The History of the
St Andrew's Schools
in Blantyre, Nyasaland/Malawi

(Second Edition 2008/14)

Edited by - Ian “Witty” Whitfield

Jnr BadgeSAHS BadgeSAIntS Badge


With acknowledgments to :-

Stuart Notholt, F.G. Brownell, SAVA Journal 3/94 [brl94]).
Bruce Berry, A. Marshall,

Susan Halpin (Eccles) and Micheal Eccles,
Pauline Labuschagne (Owen)Barbara Hinkel (Rowe-Roberts).
St. Andrew's International High School
(for all the copies of "The Fisherman" sent to us.)

Including sections from the 

St Andrew's 1958-2008
....50 Years On
A Short History of St Andrew's School

by Joe Percival

Foreword to Second Edition (2009)

After the successful issue of the First Edition of this History Booklet, at the South African 2007 50th Reunion Celebration of the Start of Senior Classes at Saint Andrew's - (What we consider as the 'true' start of the High School). All those attending, and others who ordered some of the special memorabilia that was produced, were given a copy and many letters were received covering various changes, corrections and omissions. My thanks go to all those who sent in these items. As well as this, additional information has come to hand and other facts discovered. All this new information has been incorporated into this Second Edition.

The History Booklet will continue to be a "living document" and additions will be made as we go along in an effort to make it as accurate as possible.

Copies were also sent to the Society of Malawi and, after receiving requests from Malawi, to both the High School and the Preparatory School.

I'm very pleased to mention that this booklet was used as a basis for the High School's own History Booklet produced for their 50th Celebration in June 2008!! I was approached by The Headmaster - Mr Gordon BENBOW - for a copy to act as a foundation for their Booklet. This was used by Mr Joe PERCIVAL with success and added lots more later information to the record.

Just a point of clarification. As mentioned above, the Federal Saints consider the true start of the High School to be January 28th 1957 as this is when the first Senior Classes were started at Nyambadwe. The School itself considers its Birthday to be in 1958 - the first year of the School actually being named as a "High" School. All parties accept each others interpretations on this matter and it is rather a moot point in fact.

While attending their Celebrations as their invited guest, I was given a copy, parts of which have been incorporate into this Second Edition of the History Booklet.

Ian “Witty” Whitfield
Editor of “The Federal Saints Journal”
Pretoria May 2009

Foreword to First Edition (2007)

This booklet is an attempt at pulling together all the known facts and articles dealing with, or related to, the History of our School. It will be a "living document" and will be updated on a regular basis as more information comes to hand.

It has been put together with the assistance of "The Federal Saints" – the group of past Pupils and Staff of the School from the Federal Period (1953–1964), and it was done to mark the occasion of the 50th Anniversary Reunion of the start of Senior Classes at St Andrew’s on 28th January 1957.

A Reunion took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, on January 27th/28th 2007, 50 years exactly from the start of these classes. All attending Saints at the Reunion were presented with a copy of this History. This therefore is the First Edition of the booklet. Any new information, additions, corrections or omissions will be greatly appreciated.

It is worth noting that the author of the early School history article, Mr Adam Marshal, had a Daughter, Marion, who later married and became Mrs. AILLING, and who taught Maths at St Andrew's from 1961-1962.

It has been a great pleasure to research and put this booklet together and to be able to present it to all the attending Saints at the Reunion! I hope you will find it of interest and will wish to retain it as a memento of ‘our’ great School which carries on in the tradition we started!!

(The same format as used in the monthly Newsletter is followed in this booklet. The names of all Saints’ Pupils are shown in bold print, while Staff Members are also shown in BOLD with their surnames in UPPERCASE).

Ian “Witty” Whitfield
Editor of “The Federal Saints Newsletter”
Dec 2006
Pretoria South Africa
P.O. Box 72226, Lynnwood Ridge


Table of Contents

Foreword to Second Edition
Foreword to First Edition
St. Andrew's Time Line
History of the Country
Church of Scotland Mission
St. Andrew's Schools, 1938 - 1958
St. Andrew's Schools, 1953 - 1964
The "Senior School"
The High School
The KG & Preparatory School
End of Federation
St. Andrew's Schools, Early Post-Federal Period

The High School after Federation
Pre-Federal Headmistresses/Headmasters
Federal Headmasters
Later Headmasters
School Magazines
School Songs
School Houses
School Promotional Pamphlet

(Sections to be added later)


St. Andrew's Time Line

1920s/30s - Small private Schools run in Blantyre, Limbe and Zomba.

1930 - Nyasaland Government requested the Church of Scotland Mission to consider exchanging an area of land "for the purpose of erecting a school". But this was abandoned.

1932 - Mr. Richard Paterson, Headmaster of the Henry Henderson Institute in the Church of Scotland Mission in Blantyre, appealed to the Mission Council to consider that ........ "Today the problem of education of European children gives the country some concern".

