The Reverend Sydney Hudson-Reed

2010-05-18 00:00

THE Reverend Sydney Hudson-Reed, who was responsible for the establishment of the Treverton Schools in Mooi River in 1964, died on May 4 in Cape Town.

Hudson-Reed, a Baptist Church minister, cherished a dream of establishing an independent school associated with the Baptist Church, which would foster a strong Christian ethos.

When he was serving as a member of the church in Rhodesia, he had researched the establishment of a private multidenominational preparatory school, but the Unilateral Declaration of Independence prevented further development of this plan. While ministering in the church in Port Elizabeth in 1962, a fellow minister alerted him of school premises that were for sale in Mooi River. Hudson-Reed travelled to Natal and visited the school, the original Treverton, which had been closed at the beginning of the sixties.

He was impressed by basic structures that were in place and believed that this was the answer to his prayers of establishing a school. He enlisted the help of four friends and his brother Derek, who was then on the staff of St Sithian’s in Johannesburg, to investigate the logistics­ of establishing a school in Mooi River. Despite the fact that they had no funds to finance­ the project, they were able to secure a bond. Hudson-Reed decided to publicise the school and recalled years later how he had in his 40s, hitchhiked around South Africa to enlist aid, financial donations and personally spread the word about the school. The school opened as a boys’ preparatory school in January 1964. There was an enrolment of 50 boys and the late Derek Hudson-Reed was the first headmaster.

For the next 28 years, Hudson-Reed chaired the board of governors and remained on the board until his death.

Since its establishment, Treverton has grown and developed into a co-educational school offering­ tuition from pre-primary classes to postmatric, for boarders and day pupils.

Hudson-Reed was born in Johannesburg and was educated at Grey High School in Port Elizabeth and Parktown Boys’ High School. He attended the University of the Witwatersrand for his bachelor of arts degree and Transvaal Teachers College for his TTD. At Rhodes University he obtained a diploma in theology and a Licentiate Honours in Theology at the Baptist Theological College. At the former University of Natal he was awarded a Master’s degree and in 1999 a PhD.

During World War 2 he served as chaplain to the forces in Egypt and Italy, and was ordained in Cairo. Over the years he has served as the travelling secretary to the Students’ Christian Association, and ministered as pastor in Baptist ministries in KwaZulu-Natal, the former Transvaal, the Eastern Cape and Rhodesia. During his early retirement he ministered to the seniors of the Pinelands Baptist Church in Cape Town.

He was a keen historian and author of a number of books, of which one of the best known is 1820 Settler Stories.


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