Easleigh Secondary School, Nairobi was founded in 1956. Most of the students at the time were of Asian origin, who after independence and upheavels in East Africa left for other countries like UK, Canada USA etc.On 24th August 1996 a Re-Union was arranged by an ex-student Jagjit Singh Gill in UK(details below). A souvenir was published and the School Principal at the time was asked to write for it. Here we present his letter, which briefly details the school history.(Kanwal)


I am gratified for the opportunity to salute all the old Eastleigh Secondary School students through this historic publication and to congratulate the organisers and participants at the first ever ESS International re-union. There are no words to clealrly describe the practical sense of belonging that you have displayed. Indeed the information about the re-union was received with great enthusiasm and pride by the entire current fraternity of Eastleigh High School.
Eastleigh Secondary School was founded in 1952 under the name ' NEW ASIAN SECONDARY SCHOOL' to cater for the education of the Asian Community. It was originally built for the Pangani Parklands area. With the ensuing increase in demand for education, it was decided that the New Asian Secondary School be moved to a new site in Eastleigh area. Construction work for this new school was finalised in 1956 and on 6th. October 1956, the then Director of Education Mr. W.J.D. Wadley formally opened it under a new name of Eastleigh Secondary School.
As recently as in 1981, the school remained an 'O' level five stream institution. In 1981, the then Ministry of Higher Education granted 'A' level status to the school (Form 5 and 6). On 14th. September 1983, at the school's Annual Speech & Prize Giving day. the then Permanent secretary - Ministry of Education formally changed the school's name from Eastleigh Secondary School to Eastleigh High School (EHS).
With the introduction of the 8;4;4 system of education and the emphasis on cost-sharing for the financing of education in the country, the school has undergone several changes. The Government has continued its support in provision of the teaching staff while the parents have beeen expected to provide for the physical facilities and equipment necessary in their school. As a result, the parents completed the construction of a school library and staff room block in 1994. The said parents have however been unable to equip the said library with books that are relevant to the new system of education due to financial constraints.
The school today is a multi-racial school with 850 students and a teaching staff of 54. It offers a wide and varied curriculum which includes pure sciences, metalwork technology, woodwork technology, principles of agriculture, mathematics, languages, religion and other social sciences and humanities. The performance in national exams is however below the expected standards. This has been as result of the financial inability of the parents to provide for the required facilities. Most of the parents are residents of the surrounding Mathare and Eastlands slum areas and are financially handicapped to the extent they cannot afford the minimum fees required and have to rely on bursaries from the Government and well wishers. The once beautiful school now lacks lighting due to constant vandalism, the fencing is poor while the roofs leak. Parents have long wished to have a kitchen and dining hall facility at the school to ensure that every student takes lunch at school but this is still an idea that will take long to implement.
However, the picture is not all black. School spirit still exists particularly in sports. The school has produced notable personalities in sports in the recent past and continues to do so. Some of the names are;-
Steve Tikololo International cricketer - currently playing semi-professional cricket in South Africa.
Tom Tikololo International cricketer
Allan Odhiambo Harambee Stars soccer team
Bassanga Otieno Harambee Stars soccer team
Richard Asabe Harambee Stars soccer team

Peter Mbogo National volleyball team
Walter Njau Currently in Form 4. Has represented Nairobi Province in table tennis for 4 years.
Barry Ndinya Current champion in Lawn Tennis and has participated in various amateur tournaments
Hassan Dabasso Current Nairobi champion in Lawn tennis Martin Otieno Participant in National Athletics Champ.'96
Stephen Odhiambo Participant in National Athletics Champ.'96
It is my conviction that if this spirit is rekindled in all spheres of Eastleigh High School, we can together keep the fire burning and continue to be proud of this institution.
You are indeed a product of this school. Do not be ashamed of what it is today but please take this challenge and decide what should be done to regain its past glory. ASHANTENI



