This year the KET Scholarship Awards were presented in the Ura Academy and two KET trustees, Hugh Young and Bob Cook, travelled from the UK for the presentations. Hugh was accompanied by his wife Anne, and Donald MacLauchlan also came from Scotland to present the six scholarships funded by the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlander Association and the scholarship in memory of his own father who was the padre of the Queen’s Owns Cameron Highlanders at the battle.
Hugh, Bob, Donald and Anne had all been in Kohima before for scholarship presentations.
Representing The Kohima Educational Society was its new chairman, Dr Phyobemo Ngully (Bemo), Mr Pheluopfelie Kesiezie (Pfelie), the previous chairman and now a counsellor, Charles Chasie the KES President and Mhasisalie Solo (Salie) the office manager.
Salie had assembled a large team of helpers including his sisters, Aster, Dodi and Theja, and his girlfriend Sohisha who between them masterminded the introductions, photographs and refreshments.
This year 77 scholarships were awarded, of which 73 were presented at the award ceremony which started with introductions by Pfelie and Dr Ngully, a prayer by the pastor Keviyiekielie Linyii and a few words from each of the KET representatives. Bob Cook had brought with him a poppy to give to each scholar and explained the significance of these. He had also taken with him a framed photograph of Capt Fred Arnot Taylor, a veteran of the battle and a relation of his wife’s.
Bob has sponsored the Taylor Scholarship and he presented the framed photograph to the student who was awarded the scholarship.
The ceremony was very well organised by Salie and his helpers and nearly all the scholars were dressed in traditional Naga dress. Hugh, Bob and Donald took turns to present the scholarships with the scholars being called forward in turn. Immediately after each scholar had been presented with his/her award they had there photograph taken and at the end of proceedings they wrote the first letter to their sponsor. Some of these letters are really moving and will not only encourage current sponsors to continue their support but do much to attract new sponsorship.
Of the 4 scholars who were unable to be there, one was presented with his award by Hugh in Mokokchung en route to Pangsha (Jakjemsowa Ao sponsored by The Rotary Club of West Wirral) and two in Pangsha after the inauguration ceremony. The 4th scholar received his award in Kohima from Salie.
This year there were some 150 applications for scholarships which is an indication of how valued and sought after the sponsorship is.
Clearly, these awards play an important part in the in the Nagaland education system and are greatly appreciated by the scholars, their schools and their teachers.
Report by Hugh Young