I really feel that a lot more people are taking a real interest in the Bundu Times. I have received a lot of newspaper cuttings, letters and articles this month and I thank all of you who have contributed.
Some of the material and in particular, an account of Eddie Preston's trip through Uganda will be included in the next edition.
Some of the articles are too lengthy but please carry on sending in - they are all very welcome.
The main article this edition is a revisit to Beira. Eddie revisits Beira 25 years on.
This will certainly stir up a few memories. I have recently had a resurgence of Van jokes - a sample has been included.
And I have also included some snippets of history. So if anyone has Van jokes, history tales or holiday travels please send them in.
Other miscellaneous items I have received are a complimentary copy of "The African Oz Trader" a publication based in Kenmore, Queensland that aims at promoting business within the African business community in Australia.
(If interested contact me and I will pass on details). I have also had a request for assistance in finding work.
If anyone is in a position to offer a person work, please consider first offering it to a suitable Rhodesian.
It is nice to see our Bundu Times getting a wide circulation and also getting widely read.
BUT nothing happens for nothing and if you are one of those persons who receive a hand-me-down copy and if you are financially able, why don't you join the association - even if it is just to receive the newsletter.
MDALAS REPORTIn the absence of the Chairman, the July meeting was ably chaired by Ken Mitchell.
As it was a very cold morning the numbers were down to 39. Apologies were noted from John and Margaret Seward who are off on a round-the-world tour via U.K. Canada and U.S.A.
Also apologies from Douglas and Nancy Lyon who were touring cattle stations between Hammersly and Mt. Augustus.
The August meeting of M'dalas saw an attendance of 47. Apologies were received from Denis and Fay Hoyes, Doug and Ruth Learmonth and John and Margaret Seward - all on holiday in various parts of the world.
Pat Bromfield has been in hospital with pneuomonia and members voiced their best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Twenty-two members registered and paid for the Hotham Valley steam train outing to Hotham Show in September.
It was suggested that M'dalas run a Lotto Club with those who want to take part putting in $1 each month.
Benetia Hodnett kindly volunteered to operate the syndicate.
Several members voiced concern that regular payments from Zimbabwe had been late or non-existent.
This problem is evidently due to strikes by bank staff in Harare and untrained personnel being unfamiliar with procedures.
A night of laughter at the Civic Theatre RestaurantON Saturday the 23rd of August, 16 RAWA members came together to enjoy a night of dining, and entertainment with Max Kaye at the Civic Theatre Restaurant.
The evening was enjoyed by all with the Rhodesian Association not being overlooked in the honours list for witty comments by His Majesty Sir Max.
A combination of singing, dancing and comedy was provided by Max Kaye, family and entertainers.
The themes of the night were taken from the movies, which included Casablanca, Braveheart and the Terminator.
There were medleys from Warner Brothers Walt Disney productions, The Wizard of Oz, and songs that became well known from successful movies such as Nine and a Half Weeks.
Max Kaye has the ability to involve members of the audience unwillingly into the show and has a spontaneous and infectious comedy routine.
After all these years of entertaining he is still full of energy and quick off the mark.
Beira revisited - 25 years onEDWARD PRESTON and a group of friends took a trip down memory lane recently, revisiting some old haunts in Beira. He found a city in decay and some old haunts of Rhodesians berely recogniseable.
Many of us have happy memories of visits to Beira during our "Rhodes & Founders" long weekends, the continental atmosphere of the pavement cafe's, Johnies Seafood restaurant, staying at the Dom Carlos or Estoril hotels - almost seems light years away.
So it was with great excitement on my arrival in Harare in July, my friends informed me that they had organised a drive down to Beira for a few days.
As none of the seven of us going had been there for almost 25 years, we were obviously curious as what to expect.
After the usual three-day wait to obtain a visa in Harare, which incidentally still takes a full page of your passport, off we set in three pickups loaded with provisions, camping gear, and the obligatory house boy perched on the back, through Mutare (Umtali) down to the Forbes(not renamed) border post.
