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Guiding in Northern Rhodesia

By 1946, Betty was living in Kitwe, a town, where there were Guide Companies.  By this time, she had her four children.  The elder two were with their grand-parents (Betty's in-laws) in England and though the younger two were still young - 3 and 18 months - they were old enouth to be left.  Betty thereuopn got involved with the Girl Guide Movement - that was in great need of leaders.

One of her early "challenges" was to escort a large party of Girl Guides from the Copperbelt (the collection of mining towns in the North of Northern Rhodesia, where she was then living) down to Livingstone on the Southern boundary of the country, to take part in the events surrounding the Royal Visit of King George VI and his wife (Queen Elizabeth) and daughters (Princess, later Queen, Elizabeth and Princess Margaret).  You can read about it >here

In those days, although there were Engish-medium primary schools in the larger towns, parents in Northern Rhodesia sent their children to well-established boarding schools in South Africa.  So once Betty's children were at boarding school, Betty was able to spend more time with Girl Guides.  She ran a Guide Company, and also ran a Company of "Lone Guides" - Guiding by correspondence, for those in remote areas without a "conventional" Company to join.

Betty became a Camp Trainer, and later Northern Rhodesia's Colony Commissioner.


Record of a Guiding Tour

of the Eastern Province

of Northern Rhodesia

3rd March – 16th April, 1959.

Betty Clay’s husband, Gervas, below referred to as G., had been recruited by His Majesty’s Overseas Civil Service in 1930.  In 1936 he married Betty and their first marital home was in Sesheke; their second in Mankoya, both in Barotseland, which was administered as part of Northern Rhodesia.  They had then been posted elsewhere in Northern Rhodesia, but in July 1958 her husband was posted to Mongu, the administrative capital of Barotseland, as Resident Commissioner – the most senior Government Official, and the chief European Advisor to the Paramount Chief of the Barotse, whose dry-season capital is Lealui, situated 10 miles from Mongu in the middle of the Zambesi flood plain.

Betty herself was in charge of Training for the Northern Rhodesia Girl Guide Movement, and as such she visited various parts of the country in turn.

Thursday, 01 January 1959

Went with G. to Lealui to greet the Paramount Chief on New Year’s Day. Road very muddy & wet but we didn’t stick & I took a film of it. Paramount Chief very pleasant, & the Moyo[1] was there but nobody else so I made bold conversation in Silozi & got on astonishingly well and surprised myself!

Got home at midday.  … got the newspapers with front-page news that Paramount Chief Mwanawina has been awarded a knighthood in the New Year Honours. (G. had expected a phone call this morning about it but it failed) – SO… G. got straight into the Land Rover & went all the way out to Lealui again to tell him & congratulate him.

Saturday, 03 January 1959

. . .  at last got down to sorting my Guide files, & got on well but didn’t finish putting it all away.

Sunday, 04 January 1959

Quiet home day, spent a lot of it doing my Guide files, decided to do much more reorganising than I meant to – & now at last I should be able to find things, & I hope I will keep up-to-date with filing.

Monday, 05 January 1959

Finished my file-work. Three basket-fulls thrown away, good show!

Thursday, 08 January 1959

In the afternoon checked my Guide 1st class tests, & then bicycled down to the B.N.S. (Barotse National School) & tested the Guides on The History of the Guide Movement. They knew the dates all right, but found some of the “frills” difficult. It was rather a poignant coincidence that today is the anniversary of B-P’s death & we were thinking & talking about him.

Saturday, 10 January 1959

The men came early to D.D.T. the house & made the usual chaos & mess.

Monday, 12 January 1959

Fine, hot.

G. went to Lealui by Land Rover, took several natives to push when he got stuck, which he did several times. He had to “deliver personally” a letter from the Secretary of State & it turned out to be only a congratulatory one on his knighthood so quite unnecessary for such care.

Did Guide letters all morning & did quite well.

Tuesday, 13 January 1959

Heavy rain, fine.

A good day. Wrote masses of Guide letters.

Thursday, 15 January 1959

Fine, hot, sunny.

Finished letter to my Guide Executive but didn’t do all the copies – I always have to do a second carbon as there are seven of them – so will have to hammer away again at them tomorrow.

I prepared my Guide thing & bicycled to the B.N.S. & did it – testing them for knowledge of “How to care for domestic animals”.

Sunday, 18 January 1959

Hot & sunny & still.

Sat down to do the Circular to District Commissioners & finished it – but so roughly I decided I must re-type it for Beryl to copy; & nearly finished that.

Wednesday, 21 January 1959

Filed Guide letters.

Thursday, 22 January 1959

Hot & sunny.

Typed covering letters & sent of draft of our Agreement for our new Trainer, to my members of the Executive Council for approval.

Saturday, 24 January 1959

Hot & sunny.

