With a Particular Emphasis on Expressions By Ismaili Muslims in Art, Culture, Faith, Travel, Sport, Food, Heritage and Exploration
My Late Mother, Jean Kirk, and Her Special Collection of Rare Photos of His Highness the Aga Khan’s Visits to the Aga Khan Primary School in Nairobi
Special to Simerg
By ALLISON WALLACE Perth, Australia
My mother, Jean Kirk, was born in London in 1928 and died in Tasmania in early January 2014. She lived in London until 1956 when she married my father who had been born in Kenya to English parents, who had settled there in the early 1920’s.
Mum trained as a teacher in London and was passionate about the importance of education, the communication of knowledge and the enhancement of the individual through such knowledge. During her time in Kenya, she held the position of Principal at the Aga Khan Primary School in Nairobi where His Highness the Aga Khan on at least one occasion, privileged her to host a visit. Finally, in 1964, my mum and dad migrated to Tasmania where they were to settle for the remainder of their lives.
Mum was to remain in education for the rest of her working life. In terms of her interests she cared deeply for animals and their welfare and her local community.
Shortly after she died, I opened one of her albums and came across a collection of photos of His Highness the Aga Khan’s visits to the Primary School during her tenure as the school’s principal. At about the same time, my internet search led me to this website containing pictures of the Aga Khan’s visit to the school in 1966. Thus I connected with Simerg, and my sincere hope is that the photos I have provided will trigger happy memories among those who were students and teachers at the school some 50 to 55 years ago! Of course, vintage photos never seen before will also please members of the Ismaili community, and others interested in East African history.
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PHOTOS TAKEN APPROXIMATELY IN 1959
PHOTOS TAKEN APPROXIMATELY IN THE EARLY 1960’S
Date posted: Sunday, May 4 2014. Last updated: March 6, 2021 (reformatting as per enhancements)
We acknowledge with deep gratitude the contribution by Allison Wallace in spending many many hours gathering original photos of His Highness the Aga Khan from her mother’s photo albums, and making them available for us in electronic format. Her mother, Mrs. Jean Kirk, as Principal of the Aga Khan Primary led an institution created by the Ismaili Imamat that seeks educational excellence by cultivating great students through hard work and a dedicated and motivated staff. The school prided itself in being among the finest in East Africa during Jean Kirk’s tenure, beloved mother of Allison Wallace. ___________
About the contributor: Allison Wallace, daughter of the late Mrs. Jean Kirk, holds an administrative position at the University of Western Australia in Perth.
We invite readers to help us complete the photo captions by providing names of teachers and students who have not been identified. Also, we invite you to contribute short anecdotes that you can recount as an eye-witness to these two visits to the school made by His Highness the Aga Khan. Please complete the feedback form below or send an email to Simerg@aol.com.