75th Anniversary Video

Video of 75th Anniversary

A video has been edited showing some of the celebrations. It is not professionally produced and the sound is rather poor at times, but several who have seen it have said it reflects the time well. Two editions are available:

1. 20 minutes of highlights: opening of administration building, concert, thanksgiving service, shots of outings and evening entertainments.

2. The above followed by longer footage of most activities, filling the 3 hour tape. (More chance of spotting yourself or your friends who attended!)

PAL VHS copies are available from:

Mr. Roy Millard
4 Wimborne Drive,
Pinner, Middx, HA5 1NQ, England
Tel: 020 8866 6951
email: millards.4@lineone.net

Cost including postage:
GBP 3.00 – UK
GBP 4.00 – Europe and elsewhere
(This is being copied privately.)

Please make cheques payable to “Roy Millard”, any excess will be put into school funds.

NTSC (US system) copies:

Please contact Vangie Henderson at vangieh83@hotmail.com to order an NTSC copy of the Anniversary video.

Further Questions

If you any queries regarding the video please contact Hilary Millard at the Sakeji email address, unless it is about ordering copies or postage costs, then contact Roy Millard.

Anniversary Booklet

We do hope to produce a booklet about the anniversary, including an update on the ‘green’ book produced for the 50th anniversary, but this has been delayed due to pressures here at school. We will let you know as soon as it is available.

Sakeji Anniversary Feedback

Gibbie Campbell

I have spoken to some of those past pupils about their visit to Sakeji and many found it difficult to express all their feelings about the reunion. When someone, who has never been to Sakeji, would ask “How was your visit to Sakeji?” words like ‘fantastic’ or ‘brilliant’ were not quite adequate to describe, what for many, was a nostalgic and personal pilgrimage. It was a unique and unrepeatable event, considering that in 25 years time, the 1950’s folk who are now in their 50’s will be 75+ and will probably not be there, so it was an opportunity to meet many old friends and colleagues from all round the globe, who would not, otherwise have met. For me it was walking in familiar places and seeing the geograpghy of the school, the dormitory where I slept the first night, the mud pool, the dam,the class rooms, the tastes long forgotten but instantly revived and remembered, shindwas, fudge, corn porridge, rice cakes – all of which had become a fading memory. It was also an opportunity to say ‘goodbye’ to the school, as I had intended with my parents to go back to Congo and Sakeji in 1960 but was prevented by the rebellion which had just started.The reunion gave me the opportunity to close that chapter and bring my memories up to date. Also to meet former colleagues, renew friendships and have laughs, chats, and serious discussions was all therapeutic, challenging, emotional and fun. Difficult to put into words but not to be missed. Thank you to Sakeji for all the effort, and for making it such an enjoyable experience.

Sakeji Anniversary Feedback

Peter Haigh

It was a brilant experience for those of you who met me for the first time. No I joke, it was a truely wonderful time. May I add that Linia Patel was looking absolutely stunning. And Linia, if you read this in three years time and you are still single just know that I am a fan longing to hook up with you.

Sakeji Anniversary Feedback

By Rebekah (Taylor) Opie, former pupil now living in Auckland, New Zealand

Here I was hundreds of miles around the world, without my husband, to visit a school I attended for two of my 24 years. What is it about this place that made such an impact on my life, and that of many others, that it would bring us back here to an isolated corner of a little-known country bordered on two sides by countries at war?

I was eleven when Sakeji entered my life, when my parents went as missionaries to the Democratic Republic of Congo, then known as Zaire. After celebrating Christmas with fellow Kiwi missionaries, I was introduced to boarding school life. Sakeji School was founded in 1925. Initially the pupils could be counted on one hand. The number had doubled by the time my grandmother and her brother started at the school in the thirties. During my era it boasted 120 pupils representing 17 different countries.

I packed an amazing kaleidoscope of memories into those two years at Sakeji. I became part of its unique traditions that only an ex-pupil can tell you about. Legends were formed from children’s imaginations and there are endless animal stories, from snakes in the swimming pool to the horror of a scorpion sting, all delightfully retold with embellishments for effect.

All this and more dominated conversations among ex-pupils over the four days of the celebrations. Over 400 guests flooded the small school during the week of celebrations, brought back by memories of a place that has a permanent niche in our lives. There were ex-pupils from almost every era of the school’s life, some like myself and my siblings, who were third generation students.

