- Gibril the Idealist
- pj mendy
St. Augustine’s and its Roots
Delving into history to find the ‘Roots’ of people and institutions is an exciting exercise providing one makes no claim to historical accuracy. I’m sure the reader will readily understand a cautious approach in tracing the beginnings in this rather sketchy and selective outline.
If one is to go to the real ‘roots’ of St. Augustine’s, you find them in Pere Blanchet’s school in Hagan Street, which commenced classes for boys in May 1857. Learning there leaned rather heavily and practically to the Arts & Crafts with some limited teaching of English. Ten young Gambian students began training in Metal Forge-Work, Carpentry and Construction initially. After little more than a year of schooling in these crafts these young artisans took a prominent part in roofing the old Church of Our Lady of the Assumption with American-style shingles.
During the next 40 years the school passed through many difficult and discouraging periods. The predominantly French Mission personnel found it hard to fill the ambitions of students in an English Colony. There was the constant trial of finding and retaining suitable teachers. The first buildings of krinting walls, open window spaces and grass roofs were Spartan classrooms indeed.
Our first pioneers in education, Pere Vandal, Pere Duby (both French), Pere Lacombe (a Senegalese priest) made strenuous efforts to keep the classes going despite the poverty of the situation and the frequent outbreaks of Cholera and Yellow Fever. When Brother Florentine Mathews (1863-1886) arrived from Ireland some of the strain was eased regarding the teaching of English. It is important to note here that The Gambia was a British Colony at this time and little or no education was being provided for the people except by the Mission Churches.
First Permanent Buildings.
The school continued as a private institution until 1886 when the Catholic Mission adopted a Programme of Education proposed by the British Colonial Government. The first permanent building to house the students was built in 1873. The bricks and tiles used in construction were brought from France in the ballast-holds of the groundnut sailing ships.
The Mission journal describes in detail how the women and children of Hagan Street carried the precious cargo on their heads from the beach to the Mission compound in Hagan Street. The new classrooms were ready by 1874 and dedicated to St. Stanislaus Kotska. Today the same classroom walls form the offices of the Parish Priest and His Lordship the Bishop at Hagan Street. The upper story, also still in use by the Mission, was added in 1877.
The School is known at this time as the Hagan Street School. Education was organized under a Director for all the West Africa colonies. The Governor, or his representative visited schools, and during these visits students would be questioned and progress noted down. Government assistance depended on the number of successful candidates in the Annual Examination. These examinations were conducted in an atmosphere of intense competition, often under the gaze of anxious parents standing and waiting outside.
The 1880’s were glorious years under the direction of Father Joseph Gleeson, an Irish Missionary. The school consistently too k First Place in the annual Tests. One year the students’ performance earned a grant of 3,000 Francs for the school, as much as all the other Colony schools combined. The examiner at this time was the Reverend Metcalfe Sunter from Freetown. The students had been drilled in the R and R’s, namely Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. The emphasis in English was on Dictation and Spelling. The students were drilled in the basics for weeks beforehand by their teachers.
In 1895 the strains of music from the school’s Brass & Reed Band could be heard thundering with frequent discord in the city of Bathurst (present day Banjul). As the century closed the school was in grave difficulties for lack of teaching personnel without whom it could not fulfil the increasing demands from the British Government at that time. Maintaining the Schools’ standing and progress fell heavily on the men of those times: Pere Haas, Pere Amann, Brother Brandin and Brother Malachy Costelloe.
In 1904 the school moved to the ground floor classrooms of the present St. Augustine’s Junior Technical School. It is interesting to note that this second school building of 1904 was constructed by pupils who had learned their trades under Brother Florentine and later on, Brother Malachy. At this time the Headmaster of the School was Fr. John Meehan, who was assisted by Brother Osmund Healey.
Mission records for the next 25 years repeatedly come back on the need for a secondary school. Despite the untiring valiant work of Directors of Schools and the dedication to duty of the locally recruited teachers, the good standing of the Hagan Street School needed the full flowering of the higher-level education. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny were first off the mark when they commenced High School classes in 1921. The Boys’ education terminated with Standard V11 representing about nine years of Elementary Schooling.
The following extract from the Mission Journal shows the emphasis still lay along traditional lines:
“December 1925: The Annual Examinations were held in our school room as in previous years. All the standards were represented. For the first time the candidates in the 7th Standard were from the four confessional schools. The examinations in writing and spelling though apparently easy, were marked with severity in the higher standards.”
