THIS is our last month at the Commonwealth Club and the Committee are actively seeking a venue for Committee meeting and Pub Nights. If anybody has a suggestion please contact Doug Capper or myself. The Committee have been working hard at arranging forthcoming events with quiz nights, bowling nights, dinners, BBQ’s all coming up. The last quiz night held at Kastelbets was a big success so please mark 6th June in your diary.
If anyone out there has items which we can use for prizes in the quiz night please contact Doug Capper, Stewart Milne or myself. The get together at Blarney Castle was a big success, with 28 members enjoying themselves from 7:30pm to midnight. The M'dalas have also been very active and you can catch up with what they've been up to in the Mdalas Report.
The big event for the year will be the 20-year Anniversary Dinner Dance, to be held on November 21. Exact details have to be finalised but it is likely to be held at an old house( inside Kings Park) with possibly a spit roast dinner. In addition Stewart Milne and Michelle Gilmour are compiling a special 20-year anniversary edition of the Bundu Times, If anyone has any photos, articles etc., suitable please contact Stewart or Michelle.
I have received a very nice letter from Eulalia Hands which has been published in this edition. This is a member newsletter and contributions such as Eulalia’s are very welcome. Thank you so much Eulalia.
I have also included details of further books written by Rhodesians which I believe you will find very interesting. Photographs and a small narration of your committee have been included.
The club committee has done a good job but continued support is always required - new members, new advertisements and attendance functions.
Clem Barratt - Editor
MDALAS REPORTMEETINGS of M’dalas during March and April were well supported with an attendance of nearly 50 including a few visitors. Concern was expressed for those on the sick list and it was noted that Pat and John Nicholson are now making good progress with Pat finding great benefit from hydrotherapy and John is now driving again. It is sad to report that Dorothy Truran is not at all well and is currently undergoing a three-week course of radio therapy. Lambert Truran is having problems with his knee splint but otherwise is well. The Trurans are now staying with their daughter who is very supportive. On May 5th M'dalas took part in an outing by coach to Mandurah. A beautiful site by North Dandalup Dam was selected for morning tea and then on to Mandurah.
We were welcomed for a very reasonably priced lunch at the Senior Citizen’s Centre and this was followed by a concert for an hour and a half provided by a lovely group of ladies known as “Voices in Harmony”.
Unfortunately during lunch hour Jimmy Young took ill and had to be taken to Fremantle hospital by ambulance. He underwent a series of tests and was allowed home on Monday, May 11. We wish him well and hope he will be fully recovered soon.
The next outing being planned is a tour of the Royal Flying Doctor Service premises at Jandakot airport followed by lunch at Serpentine Dam. If numbers are right this will take place on July 28.
DOUG. LYON, Chairman
ANZAC DAY DAWN SERVICE25TH APRIL 1998
THE Rhodesian Association of Western Australia was again represented at the annual Kings Park dawn service on Anzac Day.
In the absence of John Maltas in Cape Town on business, the Emslie family represented the Association at this dignified and very moving ceremony. Paul Emslie laid the wreath in front of approximately 6000 onlookers which included his family.
Attached to the green and white wreath was a card reflecting the same tribute of the past 15 years. “ In memory of all Rhodesians, black & white, who gave their lives in all wars”
WE REMEMBER THEM
The noticeable attendance of so many young people augers well for the future of this very special ceremony.
I would urge as many Rhodesians as possible, who have not as yet attended, to make this date for next year.
My sincere thanks to Rosemary Webster for printing at very short notice, a beautiful card to accompany the wreath.
Military history in the makingIAN BARHAM of Harare has written to the Association outlining the subject of a book he is producing.
MEMBERS of your Association may be interested to know of a personal Military Photographic Archives” which I have compiled over the years. It comprises of over 200 studio portraits and group photographs of military personnel, covering all the branches of the Rhodesian Armed Forces, from 1890 to 1980, and continues to grow. Apart from restoring the military history of Rhodesia, this archives provides one with the opportunity to acquire copies of these photographs to assist them in researching their family history, or the military history of this country in general.
The units represented in this collection include, the S.R.V., the R.R., S.A.S., R.L.I., Selous Scouts, Grey’s Scouts, B.S.A.P., INTAF, and the Rhodesian Air Force to mention just a few. To compliment this collection, I have compiled a nominal roll of all these individuals in alphabetical order, along with their unit, and the date the photograph was taken.
This will be in the form of a small book, accompanied by a brief history of the Armed Forces of Rhodesia. I do hope this will interest your members.
The book, entitled “From Rhodesia to Zimbabwe 1890 - 1980” will be going to print very soon and as soon as I have established a reasonable price with the printers I will contact you again.
