FIRST of all I have some apologies - The date for the M'dalas meeting was incorrectly included for July and if this inconvenienced anyone, I am sorry.
Remember the M'dalas meeting is the third Thursday of each month.
The second apology is to Graham Blick or more correctly Fleur. Due to a misunderstanding the profile in last month's edition of committee members listed Graham being married to Fleur Kneeholt (should have been Fleur nee Holt) - Sorry Fleur but we did have a chuckle at the committee meeting.
We have had some major moves in location. We will start with the important ones first.
THE PUB NIGHT. The next two months - first Friday of each month (7th in August, 4th in September) will be held at ANZAC Club St. George's Terrace. Committee meetings are to be held at Water Corporation Engineering Station & Arboriculture Specialist Centre, Underwood / Grovedale roads, Jolimont.
And now for the thanks. Thank you Dennis Hoyes for providing me articles and letters for publication. Thank you to the contributors and donations to the quiz night.
Zebra's winters dinner - August 22nd . 50 seats only . $26 special menu. Bookings to be sent to Administrator to confirm bookings and payment must be received 1 week prior.
No function has been arranged for September but the M'dalas have a wildflower tour organized for the 3rd September. A Houghtons BBQ (Braai) or should it be Braai (BBQ) has been arranged for October 18th.
Thank you to everybody who helps the association keep going. Especially, I would like to say how much we appreciate the contributions from our two younger committee members Michelle and Stewart. They want to put some emphasis on the future - they'd like to provide an outlet for our young. Somewhere where they can meet in congenial surroundings.
Until now, there has been an emphasis on providing functions for like minded Rhodesians, generally older. There is an accepted undertone that we Rhodesians are being assimilated, dying out and generally forgotten. But are we? The whenwe phraseology is the worst self incrimination we have imposed on ourselves - I personally abhor it. We have to look to the future, embrace Australia or any other new homeland but we have our ideology, we have our own mutual background. Our young committee members want to keep it going. As another aspect to our organisation, please please please, send to me details of your children, so can organise an appropriate get-together.
Clem Barratt - Editor
MDALAS REPORTTHE M'Dalas Indaba of 18th June had an attendance of 43 and we were glad to welcome Jimmy Young and Arthur Hudson who have both been ill recently. Pat Forbes and Pat Bromfield have also been on the sick list and we are all very concerned about Dorothy Truran who is not at all well.
A Wild Flower tour is planned for Thursday 3rd September including morning tea and a picnic lunch. It is hoped that we will have a botanist on the coach with us.
Reports from Zimbabwe indicate that armed robberies continue to be a threat both in town and country. The proposal to cut the army strength by 50% will also put another 20,000 out of work. Tobacco prices continue to be below cost of production which is a major worry for the long term future of the tobacco industry.
Our members David and Margaret Robinson have just returned from a three week visit to China. At our June meeting Margaret gave our members an excellent and comprehensive account of their travels. The talk was well presented and covered aspects of life in China from 4,000 BC to the present day. The enormity of construction ranged from the Great Wall of China to the new dam on the Yangtse River where the flooded area will displace about 2 million villagers.
John Seward will soon be going off to Argentina, South Africa and Zimbabwe, so we anticipate an account of his travels in due course.
The meeting of 16th July resulted in an attendance of only 33 members. It was in fact a very cold morning and a number of people were on holiday or had other commitments. An excellent morning tea was provided by the ladies on duty and as usual members enjoyed time for social chat.. Denis Hoyes gave an update of conditions in Zimbabwe where the main concern is the "land grab." Landless peasants are now squatting in large numbers on white owned farms and it appears that authorities are doing very little to evict them.
DOUG. LYON, Chairman
Chaplin Old Boys/GirlsAnn Tibbits (senior) would like all Chaplin Old Boys and Girls to get in touch with her. As a committee member of the Old Chaplin Association, she is trying to get as many past pupils, teachers and other staff to attend the Reunion on the first Friday in February 2000 when a grand event will be staged in Harare. (100 years) This year about 120 former pupils and staff attended a gathering where a good time was had by all. Do get in touch with Ann at Box EH 131, Emerald Hill, Zimbabwe. Tel: 302295
Cup golfers putt to the test!THE sixth Africa Cup Tournament was held at Wembley on Sunday 14th June, and after a week of fairly constant rain it was a pleasure to play on a day of sunshine and light breezes.
