Saturday, May 31, 2014

So . . . where has the chapel gone, then?

Just a couple of catch-ups before I start today's blog:

The winner of the prize as advertised in the last blog was Debs Saunderson from South Carolina - who (quite correctly) pointed out that I look like . . . me! But with a silly little dictator-style toothbrush mustache. Runner-up was my daughter, but she was disqualified. 

Apologies to all those who thought I looked like a fellow called Adolf someone or other. Better luck next time. And if you haven't read the last blog (or indeed any of the 175 blogs I have posted) - you can see them all listed at the top of this page - on the right hand side.

Secondly - a development report on the puppies - they are coming along and growing by the day: their eyes are starting to open, and they look like Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs at the moment. Mum is doing SO well, and she is coping brilliantly.

For this week - I need to go back in time - about a month or so.

The holidays came to an end, and it was time for school to start again, so the car was packed for the term; the combined luggage of 3 girls is not a thing to be sneezed at! Suitcases, golf clubs, tennis racquets and who-knows-what-else is all hidden under the pile in our truck . . 

we reached the school, and I helped one of my daughters unpack her worldly goods ready for the next 3 months. . .

The bed was made, and a thick blanket & duvet spread in preparation for the bitterly cold winters of Marondera. . 

Once my daughter was unpacked and sorted out for the term, I went in search of the Chapel, because, you see, it had disappeared during the course of the holidays.

Believe it or not!

As I remarked in my blog dated 29/4/2014, the Chapel at Peterhouse Girls' and Springvale has always been very much at the heart of the school. This is a reproduction of a pic from that blog taken at the 'Farewell Tea' for Dr Bradshaw - showing the Chapel in the background

And the photos with the Chapel in the background go quite a way back. The following photograph was taken over a year ago - when my youngest daughter first started at Peterhouse. Again, the Chapel features prominently in the background. . . 

So that view of the Chapel at Peterhouse Girls' has been replicated in several past blogs. And here is how it looked at the start of this term - slightly different! The photo is taken from almost the identical spot as the previous photograph - but now only the rear wall of the building remains.

For me it was quite a thing to see such a large part of my past obliterated!

I had been confirmed in that chapel as a young boy almost 40 years ago, and have attended services there both in times past as well as recently. I have sat on the pews recently and listened to welcome speeches from the Rector, Headmaster or Headmistress; and I have a vague memory of one of the boys getting into trouble for pinching the Alter Wine all those years ago - possibly in 1975/6? Was it Balneaves? Or Ferreira? I can't remember the details now, but the fact remains.

 I remember playing with my pet snake (a Brown House Snake) in the pond that used to be in the shadow of the Chapel, and the strange smell combination of thatch roof, wood polish on the pews, and bored schoolboys. I remember limping into a Sunday service after doing damage to myself playing rugby against Ruzawi the previous Saturday, and being allowed to sit right at the back where the teachers usually sat - because it was easiest. And the terror of having to read a lesson from the pulpit at age 11. And the stifled giggles when someone had sneaked in overnight and made the hymn boards all announce that we were to sing hymn 132 over and over again - four times in a row.

So it was a little sad to see it go - but times must change, and we with them.

Even though the Chapel had pretty much disappeared by the first day of term, the symbolism was still very much evident as shown in this view of the side of the building. Rather like the hole representing the Twin Towers, the Chapel remains at the heart of the school - whether it is there or not. . .

What a fantastic photograph?

Have a great day!


  1. Simon,

    I am waiting for the next blog!

    Tucson, USA

  2. Simon,

    We haven't heard from you in such a long time. I do hope and pray that all is well with you and your family. I know moving can be very stressful!

    We miss your blogs!

    Tucson, USA