Prestatyn postman returns to Africa to spread joy

Reporter:

Suzanne Jordan

A RETIRED postman has been out in Africa spreading joy with gifts of toys, pens, jumpers, tennis balls and 150 toothbrushes.

Ron Cavie, 68, also helped build a new classroom and wall when visiting St Ronnie’s Academy in Mombasa, Kenya.

Ron, from Prestatyn, founded the school, which opened its doors with just nine pupils in January 2013.

It is hoped it will be accommodating 150 children in the new year.

The father of three and grandfather of one said: “I arrived in Mombasa on October 27 and my first day back at school was just ‘wow!’

“It was an amazing reaction. All the children went wild shouting ‘jambo (hello) Ronnie’.

“We put all the gifts on desks. We also had three jumpers for the little children. It was great to see all their happy faces.

“We had a party for my arrival and Lilly Pendo’s birthday, who is the headteacher.”

Ron, whose CV includes not just his postal career but also working as an entertainment host for holiday company First Choice, helped found St Ronnie’s Academy after striking up a friendship with Lilly – then a teacher at the Little Angels school in the village of Shanzu – while out in Kenya in 2012.

Little Angels was becoming overcrowded. Ron offered his assistance and he and Lilly found a building about a mile away, which they transformed into St Ronnie’s Academy.

Ron has fundraised tirelessly over the years. He has visited the school six times since it opened.

“This time round, we hosted a ‘graduation’ day,” he said.

“This was for the children who came to the school three years ago.

“The pupils had caps and gowns and were given certificates and all the other children were given prizes for their hard work throughout the year. More than 100 parents came.

“Lilly was so proud. It all came off so well but she was so nervous as it was her first one.”

The school has now closed for the Christmas holidays and reopens on January 9.

A new classroom has been built and Ron and Lilly hope to purchase some land next to the school in the future to enable them to extend the school even further.

Ron said: “We had to put in two more windows, redo the floor, painted and fit out desks.

“We will now have room for another 20 pupils in the new year.”

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