Staff Section

Sadly we have lost touch with some of the ex-Staff and would love to catch up if possible.

Bryan “Benjie” Morwood and his colleague  EK “Jock” Ferguson both passed away within weeks of each other in August 2014.. In a comprehensive obituary in the Telegraph most of us learned for the first time that Benjie had a distinguished war record and was awarded the Military Cross when, as a lieutenant with the Royal Artillery  he led the defence of a prison in Greece which was being attacked by communists intent on releasing their comrades. Despite suffering multiple shrapnel wounds he organised a retreat to the main prison, which held out until reinforcements arrived. Benjie attended Larne Grammar School in County Antrim and on leaving joined the RA, becoming a field gunner in North Africa, Italy and Greece and later a parachutist in the Middle East. After the War he went up to Cambridge and read Natural Sciences before he and Muriel his wife left for Kenya and the Duke of York. He was a very popular  biology teacher to generations of boys, inspiring many to follow science-based careers.His wife Muriel pre-deceased him in 2004.

As mentioned above, Jock and Benjie passed away within weeks of  each other; both aged 91..John Tucker was contacted by his daughter Jane, who wrote the following:

I am writing on behalf of my mother and myself to let you know that my father died a few weeks ago.  He has had a very difficult last few years, with significant physical and mental decline so, for him, it was probably a merciful release, but we will miss him hugely.  His funeral was very well attended considering he was 91 and had outlived many of his friends.

John concludes: “Jock was a great housemaster and we, who were in Thomson, were very lucky to have had him at the helm during our years at the DOY.”

I have done some research in several “Yorkist” magazines and discovered that Jock was a stalwart of a very active Astronomical Society and helped to build a telescope. He is first mentioned in 1958 as a housemaster. He was also the founding editor of the fortnightly school magazine, the “Brooklands Baraza”. Jock and his wife left the DOY in March 1964 and after spending some leave in South Africa (he was a graduate of Rhodes University), he joined Mr Harris on the staff of Millfield School in Somerset.

“My father, Noel (Skid) Skerman, died on 2 April 2015, at 87 years old. He had had a short severe illness with  a long and healthy retirement before that, based in Poole, Dorset ( his birthplace and home town). Here a short biog:

Went to Poole Grammar school during the war and became Head Boy and student teacher in his last 2 years in 6th form

Went to Exeter University 1946-49 to read English. He was treasurer of Student Guild Council (SU) and was President at Mardon Hall. He left with a BA Hons and Dip ED

He met his wife Judy at university and they became engaged in 1949 and were married in 1950 at same time as he started National Service in the RAF. He was a Pilot Officer in the education arm of Fighter Command who went on to become Flight Lieutenant before he left in 1953.

After the RAF, Skid joined the Colonial Service and they emigrated to Nairobi in Kenya.  He became Head of English and Master of Mitchell House at the DOY 1953-1964.

After Kenya became independent in 1964 the family (3 children) came to live in Corfe Mullen, Poole where Skid became an English Teacher at Poole Grammar School until he retired in 1990.

Whilst in Kenya, Skid and Judy also started lifelong interests in the theatre and music, with productions at school both in Kenya and Poole. Theatre trips then continued until his death together with PROP (PlayReaders of Poole) he formed with friends for 30 years.

He and Judy started a lifelong love of going on safari, snorkelling in the Indian Ocean, walking and travels in 1953 all over East Africa, then an epic car trip to Cape Town in 1960 – all with a focus on wildlife and birds. Lots of return trips followed to southern Africa in retirement.

Let me know if old friends want to get in touch with my mother, Judy Skerman.”  Keith Skerman

Mrs Leslie James wife of  “Pansy” James, the founding headmaster of the Duke of York). Passed away in March 2010 at the age of 103. Leslie was a stalwart supporter of all matters Yorkist right to the end and her daughter Sally Rowson mentioned how much contact with Old Yorkists had meant to her. She had been in good health until just before she died but towards the end became increasingly frail and was unable to move about. Finally a bout of pneumonia claimed her. Sally’s email address is rowson@telkomsa.net

I was at DOY/Lenana 1964-71 My wife and I plus 3 children departed in July ’71 and had a great trip back to U.K.  We drove to Mombasa, shipped ourselves plus car to Karachi and drove from there through Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Yugoslavia, Austria, Germany and France.  By the time of our departure from Kenya I had already had two or three school textbooks published and was contracted to provide more for the new market of independent African states.  This enabled me to make a bid for a full-time writing career which I have pursued, through various ups and downs, ever since.  If there is anyone interested he/she can find details of my subsequent doings on my website www.derekwilson.com .  My books fall into two main categories – popular history and fiction – but I shall always be thankful for my time at DOY which enabled me to write East Africa Through a Thousand Years and, thus, to get my first toehold on the professional writing ladder.