In November 1928 work commenced on the 2nd storey of the building that had been occupied in 1904. On the 10th January 1930 the Secondary School was officially opened though classes had been held there for nearly twelve months previously. Fr. Meehan is still Director of Schools at this time. It appears that about this time also the name St. Augustine’s began to be used as the official names of both schools (primary and secondary).
In the early years of the new Secondary School there were few students and no clear distinction was made even in the 2nd. storey building between elementary and secondary boys. Fr. Harold Whiteside succeeded Fr. Meehan as Director in the late 1920’s. He in turn was succeeded for a short time by Fr. Thomas McEnnis in 1933.
Illness and disease continued to take a heavy toll on the small band of missionaries. From November 1933 to February 1934 school activity was curtailed because of quarantine restrictions to control the spread of Yellow Fever. Fr. William Higgins arrived in 1935 to take up duties in the Secondary School but due to ill health was forced to leave The Gambia after six months.
During Christmas 1936 the schoolboys had something to write about when the airship “Hinderberg” passed over Bathurst. The School Director in 1937 was Fr. Denis Joy and Brother Healey assisted him once more.
One notices that at this stage Football and Athletics figure prominently in the schools’ reputation. By the late 1930’s St. Augustine’s Elementary School has won the Football Shield 8 times out of 12. The following extract from the Mission Journal shows that the High School had 6 students on the roll, of which 3 entered in the Annual Sports:
“May 24th: Empire Day Celebrations passed as usual, Captain Oke being the Acting Governor for the occasion. The school parades counted about 2500 children. The Sports directed by Mr. R. Allen our School Superintendent were very well organized according to the different schools taken separately.
Results: St. Augustine’s Elementary 17 ½ points got ‘the flag’ and one picture; St. Mary’s elementary 17 points; Dobson 10 points; Mohamedan School won the tug-of-war versus Dobson M.B.H.S. St. Augustine’s Boys High School 2 ½ points (6 boys, 3 candidates) won the Pole Jump IST Prize. Brother Healey and Mr. Cole received hearty congratulations on their keen sportsmanship.
After the Sports, in order to avoid any disagreeable manifestations and demonstrations the trophies were taken by the winners over to the Education Office, and there and then everybody went home in peace (instead of continuing frenziedly shouting about the streets of Bathurst as in former years). The Superintendent of Schools himself forwarded to the Mission the trophies of the Sports: 1) the football Shield of 1925-1937 won 9 times. 2) The new Football Shield 1938 won by our Elementary School. 3) The ‘Victor Ludorum’ won for the 2nd time by Coussy Addoe.” N.B. ‘Our Flag’ is the Old Bathurst-S.W Australia Flag”.
Academic achievements in the new Secondary School attracted little attention in the 1930’s. Among the pupil teachers at the school was Ibrima Garba-Jahumpa (a Preliminary Cambridge student of 1931). In 1938 St. Augustine’s Secondary School presented 1 candidate for the Junior Cambridge and 4 for the Preliminary Cambridge. These were the first Cambridge candidates from the school.
In 1939 there were three candidates for the Junior Cambridge and all passed at this first attempt. Among the students then were Sam Sylva (RIP) and Eric Christensen. Felix Blain was a private candidate for the Senior Cambridge.
In 1940 there were 3 candidates for the Junior Cambridge and 1 candidate for the Senior Cambridge. All candidates passed again this year. Eric Christensen was the first successful Senior Cambridge candidate from the school. In 1944 there were two successful Junior Cambridge candidates from St. Augustine’s Secondary School viz. Tijan Foon and Ousman Jallow.
These were modest efforts in our eyes today but behind them lies effort, sweat and tears, which will remain unsung. Let us not forget that the successful Preliminary Cambridge student of the day was assured of a position in the Civil Service or in Commerce. Two of the High School Principals of that period are still with us Thank God viz. Rev Fr. Francis Farrell and Rev Fr. Andrew Carroll. The story they unfold of the 40’s deserves a paper on its own.
It was the war period when new kinds of war-work attracted teachers and students away from the classroom. Secondary Teachers found it difficult to accept a lower status than their colleagues in the Elementary schools. But despite these setbacks through lack of personnel and money the determination to succeed was there.
This spirit of dogged perseverance is amply illustrated in the following extracts from the Prize Giving Day Speech of Fr. Farrell given on December 20th 1949. Fr. Farrell had been appointed Director of Schools in 1938:
“For me the important things in school life are the ordinary things, and the things that matter are the small things. It gives me great pleasure therefore to report that the pupils are happy and contented, that they enter into the various activities of school life with enthusiasm, that their rate of progress is at least satisfactory, and that the spirit of the school is excellent.
