Kingsley Fairbridge Poems

Poems » kingsley fairbridge

Kingsley Fairbridge
Kinglsey Ogilvie Fairbridge (5 May 1885 19 July 1924) was the founder of the first child emigration scheme to British colonies and the Fairbridge Schools. His life work was the founding of the "Society for the Furtherance of Child Emigration to the Colonies", which was afterwards incorporated as the "Child Emigration Society" and ultimately the "Fairbridge Society". He was born on 5 May 1885 in Grahamstown, South Africa and educated at St Andrew's College, Grahamstown until the age of 11, when the family moved to Rhodesia. He had no further schooling until he prepared to enter Oxford University in 1908 at the age of 23. At 13 he became a clerk in the Standard Bank of South Africa at Umtali (currently known as Mutare, Zimbabwe, formerly known as Umtali, Rhodesia), and two years later tried to enlist for the Boer War, failing because of malaria which he had contracted in Mashonaland. Fairbridge then took up market gardening and early in 1903 visited his grandmother in England for about 12 months. The visit deeply affected him, as he observed the contrast of malnourished and impoverished children living in the London slums against the under-populated open spaces of Rhodesia. On his return to Africa, he worked for two and a half years for a Mr Freeman who was recruiting locals to work in gold mines near Johannesburg. During this time Fairbridge started developing the idea of a scheme to bring poor children from London to South Africa where they could be trained as farmers. I saw great Colleges of Agriculture (not workhouses) springing up in every man-hungry corner of the Empire. I saw children shedding the bondage of bitter circumstances and stretching their legs and minds amid the thousand interests of the farm. I saw waste turned to providence, the waste of un-needed humanity converted to the husbandry of unpeopled acres.

Among the Manyika, a dead infant is buried by its Mother without a ceremony.

Yowe, yowe,... [read poem]
Continue in Owen Feltham »»»

Page 1 of 1