Quick Links: Hartmann House Covid 19 Email iSAMS Portals Downloads Timetable MyFiles Library Cisco Alumni Contact Us

Our History and Culture

In 1896, a French Jesuit Priest Fr. Marc Barthelemy opened the door of a small corrugated – iron, two- windowed hut to admit the first 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 staff. In December, at the first Prize -Giving, the school assumed the title “St George’s Boys’ Public School”. In 1898 Fr. Francis Johanny joined the staff, and the Cadet Corps was established. In 1902, the first English Jesuit, Fr. Thomas Gardner, joined the staff. 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 first 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 first 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 first issue of the College Chronicle was published. Saved for the period 1940 to 1948, when publication was prevented by war and immediate post- war shortages, the Chronicle has appeared every year since. The Beit Hall was opened in 1935 by the Governor, Sir Herbert Stanley.

During the Second World War, 438 OGs served and 58 were killed. As time passed in the 1940s and 1950s, and finances allowed, various building projects were undertaken, including the Library wing in 1942, then the “Monastery” and later the “Priory”. In 1955, the new Dormitory Wing and the new Laboratories were completed. Then, in 1956, it was decided that both St. Michael’s, which had been established as a preparatory school in 1951, and St. George’s could no longer cope with the substantial increase in pupil numbers and construction work commenced on Hartmann House: it opened its doors in January 1957. In 1966 the amenities block (now the Geography and Arts classrooms) was built, followed two years later by a new swimming pool. In 1970, to mark the approaching 75th anniversary of the College, the Trident Development Project was launched. Its principal focus was upon the construction of the Chapel, completed in 1973, as well as the laboratory block extension which adjoined the “Monastery” and “Priory”, a new cricket pavilion in 1971, and two, out of the planned four, squash courts were completed in 1972. In 1984, the Bulawayo Wing was opened.

Aside from the steady growth of the College in the 1950s and 1960s, both in student enrolments and in building infrastructure, another very significant development was the admission of the first black student, Titus Munyaradzi, in 1964. This was despite strong and prolonged opposition from the government of the day, but, having stood its ground, the College then proceeded to enrol students of all races and creeds who could satisfy the entry criteria. The current student number at the College now stands at 750.

Post National Independence in 1980, the next significant development was the appointment of the first lay Headmaster of the College in January 1992, together with two lay Deputy Headmasters. They ran all aspects of the school, under the overall spiritual and strategic guidance of the Rector and this situation had prevailed until 2016, when, following a further reconstructing, the two deputy positions were replaced by a single Deputy Headmaster and three Divisional Heads. A College Administrator was also appointed, who directly reports to the Rector.

Three other significant events in the history of the College thus far have been the buildings programme initiated to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the College in 1996, the opening in 2017 of a new primary school wing at Hartmann House, and the building of a completely new science block commencing in 2016. The Centennial Appeal Fund raised sufficient funds in the early 1990s to construct 10 new staff houses on the College property, essential at a time when the number of Jesuits on the staff had dwindled and on site accommodation was required for the growing complement of lay staff. The opening of the Paul Miki ECD Centre at Hartmann House, on its 60th Anniversary, was an important element of a new Strategic Plan that will see Hartmann House catering for the full range of primary school grades from 0-7. A boy entering the primary school at aged 5 will most likely spend his entire school career on the Hartmann Hill site. Incidentally, Hartmann House also opened the Jubilee Hall in 2013, an essential facility for a junior school that has grown to around 430 students.

In November 2018, the Fr. Michael Ross SJ Science Centre was opened. This impressive building has 11 fully fitted modern laboratories, 3 preparation rooms and offices. The additional teaching space created has allowed for the reallocation, as well as the revamping and modernization of the older classrooms, thus facilitating an increase in Sixth Form numbers.

In 2020, the Lower 6 intake included Female students, bringing St George’s College in line with the 2019 Jesuit Universal Apostolic Preferences. With the current student number at the College standing at around 840, and taking into account Hartmann House as well, there are in effect around 1270 students learning in an environment where the Jesuit Ignatian guiding principal is AMDG – Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam.