The school started in 1927 as the first technical school for boys in Rhodesia. It changed to Gifford in 1961.
The Ellenbogen Trophy for the winning house at the annual inter-house gala was presented in 1954 by Mr. M. E. Ellenbogen. It was first won ‘by Dalton House at the gala held on 4 November.
The Robert Lee Jones Trophy was presented in 1975 by Mr. R. L. Jones, uncle of W. S. L Jones and T. 0. L. Jones (who are both Rhodesian swimmers and pupils of the School) as there was no trophy specifically for the open group. The first winner was Paul Broster (Dy).
The Broster Trophy for the under 16 swimming champion was presented in 1975 by Mr. Mr. and Mrs. E. K. Broster in recognition of the assistance given by the School to Olympic Swimmer, Paul Broster,in his career. It was won for the first time by T. 0. L, Jones (Dy).
Under 15 Champion
The Jones Cup for the under 14 swimming champion was presented in 1974 by Mrs. D. Jones. The first winners were D. Viljoen (Dy) and M. Hart (N).
The Devine Cup for the Under 13 champion in the inter-house gala was presented in 1968 by Mr. and Mrs. Theo C. Devine. In existence was a cup for the best swimmer in the Under 13 and under 14 age-groups, and by coincidence their two sons, Graham (U14) and Gavin (U13) tied for that cup in 1967. The presentation of the Devine Cup obviated the anomaly of there being one cup for two age groups.
The Finlayson Trophy for the winner of the open 100 metres free-style event was presented by Mr. John Finlayson, the physical education teacher, in 1965 because at that time, apart fr m the Ellenbogen Trophy, there were no trophies for individual winners in swimming.
The Brian Abrams Memorial Trophy for inter-house water polo was presented in 1969 by the boys of Gifford in memory of a popular sportsman who lost his life in a motor accident. It was first won by Davy House.
SWIMMING AT GIFFORD, 1929-76
The first gala in which the School took part was held in the Municipal baths on 25 March 1 929. For several years these inter-school galas were organised by Milton and were known as the “Milton School Galas”. The schools that took part in the 1929 gala were Eveline, St. Peter’s, Convent, Chaplin, Milton, and Technical. Places gained by boys from Technical were: A. Dawes came second in the 50 yards “handicap for boys (junior)”; I. McLeod won the equivalent event in the open age group; F. Wickwar won the 50 yards open back-stroke, while A. Dawes came third. M. Sheasby and G. S. Perry were second and third in the open diving. The School came second to Milton in the “inter-school team race”. In the 1930 gala, G. S. Perry won the “Junior Rhodesian 100 yards championship” in a time of 73,8 seconds. There were four competitors for this championship event.
For the following years “Tech” progressed little in swimming. Typical results from the Milton School Gala were four or five placings in racing and diving.
The first inter-house gala on record took place in April 1939 and was held at the Municipal Baths; Dalton came first, Whitworth was second, while Davy and Faraday were third and fourth respectively. Regrettably, no times for that gala were recorded for posterity. The 1942 magazine illustrates the limited facilities our swimmers had in those days: “During the past year it has been necessary to share our private hour at the Municipal Baths with Milton Senior School”. The 1 942 gala was a combined affair with Milton, while in 1943 and 1944 no school galas were held. By 1944, Technical boys were able to use three times a week the swimming bath belonging to the R.A.F. Initial Training Wing. In April 1945 this pool, known nowadays as the Anderson Pool, was handed over to the Southern Rhodesian Government “for the benefit and use of the school which may use Russell House as its hostel.” From this time on, the inter-house galas were held in the “Russell House Swimming Bath”, the first being in 1945.
In 1948, W. A. Palmer was included in the Rhodesian currie cup team and F. H. Turnbull swam for the Rhodesian Schools’ team in the South African Schools’ Championships. In November 1954, Mrs. Ellenbogen presented the Ellenbogen Trophy for the inter-house champion. It was won for the first time by Dalton, a House which with eight victories out of thirteen galas since 1939 had dominated the inter-house competition.
