Personal History

     

Born in Brighton, UK but only 2 months old when my parents migrated to Kenya in 1948. They had a farm at Lugari and I  was a boarder at Loreto Convent Eldoret at the tender age of 5. Benevolent nuns and 300 girls were not a sufficient substitute for one's parents at that age. Battle-hardened, I graduated to Kitale Primary, which I left in 1960. Was at the Duke of York (Lenana) from 1961 to 1966. First year was spent in Junior House, followed by 5 years in Grogan, where I was head of house (and head of school for part of 1966).

Took a year off after school and then went to the University of Cape Town from 1968 to 1970. Back to Kenya, where I taught at Manor House, Kitale and got married in 1972 to Gail (nee MacLeod) who had been at the Kenya High.  

Left Kenya in 1973, worked for 3 years near London then did postgraduate studies at London University. In 1977 ,we headed up to Scotland, and spent 9 happy years teaching at Rannoch School, in the picturesque Highlands, a great place to bring up a young family. Having been reasonably OK at sport at school I had for several years neglected my fitness but in the early 80s became caught up in the running craze which swept across the US and UK. In all I competed in 8 marathons, including London, and became the first race director of the Loch Rannoch Marathon which attracted high calibre runners for several years.  

1986 saw us on the move again (hopefully for the last time!) - migrating to where we live now - Western Australia. At the last count, 84 Old Yorkists had the same idea!. I  retired in 2008 from  the Adult Migrant Education Service after 22 years, the last 15 years as Program Manager for the northern suburbs of Perth. AMES is funded by the federal government to provide tuition for recently-arrived migrants. It has been a rewarding career and I even had a chance to use my Swahili on a regular basis with Sudanese refugees, many of whom had spent years languishing in Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya.

My wife Gail was a pre-school teacher (retired end of 2010) and continues her interest in singing fostered as a soloist at the "Boma", by being a member of the Collegium Symphonic Chorus. Our younger son Ross is a high school PE and outdoor ed. teacher in Australind, married to Lynette, We now have two grandchildren, Stella and Toby.  Robin, our elder son,  having obtained a master's in early music, spent some time on a scholarship in Berlin, but now lives in Perth with his partner Helen. He teaches ESL but also assesses English Language skills of prospective migrants at the University of Western Australia  . I attempt to keep old age at bay by mountain-biking and kayaking, although good sense (and a quadruple heart bypass operation in 2004) have put a stop to playing squash. Having retired, Gail and I are able to see more of this amazingly beautiful and diverse country. We made a start in 2010 by driving across to Queensland through the deserts, then following the coast to Cape York and returning via the Gulf of Carpenteria, through the Northern Territory and back to WA. 17,000 kilometres in all and an unforgettable experience.  In early 2012 we spent another three months travelling, having purchased a new camper. This time it was a a "southern loop'- South Australia, Victoria, 5 weeks in Tasmania then all the way up the east coast to Sydney, Blue Mountains, Canberra, the High Country and finally we followed the once mighty Murray River back to South Australia. Another trip of over 17,000 kms. Our most recent (short) trip of 10,000 kms took us to South Australia for 6 weeks.

 I have enjoyed keeping our school community in touch over the past 19 years by founding and maintaining this website www.oldyorkist.com , with the valuable assistance of Dave Lichtenstein.

 

This page is maintained by Andrew Hillier. It was last up-dated on the 10/03/14

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