Humphrey Gibbs Beleaguered Governor Southern Rhodesia, 1929-69 – Alan Megahey
Humphrey Gibbs was born into an Edwardian upper-class family in 1902. After Eton and Cambridge he emigrated in 1928 to Southern Africa, eventually deciding to farm in Southern Rhodesia. He was a prominent churchman, and was active in organizing the country’s farmers. He promoted conservation before it was fashionable to do so. A reluctant MP, he welcomed the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and supported the cause of multiracialism. Gibbs became Governor of Southern Rhodesia in 1959, and six years later was faced with the problem of UDI. He remained at Government House and was a conduit between the British government and the rebel regime, stepping down only after the country declared itself a republic. In retirement he watched civil war ravage the country he loved and he welcomed its evolution into Zimbabwe. He left his farm only when the dissident troubles in Matabeleland became too severe. His funeral took place in Harare Catherdral in November 1990.