I began at BSL 15 years into its existence, having visited numerous times through the early and mid 90s when my older brother and sister attended. I desperately wanted to attend BSL, so when my father suggested it to me instead of going to England, I jumped at it. Durham boarding house was where they placed me and immediately, I was struck by the cocktail that was BSL at the time; African children, all from countries outside of Togo, being taught by mostly English (and some Welsh) teachers and parented by mostly Ghanaians, an African boarding school education, with a European curriculum. It was a rough adjustment, but one which was made easier by father figures such as the late
Mike Dawson, Mr Anquandah, and the late Mr Rimmer. The tough love and self-accountability one would’ve experienced going to a more traditional African boarding
school, but without the limitations of thought.
As the years went on, I grew to love the school and would press my parents to end our summer holidays abroad early, so I could get back to school and see my friends see which new girls were enrolling, walk along the dusty road, and launching a new campaign to defeat Ghana’s SOS School (our main rivals at the time). Year 11 came around quickly, and it soon dawned on me that my time at BSL was coming to an end. In stepped Ernest, a man who became our older brother/Houseparent when Mike Dawson was away temporarily. He prepared most of us for a life outside of BSL, in the UK or elsewhere, giving us the belief that we could do what we set our minds to. My Home at BSL was incredible! Despite the ups and downs, it made me independent and gave me my friends, whom I still hang out, travel and work with today. Mr Rimmer, my history teacher, who awarded me with the school’s History award on the final day of term, was the
icing on the cake. I stayed close to him in the UK and credited him and my Drama teacher Ms Bardsley, with leading me on the path that I am on today. I want to also
thank Mrs Sayer, Mr Sayer, Madame Gbedey, Mr Cope, Aunty Eunice, Mr Aryee, Aunty Comfort, and her entire kitchen staff, Mr Darko, our boarding house caretakers and everyone who taught me between 1999 – 2002. Thank you for the memories, and congratulations on reaching 40 years!!!!
Onuora (Anthony) Abuah