Who We Are?
Ever since God created the universe with a declarative statement “Let there be…” and it was, so have men followed suit to declare things into being. SO, two weeks into his arrival in the then Gold Coast, the founder and first principal of Accra High School, Rev. James Thomas Roberts, declared; “Let a school be created out of nothing!” and Lo, out of nothing emerged Accra High School on Saturday, 17th August, 1923 after the founder arrived from the Freetown, Sierra Leone, on 2nd August, 1923 by sea on the vessel Wahehe.
Have you ever heard of a school that has been founded so swiftly and with certainty and with faith? Have you ever heard of a school founded within two weeks by a complete stranger in a new land? None that I know of!
The School that started with eight students in the house of DS Quarcoopome’s residence at the Beach Road is now the school whose 90th birthday we are celebrating with over 1800 students.
The founder of Accra High School, Rev. James Thomas Roberts was born on the 4th of December, 1871 at Freetown, Seirra Leone. He was a minister of the Wesleyan Boys’ High School.
On his arrival to the Gold Coast, C. A Vanderpuye, of Derby works, welcomed him to his house and gave him the footing needed for the visionary work. Along came other nationalists and enlightened men of the Gold Coast, who pushed him on the pedestal from where he stood to shed the light of knowledge on a nation still slumbering in the twilight of self-awareness.
Lawyers Akillakpa Sawyer, EC Quist, J. Glover Addo, O.B.E and H. Francisco Ribiero, S.O Akiwumi; Messrs L Addo Vandapuye, John Buckman, MBE, Dr F.V Nanka-Bruce, OBE, JD Garshong, Charles Kojo Bruce and A.J. Ocansey.
Ahisco was co-educational school, showing that the Founder valued girl education in those days. With increase in the student intake, the school moved from Beach Road to eventually settle at Aayalolo, Accra Central, in a modern building designed by John Buckman, a pjilanthropist and friend of the school. The school was absorbed in to the public stream in 1952.
Accra High School was the first secondary school in Eastern Province of Gold Coast. It was the only school then with a school magazine to spread intellectual light in to community. The only school with a school motto “Redimentes Opportunitatem” which translates (Make Hay while the sun shines), a song on the same theme, written by Rev. Roberts who designed the school crest, and also chose the school uniform; black and white.
The School won the attention of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, when on one occasion, they sang with such virtuosity he rewarded the school with 9 hectares of land at North Ridge, the present location of the school.
Among the stalwarts whose teaching genius produced the early trail blazers of scholarship in the Gold Coast were the Roberts like L.R Roberts, R. H Roberts and Elsie Roberts, R. A. Akrong, WT Anaman, R.O Attram, F.W Ocansey (Ooo Cee) and others. They were multi-talented, dedicated, humble, and tireless. We are most proud of them.
At the ripe of 81, Rev. Roberts retired as principal of the school. W. F COnton, another Seirra Leoneam led from 1952 to 1956; then P.O Sanful Snr. from 1956 to 1966, then A.N.B Andrews form 1966 to 1976. It was under Andrews that the school mobed to the new site on 22nd September, 1967.
Dr. Essah acted as head from 1976-1977, then P.O Sanful Njr. From 1977 to 1987, then E. B. DOgbe from 1999 to 2001, K. Kissiedu from 2001 to 2006, and Isaac Ohemeng Gyebi from 2016 to 2012, the Mrs. Betty Aduhene-Chinbuah from 2021 to 2017, then Mr. Kobina Baidoo from 2017 to 2020. Then Rev. Mrs Lydia Anim-Nketia, the current Headmistress assumed office to date.
Accra High School of today is a richly resourced school offering General Science, General Arts, Visual Arts, Technical, Business and Vocational Studies.
“Names does not matter much, what matters is character, and this is what Rev. Roberts said to all Ghanaians.
“Who can estimate the worth of character? It is a man’s most sacred treasure. Character is inestimable and its cultivation is life’s crowning task. The end for which we are sent into the world is not primarily to do good but to be good. Doing is subservient to being. When we are good, we shall of necessity do good. To build character in accordance with God’s will them is life’s crowning task and on the fulfilment of the task depends on our reward.
(The value of Character, 1963)