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Name: TENNENT, Betty O'Rorke, Mrs

Nee: dau of Athol Alfred Stanton

Birth Date: 11.8.1908 Molo

First Date: 1908

Last Date: 1964

Profession: Farmer. An excellent needlewoman and made all her children's clothes. In later years she taught a group of Kikuyu women on the farm to sew. The Kikuyu called her 'Nyaki Hunya' (the hard worker)

Area: Molo, Mau Summit, Lumbwa

Married: In the old wooden church at Lumbwa 19 Apr 1928 Maurice Battiscombe Tennent (1894-1982)

Children: Jean (Abbott); Gillian Kathilda (1930 Lumbwa); Marion (Johnson) (11 Aug 1908 Nairobi); Barbara (Joubert)

Book Reference: Gillett, EAWL, Curtis

School: At home and The Ladies' College, Cheltenham

General Information:

'... She was known locally by the Kipsigis as 'Chenwach' (shorty).'
Extract from a letter from Mrs M. Johnson (daughter).                       '....... I [her mother] was born in Nairobi on 11th August 1908 - in a small corrugated iron shanti down Duke Street. At my christening somehow the 'O' in O'Rorke was a mistake, for it was in SA that one of my great uncles, James Rorke, built the famous drift, known as Rorke's drift. He had a small parcel of land on which he built a little stone house and traded with the Zulu but he died 4 years before the Battle. Whilst my entry into this world was made in Nairobi, I believe that I was the first child to be born to white settlers between Nakuru and Kisumu. ..... In 1920 at the age of 11 years, I was sent to England to be educated. ..... We sailed on the 'Grantully Castle' in March 1920 - the first ship after WW1 to take women and children. We disembarked at Marseilles and went overland by train, crossed the Channel by ferry, and arrived at Tilbury. .... went to the Cheltenham Ladies College.
In 1925 my mother, who was very ill at the time, came to England and I left the College and, together with my mother, we returned to Kenya Colony in 1926. A year or two later I met and married Maurice B. Tennent who had come out to Kenya in 1926 and was then farming at Lumbwa ...... About 1932 we sold the farm at Lumbwa and moved to Jamji tea company (between Kericho and Sotik) but  returned again to Lumbwa some time later when we bought the farm "Kapkegora" on which we were to remain until Uhuru in 1963. The meaning of the name Kapkegora:- Kap - over there; Kegora - the old man (bagora a walking stick) - so - the man with the walking stick lived over yonder (Kipsigis). .......... we had four daughters - all born and educated in Kenya. Jean (Abbott)  Gillian (Tennent)  Marion (Johnson)  Barbara (Joubert) ........ After our farm in Kenya was sold to the Government and Uhuru had come ..... my parents, who were by that time living in a house we had built for them on the farm, decided to return to SA to my father's home town of Grahamstown but found a place at Bathurst on the way to Port Alfred - one might say to the happy hunting grounds of his youth. My husband and I followed them and were there for 6 years. ......'            
Curtis - p. 105 - 'Memories of Molo and Lumbwa' by Mrs Betty Tennent ' ...... Powys Cobb wanted me to be christened Moloene. He gave me a silver napkin ring which I still have. ..... While my father was working for Major Grogan he built the railway trolley track from Mau Summit to Maji Mazuri and Major Grogan's sawmills. He also built the dams at Turi ............ Maurice Tennent came out in 1926 to farm further  up the line at Lumbwa (now Kipkelion). He and I were married in 1928 at the little wood and iron church near the Police Station ......... Chepsioni, our Lumbwa farm. ....….

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