This was our introduction of what to expect, lethargic officials, filthy toilets, everything broken etc, and they even have the cheek to charge $40 for parking outside customs!
Five hundred metres down the road an abundance of hawkers selling currency at a black market rate of only 10%, however at 100,000 meticals to lUS$ it was a good feeling to become an instant millionaire.
Our first night's stop was at a resort by a dam approximately 30km east of Villa de Manica. This consisted of 10 newly built two bedroomed rondavels and is run by a Rhodesian, thus explaining why this was the highest standard of accommodation we experienced in Mozambique.
It also had a restaurant and bar which offered a reasonable menu, and no complaints about the beer which is a lot safer than the water. Two of the team went fishing with great success and provided dinner for the accompanying servant.
An early morning start took us through Cimoio (Villa de Perri) which was busy but very run down. The road was new smooth tar, which makes a change from the pot holes of yesteryear.
Several one man police road blocks who go through the ritual of pretending to check our documents, however safety in numbers, and we experienced no problems, so on to Beira.
The road entering Beira was quite a surprise, a new dual carriageway with new street lights. However this is where any illusions of grandeur finished.
The closer we got to the city centre, the more the decay of the buildings became evident.
We stopped to look at the Grand Hotel, now full of squatters, the swimming pool used for washing clothes, and a tree could be seen to be growing through the upper two levels of balconies. Squatters appeared to have moved in everywhere, houses, flats, hotels you name it and they are there.
We walked into the foyer of the Estoril, another squatter camp with the reception a crumbled reminder of happier times. We were told that all homes vacated by the whites are now owned by the State, which explains the dilapidated state of everything.
Apparently one requires planning permission to paint your home, and when approved, they tell you what colour you must use.
On inquiring, we were told that there were only about 400 of the original whites left.
One saw plenty of aid workers such as World Vision, who must have the vision of a bat to help here, but like so many of these do gooders, they made sure they were comfortable in new luxurious compounds behind security walls.
We camped at a small resort on the beach run by another Rhodesian who despite corrupt officialdom, has established a bar, restaurant and ablutions, which made our stay quite comfortable.
That evening, we were surprised to see that Johnies was open. In fact it had only just been opened by a Portuguese.
We had a meal of disappointing prawns and awful wine.
A visit to the toilets made one curious as to the state of the kitchen from where our now consumed meal was like and what state of health we would be the following day.
Anyway, we survived to take another trip down memory lane to the city market square area.
Some of the cafes were still there. We sat to have coffee and reminisce about the better times, with frequent disturbances by the multitude of beggars who displayed their various forms of disfigurement as a result of the brutal civil war.
It may sound callous, but one has to condition oneself and ignore their plight, as to give money to one would attract a riot. Despite the poverty and squalor, we at no time felt a security problem and were surprised how lax people were in locking their cars.
It was also surprising to see the luxury goods that were available, goodness knows who buys the stuff but there must be some money somewhere, probably the caring aid workers.
It would seem that the Beira province has lost out on the investment that has supposedly gone to Mozambique as Maputo (Lourenco Marques) is the more likely recipient being closer to the wealth of South Africa.
It was not advised to travel off the main highways because of the rebel activity that is still rife, and many tourists have been killed driving on the Maputo-Beira road.
On my visit to the Australian Consulate in Harare, there was a notice pinned on the board advising Australians not to visit Mozambique and the consulate could not take responsibility, but in Rhodesia we became used to being responsible for ourselves.
Whilst in Harare I had the opportunity of visiting Ian Smith at his home who kindly gave his time to meet me to sign his book "The Great Betrayal", (which unexpectedly was on sale at the Avondale Book Shop).
We had an interesting chat over a couple of cups of tea, and am pleased to report that he is in fine health and mind.
He extends his best wishes to all members of the Rhodesia Association of WA and has fond memories of his visits to Perth.
It was disappointing not to be granted a visitor's permit to visit Messrs. Woods, Conjawayo, Smith, Bawden and Beehan, whom despite numerous pleas from many including Mandela and Tutu for their release to Mugabe (who is rapidly becoming a despot in the path of the late Sesi Seko Mobutu and the like), remain locked up in Chikurubi where they have been degenerating for the last ten years.
