Our History

  Why “Endure with Courage”…? The Story of Clifton School In the late 1970’s a couple named Beryl and Ron Clifton lived in Francistown, Botswana. Beryl was nearly 40 years old when she fell pregnant for the very first time. They were very excited and thrilled at the prospect of becoming parents. The pregnancy went well and 4 weeks prior to her due date Sarah-Jane was borne, catching everybody unawares. Beryl was a devoted mother. Sarah-Jane was greatly loved by both parents. They planned ahead and wanted to set-up an excellent English Medium School for both pre-primary and primary students. Thus started the concept of the school that became known as Clifton. When the little girl was about 18 months old, Beryl developed a lump in her breast. Her doctor sent her post haste to international cancer experts in Pretoria. After thorough testing the advice given was that she and her family should take a holiday at the coast and spend quality time together as there was no effective treatment for that type of cancer and that her condition was terminal. Upon their return to Francistown, Beryl’s strength gradually deteriorated. Over the next 12 – 18 months she trained her domestic helper to cook the dishes Ron liked best, to see that Sarah-Jane washed hands before taking a meal, wore shoes to town etc. And she made steady progress in realizing the dream of a good school for her daughter to go to. Friends used to visit bringing their personal problems for Beryl to deliberate over and give advice. She devoted her time to others. Never did she appear to dwell on her own illness and the gradual ebbing of her strength. Her energies were devoted to preparing for the wellbeing of her beloved husband and child when she would no longer be there. She even ordered clothes for Sarah-Jane till she would be ten years old. The entire Francistown Community marvelled at her courage. A short time later Beryl passed away peacefully in her sleep. Her funeral was a celebration of an unselfish, kind and courageous life. Ron and friends of the Clifton Family worked harder than ever to establish a rudimentary school. First a wooden cabin, on borrowed ground behind a church in town. Dedicated effort over the years by parents and staff gave wings to the dream that became Clifton School. Today we have a school to be proud of in memory of a woman to be admired and our motto encapsulates her ethos “Endure with Courage”.