We had a Drama this morning – first thing at about 6 a.m. I was cleaning my teeth & Coral started barking endlessly & I went out to stop her, & found two scruffy –looking creatures by the front door, & the garden boy said “there is a man inside”. I went along to the hall & found an even scruffier creature standing there.  I roared at him to remove himself but he just stared, then the two men came in at the open front door & took him by the arms very gently & spoke very softly to him. Then I saw he was holding G.’s Royal Fly Switch given him by the Paramount Chief & with persuasion & care, saying “this is only a Horse, the elephant is further on”, the men extracted it from him & led him away, taking him to the Hospital.

I later learnt that he was probably the same lunatic who spent the morning at the Boma, & is Yeta’s son – which explains why he took the Royal fly switch which no commoner would have done.

Tuesday, 27 January 1959

Warm. Shower.

Did syllabi for Guide competitions & sent them off to Beryl for distribution.

Wednesday, 28 January 1959

Warm & fine

Didn’t wash my hair as the passages & ceilings were full of men doing electricity, joining Judge’s Lodge onto our wiring, having wired it the last two days. Very smart!

Read a newspaper! The thing I hardly ever do. Wish I hadn’t: riots in the Congo, riots in Nyasaland, riots in Jo’burg, seething crowd shouting “Death! Death!” in Baghdad at a trial of a former Minister of the previous Government. Oh dear. How lovely & peaceful it is here in Mongu. Let’s stay here.

Thursday, 29 January 1959

Rain. Warm & nice.

Paid wages in the afternoon & counted money. Put all three boys up as usual, by 2/6d per month, & old Chinjerani was only getting £3.12.6 after working for 20 years! So I put him up by 5/-.

I biked to B.N.S. for disappointing look at Health & Thrift charts. Half of them still haven’t a clue what they are supposed to do.

A mass of letters came in the post, a whole lot of Guide ones - answers to my queries - so a lot to deal with on Monday. Oh dear, how I would love secretary!

Monday, 02 February 1959

After my Silozi practice I got down to planning my Eastern Province Tour & sent it all off. Very much complicated by a) Easter weekend, where would I be the least nuisance & the most use; b) Inter-Territorial Conference, in Zomba, on 1st & 2nd April right in the middle of my tour; & c) I have entered for the Language Exam which will probably be in Ft. Jameson on 9th or 10th April so I must rush back there if possible.

Typed copies all afternoon.

Tuesday, 03 February 1959

Grey, Rain.

Did Silozi for a good 1½ hours then wrote Guide letters, did this awful contract for our Trainer Miss Anderson & sent it off to London.

Dermot Williams arrived from Lusaka about 12 to stay. Now acting Commissioner for Rural Development while Keigwin is on leave. Had a nice chatty lunch & afternoon.

Silozi lesson.

Dermot told us Mickie Chittenden has bought a new car, he sold his Land Rover which he bought for £350 two years ago, for £400 to the garage which sold him the only bright red M.G. Roadster on the Copperbelt!  Mickie shakes the Kalulushi people by saying “civilisation? This isn’t half as civilised as Namwala …  & the shops at Choma had better stuff than these…!”

Sunday, 08 February 1959

Fine & hot.

I stayed at home & banged away all day at Guide letters & reduced the awful pile to 5, so felt very pleased with myself.

In the afternoon the Heath family took me for a drive along the shore to Limulunga, 11 miles, the Paramount Chief’s winter capital. A European-type house but most original looking, in a typical Barotse courtyard, just dumped down in a most un-attractive site & long tangled grass & weeds all round, & the scruffiest untidiest little native huts imaginable as the “village”. The end of the canal, where he lands for the Kuomboka, is just at the bottom of the hill, looks very low & stagnant now.

On the way home we called on the Sisters of the Holy Cross at Malengwa, & had tea. Sister Martin, a German, was in Livingstone; Sister Morris, Irish & very young & pretty, was at Sichili.

Wednesday, 11 February 1959

Drizzle. Fine.

Hung up the Guide Colony Standard to get the creases out, & wrote a long letter to all the Executive Council Members.

Meant to but didn’t: file all letters, write to A.A. & C.A.A.about planes & distances from Ft. Jameson to Zomba for the Conference in April.

Mr Vale dropped in for a short chat, husband of my Guide Commissioner in Lusaka, a town planner.

In the afternoon we did our Silozi & I dozed & drooped & couldn’t learn the negative of the verb “To be” which is excessively difficult.

Thursday, 12 February 1959

Heavy rain.

Sunday, 15 February 1959

Hot & lovely.

Went out for the morning we had asked “one of the boys” to come & chauffeur us, & all four came!  So we were 7; we went along the shore road to Mabumbu[2] to see the Girls’ School, but they were all just going into Church.  So we went on to Kande & had our  bathe first, a lovely bathe slightly shattered by an awful fright when Michael suddenly disappeared – he’d only gone up into the bushes but we had a nasty few minutes till he re-appeared!! People say there is a crocodile in the lake but no one has ever seen it.