1933 - Committee formed to "investigate and report" on the above. But no progress made as Government finance was not forthcoming.

1935 - New Committee set up, (as Rev. Wratten's private school would soon close). It managed to persuade Government to take a real and practical interest in the opening of a school in Blantyre.

1937 - Agreement signed between the Church of Scotland Mission and the Nyasaland Government for the establishment, in Blantyre, of a Primary School for European children. The Government advanced, (on loan), the sum of £2,500 and The Church of Scotland Mission agreed to give the use of the land, and build the school.

1938 - Building commenced. “St. Andrew’s” selected as the name of the new School. In May the first 14 pupils were enrolled.

1939 - School building completed. Opening Ceremony performed, on the 1st February, by Mr. John C. Abraham, the Provincial Commissioner.

1940 - Government agreed to a measure of financial aid in order to open a Hostel.

1947 - (April) School taken over from the Scottish Mission by the Nyasaland Government.

1953 - The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland established on August 1. School control ceded to the Federal Government.

1955 - Plans drawn-up for new school at Nyambadwe - construction started.

1956 - Std 4 & 5 Junior School pupils moved to new "Junior" classrooms at Nyambadwe. KG to Std 3 remained at the old Mission School. In September construction of lower sports field and Science wing started.

1957 - Senior Classes started. (Monday January 28th). 
(Accepted as the true start of the Senior School by The Federal Saints)
Building of the new Junior School started in Sunnyside. 

1958 – St. Andrew's School split into 3 entities and each renamed.
"St. Andrew's KG" and 
"St. Andrew's Preparatory" at Sunnyside, and
  "St. Andrew's High" at Nyambadwe. (SAHS)
(Accepted as the Start of the School by the School today)

1959 - (11th July) - Official Opening of St. Andrew's Preparatory School in Sunnyside.
High School Swimming Pool built.

1963 - The Federation officially collapsed on 31 December 1963 when N. Rhodesia became Zambia. Both S. Rhodesia and Nyasaland reverted to their former names and became "Self Governing". Nyasaland under Prime Minister Dr Hastings "Kamuzu" Banda. 

1964 - (5th July) Last day of the "Federal Period" for the School.

1964 - (6th July) - Independence. Country renamed Malawi. School control ceded to the new Government.

1965 - Name of School changed to "St. Andrew's Secondary School" (SASS) after Government threatened to close it down.

1966 - (6th July) - Malawi became a Republic.

1977 - Made a Government School under the auspices of the 'Designated School’s Board'. School crest changed.

1977 to 1980 - Large building program. The number of School buildings doubled.

1981 - School becomes an independently financed "International School", under the "Council for International Schools".
Name changed to "St. Andrew's International High School" (SAintS)

1989 - Alternative 6th Form 'Business Studies Course' started.
Also School uniform changed - Blazers discontinued!

1996 - The 'Owen Room', (named after Bill OWEN), which had been used as an Audio Visual Aids room was converted, by Headmaster John TAYLOR, into the School's first Information Technology Room.

1997 - Satellite TV installed at the School.

1998 - School celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the change of the name of the School to "High" School, and 60 years since being founded.

2001 - (1st May), Guinness World Record set for the Longest non-stop Lesson. 25 hours of PE and History.

2005 - "The Federal Saints" formed by Ian "Witty" Whitfield in Pretoria South Africa. Bringing together all ex-Saints, (pupils and staff), from the Federal period and publishing a monthly Newsletter.

2007 - (Jan 27th/28th) - Federal Saints in South Africa and Australia celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the start of Senior Classes.

2008 - The School celebrates it's Official 50th Birthday with a special function on June 28th/29th.

2009 - The Federal Saints Newsletter re-named The Federal Saints Journal - being distributed to Saints in over 40 countries round the World.

2014 - Radio Saints, a weekly Internet Radio Broadcast started from the School.

History of the Country
by Ian "Witty" Whitfield

No history of the school could be complete without covering some early history of Nyasaland and in particular the Scottish Mission itself – from which sprung the original school in 1938. Therefore a short history of the Country and the Scottish Mission is included here as well as details of the various flags that have flown at the School over the years.

The territory was defined as 'British Central Africa' in 1890 when the first explorers arrived. They were told by the local inhabitants that the big lake was called 'Nyasa'. So the Lake was christened "Lake Nyasa" - which literally means 'Lake Lake'. 'Malawi', incidentally, means 'flaming waters' - an allusion to the reflections of the setting sun on Lake Nyasa. Ironically, it is only possible to observe, to best advantage, this phenomenon from the Mozambique side of the Lake! This symbolism appears on the Malawi flag, which features a red sun.)
Stuart Notholt, 22 Nov 1995

A British Protectorate was declared over the 'Nyasaland Districts', on 15 May 1891, and in 1893 the territory was renamed the 'British Central Africa Protectorate'. Later, by a Nyasaland Order in Council, dated 6 July 1907, the name of the territory was changed yet again, this time to the 'Nyasaland Protectorate' and Legislative and Executive Councils were established and a Governor was appointed in the place of the former Commissioner.

