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News about former students

Course 12

Where are they now?
John Alexander - John was working for Shell in Joburg.
Tom I. Beattie - Tom was a member of the well known Beattie family that owned farms and butcheries in the Gatooma/Hartley (Kadoma/Chegutu) farming areas. Like many Gwebians he was the architect of his own downfall in that his extremely successful and profitable mixed farming  operations attracted the covetous eyes of Comrade Bright Matonga, then Deputy Minister of Information in the ZANU-PF government. Tom fought a brave rearguard action against the theft of his farm but sadly the outcome was inevitable as was the case with so many successful Rhodesian farmers. Tom was involved in a bad vehicle accident in 2014 and was unconscious for four months but made a partial recovery and needed care due to his mental impairment. His businesses had all collapsed as a result of their acquisition by this Deputy Minister so Tom and his wife Sue were forced to move to Scotland where they now barely survive on benefits from the British Government.
Robin Booth.
Doug Bosman - farmed on the Copperbelt after graduating.
Rudiger Boye -   went on to become a Vet and it is thought he returned to practise in Mozambique where he came from.
Fred W. Bradnick - originally came from Gwelo but worked for his brother-in-law on Denmary Farm in Mkushi, Zambia before starting at Gwebi. After graduating he worked for a poultry producer in Gatooma and when the war intensified passed the difficult selection course for the Selous Scouts. At independence he moved to Nelspruit with his wife and commuted weekly to his work in Mozambique.
Percy S. Claridge - worked on a dairy farm at Goromonzi before joining Ministry of Agriculture in Native Agriculture which then joined up with CONEX after the breakup of the Federation. I was “headhunted” by Ken Hansen (Senior Seeds Officer) in 1967, and joined Seed Services (Dept Research & Specialist Services) as a Seeds Officer, based at Salisbury Research Station. This was a lovely job and place of work but I ended up in the UK in 1977 (where I was born) to apply for a Work Permit for the USA. Eventually that failed, and I ran out of money, so had to find a temporary Job. That temporary job eventually lasting over 27 years; being a Wayleave Officer with the Central Electricity Generating Board, which became National Grid when Privatised in 1991.
Now I have retired, just growing a bit of hay, and growing and selling a few Christmas Trees.
Kevin J. Conway. Kevin was a successful coffee and tea grower in Chipinga but qualified as a Chartered Accountant whilst farming there and migrated to Vancouver, Canada. He is now retired but spends much of his time in South Africa volunteering for wildlife conservation.
Brian L.T. Eastwick - married the daughter of the Matron at Gwebi, Cecily Parker. He farmed in Centenary but was killed in an attack on his farm on 17th August, 1979.
R. Duncan B. Fleming - Duncan farmed near Bulawayo but died of cancer in the late sixties.
Rob Francis - Rob joined National Park s in 1963 soon after graduation and stayed with them until 1980 when Zimbabwe gained its independence. He retired as Warden at Wankie Main Camp. Rob joined Shearwater as an advisor and consultant but has now retired and was living with his wife Paddy in Vic Falls. They had two children - Debbie and Mandy.
Sadly Rob succumbed to Covid-19 on the night of 26th August 2021.
Geoff W. Godson - farmed for many years on Kaonga Farm in Mazabuka but has now sold up and retired to Cape Town.
Robert G.A. Godwin.
Chris P. Hayward-Butt - was farming in the Rhodesian Lowveld.
Pete E. Huddy - was a member of the Huddy family who farmed in the Salisbury South farming area. It is almost certain that they lost their farms in the land invasions.
Patrick H. Kemple. Patrick farmed in a successful partnership with his brother Mike in the Chakari area. He went on to play Polo for Rhodesia and captained the Commonwealth team against Argentina. Later on he was sponsored to play Polo in England.
Tim M. Landsberg. Tim lectured Engineering at Gwebi then spent a few years working on cotton and tobacco, at Gatooma Research Station and the Tobacco Research Board. He then did an MBA at Cape Town University and was offered a job by Shell in Johannesburg which led to him being head hunted by an American multi-national, FMC Corporation. This afforded Tim the opportunity of spending several years based in Greece, back to Joburg and then finally in 1986 transferred and promoted to Australia where he still lives to this day in Melbourne with his wife Christine. Tim returns to Zimbabwe on a regular basis to participate in the game counts in the National Parks.