A field of 34 enjoyed the day and the companionship of fellow southern Africans.
All 34 played individual stableford for the prizes on offer whilst three teams of 8 played for the trophy, the aggregate of the best six scores of the eight to count for a team total. We would like to thank most sincerely those players who donated prizes.
This year we did not really have the time to approach companies for sponsorship, however, just playing the game was reward enough for the majority.
Malawi regained the trophy with 229 points, followed by Rhodesia with 218 and the holders, South Africa, with a distant 172 points. The individual event was won by Doug Lawrence on 46 points (a more serious approach to handicaps will need to be taken in future ??), with Stuart Buchan and Aiden Hickey 2nd and 3rd on 43 points each. Other good scores which earned prizes were Steve Huckle and Ian "Hoppy" Anderson on 42 followed by Marcus Wood-Gush 41 and Eric NelI 40. For the record the first two Africa Cup tournaments were won by Rhodesia before the tri-nation series when Malawi started participating and won the next two events.
South Africa won the fifth event before Malawi again this year. The actual trophy is still missing so I think I will need to get out and arrange a replacement plus the necessary engraving before we hold the seventh competition. Keith Waddacor 18.6.98
African MovesANYONE yearning for the sounds of home need look no further than the centre of Perth this month.
The throbbing rhythms synonymous with southern Africa will reverberate through His Majesty's Theatre as the Vusa Dance Company presents what is described as "an explosive fusion of streetjive, tap, jazz, gumboot and traditional South African dance".
African Moves is returning to Australia for a four-city tour, beginning in Perth on August 17 and 18 and follows a sellout season at the 1997 Melbourne Festival. The Melbourne Sunday Age described the troupe as "extraordinary athletes, muscled, lean and infused with the explosive street culture of Soweto".
The company is led by co-artistic directors Debbie Rakusin and Mudanalo David Matemala. Both are from wildly different cultural and dance traditions - Rakusin from a privileged , middle class background trained in the classical Western style and Matemala from the thumping street culture of the black townships of Soweto.
African Moves delivers a performance "pulsating with passion, athleticism and grace". T.H.
N'yanga's Inn on RupuraraTHERE is nothing to put an edge on an appetite like a day in the mountains.
Having soaked almost forgotten muscles, tender after scrambling over rugged granite outcrops, in a deep hot bath, following a full day breathing fresh, slightly chilled air, still with a hint of the tang of the Indian Ocean about it; skin glowing from a golden sun in an unpolluted sky and having relaxed at a friendly bar, what better than an excellent dinner?
Under those circumstances, few meals could taste better than those served at Inn on Rupurara in the Nyanga mountains. The Inn ('rupurara' is allegedly a ChiManyika word meaning a bald-headed man, a reference to a very distinctive huge rock feature nearby), is one of the latest in the Inns of Zimbabwe chain making a triumphal march of progress down our eastern frontier. Before we proceed, I should come clean and declare my interest. I was a guest of directors and management at Rupurara, but from what I saw, heard, and experienced - and bearing in mind the excellent suppers served are from a fairly comprehensive table d'hote menu - I believe I received no different treatment from other guests.
It is, after all, very difficult to improve on superb!
The innkeeper, Jan Raath (no relation to the Harare-based reporter for the London Times of the same name) was behind the bar, serving drinks speedily and professionally when I joined fellow diners for pre-dinner snorts. The dinner party comprised Jan, photographer Alan Allen; Jason Driscoll, the Rupurara estates manager and his wife-the blushingly pregnant and just beginning to show it, Kim - plus Jason's under-strapper, Sean de Jaeger, and myself.
And a jolly group it was too. Having scrambled and climbed and slipped and skidded; been shown the intricacies of commercial trout production; tried our hands at fly casting; tracked spoor of leopard, hyena, and jackal and watched a pair of magnificent black eagles build a nest, between hunting dassies, we were as hungry as hunters. Drinks flowed in Trevor's Wine Bar (named after Trevor Craig, a previous estates manager killed in a car crash shortly before the hotel opened). It was very jovial party which finally got round to examining the magnificently presented menus.