Mike Heylings writes (April 2010) “I came upon your website when I googled ‘Eric Westwell Nairobi’.  It’s an interesting read.  I was mathematics teacher at Lenana for 2 years (1971-1973) when Kamungi was headteacher and Eric Westwell was deputy. I can add a little about several teachers not listed on your pages, starting with myself.:

Taught mathematics at Lenana during 1971-73 and is now retired in Gloucestershire after a post-Lenana career as a teacher and deputy-head in schools in England, as a school inspector with the Department of Education in Northern Ireland, and as a mathematics adviser/inspector in Lancashire and Cardiff.  After ‘formal’ retirement, he returned for 4 years to the classroom at Wycliffe College, Gloucestershire and has recently authored several textbooks for OUP.

David Loveday taught history/economics at Lenana (1971-73) and is now retired in Whitely Bay, Tyneside, after a post-Lenana career, first as a history teacher in Northumberland and then graduating to become a headteacher of a school in the Newcastle-on-Tyne area for many years.  He and his wife Gloria continue to live in Whitley Bay.

Charles Sutherland was head of Thompson House in the 1970s, arriving at Lenana from Maseno School.  He eventually returned to England and taught initially at a school in Essex.  He and his wife, Kathleen, are retired to a village outside Newark in Nottinghamshire.  Throughout his career, Charles was a member of CMS.

Doug Ralphs was a mathematics teacher at Lenana in the 1970s after some years at Buddo School in Uganda. He returned with his wife, Mave, and family to become head of mathematics at Strathallen School, Perth, Scotland until he retired some years ago.  He and Mave continue to live near Perth.

William (Bill) Mowat Student in Kirk (left 1957) Staff 1963 to 1966. Bill’s daughter Vicki contacted me on 13 September 2007 to say that he had passed away a little over two years ago. She writes:: “Dad always told us (his three children) amazing stories about Kenya as well as the hijinks at DOY. I think he always thought of Kenya as home, no matter how long he was away – and he lived in Canada for almost 40 years. He taught high school English for most of that time. He was very well loved by his family, friends and students and there are many of us who think of his generous, gentle, wise spirit, and miss him every day.”

Harry Hesketh. Passed away suddenly on 5th January 2006. A tribute to Harry appears below. A founding member of staff and first Housemaster of Lugard, he returned to the U.K. in 1964. Joined Hillcrest Secondary School, Nairobi at its foundation in 1975. Retired to the U.K. in Dec 1988.  His younger daughter Sue is married, with twins and now lives in Canada. His elder daughter, Anne, also has twins and lives in Cornwall. Sadly, Harry’s wife Pam also passed away, in 2003.

 

Eulogy for Harry Hesketh, given by Peter Kenyon:

Harold Roscoe Hesketh             23.10.21 – 5.1.2006

I feel very honoured to have been asked by Sue & Anne to say a few words today in honour of a very fine gentleman who I first met 57 years ago this month.

Harold Roscoe Hesketh was born in Bolton, Lancashire on the 23rd October 1921.

Harry was encouraged by his Father at a very early age to play sports .At both his Primary School, St Matthews & secondary school, Farnworth Grammar, he represented his school at football & cricket, & in one season he scored 40 goals for the school. In addition he played badminton, tennis & fives & again represented his school.

In spite of all this sporting activity he still found time to study passing the Higher School Certificate & proceeding to Bristol University to study Geography.

Needless to say he was still active on the sports field & represented the University at fives, cricket, badminton, tennis & squash. Harry’s time at University coincided with World War 11 & in addition to normal university activities he volunteered to do “Fire Watches” which involved spending cold & dangerous nights on rooftops.

The war eventually interrupted Harry’s university career & he volunteered for the Royal Navy. His ship, the H.M.S. Orion, took him to many fields of activity in the North Sea, the Atlantic & the Mediterranean. Harry was quickly identified as officer material, promoted to officer status & instructed to report to H.M.S. Lurcher, based in Mombasa. His first taste of Kenya. His time spent in Mombasa did give opportunities to visit upcountry & it was this that gave Harry the wish to return to Kenya. There are so many stories to tell of Harry’s time in the navy but our time is insufficient.

