Milton High School

Selborne Avenue, Bulawayo

History - Odd bits and pieces Milton High School from 1898

No Ancient Pile

Odds and Ends, 1898-1910

February 1898: A further teacher for St. John's School, Mr. Green, arrived from England.

April 1899: Shortly before his departure for England, the priest-in charge, the Revd. Anthony Bathe, held a service for men only to "warn them against temptations which cannot conveniently be discussed in the presence of women and children". Presumably Messrs. Teychenne and Green were in attendance!

August 1899: A ceiling of wooden slats was to be put into the church: first the church roof could not support a ceiling; then the carpenters went on strike.

September 1900: The Revd. J.S. and Mrs. Wimbush moved into St. John's Rectory.

January 1901: The enrolment at St. John's reached a hundred.

1 December 1902: Plumtree School opened with nine pupils on the roll.

1903: There were protests to the Town Council about the injustices suffered by parents who did not wish their children to be educated in sectarian schools.

October 1904: Canon John Hallward arrived at St. John's in the wake of a smallpox epidemic. He was violently opposed to raffles and, on one occasion, stood "upon a chair in a crowded bazaar to protest against a raffle which had been organised unbeknown to him; he was absolutely without fear of anybody".

September 1905: Mr. Painting opened his business as a tinsmith on the stand next to St. John's.

January 1906: The Revd. A.S. Robins arrived to teach at St. John's; he was also in charge of St. Cyril's, a church for Coloureds near the railway station.

21 May 1907: St. John's School travelled to Plumtree with a Football XI and a shooting team; they won the soccer 4-0 and the shooting by an undisclosed total. The headmaster of Plumtree, R.W. Hammond, noted that Plumtree would have won the shooting had not the St. John's Drill Instructor insisted "after the 100 yards event had been fired, that only the four best scores (from each team's six members) be counted".

June 1907: Bishop Gaul resigned the Diocese of Mashonaland as his health was poor and returned to England to recuperate.

26-27 November 1907: St. John's played Plumtree at cricket: Plumtree scored 40 and 167, St. John's 180 and 28 for 3, thus winning by seven wickets. Their captain, Bell, scored 137 not out and 23 not out and the Plumtree Magazine recorded that he should not have been allowed to play in a school match as he openly broke the commandment "Thou shalt not smoke". He subsequently took holy orders.

1908: At the Pan-Anglican Congress, the diocesan synod presented a resolution that the greatest needs of the diocese were "itinerating priests" and church schools.

11 June 1909: Plumtree beat St. John's 17-0 in Bulawayo in the first ever inter-school rugby match played in Rhodesia.

31 August 1909: Plumtree won the return match, 15-0.

June 1910: St. John's School closed causing much indignation to Plumtree pupils, especially the girls who had been keenly anticipating a hockey match against the St. John's girls.


Odds and Ends, 1910-1924

February 1911: A large consignment of books arrived for the school library, chosen by Mr. Duthie, the Director of Education.

September, 1911: The old St. John's buildings were finally vacated and bought at Messrs. Haddon & Sly's at the following prices: School ties at 2s.; school belts at ls.9d.; stockings, 2s.6d. to 3s.9d.; 1st cricket team blazers, 17s.6d.; school ribbon at ls.3d. a yard. All boys requiring any of these articles must get a written order form from the Principal."

June 1912: Tree-planting had begun in the grounds and by the end of June there were over 100 trees.

December 1912: The Camera Club had to limit its operations as it did not wish to "put a drain on the Bulawayo water supply; also the general heat brought about a certain annoying antipathy between the glass and the film".

1913: Milton's first Rhodes Scholar - D. Randall.

1914: Two Milton "cafes" were established in the grounds. Here one could obtain tea, cakes, biscuits and sweets at reasonable prices. The buildings were made of iron and sacks. The one was named the "Miltonian Cafe" with H. Cooper as proprietor. The other was the "Milton Hotel" with W.H. Davidson as proprietor.

21 October 1914: 1st R.R. left for Salisbury, among them D.S. Judson 1, the first Milton boy to join up, and Mr. R. Allan, a master. 16 November 1914: Convicts began levelling the school field.

24 May 1915: Empire Day - all boys went to bioscope pictures at the Palace Theatre as guests of the municipality.

4 November 1916: Mock trial of the Kaiser with Mr. A.R. Welsh as judge (he was later Speaker of the House of Assembly).

16 May 1917: R.L. Cranswick awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. December 1917: F.W. Thomas was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Military Cross; "Tommy" Lewis had gained his pilot's certificate in the Royal Flying Corps, the first Rhodesian born, bred and educated to receive this.

