The Salvation Army: Usher Institute

The Salvation Army

Usher Institute

The Usher Institute was established by the Salvation Army at Leighwoods farm near Figtree, Southern Rhodesia in 1933 by then Staff Captain Salhus and his wife, but has its origins in the work of pioneer Salvationist James Henry Usher and his wife Jessie who informally began teaching Africans living in the area starting in 1906. The school was later named Usher Institute in their honor.

The first class in 1933 consisted of five boys and one girl. By 1935, enrollment had risen to thirty-four. A new classroom block was opened in 1939 with an enrolment of 101 students. Boys were taught “practical subjects” such as Metal work, Gardening, animal husbandry and carpentry while the girls learned needlework, cookery, child line and domestic sciences. Captain and Mrs. Morton came to Usher Institute in the mid-1950’s, establishing a post standard six course in Domestic Sciences in 1956. Major Brigadier Lavinia Benson later started the first Boys Secondary School. Between 1966 and 1970, Usher was under the leadership of Eva Burrows, who would go on to become the 13th General of the Salvation Army (1986 – 1993). It appears that during her tenure, Usher became a secondary boarding school for girls only.

Usher Institute witnessed the tragic murder of two women Salvation Army missionaries, Charon F. Swindells (age 25) and Diane B. Thompson (age 28), by guerrilla fighters on June 7, 1978 during the Bush War. Two other missionaries were injured. Their deaths led to the school’s closure and the Salvation Army withdrawing from the World Council of Churches (which supported the rebels’ cause against the Rhodesian government). As of its closure, Usher had 267 secondary boarding students and 260 primary students, of whom 60 were boarders. The school reopened March 1980 with 240 students.

The school is presently known as Usher Girls High School or Usher Secondary School.


  • Mark Loomis

Dutch Reformed Church: Chibi Mission

Dutch Reformed Church

Chibi Mission

The Berlin Missionary Society (BMS) established Chibi Mission near Chief Madhangove’s stronghold at Nyaningwe Hill (currently in Chivi District, Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe) in 1894 under the supervision of Reverend Diedricks. The mission was met with resistance from the local inhabitants, the Chivi people, and by 1907, only three “kraal schools” (outstation schools) had been established. Faced with lack of success, BMS made the decision to abandon Chibi along with its other missions in the territory in 1907, and transfer them to the control of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC).

DRC nearly closed Chibi Mission due to lack of a “European” missionary willing to serve at the station. It was saved from closure by an African evangelist, Joseph Mboweni, who continued run the mission until the arrival of Reverend Hendrik C. Hugo, his wife, Margaretha, and their two-year old daughter in 1911. The mission grew under Rev. Hugo’s leadership, including a significant increase in the number of kraal schools from 3 to over 58 by 1923. A women’s association created by Mrs. A.A. Louw called “Sungano Yamadzimai” was organized at Chibi in 1935.

Along with DRC’s other missions in Southern Rhodesia, Chibi was transferred to the local control of the African Reformed Church – later renamed Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ) – in 1977. Today, the mission consists of Chibi High School and the Chibi Mission Clinic.


  • Chibi High School
  • Chibi Mission Clinic


  • The Dutch Reformed Church in the Victoria Circle: Chibi Circuit, Mashonaland, 1874-1956 – Gerald Chikozho Mazarire
  • Mark Loomis

Andries Adriaan Louw

Andries Adriaan Louw

1862 – 1956

Andries Adriaan (Andrew) Louw, a pioneering Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) missionary, was born February 26, 1862 in Fauresmith, South Africa. He was the eldest son of Rev. A.A. Louw, the first minister of the DRC church in Fauresmith, and Jemima Murray, and nephew of Andrew Murray. Louw was forced to discontinue studies at university due to poor health. He then worked on a sheep farm for five years before answering the call from the DRC mission committee to become a missionary in Mashonaland (present day Zimbabwe).

In 1891, with the help of Black evangelists, he founded Morgenster Mission, DRC’s first mission in Mashonaland. With the help of his wife Cinie (Malan), he is credited with translating the Bible into Karanga. He also started the first theological courses for evangelists, which later developed into a theological seminary. In recognition of his services, he was ordained a minister of the DRC in 1919, even though he had never completed theological studies.

