Two Ducks in a Row

Two-Ducks-in-a-Row

Chris Duckworth, Que Que’s Springbok Cricketer in action.

Two Ducks in a Row

Que Que born Chris Duckworth became Rhodesia’s second Springbok Cricketer.  He played in two Tests against the 1956-57 English cricket team as a batsman. Both Tests were won by South Africa. In the thirty three games he was selected for South Africa, he was on the winning side on thirty one occasions.

Two Ducks in a Row

Chris had been vice head prefect at Chaplin High School in nearby Gwelo.   The first buildings on the Chaplin grounds dated back to 1902.  Chaplin provided the first house for boarders in the country, Duthie, built in 1911. Chris was Head Boy of Duthie House in his last year there forty years later.  This afforded him no less than three fags, including Syd Finlayson.

A few years later, Chris accepted the invitation to represent the Old Chaplin Association (OCA) in their annual match against the School. He opened the batting He faced a number of fast bowlers in his career: Tyson, Statham, Loader, Bailey of England; Adcock, Heine, and Griffin–throwing–of South Africa, as well as the throwing of the Australian Meckiff.  (For those who don’t know cricket, throwing is ‘not cricket’).  The only international fast bowler to bowl him out was Davidson of Australia.

Now the opening bowler at Chaplin was Syd Finlayson.  The first ball was wide and left well alone, ditto the second.  The third nipped in from the off and Duckworth was out… Out for a duck… O.C.A. 0 for 1!

Undaunted, the following year Chris agreed to open  the batting for the O.C.A.  Once again Syd Finlayson, now Head Boy of Duthie, opened the bowling.  Sitting in the pavilion was an MP by the name of Ian Smith, having travelled from his home town of Selukwe, himself an old boy and former Head Boy of Duthie.

The first ball was wide of the off stump and well left alone… The second ditto, the third on the wicket and correctly defended, the fourth nipped in from the off Duckworth was bowled… Duckworth once again out for a duck… O.C.A. once again 0 for 1!

A fag’s revenge!  (Fagging of course was bowled out long ago).

Chris also played hockey for Rhodesia, rugby for Natal U19 and later league tennis in Johannesburg.  I will continue with Que Que sport next week.

This comes to you from a boy from Chaplin, who is busy right now writing his voluminous Ducks and Drakes, a comprehensive history of the Duckworth family dating back to 1538.

 

12 Comments

  • betty

    Reply Reply March 30, 2012

    Diana, what are fags and head boys?

    By the way….you must be almost packed for your journey….so happy and envious all at the same time….springtime in Europe! Keep a journal and tell me all the fabulous parts and adventures……. and also a food journal with all the delicious details. I will live it through you! Tell me again when you leave!

  • Chris Duckworth

    Reply Reply April 1, 2012

    A House Prefect at Duthie was a young man in his final, or nearing final years of schooling, who, solely at the Housemaster’s discretion, was considered to be a leader, and as such, an example in terms of a combination of character and sociability, and academic and sporting achievement… The Housemaster also decided upon the appointment of the Head Boy… In 1951there was a Head Boy and three House Prefects at Duthie…

    Fags were selected from the First Year Boarders, the Head Boy having first choice, following which, he, in consultation with his fellow House Prefects, determined the further combinations, and once finalized the Prefects then assigned their fags their various duties…

    As Head Boy in Duthie in ’51 Chris had three fags, the House Prefects two each… The responsibilities of Chris’ fags – One making his bed in the morning… Another carrying his books to and from school… The third cleaning his shoes and polishing his Army Cadet brass – And in the winter term all three were responsible for making the fire in his study, the only Head Boy’s or Prefect’s study known to have a fireplace in Southern Rhodesia. After Supper they collected from the Cook Matron two slices of bread and two small containers, one of butter and one of jam, and placing them, together with the skewer required for toasting the bread, on a plate on the floor, near, but not too close to the flaming embers…

    They were great days for a Head Boy, and particularly so when you had an attractive and intelligent and sport-loving girlfriend, Chaplin a co-educational school of 400 pupils on sixty acres of parkland with teachers from Oxford, Cambridge, Fife’s St. Andrews and South Africa…

    Elizabeth and Chris were boy and girlfriend from the age of 16 and at 18 and in the August of the final holiday of their last year at School, decided they’d marry at 24, this following the conclusion of their tertiaries, a resolve they achieved… Elizabeth of pioneer Rhodesian stock, her grandfather having been a member of the 1896 Mazoe Patrol… Christopher from dear old Que Que…

    • Diana

      Reply Reply April 1, 2012

      Terrific Reply, Chris. Thanks for the post.