Interested parties can contact Ian at Shop 24 Eastgate Mall, Third Street, Harare, Zimbabwe. His contact telephone number is: 2634 748845 and 2634 748851. His fax number is: 2634 795248.
OF LAND AND SPIRITSby Alan Thrush (Transition Publishing)
ANOTHER book dealing with the Rhodesian conflict has hit the shelves in Southern Africa, and has been hailed by many. Alan Thrush, the author has written to the Rhodesian Association, enclosing a number of newspaper reviews and asking for the Association's support in distributing the book here in Australia. We publish here his letter and one of those reviews - by Ian Smith.
Rhodesia’s vicious bush war has attracted authors’ attention far beyond a level justified by the event, and 17 years after the birth of Zimbabwe it could be expected that interest in the subject is flagging. If this causes anyone interested in the country, guerrilla warfare and indeed the development of modern southern Africa to skip this book it would be tragic. Alan Thrush, a temporary captain in the Rhodesian African Rifles by the end of the war, has produced the best of the genre.
He writes skilfully from personal experience that lends strong credibility to a work that he protests is pure fiction. There’s everything here. Although centred on the war, Thrush brings its effects on mothers and fathers, wives, lovers, the economy and the whole social fabric of a country in turmoil into fine focus. The escalation of political pressure on the Rhodesia Government from the US and Britain mainly through South Africa, as events move towards the climax is accurately, if economically drawn. The mounting uncertainty of the civilian population denied full knowledge of events in the operational areas and in Zambia and Mozambique comes through clearly and sympathetically.
Lonely wives drift into pointless affairs, and parents constantly agonize about staying or emigrating. Business winds down, farmers retreat behind electrified fences and sandbagged windows and doorways. And still the pressure on an under-strength army mounts. Fire force deployments, once limited to perhaps twice a week against five-strong guerrilla groups, increase to three or five times a day against groups of 50,60 or more. Thrush writes incisively of the military operations, but he avoids dwelling too much on the atrocities of both sides. That has been amply covered elsewhere.
He also portrays with understanding the intolerable pressure on the rural blacks in operational areas, the too vulnerable victims of the security forces, Mugabe’s ZANLA and in some regions Nkomo’s ZIPRA. The conventional wisdom in Zimbabwe of the late 70s was that escape to South Africa - the only alternative for most whites - was pointless, because inevitably the conflagration here would be much worse when it finally came.
The real miracle must be that South Africa avoided that fate. Thank God.
published The Citizen March 17 1997
Robbers, malaria two of Africa's big nastiesEulalia Hands is visiting WA from South Africa, where she now lives. She has written to the Association describing her recent experiences.
I was delighted to read “ Bundu Times” loaned to me by Margaret Carrier, I was able to pick up information about workmates and friends. My name is Eulalia Hands (born Fry) first married name Johnston. I’m now married to Philip Hands. My grown up children are from my first marriage - Lucia, Roger, Barry and Lindsay Johnston. The Johnston children were very well known for their musical talents. They appeared many times on television - the Geoffrey Atkins, Cabby, Keith Kennedy and other shows - can’t remember all the names. I remember Lyn Memmal very well. Barry has been living and working in WA for 10 years.
Roger's Australian application accepted, he has left his wife and family in Brisbane, returned to South Africa because of the work situation. Lindsay also resident, is working in South Africa as principal cellist in Natal City Orchestra. If anyone out there hears or sees any orchestral jobs advertised, please contact me on 95282493 urgently. Lucia is married to Cecil Grimmer. They own and work on their farm in Bindura “ Glen Cairn.” Cecil’s a well known cricketer. Friday 3rd April armed robbers entered the farm house through the lounge windows at night. Cecil was watching television. They attacked him, made him take off his clothes and tied him up with rope. Lucia hearing Cecil shout, went to investigate, she was also assaulted and tied up. Tamaryn, their 11-year-old daughter saw them and ran, she hid in the housegirl's home. That’s what saved Lucia and Cecil from being killed. The robbers thought Tamaryn had gone for help. Lucia and Cecil were made to open their safe in the office. $15,000 was taken (they didn’t see another $60,000), the arms and ammunition went along with twin cab Izuzu 4x4. They locked Lucia and Cecil in their office . They managed to break loose, get out of the office and radio for help and warn farmers. Road blocks were set up. The gang shot through the road blocks , ditched the truck and got away. It is believed the same gang was responsible for the death of a Bindura farmer a week before.