May 1918: The Town Council presented the school with fifteen guineas to celebrate Empire Day in any way it liked. "Various suggestions were put to the vote and it was decided that the School should go to see the film, 'Symbol of Sacrifice', on Thursday, May 30th".

November 1919: The Bulawayo Chronicle noted "in connection with the last show week: The Milton High School leads in woodwork, the articles including full-sized and highly finished writing tables and desks, chairs, bookcases, and many other articles; several of the boys having earned high distinction."

June 1920: All boys, day boys and boarders, were examined by Dr. Hayes. "It was found that taken as a whole the boarders were healthier than the day boys."

24 May 1920: Empire Day - Sir Otto Beit was present at a presentation of medals to cadets and gave a short address.

June 1921: The number on the registers was 390 of whom over 160 were boarders, compared with about 60 in 1916. "There is not an inch of space in the boarding house or the four cottages which have been taken over by the school. A new boarding house is due to the Milton as well as our sister school, the Eveline, and others in the territory as soon as the necessary funds are in hand."

November 1922: The Miltonian reported the following exchange: "Boy: Please, teacher, I've lost my rubber. Teacher: Well, use the little boy's behind."

1923: The Miltonian reported that "The Staff Automobile Club is in a very bad way ... The president disappears on Sundays and does things with bits of tin. He has a new bonnet on the car, and it is rumoured that when a new chassis has been bought, a new engine assembled, the old body replaced by a new one, and new wheels (with new tyres) put on, then the car will be almost as good as new. There are also rumours that a well-known member of staff intends soon to buy something of the kind but is hesitating between a Ford and a motor-car."

May 1924: A "Jazz Orchestra" was formed in the school, consisting of two violins, 'cello, bones, drums and Swannee whistle.


Odds and Ends, 1925-1930

August 1925: The Governor, Sir John Chancellor, visited the school.

August 1925: A notice appeared “In view of our forthcoming game with Plumtree, arrangements have been made by the Prunes, we understand, with the P.O. for the dispatch of telegrams to relatives at certain intervals during the game. Special cards have been printed to cope with demand as follows:

I am                                         }          lamed.

I am certain to be                    }          maimed.

I expect to be                          }          dead

 (Requiescat in Pace.)


March 1926: The Miltonian refused to give the name of "the lady member of staff who, on seeing the Mathematical work called 'The Reign of Relativity', remarked that she had never heard of him and suggested that he was one of the ancient kings". It also reported an exchange between master and pupil:


"Master: What is a polygon?

 F-g-d: A dead parrot, sir."


1 May 1926: Milton debated with Eveline the motion "That a strike in the hands of the workman does more harm than good, economi­cally, socially and politically". The adjudicator, Dugald Niven, "concluded that the sides were even".

June/July 1926: Milton beat Plumtree 15-3 in the Haddon and Sly Cup and again 15-3 in the semi-final of the Honey Cup; the school then went on to beat Prince Edward's 22-6 in the Honey Cup Final.

June 1927: On the eve of the move to the new school, some statistics were produced for the period 1910-1926

Rhodes Scholars         10

Beit Bursars                17

Beit Scholars              34

 Rugby v. Plumtree: Played 25, won 17, lost 5, drawn 3

Cricket v. Plumtree: Played 27, won 16, lost 10, drawn 1

July 1927: The school became the "proud possessor of a Gestetner Reduplicator. Henceforth boys at examinations will be deprived of the convenient excuse that they 'couldn't read the board' ". A Lingua phone, with books of records in French and Afrikaans, was also acquired.

28 August 1927: Sir Charles Coghlan died suddenly and the school furnished the guard of honour both at the railway station and the lying-in-state. The full cadet company acted as escort at the state funeral and school buglers sounded the Last Post and Reveille at the grave on World's View.

March 1928: Milton acted as host to fifty English Public Schoolboys who were on a tour of Rhodesia; despite the novelty of playing on matting, the visitors gained the upper hand in a drawn cricket match and then contributed to a highly successful concert; the only complaint was that the visitors had not brought their sisters.

June 1928: Milton expressed its condolences to the Earl of Athlone and Princess Alice on the death of their only son, Viscount Trematon who had accompanied his parents to Milton two years earlier.

June 1928: Rhodesia participated in the Olympic Games for the first time and one of the two boxers chosen to represent the country was Old Miltonian Cecil Bisset.

