Jane Hardy

Name ID 2550

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Extract Author: Jane Wilson (nee Hardy)
Page Number: 2009 03 20
Extract Date: 1950's

Mbeya school

I was on the internet and just about to close down when the idea occurred to me to check to see if there was anything on the internet about Mbeya School.. And I came across your site .

My name was Jane Hardy. I was at Mbeya School in the late 1950s. My father was in the special branch police during the last years of colonial rule. We lived in Mbeya and later in Dar es salaam . My childhood was so very different from that of almost anyone else that I know now, that I often feel slightly apart , especially when conversations turn to childhood. It is as though my childhhood didn’t really happen. And Mbeya School is possibly the most unusuall school I attended.

I was in Wallington house, being one of the few day pupils, ( as we actually lived in Mbeya), I was slightly set apart there too, and most of my friends were other day girls. I remember so much about it, but having not talked about it with anyone for so long it is all unverified. My brother, chiristopher Hardy, was there too,but he was older than me and was sent back to bording school in england after a year or too.

I would be so glad to exchange memories with anyone else. Here are some of the things I remember.

*the way it could be extremely cold in the early mornings and then very hot by lunch time when we were lining up to go into the dining hall ( I don’t know if that was what it was called)

* Having an object lesson about erosion from one of our teachers, who was showing us a water eroded bank in the school grounds.

* the beautiful mountain , (mbeya peak?), that overlooked the school and which gave the school its motto, ' I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills'.

* The buildings, corridors and classrooms .. Separate from the dormitory blocks to which we, even the day children, would be sent for a rest on beds after lunch.

* Inspections of nails by a matron.

* going into the dining hall at break where we were given bread and butter to eat, ( one slice each I think). I loved this and now wonder who baked it for us.

* outbreak of measles(?) and the children who had it being put into quarentine. Which seemed very mysterious to me.

* The playing fields and playing football, which I think was quite progressive for girls.

*little wooded areas around the school and playing fields in which we used to go and play.

Well I wont go on now as I don’t know if anyone will actually read this, and it feels strange writing it down… as I write I am aware of the atmosphere engendered by attempting to recover memories of that time and place. My emotional response now is of a slight sense of lonliness and uncertainty about it… probably because I was a day pupil and so a little on the periphery of things. I do remember hearing about the dreadful bus journeys that so many of the bording pupils would make to get to mbeya… it used to make me fear a change of circumstance that might oblige me to become a boarder, but that never happened. I wonder about the psychological effects that separaton from home had on some of the children. I would so much like to talk to anyone some more about this improbable and beautiful time and place.

Jane wilson

Extract ID: 5985
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