Returned to Mabumbu & went round to see everything with the two women Miss Rochat & Miss Wick, & Mr Greber who is there for a baptism. The place looks as well-kept as in Marie Borle’s time, & the girls were pleasant & polite. Two material differences: they sleep on kapok mattresses, & most wear shoes; a new kitchen with big furnace-cauldrons for cooking.

Monday, 16 February 1959

Very hot.

Political meeting, Harry Franklin is standing as special member for the Western region for the Legislative Council & is in the brand-newly-formed Central Africa Party with Sir John Moffitt & Garfield Todd.  Fools – they will only draw away some of the more pro-native people in the Federal Party, & will weaken it, & they won’t get any of the Dominion party which will thereby be strengthened.

He talked slowly & quietly & dully. Some of it was good sense but some was sheer dishonest white lies & not telling the whole truth.

Big Sundown party, 65, to say “goodbye” to those who are leaving soon & “hello” to those who have recently come. I wrote a little speech bringing in all their names, including such frightful ones as Gompels, Muirden, and Siyomunji !

Friday, 20 February 1959

Fine, hot

G. went by boat to Lealui, he left at 7.15 & got back at 4.30, taking 3 hrs each way. Awful, I haven’t given him any food, thinking he would have lunch with the Paramount Chief.

In the afternoon I sorted my things to take for Guider trainings etc. & made a set of cards of jokes from the Reader’s Digest for the Guide Laws. Not really enough suitable ones – although I have been collecting them for months.

Saturday, 21 February 1959

Fine & nice.

Sunday, 22 February 1959

Cool, grey, drizzle. Heavy rain.

At 6 we all went to B.N.S. to meet Guides, they ran back from hospital where they had been singing to the patients, all decorated with flowers in their hair!

Tuesday, 24 February 1959


Dull & grey, drizzle.

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Wednesday, 25 February 1959

Fine & lovely.

Out all day, visiting our old haunts at “old Sesheke” or Mwandi.  Went by Land Rover, about 40 miles took us about two hours, through ordinary Bush & patches of Mukushi Woods, away from the river & only met the river again as we arrived at the Mission. Had a cup of tea with the Missionary Ager, whose wife will arrive tomorrow with the fourth baby; & Dr Picot, who speaks her mind in very definite terms, lively & volatile & ugly & amusing.  Then we went to the village of Mwandi, & met chief Lubinda, the successor of Imwiko who was here when we were [in 1936] & became Paramount Chief & died. Lubinda is a son of a brother of Lewanika, so is 1st cousin of Mwanawina, & appears older, but assured G. he was only 50!  Speaks English, but spoke almost entirely through an interpreter. Liashimba is his Prime Minister, & a member of the African Representative Council.

G. spoke to them about the elections & voting. Then we processed into the Kuta where all the Indunas & others were gathered, & G. greeted them, then gave the greetings of the Paramount Chief then of the Ngambela & Indunas of Lealui; & each time the entire assembly climbed off their chairs to kneel down & kandalela. It is the most gracious & charming custom & I do hope they won’t lose it for many years. They did not give an address or ask any questions or present any grievances. G. spoke extremely well about the elections & voting, & urged all eligible to sign on the voters roll.

We then had tea with Lubinda & his wife, I tried to converse in Silozi but still am absolutely hopeless at understanding what they say, & eventually had to be interpreted, though I could answer perfectly well.

Then we drove along a sandy track through high grass to our old house – now just a great mound completely overgrown with great wild marigolds & blackjacks, the foundations just visible.

After picnic by the river, to the school, & then to the hospital, rather sordid and scruffy but some new modern wards with awful hot corrugated iron roofs.

Then drove back to Sesheke, rather late for sundown party:

Wium, Magistrate at Katima Mulilo across the river, Afrikaans, she smart & chic in a Gwen-Clark-ish way!

Dr Jamison, Pooh-Bah M.O. for Wenela, N.R.G., Caprivi Government, & private, & Federal.

Leiper, Wenela. She has been very ill, very thin. He North-country.

Smith, agricultural officer.

Bratt, D.A. Wife (Scottish) left today to fly to England on leave with child, he follows soon.

Saunders, Mrs came, he is on tour. Were at Namushukende, she is Austrian & naughty.

Thursday, 26 February 1959

G. spent the morning at the office discussing. Packed & then sat & mended with Anna. She is a charming girl, quite pretty & I think clever, was a librarian at a university.

Flew home 11-ish, arrived for late lunch.

Monday, 02 March 1959

Cool, grey, squally.