June 1928: Milton's 1st XV toured Natal and had the melancholy experience of losing all three matches, conceding 83 points and scoring none. In a letter to the Chronicle spiritedly defending the decision to send the side, Colonel Brady pointed out that it had been at Michaelhouse's invitation and the school could hardly have replied "No, we won't play you this year as you will probably beat us, you must wait until we think we are strong enough to beat you"

December 1928: The new Governor, Sir Cecil Rodwell, K.C.M.G., visited the school.

January-February 1929: Two enterprising juniors decided to publish a weekly chronicle of school life under the name of "The Weekly Fib". After a successful run of five weeks "the publication was banned by the Censors" The editors of the Miltonian were "considerably relieved at the removal from their path of this insidious and dangerous rival".

11 May 1929: Mr. Jacobs of the Bulawayo Gramophone Society gave "a very interesting and much appreciated recital" in the Beit Hall, including "Trial by Jury", Finck's "Melodious Memories", an aria from "Lucia di Lammermoor", "An Old Time Music Hall. In four parts" and "Domestic Blisters. Billy Bennett, Comedian".

June 1929: Sir Henry Birchenough and his daughter, Mrs. Morcom visited the school

July 1929: Sir William Milton wrote thanking the headmaster for a book of photographs of the school expressing the wish that "I could see any prospect of inspecting them in person, but I am afraid that is not possible".

July 1929: Milton again beat Prince Edward's in the final of the Honey Cup, 21-5.

September 1929: Milton's first two tennis courts came into commission and the first tennis tournament was held the following year.

June 1930: A correspondent noted with regret that "only running races were included in the inter-school sports" and suggested the inclusion of a motor-cycle race and the inauguration of "a Milton Dirt Track Racing Association".


Odds and Ends, 1931-1939

24 June 1931: En route for leave in England, the Governor, Sir Cecil Rodwell, visited the school, which celebrated a holiday on 10 July, the day the ship sailed from Cape Town.

August 1931: Trevor Wright became the first Milton boy to pass the difficult Advanced Grade (Violin) Exam.

2 May 1932: The junior forms presented A.P. Herbert's "Fat King Melon and the Princess Carraway".

October 1932: A Science Society was formed and, in its first year, visited the Railway Workshops, the Flour Mills, the Acetylene Works, the Lonely Mine, the Telephone Exchange and the Printing Works.

13 June 1933: After a speech by Lord Lloyd on Britain's Royal Navy, a branch of the Navy League was formed at Milton. Membership was open to boys in Forms III, IV and V and soon the League boasted a membership of twenty boys.

30 September 1933: A school fete was held in aid of the Child Welfare Society; attractions included donkeys, a skittle-alley, coconut shy and "The Great Mephisto".

October 1933: Milton's first swimming colours were awarded to A.L. Painting who was a member of the Rhodesian Currie Cup team to visit Durban.

1934: Visitors to the school included Sir Alexander Godley, ex-Governor of Gibraltar, the Kunwar Sir Maharaj Singh, Agent-General in South Africa for the Government of India, and Colonel J .H. Patterson, D.S.O., the author of “The Man Eaters of Stave". The school also participated in the welcome for Prince George (later King George VI) and the Cadets paraded for his inspection on 28 March.

6 August 1934: On the occasion of the unveiling of the Livingstone Memorial at the Victoria Falls, the Head Prefect, J. Brown, laid a wreath on behalf of the school.

October 1934: A Wireless Club was founded, giving rise "to many weird noises at Milton". Mr. Jackson donated a wireless set to the Club and members visited the Bulawayo Broadcasting Station.

November 1934: The last silent film was shown at Milton: "A week ago we were informed that the day of the silent film was over - none, in fact, had been made for the past five years, so that no more will be shown in the Beit Hall ... There was, however, a silver lining in this apparently blackest of clouds - if every boarder subscribed £1 we should be able to buy a 'talkie machine'."

24 January 1935: A Johannesburg branch of the Old Miltonians' Association was started with Joe Margolis as Chairman.

September 1935: Milton won the Mim Du Toit Tennis Trophy by beating Prince Edward's by one game.

28 September 1935: P. Mansell took four wickets with consecutive balls whilst playing for the 1st XI against the Combined Banks.

October 1935: Jock Thompson's "A History of Sport in Southern Rhodesia" was published.

July 1935: In the 50th Plumtree match, played at the B.A.C. Ground Milton lost 0-23.

April 1937: The school bought a sound projector and the first film to be shown was "Little Miss Marker", a Shirley Temple film, "but not up to the usual standard of the productions of the juvenile star".