All other guests were on coffee, liqueurs, and mints before we even established what the soup was. I think we all - with the exception of preggers Kim and Alan Allen, who eats like a bird - ploughed our way trencherman-like through almost everything on offer that first night. And that included a delightful starter: fruit and prawn platter with a light chilli dressing.
It was a superbly attractive example of almost nouvelle cuisine with large, plump, pink sea-fresh Mozambique shelled prawns nestling in a decorative surround of oranges, pears, bananas, grapes and peaches. The light chilli sauce was just that. Barely a suggestion of fiery flavour easily tempered by the fresh fruit.
'Two soups' were exactly as stated. The bowl appeared almost scientifically accurately divided in half and soups of differing flavours, textures and colours (tomato and celery) occupied their own half. Eventually, they mingled with a symphony of flavours. Both were really excellent; together, mixed, even better.
I had not intended to order poached eggs Burgundy style. There was a breakdown in communications and the dish arrived. I was glad of the error. A large farm fresh egg each had been poached in Burgundy wine, the egg served on a bed of lightly fried onions on top of a large slice of croutonised bread, the whole basted in the surplus wine-based liquid. Magnificent.
The dining room at Inn on Rupurara might be a little off-putting to casual visitors. Like at all Inns of Zimbabwe operations, it is sparkling, squeaky clean. Timber surfaces, antique and reproduction furniture are highly and lovingly polished. The silver service cutlery and decorative items of silver, brass, bronze, copper and pewter gleam. Glassware glistens. It could appear a bit out of place among the hiking boots, Colonial wide-brimmed hats, tartan shirts and webbing mainly seen during the day. At night, visitors abide by the smart/casual dress code. High in the mountains, where eagle and big cat rule the veld with harsh law of tooth and claw, beak and talon, exists a hotel which would not look out of place in the most sophisticated capital city. A dining room which would do justice to the most exclusive gentlemen's club.
There were three choices for main course: marinated chicken breast in a white wine sauce; grilled fillet of beef with Roquefort or creamy pepper sauce or fillet of kingklip 'Picasso' with nuts and pineapples. Alan had the steak and declared it "wonderful". Everyone else had fish which was a culinary triumph. The superbly tasty flesh of this truly excellent fish blended with crushed nuts and grilled juicy pineapple and melded magically. Vegetables were noisette potatoes, fried savoury rice and deliciously prepared cauliflower, gemsquash and carrots. The three of us drinking wine sampled an impudent bottle of the South African 1997 Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc, then another.
It had the typical light, dry crispy fruitiness to it. Two of us claimed we could detect more than a hint of a frivolous sparkling-wine type characteristic. Jan ordered it and we thoroughly enjoyed it. What I didn't realise was it was perhaps the top-of-the range of the Inn's imported white wines, costing a mere $265 a bottle. Puddings were a rich chocolate cake served with an orange sorbet or treacle tart with a brandy custard. I asked for half a portion of each, as did all the sweet-toothed foodies, immediately dubbing this 50/50 dish, perhaps unoriginally: Arcadia pudding.
After this gastronomic marathon, even I could not face a cheese board. Coffee and mints were served in the lounge. Had we been paying for the meal, it would have set us back $200, plus drinks. Dinner is included in the tariff along with breakfast and accommodation. The rate was $700 per person, per night, sharing and $850 single.
Rates were, however, due to be increased by 20% from 1 July. I should say that although not really a breakfast person, the spread laid on looked incredible.
A 'full English breakfast' such as few Englishmen have ever tasted included cereals, fresh fruit, fruit juices; kippered trout fillets; cold meats and cheeses; eggs, bacon, sausage, boerewors, tomatoes. Daily specials offered include liver, kidney, steak and French toast. Delicious home-baked rolls, scones and toast came with various sweet and savoury spreads, jams, marmalades, honey and lashings of tea or coffee.
Our second night's supper at Rupurara was every bit as good as the first. Alan and I again ate with Jan Raath. We were joined by Suzanne Clarke, on the staff of the group's nearby Pine Tree Inn.
