Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Muriel Thampy, a celebration of a much loved teacher and mother


LIKE ANYWHERE else, the schools in Kenya could boast many truly loved teachers and educators and a few forgettable ones. Mrs Muriel Thampy among a group of teachers at the St Teresa's Girls School in Eastleigh who to this day remain unforgettable, cherished and to whom many, many students feel indebted to for always. She will always be remembered as a brilliant secondary school maths teacher.  Mrs Thampy was widowed early in the marriage and she raised seven children all on her own. She never flinched. Always quietly resolute. Her children have migrated to various parts of the world but should be there for the memorial service.

A mum who worked hard and did her best for us, we were dressed very well and every year she took us to Mombasa and Lamu for a holiday. There were many little things she did for us, which we appreciated later. == Radha Shridharan
Mrs Thampy's flock (ex-students) and family are getting together in London to celebrate what could have been her 100th birthday on November 3, Mass and restaurant lunch. If you would like to join them please give call Radha's mobile number:07900 683 519.... filling fast.

If her ex-students would like to remember her, please send your thoughts to skipfer@live.com.au and I will forward them to Radha.

My dear Radha, 
I was so happy to hear about  the Centenary  Memorial Celebration for  your dear Mum to be held on November 3, 2019 and I thank you for your kind invitation.

I have wonderful memories of our early days in Nairobi, when both our families got together at weekends or holidays. I had a few sleepovers at yours in Nagara.  I remember those hundreds of  steps  we climbed to  get to your home.  I know my sister, Christine, has written to you and we agreed that both your family and ours had similar backgrounds.  I think having our mums as teachers probably stood us in good stead later in life!!  “Miss Muriel” was my maths teacher in secondary school – but despite being a close family friend, she never once showed me any favouritism. On the contrary, she  was a lot more strict when it came to me.

I can honestly say I wasn’t her best student – maybe one of the worst. I showed no interest at all in the subject .   Geometry, Algebra. Trignometry all brought me out in cold sweats!!!.......however, in my final year “mocks” ..the 7 marks out of 100 I  got in Algebra  was a huge achievement for me!!!  Aunty Muriel was not one bit impressed  – and my mum, Prexy, even less so!  In the end they had to concede that I was never going to be a “Maths Girl”…...Never!!!!! 

I am not sure if you remember this, but one Sunday your family came over  to  lunch when we lived in  Fort Hall Road  ( 60 years ago).   While both the mums made themselves comfortable in the “sitting room” drinking many cups of tea and putting the world to rights,  their menfolk cooked  the most delicious Pilau with chopped  “Uplands Chipolatas” in a giant “Sufria”.  They did the best they could – however, my dad was not impressed with having to constantly top up the  “jiko” with charcoal ...We never heard the end of it!  It was after that fiasco that we got our first proper cooker!  Happy days!  
You children were a credit to your mum – she was a wonderful mother and role model, not just to her own children, but to the three of us.  Strict but loving.  I am so glad you are celebrating her life and achievements next month – she will be looking down on you all with that special smile! 

Sadly, as I explained to you, I am unable to attend the Memorial Celebrations, much as I would have liked to,  as that is the day  I will be attending  a  Memorial Service  for the  deceased  students of the Dr Ribeiro Goan School Nairobi.

Give my love to all the family and enjoy the celebrations. I look forward to hearing all about it and seeing the photos.

Lots of Love and God Bless,


Leela Aruna Muriel Ashokh

Top pic the serene Mrs Thampy and with the teachers at St Teresa's ...everyone a gem!


  1. Dear Mrs. Thampy was my neighbor in Ngara. I used to go to her home for Tuition. I still keeep in touch with her family. God Bless them all!
    Roy Pacheco

  2. While not my class teacher, Mural was a teacher at the Catholic Parochial and St Teacher. She was a dear friend. As I cant attend from down under, I would be most grateful if my brief message is read at the gathering. Jambo all the CPS and St. Teresa lads and ladies. 60 odds years have passed, am 82 now, and I recall Muriel, her kids, especially Ashok and her brother Sydney Lewis. Unfortunately, I was not in her class but we saw her at school and held her in high respect and regards. Muriel was an amazingly brave and a gutsy lady, who raised a family of wonderful children, all by herself, with great devotion to them as well to life, casting aside the biases and communal barbs that our women were often were subjected to, which she often shared with me, during a few meals at her Ngara flat. Muriel showed them all they had someone tough to contend with, and Muriel a super Mum put them all to silence. Among you all gathered hear, I still recall most of the names from CPS and St. Teresa, to mention here her other charges, all her students. Mural taught us all by her life example, that no matter what adversity besets us, we can overcome it all, if we put our shoulder to it. Dear Muriel, thank you for being a part of my like. May you now continue to have eternal peace. To you all, too many to mention by names which I still recall, at 82 years,jambo from Australia. I pray that
    the Lord blesses you all with love , happiness and joy in your lives. Kwaheri, dear friends of old and new. Kersi Rustomji.



  This invaluable collection of photos was sent to me by David Mungai. He says it is “for the acknowledgement of Kenyan History, the celebra...