History of Kirkby House

What a great place for some to call home…

History of Kirkby House

This house, completed in 2005, is one of the newest houses of Kingswood College. The first Houseperson of Kirkby was Mrs Shane Hale, followed by Mrs Melanie Aspeling, Mrs Joyce Stewart, Mrs Tracy van Molendorff and currently Therese Carlson holds this position.

The house is aptly named after Reverend Howard Kirkby for the significant contribution he and his wife Joyce Kirkby made to the College. Reverend Kirkby was a Kingswood pupil from 1934–1938, during which time he played in the first XI, was an excellent athlete, sergeant to the Brass Band and an active member of the Debating and Drama Societies.

In 1949 he was ordained into the Methodist Church and in 1980 he was elected as President of Conference and as such, became the head of the Methodist Church in Southern Africa.

He was Chaplain to the College from 1951 to 1974. He was a driving force behind the planning and construction of the Memorial Chapel in 1962. He also served as President of the Old Kingswoodian Club from 1962–1983. In 1974 he was elected to serve on the College Council where he provided insightful and measured input in a governance role.

In 1990 Reverend and Mrs Kirkby accepted an invitation from the Chairman of the College Council to return to Grahamstown to record the history of the college in anticipation of its centenary in 1994. The research involved was considerable and it is to their credit that by the end of 1993 they were able to complete this onerous task and produce a definitive history of Kingswood’s first 100 years – STILL UPON A FRONTIER.

There is no doubt as to the considerable impact of the Kirkby’s on Kingswood’s affairs over a sustained period and the naming of this House in their honour is a fitting tribute to them and what they have meant to the College.

Source: David Stevens (OK, 1960)