July 1937: The Carl Rosa Opera Company visited Bulawayo and about forty boys attended a matinee of "Cavalleria Rusticana" and "I Pagliacci"; so enthusiastic were they that "a great number resolved to see the next matinee performance of 'Carmen'. One boy, whose pocket money had been exhausted, was so enthusiastic with the beauty of the opera that he sold a pair of his trousers to obtain the money necessary for admission".

September 1937: At the suggestion of Mr. Jackson, Pioneer House started a model plane club. On Speech Night, the Headmaster commented: "Although the law of gravity has proved as intrac­table as ever, many of the machines are a credit to their youthful constructors".

October 1937: The "Ten Club" was formed to discuss world problems of the day.

5-6 November 1937: Plumtree beat Milton by four wickets in the 50th cricket match.

23 April 1938: In the first Plumtree-Milton Athletics Meeting, Plumtree won by 24 points to 18.

28 November 1938: At Speech Night, the Mayor announced that "an application by the School Council to the Municipality asking for 500,000 gallons of water a month for the maintenance of the school sports grounds had been considered and passed by the Bulawayo Town Council".

September 1938: Milton won the Mim Du Toit for the fourth successive year.

May 1939: Visitors to the school were Sir John Chancellor and Lady Beit, both in Rhodesia for the opening of the Otto Beit Bridge at Chirundu.

September 1939: Milton lost the Mim Du Toit Cup to Prince Edward by one game.

3 November 1939: The guest at Speech Night was the Governor, Sir Herbert Stanley, who was paying his first official visit to Milton.


Odds and Ends 1939-1955

May 1940: The experiment of afternoon school was begun.

July 1940: The Inter-School Rugby Tournament was cancelled because of "the prevalence of epidemics in the country".

September 1940: Milton regained the Mim Du Toit Cup by defeating Prince Edward.

1941: The criminal record of the staff has been maintained by a conviction for 'speeding'. This bad news was somewhat mitigated by the inference of improvement in the quality of staff cars. The culprit is said to have achieved 32 m.p.h., thus equalling the School record set up in Selborne Avenue about five years ago."

December 1941: The size of the Miltonian was reduced "not due to lack of material, but entirely to economy" and the price came down from half-a-crown to 1/6d.

8 November 1942: Flying Officer R.M. Quarendon, a member of staff, was killed in action in the R.A.F. whilst protecting the Allied landings in North Africa. The Education Department only released him in December 1940 after a protracted struggle.

10 November 1942: H.H. Davies, Minister of Internal Affairs and guest at Speech Night, warned the school that, although "this war will be won ... I want you to realise that it will bring about changes in this world which will claim your full efforts ... the old order of things has passed".

December 1942: The Miltonian was smaller than ever and the price came down to 1/-.

November, 1943: The guest at Speech Night was the Prime Minister, Sir Godfrey Huggins, and he told the audience: "The school's record in the forces is a very fine one, and if all Old Miltonians who have been obliged to remain in civil life have played their part with the same courage and ideals of service and sacrifice, then indeed Milton has a record second to none and one that cannot be surpassed."

6 June 1944: "On the morning of the invasion of Normandy Mr. Gebbie held a short service for the School in the Beit Hall very soon after the news came through."

29 June 1944: The Governor, Sir Evelyn Baring, K.C.M.G., visited the school shortly before his departure from Rhodesia.

29 November 1944: In the course of his report at Speech Night, the headmaster lamented the lack of parental support: "We produced two plays and the total number of parents who attended was 35. In ten first team cricket matches the average of parents was 1.1. This is disappointing."

23 May 1945: The new Governor, Admiral Sir Campbell Tait, K.C.B., visited the school and gave its members some advice: not to owe money to anyone; not to accept presents that would put them under any obligation; to take great care in choosing only the best characters as friends, and "to fear God and honour the King"

September 1945: The main cricket field was completely turfed in time for the first match of the new season - this was the first match at Milton to be played on a turf wicket and Milton lost by 37 runs to Mr. Batchelor's XL

3rd Term 1945: The Beit Hall was out of use for most of the term whilst an effort was made to improve its acoustics "by spraying the walls with some form of asbestos".

27 October 1946: Mrs. Ball, the new headmaster's wife, entertained the whole staff to a tennis party. "It was a very pleasant function and much enjoyed by both the players and non-players."

December 1946: On his retirement from Prince Edward, Mr. H.G. Livingston settled in Bulawayo.

December 1946: No fewer than six ex-members of the Milton staff were appointed headmasters: H.H. Cole to Prince Edward, D.C. Ferrer to Guinea Fowl, J.H. Mather to Blakiston, J. Simpson to Gatooma, A.R.J. Ridley to Enkeldoorn and J. Mitchell to Hillside.

