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   Chris Harrison


Christopher Peter Motte Harrison MBE

Nickname: Chris
House: Grigg & Staff Member
Years: 1959-1962 & then Staff 1968-1972

Arrived at PoW (from Michaelhouse, Natal, S Africa) before the watch towers were taken down. Many memories, but mostly from later years when I was teaching English, music, etc.
  • Earthquake in 1961/2, subsequently determined to be a large industrial explosion, but big enough to move dorm beds!
  • Storky - Major Chadwick, of Scott House, subsequently moved to Millfield.
  • I was Secretary of the Old Cambrian Society from 1968 to 1972, a thankless task, I must say, at the time!

    While I was on the staff (1968-1972) I seem to have done a huge number of jobs (all, except the English teaching, unpaid, of course!). Assistant Housemaster, Grigg and Inter/Fletcher, Chapel music (organ and choir), Band (which came first in the Kenya Bands Festival around 1970, with 'Puppet on a String'!), produced Soyinka's 'Kongi's Harvest' which got a mention in Time magazine, games (of course), got an official reprimand for allowing a team to walk the 1 mile back to school after a hockey match, had endless gardening (never anything about teaching!) conversations in the smoke-filled staff room, ran the library. Seems endless. And in between I had a ski boat at Naivasha, sailed with Dr Roy Miller almost every weekend, learned gliding at Nakuru, and we still had time to raise a son and spend idyllic hours on the coast and round the game parks, and occasionally running check points on what was then the East African Safari. I have no idea at all how we did so much in those wonderful days.

    Most of my career since 1972 has been with the British Council - Yugoslavia, London, Egypt, Turkey, Nigeria, Myanmar. Then I was Director of Regent College, Phnom Penh, then Director of Studies at the European Training Centre, Riyadh, then Examinations Manager of the Engineering Council, London.

    Retired in 2001 to Pyin Oo Lwin in Myanmar, where my wife and I run the English House Training Centre and Kindergarten.

    Yesterday (25 Nov 2003) I had lunch with the ex-Archbishop of Kenya, David Gitari, who brought back a raft of memories.

    Something of minor interest in the Alumni directory might be what one's parents were doing in Kenya at the time - it would provide some further background to the reasons for the School's existence and excellence!

    Update on 2nd Nov 2009:
    I'm now working as Principal of Myanmar's latest and only IT Training Institute, preparing about 200 (so far!) young Myanmars for BSc (Hons) degrees through the University of Greenwich, UK. The country is desperately short of skilled manpower for the future, and joint ventures between government and private enterprise are producing unique solutions, which could bode well for the future democratic changes we hope for.

    I'm also a bit active with the Burma Children's Fund (www.burmachildrensfund.org.uk), making sure at this end that funds are properly spent and that desired results actually take place!

    Otherwise, spots of gardening, completing innumerable forms, getting in my wife's way in running the English House School, ensure a pleasant retirement scenario which I can thoroughly recommend anyone else!

    (Registered - 26th November 2003) (Updated - 2nd Nov 2009)

    Note from Webmaster - 1st Jan 2006
    Chris was awarded MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours today.
    Many Congratulations, Chris!! (or should I say "Mr Harrison", as you were one of my teachers!!)

  • If anyone wishes to contact Chris, please e-mail webmaster@oldcambrians.com to obtain his contact details