Author: Peter Martey Agbeko (APSU ‘80)
St. Augustine’s College, Cape Coast (Augusco), was established in 1930 at Amissano, a small town in the Central Region.
But opening of the College in Cape Coast, was on Tuesday, January 22, 1936. And it began with one hundred and forty-three (143) students. The students arrived from all parts of the Gold Coast and were warmly received by the Principal, Rev. Fr. M.B. Kelly.
Since then, thousands of students have passed through this trail-blazing Catholic second cycle school.
Augusco folklore has it that two of the greatest minds (academically) to don the green shirt and later, the blue shirt, as sixth formers, are seniors Maurice Brunner and Prof. Herbert Graves Winful, both of the class of 1969.
At the time, Brunner was School Prefect and Winful, Prefect of Kelly House.
Aside their regular academic stuff, Brunner, was an athlete. He competed in the 400 metres and a couple of the long-distance races.
His counterpart, Winful, gravitated towards music. He loved to play the piano, and still does. He also edited the college magazine – The Augustinian.
Prof. Herbert Winful (left), with Peter Martey Agbeko
Maurice Brunner (left), with Peter Martey Agbeko
Agian, Augusco folklore, is replete with stories of how these two gentlemen dominated the prize and awards ceremonies, by picking up all the prizes on offer.
The pair scored “Eight ones”, in all their subjects at the GCE O-Level and “Four A’s” in their Advanced Level exams.
Newspaper columnist, Hannis Haffar, notes that at the time, “this achievement was unprecedented and so the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) sent investigators to St. Augustine’s to make sure there was nothing fishy going on!”
I didn’t meet them at Augusco, but because of my active involvement in APSU affairs, I’ve had the privilege of meeting and spending quality time with both of them on separate occasions.
In the case of Winful, I even had the opportunity to visit him at home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Thanks to my good friend, Prof. Kwasi Ampene.
Brunner and Winful, are both true gentlemen, in every sense of the word. No wonder, they became prefects in their day.
Prof. Herbert Winful
Today, they’re both highly successful individuals in their respective fields. Brunner, for many years, was at the Bern University of Applied Sciences, Architecture, Wood, and Civil Engineering. He is resident in Switzerland.
Winful, is an award-winning Professor of Engineering at the University of Michigan. He is an alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Here’s my prayer: that Augusco will be blessed with more Brunners and Winful’s in the coming years. With such calibre of human resource, competing for honours in exams and quizzes is almost a given.
In 7 years, my Alma mater will celebrate its centenary. Wouldn’t it be super if by then, we’d have bagged a couple more of the NSMQ trophies and other honours?
As for me, I know how neatly I’d package and disseminate any such good news. This is where my otherwise good friends from the other schools get tired of me. But truth be told, that’s when I step up my game.