I arrived at Kilindini Harbour
in May 1948, in company with my mother, Dorothy, and my sister, Joan,
aboard the SS Scythia, a Cunarder which had been pressed into service
as a troopship and was still in service as such 3 years after the end
of World War II.
We moved around a lot. We
first went to Nairobi (Parklands Primary) then Nakuru (Greensteds) where
my brother John was born in 1949. Then it was on to Jinja
and a couple of years at Hill School Eldoret.
John, Antony and Joan Williamson
outside their house in Jinja,
before leaving for Hill School, Eldoret
From there it was
back to Nairobi (Parklands MkII) and then back to Eldoret. A stuff up
on the part of the Old Man and the Education Department saw Joan and
me incarcerated at the Boerlaager (aka the Highlands School) for a difficult
couple of terms.
Finally we were released
and made off to Nyeri Primary. Joan went to the Boma in 1954, and I
went to Princo in 1956. I spent the next few years wondering what the
hell had hit me. One thing which hit me quite a lot was the cane, as
I developed a pretty drastic smoking habit.
My old friend John Davis
reminded me of an occasion when I was caned for a different type of
offence. Evening Prep. was always followed by prayers, at which a senior
boy had to read a Bible passage of his choice. Just for the hell of
it, I read an extremely long, boring passage from Leviticus or something.
The Housemaster, Willie MacGregor, took exception and ordered me to
read the following evening and to keep it short. I read the shortest
verse in the Bible: 'Jesus wept'. WillieMac was not amused. Then there
was the Great Pineapple Pombe incident of 1957...ah! precious memories!
My sister sent the photo
of the band in 1957. There I am in the centre of the back row, holding
an E-flat tuba. I never did learn to play that thing. The band was an
easier life than the CCF, and it gave me an excuse to grease out of
afternoon prep and indulge my passion for Crown Bird and Four Aces on
the top rugger pitch. My career as a musician came to an end when I
tried amplifying the noise of a squib by inserting it into the mouthpiece
of the tuba. It made one hell of a noise, until a squib went past the
mouthpiece and blew a hole in the side if the tuba. I was most fearsomely
caned...by Jake himself!
Since Princo, a very brief
career as a journalist with the East African Standard, service in the
Kenya Regt and then I answered an advertisement for a teacher at Kenton
College. I got the job (Old Binkie Birks was desperate!) and I spent
the next 8 years teaching in the private sector in Kenya...Kenton, Cavina,
Greensteds and Pembroke.
Early in 1970, I came to
Australia and secured a couple of temporary jobs in private schools
here. Then I needed to get some formal qualifications. School Cert and
a lot of experience counted for nothing, so I had to enrol at night
school to get matriculation into the University of Western Australia.
I finally graduated with
a Batchelor of Arts degree and a post-grad Diploma of Education in 1981,
after years of full and part time study. In between times, I tended
grapevines, mowed lawns, sold books, records and real estate and got
married. Sadly, Annie, my wife, died of breast cancer in 1997.
I now work for the Education
Department of Western Australia, teaching English at a large High School
in the northern suburbs of Perth and looking forward to retirement in
the next couple of years, and getting fatter and balder by the minute,
as witnessed by the photo below! The keen of eye will
notice the Pilsner Lager wallpaper on my computer. Oh, happy days!
Antony Williamson - 2002
(Note from Webmaster: In June 2002, Antony visited Kenya and spent some time at the
To read an account of his visit, please click here
Antony (pointing finger) and John Williamson (second from left) with his son
Richard (left) taken at Antony's 65th
birthday party in Perth - June 2007
(photo supplied by Joan Gasson, sister of Antony and John)
(Registered - 3rd April 2003) (Updated - 6th Nov 2007)