February 1947: Sir John and Lady Chancellor paid yet another visit to Milton.

March 1947: Speech Night was moved to the first term of the year and the guest was Mr. Justice (later Sir Robert) Tredgold.

14 April 1947: Milton took part in the welcome for the Royal Family and particularly enjoyed the fireworks display at Central Sports Ground.

8 October 1948: Milton staged its first full-length play since 1941, Karel Capek's "R.U.R.", a play "symbolising the inability of man to hold in restraint the mechanical devices he has created. When the climax is reached man is exterminated by his machines and the Robots rule over the world, but not before man has doomed them by destroying the formula for their fabrication".

November 1948: At the end of the Plumtree-Milton cricket match, Mr. Mac W. Ingram was presented with a clock having completed his fiftieth consecutive match as umpire in the Plumtree-Milton contests.

December 1949: The Miltonian raised its price to 2/6 and reintroduced advertising in an attempt to counter the annual loss of between £30 and £40.

3 March 1950: Colonel Sir Ellis Robins, resident director of the B.S.A. Company, presented the school with a new flag to replace that originally given by Sir Henry Birchenough in 1925 to hang by the school war memorial.

May 1950: The state of the rugby fields caused much unhappiness: they "were quite the worst they have ever been. In fact it is almost impossible to visualise them being any worse. Only two weeks after the start of the season there was not a blade of grass to be seen on any one of the three fields, and where six years ago there had once been a second Hartsfield one saw only thick dust inter-mingled with small rocks, pot-holes and occasional thorns. The appalling conditions did not encourage any type of contact with the ground, and the many small cuts and scratches which were unavoidable invariably developed into festering wounds, which were never really allowed to heal. .. One particular field was covered by four genuine inches of fine, dirty dust, which, although soft, didn't do one's lungs any good. At one stage the sore throat and 'flu epidemic was so serious that several well-known doctors strongly recommended that all rugby should cease immediately .. . Players literally detested practices, which were forever taking a heavy toll in injuries."

July 1950: Milton produced a papier-mache model of the ideal Rhodesian farm for the Bulawayo Agricultural Show; it attracted a good deal of attention and a photograph appeared in the Chronicle.

July/ August 1951: "The school, staff and boys were fairly badly affected by an outbreak of 'flu."

13 February 1952: Colonel Brady, the school's second headmaster, died at the age of 76; at the semi-military funeral, the headmaster and head boy were two of the pall-bearers.

March 1952: A block of four new classrooms came into use

26 July 1952: On the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Rhodes the school prefects attended a service held at Rhodes' Statue in Main Street.

1952: A school tuck shop - "The Blue Leopard" - reappeared, equipped with a general dealer's licence "to get square with the law"; it made a profit of £151/3/1 in its first year.

1952: Milton joined with the Convent School in a production of "H.M.S. Pinafore".

June/July 1953: "A fairly serious outbreak of German Measles affected several classes and caused disorganisation in the Rugby teams." September 1953: Bulawayo City Council presented the school with a framed reproduction of "Alan Wilson's Last Stand".

12-14 August 1954: Milton and Northlea presented "The Mikado" in the Large City Hall.

29 July 1955: The guest at Speech Night was the Archbishop of Central Africa, the Most Reverend Dr. E.F. Paget, who told the audience that "the grand aim of our educational system should be to send forth men and women with the nobility of character, the strength of spirit and the freedom from self-interest which would enable them to build up in our multi-racial society a truly multi-racial culture, and to resist wherever it is met any tendency to suppress or retard any group within the community."


Odds and Ends, 1956-1963

January 1956: A Fencing Club began at Milton as a junior section of the Matabeleland Fencing Club.

24 January 1956: A meeting of parents was held to discuss the formation of a Parent-Teachers' Association; the idea was well received and on 9 March a committee meeting was held.

May 1956: Duly and Co. began work on clearing the ground on what became the Thompson Fields; the work was done free of charge.

3 August 1956: The guest at Speech Night was Sir Roy Welensky, Federal Minister of Transport and Communications, who claimed that "the so-called colour problem is largely a problem of poverty and ignorance, a problem of being undercut in one's job and of having one's standard of living lowered".

25 October 1956: The Milton School Judo Club was officially formed after a two-month trial period - the Kano system was adopted and the instructor was Mr. Cullum, who had "a fourth Kyu grading from the famous Budokwai in London".

