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Rhodesian Association of Western Australia

[LOGO] Bundu Times December 1995/January 1996

Our Kind of People


We left Rhodesia on the 29th of November 1978. From that day on my life has never been the same.

I was 16 and feeling as though I had let my mates and country down for leaving.

I wanted to join the army and fight the 'terrs' who were murdering and butchering innocent civilians. I wanted to stop them but now I never could and now I was leaving all my childhood friends behind to fight on alone.

This still hurts me today and I wonder if I will ever get over it? This is sixteen years later and I still feel the fervour of National Pride. I will probably never get over our beloved country: RHODESIA.

I come from a very close family of mum and dad and younger sister who are lovely people and with whom I can be totally myself without reservation.

We all still miss our lovely country however, we realise that Rhodesia has gone forever and we are very grateful for our new life in Australia.

Australia is still the lucky country with heaps of opportunities and wonderful weather. The people however, take a lot of getting used to: about four years by my experience.

I have the Rhodesian centenary album which has Sweet Banana on it sung by the RAR.

Every time that I hear this song I remember seeing the RAR singing it on the TV. The smart African soldiers standing tall and singing Rhodesia's praise with strong and melodious harmony that only Africans can achieve.

It always brings a tear to my eye as I feel the stirring's of National Pride and purpose for existence.

I probably will never forget my life in Rhodesia, the wonderful people that have touched my life, both black and white and the way that they have moulded my character into the person that I am today.

I am very, very lucky to have had the fortune of primary and secondary education in Rhodesia. I can say this as I have been to schools in England and Australia and I must say that the Rhodesian school system was light years ahead.

Education is something that nobody can take away from you and I will take this high-grade education to my grave.

Education is a real asset as it was very broad from: History, Geography and English to Maths, Science and Technical Drawing.

I have often found myself answering a lot of general knowledge questions at quiz nights here in Australia and being surprised that Australian-educated doctors and lawyers didn't know the answers.

Also in the board game of Trivial Pursuit I find myself in the same position of answering a lot of guestions especially in Geography: Thanks, Mrs Suttle. This gives me a sense of self-worth and was obviously a part of the design of the Rhodesian education system.

I spent the first 16 years of my life in sunny Rhodesia and it was wonderful.

The war was always in the background but people dealt with it and got on with their lives. I was very fortunate to have lived there when I did and if I had my life over again I would not change it.

There was however, a very high price that was paid for people like me who enjoyed Rhodesia. The price was Rhodesian blood both black and white, which was spilt in the defence of our proud little nation.

Many young men and women lost their lives in the war. Many were my friends who gave their lives so that we may live in the country of our birth.

In the end it seemed all for nothing and we were all devastated when Mugabe got in.

Did they die for nothing? Were they killed to be forgotten forever? I think not. I really feel that we (the living survivors) owe our dead warriors the honour of keeping the fighting spirit of Rhodesia alive.

We owe them our lives. We owe them for those wonderful years that we spent in Rhodesia.

WE OWE THEM. Least we forget.

The most psychologically disturbing thing for me is that we left before Zimbabwe was officially born and therefore we didn't have the opportunity to go to Rhodesia's funeral.

When someone you know dies you go to their funeral to say goodbye. I have never experienced an official -funeral+ for Rhodesia. I think that a funeral ceremony for Rhodesia would allow me to deal with today more successfully.

I know Rhodesia has gone forever and my heart still grieves but I'm not constantly morbid.

It's only when I'm on my own and I play Sweet Banana (as I am now) that I am sad and remember those old days of national fervour and high pride.

On the contrary, I don't want anybody else to see how emotional I become when I think of Rhodesia. This is my business and I'm sure all non-Rhodesians couldn't really care.

Coming back to our fallen warriors, I really believe that we owe them.

We now live in the 90s and it has been some 14 years since Rhodesia has been forever written into history.

However, we are still alive and we still remember and we still feel for the men and women who lost their lives for us.

We need, therefore, to channel our feelings to uphold the honour of our fallen warriors.

We need to excel in every part of our lives today and in years to come. This will please the souls of those who died for us. This will pay back the debt that we owe them.

This will say to them that you did not die in vain, you spared your lives so that we may carry on the Rhodesian spirit today and for all time.

We promise to carry the Rhodesian spirit to our graves and we promise to spread the word of our 'Faith' to all we come in contact with. An old school friend best described the Rhodesian spirit to me in the form of the three essential Rhodesian Bones:

1. The Skull bone - to think and reason.
2. The Jaw bone - to talk, to ask for help when needed.
3. The Back bone - to carry out all that is right and to have courage through life.

We are a special nation and although scattered to the four corners of the earth we can still make a difference to the various societies in which we live.

If we feel as though we are part of this Rhodesian global community and can help each other in the process, this adds to our purpose of existence and who knows where this might lead: to another Rhodesia where we can all be together again perhaps?

To all Rhodesians I wish you all the best and don't forget our fallen warriors and what we owe them. Above all press on to achieve all your goals and aspirations and do us all proud after all, Rhodesians Never Die.

Clive Gregory

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