 

In October 1945 Lt  Hesketh was demobbed & returned to Bristol  to continue his studies during which time he became President of the Union & Head Student at Wills Hall. At the end of his interrupted university career he was awarded a B.A. Honours Degree. It was whilst at university that Harry met Pam & they married on the 11th December 1948.

On the 8th January 1949 Harry arrived in Kenya to become a founder master of the Duke of York School in Nairobi. The Kenya Government PWD (Public Works Department) were unable to complete the building of the new school by the scheduled date & so the Governor of Kenya, Sir Philip Mitchell, moved out of his residence to a private house in Karen. Harry was the guest of the Governor from his arrival in Kenya until The Duke of York School started at Government House on the 29th January 1949 & it was on this date that I first met Harry when I joined the Duke of York as a young schoolboy & joined Lugard House.

Harry was a well qualified but natural teacher He was firm, fair, friendly & had the great ability to impart knowledge, both academic & sporting. Whist keen to install important values & disciplines in his students, Lugard was still a very happy house. Harry had strong ethical & moral standards & was able to convey these values to the boys by instruction & example & I believe this is why, because of Harry,with the help of the other four remarkable foundation masters, that the school developed such a good reputation.  Lugard also had the advantage of having Pam Hesketh as a House Matron & very many of the boy’s, myself included, had a “crush” on the beautiful & gorgeous Pam !!

You can tell the respect that pupils had for Harry as so very many messages of condolence have come from ex-pupils of D.O.Y. from all over the world.

In 1952 an Emergency was declared in Kenya & Harry left teaching for a while to serve in the Kenya Police Reserve eventually working in “Special Branch”

Harry was invited to join the Kenya Kongonis Cricket Club & he was elected a member on the 12th December 1952.

A message of condolence has been received from the Patron of the Kenya Kongonis Cricket Club in Nairobi, Mr Peter Moller O.B.E. who pays the following tribute.

“As one of a similar vintage of  W.W. 2 veterans, I have countless memories of this cricketing ‘ legend ‘, born in 1921 and still playing serious cricket some 63 years later.

HARRY HESKETH was the epitome of a Kenya Kongoni. He was elected a Playing Member on 12.12.1952 ,a Life Member in 1982 and a Life Vice-Chairman in 1983. He served on the Committee from 1959 to 1964 and again from 1979 to 1986. He played for the Officials in their annual matches against the Settlers & captained the team in 1953.

He was well loved by many of our ‘ younger ‘ members whom he had taught at The Duke of York School in Nairobi and subsequently at Hillcrest Secondary School when appointed Deputy Headmaster.

When he finally decided to give up playing cricket, he took up Bowls at Karen Club and in partnership with his daughter, Sue, took top honours and they were a formidable pair to beat.

Retiring to England, he lived in Somerset and regularly followed the English Tour, often accompanied by his wife Pam who predeceased him. He came from a generation of vintage members of Kongonis who have done so much to maintain the traditions of our unique Club. Harry, through his many years of service and support earned the love and respect of all who knew him

The next important event in Harry & Pam’s life was the arrival of Sue & two years later Anne. As Anne & Sue have already told you Harry was a wonderful Father. He loved his daughters dearly & was very proud of their achievements. Their time together as a family was so very dear to Harry. He was very happy for his daughters when they found their husband’s Mike & Dan & married.  He was of course delighted with the arrival of grandchildren, Gen & Claire, Vicki & Max. Harry used to relay loving stories of his four grandchildren & like with his daughters he was ever proud of his grandchildren’s achievements.

In 1964 Harry returned to England to become Deputy Headmaster of Badminton School in Bristol. In 1972 Bridget & I called at Hall School to take our niece out for an exeat to find that Harry was now Deputy Headmaster there !

Harry returned to Kenya in 1974, followed by Pam the following year when he was appointed the Deputy Headmaster of Hillcrest School, again helping to develop another good school

 

Harry eventually retired from teaching in 1988 & returned to Somerset to the village of Ditcheat. Harry loved the village & became very much part of it. He was a member of British Legion & President of the local cricket team. He always enjoyed his visit to The Manor Inn on Friday’s which is very much a “village day”.

Harry was loved & respected by so many friends. As Anne said, he enjoyed being with people. Harry was always cheerful & loved a spot of humour. He always gave willing of his time to help, support & enjoy each others company. He was the very epitome of the motto of the school he helped create… “Nihil Praeter Optimum”…..“Nothing But The Best”.