G. & I went out to Lealui to see the Paramount Chief before going away. We went in our beautiful green barge, with 14 paddlers & a Capitao, & we went straight across the plain not following any canal! It was about 3 to 4 feet deep, & they punted most of the time with short spells of paddling. It took 2½ hours & was a really delightful journey & we loved it. We took a picnic lunch, & I took my books to plan my training programs etc...

Tuesday, 03 March 1959

Cool, rain.

Finished packing leisurely & ready in good time & left everything neat & orderly.

G. & I flew off at 2-ish, by Hunting Clan Dakota to Lusaka for the P.C.’s conference, & I shall stay there & do Guides there & at Broken Hill & then Eastern Province.

Smooth flight through masses of rain & dark low clouds.

Stayed with George & K.J. Billing, in the house the Halls used to have.

To supper with Jonas & Nancy, & met all the other P.C.s in for the conference, & the Hones (Chief Secretary) & some of the Secretariat people – Humphrey & Dimps Jones, & Durant, etc.

Wednesday, 04 March 1959

Cool, showers.

A State of Emergency has now been declared in Nyasaland, & the African National Congress forbidden, & the leaders rounded up & flown out to detention camps in S.R. They had however infected their followers, & angry big crowds have tried to prevent them being arrested & have caused riots & trouble. Congress in Nyasaland has been saying wild things for some time, wanting to secede from the Federation, & wanting to have African majority in the Legislative Council at once (so that they themselves can rule the country), wanting to oust white people – & so on. Their M.P.s are mostly Congress agitators.

P.C.’s conference began, they are all here except Rex Phillips from Fort Jameson who is staying put, in case trouble spreads over the border into his Province.

Western province: James Murray.

Northern: Robin Foster.

Central: F.M. Thomas.

Southern: John Sugg.

Luapula: Eaun Thompson.

Northwest: James Lemmon (acting for Errol Button)

P.C. secretariat: George Billing.

S.N.A. [Secretary for Native Affairs]: Jonas Jones

In the afternoon Barbara Rhodes fetched me & took me to a meeting of the first Ridgeway Brownies Maxwell hostel. New W.B. Mrs Page, Marjorie Rundle used to run it herself. Small pack, not many enrolled, they seemed awfully young, but knew their stuff all right.

Marjorie Rundle (District Commissioner, Ridgeway) came, & after a talk (other Brownies, Bees, Petites Ailes, etc.) went to 1st Ranger Guides at Guide Hall, run by Jean Hoggset & Jean Rumsby, an excellent company. Enrolled about 4. Talk: do something about Promise & Laws.

Then on to Burma Road School, but the Guider met us most apologetic, she had only received the notice this very afternoon, too late to tell the children, & their meeting is not Wednesday but Thursday.  M. Lwendo.

Thursday, 05 March 1959

Fine. Heavy rain.

In the afternoon Barbara took me to Guide Hall for 3rd Bridgeway Brownies (European). Enrolled several, & there were several mothers there. Talk – about other Brownies again, & the Promise. Mrs Ford new W.B. done it in England, I should think very good  (very North-country accent, typical English “little Guider”).

Then to Chinika Guides & Brownies, near Martha Chileshe’s home & she was there, & Marjorie Rundle took me there. Guides run by a cadet – Rebecca – I suppose ex-Chipembe.

Did smart & confident Company drill & horseshoe & I enrolled about five, all knew it very well. Then they did games while we went to Brownies. Mrs Ngambi who has done it for years. All the old Sunbeam Six songs in Bemba, & the Brownies’ song, & a Pool, & she did a health song in Bemba. Enrolled several – in English. Talked to them all about the Promise (difficult to translate “special” or “unusual”!)

Friday, 06 March 1959

Fine & lovely.

All P.C.s in their Conference – all very hush-hush & I’ve no doubt they are making careful plans for what will happen if things go queer here as they have in Nyasaland.

The riots are still going on as a result of angry crowds trying to set free members of Congress who had been arrested.  All very horrid, & a few people were killed when squads had to fire at them to disperse them.

It is usually the innocent who get hurt – the instigators once they have inflamed a mob & hurled the first stone, take care to escape before the shooting & arresting begins.

Barbara took me out to tea with Martha Chileshe, two Indians there Mrs Desai & Nirmala Rauchhad now married & moving to Gatooma. Martha has a nice house, big sitting room, small dining room, three bedrooms, bathroom with taps & hot water boiler, kitchen & stove & nice cupboards for pots, & an annexe of three rooms for her older children – she has 11, the youngest about 4! I think she’s quite wonderful, to run her home & family & do all the cooking, & Guides, & Church work, & help husband with his political work, & they own a store & butchery.

To Kabwata, at R.C. Convent school for girls, with G.F. Daphne Cotrell & new G.F. Rumsby, Guider  Margaret Chileshe. New good uniforms & all bits. After inspection then the G.F.s ran the meeting & Margaret just translated & organised. Did knots, fairly well, & a good team race. Taught health game.