The work of the school has continued uniformly well. The number on the roll has varied slightly with a general average of just 100. We have continued to present candidates for the Junior and School Certificate Examinations, and though our successes have not been all that we would wish them to be, we are by no means discouraged and our hopes for the future are bright.
I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the Catholic Young Men’s Association for its great work for continuing to make scholarships available to deserving poor children by its voluntary efforts and contributions. Mention must also be made of the Young Muslim Society for its help to Mohammedan children.
On the Sport’s Field we have more than held our own. A very close finish at the Empire Day Sports in 1947 gave us the Flag. We had already captured the Shield and Cup in Senior Football. Our juniors were not yet in the picture, but they became a force to be reckoned with by winning both the Junior football trophies in 1948.
In fact 1948 was our best year in sports. We won 6 major trophies, retaining the Flag for Athletics and winning all the football trophies in Senior and Junior competitions.
I want to take this opportunity of thanking parents in a special way for all the encouragement and cooperation during the past years. It has been a source of gratitude to me to see parents take a close and growing interest in our schools and in the education their children receive.
Before concluding I should like to thank the Staff for the whole-hearted exertions in every branch of school life...It may be that Mr. Goddard will have left us before we can hold our next meeting...I cannot let this occasion pass without acknowledging our indebtedness to him as the mainstay of the school for the last six years.
I must also mention that great-hearted teacher, Mr. S. A. Cole, who has lately passed to his reward. If we cannot have him with us any longer we do retain his memory in the traditions he helped to build.”
The Staff of St. Augustine’s High School at this time included Mr. Gabriel Goddard, Mr. Bouvier and Mr. Sam Njie.
Post War Years
The post war years brought considerable improvements in Mission personnel, School Staff and enrolment. The story of the 1950’s and 1960’s deserves more intimate treatment than we can supply in this edition of Sunu-Kibaro. There are some important dates worth recording here to round off these historical sketches.
1945-1947: Principal of St. Augustine’s High School = Fr. A Carroll CSSp 1947- 1950: Principal of St. Augustine’s Secondary School = Fr. F. Farrell. 1952 October: Frs. William Costeloe and Fr. R. Gillooley join the Secondary School staff. 1953: Number on the roll in the school has grown to 150.
Staff: Fr. Farrell = Principal; Frs.Gillooley and Costello (joined by Fr. Michael Cleary in October). Mr. Gabriel Goddard, Mr Michael Touray, Mr. James Ndow (RIP), Mr Gabriel George. School Certificate: 4 passes out of 9 candidates. December 1953: Fr. Michael Frawley (RIP) arrived from Nigeria to become Principal of St. Augustine’s Secondary School.
1960: January – Fr. Michael Cleary took over as Principal of St. Augustine’s Secondary School. Fr. Sean Little and Fr. Thomas Tarmey and Fr. Vincent Comer join the staff in the 1960’s.
1969: September – St. Augustine’s High School moves to new building in Campama. In 1970 Fr. Mathias Murphy joins the staff from Nigeria. In 1972 Fr. Joseph A Gough joins the teaching staff. 1978 Fr. Michael Cleary as Principal after 25 years on the Staff. Bishop M. J. Moloney appoints Fr. Joseph A. Gough Principal of St. Augustine’s High School. Frs. Michael Flynn & Michael Murray join the Teaching Staff 1978 Mr. Sam Njie is appointed first Gambian Vice-Principal of SAHS. The boys begin to wear the school crest ‘Recta Sapere’. Twice a week Assemblies are introduced. The school song is composed and sung at assemblies. St. Augustine’s High School becomes a 3-stream school as the enrolment grows. Speech and Prize Giving Day was introduced and became a public event. The Commercial subjects are introduced to the Curriculum. Fr. Michael Cleary Hall is completed and named after the former Principal. The first indoor basketball court is erected with glass backboards in the Hall.
1979: A Board of Governors is set up to help run St. Augustine’s High School. Islamic Religious Education is introduced to the Curriculum as a subject for the Muslim Students. Metal Work, Woodwork, Shorthand and Typing are introduced to the Curriculum. Parent /Teacher meetings are set up on an annual basis. The House System in the School was established.
1980 St. Augustine’s High School becomes a 6th Form School at last and offers Arts and the Commercial subjects.
1981: St. Augustine’s becomes a 4-stream school and the enrolment grows to over 1000 pupils. A wall is built around the school for security. The new Agricultural Science classroom is built and officially opened.
