Oldeani School

Name ID 1998

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush
Page Number: 041
Extract Date: 1939

Last year at school

Eventually I had to return to school, but things were a little different than before. During my third (and last) year at school in 1939, when I was in the senior form, tension between the Germans and other European nationals in Tanganyika was running high. These feelings filtered down to the schools too, particularly between the German school at Oldeani and ours, which was English, at Arusha. As the inter-school sports were due at the end of the term, it was decided to organise a half-term camping safari for the twelve oldest boys in each school, in the hopes of paving the way towards a friendlier entente on Sports Day. Mr. Wynne-Jones had instigated the safari and had gone to considerable pains to make it a success but unfortunately, he did not take into account the affects of European politics and group rivalries on the minds of boys. On our arrival at Ngorongoro, it was found that the so-called "boys" from Oldeani were mostly between seventeen and nineteen years old and appeared to be fully trained soldiers. The only games they would play were military ones, which were all they knew, and they spent a great deal of their time attending politicised lectures in German, doing military exercises and parading. We were told to try and co-operate with them, but when they taunted us by saying that soon Germany would take back Tanganyika and kick us all out, we inevitably resorted to fisticuffs. It was a miserable weekend, with our having to listen to insults and pretending to fraternise with them, in the name of international harmony.

The only thing the trip did was to increase our determination to beat the Oldeani School when Sports Day came around, a victory we were to achieve very well. The Greek school also took part and, in fact, the German school earned the lowest marks, with Arusha a contented second, behind the Olympian efforts of the Greeks. A special song had been composed, honouring all three countries, and this was supposed to be sung at the end of the three-day event and initially, the Germans refused to join in, only reluctantly doing so after a lot of persuasion and a few threats. The whole affair opened the eyes of the authorities to the covert politicisation that was going on at Oldeani under the guise of education.

Extract ID: 4190

See also

Nettelbeck, David A history of Arusha School, Tanzania
Page Number: 26
Extract Date: 1934-64


To what extent does a headmaster leave his mark upon a school? In the case of the first two heads of Arusha School, who served the school for over 28 years between them from 1934 - 1964, the influence was considerable and each left his own indelible impression on the structure, organisation and ethos of the place.

It must be said right at the outset that Wynn Jones did not have outstanding gifts of organisation or administration. Also in the years 1940 - 42 he had been already nominated Assistant Bishop of the Diocese, there was a chronic staff shortage in the early years of the war when enrolments increased because many children could not return to Europe, and he was part time chaplain to the forces as well as Headmaster of the school. It is little wonder then that Lace found the school not well organised, only fair academically, and sloppy in discipline. In true military fashion he introduced daily physical education and tightened up the rules.

However, those who knew Wynn Jones comment universally on his gifts of leadership, personal magnetism and outstanding empathy with people.

The original school building, with 2 internal quadrangles, enclosed under one roof quarters for all staff, boys' and girls' dormitories, classrooms, kitchen and dining room with the headmaster's home on the first floor. It was quite literally a family unit with staff having all meals with the pupils, and the school kitchen even remaining open through the holidays for the teachers.

At a time when the British community had little social intercourse with European aliens, let alone Africans, Wynn Jones' home was open to all. There was a time during the war when some British residents reported him to the Governor as being anti-British, because he gave a bed to some passing German and Greek travellers.

Many of the pupils said, "He loved us like one of his own children", and stories abound about how he welded the school together as a family. One notable story comes from the day war was declared, He called an assembly of the school and while the children were moving in selected, apparently at random, the German children to retrieve his hat from the far side of the playing field. While they were away, he talked to the others, announced the declaration of war and said, "Here at Arusha School we have always been a family; we don't know what will happen in the future or what will become of our houses and families, but here, we are a family still and will treat each other that way".

His role as a loving, gentle man and a reconciler may be seen in the bridge-building he attempted between the communities. For example between 1934 and 1939 he organised an annual conference of teachers from the European schools in the Northern province. The conference was informal with no official status, but teachers from Arusha School, the 2 Greek Schools, 4 Dutch schools and. 2 German schools met together to read papers and discuss their problems.

He also organised and hosted an annual athletics competition between these schools. In 1937 he led a combined camp in Ngorongoro Crater for the Arusha School Scout Troup and the Hitler Youth Movement from the Oldeani German School. He wrote in the school log. "This was a genuine effort to bring the boys of different nationalities together and to stem what was becoming a very tense position in Northern Tanganyika. The Governor was in every way enthusiastic about the move". Inter-community contacts continued during the war and included children from the Polish school for refugees newly settled near Arusha.

