Chubb House


                         

Student Assistants:   

Zuko Zote
Ryan Howden
Frank Dollar

 








Click here for a printable information booklet.
 

HISTORY OF CHUBB HOUSE

THE REV. THEOPHILUS CHUBB

Theophilus Chubb was born on 28th May 1841 in England. He went first to a dame's school nearby, and then at 9 years old to Dr Mortimer's "City of London" School. It was then within a stone's throw of Bow Street Church - so he therefore claimed to be a Cockney by birth.

He turned out to be a good classical scholar, meaning that he learnt both Greek and Latin. He also was a good Mathematician. In due course he became Head Boy of his school. Fond of the open he, together with his brothers, learned to swim by sailing out into Home Bay, and swimming around the boat until in time he became a powerful swimmer. This skill stood him in fine stead when he later became a missionary in the Transkei, and had to swim those fierce and treacherous rivers, often when they were in flood.

He had a reputation for being a quiet, even-tempered youngster, with a passion for fighting, not because he quarrelled, but because he loved boxing.

In his final year he won the coveted Travers Scholarship worth fifty pounds for 4 years. He then articled himself to a firm of lawyers, completing "Intermediate" examinations for the BA Degree.

At the age of 17 years he was converted. The first repercussion was that he left his firm of lawyers and joined another, because, he said, "I did not think my principal's methods were honest." Soon, however, he was at the cross-roads. He loved law and to the end of his days maintained an interest in legal matters. Yet he felt a strong call to become a Missionary, and his choice fell here. Then his troubles began. In those days one could only get a B.A. Degree by signing the 39 Articles of the Anglican Church. He decided he could not accept all 39. He, however, stated his reasons for disagreeing cogently and clearly, and subsequently was awarded his Degree. So it came about that ultimately he was proposed by his Circuit Quarterly meeting on 24 March 1862 as a candidate for the Wesleyan Methodist Ministry. He was accepted by the Conference, and in due course came to Commemoration Church where he became Chairman of this District of the Church. Here his association with Kingswood began.

There had been other attempts to start a boys' school by Wesleyan Methodists in Grahamstown but they had been unsuccessful. Then, in 1892 the idea was revived by four young men, all members of Commemoration Church. They were William Codgebrook Muirhead, William Barnet Stocks, Clifford Witheredge Dold and Restall Richard Stocks. In due course, after further discussion, they called a meeting and said they would only be prepared to go ahead with the venture "if the Rev Theophilus Chubb agreed to become the Principal since Mr Chubb was not only a Wesleyan Methodist Minister, but also a businessman."

At first Theo Chubb hesitated, as he had in that same year been appointed to the top post in the Church as President of the South African Conference. It was pointed out to him that he could use the year, as he moved about South Africa, to further the project and, eventually, to the immense relief of the Originating Committee, he accepted.

The name of Chubb is well known in South African cricket, since in the post World War II years, one of the best fast bowlers in cricket was Geoff Chubb who did so well in England for the 1951 Springbok side. He was the great nephew of Theo Chubb. What is certain is that Theo played cricket himself and was a member of the first Kingswood team to take the field. He played wicket keeper in that match and subsequently filled a gap on other occasions as well.

It is a real inspiration to know that the man who was the first Principal of our School was, besides being a great cricket enthusiast and a fine educationalist, a man who embodied in his strong, warm personality, an example of the very ideal upon which Kingswood was founded.

"The deeply rooted conviction that education severed from religion is an incomplete ideal and an unsatisfactory achievement."

When it is remembered that he was only at Kingswood from 1892 - 1898 before he returned to Healdtown and its missionary work - it is remarkable to see how well he laid out these foundations and to observe the vital role he played in those tender, formative years. Perhaps the impact of his contribution is best summed up in a comment made by a relative when he died:

"I suppose Uncle Theo sometimes thought of himself, but I never saw him do it, did you?"

Such was the quality of life of this humble Wesleyan Methodist Missionary who was our founding Principal.

H F KIRKBY

With acknowledgements to:
 1) "A Family Record" by Dr Elsie M Chubb - his niece
 2) Jubilee Magazine April 1946, by Capt. C C Rich M.C

 

Latest developments (2013)

School House has been the site of much banging and drilling, as the bathrooms in Gane and Chubb have been given a facelift with smart new granite counter tops and new fittings.  Also, the windows of the first floor dorms have been replaced with aluminium frames, and the old wooden windows that have been so ill-fitting and problematic are a thing of the past!  The aluminium windows have been custom made, and one hardly notices the difference aesthetically, but the boys in Gane and Chubb will be grateful for the stronger windows on windy days and in winter weather! 

School House (Chubb House on the left, Gane House on the right) at night time....

Chubb

and day time photos.

  


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