Dance at Government House  men all in tails & decorations, H.E. looking splendid with the two stars on his chest, & Lady B. lovely & gracious as ever. House beautifully decorated & garden lighted & the waterfall of the swimming pool.  Music not good, nice tunes but very difficult to dance to; supper excellent. Billings, Lemons, Murrays companions.

Saturday, 07 March 1959

Fine & hot.

Prepared a few more things for training this afternoon.

Midday drinks party at Jonas’s, for us to say goodbye to the Bensons. We gave Lady B. a nice set of brooch & earrings of marcasite, & the P.C.s gave him a telescopic lens for a cine camera (not yet arrived) & a signed letter about it.

Training at Guide Hall for all Guiders, about 18 equally mixed. Gave them quite good stuff but I’m out of practice, & I didn’t spend enough time between each thing to discuss & write down, which was foolish, as I had plenty of time. From just after 2 till 5 with half hour break for tea.

Early bed.

Sunday, 08 March 1959

Fine & sunny & warm.

Then George took us to Highlands House as they are going away on Tuesday. We’ve so enjoyed staying with them & really had a most gay time. We had a very earnest discussion about politics & dear old K.J. feels terribly guilty at the way things have been going & full of sympathy with the natives. She feels miserable about the attitude of so many Europeans, this awful superior contemptuous rude way they treat them in their own country, & a refusal to realise that many of them are now “civilised” people in our sense of the word & have the right to be treated as such.

She also feels – & I don’t agree with her – that the political leaders are right in their fear that the white people ruling Federation will always continue to dominate.

I don’t agree because they have proved that they intend to allow natives to take more and more progressively full share in government.  They have started the multi-racial university with absolutely equal status for all: & bursaries to enable for clever Africans to go there. They have made new & lesser voting qualifications to enable them to vote, etc.

Monday, 09 March 1959

Cool, fine.

Had a peaceful day - did some washing, & a lot of telephoning, & Barbara came for a useful long chat, & Mrs Midgelow brought the Guide typewriter so I got down to writing “final” (?) Plans to Eastern province, telling them Barbara is coming, and giving the probable alternative if the Conference is altered.

G. had Z.R.T.[3] meeting all morning & in the afternoon he went back to the offices, then hurried in at 3. fetch his luggage & went off – going by special plane to Livingstone & then on via Sesheke & Senanga to Mongu tomorrow. Wish I could go too: I don’t think I relish the next few weeks.

There were more riots in Nyasaland today & several Africans killed & a lot of the police injured by the rioters. Crowds of rioters marched about setting fire to stores etc. & threatening Asians & Europeans but fortunately didn’t actually attack them.

Tuesday, 10 March 1959

Hot & fine.

Posted Eastern Province letters, & typed a few more & packed, then Barbara fetched me to town.

Dentist: nothing to be done, thank God.

Then to Kee’s travel department & booked to sail to England on the Stirling Castle first class on June 2nd 1960, & discussed flights back via Hargeisha (to stay with the Halls, just made Governor of Somaliland!) & Nairobi (to spend three weeks with Christian & Claire), & Salisbury (to spend Christmas & New Year with Mummy).

Then collected my things & went to stay with Jock & Daphne Cottrell.

In the afternoon Barbara taxied me to Brownie meeting (European) run by ex-Guide Pat Robertson, now Mrs Knighton, in her garden.

Then to Guide meeting (European) at Convent, run by Jo Perry, excellent.

Quiet home evening.

News a bit better tonight, position in Northern Nyasaland “still serious” but no further riots in other parts.

No sign whatever of any trouble in N.R. & really S.R. has managed marvellously to get through without any trouble.

Wednesday, 11 March 1959

Wrote Record Book etc. & Alice Rogers came in for a chat about Barotseland & we bothered-on phoning Ivy Collins & Molly Goodfellow about having our Executive meeting on this Friday instead of next. They have all got a scare on that things might be very unpleasant next Friday on Election Day, with Zambia trying to prevent people voting & fights etc. so we don’t want Elsie & me & Ivy to travel that day.

Molly was furious at missing it & said she “never heard of anything so hysterical” in her life! I rather agree with her but I do think perhaps it is rather foolish to be gadding about that very day.

Telegram from Nyasaland suggesting postponing the Conference! We have to agree, as we really mustn’t go to Nyasaland just now.

In the afternoon went to European Brownies in a garden, very nice – & then to European Guides at Convent, run by Jo Perry, an excellent Company just like a really good English Company: smart, in a Hall, with Corners, & a Morse game, etc.

Home evening. Daphne seems in a most nervy state, & talks & talks, leaping from one subject to another.