Extract ID: 4932

See also

MacMillan, Mona Introducing East Africa

At the top of the rift there is more emptiness

At the top [of the rift] there is more emptiness until one comes equally unexpectedly on the outlying wheat fields of the Oldeani settlement. The little group of European farms was originally German - most of the present farmers took over enemy property as a going concern after the latest war, and with prices high have been doing well ever since without as much effort as is normally required of the settler. Their wheat maize and barley looked fine, and on the high lip of the Ngorongoro Crater, which we only saw from a distance, they grow coffee. They are administered from Mbulu about thirty miles to the south, and it would seem that up to the present they are rather an anarchical group having achieved little or no sense of community. According to their overlord, the D.C. of Mbulu, they had little good to say of each other when he visited them; there wives were kept busy embellishing their houses with the rich proceeds of each years crop, also a clubhouse was in the process of being built, and the German school was being used by one form of the overcrowded Arusha European boarding-school.

Extract ID: 772

See also

Nettelbeck, David A history of Arusha School, Tanzania
Page Number: 32


A new boarding block had been opened in 1939. The next building in 1949 was a lavish sanatorium with accommodation for 16 sick children, 4 isolation rooms, large outpatient treatment facilities and a nurse's flat. A temporary branch school in the former German School premises 100 miles away at Oldeani was opened in 1950 and remained open for two years; and in 1951 a new junior block came into use at the school. It included dormitories for 48, 4 staff flats, 3 classrooms, a common room, a kitchen, and a hall seating, up to 400 people. A new kitchen in the original school building was opened in 1954. Riddy and Tait described it as "exceptionally well planned", and it held in its basement a large maintenance workshop, handicraft room and stores. The graph in appendix F shows the rapid increase in enrolments in the early 19508 with a levelling out, but a gradual increase in the number of day pupils as Arusha town grew in the late 1950s.

After 1946, all staff salaries were paid from Dar es Salaam, all school accounts were paid from a Government vote by the local Revenue Office and fees were receipted with an exchequer receipt and paid into the Revenue Office.

The educational problems of the school were much the same as they had been in the 1930: and 1940s. Riddy and Tait summarized them as the lack of a clearly drawn. line of demarcation between the primary and secondary stages, a shortage of staff with specialised knowledge and experience, the dislocation caused by boarders who came without previous schooling, the wide range of ability in the command of English and the number of examinations for which students presented themselves: at best these had to be borne in mind by the teachers, and at worst they dictated the pattern of education which the school gave. On the other hand, Riddy and Tait commended a favourable staff-student ratio, the devotion of the staff, the interest which the European Education Authority and the parents;' took in the school, a full and happy boarding life and excellent facilities, with buildings and playing fields of which any preparatory school in the United Kingdom might well be proud!

Extract ID: 4937

See also

Nettelbeck, David A history of Arusha School, Tanzania
Page Number: 33


In Chapter III above, Wynn Jones was delineated as a warm, friendly person who related well with a wide cross section of people and ran the school as a close knit family.

Hamshere by contrast had a much bigger enrolment, was answerable to the Director of Education, not directly to the Bishop for his management, had a rapid turnover of Government indent staff rather than a continuity of missionary personnel, and a bigger enrolment of the children of British officials.

Those who worked with him describe Hamshere as an efficient, rather impersonal man who was dominating and demanding with his staff. His nick name was "Old Pomposity" and one of his common greetings was, "I am Mr. Hamshere. I am the Headmaster". An amusing sidelight on his personality was the bell system he had connected to his study door. When a visitor knocked, a one bell-ring reply meant come in, two rings wait, and three rings go away!

It must also be said that his detailed organisation was for the benefit of the pupils and he always had their interest at heart. He knew what was going on in the classrooms, always taught some lessons himself, and did not remain aloof from the day to day activities of the children,

Some staff could not work with him and made no secret of the fact that they resigned because of the Headmaster. For example Miss Wilkin in 1949 wrote, "I am reluctant to come back for another tour under Mr. Hamshere, with whom I have had differences of opinion". But overall he was a good and powerful head who could gather loyal staff around him and work with them.

An interesting slant on the personality of Hamshere and the difficulties of adequately providing for the growing enrolments comes from the opening of a branch school 100 miles away at Oldeani in 1950. A teacher, Ryan, and his wife offered to run it because they found the prospect of having responsibility and being 100 miles remote from supervision attractive. When the Ryans were due to go on leave in 1952, a new master, Edmonson, and his wife arrived to relieve them. However Ryan considered them unsuitable to take over the "personal empire" he had built up, so he refused to hand over, locked the buildings and left for Arusha. Hamshere was not able to resolve the crisis: the Ryans went on leave, the Edmonsons resigned, and the branch school never reopened.

Hamshere was very defensive and did not accept criticism easily. In 1952, 6 members of the School Council had met privately with the Director of Education to complain about the Headmaster. When Hamshere came to hear about this he circulated to the Council a statement in defence of himself. He listed and countered the apparent objections which were:

a. that he objected to criticism;

b. that the school was not open to visitors;

c. that the standard of work was low;

d. that there was a lack of teamwork between the Headmaster and his staff.

The issue was referred to in the Council minutes 19/12/52, but had apparently been amiably resolved.

The concern of the School Council had been sparked off by a rather sharp inspectors report in 1951 which stated among other things that the students were backward in arithmetic, that the Headmaster and staff were not working well together, and that the Headmaster should spend more time checking fortnightly teaching reports and supervising the actual teaching in the classrooms.