The School entered teams in the local swimming league in 1956 and subsequent years, and this competition probably did much to raise the standard of swimming.
In 1963 the swimming team was coached by Mr. Ian McIntosh, then a resident master in Russell House, and now national rugby coach.
Mr. John Finlayson took over as coach in 1964. In the next ten years, Gifford’s swimming standard increased rapidly, largely owing to the hard work and determination of Mr. Finlayson. Not surprisingly, therefore, in the 1965 magazine appears this comment: “The promise of 1964 has been realised. Gifford is now considered among the top swimming schools in Matabeleland”. Outstanding swimmers in these years were P. Watson, J. Neser, A. Dempster, R. Horrocks, 0. Haigh, and A. Caldwell.
Gifford won the Harriers’ Shield for the first time in 1967. This Shield goes to the winning school at an inter-schools’ gala held in the first term of each year. The School won every relay gala and friendly gala in that year in addition to the inter-schools’ gala. B. Mienie and G. Devine were chosen to swim for a Rhodesian junior side to compete against a touring South African team. The years 1968 and 1969 saw a similar run of victories with the School often winning a gala by a large margin. The School team took part in the 1 969 Mashonaland inter-schools’ gala, which it won. Mr. Finlayson wrote: “we can surely claim to be the top school side in Rhodesia this year”. Notable swimmers were R. Beaver, P. Broster, A. van Rensburg, P. Semple, B. Honderson, R. Bluett, L. Abrams, and B. Watt (diving).
In 1970 Gifford again won the Harriers’ Shield and inter-schools’ gala, but by narrower margins. That year twenty-three records were broken in the inter-house gala consisting of 44 events. P. Broster was chosen for the Currie Cup side. The next two years saw Gifford suffering a “recess” in swimming power, coming third in the 1 971 inter-schools, and second in the 1972 interschools, albeit by small margins. Our best swimmers in these years were A. McCoy, M. Robinson, and P. Broster, who was selected for the Rhodesian Olympic team that went to Munich, but which was debarred by that supreme sporting body.
From 1973 to the present Gifford swimming has fared well, the School having won the Matabeleland inter-schools’ competition by comfortable margins for four consecutive years. W Jones, T. Jones, and B. Beaumont have represented Rhodesia in the Currie Cup side.
From 1974, inter-house galas have been held in the new metric pool, the McLachlan Pool. The past decade has seen the golden years of swimming at Gifford. A glance at the tabulation of record-holders will confirm this. I end by quoting a former coach, Mr. A. L. van Heerden: “Competitive swimming knows no master when it comes to character building. It requires singleness of purpose, determination and an infinite amount of self-discipline”.
BOYS WHO HAVE REPRESENTED RHODESIA
1966 B. Mienie
1966 G.M. Devine
1970 P.E. Broster
1971 P.E. Broster
1972 P.E. Broster
1973 P.E. Broster
1973 T.0.L. Jones
1974 P.E. Broster
1974 T.0.L. Jones
1975 T.O.L. Jones
1975 W.S.L. Jones
1976 B.J. Beaumont
1976 T.0.L. Jones
1976 W.S.L. Jones
1976 A.W.P.Smith (Diving)
Master-in-charge: Mr. A. Menne
Captain: W. S. L. Jones
The swimming team enjoyed a very successful year. In the first term we took part in a relay gala at Northlea pool where we emerged winners by a clear margin.
In the third term, the inter-house gala was attended by a capacity crowd. Whitworth House led from the start and won the gala by a handsome margin. The School team achieved an outstanding victory at the inter-schools’ gala held at the C.B.C. pool, the results of which are indicated below.
INTER-HOUSE GALA, 1976
100 metres back-stroke: 1. 1. Jones (W); 2, W. Jones (W); 3, E. Trouw (D). Time: 1 minute 8,6 seconds (Record).