On 11 May 1914 a formal grant of arms to Nyasaland was made. This comprised a Leopard with a rising sun reflected against a black background. Following this grant of Arms, a new flag bearing the leopard and sun was adopted as the flag of the territory. The Nyasaland Blue Ensign contained the arms in the fly, (without roundel), and was used until 23 October 1953. 
Nyasaland Flag
Nyasaland Flag


The idea of a Federation, (or amalgamation as it was then called), between the British territories in Central Africa was first mooted after World War I, but it was only after World War II that the idea was pursued more vigorously. Arguments in favour of Federation were led by the Europeans in Southern Rhodesia on the premise of forming a large and powerful economic unit in Central Africa. At a time when African Nationalism was beginning to emerge on the continent, many Africans, especially in the two protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, were opposed to the idea as they felt that they would become subservient to the more economically powerful European dominated colony of Southern Rhodesia. Nevertheless after a number of prolonged negotiations and intensive consultations between the Governments of the respective territories, and that in the United Kingdom, the "Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland", (also known as the "Central African Federation"), came into existence on the 7 September 1953. Its full Constitution came into full operation on 23 October 1953.

The Federation was one of the most complicated systems of government ever established. Five different Governments had overlapping and interlocking responsibilities for its affairs. There was the British Government in London, theoretically united but divided for all practical purposes into two by no means friendly departments - the Commonwealth Office, (which dealt with the Federal and Southern Rhodesian Governments through separate sets of High Commissioners in Salisbury and London), and the Colonial Office, (which dealt with the two protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland through their respective Governors who possessed very wide powers). There was also the Governor-General of the Federation and Governor of Southern Rhodesia, both of whom, unlike their Northern counterparts, were ‘Constitutional Monarchs’ acting on the advice of their Prime Ministers. 

The flag of the Federation was a British blue ensign with the shield from the Federation coat of arms, (granted by Royal Warrant on 22 July 1954), in the fly, namely:

"Per fess Azure and Sable in Chief a Sun rising Or and in base six palets wavy Argent overall a fesse dovetailed counter- dovetailed of the last thereon a Lion passant Gules".

The Federal Flag

The shield was an amalgam of those of the participating territories. The rising sun in gold came from the shield of Nyasaland, the red lion from that of Southern Rhodesia and the six vertical black and white wavy 'pallets' representing the Victoria Falls came from that of Northern Rhodesia.

Federal Crest
Coat of Arms of the Federation

The Arms of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland were designed by M. J. Morris, (later Information Attaché to the Federal High Commission in Pretoria), and were granted by Royal Warrant on 22 July 1954. The blazon is as follows:

Arms: Per fesse Azure and Sable in Chief a Sun rising Or and in base six Palets wavy Argent over all a fesse dovetailed counter-dovetailed of the last thereon a Lion passant Gules.

Crest: On a wreath of the colours, an Eagle reguardant wings extended Or perched upon and grasping in the talons a Fish Argent.

Supporters: Dexter a Sable Antelope and sinister a Leopard.

Motto: "Magni Esse Mereamur”

(Source: The Union Jack over Southern and Central Africa 1795-1994, by F.G. Brownell, SAVA Journal 3/94 [brl94]). Bruce Berry, 13 Apr 1997) 

Despite its economic advantages and potential, the Federation was plagued with political differences amongst its participating member territories. 

Following a Royal Commission in 1960, the Federation was dissolved on 31 December 1963 with each participating state once again becoming single political entities. On 6 July 1964 Nyasaland became the fully Independent State of Malawi within the British Commonwealth and adopted a new flag without any colonial connotations. On the second anniversary of Independence, Malawi became a Republic, but remaining a member of the Commonwealth.
Bruce Berry, 24 Nov 1995 

Republic of Malawi

Malawi Flag
The Malawi Flag

The Malawi National Flag was adopted at Independence on 6 July 1964 and is described and illustrated in the Protected Flag, Emblems and Names Act (1964) - First Schedule, Part I:

Description: From the top of the Flag to the bottom thereof, three equal horizontal stripes of black, red and green with a red rising sun superimposed in the centre of the black stripe.

Ratio Length to breadth: Three to two.