Anyway, as they say now, "That's Africa" and that's why we are grateful to be here.
Prince Edward School Centenary ReunionPRINCE Edward School in Harare will be celebrating its centenary in October, 1998 which will be attended by H.R.H. The Prince Edward.
The executive committee has requested my willingness to chair a committee of Old Boys in Western Australia and it is envisaged that Ian (Pud) Godden (chairman of the committee), John Osterberg (vice chairman) and Colin Barnes (headmaster) will be planning a promotional tour of Australia at a later date.
A major priority at present is to establish a comprehensive database of the Old Boy community in Australia.
Anybody wanting information on the reunion can contact Stewart Milne on (089) 446 8973 or (0419) 918 218 or write to 15a Unwin Ave Wembley Downs WA 6018.
DEATH TALBOT, JEREMYMember of the Rhodesian Association since 1979 died from a heart attack aged 57. Held position of Deputy Parliamentary Counsel and was a dedicated ornithologist. RAWA extends their condolences to his wife, Val and children Clare and Richard.
Author says 'thanks'Bundu Times has received a letter of thanks from from Dick Gledhill, author of the book One Commando which we featured in our last issue. Here it is:
DICK GLEDHILL, RLI PUBLISHERS. PO BOX 1183 CASTLETOWN QLD 4812 22ND AUG 97
I received a copy of the Bundu Times today with your write-up of "One Commando" slap bang in the centre.
Thank you for a tremendous review. It made me really proud to read it. I believed in Rhodesia and what it stood for and I still believe in Ian Smith.
It is the old story about how it would have been if we were left to sort out our own problems. But as you say, C'est la vie. I still get stories about expats who holiday in Zim and find the odd African sidling up to them and saying "Ah Baas, I wish we still had you whites in charge here."
To me that says multitudes. Although I don't live in W.A. I would like to subscribe to your mag. Doug has been fantastic in pushing the book for me, he is certainly one lekker oun, ek se.
I was looking in the bush telegraph section and saw the ad looking for Angela and Mike Burke. I know where they are and am trying to contact them.
So there should be a result on that one. Once again thanks for the review. If you are ever in this neck of the woods, please drop in and say hello.
Editor - Thank you Dick, it is so wonderful that people do keep in touch
Africa mourned DianaPRINCESS Diana was mourned across Africa, where she began her anti-landmine campaign, even in official media which usually praise only their own national leaders.
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, rarely without a lead item about President Robert Mugabe, devoted the first 10 minutes of its main Sunday news to the death of the princess.
State-run newspapers were also amongst the fiercest in their criticism of paparazzi who were chasing her car when is crashed.
"Press freedom yes: but, when in the course of pursuing it privacy is undermined or abused, and life-threatening situations created, that freedom should be reassessed," said Tanzania's semi-official Daily News in a front-page commentary.
Images of the princess haunted page after page of all main papers in the former British colonies of Nigeria and South Africa. Diana in March visited South Africa, where her brother, Earl Spencer, had made his home.
South Africa's Citizen recalled the worthy causes that the "epitome of British beauty" had espoused, including the campaign to ban the use of landmines that began in Angola this year.
"Princess Diana is dead but her spirit and devotion to these causes will live on," the newspaper said.
Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi called her "one of the most compassionate people in the world."
The HIV/AIDS infection rate in Zambia would peak in 1998 at 27 per cent of a population of 9.8 million, adversely affecting the socio-economic aspect of the country, the government said in a report released last month.
According to computer projections contained in the report, the infection rate would double the 1995 estimates of 500 daily infections.
Zambia recorded an estimated 700,000 people tested HIV positive in 1995 while more than 50,000 people died of AIDS in the same year. Most HIV/AIDS victims are the economically active members of the population ranging from 18 to 40 years of age which is the most sexually active group of the population.