100 metres breast-stroke: 1, B. van Blerk (W); 2, W. Jones (W) and R. Jackson (D). Time 1 minute 20 seconds.
200 metres breast-stroke: 1, W Jones (W); 2, B. van Blerk (W); 3, R. Jackson (Li) .Time: 3 minutes 0,1 seconds.
50 metres butterfly: 1, T. Jones (W); 2 W. Jones (W); 3. I Pritchard (D). Time: 30.3 seconds.
100 metres free-style: 1, W. Jones (W); 2. T. Jones (W); 3, C. Botha (F). Time: 57,6 seconds.
200 metres free-stlye: 1, T. Jones (W); 2, W. Jones (W); 3, C. Griffin (F). Time: 2 minutes 14 seconds.
4 x 25 metres individual medley: 1, W. Jones (W); 2. T. Jones (W); 3, C. Botha (F). Time: 1 minute 8,7 seconds.
4 x 50 metres medley relay: 1, Whitworth; 2, Faraday; 3, Davy. Time: 2 minutes 6,12 seconds.
4 x 50 metres free-style relay: 1, Whitworth; 2, Faraday; 3. Davy. Time: 1 minute 55,1 seconds.
100 metres back-stroke: 1, M. Hart (N); 2, G. Bruce (W): 3, S. Holmes (F). Time: 1 minute 19.8 seconds.
100 metres breast-stroke: 1, M. Hart (N); 2, D. Viljoen (D); 3, G. Magowan (D). Time: 1 minute 18,4 seconds.
200 metres breast-stroke: 1, M. Hart tN); 2, D. ViLjoen (D); 3, L. Meal (W). Time: 2 minutes 52,8 seconds.
50 metres butterfly: 1, D. Viljoen (D); 2, A. Smith (N); 3, M. Hart (N). Time: 31.3 seconds.
100 metres free-style: 1, M. Hart (N); 2, 0. Viljoen (D); 3, L. Meal (W). Time: 60,6 seconds.
200 metres free-style: 1, M. Hart (N); 2, D. Viljoen (D); 3, L. Meal (W). Time: 2 minutes 20,2 seconds.
4 x 25 metres individual medley: 1, D. Viljoen (0); 2, M. Hart (N); 3, L. Meal (W). Time: 1 minute 11,4 seconds.
4 x 50 metres medley relay: 1, Davy; 2, Newton; 3, Faraday. Time: 2 minutes 15,1 seconds.
4 x 50 metres free-style relay: 1, Davy; 2, Newton; 3, Whitworth. Time: 1 minute 57,2 seconds (record).
WATER POLO, 1935-1976
The Early Days of the Game
The first ever recorded water-polo result was when the School in 1935 beat a Milton team by three goals to one. The magazine of that year called the result “creditable” and went on to say that the match was “one of the few occasions when we can measure ourselves against other schools in this sport”. We of today tend to forget that in 1935 the only other local boys’ schools that the Technical could compete against were Milton and Plumtree. School matches were few and far between, the next recorded one being in 1939 when the Technical team again beat Milton by eight goals to nil.
The only way to improve the players’ skill was to enter the senior league, for the Payne Shield, which was done. In those far off days of 1936 the polo team played well in the league where, it is recorded, they were top of the log. The leading player was one D.Balsdon by name. The team also enjoyed regular coaching by players from this senior league.
As time passed and an R.A.F. training establishment came to Bulawayo, so the School played the R.A.F. at Kumalo. That team was described as being probably the strongest in Rhodesia at the time, but the "Tech" team, though beaten, managed to put up a good showing in good company. In 1942 the team finished third out of five teams in the Challenge Water Polo Shield, and the captain, W. V. Barnes played for Matabeleland against Mashonaland and Midlands, and in a Bulawayo team against an army team from Salisbury. The teams in that league were: Bulawayo Town, R.A.F. Kumalo, R.A.F. Hillside (l.T.W.), and R.A.F. Induna.