Significance: Black represents the people of the Continent of Africa. The Rising Sun represents the dawn of hope and freedom for the whole Continent of Africa. Red represents the blood of the martyrs of African freedom. Green represents the evergreen nature of Malawi.
Bruce Berry, 5 Jan 1999

Bruce Berry, 5 Jan 1999

Church of Scotland Mission
23rd OCTOBER 1876 - 23rd OCTOBER 1956
(Unknown Author)

INFLUENCE OF DAVID LIVINGSTONE: To understand the real beginnings of the Church of Scotland Mission in Blantyre, (and of Blantyre town, which sprang from the mission), you need to begin with that famous Scotsman, David Livingstone. You must see him in those heroic journeys which took him across Africa. You have to think of his indignation at the slave trade, of his longing to end it by bringing the Christian Gospel and wholesome trade in its place, and of his hope that the Shire Highlands might become a white settlement.

You have to remember also how his death stirred feelings all over the world—this lonely man dying on his knees, whose heart was buried at Chitambo in Northern Rhodesia, (beneath a tree from which the lectern on the Communion table in Blantyre Church is made), and whose body was carried by faithful African followers to the coast so that it might be brought home to be buried in Westminster Abbey.

THE FOLLOW-UP: If you see these things first, then you come to understand how there were Christian people who wanted to follow up the work that David Livingstone had done alone. Expeditions were launched to enter the country that Livingstone had explored — the Universities Mission to Central Africa, the Free Church of Scotland Mission (Livingstonia) and the Established Church of Scotland Mission (Blantyre).

HENRY HENDERSON: Then you have to think of Henry Henderson, an Australian rancher, searching through many miles of country before he found a suitable place, and at last camping only a short distance from St. Andrew's School, at a spot which is marked by a stone Cairn in the Mission grounds.

Cathedral and stone Cairn

GROWTH: That was the beginning. That was eighty years ago. From that beginning, much followed. The Mission was the pioneer in many things in Nyasaland and was responsible for the first printing-press, for growing the first Tea and the first Coffee, and for constructing the first road through Blantyre from the Lower to the Upper River. And in the centre of the Mission rose the first Church of its kind in Central Africa, planned and built by the Rev. David Clement Scott, the head of the Mission at that time, although himself no qualified Builder, and with no skilled labour to help him.

The Mission spread outwards, and other Mission Stations were established at Mlanje, Zomba, and Domasi. Schools and Hospitals, printing, farming, gardening, carpentry—all were undertaken as part of the Mission, and all helped to provide for the Missionaries' needs and for the training of the Africans.

THE COST: But since the Mission was there before there was any general settlement of Europeans, and before there was a railway to bring supplies, and before there were modern drugs to combat disease, the early Missionaries had many set-backs. There were Tribal Wars and disturbances amongst the Africans; there was illness and death amongst the Europeans. At one time it looked as though the Mission would close down, but it was able to carry on.

TODAY: So through the work of these various Missionaries, Doctors, Teachers, Printers, Carpenters, Ministers, and Lady Workers, and later through the Africans who became Christians, the teaching of Christianity was made known and the African Church grew. In the Southern Province, in the Blantyre Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, there are no less than 72 congregations, and many more places of worship, and a church membership of over 50,000.

God has seen to it that the prayers and the work of those who were concerned for Nyasaland, were not in vain.

Unknown Author
(circa 1956)

Go to Index

St. Andrew's School,
1938 - 1958
By A. Marshall

In the early days, children of the European population of Nyasaland were generally sent out of the country for their education. For their preliminary education before being sent "home" children sometimes attended Mission Schools. The Church of Scotland Mission in Blantyre provided some facilities under members of their staff such as Miss B. L. Low and Miss Bentley. Also, at different times various ladies in the country ran Private Schools, such as Miss Hayter in Blantyre. With the increase in the population after World War I, the provision of education became more of a problem.

The Dutch Reformed Church School at Mkhoma in the Central Province and the Convent School in Limbe were foremost in their contribution to the education of European children, while there were also Private Schools such as Mrs. Daily's school in Zomba.

In 1925 a small Private School was established in Blantyre by a Church of England Clergyman, the Rev. W. W. Wratten, together with his wife. This school was maintained until about 1938, but around the early thirties there was a need for some body such as the Government or the Municipality to take steps to provide a School in the Blantyre area.

In 1930 the Government apparently had the matter in mind as it had requested the Church of Scotland Mission, Blantyre, to consider exchanging an area of land "For the purpose of erecting a school". The Mission Council in its minutes recorded agreement and stated — "The extent of the land involved in the excambion is one acre".

For reasons best known to Government, the idea of building a School in Blantyre was abandoned, or perhaps it might be better to say "it was allowed to lie fallow".

However, there was one man in the country who was not prepared to let the inertia continue. He was Mr. Richard Paterson, Headmaster of the Henry Henderson Institute in the Church of Scotland Mission, Blantyre. Towards the end of 1932, he appealed to the Mission Council to consider the matter as "Today the problem of education of European children gives the country some concern. ..."