1982: The Library is expanded and the steps behind the administration building and platform are completed for Assemblies.
1983: St. Augustine’s achieves the best ever GCE WAEC O Level results in the country with 29 students getting a Division 1, and 1 student a Distinction. It is worth noting here that any school in the country has never bettered these results since.
1983: July: Fr. Joseph A Gough leaves The Gambia. September: Mr. Sam Njie is appointed first Gambian Principal of SAHS.
It would remiss of me if I did not comment on the outstanding contribution made by Fr. Joseph A Gough CSSp during his tenure on the Staff of SAHS as a teacher, sportsman and above all as an outstanding Principal. It is no reflection on any other missionary to say that it was he who brought St. Augustine’s into the 20th Century and made it the outstanding school in the country. In fact, people talked about St. Augustine’s as the Fr. Gough School. The Fr. Gough era at St. Augustine’s was rightly referred to as the ‘Glory Years’. The list of achievements above shows the rapid expansion of SAHS while under his stewardship. St. Augustine’s became a School of Excellence, which he was constantly trying to improve. He was never happy with second best and encouraged the students to develop all their talents and become the future leaders of the country.
He ran the school in a very organized and disciplined way and ensured that the students had the best of teachers wherever he could recruit them in the world. Many Gambian teachers were employed by him but not all of them wanted to stay in the classroom. “A school is as good as its Teaching Staff” was a constantly used phrase of his. He was renowned for his hard work and 16-hour day’s working in the school. Gough was particularly interested in the welfare of the students of SAHS and ensured the fees of needy students were paid for by scholarships if their families could not afford to do so.‘At books and play we win our way’ he constantly reminded students at his weekly assemblies. The academic results of St. Augustine’s improved dramatically each year under his principalship until the unprecedented historic making results of 1983, the year of his departure. These still stand as the best results ever of any school not just in The Gambia, but also on the West Coast of Africa.
Among the many outstanding students during the ‘Gough Era’ the following stand out: Bashiru Garba-Jahumpa, Joseph Henry Joof, Ousman Sanyang, Karamo Sonko, Lamin Barrow, Henry Paul ‘Batchi’ Baldeh, Yusupha Jow, Francis De Gaulle Njie, James Ndow, Emmanuel Ndow, Gabriel Ndow, Jamal Miknas, Kawsu Jawara, Fa Kebba Jawara, Almami Jawara, Caesar Kalil, Vincent Ndow, Benjamin Jammeh, Albet Valentine, Lawrence and Solomon Jarra, James Bahoum, Lamin Manjang, Momodou Jabang, Leonardo Leconte, William Jammeh, Leonardo & Vico Lamptey, Victor Agege, Serign Ceesay, Lucien Thomasi, Peter Ndow, Maba Kora, Lansana Fatty, Eliman Jagne, Alfusainey Camara, Moses Jallow, Bernard Mendy, Ousman Kebbeh Njie, Alpha Barry, James Freeman, Joseph Sambou, Habib Jeng, Malleh Wadda, Adama Samba, Samba Faal, Henry D. R. Carroll, Hassan Cham, Alieu Ceesay, Mambury Njie, Mary Mendy, Hawa Ceesay, Eleanor Cole, Salimata Touray, Rolf and Carl Christensen, Ebrima Jahumpa. There are numerous others whose names don’t readily come to mind now.
Fr. Joe Gough was an outstanding sportsman in his own right and saw the value of sports in motivating students to better themselves. Many of his students used their sporting ability to help get scholarships abroad and educate themselves. He was the football coach at the school for ten years and during that time St. Augustine’s High School won the annual school League every year, and the Cup eight years. He was the first to get the players to use football boots. St. Augustine’s were always the best-dressed teams as he imported their playing gear from O’Neill’s in Ireland.
Fr. Joe Gough ensured that the students had the best playing facilities in the country. He made the school football team out of a sand dump and spent many of the rainy seasons planting grass on the field. He had basketball courts built, and the provision of both tennis and volleyball courts as well for students interested in those sports. He also introduced Cricket to the school. The Athletic team of SAHS/SJHS swept the boards every year in the Annual Inter-School Sports held at McCarthy Square. He founded the then famous Gymnastic Team, which performed on Prize Day and as a result was often invited to perform on the White House Lawn by the President, Sir Dawda Jawara to entertain State Guests.