I’m over here to spend a little time with my son and get to know my grandchildren. I have found it very hard at this time in life to have my family scattered around the world. Philip and I have settled on the Bluff, Durban. We bought a very nice house with sea views R100,000 cash. I’m so glad we did. With so called pension we could never make ends meet. We have jacked up a granny flat, we also have holiday accommodation R60 bed & breakfast, we also cart and carry guests to and from the airport, backpackers are welcome.
Our pension is a real laugh, besides the devaluation, we never even receive the pension on time, this time the Standard Bank have lost the cheque we banked, this is not the first time this has happened. I’m over here on a year’s ticket and Phil is holding the fort. Another point I must bring up - Malaria. It is very bad in Africa. Zimbabwe has had over 6000 deaths last year. South Africa, Natal, north coast, Mozambique all very bad. The malaria has reached as far as Richard’s Bay. I contracted malaria on the farm in Bindura last year. I knew straight away I had it, the symptons - shivering. My daughter gave me a course “ Chloroquin” - it didn’t quite do the job. I went into Harare and my brother-in-law Tony Cole (Stakold) sent me to his doctor. This doctor gave me “Varium” a very powerful drug with side effects on the nervous system, which I have suffered. The tropical disease hospital are warning people travelling to Africa to avoid this drug warning also, going to Africa, don’t take any precaution drugs. The precautions you take - sleep under a net, spray your room, after dark keep yourself well covered and if possible don’t wander outside after dark and use insect repellents. Don’t take any chances. I’ve met a few people that have taken precautions and have been very ill. My family in Bindura take nothing. They got a big shock knowing their dear mom “got malaria". I was very slack and didn’t sleep under the net or spray my room, never again! I will be going back. For further information phone me 95282493.
I always travel to Zimbabwe via train, 2nd class. The train leaves Johannesburg 8 a.m. Friday. It’s called the “Limpopo” and costs R200 from Durban to Harare over 60’s 40% off.
Cheers to you all. For further information phone me
Harare mayor’s house shoots to $30mCONSTRUCTION of the mayoral mansion that was originally budgeted for $5 million is now expected to cost Harare rate payers more than $30 million, according to Harare Sunday newspaper, The Standard. The executive mayor’s official residence-located in the posh suburb of Gunhill is opposed by many Harare ratepayers as being unnecessarily expensive, is nearing completion at a time when the city council is experiencing cash flow problems.
Harare Council cheques worth over $80 million bounceCHEQUES totalling over $80 million issued by Harare City Council have bounced, according to a news report.
$60 million-worth were returned unpaid to various organisations on May 4, while the following day another $20 million in unpaid cheques were returned.
The cheques returned were for $2,8 million, which had been made in favour of the Harare Municipal Medical Aid; $2,8 million in favour of Zimpapers; $7,5 million in favour of First Mutual Life; $7,9 million to the Local Authorities Pension Fund; $518 252 to UDC; $1 million to the Local Authorities Pension Fund; $28,3 million to Old Mutual; and $5,7 million, also to Old Mutual. The following day, the manager again faxed to the city treasurer advising that a further 23 cheques totalling $20,4 million had been returned unpaid. Among these were a cheque for $6,7 million to Bard Nominees: one for $1,2 million to Zesa Staff Pension Fund; one for $1 million to Zimnat; and one for $906 666 to Astra Pension Fund.
Other unpaid cheques, all of them running into hundreds of thousands of dollars, had been made out to Barons, Syfrets, Southampton Assurance, Catering Industry Pension Fund, Moonlight Providend, Kunzwana Lobels, Old Mutual, ZRP Assurance Fund, Family Furnishers, Caltex Oil, HM Funeral Benefit, and P & R Holdings.
It is known that the city has been negotiating with an indigenous bank to bail it out and enable it to meet its obligations. A breakthrough was reportedly made last week. Council public relations manager, Cuthbert Rwazemba, said that there had been a “problem” with council cheques out of one stock issue, but said it was as a result of a communication breakdown between the city treasury and the bankers.
He said the situation was improving. We are on a financial recovery programme and, as a result, we have more and more revenue coming in through strict financial discipline which is now being enforced. “For example, we have withdrawn a number of vehicles which had been issued to officers. There was also unlimited fuel consumption, and now that has been controlled, and we are restructuring our manpower levels. There is a lot going on.
“Even for councillors, after every council meeting we used to give them supper and cocktails. All that is no more. They go straight home after council meetings. We give them tea before the meetings and that is it.” Asked to explain what certain payments were in respect of, for example, one returned cheque for $179 468,60 which had been made out to a men’s fashion shop, and another of $329 708,50 to a furniture store, Mr Rwazemba said he could not tell off-hand what they were for. No comment was available from the bank up to the time of going to press.
