Founding Fathers

DR. KOFI GEORGE KONUAH: he was a co-founder and first Principal of the Accra Academy. He was born in Kumasi on 19th. August, 1904. His father was Mr. Alex Konuah, an assistant treasury officer in the Colonial Service. He attended Government School in Cape Coast from 1910 to 1914 and transferred to Government School, Accra in 1915 and completed in 1919. He was enrolled at Wesleyan Boys’ High School, Freetown, in 1920. He gained admission to Fourah Bay College in 1925 and graduated with Bachelor of Arts(B.A.) in 1928.

K.G. Konuah returned to Ghana(then Gold Coast) after his graduation and taught for a year at Christ Church Grammar School, Accra and also at Achimota School for six month before resigning to join his colleagues-Messrs. Halm-Addo, Alema and Awuletey to found the Accra Academy on Monday, 20th. July, 1931.

He was awarded British Council bursary to study for a Diploma in Education at the University of London’s Institute of Education from September 1946 to July 1946.

He was appointed as the second member of the Public Service Commission in 1952 and in 1969 made the Chairman of the Audit Service Board. He retired from the Civil Service in 1974.

K.G. Konuah served his country in many other positions of responsibility and trust as follows:

i) Chairman Peoples’ Educational Association in the early 1940s;

ii) Member of Sir John Maude’s Health Commission-1952;

iii) Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Accra Academy-1954 to 1967;

iv) Chairman of the Governing Council of Institute of Public Administration, Greenhill(GIMPA)-1962 to 1969

v) First Chairman of Ghana Mental Health Association;

vi) Chairman of Society of Friends of Lepers(now Ghana Society for the Relief and Rehabilitation of Lepers)

vii) Member of Presidential Commission which performed the duties of the President during his absence-1964.

viii) Member of political Committee and National Advisory Committee set up by National Liberation Council after the 1966 coup’etat.

Dr. K. G. Konuah’s services to his country earned him several awards and honours such as O.B.E in 1956, C.B. in 1960 and Grand Medal in 1968. In 1963, the University of Ghana conferred an honorary Doctorate degree on him.

He was married to Mrs. Janet Konuah with whom he had nine children-four sons and five daughters. Two of his sons and one of the daughters are medical officers

GOTFRIED NARKU ALEMA: Mr. G.N. Alema was born on 28th. August, 1902 at Osu. His parents were Mr. James Nortei Alema and Mrs. Adelaide Afua Alema. His father was a teacher but later became a Treasury Clerk.

His father placed him under the guardianship of Mr. Christopher Hesse, a teacher of the Basel Mission Junior School, Salem, Osu. G.N. Alema’s father in 1913, obtained admission for him at Church Missionary Society Grammar School in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He subsequently matriculated at Fourah Bay College and by 1923 he had obtained the intermediate B.A. degree of the university of Durham.

His strong desire and passion for science compelled him to seek admission to Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, in 1925 to study Agriculture. He graduated with distinction in 1928 from the School of Rural Economy.

G.N. Alema’s inability to secure a job with the Department of Agriculture forced him to take over the management and development of his father’s cocoa plantation at Kraboa-Coaltar.

In spite of his pre-occupation with his business, he found time pursue other interests. He was one of the four enlightened young scholars of Accra who took the momentous decision to found the Accra Academy. The funds which he contributed from his own resources enabled the school to survive the first eight years. Apart from the financial sacrifices he made towards the establishment of the Accra Academy, he gave its students the benefit of his background; for besides being co-founder and member of the Board of Control he was a member of the original teaching staff. His farm on the Accra-Nsawam road became venue for practical lessons in agriculture for his students. G.N. Alema maintained his interest in the education of the young and for some time after giving up his teaching job at the Accra Academy he taught at Achimota School on part-time basis.

G.N. Alema represented the Adabraka Ward on the Accra Town Council for ten years from 1944 to 1954. He also formed a ‘Thrift Society’ in Accra to encourage frugality in his people. The society’s activities brought him to the notice of the re-organized Post Office Savings Bank, as well as the Rent Assessment and Control Board. He was also appointed on contract as General Manager of Co-operative Wholesale Society.

G.N. Alema died on 27th. May, 1973 after a short illness and left behind a son and three daughters.