Thursday, 12 March 1959

Daphne called us down to listen to Sir Arthur Benson making an announcement – he has banned Zambia African National Congress & removed the leaders to places far away. He made an excellent speech, most clearly stating that it was certain that plans had been made at the Accra conference to create Civil Strife in the Federation, to culminate in massacres. He specifically repeated that he was not banning the African National Congress & exonerating Harry Nkumbula; they are behaving perfectly well & are taking part in the free elections, & Harry himself is standing! & also H.E. repeated that he is not declaring a state of emergency in N.R..  He told everybody to go about their lawful business as usual & to vote next Friday with [no?] fear of reprisals or interference.

As we drove about there were hundreds of policeman about, strolling along in pairs every few hundred yards, carrying long clubs. But nowhere was there any sign of “menace” – everybody bicycling & walking & motoring about as usual.

Daphne drove me to Munali to stay with the Fosbrooks.

Barbara was to have fetched me to go to Kabwata & Chilenje Brownies, but they thought better not to go into the Compounds today so we didn’t.

Luckily it was the weekly meeting of the Kumali Guides & Brownies so I saw them instead & had a useful half-hour with Guiders and Guiders’ Friends afterwards.

Henry Fosbrook is away at present, just Jane & Penny here. Penny is 20, perhaps going to England soon perhaps to marry. The boy Ian is in England at school.

Friday, 13 March 1959

Cold, rainy, windy.

A typical English day.

Washed my hair & Jane luckily had a dryer & came & chatted while I dried, then we got talking

She sometimes teaches at Munali, geography for Higher School Certificate, the University entrance for VI Form boys; she takes a terrific interest in them all & worries about them & tries to help them afterwards & it does seem mad the way the Education Departments wash their hands of them once they leave the school doors.

In the afternoon went to Daphne’s for Executive meeting. A most odd one: LCs spent a large proportion of it blasting Molly Goodfellow, most of it I thought unfair & unjust, & I protested & objected & defended several times but it had to out! Then Daphne spent more large chunks scaring the daylights out of people because of the Present Situation: we have cancelled the Conference, we have altered the Executive, now we must cancel the Council Meeting because three people will be travelling by train on election day! She was fully & earnestly backed up by an even more scare-mongering Elsie & by the other two! So we cancelled it, bother. Then as if THAT weren’t enough panicking, they all made an impassioned appeal to me to cancel my Eastern Province Tour & Barbara said she wants to back out of it. All in the name of being Reasonable & Responsible & Not putting temptation in the way of Stone-throwers & Not adding to the burdens of the stretched Security Forces. I said I would not cancel it till I return from Broken Hill when the election will be over & we’ll know better if things are calm or turbulent. We went on till nearly 8.

Saturday, 14 March 1959

Fine, warm.      Slight a.

In the afternoon Jane took me to Guide Hall for a Group Friends meeting, very few there, & three members of L.A.– two of whom came at teatime.

Gave a talk, it should have been good, but it wasn’t somehow, about “our convictions”, & then gave them a few games to have “up their sleeves” when in despair. After tea again settle down to talk, about “values” & other countries compared with here, & this time I was quite good, but dear Phoebe Wroth went to sleep nevertheless. We ended with Taps then the non-singers left & six of us remained & did a few songs.

Sally Seale took me home to stay with her & Michael in their new home, “Frensham” on the Leopards’ Hill Road. A clean little house & in 18 months they have done absolute miracles in the garden, two terraces & a great orchard with already fruit on lemons & naartjies, & apples already fruited.

My “hay fever” has quite gone, but I fear it really was a proper cold as I am rather thick-nosed & coughy.

Their sons: John is Education Officer of the Luapula Province at Fort Rosebery, and is engaged to be married to the Porritt girl.  Robin is a Personnel Officer at Nchanga mine, & runs an African Rover crew.

Sunday, 15 March 1959

Fine & fresh & sunny.

A lovely free day. They couldn’t go to church as M. had a meeting with some people about Electioneering. Sally & I made posters about his next meeting. He is standing for this new Central Africa Party with John Moffat, Garfield Todd & Harry Franklin.

Sally and I had a little Meeting all by ourselves of the Publications & Translations Sub- Committee & got a plan of action sorted out of all that has to be done.

In the afternoon we drove out in the car along the Leopards’ Hill Road 4 miles, then turned off into the bush & went for a nice breezy walk with the dogs (two Fox terrier bitches Peta & Poppet, mother & daughter).

They took me to the train (very late) & left me with Henry Fosbrook who had come to meet it – & I climbed on & went to Broken Hill.

Monday, 16 March 1959


Fine, warm.

Arrived about 4 a.m. & slept well till after 6. Got up leisurely & at about 7.30 Helen Burke fetched me & took me to stay with Frank & Phil Thorpe again.

