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Peterhouse Boys

Ellis House



Assistant Housemaster–  Mr Luke Kunatsa

Head of House – Munashe Rushwaya


Ellis House was the first boarding house built at Peterhouse in July 1954 and the foundation stone was initially laid in its incomplete walls by Sir Ellis Robins, a Rhodes Scholar, the resident director of the British South Africa Company, Chairman of Ruzawi Schools Limited and the first Chairman of the founding governors of Peterhouse. It was opened in 1955, initially known as “House No 1” and officially named Ellis House in 1956, together with Paget and Grinham Houses. Its first Housemaster was Mr Hugh Hodgkinson.


Ellis is a double storey building housing a maximum of 73 boys. When full, C and B Block boys are accommodated in dormitories but work in ‘toyes’. A Block boys sleep and work in ‘super-toyes’ housing four boys each, whilst 5th and 6th year seniors have their own single rooms. There are presently 63 boys resident in Ellis and a further 13  D Block boys at Tinokura.
A common room is shared by all Ellis boys and contains a table tennis table and its own satellite television reception. “Corridor Cricket” and four-a-side soccer are daily occurrences within the House.  The House was completely gutted and refurbished in 2010.


Dave Kirkman has been Housemaster of Ellis since January 2014.  He was born and bred in Zimbabwe and moved around the country in his youth due to his father’s profession in the farming industry.  He attended many grammar schools, with most of his time was spent at Plumtree High School.  His last two years of high school were spent at Falcon College.  Dave loves to refer to his time at Falcon as his “finishing school”.  After graduation, Dave headed to America to attend Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan to study Horticulture.  Since leaving university, Dave has been working in the flower industry, first in the United States and alternatively in Zimbabwe with concentrations in growing, consulting, distribution and logistics.  He returned back to the United States in 2003 as a Branch Manager for a leading flower wholesaler headquartered in Chicago.  In Nov 2005, Dave’s spirit and love for Zimbabwe pulled him back to his birthplace.  He and his family have been living in Zimbabwe ever since.

During his time at Michigan State University, Dave met Jenny, an America-born, Chicago native.  They married in Chicago in 2002.  They have four children:  Anne (13 yrs), Liam (11 yrs), Ayva (10 yrs) and Taidgh (7 yrs) all will be educated through the Peterhouse system.   Jenny works at an Education Consulting company in Harare called The Edge Group. The Edge Group counsels high school students and HS graduates with their best university options available to them and assists with the entire university admissions process.

Dave has extensive rugby experience as both a player and a coach in America and Zimbabwe.  He Captained the Michigan State University Rugby team for 4 years and in 1992, led them to a National victory that has not been repeated at MSU for 25 years.  In 1990, he captained the Collegiate Select Side in Michigan and represented CARFU (Chicago Area Rugby Football Union).  He represented Zimbabwe Rugby from 1993 through to 1998, captaining the side from 1996 through to 1998.  He has 56 caps total caps starting with his first test match against Wales in May 1993.  Twenty one (21) of the 56 caps were during his tenure as Captain of Zimbabwe Rugby.  Since he left national rugby, he has been a coach in the Zimbabwe High School system for over 5 years at both St John’s College and St George’s College.