A quick overview of our history.

Ground-Breaking Ceremony in 1990


"The Rosslyn plot, donated by the late Miss Vivien Horwood and known as Fairseat, suddenly became a scene of great activity in February. A start was made on trying to remove the first of 15 huge acrocarpus tree stumps - a task which finally defeated the 4 casual labourers and the small hand power saw. Only two were winched out and rolled down the hill before the day - the rest to be dealt with later. The plot was cleared and cleaned, tents, food and drink ordered; the band of the Gordon Highlanders tracked down and booked, and invitations sent out for the 16th March 1990.

Heavy rain the day before was cause for worry. However, as Dr. Humphrey Belcher put it, "the good Lord must be thanked for sending us a lovely day", as indeed it was. A team of ladies were to be seen hastily putting the last flowers into vases and setting out the finger eats as the first guests arrived.

"Nearly 200 donors and interested persons accepted the invitation and many found old friends to chat to while they partook of the refreshments and listened to the 12 piece band of the Gordon Highlanders. Sadly, the Hon. Minister for Health, Mr. Mwai Kibaki, was unable to attend due to State affairs, and sent very sincere apologies.


So the ceremony got under way with the Chairman, Mr. Michael Shaw welcoming everyone including the Patron, Sir Michael Blundell KBE. He said that this ceremony marked the end of Stage 1 - ie, the completion of preliminaries to enable the Foundation to start building. Sir Michael was then asked to step down and dig a "symbolic sod". This he did to a fanfare from the band.


Mr. Shaw asked his wife, Diana, as a Vice National Chairman of the EAWL, which has close ties with the Foundation, to present a plaque to Sir Michael on which was recorded the day's events, which will be set into the building when it has achieved sufficient stature.

Sir Michael replied, saying kind words about the Chairman and his committee who had worked so hard to bring this project so far. He then presented a cheque to Mr. Shaw as his "insurance". Picking out one or two of his old friends in the audience, he advised them also to take out "insurance", pointing out that the cost of insurance was rising.

"Dr. Humphrey Belcher rose to thank all those who had contributed to make the day possible, and asked people to take a look at the grounds and to study the plans which were on display in the information tent. He then introduced the American Auction. There were six very tempting items which had generously been donated, amongst them two delightfully dressed toy rabbits which raised the record price of Shs. 6,000/-. Although the event was principally designed to publicise Fairseat and its future planning, there have been many generous donations for which the Foundation is very grateful. Tenders have been received and it is very much hoped that building may begin in the very near future."


Excerpted from an article appearing in 'Women in Kenya', the official publicationof the East Africa Women's League, 1990. Author unknown.