Memories of Sir Harry's

A Chat with one of our Secondary alumni. Zahid Motani


What have you been doing after graduating from Sir Harry's?


"After my time at Sir Harry's, I completed my A levels for 2 years in Blantyre. This then allowed me to secure a spot at Nottingham Law School in the UK, where I now study Law LLB hons"


What valuable skills did you acquire during your time at Sir Harry's?


"Sir Harry's mainly helped build my confidence as I was constantly given opportunities to lead and to participate in extra curriculars, which has helped me alot with my public speaking and presentation skills."


How has your education at Sir Harry's contributed to your personal and professional growth?


"I feel like my time at Sir Harrys helped by improving my work ethic and self-reflection abilities. This is because analysing my strengths and weaknesses helped me build a path that eventually led me to my ambition of becoming a lawyer"


Advice to current students "These are your best years, studies are important but don't forget to make some memories along the way"

"I remember starting in the old school building before moving to the current site.  My mother, was one of the first teachers.  The sports field was dug out whilst we were there, and we all planted a tree around it.  I also remember the school had sheep to keep the bushes in check!" 

Viv Taylor, 1959-1960 (Currently living in England)


"I remember many happy days at Sir Harry's and learning to play the game stoolball."

Sally Dawson, 1960-1964 (Currently living in England)


"I have only the very best memories of Sir Harry's"

Stephen Bean, 1961-1966 (Currently living in Ireland)

"I have many fond memories from 55 years ago.  My most interesting memory was on 30th June 1966, it was the school sports day, but it was also the World Cup Final.  Many of the fathers were glued to their radios rather than supporting our races."

Roger Bayliss, 1964-1966 (Currently living in England)


"I remember sports day, especially the wheelbarrow and egg and spoon race.  I also remember the swimming pool.  I don't think it has changed at all!  It was a pleasure to visit the school again after so many years.  It was lovely to see the school is thriving."

Patricia Chapman, 1964-1966 (Currently living in England) 


"I was a pupil at SHJ from  1964 to 1968.  My teachers were Mrs Muriel Orton/Mrs Jean Garson and my favourite was Mr Cooper.  The headmasters were Mr Tom Mettam and Mr Bill Dunlop. I learned to swim  at SHJ and gained my bronze medal (Duke of Edinburgh) in 1968. I loved my school, Zomba and Malawi. I also had great fun fishing with my dad at Liwonde."

Gary James Mayo 1964-1968

"I remember playing with friends, learning to swim in the pool, our school trip to Mulanje Mountain (where we stayed overnight in a mountain hut).  My headmaster was Bill Dunlop."

Neville Taylor, 1966-1968 (Currently living in Scotland) 


"I remember all the swimming we did and the walks back home after school to the police camp where we lived and where my father was based. These years were the best in my life and it was akin to being part of the Famous Five by Enid Blyton."

Neil Daniels, 1968-1970 (Currently living in England)

"I remember the swimming pool and the playground with the massive climbing frames.  I remember doing art on the easels in the assembly hall.  I remember marching on to the field on sports day and our parents all clapping.!"

Jill Knowles, 1970-1974 (Currently living in Scotland)


"I remember how beautiful the school was and how happy I was there.  It was the best time of my life."

Christina Smith, 1971-1975 (Currently living in Scotland)


"The school was very small then.  There were only three or four teachers and "Sir", the Head Teacher, who ruled with a rod of iron (and always wore shorts and long white socks).  Most of the children then were expatriates.  It was a happy school and I loved my time there."

Rosemary Short, 1975-1977 (Currently living in England)


"I remember running to school every day from Mountain Road.  I remember learning how to swim and boiled sweets being thrown into the pool for us to dive down and get.  It was a great school in a beautiful setting - lots of happy memories from those days."

Dr Tim Parratt, 1975-1978 (Currently living in Australia)


"I remember being welcomed warmly to the school after my dad died and I had to relocate from Lilongwe. I enjoyed swimming and sports day. I also fondly remember a cultural performance we did. I've actually seen the pictures on the 60th Anniversary celebration page. I enjoyed an education visit to Illovo and we were all given a packet of sugar each! Good ole days!"

Dalitso Kafere, 1983 (Currently living in Lilongwe, Malawi)

"I remember my swimming lessons (which I loved!)  I was called to see the headmaster one day, he was quite strict, so I was nervous.  When I got to his class he handed me a handkerchief which I'd misplaced a few days ago.  He'd washed it and ironed it for me."

Pavin Jussab, 1985-1987 (Currently living in England)


"I remember learning about birds with Mr Paul Jones (the Head Teacher), spotting a snake in the swimming pool, playing sports and making good friends."

Godfrey Moto, 1988-1994 (Currently living in Zomba, Malawi)


"I was a teacher at Sir Harry's for five years and it was a wonderful school.  I had five children and I had a child at the school for nineteen consecutive years."

Kathy Albright, 1995-2000 (Currently living in USA)


"I LOVED all the school plays as written and directed by Mrs Annette Jones. It was so much fun taking part and ignited my love of acting.  I remember Assembly every Friday in the school hall.  I enjoyed playing 'Magic School Bus' games on the one computer we has at the back of the classroom.  I remember the Swimming galas and going to the pool after school every afternoon was a highlight.  I remember Mrs Kathy Albright reading Charlotte's Web and Anne of Green Gables to us. I was introduced to so many legendary authors thanks to her. She was amazing and even shared her personal 'Little House on the Prairie' book collection with me. I also remember 'Library Friday's' - every Friday we'd get library books which I'd ferociously read over the weekend.


I received such a brilliant and comprehensive education at Sir Harry, and am so pleased to see the school go from strength to strength, and have become even bigger and better than before.


My grade 1-2 teacher was Mrs Annette Jones. My grade 3-4 teacher was Mrs Kathy Albright. And my grade 7 teacher was the headmaster Mr Paul Jones.'"


Sundus Alitab 1995-2001 (Currently living in South Africa)

I remember playing stuck in the mud during recess, going to Pony Club with class mates, and trying to learn/understand British vocabulary (like "rubbish bin") which I was unfamiliar with, as I had just come from the US.

Haley Nelson 2006-2007 (Currently living in America)

"I remember sports day, when we all wore coloured t-shirts that represented our houses (I was particularly in the yellow house) and participating in the egg and spoon race and tug of war. I remember going on a school visit to the military base and roaming inside the airplanes with my friends.

Around Christmas time was the best, I remember when Mr. Banda dressed up as Santa Clause and he came to visit our classes and gave us gift bags filled with chocolates and sweets.

A memorable moment was when my brother and I were forgotten to get picked up by our mother, so we waited at the library for the longest time, then Mr. McCloskey (the head at that time) told us we would end up sleeping in the library.

Although I didn’t spend the longest time at Sir Harry Johnston, I have the best childhood memories from this place and would not trade them for anything."

Jolene Harawa 2007-2009 (Currently living in Kenya)


Bob Phillips (one of the school's alumni) has written a book "Climbing Out: the beginning of a life."  It includes some of his memories of his time as a student at Sir Harry's.  An extract from the book is attached below:    

Memories from an alumni.pdf
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