He was indeed an Officer & a Gentleman.  We shall miss him very much.

However Sue & Anne are not only missing a best friend but a very dear Father & Grandfather. Our thoughts & prayers are with you Sue & Anne & with your families.

Kwa heri  Harry.

Brian passed away on 23 November 2009 and Sybil in 2010. They leave two sons, Ian and Michael, both of whom live in Australia.

Dave Lichtenstein, who knew him well,  writes: “John Bieneman, one of our “younger” Masters, was at the DOYS from  1954-1964.  He was Assistant Housemaster of Delamere (and this is where my first contact with him occurred) before becoming founding Housemaster of James.   He was also Physics Master, School rugby coach and OIC Sea Cadets.   He moved to Cherhill in Wiltshire spending the remaining days of his life, there He was only 83 when he died although he outlived his wife Stella who passed away in 1998. I remembered John Bieneman very well as he was both my Assistant Housemaster (Delamere) and my physics teacher.

There was only a small contingent of OYs at the funeral service which included: Ben Porter, Tony Saunders, Geoff Lock and Mike Johnson.  Mike informed me that the two sons – Richard and Pat spoke eloquently about their father and what an interesting person he was – originally Russian.  [Having only become interested in genealogy this year I am now not surprised as I would have been previously given John Bieneman’s RN service during the latter part of WWII.  Bieneman is certainly not an Anglo/Celtic name.]   Pat said that he had been back to Nairobi about a year ago to show his family – he has four daughters – and he said that visiting James House was very depressing as it was in a poor state of repair as was the rest of the School, although the Chapel was in pretty good nick

The family moved from Kenya to Canada in 1964, settling in Dundas, Ontario. Barbara focused her considerable energies working with textiles and the fabric arts, and in furthering various conservation organizations such as the Bruce Trail Association. She died in Hamilton Ontario on 30th March 2012. and is survived by Ian (now of Ottawa, Ontario), and children, Anna (Ottawa) and Donald (Whitehorse, Yukon;). Unfortunately Ian suffers from dementia and is in a home in Ottawa near Anna. Their son Donald has been in touch with Shaun Metcalfe

Mallorca

London

Sussex

Frank Harris died in January ’99 at the age of 92.

I hear from Chris Carey that Pegs Higson passed away in October 2005 after being cared for by Ken for many years.

Peter Doenhoff (Mitchell/Speke) 1951-1956 and Staff 1962-1972. .Following his university studies at Glasgow University Peter returned to the School as a staff member remaining there until after independence and the change of the School’s name. During that time he was Assistant Housemaster, Delamere becoming Delamere Housemaster from 1962-1966 when he became Kirk Housemaster from 1966-1972.   As a staff member Peter also had stints of Acting Bursary and Acting Deputy Headmaster.After he left the DOY, Peter worked in education, accountancy and a number of law firms, mainly in Mombasa. He moved to the Kilulu home in Mtwapa in his latter years.. He passed away on 17 April 2010 in Mombasa Hospital, having suffered  ill-health for some time. The year before his death he completed a most interesting account of the history of the school and managed to publish it despite very limited resources. His brother – in-law.(and DOY staff member) Robin Walton writes: “Naturally, as his brother-in-law, I am also saddened by his death as will so many Old Yorkists and colleagues. If we look back at all he did for the DOYS (e.g. producing that fascinating memoire) and his many kindnesses towards fellow-Yorkists (especially those he took under his wing) we can indeed be thankful for his life, even if it was characterised by much frustration and, later, by much ill-health.His sister Bridget, who immediately flew to his bedside from South Africa when told that he was gravely ill,  adds: “The positive is that I learnt in two days how hugely Peter was respected in and around Mombasa – and unfortunately he seemed not to be aware of this.. We can only pray that he is finally at peace. It is hoped that a memorial service will be held at the Yacht Club later in 2010.

Geoff Hughes. 1957 (Lugard) Taught at the Duko in the mid sixties (I still recall his rendition of the Wife of Bath!) Went on to scale the heights of academe and was a professor of English at the University of Witwatersrand. He also wrote several books on the English language. 29/12/03 Update. I believe he is now retired and living in the South of France.

Lived in Johannesburg until an unfortunate incident in which he was shot twice in the chest during a robbery led to a change of  home in Natal. Robin is married to Bridget (nee Doenhoff) who does a great job keeping in contact with ex Kitale Primary students and produces an annual newsletter for same.

