Anthony Brogan: Teaching in Uganda

Wednesday 21 March 2018: Anthony (Tony) Brogan: Teaching in Uganda in the ’60’s

Paddy Anthony
Probus President, Paddy McGowan [left] with guest speaker, Anthony Brogan

Shortly after graduating from the Queen’s University in 1965 with a degree in English, Tony, a former pupil of Omagh CBS, got married.  Part of his honeymoon with his new wife, Mary, was a flight to Uganda on a BOAC VC10 airliner en route to a teaching post in St Edwards CBS in Mubende.  He recalled that the first part of the journey from the airport to the school was on a paved road which became an increasingly bumpy dirt track as they penetrated deeper and deeper in to rural Uganda.   The school was soundly constructed from baked red earth bricks but otherwise rudimentary. The bigger surprise was that he and his wife were the only white people on campus, all other students and staff belonging to local tribes.   Tony began his talk to Probus with a Geography lesson, holding up a map of the world to show where Uganda was and sketch map of Uganda to show its location in East Africa.   Back in the 60’s most Ugandans were peasant farmers bartering their produce in the local markets in what was largely a cashless economy.  During his interesting talk Tony touched on local culture and customs including the influence of witch doctors and tribal chiefs.   After 6 years in the tropics he returned home to take up a teaching post in his old school.  His final anecdote was about an old country woman in rural Ulster who imagined that his three children would be black because they were born in Africa.