Did someone in your family accomplish something great. If so, what was it?
My Grandma was one of 14 kids. One set of twins.
Here is the story on one younger brother, Raymond (Here is he with his wife and son). He passed away in June of this year. He was such cool gentleman.
“Professor Ray Beachey, who died on July 10 aged 94, encouraged the hopes of a generation of East African leaders as head of History at Makerere University in Uganda during the 1950s and early 1960s. A quiet believer in the benefits of the British Empire, he liked to refer to Makere as a crossroads of the world. His students included Benedicto Kiwanuka, Uganda’s first prime minister; Yusuf Lule, the country’s provisional president in 1979; and Mwai Kibaki, the current Kenyan president, all of whom had an avidity for learning that was not matched by Beachey’s students in his native Canada. Among his colleagues were the writers VS Naipaul and Paul Theroux, who referred to Beachey as the “gentle Canadian” in his travelogue Dark Star Safari.
When Beachey left Uganda in 1968 he was adamant that the country was not ready for independence. Returning twice to Makerere in later years he saw how Idi Amin’s distrust of learning had led to looting and the burning of books. He was badly shaken by the murder of Kiwanuka and by a meeting with a former African colleague who had been tortured by Milton Obote’s forces and pleaded for the British to return.
Raymond Wendell Beachey was born on October 24 1915 at Trout Creek, northern Ontario, where one of his earliest memories was waving goodbye to his uncles as they cheerily marched off to war in 1918.
He was educated in a one-room wooden schoolhouse, and brought up on a diet consisting largely of salmon – leaving him unable to eat fish in later life. He worked in logging camps to pay his way through high school, then found employment at the finance department in Ottawa, before joining the RCAF on the outbreak of war. He served as a sergeant navigator with Coastal Command and Bomber Command; but when his best friend, a rear gunner, was killed he became deeply depressed, refused to salute an officer and was sent to a psychiatric unit.
After marrying Ursula Molloy, with whom he was to have four children, Beachey returned to Canada, where he studied History at Queen’s University, Ontario, then did a PhD on Imperial History at Edinburgh before going to Makere.
After leaving Africa he became a senior lecturer at King’s College, London, then Professor of History at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, before finally retiring to Hampshire in 1978 with the collection of Persian carpets which he had amassed on visits to Afghanistan and the Middle East.
Ray Beachey’s books included The British West Indies Sugar Industry in the Late 19th Century (1957) and The Slave Trade of Eastern Africa (1976), the result of two summers’ research in Zanzibar. He also produced The Warrior Mullah (1990), a lively study of Mohammed Abdille Hassan, a ruthless dervish in Somaliland during the early 1920s, and A History of East Africa, 1592–1902 (1995).”