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By Jane Nambi

Joan Cox, the first headmistress of Gayaza High School has passed away at 100 in UK.

Gayaza High School community and the alumni are now mourning the passing of former headmistress, Joan Cox, who died in UK over the weekend aged 100 years. Cox born on 27 Feb 1912, died on Saturday (April 14th) at a Nursing Home in Sussex.

Her birthday celebration held at Chequers Hotel in Pulborough, West Sussex, UK was attended by several GHS old girls and friends. GHS website states that apart from plenty of cards, flowers and two cakes, she received a birthday message from Queen Elizabeth II of England.

Among the former Gayaza High staff present at the celebration were Sheelagh Warren (former head mistress) and teachers Ann Cutler, Brenda Richards, Anne Philpot, Sheila Bolton, and Barbara Cooper among others.

Cox joined Gayaza High School in 1938 under the auspices of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) and served as Headmistress of Gayaza High School from 1950 -1972 and retired in England. She last visited Uganda in 2005 for the School’s Centenary celebrations.

Gayaza High is located in the town of Gayaza in Wakiso district approximately 26 km northeast of Kampala. The school grounds cover an area of 140 acres on a hilltop, running roughly south to north. Church missionaries belonging to the Church Missionary Society of England founded Gayaza High School in January 1905 with four students. By July 1905, the number of students had grown to 43.

Some of Gayaza’s Alumni are  Princess Elizabeth Bagaaya who was also a lawyer, diplomat, politician and model, Lady Justice Julia Sebutinde – presiding judge courtroom 2, International Criminal Court, Lady Damali Catherine Nnakawombe Kisosonkole, wife of Kabaka Sir. Edward Muteesa 2 of Buganda and Margaret Blick Kigozi- executive director of Uganda investment authority.

May God grant you eternal peace Joan.