I Boothe

Name ID 1980

See also

Nettelbeck, David A history of Arusha School, Tanzania
Page Number: 18


The Church Missionary Society from U.K. was one of the first missionary bodies in East Africa and it was Krapf and Rebman from its ranks who first sighted Kilimanjaro in 1859. Based on Mombasa, they established before 1900 a chain of mission stations in Kenya and inland Tanganyika while the Universities Mission to Central Africa undertook Anglican missionary work along the Tanganyika coast and on Zanzibar. In 1927, the Diocese of Central Tanganyika was carved out of the Mombasa Diocese as an independent entity.

The Church Missionary Society of Australia was given responsibility for this new sprawling Diocese. George William Chambers was consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury and appointed to take over existing C.M.S. work in the area and spearhead a new Anglican initiative for mission work in what was actually the whole of Tanganyika away from the coast and southern highlands.

En route from Australia to his consecration, Chambers toured his new Diocese and was impressed by the complete lack of pastoral or chaplaincy provision for the Europeans and the inadequacy of education for their children. His biographer quotes him saying in 1928

�� there was a feeling abroad that the church cared only for the African. One European who had. lost his wife was forced to lock up his young daughter in the house all day while he went to work. Another said, �You look after the Africans but don't care a jot for us Europeans��.

The Bishop was in fact most anxious to provide for European children, and when he was in Moshi, he conferred with the Director of Education. It was decided to recommend. to the Government that a school for European children be established at a cost of �15,000 of which the Diocese would be obliged to find half.

In fulfilment of this need, Chambers did three things. Firstly he raised funds in. U.K. for church buildings for the Europeans at Morogoro, Tabora, Kigoma, Bukoba, Arusha, Moshi and Mwanza. He also began to recruit chaplains from the U.K. for these churches. Thirdly he recruited from Australia a young couple, Mr. and Mrs. I. Boothe, who came to Tanganyika with him in 1928 to establish the first boarding school for Europeans.

Extract ID: 4925

See also

Nettelbeck, David A history of Arusha School, Tanzania
Page Number: 19
Extract Date: 1928-32


Chambers arrived with 17 new recruits and at a conference in November 1928 the following was recorded: "The conference recommends to the Executive committee that a European school be opened immediately at Ngare Nairobi near Moshi in Mr, Geyer's house by Mr. and Mrs. Boothe, on the condition that, the Government pays the rent of �5 per month, and makes a grant of �50 toward necessary improvements, and that an application be made for a boarding grant for each European child in residence at this school. "

This was a very unspectacular and tentative beginning, but it was a beginning. There were in 1929 19 children living in rough and temporarily converted farm buildings; the area was remote and difficult of access; there was a problem of water supply and at night lions could be heard drinking such water as there was; the Headmaster was issued with a game licence so that he could shoot the school's meat supply and Boothe and his wife were in fact the only staff.

There were other problems too. Some of the fees were not paid., the settlers were unable to finance the scheme on their own and the mission was not prepared to underwrite it from its scanty resources for African work. Boothe apparently proved to be an unsatisfactory person who was unhappy living in such isolation, discontented with his personal allowance, critical of the Bishop and involved heavily in debt, both personally and in the school's finances.

This foray into non-African work was obviously not a success and after one year, the mission withdrew altogether from the school and re-allocated Boothe to a training college for native pastors. Boothe tried to transfer to the Government teaching service in September 1929, but was not accepted. He then resigned from the mission and was employed by the West Kilimanjaro Planters Association who took over the school in. January 1930.

This scheme of management did not work either, and in September 1930 the settlers appealed to the Governor who assumed direct control of the school. Boothe was then employed by the Government on a month to month basis until August 1932 when he was given 8 days notice of retrenchment and repatriated to U.K.

This first attempt had been unsuccessful and had left both the Government and the Mission in an embarrassing position. The school struggled on with men called Stowell and Feelie as Headmasters between 1931 and 1933. It is not clear from the records just when Boothe left the school or whether the other two men had successive or joint responsibility. (See Appendix N.)

Extract ID: 4926