In the afternoon Helen took me to her new little European pack meeting in her garden & I gave a golden ladder. Norma Nouton fetched me to Katondo a little way out, & I enrolled 8 – a very small dull Company.  All the Scouts there, terrifically gay effusive little Scoutmaster. Then to Indian company, same Mrs Patel, only 10 girls but clean & smartly uniformed & very smiley & eager. They did a dance-drill with jingling sticks. Very good.

Bob & Daphne Dunn to dinner also Mr and Mrs (Nan) Staples. Bob in very good form, full of jolly stories, Daphne backing him up. They go on leave next month. Staples, he very quiet, she just the opposite, most attractive with “casual” chic fair hair & smart & very chatty. She is on the Guide Local Association & was on the train to Livingstone for the Royal visit in 1947 in charge of catering for us all. She remembered to this day that I said “Oh! You’re a Local Ass are you? My mother always calls than that.”   Bother! And I So carefully don’t now!

Talked a lot about the Present Situation, & deplored the rudeness of Europeans & the dishonesty of Africans. We felt what THEY need most is to learn to be reliable so they CAN be trusted in better jobs, & that what WE need is to learn courtesy.

Tuesday, 17 March 1959

Fine & warm.   Asthma.

Had quite a bad asthma attack just after going to bed. I had been very coughy & phlegmy all evening & had laughed a lot & eating too much. Took a whole pill & after about an hour it sank away & I sank to a thankful sleep & slept well & awoke all right.

Helen fetched me to a W.I. morning Visit, which they have every month. To Clinic at the Mine Compound.  Most well-done, 3 White Sisters & about four or five African dressers, women & children only, about 200 day.

Maternity ward attached, five mothers & babies in at present, more than 400 last year.

The Sisters & dressers go house-visiting every day to treat defaulters & those too ill to come. Pre-natal & anti-natal Clinics every week, child Clinics every week & they give extras to under-nourished & to expectant mothers. I think it’s wonderfully philanthropic.

Dr Irving. Mr Francis was there.

Then back to W.I. for tea & lots of chat about W.I. & Africans & politics etc.

Sir Roy Welenski was here yesterday & gave an election speech, with Mr Kazokah the U.F.P. candidate for this area Special. Apparently both very good, & K said the same asKatilungu at the Copperbelt “we can none of us do without the other.”

In the afternoon Helen took me to Bwacha A company & pack; primary school. Very military! Marching about particularly Brownies, & did everything in straight lines & had to mark time when singing!

Guides did a very dull knot relay & Guide Laws, Brownies did only singing games, as their usual Guider was not there.

Showed them the Standard & talked in Bemba.

Wednesday, 18 March 1959

No asthma.

Last night went to dinner with F.M. & Mary Thomas, Dunns there & Rick & Charlotte Carter, & Mr Scott (Vet) whose wife is acting in “Romeo & Juliet”.  Heard that there has been an incident on Chilubi island in Lake Bangweulu, trying to arrest a Zambia leader - a D.O. was badly speared & the D.C. Walsh slightly hurt.

Slightly asthma-y at bedtime, so sprayed with Brovon & it sent it away & I didn’t have to take a pill. Cough a bit better today, but an ominously growly voice.

Norman Norton took me to stay with Helen Burke at lunchtime & stayed to lunch & we discussed dividing the district in two which has become necessary with 13 Companies & Packs – over double since we were here in 1951. Thanks chiefly to Helen who is doing this Really Well.

To Welfare Guides at the little Guide hut built for them by the Mine, & supervised by Mrs Scott Welfare Officer. Mr Francis, Compound Manager, was there too. Very dull. Guides stood in a horseshoe & sang Kookaburra as if it were hymn without a smile. Brownies did Brownie song in Bemba, to different tune, & then singing games. It didn’t seem as if anything were planned.

Showed the Standard & talked in Bemba.

On to Convent Company & enrolled one, & they used their new Colours for the first time. A bright eager little lot, very young (Primary) & run by Mrs Marshall & Shirley McLauchlan, a Livingstone Queen’s Guide.

Then to L.A. meeting - their usual monthly meeting, about eight there, & gave them an impassioned speech about preparing our children to accept Africans as equals. One fell asleep so it can’t have been all that good.

After dinner Film Show & talk at Primary School hall. Mixed audience, European men & women, African men & women, African & European Guides. Lasted just over an hour.

Thursday, 19 March 1959

Sunny & very hot.

No asthma at all.

Up very late, reading the paper from cover to cover. The Government in Nyasaland is having great difficulty in restoring order in the North, & the rebels are still more or less in command, damaging where they like & blocking roads & burning buildings. But still peaceful, with a few isolated burning of huts & attempts to burn a clinic etc. which is little more than normal.

S.R. is still peaceful as far as we hear. Lord Perth, Under-Secretary of State has flown out to investigate. Labour Party Leaders in England & the wretched Trade Unions are making the stupidest wildest statements & resolutions, & Ghana has behaved very badly, sending £10,000 to support the families of those “patriots” who have been detained by the white “imperialists” who have usurped their country, etc. etc.

