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   Colin Townsend


Colin V Townsend

House: Grigg
Year: 1957-1960
I arrived in Uganda with my folks as a greenhorn from the UK in 1957, and within a few days was packed off to the POW. I was totally shell-shocked but gradually found my feet with help from a few kind hearted souls like Anthony Williamson and Godfrey Dawkins. I left after four years with a million memories, and having made many good friends, to head off to the UK and university.

Memories of POW:
  • The train journey down from Tororo to Nairobi through that amazing scenery. Jumping up into the top bunk on the train headfirst into the compartment light, blood and glass everywhere.
  • The long rains - the short rains.
  • The sausage flies during study.
  • The house dances - girls!
  • Playing trumpet in a dance group with a bunch of guys at a School dance.
  • Bertie Lockhart toying with the judges in the East African Brass Band competition in 1959(?) - he told us in advance that he was going to start us and then stop and start again, apologising to the Judges for our nerves, of course it had the desired effect on us and we won playing Nimrod from the Enigma variations. See Brod Purdy's recollections of this event.
  • Staying on in summer 1960 to help deal with the refugees from the Congo Crisis.
  • Climbing the radio mast back of Grigg House with Denis DeTray in the middle of the night - I think we got too scared to go to the very top, the thing was waving around.
  • Jake and all the great characters amongst the staff like Willie MacGregor, Commander Hollybone, Bertie Lockhart, Allan Potter, and many others, including the RK teacher (name escapes me for the moment) short and skinny, who when challenged jumped up on his desk and did 80 push-ups non-stop. We were really impressed and didnít give him any hassles after that. I swear that I havenít met so many real Ďcharactersí in one place since then, either amongst the students or the staff.

    I returned to Kenya in 1964 as a teacher in Kianyaga (near Embu) for a few years. Then joined the British Library as a computer programmer for a few more years before coming over to Ottawa, Canada in 1974 and working in computer related areas.

    Currently I am a partner in a company marketing and supporting document management software - Townsend, Merkis & Associates Married in 1973 and have one son just finishing university.

    Delighted to hear from old chums of course.

    (Registered - 21st July 2003)

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