Plumtree School - Old Prunitians

Submitted by Jack's daughter

John Hartley (Jack) Howman (August 11, 1919 to February 5, 2000)

John Hartley (Jack) Howman, born in Selukwe, Rhodesia and died in Johannesburg in February 2000 after two surgical operations.  He was survived by his wife Moira, who passed away four months later in June 2000.  He leaves three daughters.

Jack attended junior school in Fort Victoria and senior school at Plumtree (Lloyd House 1932-1936) where he won a Beit Scholarship and played team hockey and tennis. He played hockey for his country and started studying for his law degree.  Before he could complete his degree World War II broke out and he enlisted, serving as a Captain in the R.A.R.

After the war Jack achieved a law degree with Coghlan Welsh and Guest and in 1946 married Moira Maidman.  In 1963 Winston Field, former Prime Minister of Rhodesia, approached Jack to serve as a politician and he became Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Local Government and Minister of African Education. Upon Winston’s stepping down, he resigned and returned to his law career. 

In 1965, Ian Smith, former Prime Minister of Rhodesia, urged Jack to return to politics and he served as Minister of Immigration and Tourism and Minister of Information.  Jack became Minister of Foreign Affairs a portfolio he held at the declaration of U.D.I. in 1965.  Continuing to serve as Minister of External Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs and nearly seven years as Minister of Defense, Jack stepped down from office on  July 31, 1974 and then took up writing, which culminated in his book “Rhodesia Sacrificed”.  Bookbinding interspersed with golf, walking and visiting his family in South Africa became the pastimes of a man who lived his life with integrity, honesty and decency.   He is greatly missed.

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