Derrick A. Lang - After graduating as Dux Student Derrick stayed on at Gwebi as a member of staff. He also worked at the Gatooma Research Institute on the production of cotton. Changing direction completely he bought and ran a printing company in Petersburg, sold it and bought a farm in Hazyview in the Eastern Transvaal, now known as Mpumalanga, where he grew avocados and granadillas. Derrick has now retired to Zambia where he lives with his daughter Coral and son-in-law
Thomas William Lutwyche Lewis – "Tim" schooled at Framlingham CollegeThomas Lewis "Tim" Selous Scouts Course 11 Gwebi College of Agriculture from 1953-59 in the UK, ahead of Mike Bullock (Course 13). Mike remembered Tim at Gwebi "I always found Tim a private person except when he took great delight tipping me out of bed first night at college and he had me chasing frogs with a toothbrush!”
After leaving Gwebi Tim went farming but decided that his future lay in the commercial side of agriculture and ultimately worked for the Farmers’ Co-Op in Salisbury where he was a technical advisor for the stockfeeds department from 1970 to 1979. During this time he fulfilled his military commitment with the Selous Scouts. He was awarded the Military Forces Commendation (Operational) in 1976 and received a commision.
He grew large crops of cotton in Malawi and moved to Mozambique as project manager for LOMACO a joint venture for Lonrho at Metuchira on the Beira Corridor from 1985 to 1988.
After that, Tim moved south for two years growing cotton at Makatini Flats in KZN, South Africa. He also opened Control Risks Group Pty Ltd which became known as CRG Security which was a commerical security company in Mkuze and northern Zululand. Irene stayed with the kids in KZN and ran CRG there while Tim went back to Mozambique in 1990 to open the northern LOMACO operation in Montepuez in the province of Cabo Delgado.
After a few years there, he returned to the family in South Africa. He then contracted Waldenstrom Macroglobulima (which is a lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma) and died on the 20th March 2008.
In keeping with Tim's ties to the UK, Irene and her children Rakeford, Victoria and Tom moved there progressively over the years. She had completed her early education in Nairobi then attended Oriel Girls School from 1969 to 74.
Johnny V. Matthews - was last heard of working in Johannesburg.
Hugh B. MacCallum – “Moose” was sadly killed in a road/rail crossing accident near Mazabuka in Zambia in about 1966.
Rob P. McManus - farmed in the Enterprise district but lost his farm to the war vets. He died in about 2013.
Dave M. Middleton - "After I left Gwebi I set out on the route that many of us did as an assistant or manager. I started off in Marandellas , on to Raffingora and then to Bindura/Glendale.
“I bought my farm, Mvebi, in the Trelawney/Darwendale area where I farmed until 1981. I was very wary of the promises made at Independence and thought that while I was young enough to learn another “trade,” I put a manager on the farm and moved to Harare.
“I, with a younger partner, started a small business dealing in packaging materials and spices. This business grew to a reasonably successful company called Polyhandy until it was closed at the end of 2015.
“In 1997 we set up a small business manufacturing shotgun cartridges. This filled a void in the market when things were very scarce and I am still running National Cartridge Manufacturing in Harare”.
Iain C. Peters - worked for Nakambala Sugar Estates near Mazabuka and then, at Zambia's independence, moved with his new wife to South Africa where he started a successful hire company.
Ewen J. Pinkney - and his wife Con have farmed in the Mazabuka district in Zambia since 1963. Ewen played Polo for Zambia and often came up against his old friend Patrick Kemple in the Internationals between the two countries.
Nick L. A. Rodger - farmed up on the Copperbelt, Zambia.
Chris M.A. Ross.
Steve B. Stacey.
Dave L. Thompson - worked on Dimba Ranch near Mazabuka for some years, married Cynthia Ellis and then moved to Swaziland where he became a keen bowler with the national team. Relaxes playing indoor bowls in Kent, UK.
Graham C. Tiedemann - successfully worked for the infamous Robert Beattie near Mount Hampden but sadly passed away from an illness in 1966.
P. Martin Welland.
Pete S. Wenham - moved to the Rhodesian Lowveld where he successfully grew sugar cane and later diversified into game farming and a transport operation. Sadly all of this was lost in the farm invasions and he moved to Hazyview in Mpumalanga and teamed up with Derrick Lang.