A LOOK AT HISTORY - a first for the BluesTHIS short article looks at the formations which served Britain during the Second World War and helped to form the Rhodesian Air Force.
WORLD WAR 2 A tribute which all Rhodesians received with the utmost gratification was that paid by Air Marshall Sir Bertine Sutton, Air Member for Personnel, when he handed a gold cup to the Rhodesian High Commissioner in London for presentation to the Southern Rhodesian Air Force "as a token of comradeship and esteem from the Royal Air Force".
On the occasion Sir Bertine Sutton said:"I would like to recall that Nol Rhodesian Squadron (now 237 Spitfire Squadron) was the first Dominion Squadron in the field when war broke out.The above passage is extracted from the book "Southern Rhodesia War History 1939 - 1945" volume II
It was, indeed, at its station - at Nairobi - two days before war was declared. There it began its war career, and nearly five years later we find it covering the landing in the South of France.
"Rhodesia was also the first in the field with the Empire Air Training Scheme. It was in Rhodesia that the first E.F.T.S. school was opened - in May 1940, a week before the E.F.T.S. school in Canada.
"No. 44 Squadron can also claim a 'first' in that it was the first squadron to be equipped with Lancasters, and I think the first to have its own Rhodesian Commander - Wing Commander F.W. Thompson, DSO,DFC,AFC.
"The third squadron, No 266, is a Typhoon Squadron which began operating from Normandy very soon after D Day.
"And all this from Rhodesia with, I believe, a white population of under seventy thousand. But this seventy thousand has placed no less than eight thousand men in the fighting services, of whom as many as one quarter are in the Royal Air Force.
"That is an outstanding contribution, and I believe it would have been greater had it not been necessary to restrain the flow of volunteers in order to preserve essential services.
"Well, the Air Force pays its tribute to those two thousand Rhodesians and expresses its thanks for the generous hospitality shown to our air crews who were trained in Southern Rhodesia and thoroughly enjoyed their stay there."
Editors note - 20 years later we had "The Great Betrayal"
VAN JOKESVan and Stoffel (Van's best friend) landed themselves a job at a sawmill. Just before morning tea Van yelled: "Stof! I lost my finger!"
"Jis!" says Stoffel. "And how did you do it?"
"I just touched this big spinning thing here like thi . . . Damn! There goes another one!"
Van had just joined the S.A. Police and was walking down the street in Jo'burg, when he bumped into his friend Stoffel.
Stoffel: Van great to see you, I didn't know you had joined the police. How did you get in?
Van: Ag man it was so easy. I have been in for two weeks and all I had to do was answer a few questions.
Stoffel: What sort of questions?
Van Well I had to answer what 2+2 is.
Stoffel: That easy - What did you answer?
Stoffel: But Van, it is not 3.
Van: Yes I know now, but I was the closest.
Zim mortars 'hijacked'A GREEK ship with about 15 tons of Zimbabwean-manufactured mortar bombs bound for Sri Lanka has vanished somewhere in the Indian Ocean, according to news reports in Zimbabwe.
The Financial Gazette quoted unnamed sources in Interpol as saying the Stillus Limmasul was last seen docked in Madagascar in July with its consignment of 32,400 81mm mortar bombs.
The bombs were ordered by the Sri Lankan government to use on Tamil seccessionists. The paper said there were fears that the rebels had hijacked the boat and its contents.
WHAT A FIND!This article appears in the July - September edition of the Rhodesians Worldwide magazine.
PRIOR to leaving the UK for Italy earlier this year, George O'Neill took a trip to Spinks in the West End of London to see whether or not he could obtain an RR. or R.R.R. drill cane; no luck, but out of curiosity he asked what Rhodesiana they had for sale.
They produced a very special bugle which George believes should never have left Rhodesia.
Off he went to Italy, and arrived just in time to put a telephone bid to the auctioneers.
He had to pay £1569 for it, but the bugle is now safely lodged in the vault of his local bank. It is a one-off, ". . .there is nothing in the whole world to compare with it, and when I have eventually settled on my own little farm, it will have pride of place in my study."