JAMES ACQUAYE HALM-ADDO: James Acquaye Halm-Addo was born on 17th. November, 1902 at James Town to Mr. John Thomas Allotey Addo alias Owura John and Madam Adjoa Halm. His father was one to time Secretary to Nii Anege Akwei I, Sempe Mantse.

He was educated at Wesley School, Accra, being sent to Freetown, Sierra Leone by his maternal uncle, the late Mr. Albert Thomas Halm, a successful and wealthy businessman. Halm-Adoo was enrolled at the Wesley Boys’ High School, Freetown, in 1920 together with his cousin W.M.Q. Halm and K.G. Konuah. In 1923, he returned to Accra after obtaining the Senior Cambridge Certificate had Diploma in Education from the University of London.

Between 1923 and 1927, Halm-Addo worked as Secretary/Accountant for his maternal uncle’s rapidly expanding Transport Business. However, his uncle died in 1927 which compelled him to establish his own business which he ran till 1929. He abandoned his business and took up a teaching appointment at Christ Church Grammar School. It was at this school that he decided to co-partner his colleagues to establish the Accra Academy in 1931.

Mr. James Acquaye Halm-Addo tremendously contributed to the success of the Accra Academy in three ways:

First, he guaranteed a portion of the private capital which sustained the school during the first eight and half years of its existence;

Secondly, as a member of the Board from 1931 to 1962 he was actively involved in formulation of school policy, in drafting of the constitution of the Board of Governors and in the negotiations with the C.P.P. Government for the construction of the school’s new buildings at Bubiashie.

Thirdly, he was the only one of the four founder and six foundation teachers to have served the school for 42 continuous years. He several subjects including Bible Knowledge, English and Mathematics between 1931 and 1973 with great competence and expertness. So satisfied was the Board with his work and experience that after his official retirement on 30th. April, 1962, it was unanimously resolved to re-engage him to teach on the basis of renewable annual contracts with effect from the 1961/63 academic year.

Mr. Halm-Addo consequently continued to work for the school until August 1973. During the latter part this period, he volunteered his services and accepted no remuneration.

He was a keen sportsman and played active role in the re-organization of the Ghana Football Association in 1958. He was an excellent tennis player and a horse-racing enthusiast and for several years, he served as a Steward for the Accra Turf Club and became Chairman of its classification and Handicapping Committee.

He was imbued with philanthropy, and was always ready to assist the needy. His kindness and sympathetic understanding of students’ problems won him the respect of all those who passed through his hands. Outside the classroom, he performed useful services for the community: he served on the Film Censorship Board and Prisons’ Visiting Committee.

He died on 12th. October, 1979, his wife Ellen Brunger having pre-deceased him. He was survived by six children.

SAMUEL NEILS AWULETEY: Mr. Samule Neils Awuletey was born at Christiansborg on 22nd. November, 1905 to Mr. Emmanuel James Lartey Awuletey, a blacksmith and cocoa broker and Mrs. Caroline Botswe Awuletey both of Osu(Christiansborg).

He began his elementary school education at Apasare Basel Mission Primary School and transferred to the Christiansborg Basel Mission Middle School(Salem) in 1918. He passed his standard seven examination in 1921. The following year, he left for Freetown in pursuit of higher education and entered the Church Missionary Society Grammar School. Four years later, he gained admission to Fourah Bay College where he obtained the intermediate B.A. degree of the University of Durham.

Mr. S.N. Awuletey returned to Ghana(Gold Coast) in July 1930 and visited the Christ Church grammar School where Messrs. Halm-Addo and S.S.Sackey were teaching and he initiated a discussion on the desirability of Sierra Leone-educated scholars founding a secondary school of their own. The idea was welcomed by K.G. Konuah, G.N.Alema and Halm-Addo and the outcome was the Accra Academy.

Mr. Awuletey taught Geography, Shorthand and Book-Keeping and he succeeded in arousing students’ interest in these subjects. He had to resign from the Board and Teaching Staff of the Accra Academy when his father died in 1943and went into private business.

His major interests were tennis and horse-racing. He was a Steward of the Turf Club for many years and even in old age he never missed a single event. His last attendance was at the Easter Race meeting held on 31st. May, 1980. He died on 2nd. June, 1980 after forty-two years standing.