1949-1956 Mrs C Carnegie (Lillemor) Formerly Miss Mackinnon- “Ma Mac” Lives in Portalegre, Portugal. “What wonderful memories I have of the DOY. I started there in September 1949 and my husband, John, and I still keep up with most of the staff of that time. We will be 77 next year and are very fortunate to be in good health and have lots of fun. Earlier this year (1998) we spent 17 days in Antarctica which was just wonderful. We motored to the UK in July (1998) via Santander and Plymouth and saw many friends. In September we visited Expo 98 which was impressive and enjoyable.”

Grogan housemaster sadly deceased

Speke housemaster sadly deceased

Used to lecture at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales but now retired.

Housemaster of James House until circa 1976. Married to Moira, they live in Brisbane.

1961 Lives in Dunmow, Essex. Spent 36 years teaching at Felsted School. From 1989 to present has been a volunteer worker with Gap Activity Projects. ” From September 1960 to August 1961 I had a year’s ‘sabbatical’ at the DOYS: I was standing in for Ian Reid and the Jack Clark when they were on leave. I was John Packwood’s Assistant in Junior House, and taught mainly Classics.”

1964  Passed away on 24 July 2010 Dave Lichtenstein writes: “John Bieneman, one of our “younger” Masters, was at the DOYS from  1954-1964.  He was Assistant Housemaster of  Delamere (and this is where my first contact with him occurred) before becoming founding Housemaster of James.   He was also Physics Master (and indeed taught me in that subject), school rugby coach and OIC Sea Cadets.   He moved to Cherhill in Wiltshire to spend the remaining days of his life.”

1979 Dennis was Housemaster of Tom Mboya House. Lives in East Goscote, Leicestershire. Email 100746.326@ANTISPAMcompuserve.com

1977 Ralph and Elaine were at DOY for 22 years. They now live in C. Tipperary, Eire.

1956 Science master, thespian and stage manager. Molly made the roses which decorated the stage curtains. “We’ve been retired from teaching for 14 years and celebrate our Golden Wedding this year. We are what Floridians call ‘Snowbirds’, spending the summer six months in England and the winter six months in the sunshine. It’s wonderful.” Email dbunker@ANTISPAMcompuserve.com

1972 “I was a member of staff (in charge of Biology) from 1963 to the end of 1972, having replaced Brian Morwood.  I joined the school to replace Bryan Morwood.  I was attached to Speke, then James Houses and finally was Housemaster of Eliot.  I also took over the Duke of Edinburgh award (latterly President’s award) from Ian Reid when he left.  For some time I also helped Richard Fowler with Brooklands Baraza.  My two daughters Fiona and Lindsay were both born in Nairobi and had a wonderful young childhood there. When I left I worked for four years at Bishops (Diocesan College) at Rondebosch in the Cape and then taught Biology at Hilton College in Natal until I retired at the end of last year.  I do get news of a few Yorkists such as Bryan Roff (my next door neighbour for many years) and Peter Doenhoff from  Robin Walton.  We are still in touch with a few former staff members including John Smith and Ingrid (was Gmeinhart as a staff member).  We also occasionally here from Derek Wilson and Ruth.   It was Derek who started me writing when I helped him with a book called White Gold.   Since then I have gone into textbook writing for the local market and bless Derek for the day he started me.  It has helped me to retire more gracefully than I otherwise could.”

Update 30/12/2014 Peter contacted me having heard of the death of Brian Morwood, whom he replaced as i.c. Biology in 1964. In our exchange of emails we discovered that my wife’s cousins’s husband was Peter’s best man at his wedding in Aberdeen in 1960!! New Email  ayerst@ANTISPAMiuncapped.co.za

Passed away on 22 August 2000, aged 77,  in London, Ontario. Survived by his wife Valerie and children Peter, Stephen and Jennifer. Ian and Barbara Reid (ex housemaster Grogan) attended Roy’s funeral and live 1 1/2 hours away from Valerie.

