Dear Parents and Guardians,
RE: FROM THE RECTOR’S DESK
Last weekend was one of much celebration as we recognized, in both the Boys and Girls Schools’ Speech Days, a year of much activity and normality. In our reflection on 2022, the overwhelming feeling was one of considerable gratitude. Following two years of disruption, and, at times, chaos, we recognize that 2022 has provided the opportunity to engage with the breadth of activities for which Peterhouse is synonymous. Equally, this year also reminded us of what we lost in so many areas during the pandemic.
This past weekend was significant in more ways than one as we were able to pay tribute, in a more real sense, to those who have served this school, not only in 2022 but throughout the history of the school. On Friday evening, in Harare, the Board of Governors recognized and paid tribute to two long serving members of the governing body. While Mr Stuart Mattinson retired as Chairman of the Board of Governors in 2020, we have only been able to pay tribute to his considerable service to the school this year. The same is the case for Mr Jeff Dick, who stepped down from the Board at the end of 2019. Both Petreans, they have served our schools for over fifty years in a host of governance roles. Through their time of service to our community they have endured the roller coaster ride of independent education in Zimbabwe. Despite this, their insight, wisdom, and guidance has underscored the growth and development of the Group. We owe them a significant debt of gratitude as Peterhouse has reaped many rewards through their contributions to our schools.
As Guest Speakers for Speech Day we were fortunate to be able to welcome Mr Sam Sithole (PHB) and Mrs Martha Prescott (PHG) to our campuses. Born and educated in Zimbabwe, Sam Sithole has become a leading investment banker in South Africa. In his message to the boys, he spoke of the values which underlie success and how these impact attitude and lifestyle. His message, both powerful and easy to assimilate, will have provided the audience, particularly our 2022 leavers, with much to reflect upon. In the Girls’ School Speech Day presentation Mrs Prescott offered an incredible lesson on the power of service to others. Founder of the Hope Foundation of Schools outside Bulawayo, she provided an incredible insight into what can be done through a vision and a faith in fulfilling goals and aspirations. In both speakers, their humility, alongside a passion for what they do, was very evident and will have provided our pupils with some invaluable lessons for life. We extend our very sincere thanks to both our guests for giving up their time to be at Peterhouse.
During the Boys’ School proceedings Mr Andrew Griggs and Mr Elliott Muchena were awarded Honours Ties. This is the school’s highest award. An Honours Tie recognizes outstanding service to the school, as well as acknowledges the recipient as being one who exemplifies and upholds the true values and character of Peterhouse. In Mr Griggs’ case he has been a member of staff since 1988 and has taught 101 terms in the school. Amongst his many roles, he has been a housemaster, Director of Culture and Studies, and has taught Biology, Science, and Geography. Mr Muchena started his Peterhouse journey in 1984 and has worked under all but two of Peterhouse’s seven Rectors. Something of a legend, he has incredible insight into the workings of the school as well as an amazing capacity to remember Petreans and their journey through this school. We salute and pay tribute to both men for their incredible commitment and service.
Speech Day marks the beginning of the end for our leavers, the first of whom finish their examinations this week. The Girls School hosted their Leavers Service on Thursday. In a moving service, tribute was paid to the Class of 2022. They have seen much in their Peterhouse journey. Equally, they have added much to the richness and energy of our community. The Boys School will pay tribute to their leavers on Sunday 13 November in a service in the Chapel at 09h00. Parents of the leavers are most welcome to attend this service. As with the Girls School service, Mr Matt Hosack, Chairman of the Petrean Society, will acknowledge and welcome the Leavers into the Society.
The headlong rush to the end of the year has begun. There is still much to be done in bringing the year to a successful conclusion. Please may I remind you that the last day of the school year is Thursday 8 December. There are a number of important events in our calendar which take us into that last week of term. Both our Christmas Carol Service (4 December) and the Marondera Schools Combined Carol Service (5 December) will take place in the runup to the end of term.
After all the festivities of last weekend, the calendar is a lot quieter this weekend, and I hope that you will enjoy some quality catchup time with your children.