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Arusha School Matrons

Started by mikewb, 18 July, 2009, 00:32

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Arusha School Matrons
Reading through all the comments on this site relate back to a lot of the matrons at Arusha School. I think they played a big part of our lives when at boarding school. Some of them where just like mum and others (well I'll leave that to your judgement).
I was not the brightest of sparks at school but I had a lot of energy, this is what got me into trouble. I was a boarder to start with then became a day pupil when we moved into Arusha. Being a day pupil, I guess the matrons though I was a bad influence on the boarders. I can remember some things about those days perhaps every one else can add their comments.
I remember going on a trip with the scouts and because I was a day pupil at the time, borrowed some of the schools gear. Well when I returned the gear it was a little late, next day matron has me up in front of the headmaster, please explain.
Another time I got a nasty bee sting, you know there bees over there where vicious. Sent off to the sick bay to see the nurse. After the nurse had seen me she sent one of the House boys to take me and my bike home. Well next day of the matrons found out because she couldn't find her House boy at the time. Up before the headmaster again, please explain.
Does anyone remember, after lunch you had to go and lie on your bed in the dorms for an hour or so and you were not allowed to talk. I remember the matrons used to patrol round the dorms and boy if you talked, you had to stand at the end of your bed till she decided.
I remember there used to be a movie on a Saturday night up in the main hall. I got permission to come to school to watch them some times. This one time I was early and waited in the passage way for the rest to finish dinner. Well as you can guess, spotted by matron, you got it up before the headmaster at assembly Monday morning.
The things they used to do to us, now days they would get locked up for it. Saying that I guess it didn't do use much harm. Love to hear your comments.
Mike Brown.

Shaun Conner

I remember movies on a Saturday night too. Infact i seem to recall there were a lot of Elvis films! We used to call girls Dames and when i came back to School in the UK ,i got a lot of stick for that. I too remember the afternoon nap but the only Matron i remember was Mrs Toft. I was in the Cubs, we used to fry a lot of sausages. Loved that beautiful swimming pool too. I also remember the tree falling down in a lightening strike i thought. I was pretty young, 7 when i went there and 10 when i left but i loved it, happy days! I hated my school in the UK when we came home!


There were several matrons & of course Mrs Toft stood out as she had the "motherly" touch & everyone vied to get on her table as when it was your turn at the top(next to her) you got offered the best toast one's ever eaten.
As for the others i was not impressed as i can remember been up in the junior block & it was bath time & instead of telling me to re dry the younger matron  hit me with her infamous leather Italian belt leaving a huge welt for weeks.
Saturday nights if there were no movies we played games.


I remember Mrs. Fernandes, Toft, Kikides, Da Costa and the dreaded Birchman, ugh!!

Des Bailey

I too have vivid memories of the compulsory afternoon sleep after lunch, the Saturday night movies and having to wear a hat up to 3 o'clock in the afternoons. I have to admit that my sister Shirley was one of the matrons: (1963/4 ?) I got takkie from her as well, no special treatment for me, but I would get my revenge during the holidays, which made it worse for me during the term again. We lived on a farm 12 miles out of town at Oljoro.
Des Bailey

Jane Holton

Umm!  Miss Birchman!  yes I do remember her quite vividly - she gave me the tacci one night in front of the whole dorm for eating toothpaste!  Me and another girl whoes name I have forgotten - think she was from Oz!  also vivid memories of Miss Birchman cleaning my ears with match sticks!  what would they think about that these days I wonder!  Jane


Was it Susan Corbett? She was very popular, as I recall - but there were several from Australia. Didn't realize the girls got the same punishment as us. Ours was fearsome - would make a court case these days


Mike I do remember lying on beds after lunch - and there were our rationed sweets from the tuck room, just before ie.e. straight after lunch. It's all in my book (in progress). But on the subject of punsihment/s (this has obviously affected me for life!) my brother got about 20 strokes of the bamboo cane from Mrs Rushbrooke in front of the whole senior school, for calling her a bastard. He should have said bitch, of course. If I met some of these people today, I would not be answerable for my actions but no doubt they're all six feet under by now. I had similar experiences later at Nairobi School (Prince of Wales) - much to say on that too.


12 August, 2009, 04:56 #8 Last Edit: 12 August, 2009, 04:58 by lesbrownlow
Hi everyone. I remember being whacked many a time - mostly for quite minor "offences". I think the culture may have brought out a darker side in some of the staff. No one would ever get away with that sort of thing now.

Does anyone remember the merit/demerit system? Somewhere in my mind I recall a roster with all our names on it and stars against us. Black stars were bad, gold stars were good.

Peter Woodrow

   In 1952-3 the de Beer sisters, assistant matrons in the junior block were enthusiastic takki-wielders. Talking during rest guaranteed a hiding and Nellie had a pretty muscular arm. It did nothing for pupil/staff relationships.