The entry in the Spinks catalogue read: "A memento from the Matabele Rebellion of 1896: a copper bugle with brass mounts, engraved with the following inscription:
THIS HORN WAS USED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER'S BUGLER "CAPE BOYS' CORPS" MATABELELAND RELIEF FORCE. THROUGHOUT THE MATABELE REBELLION OF 1896 DURING WHICH THE CORPS WAS ENGAGED IN TEN ACTIONS WITHIN THIRTY-SIX DAYS. VIZ: 1. THE STORMING AND CAPTURE OF THABAS A'MAMBA 6TH JULY 1896. 2. THE STORMING AND CAPTURE OF BABIYAN'S STRONGHOLD 20TH JULY 1896. 3. ATTACK ON AND CAPTURE OF, BABIYAN'S SECOND POSITION IST AUG 1896. 4. ATTACK ON, AND DEFEAT OF SIKOMBO'S OUTPOSTS 2ND AUG 1896. 5. STORMING AND CAPTURE OF SIKOMBO'S STRONGHOLD, 5TH AUG 1896. 6. ENGAGEMENT AT INYANDA'S KRAAL, DEFEAT OF NYAMANDA'S IMPI AND CAPTURE OF LOMADLOSI, NYAMANDA'S MOTHER AND WIDOW OF THE LATE KING MOSILIKATSE, THE FOUNDER OF THE MATABELE NATION 7TH AUG 1896. 7. ATTACK ON, AND DEFEAT OF UMLUGULU'S OUTPOSTS 5TH AUG 1896. 8. REPULSE OF THE ATTACK ON THE MATABELELAND RELIEF FORCE LAAGER BY UMLUGULU'S COMBINED IMPIS AT 10 PM ON THE 9TH AUG 1896. 9. STORMING AND CAPTURE OF "DETACHED POST KOPJE", UMLUGULU'S, AT 11.30 PM ON THE 9TH AUG 1896. FINAL DEFEAT AND ROUT OF UMLUGULU'S COMBINED IMPIS,10TH AUG 1896. BUGLER KRIEL, "CAPE BOY'S CORPS" WHO WAS THE FIRST TO CARRY THIS HORN, FELL AT THABAS A'MAMBA WITH 22 WOUNDS ON HIS BODY, VIZ: 18 BATTLE-AXE AND ASSEGAI WOUNDS AND 4 BULLET WOUNDS. WD 52 HENRYPOTTER & CO 30 CHARING CROSS, LONDON,1895 THIS HORN, UPON WHICH THE "RETIRE" HAS NEVER BEEN SOUNDED, WAS GIVEN BY MAJOR ROBERTSON, COMMANDING "CAPE BOY'S CORPS" (AND LATE OF THE ROYAL DRAGOONS) TO LIEUT-COLONEL SERJEANT HIS SECOND-IN-COMMAND (OF THE 5TH BATTN RIFLE BRIGADE) ON THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATABELE CAMPAIGN GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
complete with green tasselled cord
The Cape Boy's Corps was about 200 strong, the term "boy" indicating that it was composed of Africans. It marched to the relief of Bulawayo in June 1896 and served until October of that year when it was withdrawn to Mafeking and disbanded. 187 of its members were awarded the "Rhodesia 1896" clasp to the British South Africa Company's medal. The commander of the Matabele Relief Force, in which it served, was Colonel (later Field Marshal) Herbert Plumer. £500-1,000"
George asks readers to correct him if he's wrong, but he believes the Cape Boys were probably not Coloured but part and parcel of the FINGO unit who came up with the Pioneer Column and were rewarded for their help by having the Bembezi reserve granted to them. George's address is: Via Pio X 14, 30030 Zianigo di Mirano (VE), Italia. Tel/Fax: (00 39) 041 570 2715.
Number 10 in the ChartsThe following report appears in the July-September edition of Rhodesians Worldwide.
Within two weeks, Ian Smith's book, 'The Great Betrayal" had reached tenth place in the best-seller list of all books in the United Kingdom, which is almost unheard of for a book about politics.