The era of the Crusaders’ Shield
The School first entered the Crusaders’ Shield Competition in 1947. This is a Shield which was donated by the Crusaders’ Swimming Club to be competed for on a national basis by all schools in Rhodesia. In 1951 the team won four out of the five local league matches although it was not as successful in matches for the Crusaders’ Shield. For the first time ever in 1 952 the School were runners-up in the competition; prominent members of that team included I. Goldberg, C. Waterworth, M. Lukan, J. Haggart, and D. Ogilvie. In 1953 the School once again came close to winning the Crusaders’ Shield: the team had to beat Milton to win the trophy. At half time we were 2-0 ahead, but in the second period Milton scored three goals without reply. We were thus runners-up for the Shield for the second time.
In 1955 not many matches were played because of the polio scare. We were, however, for the third time, runners-up for the Crusaders’ Shield, having lost the final to Plumtree. Believe it or not, we were, in 1956 runners-up yet again, this time being narrowly beaten by three goals to five by Prince Edward.
During the next decade, water-polo in the School seemed to decline somewhat owing to the demands of cricket and the dearth of good players. We were not as successful as in former years, but we did continue to enter the leagues. Not all, however, was gloomy for in 1961 at an inter-school tournament in Salisbury, the team of that year did well by winning two of its three matches. N. Cooke and R. Francis played in the Matabeleland Schools’ team against the Mashonaland schools’ team.
A decade of triumph
Gradually standards improved and suddenly in 1966 the School came back with a vengeance and in that year lost only one game of the twenty six played. In fact, the analysis at the end shows what an accomplished decade we have just enjoyed. In 1966 the School won the coveted Crusaders’ Shield for the first time in twenty-two years, having been runners-up four times.
P. Horrocks played for the Matabeleland Men’s 'A' team whilst O. Haigh, and A. Dempster played in the Men’s 'B' team. Other players in the School team were L. L. Abrams, M. McNeiIl, A. Caidwell, J. Neser and R. Warren. Another notable achievement of this year was the beating of the Old Miltonians’ Club who were then considered to be the strongest club side in Rhodesia. Although 1966 was a notable year in the history of water polo at Gifford as far as results were concerned, it is my personal feeling that the 1967 team was the best in the history of the School. Not only did they win the Crusaders’ Shield for a second year running, but three boys, namely R. Horrocks, J. Neser, and A. Dempster were chosen to represent the Rhodesian national team which took part in the Currie Cup competition which was held in Bloemfontein. With nineteen goals J. Neser was the highest goal scorer, while A. Dempster had an excellent tournament, so much so that a visiting Dutch coach mentioned that he was the best seventeen-year old goalkeeper he had ever seen. P. Semple was also awarded a trophy for the most improved goalie in Matabeleland.
In 1968 we did not lose a game in the Crusaders’ Shield competition, but we did draw two matches with Plumtree and Prince Edward, and thus had to be contented with second place. Four of our boys were selected as being amongst the best eleven players in Rhodesian Schools, namely, A. Caldwell, B. Abrams, P. Semple and R. Horrocks. The run of successes continued, and in 1969 we lost two matches, both to Prince Edward; P. Semple and R. Horrocks were both selected for the Rhodesian under 19 team.
The School had by comparison only mediocre success for the next few years until 1973; this was mainly a team-building period, although K. Schlachter was selected for the Rhodesian under 19 side in 1972. In 1973 only five out of the twenty-seven matches were lost, and four boys were selected for the Rhodesian under 19 team, namely P. Martin, M. Robinson, K. Schlachter and A. Weston. In the Crusaders’ Shield tournament we came joint second with Plumtree. The high light of the 1974 season was the nomination of M. Collington to play in the Rhodesian National team, while in 1975 we undertook a tour to the Northern Transvaal where the boys acquitted themselves very well.