In 1933 a Committee was formed to "investigate and report", and it comprised the following- members: Mr. Richard Paterson, Dr. W. McFarlane, Rev. John Niven, Miss M. H. Lowe and myself (A. Marshall). The Committee struggled hard, but it made no progress as it could not move Government in the matter of finance.

In November 1935 the matter was brought to a head by the news that the Private School owned by the Rev. W. W. Wratten might soon close. A new Committee was set up comprising Mr. Richard Paterson, Mr. James Allan Rodger, Rev. James F. Alexander and myself, "to act as best they thought".

This second Committee had a hard road to travel, but it managed to persuade Government to take a real and practical interest in the opening of a school in Blantyre. In August 1937 the Committee lost the services of the Rev. J. F. Alexander who retired from Nyasaland and who, in 1939 and 1940, was Minister of the Scots Church, St. Andrew's, in Jerusalem. He was replaced by the Rev. P. H. Borrowman. In December 1937 the Committee was able to report that an agreement had been signed between the Church of Scotland Mission and the Nyasaland Government for the establishment in Blantyre of a Primary School for European children. In the negotiations, much valuable assistance and sympathy for the cause was rendered by Mr. A. Travers Lacey, then Director of Education. The Government had agreed to advance, (on loan), the sum of £2,500 at a low rate of interest. The Church of Scotland Mission agreed to give the use of the land, build the School, the Teacher's House and to manage affairs until such time as the Government could see its way clear to assume full responsibility.

The Committee planned and successfully launched the venture after Easter 1938.

Various names for the school were suggested and the Committee, since we were all Scots, put forward such names as "Lona School", "St. Columba's" and, I am proud to remember, I proposed the name "St. Andrew's" which was eventually the unanimous choice of the Committee.

The first Teacher appointed was Miss S. E. DANIELSON, a Shetland Islander, who had been teaching in Hull, England. The School Building, the Teacher's House and the African Janitor's House were planned and constructed by Mr. Hugh Aitken, the builder of the Church of Scotland Mission. He was also responsible for making the initial school furniture. The building work commenced in 1938. 

Mission School
The Original "Old Mission School"

Miss DANIELSON arrived in April 1938, and so with the buildings not yet completed, the first pupils were enrolled early in May 1938. The school commenced in the old Manse of Blantyre which, by that time, was the Council Room and Staff Room of the Mission. The Teacher's House was completed and occupied before the end of 1938 and the school building itself was completed in January 1939.

Old School today
The Old School in 2006

The Official Opening of the school was planned to coincide with the commencement date of the first term of 1939. It had been arranged that Sir Harold Kittermaster, Governor of Nyasaland, should preside at the Opening Ceremony, but he unfortunately died suddenly before the opening date. Mr. John C. Abraham, the Provincial Commissioner, (Southern Province), therefore, performed the Opening Ceremony on 1st February 1939, and Mrs. Abraham planted a tree in the school grounds.

Miss DANIELSON, the sole Teacher in the school, was married in 1939, and became Mrs. W. ADAMSON, but she retained her post until December 1939.

In December 1939 Mr. C. Forson Sinderson, now of Limbe, was elected to the School Management Committee in place of Mr. Richard Paterson who had proceeded on overseas leave. The School Management Committee was formed to succeed the original Committee just after the school came into being.

By 1939 the number of pupils had grown considerably and the Government agreed sometime later to a certain measure of financial aid in order to open a hostel. In the meantime, however, temporary arrangements were made and Mr. Richard Paterson suggested the use of his house as a hostel during his furlough period. A Mrs. Chambers then negotiated with the Committee and opened a Hostel on her own account in Mr. Paterson's house. This Hostel proved successful and a much needed home for children whose parents were "up country". The Hostel was eventually moved to the Sunnyside district of Blantyre where, in latter years, it was supervised by Mrs. Eve DAWES who held an appointment from the Government, as Matron. The Hostel at Sunnyside was in the house and grounds of the late G. F. Ponson, French Consular Agent in Nyasaland, and it is in these grounds that the new and present-day, (written in 1958), St. Andrew's Preparatory School is erected.

By January 1940 World War II was upon us and the question of replacing Mrs. ADAMSONwas pressing. The Committee was fortunate, with the aid of the Director of Education, in obtaining the services of Mrs. Hettie F. MORGAN, who had taught previously under the London County Council and had spent a year in Umtali under the "exchange system". Since she found it difficult to return to England during war conditions, Mrs. MORGAN had to stay in Africa and she began her work at the commencement of the first term in 1940.

Mrs. MORGAN proved an earnest, hard-working and well respected Headmistress and she served St. Andrew's faithfully and well until 1947. During her term of office she was ably assisted from 1942 onwards by Mrs. LAWRENCE, (wife of an Agricultural Officer), then Mrs. BENSON, (wife of the District Commissioner), Mrs. EITIG and Mrs. COX. Mrs. Dorothy WATSON of Livingstonia assumed the duties of Headmistress when Mrs. MORGAN spent her long leave in S. Africa.