We were not so ravenous at this meal. No one ordered chicken liver mousse with a tomato coulis, but it looked grand. We all thoroughly enjoyed a magnificent French onion soup with croutons. Someone had the aubergines Nimoise. (The egg- plant is cut across the section, the flesh scooped out, cubed, mixed with ham, parsley, cream and baked).
Alan had poached fillet of hake mornay which looked superb. The remaining three, roast duckling in white wine sauce with grapes. Vegetables were baked potatoes, lemon rice, mange tout peas and rather tempting gemsquash fritters.
The duckling also came with an unusual apple sauce (for a welcome change) tucked inside a decorative savoury pancake. We had one very acceptable delightfully chilled bottle of 1996 Nederburg rose ($130).
A rather sophisticated non-boarding school type bread-and-butter pudding and a pineapple mousse were both enjoyed tremendously. We all declined the cheese board (I wonder if it ever gets sampled?) but had coffee and mints in the lounge. I don't think the Inn on Rupurara has yet been graded by the tourism ministry and, in any case, I doubt whether the current inspectors have more than half a clue of what they are supposed to be looking for or grading.
The restaurant, at the end of June 1998, was worth at least four-and-a-half stars.
OBITUARY - Joan GarbettThe following obituary appeared in the Rhodesians Worldwide magazine.
A small piece of the history and heritage of Rhodesia was lost when Flame Lily Foundation member Joan Garbett died on 21 October 1997. She was perhaps better known to a generation of Rhodesians as "Walter Robin" - The Rhodesia Herald's and latterly, the Sunday Mail's Children's Mail columnist. Probably lesser known was the derivation of her pen-name; although the significance of 'Walter' remains undetermined, 'Robin' referred to Rhodesia's own robin, Swynnestons, named for Mr Frank Massy Swynnerton, a famous naturalist who lived and worked in Southern Rhodesia from circa 1900, discovering in the Chirinda Forest near Melsetter, 'his' robin.
This little bird with its distinctively sibilant call, is unique to Zimbabwe, and was chosen in about 1930 to be the symbol of the Walter Robin club, focused on junior newspaper readers, and still on the wing today.
Joan Power was born on 18 June 1909 near Pinetown in Natal. Brought up amid the strange world of British colonial South africa in a family of 5 children, she was educated at the Oakford Dominican Convent near Verulam, imbibing from school and home the traditional Roman Catholic faith which marked her life, and leaving as Head Girl in 1927. She lived in Durban and Pietermaritzburg, working in the newspaper world there until she accepted a challenging transfer to the then Salisbury at age 32 as a teleprinter operator.
Shortly thereafter Joan began her journalisic career, which immediately involved the column - writing that was to "make her name" until she handed over the Robin's nest 40 years later Retiring initially in Johannesburg, Joan Garbett moved to her final resting place among the South African capital city's Jacarandas in 1994. - Philip Garbett (son)
World Bank cash for Zimbabwe parksTHE Zimbabwean government and the World Bank have concluded negotiations for a multi- million-dollar rehabilitation project for the country's national parks, mines, environment and tourism minister, Simon Moyo, has disclosed.
Speaking in Victoria Falls, Moyo said the Government would get Z$1.2 billion (US$67 million) for the purpose. The project, to be implemented over the next six years, will begin in September.
Mugabe's outbursts expose record of secrecyRobert Mugabe has threatened to clamp down on the independent press in Zimbabwe after a series of embarrassing reports. Showing all the intolerance of a child found with its hands in the cookie jar and then not being believed when denying it, he decided to threaten to "shoot the messenger", rather than face the truth. But the non-Government media are not taking his bluster lying down. Here is the text of an editorial published by the Zimbabwe independent.
PRESIDENT Mugabe's threat to introduce measures to curb Press freedom should be seen more as a reflection of his anger at public exposure than as a serious challenge to media independence.
He has said much the same thing before and it is significant that he used the occasion a reception for parliamentarians on Monday night to attack MPs who refused to toe the party line.
You cannot go for a week without reading blatant lies printed in bold letters in order for the paper to sell," he told the gathering. Shall we allow this to continue? I say no.
Let the gutter Press take heed because we are not going to have this sort of journalism in this country.