GIFFORD PUPILS WHO HAVE ACHIEVED NATIONAL HONOURS:
1967 — R. Horrocks, A. R. Oempster, J. T. Neser, L. L. Abrams (National Team).
1968 — A. B. Caldwell.
1969 — P. C. Semple, R. Horrocks (Under 20).
1970 — P. C. Semple, M. Sykes, A.J.van Rensburg (Under 20).
1971 — M. Sykes (Under 20).
1972 — K. Schlaehter (Under 20).
1973 — K. Schlachter, G. P. Martin, A. R. Weston, M.F.Robinson (Under 19).
1974 — M. J. Collington (national team), M.F. Robinson (under 19).
1976 — C. M. Botha, E. I. G. Trouw (Rhodesian Schools).
ANALYSIS OF GAMES, 1965-1976
Played Won Lost Drawn For Against 1965 25 6 15 4 124 157 1966 26 24 1 1 269 73 1967 30 29 1 0 313 85 1968 26 18 1 7 205 81 1969 22 16 2 4 218 90 1970 35 23 10 2 250 157 1971 30 11 17 2 169 190 1972 27 13 13 1 202 190 1973 39 28 8 3 367 158 1974 34 19 13 2 223 185 1975 39 16 21 2 206 263 1976 30 18 10 2 255 182
WATER POLO, 1976
Master-in-charge: Mr. F. Wilson
Captain: C. M. Botha
Strenuous training before the first tournament, held at Plumtree, paid off as the three games against Plumtree, Falcon and Milton were all comfortably won. We lost, however, to Falcon in the second triangular tournament as the team took time to adjust to the very small Falcon pool.
The third tournament of the first term was, in fact, the zonal finals for the Crusaders’ Shield, and this was held at Gifford. We drew with our rivals, Falcon, and lost one other match. Nonetheless we had accumulated five points and so travelled to Salisbury for the finals at the Allan Wilson Pool. The team acquitted itself reasonably well against strong competition: we beat Oriel and Allan Wilson, but lost the other three matches to end up fifth overall in the competition.
As a result of the zonal finals, C. Botha, E. Trouw, B. Beaumont, and D. Viljoen were selected for a Matabeleland “A” team, and M. Hart represented Gifford in the “B” team. Further, C. Botha and E. Trouw were selected at the conclusion of the Crusaders’ Shield to represent Rhodesia in a schools’ team.
In the third term the team travelled to Gwelo to participate in a competition with the Midlands schools. The team played excellent water polo, the result being that we won all three matches against Guinea Fowl, Chaplin, and a combined Midlands team.
FIRST TEAM RESULTS
Lost to Hamilton 7-8, and 6-10
Beat Plumtree 5-4, drew 6-6, and lost 6-10 and 9.10
Beat Milton 9-1, and 9-4
Beat Falcon 12-2 and 6-2, and lost 8-9
Beat Plumtree 9-6, and 11-7
Beat Milton 14-6, and 11-5
Beat Falcon 8-5, and lost 3-5
Beat Guinea Fowl 14-4
Beat Chaplin 12-3
Beat Midlands Schools 13-6
Zonal finals of the Crusaders’ Shield:
Beat Hamilton 5-3
Beat Chaplin 11-7
Beat Milton 11-7
Drew with Falcon 8-8
Lost to Plumtree 5-7
Finals of the Crusaders’ Shield:
Beat Oriel 7-5
Lost to Prince Edward 5-12
Lost to Mount Pleasant 7-10
Lost to Churchill 5.7
Beat Allan Wilson 9-4
(Gifford came fifth in overall position in the tournament).