1961 Deputy Housemaster of Delamere from about 1957. His daughter Norma King writes: “After leaving Kenya, he spent time teaching in Zambia, South Africa, Swaziland and South Africa. After his retirement and my mother’s death, he went to live with my sister and her husband in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He died in 1999. I grew up during the few years we were at DOY – I went to KHS for a couple of years and then to Reeswood Secretarial College. I married in 1965, and have two sons and a daughter, and a granddaughter aged 2. I retired myself last year, hence being able to take the time to surf the net! My husband and I live in Engadine, a southern suburb of Sydney.” Email normaking@ANTISPAMprimus.com.au

1960 to 1963  Dennis was the phys ed teacher who dreamed up the assault course so loved by us all. I remember him grinning from ear to ear as he filmed  us as we struggled over the fiendish  obstacles. As his son Mark recalls, when we perfected our technique Dennis had us carrying telegraph poles in teams of five, just for that added challenge! Dennis was also a top squash coach, whose proteges included Michael Mills (British Army champion at one stage?) and Andrew Barnett. Lives in Mt Gravatt, a suburb of Brisbane, next door to Mark. Though in his 70’s, still plays tennis twice a week, is into wood-carving and cares for Enid who is not so well these days. Can be contacted through cooperms@ANTISPAMsmartchat.net.au 8/8/01 POSTSCRIPT 15/9/01 Mark informed me that Enid passed away on 28 August after a long illness. He writes: “I realized, from coming across some old documents, that Mum was actually a member of the staff of the Duke of York as she taught Art at the school for some time in 61 or 62.” Our symathies go to Dennis and all the boys. 15/9/01

1953 to 1963 Within days of getting the above I received an email from Roddy McKellar : “Roddy & Duncan McKellar regret to announce the death of their mother Sheila, who died peacefully in her sleep on Saturday 29th September 2001, after a long illness. Sheila was a matron at the school [Block II and Junior House] from 1953 -1963, when we moved down to Mombasa. She returned to the UK in 1976, but continued to visit old friends in Mombasa until 1992.” Again, our condolences go to the family.

1959 to 1964 Delamere and Head of School in 1954 and then staff member (Head of History and  Housemaster of Kirk) . ” On leaving Nairobi in 1964, I taught for 3 years at Loughborough Grammar School, before coming, in 1964, to Winnipeg, where we have been ever since. After 5 yrs teaching at a Senior High school, I went into Administration, spending 4 years as a Vice Principal, before getting my own Senior High school. During this time I completed my PhD on the topic: “Great Britain and the Sultanate of Zanzibar”. The next 19 years saw me as Principal of two high schools, the last having over 1100 students. After nearly 38 years in education, I retired in 1996, since when I have enjoyed 6 years of total happiness! My retirement days are spent golfing, skiing, roller-blading, cycling, and travelling (Hawaii. California, Mexico, Cuba, skiing in the Rockies). For the past 2 years I have been a Certified Fitness Instructor, with the Manitoba Fitness Council, and own a Fitness Training business with over 20 regular clients and more signing up all the time. Am at the gym 5 mornings a week. Our eldest daughter earned her PhD, and teaches Sociology/Women’s Studies at the University of Winnipeg where she is a Prof., and at the University of Manitoba. Our second daughter teaches at a high school here in Winnipeg, and is a two-time Canadian National Triathlon (Age Group) Champion, representing Canada at two World Triathlon Championships. Our third daughter works as a restaurant manager in Whistler, BC, where in her leisure time she enjoys triathlon running, mountain biking, and skiing/snowboarding. Our son is employed by the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Ottawa in Public Relations, press releases, etc. While at high school he played ice hockey and basketball to a high level. Claire (my wife) and I have just celebrated 42 years of happy marriage. Email egreen@ANTISPAMescape.ca 9/6/02

1956 to 1973 Edward (Charlie) Bennett-Rees (or Charlie Chaplain)

Marjolein Thrower (nee Bennett-Rees) writes: “My father and mother (Netti- the dutch one, who was a matron in Speke and Lugard) moved to England and Pa taught at Hastings Boys Comprehensive and mum resumed her nursing career at Beth Buchanan Hospital St Leonards on Sea. Sadly Pa died in 1977 – a month short of his 65th birthday and retirement. Mum stayed in St Leonards and she died in 1989. He never returned to Kenya , but mum did as do my sisters, brother and I on a regular basis. I see Mike Carr-Hartley regularly in Watamu and have also caught up with Ronnie Andrews who recognised me after 25 years! and Geoff Pelling. I keep missing the Mitchell’s whose holiday cottages are just round the bay. Phil Leakey also has a place in Watamu as did Robin Gaymer.”   Marjolein’s email is  MarjoleinThrower@ANTISPAMcompuserve.com   21/9/02

1964  Now deceased. Was deputy housemaster in Grogan. Later curator of the Lamu Museum and retired to his property in the Shimba Hills.

