depends on God - and then work as if it all depends on us.
So, having looked at the past - "the plan that pleased our childish thought" and having rejoiced in so goodly a heritage, may you go forward in faith to even greater things, so that those who celebrate the centenary of Milton School can look to the past with no less pride than we have during these 75th Anniversary celebrations.
May God Bless you and prosper you all.
Youth brings with it high ideals, and it is these that can so easily be eroded away - almost without our noticing it, when the pressures of what Wordsworth calls ""the tasks of real life" come upon us. Milton has always provided an environment where those ideals can be entrenched and fortified, so that we can enter the mainstream of life as "Happy Warriors" in this sense. How desperately the world needs men who, as Mr. Garfield Todd said in his speech at Milton on Thursday, can be trusted.