SECOND TEAM RESULTS
Beat Milton 7-2
Beat Hamilton 5-2
Beat Milton 11-1
Beat Hamilton 7.5
Lost to Plumtree 1 -8, and 3-9
Beat Falcon 7-3, and 8-5
UNDER 15 RESULTS
Lost to Hamilton 8-10, and 4-6
Beat Plumtree 5-4
Beat Milton 6-4
Lost to Hamilton 4-5, and won 7-4 and 6-1
Beat Milton 9-1, and 10-2
Drew with Falcon 6-6
Beat Chaplin 9-1
Lost to Plumtree 1-6
FIRST TEAM WATER POLO RESULTS, 1938-1976
RHODESIAN SCHOOLS First No. Greatest Gratest
Played Played Won Lost Drawn Victory Date Defeat Date
Allan Wilson 1955 21 12 7 1 19-0 1969 6—12 1972
Chaplin 1973 7 7 - - 30-2 1977 - -
Churchill 1961 11 9 2 - 21-0 1968 5-7 1976
Cranborne 1966 2 2 - - 21-0 1966 - -
Ellis Robins 1965 4 4 - - 23-0 1966 - -
Falcon 1961 66 43 14 4 20-1 1966 0-8 1970
Guinea Fowl 1973 6 6 - - 24-0 1973 - -
Hamilton 1965 67 45 18 4 26-9 1977 0-12 1975
Milton 1947 93 68 29 6 29-5 1977 0-7 1957
Mount Pleasant 1970 8 4 3 1 15-2 1970 2-7 1975
Northlea 1963 3 3 - - 22-1 1971 - -
Oriel 1975 2 2 - - 7-5 1976 - -
Plumtree 1938 86 39 43 4 21-0 1967 3-16 1975
Prince Edward 1947 31 12 18 1 16-1 1966 5-12 1976
Sinoia 1968 9 8 1 - 18-1 1968 2-6 1972
OTHER LOCAL MATCHES
Army 1968 1 - - 1 - - - - Combined Services 1974 1 - 1 - - - 6-7 1974 Crusaders 1965 2 - 2 - - - 6-8 1965 Midlands Schools 1976 1 1 - - 13-6 1975 - - Northern Traansvaal Schools 1974 1 - 1 - - - 1-6 1974 Old Miltonians 1965 4 1 3 - 6-5 1966 3-13 1973 R.A.F. Kumalo 1957 4 4 - - 7-0 1957 - - T.T.C. 1965 1 - - 1 - - - -
RHODESIAN SCHOOLS First No. Greatest Gratest Played Played Won Lost Drawn Victory Date Defeat Date Allan Wilson 1955 21 12 7 1 19-0 1969 6—12 1972 Chaplin 1973 7 7 - - 30-2 1977 - - Churchill 1961 11 9 2 - 21-0 1968 5-7 1976 Cranborne 1966 2 2 - - 21-0 1966 - - Ellis Robins 1965 4 4 - - 23-0 1966 - - Falcon 1961 66 43 14 4 20-1 1966 0-8 1970 Guinea Fowl 1973 6 6 - - 24-0 1973 - - Hamilton 1965 67 45 18 4 26-9 1977 0-12 1975 Milton 1947 93 68 29 6 29-5 1977 0-7 1957 Mount Pleasant 1970 8 4 3 1 15-2 1970 2-7 1975 Northlea 1963 3 3 - - 22-1 1971 - - Oriel 1975 2 2 - - 7-5 1976 - - Plumtree 1938 86 39 43 4 21-0 1967 3-16 1975 Prince Edward 1947 31 12 18 1 16-1 1966 5-12 1976 Sinoia 1968 9 8 1 - 18-1 1968 2-6 1972 OTHER LOCAL MATCHES Army 1968 1 - - 1 - - - - Combined Services 1974 1 - 1 - - - 6-7 1974 Crusaders 1965 2 - 2 - - - 6-8 1965 Midlands Schools 1976 1 1 - - 13-6 1975 - - Northern Traansvaal Schools 1974 1 - 1 - - - 1-6 1974 Old Miltonians 1965 4 1 3 - 6-5 1966 3-13 1973 R.A.F. Kumalo 1957 4 4 - - 7-0 1957 - - T.T.C. 1965 1 - - 1 - - - - R.T.M/A.L.L.F