The Waterloo Grammar School Old Boys Association

Wilf Anderson, whose interest in the School, and in the Association, has always been so active, has written to the Headmaster on many occasions. Wilf evidently believes in the maxim ‘ Absence makes the heart grow fonder.’ We think his recent letter to Mr. Lovett, which we publish, is of great interest. In one of his other letters he speaks of the pleasure he derives from reading the Personalia. We are more than pleased to hear this, Wilf.

Methodist Boys’ High School,
Oron, E. Nigeria.
3rd June, 1957.

Dear Mr. Lovett,

My wife and I have settled down in our new life here and we are both finding the work very rewarding.

Our school boards 170 boys from all parts of Nigeria; one boy even comes from the island of Fernando Po. The boys do the normal five year course and take the Cambridge School Certificate. Teaching is made very easy in that all the boys are very keen and work hard. It often happens that you have to punish a boy for studying when he should be playing games. The thirst for education in Nigeria is unbelievable. We recently held our entrance examination for next years’ intake. Thirty places are available and 2,175 boys sat the examination.

Science teaching here presents many problems. Our science buildings are good but we have little or no apparatus, no gas or electricity and no running water. Our heating apparatus consists of two primus stoves. You can imagine we have to use our ingenuity.

The school is very isolated and we rarely move out of the compound except perhaps to go to the Methodist Mission hospital about five miles away. My wife helps the Sister-in-Charge two days a week. Unfortunately all attempts to find a doctor for the hospital have failed.

There are three Europeans on the staff, the Chaplain another science master and myself. The school is the first in the Eastern Region to have an African Principal.

On our journey we spent two days in Lagos. Whilst at the Mission compound there I met the Rev. J. Parker, the President of Igbobi College. I mentioned I was an Old Boy of W.G.S. and we had quite an interesting conversation.

Our home life was rather difficult at first but we are surprised how quickly we have adapted ourselves. We have no electricity or running water and all drinking water has to be boiled and filtered. Any fresh meat we have is either antelope or goat, but they taste every bit as good as English lamb now.

Please remember me to the staff and the Old Boys’ Association. There may still be boys at the school who were my contemporaries.

With all good wishes to yourself and the School,

Yours sincerely,

Wilf Anderson



The Management Committee of the Football Club were highly amused when they read the following plaintive appeal from one of their members,

Brian Harvey.

16,Milton Road
Liverpool, 22.
September, 1957.

Dear Sirs,

It is in desperation that I write to you, having worried three members of your Committee over my problem during the past few seasons - all to no avail.

My dilemma is my shirt. While the rest of the team play in black and white halves, I play in white and off white halves, which for a player of my calibre is too outstanding. If this was my sole worry I would suffer in comparative silence, but the colour of my shirt is but one point in this unsatisfactory state of affairs. It is worn. It is worn by blood, sweat and tea stains. It has air conditioning vents under the arms and an apology for a collar. However, the ‘ coup de grace’ is the white patch measuring four by five inches across the starboard side of the back. This is a different white and of a different material - in fact it came originally, I believe, from my Mother’s combinations! Consequently, on humanitarian grounds alone, with the cold weather returning, I think I should have a new shirt; besides, having such an article on my shoulders makes a shy chap like me most embarrassed when turning my back on the referee!

The shirt was given to me in 1952, and I was told that it would ‘ see the season out anyway.’ What I would like to know is, which season? As already stated, I have applied to the Committee for a less antique covering, and was indeed delighted to hear that my application did get on the agenda of one of the selection meetings. Personally, I would prefer the shirt on my back in place of on the agenda.

Now that my laundry is under different management - and to offset the fact that three weeks after buying new socks, black with white tops, the Club changed their colours to black and white hoops - I would be most grateful if you could use your influence to ensure that I can turn out on the football field respectable, even if, off it, I am not.

In the circumstances you will not be surprised to find that I have omitted to enclose my subscription on this occasion!

I remain, Yours in hope,
Brian J. Harvey.

The Secretary,
Waterloo Grammar School O.B.F.C.

P.S.—Please send a couple of signing on forms wrapped round the shirt.

You will be delighted to hear that as a result of this heartrending letter the Secretary was instructed to provide Brian with a new football shirt, with the greatest possible haste. Brian now stands out as one of the best dressed men at Brooke Vale on a Saturday afternoon.



Mr. Tripp has received the following letter from John R. Fortune, from which we publish an extract. John R. or Dickie Fortune, as we knew him, left school many years ago; it must have been somewhere about 1927. He came along to the Old Boys’ Dinner three years ago when he was on leave, and was welcomed by many Old Boys of his generation.

Chief Electrical Engineer,
C/o Traction Dept.,
Casilla S-T.,
S. America.
9th November, 1957.

Dear Mr. Tripp,

Reading my Summer number of the School Magazine, I saw that above your name was an appeal for funds towards the School Memorial Prize. Having only been a member of the Association for a short time I was unaware of this Fund or I would have subscribed much earlier. However, enclosed please find my Sterling cheque for two guineas made out to the Hon. Treasurer of the Memorial Committee.

It is most fitting that I should do this today as this afternoon I shall be driving my family and two friends over to Antofagasta (I actually live some 70 Km. North in a place called Mejillones) for a British Legion Party. We shall stay there for the night and attend the Legion Memorial Service tomorrow morning.

There are some 25 or 30 members, both men and women, many of whom, being born in Chile, Peru, or Argentine of English parents, decided to “ have a go “ and went home as volunteers. There are, I think, twelve names carved on the Roll of Honour in our little St. Saviour’s Church, Antofagasta - names of those who didn’t come back. This compares with some two hundred similar names for the 1914/18 effort, which seems is a comment on the Chilean Nitrate Trade. Personally I am so very grateful that I was at sea in September, 1939 and on VJ. day and didn’t get my feet wet in the meantime that I hope you will accept my small contribution to the Fund.

The Magazine makes very interesting reading although there is little information regarding men of my time. Some of the boys names make one think - there was a David Tyson about my time. We Scouted together and studied Electricity at Bootle Night School. Do you know if there is any relationship? I note too that a Ronald Johnson, who is younger than I, has come to Chile as a metallurgist. If anyone is in touch with him will they please let him know that he is always welcome to call on me if he is up North at all? Incidentally, all the tin ore for the British Tin Smelting Co. passes through our little port of Mejillones and as I write the “Flamenco” of P.S.N. Co. is loading some now.

I have been out here for seven years now and shall be due for my second home leave in February, 1959, when I hope to have the pleasure of seeing your good self and a few of the Old Boys once more. I am afraid my six months’ leave will not cover the Old Boys’ Dinner this next time.

I occasionally meet Crosby men who are serving in the P.S.N. Co. and on one memorable occasion I was called from the Club on a Sunday morning, where I was clearing up after a rather sticky Despededa or farewell party, to be told that Albert Penketh was at my house. This was so unusual that I rather put it down to the effects of the party and wouldn’t have been surprised if Albert had been riding a pink elephant. However, as my wife is an Old Girl the tongues certainly wagged that day.

I hope that my meandering along hasn’t bored you too much.

Please give my regards to anyone who can remember those days so long ago, particularly to Mr. Howarth and Mr. Higson if you are in touch with them.

We get The Crosby Herald so don’t lose complete touch.

Yours sincerely,
John R. Fortune.