Air fares from Zim slashedSOUTH African Airways has slashed its fares from Zimbabwe, not only to South Africa, but across the world, according to a report in the Zimbabwe Standard.
In a surprise statement, the airline’s new manager for Zimbabwe, Trevor Henry, said that the airline would be selling tickets substantially below the published fares.
For example, a ticket from Harare or Bulawayo to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, or Zurich which currently costs more than $17 000, will now sell for $10 332 before sales tax.
The move, he said, was not a special one-off promotion and that he would maintain the low fares for as long as possible. The new current-season fares from Harare (before taxes) include:
Published fare New fare
Miami $31,150 $19,155 Bangkok $27,454 $12,005 London $17,866 $10,332 Perth $17,032 $13,087 Buenos Aires $21,613 $15,941Mr Henry was addressing a gathering of travel agents at the Harare Sheraton where they were meeting with outbound tour wholesalers to discuss new holiday products for the coming season. “The Zimbabwean traveller has suffered many price increases over the past six months,” Mr Henry told the meeting. “The devaluation of the currency at the end of last year saw people paying a lot more Zimbabwe dollars for international air travel and then the government announced that business travellers would no longer be exempt from the 17,5% sales tax on tickets.”
He said that this had meant fewer people were travelling and the airlines serving Zimbabwe had to be innovative if they wanted to retain and grow their share of the business.
“I want the travel trade-and the travelling public-to know that there’s a whole new mood of competitiveness at SAA in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Henry who took over the airline’s local operations in January this year.
Zimbabwe in briefZimbabwe’s telecommunications workers went on strike demanding the reinstatement of colleagues sacked over a pay dispute, a union official said. More than 600 of the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation’s (PTC) fixed network technicians have staged wildcat strikes, demanding pay rises of up to 200 percent to match those granted to colleagues on the mobile network. l
Jitters over poor prices for the key tobacco crop send Zimbabwe’s dollar to a year-low against the U.S. currency. The local unit fell to 17.90/18.30 on the greenback, down from 17.65/85. It was also easier versus pound sterling at 29.15/80 compared to 28.7075/29.05 and was at 3.52/60 from 3.4730/51 against the South African rand. l
Zimbabwe’s Zimpapers has appointed arch-propagandist Bornwell Chakaodza editor of the Herald, the country’s sole national daily newspaper. He replaces the late Charles Chikerema, a nephew of President Robert Mugabe, who died just nine weeks into the job. l
Zimbabwe’s government said it was considering taking stronger action against 14 bakeries found to be selling under-weight bread. Industry and Commerce deputy minister Obert Mpofu told parliament fines of over Z$200 had failed to deter the bakeries, from all over the country, producing loaves under the minimum weight of 700 grams. l
Zimbabwe’s national airline returned a Z$105 million loss in 1996 due to competition and industrial disputes, the company’s latest accounts show. l
Zimbabwe’s sole coal producer, Wankie Colliery,has said it doubts the state-owned Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO) will repay its debt to the mine, which more than doubled to Z$153.45 million. l
Zimbabwe’s trade union chiefs said they would soon call a five-day strike to press demands for tax cuts. l
Air Zimbabwe has suspended seven staff members, two of whom have since voluntarily resigned, over allegations of smuggling hundreds of cartons of cigarettes into Europe. l
The cash-strapped Zimbabwe government is in the market for a Z$540m long-haul presidential jet - the second time in four years that such a plane has appeared on its shopping list. l
The Guild of Air Traffic Controllers of Zambia has been suspended from the International Federation for Air Traffic Controllers Association, Afatca. This measure follows the guild’s failure to heed the federation’s directives to stop the Zambians form filling positions in Zimbabwe when that country’s controllers went on strike. If the suspension is endorsed at the Afatca meeting to be held May in France, then the Zambian’s concerned will have the air traffic controllers licenses invalidated outside Zambia.
Zimbabwe's army 'close to collapse'Christopher Munnion, writes for Britain's Daily Telegraph
ZIMBABWE'S British-trained army is near collapse and unable to fulfil its defence functions because of a lack of funds, the defence ministry in Harare has admitted.
The large standing army, mostly comprising former guerrillas of Zanla and Zipra, the two liberation forces, as well as elements of the former Rhodesian forces, is in a state of critical deterioration, according to Moven Mahachi, the Defence Minister.
His ministry was unable to provide the funds to feed the soldiers and had to send most of them on lengthy periods of leave to save money, he said.
A report by MPs last week found that most of the country's barracks were not fit for human habitation. Soldiers were expected to live in crumbling, insanitary, rat-infested buildings that had not been maintained for years.
