To the best of my knowledge, this is the third book written by Anglican Priests who
have served the Church in the Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe. The magnificent
scenery of this Province, varying from hot, lush steamy valleys to invigorating highlands
could be the source of inspiration for these books. To have lived and worked in that
environment is indeed a privilege.
This book by Andrew Hunt is a remarkable recall of a very full life, tracing his career
through the Dragon School, Harrow, Balliol, Saskatchewan in Canada, Cambridge,
London, Leicester and Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. His life's achievements are recorded in a
conversation style which provides easy reading. It is not difficult to imagine oneself
sitting in Andrew's home, being served with tea by his wife Pat and regaled with gusto
by Andrew of anecdotes of his interesting life.
Those interested in life in Rhodesia in the years leading up to Independent Zimbabwe
may be disappointed at the lack of political comment and conflict in this book. Hints are
to be found of Andrew's own political and social leanings, but these are subservient to
the purpose of the book, which plainly sets out what he has achieved and how things
happened from birth to his retirement in Oxford.
From a privileged life in early years, through privation in Canada, ordination as
Deacon at St. Paul's Cathedral, and service in the Church of England in the wartime
England, Andrew finally arrived in Rhodesia. There he experienced the vagaries of life
as a Parish Priest until his appointment as Headmaster of Bernard Mizeki College, the
peak of his career. This was followed by many years in Mutare (Umtali) as a teacher and
return to Oxford after self-imposed retirement at the age of 71 in 1985.
This book will be of great interest to those who knew Rhodesia/Zimbabwe in the
years immediately before and following Independence in 1980. A further book dealing in
more depth with political events in those years would have been an interesting sequel to
this entertaining autobiography. Sadly, Andrew Hunt died in January 1995, his passing
leaving a gap in our socio-political knowledge of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe in the years