I understand from the REDFERNs in South Africa that the book is selling very well there too following the launch in SA in July.
The only problem is that not enough books have been ordered in and people are struggling to obtain copies.
Many many hundreds of books were sold by the RCG, the Flame Lily Foundation and RW, and it seems that nearly all Rhodesians have enjoyed it.
I agree with a comment I heard from a Rhodesian when he said that we, the public, must have been kept pretty well informed about events during those Rhodesian days because there was not too much in the book that was a complete revelation or surprise; however, the extent of the duplicity and deviousness of the British politicians, and the betrayal of some our so-called friends -was mind-boggling.
I asked for comments about and impressions of "The Great Betrayal", and a few follow. Unfortunately I do not have the space for in depth reviews or comments but I do thank everyone who has responded (nearly all favourably): In a full review of the book in the last RCG newsletter, Father Arthur LEWIS states, "In his Memoirs one looks simply for a straightforward and honest account of his struggle to wrest Rhodesian independence from an unwilling Britain.
And honesty and truthfulness we get in abundance."
Pat FOX-CLINCH: "I have always had a deep admiration for Ian Smith, and the book confirms all the opinions I have held, from him being a very brave and courageous young man during the second World War, to the determined, dedicated and exceedingly loyal man to his country; and too honest and straightforward in a world of conniving and appeasing politicians!"
Clive MORTON: 'The book was extremely interesting and I found it difficult to put down. In particular I found it refreshing as the story was interlaced with domestic and family matters and a good deal of humour, which broke up the political story."
Edna STEELE, after reading Lord Deedes's (a great friend of Rhodesia) review of the book in The Telegraph, I wrote to him to thank him for his 'lone voice in the wilderness'. Mr Deedes replied, "It is a strange fact that hostility towards Ian Smith prevails in the country among many people. When one thinks of the damage done to other African countries who are viewed quite benevolently here, one wonders where our sense of proportion has gone. In truth I think there is a lot of ignorance about Rhodesia, and many people suppose it was run on the same lines as South Africa at the time. Nothing could be further from the truth and I rather welcomed that book review in order to make the point."
One paragraph from Mr Deedes's review is worth repeating here: "In these days when patriotism seems contrary to the spirit of our times, there is something evocative about the pride Rhodesians had for their country and the sacrifices they were prepared to make for it.
"Those who read through this book should make an effort to forgive old scores, and try to form a balanced picture of this extraordinary man - farmer, and, in war or peace, a fighter."
Zimbabwe run by "cripples"IF EVIDENCE before the Harare High Court inquiry into payouts from Zimbabwe's War Compensation Fund is to be believed, the country is being run by "critically disabled" people.
A large segment of the men and women in control of the army, the air force, the police, the intelligence service, the diplomatic service and in Cabinet are, by their own word, critically disabled in mind and body as a result of injuries suffered during Zimbabwe's liberation war.
The commander of the defence forces, General Vitalis Zvinavashe, was assessed as being 55 percent disabled.
Police commissioner Augustine Chihuri was said to be 20 percent incapacitated by his injuries and Air-Marshal Perrence Shiri, the commander of the air force, was classified as being 50 percent disabled.
Their immediate junior officers are in even worse shape. Some claimed to be 92 percent disabled.
Tommy Mandigora, employed by the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, was rated 48 percent disabled for psychological disorders.
One of the 11 commissioners told him he should be in an asylum.
The commission has seen scant evidence of missing limbs, maiming or scarring. Nearly all the witnesses claimed to suffer from stress and psychological disorders sustained in the war.
Each claimant, backed by an official medical assessment, was paid a large sum of money from the War Compensation Fund, established in 1980 to bring relief to civilians and ex-combatants with injuries which prevented them from leading normal lives and getting work.
Few receive medical treatment for their disabilities.
Chihuri said he treated his injured feet with Vaseline.
Deputy Finance Minister Misheck Chinamasa said he used the major chunk of his ZD264000 payout for house extensions.