Kerry O’Hagan Murphy
One memory of my time at the School: ......
WD Wright “Uncle Bill” (Housemaster of Nicholson House up to 1961; maths teacher) often gave motivational talks to
Nicholson boarders shortly before and during inter-house sporting events. In these talks he would sometimes talk about
improving Nicholson’s poor “house spirit”.
One of his more amusing stories was the one about the attempt by some of Nicholson’s boarders to make pineapple wine.
The raw pineapple juice mixture was placed in jars and buried underground, then left over the school holidays to ferment
so that the contents would be ready for drinking the following term. Sadly for these boarders, during the holidays the
jars were discovered, dug up, and presented to "Uncle Bill". He related that the labels on the jars clearly stated what
the contents of the jars were:- “House Spirit”. I can’t remember now what he commented about the state of the
contents ("house spirit needed improving" ?) or what the consequence of the discovery was to the boarders concerned.
WD Wright (“Uncle Bill”) went to England at the end of 1961 where he taught for a while. His wife died some years
afterward and he later remarried and retired in southern California. In 1995 I stayed at his home for a few days while
on a trip to America. He remembered the names of most Nicholson House rugby team members and we (mostly he) reminisced
over the great games that Nicholson played. "Uncle Bill" asked me to pass on his best wishes to the Old Cambrians from
Nicholson, when I meet or correspond with them. He passed away around 1998.
Since leaving PoW:
Went to Cape Town, South Africa in Dec 1962, where I later attended university.
I taught at a local high school for two years, then left teaching and joined the Department of Water Affairs as a
17 years later, after studying further for a masters degree, I joined the Council for Scientific and Industrial
Research (CSIR) at Stellenbosch, managing projects related to waste management, sanitation and pollution control.
I “semi-retired” in 2002 and am now doing part-time consulting work.
In 1969 I married a Cape Town girl, Gail Simpson. We have three children (ages: 34, 31 and 21). Our son Brent is an
industrial pharmacist, our elder daughter Roxanne is an occupational therapist (she is married and living in New Bern,
North Carolina), and Tamzyn, our younger daughter, is studying biochemistry at Stellenbosch University.
Gail and I live in Cape Town.
(Registered - 8th November 2006)
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