Cecelia Davies          - 20/1/2015      <--Prev : Next-->

Cecelia Davies - educator, counsellor, friend to so many thousands of Zimbabwean school children.

Cecelia reached her Centennial on the 20th January and all we can say is thank you for moulding the lives of so many special people and congratulations - a life well spent!! Here are some of the many tributes that have been sent into the Morning Mirror.

'I had been at Townsend School for four years and looking forward to my Higher School Certificate years when we were told that the whole system was being changed. The HSC courses were only being offered at a few schools. Then I found that I would be traveling to Eveline School every day for my English, Latin and French courses. With much misgivings I found myself at Eveline School, but my fears were allayed when I met the smiling lady who was to be my English teacher. She was wonderful. She brought the plays alive for us, and even got us writing poetry. I can still answer quiz questions on MacBeth, and quote Shakespeare's wonderful language because of her teaching.
Before Mrs. Davies I had taken it for granted that poetry was something written by old defunct English poets, but here we were writing our own for the first time. I loved every minute of my time with her. She was kind enough to take me out from Carnegie House for a few weekend outings. I was enthralled by her own private library, the first person I knew who had a whole room full of neatly stacked books on shelves. Now Mrs. Davies will be reaching the venerable age of one hundred years old this month, and I want to join my voice to the many other grateful pupils to thank her for teaching me, and for that cheery smile every morning. Liz Davies (nee Gibbens)

Dear Mrs Davies
You taught me English at Eveline High School, Bulawayo, from 1955 to 1958.
Your tuition was truly inspirational, and your encouragement phenomenal.
It was totally due to you that I achieved distinctions in both English Language and English Literature in my Cambridge School Certificate, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the love of English which you instilled in me.
I wish you heartiest congratulations in achieving the milestone of 100 years, and I do hope you will have many happy and healthy years still to come.
With very much love and best wishes

Dear Mrs Davies,

Congratulations. What a marvellous achievement. I hope that you are blessed with good health and have a wonderful celebration.

Townsend days are a fond memory. The Scottish Dancing, the days of transforming classrooms secretly once a year, making sure we did not mess the walls and above all, everything that we were taught, which enabled us to follow our dreams. I remember so well your lessons and being fascinated by the way in which your glasses balanced on your forehead! Then there was your reading of 1 Corinthians 13 regularly in Assembly. I always wondered if that was one of your favourite verses.

Thank you for all that you did for so many people Mrs Davies.

With fond memories,

Suzanne Barker

Please pass on a big "Congratulations!" for a 100th Birthday to Celia Davies. I went to Townsend for my last year of school in 1973 and honestly I can say it was the best year of my school life. I sobbed at our last assembly when we sand the school song! I really liked her and felt that she had a really good grip on things. I was not the most hardworking student. I was more interested in my social life. I just wish I had gone to Townsend years before that. I have ended up not doing too badly. I am the author of two books and for years have worked on newspapers and as a freelance journalist.
I hope she has a very happy day and I would like to express my appreciation for the role she played in shaping so many young women of my generation.
Kind regards

Sarah Hudleston
C: 083 675 8821
T : 011 7267580
E : mwsarahh@mweb.co.za

How wonderful to hear that Celia is 100. Congrats to her.
I well remember being taught by her in a long ago memory. That was when she was still at Evelyn High School.
Has she always lived in Bulawyo
Maybe she will remember me, Faye (nee) Ginsberg and now an old lady too who has at last learnt to behave a little better.
May she have good health and many friends and relations to be with her on this very special occasion
Faye Salomon

Congratulations on reaching a century! I was a young teacher on your staff at Townsend and always valued my time there - a great learning curve for a young professional setting out.

Well done and many good wishes.

Heather Macdonald (nee Putterill)

Thank you for inviting the Townsend girls, who were at school when Celia was the headmistress, to send a congratulatory message to Mrs Davies.


THE 3 HEASMAN GIRLS ( Monica and Sybil - twins at Townsend from 1958 to 1961)
and SUZAN (the youngest at Townsend from 1961 to 1964)

Thanking you,
Sybil Clutty nee Heasman
Nyanga Zimbabwe.

CONGRATULATIONS on this auspicious occasion !
Thank you for your years of patient teaching which played such a great part in our career choices.
Heather Taylor ( nee Millar ) and Bruce Millar ( the first male pupil at Eveline ! )

My dear Celia

Not since my dear late mother, who taught me music in Primary School, had I come across another teacher in the true sense of the word. You were the perfect blend of discipline, care and humour. I found you rather formidable at first, (which I think you enjoyed!) but as you know, your remarkable daughter Gwyneth was in the same class, and introduced me to the family and I was able to learn at first hand about your other extraordinary qualities.

