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Our House System

The House System is a means of engendering spirit and co-operation amongst the pupils, by organising and encouraging competition between the Houses – often on a basis other than purely by age or ability (named – no doubt – after the inter-Residence competitions typical of boarding schools and residential colleges). This provides an opportunity for every student to make a contribution to the school life and to be acknowledged for doing so.

The Houses at St George’s are named after four prominent Jesuits, who were among the Founding Fathers of St George’s Public School in Bulawayo:

  1. Barthelemy (Green) – named after Fr Marc Barthelemy SJ, who was the first Rector of St George’s (1896 – 1913)
  2. Gardner (Red) – named after Fr Thomas Gardner SJ, who was the first English Jesuit at St George’s. Fr Gardner was also a notable anthropologist and a champion of the Cadets (1902 – 1917)
  3. Hartmann (Blue) – named after Fr Andrew Hartmann SJ, who was the Chaplain to the Pioneer Column in 1890
  4. Johanny (Yellow) – named after Fr Francis Johanny SJ, who was appointed the College’s second Rector in 1914 (1899 – 1920)

The House System started on Wednesday March 16, 1938, with three Houses. The fourth House – Johanny – was inaugurated in 1982. Each boy is allocated to one of four Houses – ideally to the same House as his previous relatives (e.g. brother, father, grandfather) – but otherwise on a “fair and random basis” – so that the numbers (and hopefully the abilities) in each of the Houses are ostensibly the same.

Each House has approximately 12 senior students to manage its activities. These include a Head of House, College Prefects and selected House Prefects. In addition, five members of the teaching staff are allocated to each House, superintended by a House Master.