1966 to 1978 Passed away on May 31 2005. Pete arrived at DOY in 1966 during my last year but he made an immediate impression and threw himself into the life of the school with great enthusiasm. A great rugby coach and teacher he spent many years at Millfield after leaving the Duko.Pete’s son Steve is keen to trace his godfather Andre Maximan who was on the staff at DOY, probably between 1970 to 1976. If anyone knows his whereabouts please let me know and I’ll pass on details to Steve.

April 1960 – August 1967 “Taught metalwork, woodwork, technical drawing and sport.  Loved his sport and was a qualified soccer referee with old 1st Division experience.  Housemaster of Eliot during his last years, but also assisted with other houses.  He unfortunately passed away August 1987. “My mother was matron of Lugard and Speke for many years. My father helped the late Rev. Bennett-Rees with a number of gatherings in Hastings during the late 60’s.” Information from his son Warwick (see 1964).

Update from Warwick – January 2015 : “This is mainly for old Yorkists from March 1960 to August 1967.  My mother, Ada Davis would have been less well known than my father who taught woodwork, metalwork, technical drawing; sport and over the last couple of years was housemaster of Eliot.

However, my mother, who served various stints as house matron to Speke/Lugard and Delamere/Thomson passed away on Christmas Day 2014 aged 94, having suffered from Vascular Dementia for the last four years of her life.  We often reminisced  about our time in Kenya an I kept her up to date from information gathered from various emails.  At the last Old Yorkist bash in Taunton she was still remembered by old colleagues and some ex-pupils.  She passed away peacefully having lasted 27 years without my father. My sister Carrol came over from Australia for the cremation on Friday 23rd January at 1310 hours, at Stourbridge Crematorium, England.”

  1. “I was a Physics teacher at the DoY from April 1973 until Dec 1981, at first Deputy Housemaster of Thompson and later Housemaster of James. My proudest moment of my enjoyable and rewarding time at Lenana was, at the request of the Headmaster, Mr Kanyi, to rescusitate the School Cadet Corps. This was set up in 1978 and, with the full cooperation of the Army Barracks at Langata and help from a friend from outside the School, Aussie Walker, the Corps took off very quickly. The Army kitted out our Cadets with uniforms, boots, back packs etc and provided a senior NCO every Wednesday afternoon to train the Cadets in drill and all aspects of Army life.  The numbers rose quickly until, by 1981 the Corps averaged over 100 with two officers drawn from the 6th Form.   We were often on call from other organisations. We paraded at Upper Hill School’s Open Day and were  inspected there by  President Daniel Arap Moi. At this event, he changed his speech to include a passage stating that he was asking all local Army Barracks to set up similar units !! We were always in demand at the Nairobi Show where the Cadets put on  on great display of drill. Also, of course, the Cadets were an important feature of the School Prize Day.  Having been a University Blue for shooting I undertook shooting drills and we regularly took on Army units at full bore shooting at Langata and the Ngong Hills ranges and almost invariably won !!! The Cadets also took part in night exercises  learning field craft and stalking. At the end of the year, the Cadets remained behind for a week, taking over one of the Boarding houses and having all day training by NCOs from the Barracks. For me, and I hope the Cadets, it was a most enjoyable time. Unfortunately, soon after I left for the UK ,the Corps was closed down and all the rifles and equipment was returned to the Army. I enjoyed my time at the School and, on a purely personal note, both my daughter, and later, my son were each married in the School Chapel with Mr Dodman officiating. I have been back to the School several times, the last time in 1999. I was made most welcome by the few Staff and groundsmen who were there in my time. I have extremely happy memories of James House but, at 80, my mind cannot remember the names of the majority of the lads whom it was my pleasure to look after, aided by my wife, Iris. My wife suffered a stroke in late 2000 and I can only get about with difficulty these days but we still have representatives in Kenya.  My daughter is in charge of the Feed the Children Hostel in Nairobi and my youngest granddaughter, Nicky, is a relief manager at safari lodges.  One sad moments was being unable to attend the Reunion in Taunton several years ago. I had booked but, at the time to go, my wife was ill and I had to cancel. It has been extremely rewarding to see how many ex Yorkists have done so well in their careers and my wife and I wish all the students and ex students of Lenana our best wishes and success in your lives.” Email address  member@ANTISPAMsale1.wanadoo.co.uk   9 October 2006

1964.. Taught Maths from 1961-64. Mother of Adrian Whyte (Eliot, 1960-64). Left Kenya in ’64 and settled in Hertfordshire until she retired in 1968. Subsequently moved to the Spey Valley in Scotland where she remained until she sadly passed away in 1993. (from her son, Adrian Whyte, 9 Dec 2006).

