MRS. PAGE (Elsie Harris)

Writing from Kapunde Farm, N. Rhodesia-a farm of 3460 acres which she was running all alone at the moment of writing-Mrs. Page says:­

It is rather strange how great a part “Salisbury” has played in my life. First of all, I was at school in Salisbury, England, for five years, and I went to the Cathedral for many services. Then I came to Africa, and was married in Salisbury Cathedral, S. Rhodesia, in 1910. Now our two girls go to Salisbury, S. Rhodesia, to school ; they were confirmed and made their first Communion in that Salisbury Cathedral, and attend the services there every Sunday. So the name “Salisbury” is very dear to me, for a great many reasons.

With regard to my own schooldays at the dear old Godolphin School, one of the most outstanding features to my mind was the fact that Miss Andrews’s influence has seemed to dominate my whole life as far as spiritual things are concerned. I admit, as a child there (and I was only ten when I went there) I did not appreciate it in the least till I came to my Confirmation, and from that time on till now, her wonderful influence has been felt. Again, I did not appreciate the school as I should have done till I left and went to another, when I suddenly realised how many privileges I had shared with others in being at the Godolphin. One thing in particular I must mention, and that is Miss Andrews’s wonderful way of correction – a quiet talk over sonic fault in “the Study” did far more to remedy that same fault than any amount of scolding and punishing in public-such as was the custom in my next school.

I think amongst the most outstanding days I remember were the Guy Fawkes Days as they came round each year, when we all were allowed to go to St. Edmund’s rectory garden and sit along its wall and watch the torchlight procession wend “the Green,” and finally the lighting of the huge bonfire and the explosion which ensued when it reached the Guy on the top! Then I well remember the joy of “Benson week,” as we called it, when we were actually allowed to go to the theatre three days in one week to see the well known Benson Company in different Shakespearean plays. I think those plays that I saw acted in those days have always remained firmly fixed in my mind, just in the same way that Miss Andrews’s reading of Miss Yonge’s Cameos impressed certain facts in English history upon my mind more than all the history lessons we ever had in both schools. In the same way the Oratorios have always been amongst my favourite music ; for I heard them yearly sung in the Cathedral by the lovely choirs assembled at the choral festivals. I have often heard solos sung well by many sopranos since, yet to my mind none of them came up to the glorious solos sung by a chorister named Chignell, who was head chorister in the Cathedral during my school­days. I think the most outstanding day in my (secular) schooldays would certainly be the Queen’s Jubilee in 1887. The procession round the town in which the choristers led, followed by our own Godolphin School; the terrible long wait in the Market Square in glaring sun, and the tea afterwards, always will be remembered, as also my great disappointment at getting only a Jubilee mug (and right ugly it was, too), whereas some received a plate as well!!

The massed choirs, organ and bands in the Cathedral on that Jubilee day, too, will never be forgotten.

Well, I must stop now and get off to bed, for I have to be up at dawn. We have over 150 natives working daily, and they need a lot of supervision, and the days are very hot just now.

Miss Arnold says:- “We were all roused up in the night to see a comet with a very long tail.”

Mrs. Kirkpatrick :- “I would like to record my deep appreciation of the teaching and example given by Miss Andrews, ideals which have remained with me through life.”

Mrs. Mitchell (nee Sharp) :- “Of Miss Andrews’s personal influence one can never speak highly enough. She never spared herself. The religious teaching I received there has been invaluable to me all my life.”

Miss Dora Mangin:- “One thing has always stood by me which is the love of the Psalms which Miss Andrews implanted in us ; the whole school stood up and said them verse by verse every morning. We also said the Kings and Queens of England with their dates, but those I never loved.”


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