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Issue 25: January 1990

The opening of Ameva Primary School in November 1989 was attended by 400 enthusiastic well-wishers, and 360 school children. 'It's been a great day' was the unanimous verdict.

The guests heard Comrade T.B. Gororo, Regional Director of Education for Mashonaland West (deputising for Comrade M. Chivende, the Provincial Governor) re-affirm the Government's commitment to universal primary education. He praised the efforts of the Christian Marching Church and Christian Fellowship trusts who are the responsible authority for the school, in their response to the pleas of local children for a 'proper' school in the area.

The crowd were entertained by various items performed by the school, and the other supporters. After cutting the tape, Comrade T.B. Gororo, was taken on a tour of the school by Headmistress Celia Valentine. The occasion was also graced by the Mayor of Chegutu, Comrade P. Gwanzura, the Town Clerk and Councillors.

The ceremony was followed by a presentation of textbooks by Mr. Mugabe, Managing Director of College Press. They generously donated textbooks for Maths, English and Shona for every child in the school. The gift was received by Bishop P.M.Gobvu, Chairman of the Trusts, who expressed heartfelt thanks on behalf of the school.' An Extract from 'The North Midlands Gazette', Kadoma, .3rd November 1989)

Celia also reveals her 'unofficial' diary of that day:

5.30 am Got up and cooked chicken for 200 people

6.30 am inspection of field and tents. Opened classrooms to move chairs. Brief Bishop on introduc1iom·.

7.30 am Collected together all gifts to be presented to Regional Director of Education. Put flowers in the offices, last minute tidying and arranging. Gave Richard the badges for stewards and teachers. Fixed red tape for opening. Gave scissors to M.C. for safe keeping -know! will lose them if I don't!

Told off several children for running around and screaming. They all look very smart in their uniforms - those that don't have uniforms must sit with other spectators. Teachers not yet arrived.

8.00 am Chaos in my kitchen, chicken not cooked yel. Made orange juice for 360 children.

8.30 am Got changed and smartened up.

8.45 am Regional Director of Education, Mr.T.B. Gororo, arrived with other educational officers. The house is a tip but invited them in for a cup of lea. Chaos still reigns in kitchen, but Rebecca is coping. Dash in, dash out. Mr. Howarth, Headmaster of Grace and Paul's School arrives. Bishop Gobvu and his party arrive. Marion is organizing entertainment for other visitors on the field.

9.30 am We go over to the field. Mayor of Chegutu and some councillors arrive. Bishop Gobvu opens with welcome.

1.00 pm The Official Opening closes. It didn’t' go too badly. The introductions were mixed up. We had to shout at the M.C. once or twice. Paul had no shoes on, and the entertainment went on forever, but I restrained my frustration and thirst. Now for the chicken and rice ..

2.00 pm Waved goodbye to the Director. He is a very nice genial man and seems rather over­ whelmed by his presents. Returned to the house to find various Valentine and Gobvu children running round screaming for something to eat - gave them sausages and eggs to cook themselves - more chaos in the kitchen. Locked myself in the bathroom. Took a two-hour bath!

We had a few days break last week in the Eastern Highlands. A local Christian lady paid for us. The weather is much cooler there and there were buttercups, clover, and vetch, as in England, and so peaceful.

We had a terrific thunderstorm on Monday night and about four inches of rain in about one and a half hours. The front of our house was flooded, and the water swept in through our bedroom and into the bathroom and living room, and we were bailing out until midnight. John has been up fixing the roof and the gutters over the past two days!

Well, we are now permanent residents . John was driving one day from the Farm to Harare, 50 miles away. He saw a lady on the side of the road flagging him down for a lift. He stopped and they chatted generally as they drove along. On arrival in Harare, John discovered quite by accident that she had connections with the immigrations, and he shared his own problem with her. The lady told John to go back to the immigration office and tell the officer of her family name. No-one outside her family knew her by that name. John did as suggested and was assisted immediately. The next day he received a call to collect his residency permit. The book of Revelation reminds us, 'I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the Lord, which is, and which was and which is to come, the ALMIGHTY.'

John Valentine writes I would just like to thank all who prayed for us regarding our Residence Permit. It came to the point where the immigration had taken our permit off us and had given us one month to leave. However, God intervened and provided, miraculously, access to the Permanent Secretary of Home Affairs. The result is we are now permanent residents.

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