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News > Archives & History > The photo of Mr H J Kidd 'Skip'

The photo of Mr H J Kidd 'Skip'

The photograph is of Mr Kidd teaching his class, either English but presumably Latin. The venue is the upper story of the M Block, the Matric Block, built in 1940.

Mr Hubert John 'Skip' Kidd -HJK.
Mr Hubert John 'Skip' Kidd -HJK.

A recent article included a photograph of a Biology lesson at Bishops.  This is thanks to OD Andrew Warren who converted the slide to a photograph, which opens up a lot of possibilities for archiving visuals in the Archives at Bishops.  Above is another example of Andrew at work.  This time he has converted a b&w photograph of Mr Kidd teaching a Senior class at Bishops, into colour!  

When Andrew sent me the photograph, I thought that whilst it would be good to share it with the OD Comunity, it would also be good to include some details of Mr Hubert John Kidd, Bishops' Eighth Principal. 

Whilst writing this article it also came to my attention that Mr Kidd arrived at Bishops 100 years ago to the year!  

His record as a teacher, House Director and ultimately the Eighth Principal of Bishops, is significant and remarkable.

Born in 1896 Hubert John Kidd was educated at Uppingham, Rutland, England.  He served in WWI in the Royal Artillery.  He read Modern History at University College, Oxford.  Directly after, he came to Bishops.  He faithfully served the school for 41 years. 

Mr Kidd came to Bishops to look after the newly constituted Post Matric Class.  In those days there were not yet Houses, but he was the teacher in charge of dayboy group called 'Kalk Bay' (the other being 'False Bay').  Then when the House System started, he became the inaugural Housemaster (today House Director) of Gray House.  This was followed by his tenure in Founders House and in 1936 he was appointed the College's Vice-Principal.  His scholarship and leadership saw him being put in charge of the Ten Club, the Literary Society and the Foreign Affairs Society. 

Mr Kidd succeeded Canon Birt as Bishops' next Principal in the month of July 1943.  The school's laws had to be changed to allow Mr Kidd as the school's first layman.  Up until that moment, Bishops' Principals had to be ordained Anglican clergy.  

Mr Kidd married the renowned Botanist Mary Maytham in the Chapel in 1948. 

Kidd died in harnass at age 67.  He was travelling to the Conference of Headmasters and Headmistresses of Private Schools of Southern Africa (as it was known then) held that year in Kingwilliamstown now called Qonce.  He was the Chair.  He had planned to retire in that year.

In the words of Neil Huxter he was 'that imposing figure who swept into the classrooms with swirling gown, and each boy instantly resolved to work a great deal harder at his Latin... Behind the firmness lay a surprising understanding of the individual boy... Clarity of expresson, a sense of style, he prized; any Society or Club Secretary who has submitted a termly report to him for approval will know that almost every draft would be returned for alteration and improvement.'

Today, his memory lives on at Bishops in Kidd House, the Kidd Wing as well as the HJ Kidd English Speech Prize. 

If you have memories of Mr Kidd, to share, please send them to the archivist Paul Murray at [email protected] 

The information for this article was taken from John Gardener's 'Bishops 150'.



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