Other students that were integral members of Course 12 include:
J.K. Atkins. Passed away from cancer
"Harrow” Bednall from the UK.
Colin Bray was a successful farmer from Tengwe.
J.C. Sweetman.

Contributions through Colin Lowe from John Eastwood, Tim Landsberg, Derrick Lang, Rob Beaton, Kevin Conway, Mike Bullock and Ewen Pinkney.
Extract from 'Graduates'.
Communication with Percy Claridge.
Overseas bag - Summer & Autumn 2017.

Update from Tim Landsberg, Course 12.
One of the best periods of my life was my time at Gwebi.  In my view the training there was as good as you would get in the world and Rhodesian agriculture, as well as the Christine and Tim Landsberg student at Gwebi College of Agriculture on Course 12 and Lecturer in Engineeringinfrastructure of the country upon which agriculture depended, was second to none. That must be correct because if it was not that small country would not have made the remarkable achievements that it did in agriculture. The massive exports of tobacco, maize and  cotton,  to name just a few of the major ones, were extraordinary. It was due of course to the people, and for me it was a privilege to work with them.
When I left Gwebi I spent a few years working on cotton and tobacco, at Gatooma Research Station and the Tobacco Research Board. I then did an MBA at Cape Town University and was offered a job by Shell, in Johannesburg, which was a good experience and led to me being offered a job by an American multi-national, FMC Corporation. That led to spending several years based in Greece. Greece was the base because it provided access to most of Africa, for which I was responsible (except for South Africa). So I travelled to just about every corner of Africa, which got to be pretty testing! My wonderful wife Christine stoically put up with it all. I was transferred back to Johannesburg to run Southern Africa and after a number of years there we found ourselves in Australia, in 1986, where I was Managing Director for FMC and responsible for Australia and South East Asia. In the early 1990’s I finally left FMC and basically spent the rest of my working life managing major projects, most commonly related to the food industry (FMC was a major supplier of food processing equipment and I had been responsible for managing the supply, installation of upgrading of a variety of big capital equipment.) The last big project was the upgrade of a huge abattoir at Rockhampton, Queensland; I eventually gave that away because by then I had really had enough of the inside of aeroplanes.
Christine and I have three sons who speak with broad Oz accents, three Australian daughters in law and four beautiful grandchildren. We have lived in Melbourne since we found ourselves in Oz, and I guess that after being here for over 25 years we are settled. Christine may argue with that because I continue to indulge my passion for African wildlife and wildlife photography by being back in South Africa, Zimbabwe or, occasionally, Zambia as much as I can. I am back a minimum of once a year and often as much as 3 times a year. More than that and Christine has some stern words with me. Each year in September I take part in a wonderful activity at Mana Pools, some 300 km below Kariba. Mana Pools is still shown on the maps as a flood plain, but Kariba effectively ended its life as a flood plain. As a result the Mana Pools wildlife is changing and the annual activity is to monitor what is happening. I have had the great good fortune to visit many Southern African game areas and am always seeking others, but they are seriously expensive these days! I will never stop looking for more!
I play golf regularly off a 14 handicap, ride bicycles and do what I am told when there are grandchildren to be minded or bits of house to be fixed. We have a rugged 4x4 and have driven over big areas in Oz, such as up to Cape York, across the Simpson Desert and up to the Golf. Christine and I consider ourselves very fortunate indeed and one particular point is of great satisfaction, and that is the number of people who need a bed for 1 to many nights on their visit to Melbourne, or passing through on their way to somewhere else. So please note, anyone who should read this, that our house is open. If we are not here, the backdoor will be open,  towels are in the cupboard and beer in the fridge (no Castle or Lion.) Thanks to Colin Lowe for contacting me and I was delighted to hear from Kim Hodierne. He used to ride past our house on a bicycle which had a steering wheel in place of handlebars.  And Stan? RIP, he was a remarkable man.

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