THEY may have travelled over 3,000 miles to get to Gordon’s in Woking but for students from Khartoum International Community School (KICS) in Sudan, it was home from home.
For buildings and boarding houses (both residential and day) at the school in West End are named after places associated with General Charles Gordon of Khartoum. So staff and students from KICS helped plant a commemorative tree outside Sudan (the Science block) in the shadow of the Nile (the Maths block).
The visitors also seized the opportunity to view the Camel Statue at Gordon’s, which graced the streets of Khartoum from 1902 until Sudan’s Independence in 1958.
The two schools have been linked since last year when students from Gordon’s along with staff and Trustee Tom Gordon, General Gordon’s great nephew, made a visit to them in Khartoum.
The visit, believed to be the first to the African city by a European school, proved irresistible as Gordon’s shares a unique history and connection to Khartoum. The School is the national memorial to the British war hero and philanthropist General Charles Gordon and was founded following his death in Khartoum in 1885.
The two schools were determined to develop and maintain links and this week Gordon’s hosted 17 students from KICS together with two members of staff.
Students from Khartoum stayed at the boarding school and in the homes of day boarders.
While last year Gordon’s students took a boat trip along the Nile; viewed the Meroe Pyramids; the National Republic Museum; camped in the desert and enjoyed tea at the British Embassy, the KICS students sampled English tourism. In London they visited the Tate Modern and Borough Market before heading to St Paul’s Cathedral and the tomb of General Gordon. They also made a trip to Portsmouth and Hampton Court Palace.
Gordon’s School Bursar, Susan Meikle said: “We were delighted to host our friends from KICS and it’s been wonderful to reconnect with them. We look forward to building on the links made in Sudan last year and this year in England.”