Just a couple of the many super memories I have of my life and childhood in Rhodesia.
My father was a Civil Engineers whose work took him and us all over the Federation. One such place was on Kariba Dam. He worked for Richard Costains in those days.
In the early days there was NOTHING as the surveys had to be done, equipment bought in etc.While the infrastructure was being put in, the families lived in tents - which progressed to caravans, then prefabs with extra 'pole and dagga' lean too's added for more space. Before the luxury of real houses !!
Us children were flown to and from boarding school in Salisbury home each holiday and for half terms. My best memory of those flights was in this tiny aeroplane (can't remember the type but probably a DC 3 !), five of us, aged from 5 to 10, from different families and schools being flown by a super chap called Arthur Meecham - the Costain pilot. Once out of the city area and well over the bush he used to fly really low so we could 'spot the animals'. We never counted less than 10 species and sometimes far far more. These flights were memorable as you can imagine. Imagine our thrill spotting wonderful wild life from a small plane just above - or so it seemed - the tree tops. Magical.
On one of these holidays, I (aged 8) and my cousins were having breakfast in our dining room which was a pole and dagga added on room with one side open to the valley below. The table set with the normal large bowl of tropical fruit in the centre, my two cousins facing the view, me with my back to it when suddenly the faces of my cousins froze - I saw two hairy black arms come either side of me, sitting dead still and scared stiff, I watched as these arms calmly lifted the fruit dish, up and over my head . Only then did I turn to see this gigantic baboon rush off down the hill to sit on a copy some distance away and , with his mates, tuck into our fruit. WOW !!! Screaming for mum and cookie, who rushed out to see what the fuss was about, only to all collapse with laughter at the audacity ( and relief I'm sure !!) of these animals.
I wonder about life in the so called civilised world....young children are unlikely to ever experience the dangers and fun of pioneer type life. They are 'protected ' ?? from it all by rules and regs....What a shame for us all.
Annette Crossley (Cowderoy) now living in beautiful France.
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Hello My Rhodesian Friends
I had the privilege of attending a small school, opposite to Prince Edward in Salisbury, from 1954 to 1958. For those who knew this school or attended it was the typical Fairy school, where we given a small glass bottle of milk, every morning before the start of school, with all these years my system changed and I cant drink fresh milk, but when I touch milk, my sense and smell brings me memories of RHODESIA!
What a country, with fabulous human beings, that where forced to leave, for the Majority to destroy! I am not a politician but my views on who should rule is very simple" ONLY COMPETENT HUMAN BEINGS SHOULD GOVERN OR BE IN THE GOVERNMENT" NOT MAJORITY RULE! I cant see one country in Africa that went trough the process of independence or the last one South Africa that went through the process of democracy to a majority rule where the population benefited, and to me it had to be over 50% and I think the results are very poor in the 10 to 15%! So why did the majority lose?
For those who attended Selborne School with me there are two colleagues of mine whom I will never forget their names - Daphney Bell, Brian Williams.
Good luck to all the RHODESIANS.
I grew and flourished in a tawny golden bowl
Of Africa, among ramparts of tumbled granite rocks,
Where antelope passed in painted frieze
Under a pale bleached sky, eagles floating,
A sky that turned torrid and flaming at day’s end,
Then filled with pinpricks of glacial light;
The Southern Cross spread constant across the sky
As the world turned childhood slow in the indigo night.
I tumbled breathless, tear-streaked and dusty,
From rough coat, bony bongolo/donkeys,
Feet pricked by paper thorns, devil thorns,
Arms scratched and bare - never thought to wear shoes.
Africa tripped me over, thumped me, loved me,
Washed me in warm brown flowing rivers,
Sandbars rising, sinking, slow windmill
Turning, spinning, tangling my heart,
Caught for all time in the wait-a-bit thorns.
I will never be free, though the grey loerie
Calls ‘Go ‘way, go ‘way’, and I did.
Now I return plump and well-groomed,
Shot through space in a winged vacuum,
Decanted into soft-seat insulated car
That glides along smooth highways,
Past/through the once loved bush. I touch fingers
To cool glass, and there is my Africa,
Like a shop window, packaged, televised,
Sanitized, and things will never be the same.