Needless to say, his claim that the independent Press is telling "blatant lies was not supported by any evidence.
The only conclusion we can reach is that the president has been angered by stories disclosing that those around him have been caught with their hands in the national cookie jar.
That Mugabe presides over a corrupt and derelict regime is now taken as a matter of fact by the general public.
Foreign publications reflect this perception in shrill tones.
If anything, the local independent Press has been more restrained in its depiction of his wayward, nest-feathering administration, focusing more on particular instances of wrong-doing.
But we should not allow him to get away with the impression he can threaten us with impunity.
The damage to the country's standing by swaggering statements of this sort where the head of state claims he can punish critics by circumscribing their liberties appears to have been only too well grasped by those around him.
The deathly silence that followed his statement from people who only a few months ago might have been expected to climb on the bandwagon of newspaper-bashing illustrates the seismic shifts that have taken place in the political landscape.
Nobody wants to be associated with these sort of remarks any more! And his assertion that "we are not going to have this kind of journalism in this country invites the obvious question: who are "we"? The days when the president defined the rights of the Press are long-since past whatever fond notions he may have of restoring his dictatorship.
And it is about time that the media dealt in a more robust way with the issues we have tended to dance around in the past. How, for example, did Mugabe's family members become so rich so quickly? What properties do they own? What properties are owned by the government as distinct from the party or by Mugabe privately.
These distinctions have been deliberately blurred.
How was the president's wife able to amass the resources to build a mansion in Borrowdale and to acquire business interests? What qualifications does his brother-in-law have to represent the country in Canada? These are questions that would have been answered years ago in any self-respecting democracy.
But in Zimbabwe the president remains unaccountable and lashes out at those who seek to make him accountable, claiming that he wants to protect "the rights of individuals" meaning he wants to continue hiding what is of legitimate public interest.
After all, the president has not shown any particular concern about the rights of individuals hitherto! Make no mistake, the president's anger is directed chiefly at those publications such as the Zimbabwe Independent that have exposed the systematic looting of public funds by his immediate circle.
For years they got away with this as a supine Press politely declined to do its job. The consequences of that failure are evident around us today in rapidly declining living standards.
Now that we have a watchdog media prepared to expose misgovernance and the diversion of national resources to the upkeep of a political elite the president obviously feels uncomfortable.
And so he should.
He is responsible for the mess around him.
What steps did he take to stop the withdrawal of funds from the War Victims Compensation Fund by people like his brother-in-law before we blew the whistle?
What did he do about his own followers who were engaged in private arrangements with the Ministry of Public Construction to use funds set aside for low-cost homes to build their own mansions a scheme described in court as illegal and corrupt?
If Mugabe now finds himself in the unfamiliar position of being called to account for not acting to stop the rot he only has himself to blame. For far too long Mugabe has got away with blaming other people for the country's decline; for playing off one section of the community against another; for launching witch-hunts to deflect the public spotlight from his own failings; accusing everybody of telling "lies" when he is exposed as a hypocrite.
This dishonesty cannot go on.
President Mugabe has made himself the supreme arbiter of our national fortunes.
He has built a political empire around himself. Now he must start accepting the responsibility that goes with office.
That means accounting for how public funds are spent. It means opening up the books on his own household.
Members of ruling families who benefit from that status cannot turn around and claim the benefits of privacy.
Mugabe doesn't understand this.
That is essentially because he is finding it difficult to adjust to democratic requirements. But he should understand one thing about the Press.
In a society where there is no opposition to speak of because it has been suffocated at birth, the Press has a particular responsibility to insist that powerful rulers are scrutinised and that public resources are properly managed.
That must include answering questions put by the Press in an open and honest way instead of asserting that such questions should not be asked.
By bashing the Press because he resents exposure, Mugabe not only reveals himself as an old-style despot who is intolerant of free expression, he shows more clearly than any Press statement that he may have a great deal to hide.
Either way it is clear the national disease of non-transparency spreads from the top.
Indeed, the president's latest outburst shows exactly why Zimbabwe needs a free Press.