He was awarded the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1954. Rev. Louw died August 12, 1956 at Morgenster, Southern Rhodesia.



Dutch Reformed Church: Morgenster Mission

Dutch Reformed Church

Morgenster Mission

Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) missionary, Andries Adriaan Louw, established DRC’s first mission station in Southern Rhodesia at Morgenster in 1891. Despite poor health and not yet being ordained, Louw was the only one to answer the call for missionaries by Reverend S.P. Helm following Helm’s exploratory trip to Mashonaland the prior year.

Louw set off by ox-cart in April 1891 accompanied by seven Sotho-speaking African evangelists. After a laborious journey of several months, they reached Chief Mugabe’s mountain near the Great Zimbabwe ruins. With the Chief’s permission, a mission was established on 9 September 1891 about 35 km from Fort Victoria (Masvingo).

The mission was named Morgenster (meaning morning or day star) after the house Louw grew up in his hometown of Paarl, Cape Colony. The mission was granted 6000 acres the following year by Dr. Jameson, the British South Africa Company’s administrator of the territory.

Louw’s wife, Cinie, later joined him and they began their ministering among the Karanga. Five years later, the first two converts were baptized. The work grew rapidly and within ten years of their arrival, in 1901, the first outstation (prayer house), Pamushana, was established. The first presbytery meeting of the Church in Mashonaland was held in 1918.

A mission school was started in 1892. A school for evangelists was begun in 1925 with Reverend Henry Murray (Sr) as the first lecturer. A seminary was established in 1936.
The first African pastor, Rev. Ezra Shumba, was trained and admitted to the ministry in the late 1930s. As of 1936, the mission already employed one thousand school teachers, who were required not only to educate children, but also to spread the Gospel.

By 1948, schools for girls, the deaf and dumb, and another for the blind, had also been established. A printing press was installed at Morgenster to enable the Church to provide mission literature in the vernacular language.

DRC began one of the earliest medical missions in the territory when it opened a hospital at Morgenster in 1894 with the arrival of medical missionary Dr. John T. Helm. Dr. Helm also ministered to lepers, starting a voluntary leper settlement at Morgenster in 1899. By 1912, the number of leper patients had grown to 40. In 1913, the government removed the lepers to a farm in the neighboring Native Reserve.

Dr. M. H. Steyn arrived at Morgenster in 1924. Under his supervision, the John Helm Memorial hospital (1930) and Cinie Louw Memorial hospital (1934) were established. In recognition of his many years of service, Dr. Steyn was awarded the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1951.

Morgenster Mission was handed over to local control on 4 May 1977, which at that time consisted of the Teachers College, schools, hospitals, Theological College, printing press, Mabuku (department of church bookshops), Munyai Washe (the Christian church magazine), Penya (the evangelism outreach program) and farm.







Glendale was named after a town in Northumberland, England. It is a small farming community village and administrative center with high yields of maize, cotton and horticultural products along with cattle and pigs.

The suburbs in Glendale include Valley Low Density, Tsungubvi Township, Sisk, Rujeko, Highway, Westville and Eastview residential suburbs.


Postal Services

Also known as Glendale Station, the name was officially changed to Glendale on 30 May 1918. Mail service was by rail.

  • 1915.01.13 – First postal services under the name Glendale.
  • 1915.02.25 – Opened as a Post and Telegraphy Agency using the name Glendale Station.
  • 30.05.1918 – Upgraded to a Money any Telegraph Office.
  • 1931.01.01 – Renamed to Glendale.

Flowing Bowl Mine

Flowing Bowl Mine

Mazoe District

Flowing Bowl Mine was one of a number of individual, self-contained small workings in the Jumbo area. In 1934 these small workings numbered fifteen and all within five miles of Jumbo Siding. Each workings operated on an east-west striking northerly dipping reef.

General Asbestos Co Ltd acquired the workings in April 1933 (later becoming Rhomines Ltd).


  • The Mining Magazine, Volume 59, 1938


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