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   William (Bill) von Isenburg


William von Isenburg

Nickname: not suitable for publication - but commonly known as Bill
House: Clive
Year: 1954 - end of 1st term 1958

Mostly involve infringement of the school rules (they were there to be broken - weren't they?). I knew them well enough having had to write them out many times as punishment meted out by the prefects in Junior House.

Through the influence of good friends I became addicted to tobacco at an early age and most break times a group would assemble behind the bank of the swimming pool for a quiet smoke. I often wondered how the pall of smoke rising from the pool was never noticed by prefects or staff. The Clive/Scott cycle shed was another favourite smoking den and was so abused that in the end the Scott Housemaster ('Stalky') had a new shed built for the Scott blokes. Other times after lights out we crawled out through the barbed wire which surrounded Clive/Scott on the quad side - we liked to imagine that the guards in the watch towers might open fire on us if we were detected - but probably they were only too well aware of us and couldn't have cared less! The objective of these forays was usually to go to a quiet spot for a smoke but on occasion we would go and play chicken with the traffic on the Kabete road - this involved seeing who would lie the longest on the road in the lights of approaching cars - not very sensible when viewed with hindsight - but great fun at the time!

I have lasting memories of some of the staff - particularly of P Fletcher ('Jake') who always had my highest respect - yes I was scared of him too. Mr Loftus ('The Colonel') banned me from his English class for dropping a pencil and I missed the best part of a term of his instruction. It was only at Jake's intervention that I was finally allowed back. Mr Gammie ('Dougal') also tried to teach me English but used to be driven mad by my habit of rocking back on my chair - one fine morning he was so enraged that while in full spate yelling at me his appendix burst and he disappeared from the class not to be seen for several weeks - apparently the poor man was quite ill.

On leaving school I went with my parents to the Belgian Congo where we started up a new coffee estate. That adventure ended in 1961 following the Congo's independence and the complete breakdown of law and order. Then joined Standard Bank and stayed with them for some 33 years seeing service in East Arica, the Middle East, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. All in all a very interesting and modestly rewarding career.

I married Jill Bowers in 1967 and we had two daughters. Alas, I lost Jill to cancer in 1985. In 1989 I married again - this time to Judith who was the widow of a good friend and colleague in the bank. In our joined family we now have five children and seven grandchildren.

On retiring from the Bank in 1993 we came to England to live in Dorset but moved to Suffolk in 2006 to be closer to Judith's children and the grandchildren. We spend much of our time with family, playing golf and travelling.

(Registered - 21st February 2008)

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