One of the last memories I have of you - and it's an indelible one - is the eulogy you delivered at Gwyneth's funeral. You adopted the stance of a great classical Greek actress, feet apart, one leg slightly in front of the other and, standing like a rock, you remembered your wonderful daughter. I have tears running down my face as I write this - and as I did then. No daughter could have asked more of a grieving mother.

Thank you so much for what you gave me, and I feel myself privileged to have had you in my life at such an important time. Bless you!

Bruce Millar

My own lifetime career in teaching was rooted in years at Townsend as a very new teacher (1968-1971). It was 'characters' like Celia Davies who inspired us with their passion and professionalism and it is such a privilege to say
'Congratulations grand lady on your 100th birthday. Thank you for all you did for the staff and girls at Townsend....we remember you with love and respect'.
Many thanks
Jean Ratcliffe (nee Moore)

Dear Mrs Davies

I wish you everything of the best for your 100th birthday on 18 January. Congratulations on achieving this age.

I still remember you as my O level English teacher at Eveline in 1967. I have to admit that I always scored lower at English than the other subjects I did. However I have found that I have had to write a lot of English during my career firstly as a science teacher and later in the Information Technology industry. I am now happy retired, enjoying looking after my grandchildren and doing the occasional contract work for the company I left three years ago.

Have a very special day.

Kind regards
Amy Berry (nee Claydon)


I am writing on behalf of my mother in law Denise Bennett ( from Eveline). Denise was a very close friend of Celia's "back in the day" but has not seen or spoken to Celia since Celia's 95 th birthday in Johannesburg. She is unable to phone her as Celia is now very deaf.
Would you have an email address for Celia (or Mary Jane) that I can forward to Denise so she could send a note to her
Thanks in advance
Kind regards

Joy Rosenfeld Bennett

Congratulations on your 100th Birthday.
May you have a wonderful day.
I remember you arriving at Eveline School and our amazing Scripture classes with you in Form 2A
I was then Joy Marriott and pupil from 1949 to 1953 under the headship of Miss Penelope Gordon

I'd be grateful if you would pass on my congratulations and best wishes to Mrs Davies on her special birthday. What a wonderful achievement to reach 100!

She might recall that I was one of two Hamilton boys (the other was Tom Dawe now of Brisbane, Australia) who attended Townsend full time to do our A-levels during 1971-2. Townsend was a wonderful school. We had really excellent teachers. It was also a place of much fun - as illustrated in a picture that has been doing the rounds on the Internet in recent years of a lineup of the lower sixth form, including Tom and me in Townsend uniform and boaters, rehearsing the cancan in the school gym for some or other 'variety concert' .

photos/photo photoid=56371532

Mrs Davies might be interested to hear that three Bulawayo pupils from the 1972 A-level classes went on to become judges in various parts of the world. Margaret De Haas (head girl 1972) is a senior county court judge in England, Ian Abercrombie (Milton) is a judge in Scotland, and I am a High Court judge in Cape Town.

With kind regards
Ashley Binns-Ward

Please convey my Warmest Congratulations to Celia Davies on the grand occasion of her 100th Birthday.

I was privileged to have been in Mrs Davies's Use of English class when I completed my 'A' Levels at the Eveline Sixth Form Centre in 1968. I can still remember the weekly precis assignment which consisted of summarising an editorial from the Chronicle!

She may be interested to know that, although I took History, Latin and French for 'A' level (with Miss Horn, Rosemary Smith and Denise Bennettrespectively) and not English, I ended up teaching senior English at Kearsney College for many years.

I hope she has a very special day on the 18th January.

Sincere regards
Dave Goldhawk

I wasn't a student but a friend of her daughter MJ and would be very grateful could you add my greetings to yours and send Celia my love and respect.
Many thanks -

Judith Todd

Delighted congratulations, with fond memories of you and all your family.

Len Rix (ex-Milton, ex-UR, ex-Merchant of Venice!)

Congratulations Mrs Davies on achieving 100 remarkable years and all the best for many more healthy, happy and rewarding years. Incredible to think that 46 years ago, I was Head Girl at Townsend, when you were 54 - 10 years younger than I am now (and of course, at 17, I would have considered you ANCIENT! Although I think we were only 'together' for a year, I recall your stewardship as being strict but fair, with quite a lot of fun thrown in for good measure. Those of us who benefitted from so many dedicated teachers such as you, Mrs Davies, in those long ago days, were - and are - truly blessed. I for one, loved my school days and find it hard to understand others saying how they hated theirs!
With best wishes
Rhona Page (nee Thompson)

Dear Mrs Davies,

May I offer you my heartiest congratulations as you celebrate your 100th birthday on the 18th January 2015, what an amazing achievement. You were our headmistress the year I was a prefect and I so clearly remember how smoothly the school ran in those days.

May you continue to live in health and happiness.

Carolyn Blackman (nee Castle-Ward)