Financial bombshell at ZDIZIMBABWE Defence Industries, the country's sole arms manufacturer and trader, has been plunged into a crisis by the refusal of the Sri Lankan government to pay about $35 million for mortar bombs which disappeared en route to Colombo and the failure by the Democratic Republic of Congo to pay nearly $90 million for goods sold to that country.
So serious is the financial crisis at state-owned ZDI that workers in the company's production department at its factory at Alfida farm have been redeployed to start a gardening and poultry project. This came after management had considered an option to indefinitely showdown the factory due to the scarcity of funds to purchase raw materials.
The stand-off between ZDI and the Sri Lankan government had also soured relations between ZDI and a local merchant bank which funded ZDI's acquisition of components to assemble the 120mm mortar bombs. The mortar bombs were sourced by SDI from an Israeli company, LBG Military Supplies, through a facility extended to ZDI by the merchant bank.
The ship carrying the mortar bombs was reportedly hijacked in the Indian Ocean by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) who are fighting the Sri Lankan government for a separate homeland.
‘THE SPOILT CAKE’From the contributor.
I came across this poem in an old Rhodesian St Giles Rehabilitation Centre cookery book, it made me smile so I wondered if you might like it for the Bundu Times when you have a space.
THE SPOILT CAKE
Oh, Sixpence, inindaba wena b'lalili lo cake?
Mena fuga lapa oven k'lo enza gahle bake.
Manji, bona sterek mortu - la zonke enza black.
Hamba tata s'tupa, mena niga wena sack.
I spoke in grief and anger but naught, alas, was gained,
And local race relations for a time were somewhat strained,
But I soon forgave old Sixpence who is worth more than his pay,
A trusty old retainer who's been with us many a day.
MADGE COLEMAN, Salisbury
Great to be there, great to be back!PETER HAGELTHORN, the Editor of Rhodesians Worldwide, went to Zimbabwe on holiday recently. In a letter to Carol Hoyes, he gave his view on the state of play there. Here is part of that letter.
WE TOOK a good look at Zim from an outsider's point of view, and spoke to as many as we could, both black and white. On the plus side the country is looking great after yet another good rainy season, and the holiday resorts we went to were as good as ever (the bream at Kariba are biting again, we caught hundreds and feasted on bream fillets).
Bulawayo was very clean and quiet (the opposite to Harare), but most of the smaller towns are bustling, crowded market stalls. Unlike South Africa one has nothing to fear from car jackings, muggings and murders (although the petty crime rate is still quite high) as long as you keep clear of central Harare, and the black man is still so much more pleasant than his SA counterpart.
However, there is plenty for the down side. Mugabe has wrecked the economy to such an extent that we did not meet one person who was positive about the future.
The blacks are openly saying the nasty old Bob has had his day, and they are also very restive - many of them just cannot pay for the bare necessities.
As you know ZCTU-orchestrated protests/riots have taken place, and one gets the feeling there is a lot more to come. Telephones are always breaking down, it takes many months for any Government office to action anything at alll and the whole place is so obviously third world that it makes one dreadfully sad. For the first time ever we did not meet one white who believed there was any productive future in the country. Every single person we talked to was adamant that their kids/young Zimbabweans should seek a life elsewhere.
The simmering unrest, the economy, the land issue, and very bad government are all combining to make folk realise that Zim is not going to get better, but much, much worse.
Still, we had an incredible time, thanks to wealthy relatives, and we can recommend to anyone the new resort, The Lodge at the Ancient City, which is an Alan Elliot brainchild near the Zimbabwe Ruins. We loved our week at Kariba (at Charara and on a houseboat), we marvelled again at Leopard Rock (although the service there was poor), we had a brilliant time with the white community in Gwanda (about 20 families who combine, through the social club and their own homes, to make one happy family), we totally relaxed at Msuna, and enjoyed our day at the Falls (but, my goodness, is that town just a commercialised tourist trap!), and Bulawayo is gloriously caught in a time warp.
We got 'lost' in another little world on a farm at Chakari, we delighted in driving the length and breadth of the country (the roads between towns are still pretty good), and I just couldn't get enough of the smells of home, the birds, the animalsl and the sky.
All that said, it was a pleasure to come back to England; I may be Rhodesian through and through, but I am not a Zimbabwean (I hope that is not too Irish!).