There was no official parents' association in connection with the school, though a Tanganyika Parents Association did have representation on the European Education Authority and there was a local branch of it in Arusha. Hamshere had little time for parents who complained, particularly the parents of day pupils whom he tolerated reluctantly in the school.

The School Council recorded in 1951 the Headmaster's preference for an exclusively boarding school, and in 1960, when 27 parents of day pupils from Usa River, Tengeru and Oljoro, all about 10 miles away, petitioned that games be held earlier in the afternoons, they met strenuous opposition from Hamshere. He replied, "When a proposal for a separate day school was made several years ago, local parents turned it down; was this not a pity?" On the same issue of complaints from the parents of day pupils, the School Council reported in 1955 that the Headmaster was very defensive and stubborn.

Extract ID: 4938

See also

nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Rodney Holland
Page Number: 2005 01 06
Extract Date: 1952-1955

Rodney Holland - Arusha School - 1952-1955

Hi there. I have just spent sometime browsing through the Arusha School site and found a lot of interesting information and it has brought back a lot of memories of the time I was at Arusha between 1952 and 1955.

Prior to Arusha I had been to Lushoto School and after Arusha I went to Kongwa .

I remember being sent to Oldeani during my first year as Arusha was full. I was not too happy about that.I was very fortunate in having the chance to climb Mt. Meru twice and I still have vivid memories of those experiences.We lived in Tanga where my father was employed by TANESCO.

I intend to visit Arusha and Tanga this year (2005) and would like some advice on how to get to Tanga my plan is to try to hire a vehicle with a reliable driver in Arusha to take us to Tanga for a couple of days and then return to Arusha would you or anyone else know if this would be be possible if so any contacts in Arusha .I have not been back to Tanga since 1961 .

It's a great site thankyou for it .



Thanks for your email, and kind comments about the site.

We must have overlapped at Arusha school" I was there from 1953-57.

Looking at the school magazine from Feb 56, I see that you were one of the Chorus of Soldiers in the performance of the Charcoal Burner's Son on 1st April 1955!

And you may have seen your name on the board" still hanging in the school


I�ve recently been given a copy of a history of Arusha School, written in 1974. I should have full extracts from it available in a few days" or whenever I can find the time to do an update of the site. Meanwhile you can access a full pdf version here

http://www.ntz.info/docs/history_of_arusha_school.pdf (360KB)

You will find in it mention of the ill fated attempt to run a branch of the school at Oldeani. (p33)

"An interesting slant on the personality of Hamshere and the difficulties of adequately providing for the growing enrolments comes from the opening of a branch school 100 miles away at Oldeani in 1950. A teacher, Ryan, and his wife offered to run it because they found the prospect of having responsibility and being 100 miles remote from supervision attractive. When the Ryans were due to go on leave in 1952, a new master, Edmonson, and his wife arrived to relieve them. However Ryan considered them unsuitable to take over the "personal empire" he had built up, so he refused to hand over, locked the buildings and left for Arusha. Hamshere was not able to resolve the crisis: the Ryans went on leave, the Edmonsons resigned, and the branch school never reopened."

Now, Tanga.

I spent a few weeks there in 1957 waiting for the boat to take us home to England, and, like you, have not been back since. If you are inclined to beaches, consider a few days down the coast at Pangani. I know the people who run http://www.emayanilodge.com/ . Depending on hotels in Tanga, it may be worth basing yourself here, and taking a day trip to Tanga. Are you interested in WWI, and the battle of Tanga etc. If so, it would be worth trying to find a guide who knows a bit about it and can help you find things. I�d need to ask about to track one down.

There is certainly one Tanzanian guide/driver based in Moshi, with car, who I can totally recommend" but I need to find his contact details. So let me know when are you planning to visit, and what else you have planned for Arusha or beyond. Ie do you just need a driver for a Tanga extension, or for a longer safari? Depending on the answers, I can then put you in touch with some people.

Note that I�m not a travel agent! Apart from looking after ntz.info, I maintain several websites for African Safari companies, many in Tanzania, and use that as an excuse to visit whenever possible.

Thankyou for your quick reply to my email.I remember being in the choir at school and enjoying it infact at one time I had dreams of grandeur of being a pop star but never made it.

Now our proposed visit to Tanzania there will be 4 of us going and we are proposing to go in August at this stage we havent made a definite plan as we are gathering info.However a proposal is that we would need a vehicle and driver to take us from Arusha to Tanga which I assume would take a day then we would stay in either Tanga or Pangani for 5 days then return to Arusha.We would like to have the vehicle and driver available for this period of 7 days but it would depend on costs.Your idea of visiting Pangani sounds good.After the first week we are considering visiting the game reserves around Arusha.Sorry I cant be more detailed at this stage but I really need to find out if the above is practical and within our budget. Looking forward to hearing from and thanks for your help.

Extract ID: 4977