We are grateful to Susanna Mills for her sharing these photographs of Que Que today (Christmas 2006) and her memories of the opening of the mosque.
For many years my mother, Betty Morrison, taught at Russel School, a small Indian and Coloured school near the roundabout which sent you on your way to Salisbury. The Muslim community scrimped and saved for many years and then built the most magnificent Mosque on some prime real estate across the road from the school. Nestled amongst the old established palm trees of the previous mosque, it was the first new building to be constructed in Que Que during the difficult years under sanctions in the 1970's. On completion, compared to the rest of the town, it looked like it came from another planet. It was said to have the
biggest dome in the Southern Hemisphere, which was finished in an opulent matt gold.
Mum was years ahead of her time in terms of race relations and tolerance. She arranged for her Standard 4 Russell School class (who at that stage were all around 10 years old, just like me) to visit the Mosque so that they could learn about another religion, other than Christianity. I was included, and I was really excited to have a day off from Que Que Junior, since the only church I had ever been in at that stage was our austere Presbyterian church, St. Stephens, up near the Globe and Phoenix mine. If the mosque was beautiful outside, it was breathtaking inside. Smelling of new paint and cement, the mosque was cool and tranquil. We all giggled when we had to take our school shoes off and walk around in our socks. We sat on mats underneath the soaring dome, listening to a
priest called an Imman tell us about something called Islam and a sort of bible called a Koran. He then showed us around the building, and most intriguing was seeing that that men and women had to worship
separately. Little did I realize on that day, when I said goodbye to my new friends in mum's class with names like Naran, Bahardur and Miya- that they would soon become my high school classmates.
RHODESIAN MEMORIES II - The Book
The response to the first book of Rhodesian Memories has been great. Due to popular demand we now want to start compiling the second in the series.
We would like to encourage anyone who has a story, memory or other item that would help keep the memory alive to contact us for further details.