Another initiative was the Senegambia exchange with Schools in Senegal. Trips were organized to Kaolack, Ziguinchor and Dakar on an annual basis. The purpose of these trips was to promote educational, cultural and sporting co-operation between the students of Senegal and The Gambia. Sacre Couer and St. Michel in Dakar were the more prominent schools in these exchanges. In fact, Fr. Gough, found a kindred spirit in Frere Emmanuel in St. Michel in Dakar. The famous Sacre Couer Band often paraded on Independence Day and around the streets of Banjul. In the basketball and football exchanges SAHS frequently came out on top. There were many gigantic encounters in the Bishop Cleary Hall for night games in Basketball for both girls and boys. The Senegambian Football games took place in Box Bar Stadium and these encounters were normally filled to capacity. It was no great surprise that he was decorated with a Senegambian medal for this work.
Fr. Gough was not just interested in the present students of the school. He formed clubs to keep the boys together as they left school, hence he was the founder of both Young Africans and Roots Football teams. Both were in the GFA First Division when he left in 1983. He also encouraged and supported the Saints Basketball and Volleyball teams. Not surprisingly he was made a member of the GFA Big Five to run the national football team in 1982. He was a member of the Gambia Olympic Committee and both Basketball and Volleyball Associations. He was also both the Treasurer and Secretary of the Secondary Schools Sports committee and ensured all competitions took place each year. Fr. Gough ran a pre-season football tournament for schools each year to get the season up and running. He did the same for Basketball in the indoor hall at night.
Fr. Gough produced many outstanding international players in all the various sporting discipline’s viz Football, Basketball, Athletics, Volleyball and Tennis and Cricket. He was also instrumental in founding the Gambia Rugby team, which he both coached and captained against teams from Senegal, Sierra Leone and Liberia. His evening training sessions from 6 to 7.30 were a must for anyone who wanted to represent SAHS.
Among the many outstanding Sportsmen that Fr. Gough produced the following deserve a special mention: Bye Malleh Wadda, Sheriff Mboge, Peter and John Prom, Paul Sarr, Moses Sarr, Victor Gabbidon, Edward Gomez, Anthony Sonko, Zack Ceesay, Peter and Paul Ceesay, Omar Faye, Richard Gomez, Abdoulie Barry, Kemo Fatajo, Aziz Corr, Baboucar Foon, Laku Robinson, Jeremiah Sock, Alhagie Conteh, Remi Joiner and Omoshola Joiner, John Roberts, Alade Joiner, Louis Thorpe, Ousman Jatta, Mbye Cham, Tijan Biri Njie, Hassan Jallow, Joseph Sambou, Ousman A B Njie, James Freeman, Sheikh Ndure, Suluman Fye, Samba Faal, John Gomez, Ice Jahumpa, John Pa Mu Ndow Gomez, Ousman Kebbeh Njie, Simeon Robinson, Mounir Alami, Sam Chapman, Ansumanna Tangara. Baba Jarra, Gabriel Ndow, Alpha Barry, Alieu Njie, Salifu Mbowe, Malleh Sallah, Sajuka Njie, Omar Taal, Ebou Njie, Abdouraham Jallow, Ebou Conateh, Ebou Faye, Bono Johnson, Peter Ndow, Abdourahman Jobe, Alhagie Jeng (Bocho), Yusupha Gai, Solomon Ebenezer Moore, Yusupha Badgie, and the many others.
Many of these ‘stars’ went on to represent their country with both honour and distinction in the various sporting disciplines such as soccer, basketball, athletics, tennis, volleyball and cricket as well as rugby. Of this Bye Malleh Wadda was the most outstanding sportsman in the History of The Gambia. He represented his country with honour and distinction in 5 sporting disciplines viz. Soccer, Basketball, Athletics, Tennis and Rugby. He represented The Gambia in the Olympics competing in both the Triple Jump and High Jump, and also in 1977 represented The Gambia at the World University Games in Bulgaria. Omar Faye became the best 200m sprinters in The Gambia, and also ran the 100m and was a member of the most successful Gambian Relay team ever. Peter Prom represented The Gambia in 1979 in Libya at the African Junior Lawn Tennis Championships. Peter & Paul Ceesay represented The Gambia in the Olympics in 800 and 1500m.
Among the many soccer internationals, Fr. Gough produced, were Bye Malleh Wadda, Joe Sambou, Aziz Corr, Paul Sarr, Peter Ndow, Victor Gabbidon, Louis Thorpe, Abou Johnson, Saul Faye, James Freeman, Kemo Fatajo, Alieu Nyang, Peter Prom, Baboucar Foon, Gerry Gomez and Sheriff Njie.