THE STAFF — 1958 Principal
K. Lal Esq., B.A. (Punjab), Dip. E.E.T.P. (London).
Vice-Principal R. K. Sobti Esq., M.Sc. (Benaras).
Department of English W. F. Parker Esq., B.A., T.D. (Manchester) K. Rashid Esq., B.A. Hons. (Lond.), T.D. (Oxon.) H. Lee Esq., M.A., D.Ed. (Leeds) R. L. Khanna Esq., B.A. (Punjab) V. S. Bhardwaj Esq., B.A. (Hons.) B.T. (Punjab) R. K. Sood Esq., B.A., B.T. (Punjab) M. L. Vaid Esq., B.A. (Punjab) (on leave) J. I. O. Carvalho Esq., T.T.C. (Nairobi) J. F. P. T. D'Souza Esq., T.T.C. (Nairobi)
Department of Mathematics A. N. Sharma (Narad) Esq., B.A. (Punjab) V. I. Vohra Esq., B.Sc., B.T. (Bombay) T. M. Hashmi Esq., B.A., B.T. (Punjab)
Department of Science Karam Singh Esq., B.Sc., (Punjab) P. A. Patel Esq., B.Sc. (Bombay) X. P. F. D'Souza Esq., B.Sc. (Bombay) U. T. S. Deol Esq., B.Sc., B.T. (Punjab) G. S. Jauhal Esq., M.Sc., (Patna) P. S. Mangat Esq., B.Sc., B.Ed. (Punjab)
Department of History A. N. Sharma (Nabh) Esq., B.A. (Punjab) F. A. Mendonca Esq., B.A., B.T. (Bombay) Department of Geography S. P. Sood Esq., B.A. (Punjab)
J. M. Pritchard Esq., B.A. Hons. (Manches.) T.D. (Cantab.) J. D. Sharma Esq., B.A. (Punjab)
Department of Oriental Languages M. B. Patel Esq., M.A. (Bombay) N. J. Patel Esq.,
Department of Physical Education B. S. Shant Esq., B.A. (Punjab) D.P.Ed. (Madras)
Department of Art K. H. Michaels Esq.
R. Siqueira Esq. Viegas J. Esq.

'Congo' House winners - students of Eastleigh Secondary School Nairobi 1957. Harjinder Kanwal can be seen third from top row (standing)

Any one with more interesting information or photos of Eastleigh Secondary School, Nairobi or any other school are welcome to send me the info to be put on this site.

ESS 1963 Inter Schools Cricket Competition Winners (photo contributed by Jayant Tanna)
Sitting (L to R): Iqbal Butt, Arvind Patel (Vice-Capt.), Mr J.E.S Jones (Coach),
Nisar Butt (Capt.), Mr.P.A.Patel (Master-in-Charge), Saleem Mehar, Jayant Tanna.
Standing (L to R): Ashok Sharma, Mahendra Patel, Mohan Lal, Harjinder Singh,
Subash, Bashir Ahmed,Farouq Butt

Eastleigh RE-UNION

24th August 1996 was a very memorable year in the lives of ex-students and teachers of Eastleigh Secondary School, Nairobi: On this day mainly with the sterling efforts of an ex-student of the School, Jagjit Singh Gill (below), a RE-UNION

was held at Rubens Hotel on Buckingham Palace Road, London. Nearly 200 ex-students and teachers attended this re-union from all over UK, East Africa, Canada & USA . A simply nostalgic occasion with tears and laughter coinciding with music performed by Alam Lohar's son and then by Didar Singh Pardesi, another ex-student of ESS. Didar Singh Pardesi is now a very renowned singer, locally and abroad. The High Commissioner of Kenya Mr. M. Ngali attended this historic occasion. A souvenir programme of that memorable occasion was also printed. We present some photos from that. To see more photos of that historic 1996 occasion, please click here.

We are looking for school magazines for Racecourse Secondary School from 1952-1955 and Eastleigh Secondary School magazines from 1967-1976 or even beyond so that we can put all this on to CD's and preserve the school records.

A CD has been prepared compiled of school magazines info from 1956 -1966 . It can be bought for £10 plus 50 p. p&p from Jagjit, Tanna, Nisar or Varinder (their addresses are given below)

Eastleigh Secondary School's own music troupe led by Iqbal Narain on accordian. Didar Singh Pardesi can be seen third from right.

Members of the Staff 1963. Rashpal Panesar can be seen standing second from right

Mr. Balwant Singh Shant lovingly known as 'Shimba' delivering his witty speech at a function

Gurcharan Dhanjal (scout) with Scout Masters Balwant Shant and Joe' D'Souza on extreme right with a guest scout master.