1st Term 1957: Milton, like the entire country, was much affected by the polio epidemic: the school sports were cancelled and the play, "Arsenic and Old Lace", postponed by a term.

March 1957: The University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland opened its doors for its first intake of students.

April 1957: Sir Ellis Robins, Resident Director of the Chartered Company for many years, visited the school immediately prior to his departure for Britain on retirement.

26 July 1957: The Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia, Garfield Todd, was guest at Speech Night and told the boys that "this world needs even more than the great scientists and leaders of industry - simply fine men".

August 1957: Asian 'flu swept through the school and the annual Cadet Camp had to be cancelled

June 1958: Sir Ellis and Lady Robins again visited Milton and, on behalf of the British South Africa Company, presented the school with the portrait of Sir William Milton that still hangs in the Beit Hall.

13 June 1958: The guest at Speech Night was the Governor-General of the Federation, the Earl of Dalhousie. In thanking him, the Head Boy remarked that Speech Night was "a memorable occasion but it would be even more memorable if the school was granted the holiday which His Excellency had promised some time previously. His Excellency stood up and stated that on his previous visit to the school, everyone seemed to be working so hard that it seemed a pity to disturb them. However, if a holiday was required, the school should have it".

June 1958: The masters took part in a rugby match with the boys "and demonstrated their superiority with a good win". The referee was Putt Jackson.

July 1958: A Fun Fair was held at the school in aid of the Beit Hall Building Fund.

July 1958: A party of boys and three members of staff, including the headmaster, travelled to the Kariba Dam site and were shown around the workings.

2nd Term 1959: The Miltonian announced "with deep regret that the boys appeared to find it impossible to field a rugby team against the staff." 10 October 1959: Milton's most impressive Fun Fair to date was held and raised over £1000.

January 1960: Richard Harlen created a school academic record by obtaining three distinctions in the Higher School Certificate Examination.

January 1960: Mr. and Mrs. L.R. Wynn presented a ship's bell to the school in memory of their son, Adrian, who died as a result of a hole in the heart operation in London. The bell, which replaced an old piece of railway line, still hangs from the side of the Beit Hall

11 August 1962: Teachers from all Bulawayo Schools gathered in the Beit Hall to watch the first experimental programmes in educational television.

August 1962: The guest at Speech Night was the Prime Minister, Sir Edgar Whitehead.

November 1962: A record number of candidates sat a complete range of public examinations:

247 C.O.P. candidates

172 C.S.C. candidates

79 supplementary candidates for C.S.C.

101 H.S.C. candidates

29 A.E.B. "M" level candidates

11 A.E.B. "A" level candidates

- a total of 639 entries. The school hall was quite inadequate for such numbers and the Ministry authorised the hiring of additional halls at the Agricultural Show grounds.

20 July 1963: The 100th Milton-Plumtree rugby match was won by Milton 23-6; it was followed by a sundowner and dance.

9 August 1963: For the second consecutive year, the guest at Speech Night was the Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia, but this time it was Winston Field, who had defeated Sir Edgar Whitehead in the General Election of December 1962.


Odds and Ends, 1964-1969

28 January 1964: Townsend girls joined sixth form classes at Milton for the first time.

15 February 1964: The Milton swimming team won the Harriers Shield at the Matabeleland Inter-Schools Gala. Heavy rain washed out the last twenty events and it was agreed to award the trophy to the school in the lead.

11 April 1964: Les Playford signed the £10,000 contract to build the Old Miltonians club house.

11 June 1964: In the Chronicle the Chiel reported: "Rumour had it that, under the regime of Milton's new headmaster, Mr. Patrick Brett, sport, sacred sport was being curtailed. Rumour had it that parents intended to raise the matter at a parent-teachers' meeting. The subject was raised towards the end of the meeting by the headmaster himself. He assured parents there had been no curtailment of sporting activities at the school. It may be that the children are working just a little harder when in the classroom - and who would quarrel with that? Their individual prospects of making the Springbok team are not impaired."

September 1964: The tennis team toured Natal, winning three matches and losing one.

21 September 1964: The table tennis team won the Second Division "with an unbeaten record and a games aggregate that must be a record for this always hard-fought division". In the course of the year they also won every major junior title: Rhodesian Junior, Matabeleland Junior, Mashonaland Junior and Matabeleland Schools Championship.

August 1965: A letter in "Ex Ore Equi", a sixth form newsheet, attacked the privileges of the sixth form girls, complaining that, in their common room, "I am told the girls have extremely nice armchairs, carpets, the lot - whereas our prefects' common room has none of these luxuries". The same issue also attacked the Beatles as "not merely outspoken, but boorish now that they have the world at their feet".