By 1946 the Mission was pressing the Nyasaland Government to assume full responsibility for the school. The school was finally taken over by the Nyasaland Government after April 1947, to be followed later by the Federal Government.

When Mrs. MORGAN left Nyasaland, Mrs. HARGREAVES then became Headmistress followed by Miss ROBERTS and then the first Headmaster was appointed, Mr. S. CUMMINGS from Bishop Auckland, County Durham. When Mr. CUMMINGS left, Mrs. Nan STAPLES assumed control until Mr. Douglas ECCLES, the present Headmaster, (written in 1958), was appointed.

The school has gone from strength to strength - from a little school which started with 14 children in 1938 until the present time (1958) with 512 children in the Preparatory (or Junior) School, and 141 in the new Senior School at Nyambadwe with its own Headmaster and Staff.

What of the children who joined the school in its early years? They have done extremely well and they have certainly set a high standard which I hope will be emulated by this and succeeding generations of Nyasaland children. Two girls qualified as Doctors at Edinburgh University. One boy hopes to qualify in Medicine at this same University in the next year or so, while another girl hopes to qualify in Medicine at Aberdeen University next year.
Several girls entered the Nursing Profession in Scotland, while another qualified as a Physio-Therapist. One girl made the Theater her profession and she reached the London stage. One boy did his Military Training with the famous Royal Scots Regiment and he was on active service in Malaya while another boy served in the Suez Canal area. One boy is a qualified Civil Engineer and two are Ship’s Officers. One girl went to Rhodes University and is now a Secondary School Teacher in the service of the Federal Government. Two other girls are Teachers in England. One bright lad did his Military Service with the Royal Air Force and has, this year, taken an honours degree at Cambridge University. His sister is an Art Student.

Other former pupils have gone to well known schools in South Africa and some have gone to schools in the UK. Two lads are in the Federal Administration Service and others whom I know are doing well in service with Banks, Commerce and in the Tea and Tobacco industries.

In the sporting world, two boys have gained their colours for Nyasaland - one for 'Rugger' and one for Soccer and Tennis.

Well done "Old Andreans" of the early years!

In July of this year, Mr. Doug ECCLES, the present Headmaster in 1958, honoured me by inviting me to present the trophies at the Annual Sports Day. I saw a large, happy and, I am sure, talented group of children who ought to go far in life.

The men who laid the foundations can, I feel sure, enjoy quiet satisfaction in knowing that their earnest endeavours of twenty years ago have been realised in the present St. Andrew's School. It remains for the boys and girls of today to aspire to standards as high as those of the past. I am sure they will.

A. Marshall
Blantyre 1958

Go to Index

St. Andrew's Schools,
1953 - 1964

By Ian "Witty" Whitfield

The Federal History

On the 3rd September 1953 the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland came into being. 

The Federation, (also known as "The Central African Federation" or CAF), was a semi-Independent State in Southern Africa that existed from 1953 to 1964. It comprised the former British Protectorates of Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. It was a Federal Realm of the British Crown - not a Colony, or a Dominion although the British Sovereign was represented by a Governor-General, as was usual for Dominions. It was intended to eventually become a full Dominion within the Commonwealth of Nations.

The Federation was inaugurated on the 3rd of Sept 1953, with a goal to create a middle way between the newly Independent and Socialist black States and the white-dominated Governments of South Africa, Angola and Mozambique. It was intended to be a perpetual entity, but ultimately crumbled because the Black African Nationalists wanted a greater share of power than the dominant white population was willing to concede.

Newly Independent Black African States were united in wanting to end all forms of Colonialism in Africa. With most of the World moving away from Colonialism during this time, (late 1950s - early 1960s), the United Kingdom was subjected to much pressure from the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity, which supported the aspirations of the Black African Nationalists.

At the start of The Federation, St. Andrew's School was only a Government Junior School and was situated on the Mission Grounds close to the town of Blantyre. The Nyasaland Government ceded all control to the new Federal Government at this time.

In 1955 The Federal Government's Dept of Education drew up plans for the first ever High School to be established in the country. A site in Nyambadwe, (on the Chileka Road), was selected and construction commenced that year. The initial plans called for the School Hall and Administration section, a Classroom Wing and a Hostel as well as two separate Junior Classrooms by the School entrance. In addition a Sports Field was to be prepared at the back of the School.

School 1956

Photo shows the main School buildings just after completion and 
before construction started on the Science Block or Lower Sports Field. 
(Circa 1956)

In mid-56, while construction continued on the main buildings the Std 4 & 5 Junior pupils moved from the "Old Mission School" into the new Junior Classrooms at Nyambadwe. The classes from KG up to Std 3 remained behind at the “Mission School”, Mr ECCLES was the Headmaster of both sections of the Junior School during this period. Later this same year construction was also started on the second, (lower), Sports Field and the new Science Block, (connecting to the Admin. block). 