50 Year Re-Union of the Teachers and Ex-Students of Eastleigh

Participated in the International Re-union and the Golden Anniversary celebrations of Eastleigh Secondary School Nairobi
On Sunday 29th October 2006 from 12:30 p.m.
At the Holiday Inn, High Street, Brentford Locks, Brentford, TW8 8JZ,


TO SEE AND BUY PHOTOS ,cd's of school magazines 1956-1966, c/d's of the function held on 29th Oct 2006 and to claim your T shirt if you attended the reunion (ESS students only)- PLEASE contact any of the organisers listed below. To see and buy photos of that occasion go to:-


  1. Jagjit Singh Gill, 5 Albany Close, Bushey, Herts, WD23 4SG, U.K. Tel: 020 8950 2412 jagjitgill1939@yahoo.co.uk
    Harjinder Singh Kanwal (web master) – 20 Trewint Close, Exhall, Coventry, CV7 9FG, U.K. – Tel: 0247 6319483 harjinder@kanwal99.freeserve.co.uk



Khursheed in 1957 (A prominent, outspoken, daring & jolly colourful character)

It is with a very heavy heart that I am compelled to inform you that one of our schoolmate, classmate, teammate and a dear friend namely KHURSHEED AHMED BUTT has been taken away from us under suspicious circumstances. It is believed that he has been brutally killed in his own home in Mombasa.
His body was laid to rest on 5th.March,2009 in Mombasa. 
He was 70 years old and leaves behind no family.

I have taken the liberty to pass on our heartfelt condolences to the BUTT family on this very sad occasion.   

May his soul rest in peace. Amen!

Jagjit Singh Gill
ESS Re-Union

Lion President 2008-9
Lion's Club of Osterley
Tel: 020-8950-2412


Charanjit (Kugi) 1960

Kugi's recent photo 2010.

It is with a very heavy heart and deep regret that we have to report the sad loss of our very prominent and valuable ESS colleague, KUGI (charanjit) VOHRA on 25th.January,2010.
Kugi was a great supporter of the ESS Re-Unions. The first re-union in 1996 was held at Kugi's hotel near Buckingham Palace and he very proudly prepaired the menu for the evening. Kugi Charanjit Vohra was from the famous Vohra family of Kenya. His father S. Sardar Singh Vohra was one of the Asian pioneers of Kenya. Kugi, himself was a successful business man.
Kugi will be very sadly missed by all his school teachers, class and school friends. he had a very bubbly personality and will be missed by one and all.

May the departed soul rest in peace.



GUNDARA, Pardeep Singh
With sadness, we announce the peaceful passing of Pardeep Singh Gundara on October 28, 2011 at Agape Hospice. Pardeep, affectionately referred to as "Gudu", was born in Nairobi, Kenya. Pardeep is survived by his loving wife Gurdip and their daughters, Rohini Grewal (Rupinderjit) of Washington, DC and their daughter Harsimran, and Amrita Gundara of Calgary. Pardeep was the dear brother of Jagdish Gundara (Sarah Jones) of London, England and of sisters, Hardish Mangat (Inderjit) of Woking, England and Jaswinder Gundara (Anthony Paul) of Miami, Florida, as well as by numerous devoted relatives, friends and colleagues. Pardeep was predeceased by his parents, Darbar Singh Gundara and Jagir Kaur Gundara (nee Brar). Pardeep retired this July having worked 33 years for the Alberta Human Rights Commission, serving since 1993 as the Commission's Southern Director. Pardeep was a private yet selfless individual. He was committed to both his family and his strong belief in promoting and defending the human rights of his fellow Albertans. Funeral Services will be held at Calgary Crematorium Chapel, 3219 - 4 Street N.W. (within the Queen's Park Cemetery) on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. The Funeral will be followed by a Bhog Ceremony at the Sikh Society of Calgary Centre, 81 Street and Old Banff Coach Road S.W. Forward condolences through www.hffs.com . His family would like to thank the wonderful staff and volunteers at both the Agape Hospice and Unit 47 of the Foothills Hospital for their care and kindness. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Hospice of your choice.