August-September 1965: The 1st XV toured Western Province, winning one match, losing three and drawing one.

6 February 1966: Milton beat Oriel Boys' High in the final of the R.B.C.'s "Top of the Form".

14 February 1966: Milton was adopted by the Johannesburg school, Hoerskool J .G. Strydom which offered to send parcels of articles which were scarce in Rhodesia. "The boys reacted instantly with a hearty cheer for the friendly Johannesburg school".

12 April 1966: The first night of the annual play, "The Lady's Not For Burning" by Christopher Fry, was a sixth form, evening dress gala with corsages handed to the girls as they arrived.

10 September 1966: The head boy, Peter Jones, represented the school at the state funeral of Dr. Verwoerd who had been assassinated four days earlier.

October 1966: The cricket match versus Plumtree resulted in a tie (the only one in the entire series): Milton 101 and 122, Plumtree 113 and 110.

6 April 1967: A member of the upper sixth, Ralph Glover, produced the school play, Anouilh's "Antigone".

May 1967: A Poetry Society was formed and, as well as encouraging the writing of poetry, it discussed during the year T.S. Eliot, Pasternak, Lawrence Durrell, Ezra Pound, Rimbaud and Dylan Thomas.

6-18 May 1967: The 1st XV toured Natal, winning two matches, losing three and drawing one. The team travelled in the two school buses, one of which averaged 50 m.p.h. and the other of which was hard put to manage a 25 m.p.h. average.

11 January 1968: The Chronicle reported that an ex-Milton pupil, Leslie Wasserson "has been asked by Britain's Ministry of Technology for a copy of his Master of Science thesis on fluid dynamics, which has been hailed as a highly valuable and original work".

21 April 1968: As part of the City's 75th anniversary celebrations, a junior mayor and mayoress were appointed for the first time; the junior mayor was Milton's deputy head boy, George Lambert-Porter.

August 1968: A cookery book, "Milton Moments", was published as a fund-raiser.

22 September 1968: The P.E. master, Lionel Reynolds, won the light heavyweight title at the South African weight-lifting champion­ships in Cape Town.

Third Term, 1968: A "student of the classics" translated "tempus fugit" as "Tempus has voetsaked".

8 February 1969: Air Commodore Archie Wilson, an Old Miltonian, was appointed Air Officer Commanding the Royal Rhodesian Air Force, the first born Rhodesian to hold the position.

May 1969: The 1st XV toured the Northern Transvaal winning two games and losing one.

July 1969: The P.T.A. "shelved the matter of safari suits as it was felt the tie, an identification with the school, would be lost".


Odds and Ends, 1970-1985

2 March 1970: The Special Air Service gave a display of their weapons and equipment at Milton.

May 1970: A public address system came into use within the school.

22 July 1970: A half-hour flight round the Matopos and Bulawayo was organised by the Science Club; 53 boys went on the flight. They were also given a demonstration of the airport fire brigade in action and visited the meteorological office. There was a similar expedition the following week.

June 1971: A sponsored walk raised over $8 000.

July 1971: Peter Jones, head boy in 1966, was elected Oxford University's Captain of Cricket for 1972. He was Oxford's sixth successive Rhodesian cricket captain, the second from Milton - Giles Ridley was his predecessor in 1967.

December 1971: Lionel Reynolds led a 115 kilometre foot-safari along the Zambezi; the average weight of the packs carried by staff and boys was 23 kilograms.

2 February 1972: The Chief Assistant, Mr. Wright, spoke to the sixth form on "School - a costly mistake".

15 March 1972: The Drakensberg Boys' Choir performed for the school. 29 March 1972: Of 384 boys in Forms II and III tested for bilharzia, only seven had a positive reaction.

19 April 1972: A school dental inspection discovered over 300 holes in the teeth of Milton boys.

15-20 May 1973: Milton boys won four major prizes in the Young Scientists' Exhibition.

20 July 1973: "A noisy but highly successful Old Boys' Reunion was held at Milton and resolutions passed for an annual event to be held".

22 July 1973: A sponsored walk raised over $5 000 towards the cost of furnishings and paving for the new pavilion.

January 1974: A Milton Folk Club was established and later in the year arranged "An Evening of Good, Contemporary Music".

19 July 1974: The second annual Old Boys' Reunion was preceded by a staff/old boys hockey match in which the staff side was "annihilated". At the subsequent dinner there were four father-and-son combinations present.