At least 95 per cent of the army's vehicles were out of operation, rendering it largely immobile. Combat readiness was badly compromised by the consequent lack of morale, the MPs found.
The air force was also out of operation. Monthly pilot training had ceased, the runway at the country's main air base, Thornhill, was cracked and dangerous, and radios were unserviceable.
Mr Mahachi said his ministry needed at least 5 million pounds immediately if the armed forces were to be made operational again. His officials said the forces were simply unable to respond to any emergency at present.
His plea is bound to go unheard since Zimbabwe's economy is also close to collapse. The economic crisis has caused a series of demonstrations and riots against President Robert Mugabe's crumbling regime.
Ironically, the last time the army was deployed was during country-wide demonstrations against food price increases earlier this year. Residents of areas where the army moved in complained that soldiers were drunk, violent and had engaged in looting themselves.
‘Let us pray’MOTORISTS driving into Harare city centre on recently from the northern suburbs had an early morning laugh at the sight of a poster placed at the corner of Churchill and Borrowdale roads.
The poster advertised the National Day of Prayer, after which an unknown prankster added the words “for Mugabe’s resignation”, much to the amusement of motorists and passers-by.
Uniformed members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police could be seen milling around the poster, apparently unsure what to do, and adding to the hilarity.
By mid-day, however, the offending poster had been removed.
OBITUARY - Florrie MooreDave Smyth has sent in this tribute to Florrie Moore:
MOORE, FIorence Amelia (Florrie), passed away on the 21st April, 1998 in Perth, Western Australia after a long illness which she bore very bravely to the end. Florrie went out to Southern Rhodesia in the early 50s with her husband, Bert Moore, daughter Pat. and son, John. The family moved to Lusaka in the early 60s and went back to Rhodesia in the early 70s. In 1982, after Bert’s death, Florrie joined her daughter Pat, son-in-law Dave Smyth and their children Wendy and Graeme in Perth.
A few years later her son John, daughter-in-law, Jenny and grand-daughters Liane and Amelia carne from Zarnbia to live in Perth. Florrie lived in the Swan Cottages Retirement Village for many years. She will be sadly missed by her family and many friends. She was such a quiet, kind lady.
Thanks for all the interesting news in the Bundu Times. Pat and I really enjoy reading it and, although we seldom make it to Rhodesia Association gatherings we appreciate hearing all about the goings on of other ex-Rhodies. It is really what keeps the Tribe together.
$2 ClassiesPLEASE HELP - EMPLOYMENT WANTED
Ex-BSA Policewoman - 8 years
Versatile experience in past 16 years in South Africa
Secretarial/P.A, receptionist, Human Resources Administration, General Office Duties, Computer literate. Contact Carolyn De Bruyn on 9490 1894.
A range of books of S. Rhodesia interest including BSAP hunting, the Ruins, travel and adventure, history. Phone Ted 02766163 for details.
Social CalendarTuesday, June 2: COMMITTEE MEETING 5.30pm Royal Commonwealth Society Subiaco, Perth. Friday, June 5: PUB NIGHT 5.30pm Royal Commonwealth Society 183 Roberts Road Opposite Subiaco Oval. Saturday, June 6: QUIZ NIGHT "Kastelbets" 7.30pm (see Advert) Wednesday, June 10: COFFEE MORNING 10am Details: Contact Helen Hamley on 4576970 or Yvonne Beesley on 4574047. Sunday, June 14: AFRICA CUP GOLF Wembley Golf Course (see advert) Thursday, JUNE 18: M’DALAS INDABA 9.30am - 11.30am Venue: Citiplace Community Centre, Railway Station, Perth. Contact Douglas Lyon on 2953490. All welcome. Friday, July 3: PUB NIGHT J.B.O'Reillys 99 Cambridge St Leederville Tuesday, July 7: COMMITTEE MEETING J.B.O'Reillys 99 Cambridge St Leederville Wednesday, July 8: COFFEE MORNING 10am Details: Contact Helen Hamley on 4576970 or Yvonne Beesley on 4574047. Thursday, July 23: M'DALAS INDABA 9.30am - 11.30am Venue: Citiplace Community Centre, Railway Station, Perth. Contact Douglas Lyon on 2953490. All welcome. Saturday, July 25: BOWLING NIGHT Fairlanes Adelaide Terrace 6.60 for 7pm start (sharp!) See advert. Tuesday, July 28: M'DALAS OUTING Visit to the Royal Flying Doctor Service premises at Jandakot airportfollowed by lunch at Serpentine Dam.