Old Yorkists everywhere will be saddened to hear of Dominic Spencer’s passing, for generations of Yorkists knew and respected him. Dave Lichtenstein, who last saw him in 2001 remarks: ” It would seem that he passed away peacefully without a lingering death.  And as a former cricketer and cricket lover – he had a fine innings.  By my reckoning he would have been about 95.” One of his daughters, Mary, writes: “He was such good company right up to the end – making me laugh, constantly surprising me with his breadth of knowledge and enjoying sharing his thoughts on literature, music, sport, politics – you name it – he had opinions on everything but also was most interested to here everybody else’s views on all the above…He was very philosophical about dying and made it quite clear that he was ready to go and that when he went we would ‘probably be a bit sad’ but that after the funeral we should go on our way rejoicing that he had had such a long, fulfilling and happy life.”

Jane, who was the middle middle Spencer daughter of three, bravely suffered the ravages of advanced osteoporosis for some years and it was this that took her life in the end. OY Peter Symes, who attended the memorial service in the very impressive chapel at Clifton College in Bristol writes:

“Mary Spencer gave a moving tribute to her sister, with lots of anecdotes of high times at the DOYS – mostly of course during the holidays when they had the run of the place, roller skating along the corridors and having the swimming pool all to themselves. But she also talked of the work Jane has done since, clearly influencing generations of folk in exactly the same way as her father. She was very musical, which as we know ran in the family, and the tribute concluded with Byrd’s Justorum Animae, something both Jane and Mary had sung in Nairobi Cathedral.”

1966 (arrived) Although I only knew Lawrence for a short time (he arrived in the year I left) I think I can speak for my peers by describing him as an inspiring teacher whose knowledge of French and English literature made a deep impression on his students. It was not a surprise, therefore, to discover that he has turned out to be a very respected, published poet.

Lawrence Sail was born in London in 1942 and brought up in Exeter.   He read French and German at St John’s College, Oxford, taught for four years in Kenya, then held various teaching posts in England (the last was at Exeter School) before becoming a freelance writer.

He has published nine collections of poems, most recently Eye-Baby (Bloodaxe Books, 2006), The World Returning (Bloodaxe Books, 2002), Building into Air (Bloodaxe Books, 1995) and Out of Land: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 1992).  He has compiled and edited a number of anthologies, including First and Always:  Poems for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (Faber, 1988) and, with Kevin Crossley-Holland, The New Exeter Book of Riddles (Enitharmon, 1999) and Light Unlocked (Enitharmon, 2005).  Enitharmon also published Cross-currents, a book of his essays, in 2005.  He was editor of South West Review from 1981 to 1985.

His poems have been broadcast on national radio and television and he has written a radio play as well as various short features for radio. He has presented Poetry Now (Radio 3) and Time for Verse (Radio 4). He has contributed reviews and essays to various newspapers and periodicals including The Guardian, Poetry Nation Review, Poetry Review and Stand.

He was chairman of the Arvon Foundation from 1990 to 1994.  In 1991 he was programme director of the Cheltenham Festival of Literature, and a judge for the Whitbread Book of the Year awards.  He was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship in 1992, and an Arts Council Writer’s Bursary the following year.   In August 1993 he undertook a month-long tour of India for the British Council, for whom he has since worked as visiting writer and lecturer in various countries, including Bosnia, Colombia, Egypt, France, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and Ukraine.    From 1994 to 1996 he was the British representative on the jury of the European Literature Prize, and from 2004 to 2007 he was a judge for the Eric Gregory Awards.  In October 1999 he was a co-director of the 50th Anniversary Cheltenham Festival of Literature.  In 2004 he received a Cholmondeley Award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and on the management committee of the Society of Authors.

 

Poetry publications not already mentioned above:

Opposite Views – Dent, 1974

The Drowned River – Mandeville Press, 1978

The Kingdom of Atlas – Secker & Warburg, 1980

Devotions – Secker & Warburg, 1987

Aquamarine – Gruffyground Press, 1988

Waking Dreams:  New & Selected Poems – Bloodaxe Books, November 2010

Songs of the Darkness:  Poems for Christmas – Enitharmon, October 2010

Sift: Memories of Childhood – Impress Books, September 2010