Pardeep was my best school friend and I met him after many years at the 2005 reunion and our meeting was more than happy. His sudden demise will leave a big gap in every one's life who knew him as a thorough gentleman with high morals. Will be greatly missed. Our sincere condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace. (Harjinder Kanwal)





Some Old memorable photographs taken during school days

Any Recognitions? Form 4 A class of 1964, infront of the biology lab with the then biology teacher, Mr. Young.

Varinder Singh, Abdul Rehman (Pishta vala pathan), Satpal Singh Johal (now solicitor in Nairobi), Harbans Singh Mudan (died), Nisar Husseim Mughal (died in Mombasa Kenya ), Surjeet Singh Jutla (known as 'kanga' - died), Surinder (dass) Singh (died).

At the Royal (Nairobi) Show - Satpal, Mohd. Ashraf, Nisar Mughal and an other

Harjinder at the showroom of 'Marwaha Motors' at the Royal Show

1956 Arbor day with a tree planted on the school premises. Those in the picture are :seated L-R Bubie, Kailash Chander Syal,
Chander, Jagdish and Surinder. Standing l-R  Harbhajan Singh, Unidentified gardener and Manmohan Bhandari. (Photo sent by Parvin Syal)

1956 class of form four, in the class room. (sent by Parvin Syal)

At the Royal Show-Parvin Syal &Varinder Sood, whose father was Geography teacher at the school.

Beneath Tropical Skies- ESS Memories
Parvin D. Syal. Graduating class of 1964


The quadrangle, beneath tropical skies
Monday morning assemblies, non-denominational prayers
Tyros in a new school, fidgeting from tight collars
Under stiff neck ties and blazers purple,
Uneasy on young shoulders.
Disciplined walk to the new classrooms, new teachers
New desk-mates, new books handed out for subjects
New after the KPE hurdle.
Wow, the auditorium huge, labs spanking new
Bunsen burners and stinky chemicals an experience new.
Over the passage of time, newbies no more
“Spaceman” Mangat leads, P.A. Patel pleads
X’avier D’Souza makes Pascall interesting
UT.S. Deol injects life into circulation-
Colorful drawings on the board, copied meticulously,
“Medulla Oblongata” suddenly a word of the lexicon.
“You the donkey” S.P. Sood chides, between maps
Of Kenya and Tanganyika, as Mr. H. Briggs charts
The course between “Borough and Council” painfully
Reminding that Kenya is still a Colony.
Hashmi rapping knuckles, Sharama M’kubwa gliding
Through cosines, Sharma N’dogo being historic,
Roshan Khanna interpreting Macbeth, F.A. Mendonca
Recounting “The History of Mr. Polly”-all this
“Far from the Madding Crowd.”
And on the field, Balwant S. Shant, still bellowing
“Angu simama, wewe kaata.”
And we fight over whether Cliff Richard betters Elvis
And the auditorium always packed for
“The Young Ones” and “Blue Hawaii.”
Niger battles Nile, Zambezi strives to better Congo
Sports day always enthusing- Annual Prize Day,
Interesting for the “Brainies”- boring the rest,
Salvaged only by Samosas, always crunchy, and
Curried peas in bottles of coke, always fizzing.
Form four soon over- the long wait for February
And move  on to another school
Another phase of life, another
Monday morning assembly, beneath tropical skies

Mr. M.L. Vaid (Teacher)

Mr. Mendonza (teacher)

One of India's top poets' Barkat Ram 'Barkat' visited the school. Here he is rendering his poetry with Mr. Balwant Singh Shant (Shimba) next to him in the School Lecture theatre.

Manjit Singh Dhillon, a student of Eastleigh Secondary School and son of S. Tek Singh Dhillon was one of the first Sikh Queen Scout.

A guard of honour for Mr. Coutts (?) by Mr. Shant. Standing scout is Jaswaran Singh Sehmi (Nyeri).

Scouts Sitting L to R: Tarlok Singh Mandair, Manjit Singh Dhillon, Parminder Singh Sira -All three students of Eastleigh Secondary School. Who are the standing ones?

School Photos post 1963

An old ESS colleague who could not join the last reunion has sent his bio, which we have added here with thanks (The more the merrier).

Chatar Singh Sagoo in 1960 & 2010.

I was born in Nairobi (Canal Road) and did my primary education at Park Road Primary School, Eastleigh Primary School to KPE Level.  This was followed with four years at Eastleigh Secondary School.  For admittance, I remember being interviewed by Mr Kashmiri Lal, who told me that I will have to really study hard to stay in the school.

