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A Brief History of the College (1896-2021) – written by Mr John McCarthy (College Archivist)

In 1896, a French Jesuit Priest Fr. Marc Barthelemy opened the door of a small corrugated – iron, two windowed hut to admit the .rst six students to Bulawayo Boys’ School. The date was January 13th, and the boys were Leonard and Lancelot Makin, Hubert and William Halder, Edgar Rorke and Otto Cooper.

The first assistant teacher was Fr. Victor Nicot. In 1898, a new purpose-built brick building was erected, and Fr. James Nesser joined the sta.. In December, at the .rst Prize -Giving, the school assumed the title “St George’s Boys’ Public School”. In 1898 Fr. Francis Johanny joined the sta., and the Cadet Corps was established. In 1902, the .rst English Jesuit, Fr. Thomas Gardner, joined the sta.. He was instrumental in establishing organised games like cricket and soccer, as well as assisting in running the Cadet Corps. It was also the year that the .rst Rhodes Scholarships were awarded in Rhodesia and they went to St George’s boys, Albert Bisset and Woodford Gilbert. In 1912, the erection of a much larger two-story building on the same site was completed and opened by Earl Grey, the former Administrator of the country.

During the First World War, 198 Old Georgians (OGs) volunteered and 26 were killed. In 1921, the Old Georgians’ Association was founded with its .rst President, Mr. D. Blackbeard. In the meantime, Hartmann Hill in Salisbury (Harare) had been given to Fr. Andrew Hartmann SJ, Chaplain to the “Pioneers” – the first formal settler force to arrive in the country. In 1925, because the school had become too large for the property in Bulawayo, it was decided to relocate to Salisbury in January 1927. The architect of the new buildings was Fr. Louis Leboeuf and the principal builder and carpenter was Br. John Conway SJ. In 1931, the new College crest was approved, and, in 1933, the .rst issue of the College Chronicle was published. Save for the period 1940 to 1948, when publication was prevented by war and immediate postwar shortages, the Chronicle has appeared every year since. The Beit Hall was opened in 1935 by the Governor, Sir Herbert Stanley.


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