Listed among the Basketball Internationals produced by SAHS in the Fr. Gough era were: Alhagie Conteh, Reme Joiner, John Roberts, Abdourahman Jobe, Bye Malleh Wadda, Anthony Sonko, Abou Johnson, Zack Ceesay, Sam Chapman, Musa Njie, Alhagie Jeng, Omar Faye.
Then there were the boys who were always helping Fr. Gough and foremost among those was his PR man and Chief Advisor, Tijan Francis Ceesay, also affectionately called Tijan Masanneh Ceesay. Tijan was a debater, orator per excellence and Radio Gambia commentator, contributor to the school quarterly, Sunu-Kibaro, Junior Football Team Captain, and later coach for three years. He was also a founder of Roots Football Club. Others who were always helping and managing affairs for Fr. Gough were Pa Sheik Jeng, Madikay Jallow, Willie Abraham, Momodou Jawara, Ebou Barrow, Baboucar Amar Njie, Maweya Deen, Maha Jeng. Ousman Sabally was the Physical Education Teacher and basketball coach during the Gough era and contributed enormously to SAHS successful teams.
It should not also be forgotten Fr. Joe Gough’s role in helping bring about the ordination of the first Gambian Priests for the Catholic Mission. This was his first assignment in The Gambia and he lived in St. Michaels Seminary, Fajara where he was Director of Vocations for The Gambia. With the help of Pere Sagna (later Bishop Sagna) he helped to produce the first 5 Gambian priests viz. Frs. Peter Gomez, Anthony Gabisi, Edward Gomez, David Jarju and Anthony Sonko. Fr. Gough says that this was in fact, his greatest achievement in The Gambia, which he was very proud of.
We thank Fr. Gough for all he did on behalf of St. Augustine’s High School. He will be fondly remembered by all as a very good man, and excellent Missionary, Sportsman, Teacher, Principal and Educationalist and as a ‘Father’ to all his students and those who had the pleasure of knowing him. His deep and manifest love for humanity in general and for his students in particular is well exemplified in his tireless efforts to improve the education, health and well being of the people of The Gambia.
I leave the last word to Pa Modou Faal who paid this Tribute to Fr. Joseph A. Gough on his shocking departure: (culled from Veteran journalist William Dixon Colley’s THE NATION Newspaper, 16th July 1983):
‘There was ‘jealousy’ over his achievement within a very short time. They snatched him from The Gambia... The citizens of this country lamented his transfer. If the Educational, Social, and Sporting populace of The Gambia would have their own way, they would petition the stay of Father Joseph A. Gough to continue his good work in these fields.
The departure of Father Gough would leave a big vacuum in the development and reconstruction of Education, Sports and Culture in The Gambia. For we have in Father Gough the qualities of a Great Leader, an excellent Administrator, and a “Boyman” who has no likes or dislikes, for he treats everybody as equals.
From my acquaintance, a man of remarkable single-mindedness. If he had an opinion, which he thought worthwhile, he showed a capacity to get involved in it to a quite unusual degree and to work steadfastly for its implementation.
These can be better illustrated in the following, when he strove to increase the number of St. Augustine’s High School students from 400 to 1050 students...over a 100% increase. The revival of the St. Augustine’s Old Boys Association (Past Pupils); the introduction of the 6th Form to SAHS and a four-stream system in St. Augustine’s High School. The erection of a School Library; the fencing of the School boundary with an 10 ft. High wall, with cemented block right round; the purchase of a School bus, a 25 passenger seater, were among his practical contributions to the progress of education in SAHS and in The Gambia.
He introduced to the Senegalese, sports, cultural and educational, Exchange Visits, which earned him the Decoration by the Government of the Republic of Senegal for the above,
He sponsored and helped train the Young Africans and Roots Sporting Clubs as First Division teams of the Gambia Football Association…What a loss he is to The Gambia...?”
St. Augustine’s High School Song
To our God we give all glory
To our our country honor true
To our High School, Saint Augustine's
We pledge our royality to you
Saints Augustine's, never conquered
Saint Augustine's ever true
onward ever, full endeavour
for our colours, white and blue
We stand for right, we fear no might
At books or play, we win our way
Our motto Recta Sapere, is our true
So we march, shoulder to shoulder
forward to glories new
Onward now for Saint Augustine's
Victory for the white and blue.
Victory for the white and blue!!