  • Rick R

    Reply Reply April 20, 2013

    Hi,

    Dear mister Duckworth,

    I recently bought old second hand computer parts and among those I found a hard drive containing allot of older photo’s…
    A whole collection you might say.

    Now I usually don’t try to figure out who these things belong to when i refurbish old hardware… But these seemed to be placed in such a nice order that somebody must have spend a really long time sorting these.

    Now I don’t really know what to do as I cannot find another way of contacting you besides posting this in a thread that you replied to.

    I just thought that this might have great value to yourself and you might have somehow lost these…

    If you just want me to delete everything as you probably have copies of everything I will do so.

    Regards Rick

    • Diana

      Reply Reply April 21, 2013

      Rick, Save the pictures! I’ll get a hold of Chris and we’ll go from there. Great find!

  • Rick R

    Reply Reply April 21, 2013

    Hey,
    I’ll keep the hard drive safe until we can figure out what to do with it.

  • Chris Duckworth

    Reply Reply April 28, 2013

    Morning Diana,
    Rick and I have made contact – And work is in progress , so thank you for putting me in touch with him…

    And isn’t this little saga quite amazing… Rick in Pretoria contacts you on the west coast of the U.S.A. who contacts me in Johannesburg, who then contacts Rick in Pretoria…
    In my day the smoke signals and sound of drum beats would have failed to carry the mountains and the rivers and the oceans and the seas…

    • Diana

      Reply Reply April 29, 2013

      Chris, I am so glad your pictures are going to be preserved. Maybe as you sift through them you can send me a few of the old G and P and environs….yes there have been a number of remarkable connections made through the blog…estranged families traced and connected from all over the world.

  • Rick R

    Reply Reply April 30, 2013

    Well the plot even thickens and grows more international…
    I just immigrated from Belgium to South-Africa to be with a loved one.
    I’m a pretty young person of only 27 winters old…
    So I am sorry to say, I cannot tell stories of old…

    These pictures of Chris took me back to a place I’ve never known, but by the looks of them I really wished I could have lived in another age.
    A more simple and gently one…

    I can remember my grandmother who once a year went traveling to the sea and every few years traveled to Lourdes by bus on a Pilgrimage.
    She never left main land Europe and was happy in her small home near the woods with a small stream running next to it.

    We have come a long way communication wise, the mountains and sea do not form a barrier anymore.
    But sometimes I think that all this technology we have now, cannot replace the happiness that my grandmother had from her small house near the woods with the stream running beside it.

    • Diana

      Reply Reply April 30, 2013

      Rick, How remarkable of you to recognize the pictures as a special collection…all the more so that the country does not exist any more and its official history destroyed. For the last six months or so I have been sharing the vicissitudes of the early farming experience in Que Que based on the unpublished manuscript of Gervas Hughes beginning in 1920. Earlier blogs (beginning April 2010, 165 blogs in all) give a more checkered glimpse of the Que Que my family experienced in the 40’s through the 60’s. They were in many ways more innocent times, with simpler ambitions and a strong sense of local identity and community. Today, my sons hop on a plane and commute across America the way Africans hop on a bus, but I think we are more isolated from real human contact and the simple pleasures of shard meals and meaningful conversation in many ways for all the tweets and facebook fragments…
      Yes, I’m sure your grandmother was sure of who she was and understood her neck of the woods intimately. Thanks again for all you have done for Chris. All the best in your relationship and life in Pretoria…the city of jacarandas. Diana

  • Chris Duckworth

    Reply Reply May 12, 2013

    Evening Diana,
    Thank you for all your help, have received the discs with copies of the data from Rick and thanked him for all his help…
    What an amazing saga…
    Chris…

    • Diana

      Reply Reply May 12, 2013

      Wonderful, glad you could retrieve the long lost photos. What a reprieve! Enjoy the memories.

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