24 July 1974: A recording made by a clarinet quartet drawn from the Milton School Band was broadcast by the R.B.C.

June 1975: Milton promoted a Rock Concert in which the principal performers were two largely Milton bands - Fungus Gil and Sacrifice. A full house helped to produce perhaps the noisiest evening in the school's history.

July 1975: Yet another sponsored walk was held but the law of diminishing returns was beginning to operate and only $4 000 was this time realised.

3rd Term 1975: Work began on the "long-awaited" shelter and toilet facilities on the Thompson Fields.

18 March 1976: The Sixth Form Union was re-established and arranged a programme which, as well as braais, dances and films, included abseiling.

25 July 1976: Dr. Mark Webster delivered the Milton Address and concluded: "Only when the majority of the people of all races and groups here live under conditions which make them proud to call this country their own, can national solidarity and unity be achieved. Only then will there be a secure and promising future for all."

3 November 1976: Mr. Michael Bennet, one of Rhodesia's top players, took on thirty members of the school's Chess Club in a simul­taneous tournament; he won twenty-seven matches and drew three.

2 October 1977: Yet another sponsored walk succeeded in raising $8 675 towards a new school bus.

10 November 1977: The builders moved on to the site of the new staff flats which were built on the lawns between Charter House and Selborne Avenue.

3-5 March 1978: Six boys set up a trampoline marathon record of sixty five hours non-stop bouncing. This was in aid of magazine funds and initiated a spate of marathons including an attempt on the world squash record for six players of sixty-four hours non-stop play and a fifty-hour non-stop badminton game with eleven players.

11-12 March 1978: A weekend of heavy rain flooded the under-stage area of the Beit Hall and it took four hours to rescue the set of the school play which was then erected, not much the worse for its experiences. Meanwhile, both hostels had already been without hot water for two weeks as flooding had put the boilers out of action and, although in Charter House the water in the cellars was six feet deep, the Department of Works that had been pumping out the water was called away to more urgent work after 130 mm of rain fell in five hours on Sunday evening.

June 1978: Electricity was installed in the English and History blocks.

5 February 1979: The first non-white pupils to attend Milton arrived at the school.

May 1979: A tiered embankment on the west side of the Hambly Field came into use; it enabled many more spectators to watch rugby in comfort and with much improved visibility.

March 1980: The 1st XI scored 258 for 5 in a match against O.M.'s and the captain, Viljoen, made 109.

25 July 1980: Howie Gardiner, who was to have given the Milton Address, was ill and his thirteen-minute speech was read by a member of the School Advisory Council.

August 1980: In his Farewell Message to the school, Mr. Gracie recalled highlights of his ten years and a term at Milton, one of which was "unexpectedly talking to a schoolboy through an upstairs window when he was climbing a drainpipe".

25 October 1980: A member of 4A, Ewan Van Ryneveld, narrated "Peter and the Wolf" with the Bulawayo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Derek Hudson.

7 November 1980: Father Odilo Weeger dedicated the new panel of the School War Memorial commemorating boys who had lost their lives in the civil war.

12 February 1981: Heavy fighting in Entumbane and adjacent suburbs led to the closure of Milton and all other schools for the day.

22-25 July 1981: The school play, "Lord of the Flies", was produced with a cast drawn entirely from Forms 1 and 2.

15 August 1981: Issue No. 334 proved to be the last appearance of the Milton News for over two years.

October 1981: The first Milton Oktoberfest was so successful that it became an annual event.

April 1982: The school play, "Volunteers", won five awards in the National High Schools' Theatre Festival.

September 1983: The school received a visit from the Deputy Prime Minister, Simon Muzenda.

26 March 1984: The Tiibingen Chamber Orchestra played two concerts to a total audience of over 1 300 the whole of Milton and visitors from six neighbouring schools.

June 1984: The 1st Soccer XI beat C.B.C. 16-2.

February 1985: Yet another attempt was made to relaunch a Sixth Form Society, this time in conjunction with Townsend; perhaps for this reason, it began very successfully.

6 May 1985: Graham Coehn, ranked 37th junior in the world by the International Tennis Federation and having won the Matabeleland Junior Open Championship, was selected to play in the Junior Wimbledon Championships in July by the Tennis Association of Zimbabwe. He was beaten 2-6, 3-6 by the Spanish under-18 No. 1, Javier Sanchez.

6-7 June 1985: The Milton-Townsend Variety Concert proved so popular that hundreds had to be turned away.

20 July 1985: The Sixth Form Society celebrated the impending 75th Birthday with an Edwardian Ball featuring costumes that might have been seen in 1910; the decor for the dining hall included a fountain.