New Science Block

New Science Block under construction.


Also during 1956 the The Governor of Nyasaland - H.E. Sir Robert Armitage gave his permission for the new St. Andrew's Hostel to be named "Armitage House".

The Beit Trust was also approached for financial assistance with the building of a School Swimming Pool.

H.E. Sir Robert Armitage                                        Go to Index

The "Senior School"

On Monday, January 28th 1957 the new School Term opened, and, for the first time ever Senior Classes were started at St. Andrew's! The pupils from the previous year's Std 5 became the new Senior Form 1 pupils. They remained in the old "Junior Classrooms" for the first year. The new Form 1 had two streams, 'A', and 'B' each containing approximately 25 pupils giving a total of just over 50 all together. No exact records have been found, and to date (2009) we have established a list of 54 names of pupils who started in the very first Senior Classes at the School and in the country. They are known as the "Club 57". 

Founder Pupils of the "Senior School" ("Club 57")
The following is a list of all known pupils who were at the School in the very first year of Senior Classes at the School. Most have been confirmed however a very few we have been unable to track down and we await this confirmation. I am pleased, and honoured, to be recorded in this group!!

Isabel Allan (now Parker); Valaine Cantley (now Middleton); 
John Chalke; Sandra Challis, Barbara Cox (now Cranfield);
Jacqui Card (now Roberts); Janet Cribb (now Hopping); 
Mike Curnow; Jan de Waal; Victoria Delcou (  ); George Ferroni;
Mick Furby; Susan Eccles (now Halpin); Margaret Galley; 
Marina Gatto (now Gee); Geoff Goodchild; Charlie Haines(  );
Robbie Haines; Ian Harris; Jill Kelly (now Ketay); 
Maureen Kennington (Fenech); John Kirkham; 
Jean Cotton (now Lipman); David Lynn; Nick Malahias; 
David Mansfield(  ); Maria Mendes (now Capener); 
Joan Millar (now Padfield); Antony Milner; Heidi Moss (now Clark); Judy Parkinson (now Egan); June Patterson (now Lorita Hayes); Peter Parker; Sydney Pearson; Martin Rogers; 
Elizabeth Rosam(  ); Adel Row, Martha-Jean Sandford; 
Suzanne Sandford; Michael Spencer; Clifford J. Smith; 
Clifford D. Smith; Gail Stevenson; John Gregg (now Stranack); Patricia Storm; Susan Thurlow; Gunter (now Ian) Urquhart; 
Penny Waters (now Allan); Ian "Witty" Whitfield; Janet Whorton; Chris Yiannakis(  ); Jim Yiannakis; Paul Yiannakis; Keith Young.

Underlined names need confirmation.
Names in RED are so far un-found.
Names in PURPLE are deceased.
TOTAL so far 54

1957 was also the start of a new phase in St. Andrew's History insofar as there was a new Senior School Headmaster. The position was offered to Doug ECCLES but he refused it to carry on with the Junior children which was his preference. Therefore a Mr Robert "Bob" KLETTEwas appointed to this position by the Federal Dept of Education.

Later that year the construction of the new 'Junior School' in Sunnyside commenced, and the rest of the Juniors moved out of the 'Old Mission School' and were temporarily accommodated at Nyambadwe until the new Junior School was completed.

Unfortunately at the end of the first term the position of 'Regional Director of Education' in Nyasaland became vacant and as Mr KLETTE, (the new Senior Headmaster), was the most senior person available, so he was promoted to this position. He therefore left the School after only one term. To fill this gap one of the Senior Teachers at the School, Mr Hillary PARSONSwas appointed as 'Acting Headmaster' until a replacement could be found. 

The position was again offered to Mr ECCLES but he turned it down still preferring to carry on working with the Junior pupils. He did however suggest an ex-RAF friend of his - Mr Bill OWEN - for the position.

The replacement Headmaster - Mr William "Bill" OWEN - arrived in Nyasaland, from Southern Rhodesia, in July 1957. He did not immediately take over from Mr PARSONS but worked alongside him for the rest of the school year.

The High School

For the start of the new, 1958, school year it was decided by the Dept of Education to divide the school into 3 separate entities, each with its own new name :- 

  • St Andrew's KG School and 

  • St Andrew's Preparatory School
    (would both be situated at the ne
    w School being built in Sunnyside). 
    Mr Doug ECCLES would be the Headmaster of this S

  • St Andrew's High School (SAHS) was to be at the new Nyambadwe site with the new Headmaster Mr "Bill" OWEN. A new School Badge was also introduced. (See right)

There is no record, (so far), of there ever being an "Official Opening" of the new High School at Nyambadwe!!