We were treated to a traditional end of term concert by the current pupils, held under the stars in front of the “big school”, and we enthusiastically joined in the national anthem and the school song, remembering words not sung for many years. We visited places that had been special treats during school years. We bumped over dirt roads waving to the children in villages we passed through on our way to “the Rapids” on the Zambezi and to the source of the Sakeji River. At one village we were pelted with nshindwa fruit by the children, and we recalled as we munched on it how the “big boys” had left some fermenting for weeks one term in an attempt to make beer!

On my last morning at Sakeji I went down to the play area at the river that borders the school. I lost all sense of time as memories flooded back of climbing trees, playing in the water and swimming in the pool. I managed to find my initials still clear deep in the bark of the “initial tree”, along with generations of ex-pupils. I reflected on the significance of Sakeji. We learned of God’s love for us through our teachers, and many started out on their Christian journey at this little school in the middle of nowhere. We have gone into all the corners of the globe and are involved in all sorts of ministries for the name of Christ. It is awesome to see the working of God in our lives. From the seeds that were planted, an array of beautiful flowers has grown.

Review of the Sakeji Anniversary – by Hilary Millard

Over 400 guests joined in the celebrations of the 75th anniversary over 19th – 22nd July, 2000. The whole time was one of thanksgiving to God for his goodness over the past 75 years. Many past pupils and their families came from every continent, some not having met up since they left here years ago and represented every decade of the school’s history. Reunions were made, memories shared and hurts laid to rest.

The time started with the official opening of the Administration Building by the first pupil, now Mrs. Joy Molyneux.

The present pupils performed plays and musical items at the evening concert, held outside due to the large numbers in the audience. Mr. Matthew Raymond had set the words of the school motto – 2 Timothy 3: 14-15 – to music and this was sung by the pupils.

Thursday morning started with the Thanksgiving Service again held outside. Many friends of the school participated in the service in prayer and messages. Parents and local friends joined in this time of celebration. The theme was one of thanks for past blessings but also acknowledging the imperfections of the school. Mr. Harald Holmgren, as first keynote speaker, reviewed the history of the school and the blessings shared in the past. Mr. Barry Haigh then encouraged those present to look to the future and like the children of Israel to follow the cloud of God’s guidance. Afterwards several friends commented on how moving the service had been and what a help and encouragement it was.

Over 320 were catered for at lunchtime by the hardworking team in the kitchen. The menu was a traditional Sakeji Sunday lunch complete with ice cream and fudge. In the afternoon some guests went on trips to a cottage by the Zambezi River, to the Zambezi source or to view game in the nearby Nchila Wildlife Park, run by Mr. Pete Fisher.

After a Lunda supper, various entertainments were ably co-ordinated by Dr. Gunnar Holmgren. Previously unknown secrets from his time at Sakeji were revealed and some of the hitherto unknown activities unveiled. Lyndon Hess’s films of Sakeji have been put onto video so the first of those was screened bringing back many memories. To conclude the evening, Mr. David Foster spoke of remembering, reflecting and re-dedicating ourselves to the Lord.

On Friday over 80 visitors took the opportunity to have a guided tour of Kalene Hill with Miss Joan Hoyte followed by lunch at the Zambezi Rapids. In the evening a pizza supper was served at the river followed by evening entertainments back at school. John Enright put together an excellent programme of items by various pupils, including early memories from Mr. Darrell Rea, a quiz from Andy Fisher and Dan Ball and several other contributions. Mr. Evans Kamwana spoke on the school motto to close the evening.

Many guests had to leave soon after breakfast, but some were able to stay for a time of challenge about world missions from Dr. Ian Burness and a very moving time of corporate prayer afterwards. The rest of the day was relaxed with some guests remaining until the bus left at 7:30 the next morning.

The celebration will be remembered for a variety of events. Past pupils enjoyed many times of sharing and reminiscing and voiced appreciation of Sakeji’s influence in their lives. Visitors appreciated the improvements made to the school and the general appearance of the school environment. Sakeji’s continuing ministry was confirmed and committed to prayer. Comments were made that Sakeji must be a special place because so many past pupils had travelled from such distances to attend.

The Anniversary celebrations would not have been possible without the prayers of so many here and elsewhere who could not attend. Many friends gave of their time to help prepare and ensure that all went well. Others contributed in ways too numerous to mention.