I played football for the Nile House and generally participated in most sports in good spirits and enjoyment.  I was a school prefect in 1962 and 1963 while in the science classes of Form III and Form IV.  I was the only Sikh in the school attending Urdu classes with the Muslim students, and most people used to wonder why.  Well, the reason behind this was that I started my education in Park Road Primary School in 1953 when it was a Muslim school and they only taught Urdu.  My father took me there as the Sikh school, Khalsa School refused me admittance for some petty reason.   When I was transferred to the other school eventually to the newly completed Eastleigh Primary School, I continued in the Urdu section as a personal choice.

On completing the O-Levels in 1963, I went to the Duke of Gloucester and completed the two years in the Engineering classes.  I was generally quite open to most sports and during this period was a member of the team which climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in April 1965. 

On completion the A-Levels, I felt the urge to escape from home and refused to enrol in the local university in Nairobi, and found my way to Exeter University in UK.  I graduated with a BSc. Hons Engineering Science and sought to work in UK to gain experience.  However, prior to joining my first employer in Watford, I travelled overland to India from UK as a member of Commonwealth Expedition Team of Exeter University.  This was an epic journey of over twenty thousand miles through Europe and Middle East countries through the Khyber Pass and entering India for the first time in my life.  Here I had the good fortune of visiting my parent’s village and seeing my roots and realising that blood is indeed thicker than water.

I joined the Ministry of Transports Highways Section and gained experience in the design office as well as construction sites.  The fresh air of the construction sites definitely appealed to me and from thence onwards I perused a career on construction sites as a Clients or Engineer’s Representative.  This pursuit has taken me to overseas countries which include Central and West Africa, Saudi Arabia, China, Turkey and United Arab Emirates where I am based currently. 



Mr. Deol with the hockey team 1963/64

Teachers Rashpal Panesar, A.N Sharma & T.Hashmi with school Hockey team - probably 1966

Volleyball Team 1968

Photo sent by Jatinder Shukal (standing extreme left) - teachers Mendonza & Sharma recognisable.

Teachers Hashmi, Mendonza, Sharma and Panesar with hockey team -year 1968?

Teachers Hashmi, Mendonza, Sharma & Panesar with school hockey team - February 1969

Teachers Xavier d'souza, Mendonza, Sharma, Saleh Mohd. Memon & Rashpal Panesar with students in February 1969

Scouts - 1969?

Former student Joseph Otieno and Elvis Ayani (Currently Otieno is Graphics Designer while Elvis is a Soldier with Kenya air force).Do you remember these stairs?

School Cricket team photo 1974.  Runners up in the Nairobi School Competition.


Left to Right –    Standing -  Salim, ? , ? , Ramesh Patel, Arun Soni , Ruswinder Singh (Rusi), Daljit Singh Matharu (Doggie), Hitesh Shah,  Paresh, Pravin

                                Sitting     - Mr Amin (Chemistry), Arif (Bongo), Mr Mendonza (Deputy Head and English),  Mr Sharma (Kuba – headmaster),  Deepak Thakrar,  Mr M R Patel (Chemistry), Tawfiq (photo courtesy Arun Soni)

From left to right: Azar Khan, Vafi Esmail, Azhar
In front: Anwar Kajani - Students 1965 -1968 (sent by Vafi Esmail)

Vafi with more friends

1966 - From L to R. Vafi, Azar Khan, Abdul Mshimba & Anwar

Vafi with friends at the Roayal Show 1965

Vafi with more school friends 1967

2006 Entrance to the School

Main gate of the school

Ramesh Sethi with his son (aged 3) visited the school in 1971

SEE it NOW in Oct 2006

Another view of the school 2006

The Principal and students with Jagjit at the school 2006

Jagjit with the current Principal Mr. Wambugu 2006

A lovely view of the gardens next to the Principal's office & main reception Oct 2006




A very old photo of the staff with Principal Mr. P.H.Patel of the City Primary School, Nairobi. Teachers such as Sohan Singh, Ranjit Singh Thind, Channan Singh, Teja Singh Bhurji, Inder Singh Mangat, Gurcharan Singh Cheema, Bikram Singh Bhanwra & Harbhajan Singh Preet can be seen.