In 1959 construction started on the School Swimming Pool which was completed later that year. In April 1960 a second Hostel was constructed and this was named "Malvern House". Both the boys and girls, who were Boarders, now had their own Hostels on the School grounds and the old Florence Nightingale Hostel in Sunnyside was closed down. The boys moved into the new Malvern House Hostel and after additions and changes the girls took over the Armitage House Hostel.

The KG & Preparatory School

The KG School

Little or nothing has been found on this section of St Andrew's.  Further information is being researched and we hope to expand this some time in the future.

The Preparatory School

The new Preparatory School in Sunnyside was completed only in 1959 and it's official opening took place on the 11th July of that year. The opening was officiated by The Acting Secretary for Education, Mr G.H. Tanser BA.
There is evidence however that some pupils moved into the new buildings before construction had been completed, (just like Nyambadwe!). 

SAPS 2002

The School combined both the KG School and the, (re-named), Preparatory School as separate entities. Doug ECCLES was the first Headmaster.

              The Prep School in 2002


The "Junior"/Preparatory School Badge

THE badge finally chosen for the newly named Preparatory School was the result of drawings submitted by Mr. and Mrs. D. Patterson and Mr. D. DUNN, to whom great credit is due for much painstaking research and many attractive and colourful designs.

SAPS BadgeSAPS Blazer Badge






ST. ANDREW'S CROSS: St. Andrew was one of the twelve apostles, who after the death of Jesus and the resurrection, travelled in Asia Minor. He was arrested while teaching in Petrar, the chief sea port on the Western coast of Greece, and ordered to sacrifice to the Gods. On refusing, he was thrown into prison and when brought to trial, he so enraged the Judge by accusing him of impiety, that he was ordered to be crucified. On November 30th in 70 AD, he died on a 'X' shaped cross and since that time a cross shaped in this way has been known as the 'Saint Andrew's Cross'.

NYASALAND SHIELD: The possibility of replacing the rising sun with a book was considered, but since the conception of 'lux in tenebris' is particularly appropriate to Education, it was decided to retain the Nyasaland badge as originally designed in 1914. The choice of the Leopard as central theme was made because in such a hilly country Leopards are common and frequently troublesome. The motto 'Light in Darkness' was originated by the first Governor Sir Harry Johnston.

MOTTO: The Latin motto 'Disce Prodesse' — ('Learn to be of Service') is intended to convey our hopes that St. Andrew's School children will become educated citizens in the widest sense of the term, with a full sense of responsibility to the community in which they live.


End of Federation

In the early 60s the Federation broke up. First Nyasaland received it's Independence, (as Malaŵi), followed later by Northern Rhodesia, (as Zambia), while Southern Rhodesia carried on and declared UDI in 1965, (as Rhodesia).
So on the 5th July 1964 the new Nation of Malaŵi was born and thus ended the Federal Period of St. Andrew's School. Control of the School was ceded to the new Malaŵi Government lead by Dr Hastings Banda and his Malaŵi Congress Party.


On Monday 6th July the School had a final honour in this period of it's history when a Civic Luncheon was held in the School Hall "To commemorate the Country's attainment of Independence".  

The speech of welcome was given by the Mayor of Blantyre and Limbe, Councillor A. Sattar Sacrani. The Toast to the State of Malaŵi was given by H.R.H. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and the reply was from The Prime Minister of Malaŵi, Dr, The Hon. Ngwazi H. Kamuzu Banda.

Go to Index

St Andrew's Schools
Early Post-Federal History

By Ian "Witty" Whitfield

SASS Badge
The School continued on in the new country - Malawi - but in 1965, after threats from Dr Banda the School changed its name to "St. Andrew's Secondary School" and the School crest was changed to reflect the new name.

Declining pupil numbers then became a problem as a result of the general economic decline, political uncertainty and other reasons and the School ran into a very bad period. General financial problems plagued the School until the early 80s.

In 1977 the School was made a 'Government School' under the auspices of the 'Designated Schools Board' which in turn was disbanded in 1999.

Conditions did not improve until the new Headmaster - Maj New badgeBryan BAYLY - was appointed and he was able to rejuvenate the School. Amongst other things, in 1981 he made the School an independently financed "International School" under the "Council for International Schools" and it's name was changed yet again to St. Andrew's International High School. (SAintS), the name it retains to this day (2007).The school crest was also changed again.


On the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the change of name to a 'High" school, in 1998, the achievements of Maj BAYLY were recognised, together with those of Mrs "Florrie" MULLON - one of the longest serving Teachers at the School - having started at the Junior School in the pre-Federal period - by the renaming of the re-vamped School Hall/Stage as the "Bayly-Mullon Theatre". At the same time the Dance and Drama Studio, built above the enlarged Dinning Hall, was opened.

Air photoSchool 2006

              School from the Air  
                                                               Front of School 
1970)                                                                                 (2006)

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