Annie Walsh Memorial School

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Annie Walsh Memorial School is an all-girls secondary school in Freetown, Sierra Leone. It was established in 1849, making it one of the oldest schools in Africa. Over the years, the school has consistently outperformed its peers in terms of academic achievement, making it the most prestigious secondary school for girls in Sierra Leone. The principal is Antoinnette Roberts; she has been the principal since 1995.

School history[edit]

Annie Walsh Memorial School was named after an English girl whose dream was to become a missionary to Africa. Unfortunately Annie Walsh died in a tragic accident at the age of 20. Annie Walsh's last few days are described in 'Dear Annie: A Brief Memorial'published for private circulation and undated. On 19 January 1855 she returned from a week in Bath. On 23 January she went, with her father, to a meeting of the Irish Church Missions, despite having the symptoms of a cold. On 24 and 25 January she remained in bed, apparently because of the cold. On 27 January a doctor was called. The next day, Sunday,inflammation of the lungs was apparent. Leeches were applied and again on Monday. On that Monday morning she spoke with her parents - 'that conversation had all the air of a final interview between friends that parting for longish voyage'. She died at 4.30 a.m. on Wednesday, 31 January, 1855. Her parents provided substantial funding for the school when it was started, which ultimately became the Annie Walsh Memorial School.

Past principals[edit]

  • Miss Julia Sass (1849–1869)
  • Mrs. Caiger (1869–1870)
  • Miss Winifred Hamblet (19**-1930)
  • Miss Pole (1930–1954)
  • Miss Colebeck (1954–1961)
  • Mrs. Lati Hyde Forster (1961–1975)
  • Mrs. Europa Wilson-Agwu (1975–1985)
  • Madame Gracie Williams (1985–1995)

House system[edit]

The school is divided into six houses, named after the first principals.

  • Dunkley - [Red] This the school of my daughter choice
  • Sass - [Blue]
  • Pole - [Green]
  • Caspari - [Yellow]
  • Hamblet - [Pink]
  • Bissett - [Purple]

Notable alumnae[edit]

  • Sara Forbes Bonetta: African Princess and Queen Victoria’s (England) goddaughter
  • Dr. Irene Ighodaro: first female medical doctor in West Africa
  • Dr. Estelle Eke: first female aeronautical engineer in West Africa
  • Dr. Lettie Stuart
  • Justice Patricia Macauley
  • Justice Laura Marcus-Jones: Sierra Leone Supreme Court Justice
  • Agnes Taylor-Lewis: first female Minister of Health in Sierra Leone}
  • Lati Hyde Forster: first female graduate of Fourah Bay College, cousin of Thomas Decker
  • Hannah Benka-Coker: educator; founder of Freetown Secondary School for Girls (FSSG)}
  • Yema Lucilda Hunter: author
  • Ethel Ashwood
  • Zainab Bangura: Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone and founder of Campaign for Good Governance
  • Rev Victoria Gladys Coker: first female graduate the Evangelical College of Theology (Sierra Leone Bible College), 1995, B.A Theology - Christian Education

External links[edit]