Went to morning tea with Mrs Pigg, been here about 17 years. Also there Mrs Gleason, wife of the General Manager, Mrs Murray, Mrs Routledge & several others. Just chat. I opened my big mouth & held fourth on my hobby horse of white people being rude to natives; & we all agreed how disgracefully dishonest & unreliable most Africans are.

In the afternoon had a sleep, & then we went out to Mukobeko & fetched old Mrs Mtshede (tattered-looking but very much all-there) for Guider’s tea-and-training. There were 32 Guiders there!! Gave them a good training, evidently getting into practice again – but a bit rushed as we had barely an hour.

Dinner party: Frank & Phil Thorpe; Mr and Mrs Stacey - been here since 1929, he very bellicose & I-y, she rather defeated; Terry Guernsey, very old & hollow-eyed; and Dr Gunning, taking his place when they return next month.

Friday, 20 March 1959


Cool & windy & cloudy.

The day we have rather dreaded, expecting high feelings to get the better of people, & fearing clashes between Africans who are entitled to vote & those who want to get political power by violent means & not through co-operation with the government. Thanks to the government’s strong action in whisking away all Zambia leaders, there was NO trouble anywhere reported, & everything went smoothly & calmly.

In spite of the efforts of the C.A.P. & Dominion Party & Independents (of whom there were many) the Federal Party got an overwhelming majority in all the ordinary constituencies, & we haven’t yet heard results from rural ones. In some cases the vote was split by three or more candidates, so it’s possible that a secondary vote in some cases may have lost the Federal Party seat. In the three Lusaka Constituencies there were 13 candidates!

In Broken Hill as far as we could tell all was very quiet & peaceful. We went to vote, in a small but steady queue of mixed Africans and Europeans; then a short while in town.

Washed hair & got thoroughly up-to-date with everything & prepared cards for testing Brownies and Guides tomorrow.  Only thing I haven’t done, report on their Districts to Marjorie Rundle & Pat Vale. Perhaps if I leave it long enough I needn’t do it at all!

Supper with Elsie Thom & her 18-year-old son Andrew, very effeminate, & rather unhappy working in the Standard Bank. Acting in “Romeo & Juliet” & loves acting “more than anything”. Mrs Cowpen, old Scottish pioneer (husband 1908!)

Saturday, 21 March 1959

Elsie fetched me to call on Waldron-Jones, so nice, & helpful over Guiders time-off for Guiding. Then saw the magnificent & very luxurious & costly Municipal Building; tower & clock; matching panelling all along the stair wells & round several rooms; fitted carpets & elsewhere parquet floors; beautiful curtains & lovely furniture.  Elsie was deputy mayor at the time & went to Salisbury to choose it all, so very proud. I couldn’t help feeling “Oh if only they had built tin shacks & spent all that money on street-lighting in Bwacha …”

Helen fetched me to help test African Guides & Brownies for Tenderfoot & 2nd class which took us two and half hours. Did 11 Tenderfoots, & four 2nd class tests for three girls. I was rather shocked how very bad they were & I only passed two out of the 11!

Elsie took me to lunch & then to see the matinee of “Romeo & Juliet”, I was so pleased to have the chance of seeing it, though we had to leave before the end, & they did it extraordinarily well, slickly & sincerely; though a lot of it was very difficult to understand & great chunks just passed me by completely. Audience: about 40 Convent girls, 20 public, 10 Indians & eight Africans!

Got on the mixed mail train & arrived Lusaka 9.30. Stayed with Barbara Rhodes.

Sunday, 22 March 1959


Hot & fine.

Molly fetched me 3-ish & took me to her house for tea & walk with Robin & a very pleasant chat, very friendly – & she came back for supper which we all crowded into the kitchen & cooked ourselves. Arnold came in from work much later & I made him a beautiful Bully Beef Omelette.

Really it is the queerest set-up – Arnold is the ONLY man in N.R. who can work the machinery of the Police Signals wireless sets, & he is therefore on duty almost the entire time when those a Flap on like now. His No. 2 has gone on leave, & his Assistant is now out on the job in the Troubled Areas. It seems to me very wrong that they should be so dependent on one man, & that he should be on duty & encores so much even at night.

He very kindly rang up the Officer Commanding Police at Fort Jemison to ask whether it would be awkward for them if I came, & the answer was No, it would be quite O.K.  George Billing said the same.

So I have no excuse not to go. Oh dear.

Monday, 23 March 1959


Rushed to the airport to say I was not going home on the Beaver today & gave pilot a letter to G.  G. rang up just before to ask, & I had to say no, & it just finished me off, as I had woken in the night in a real Panic about this trip, so silly, & I very Nearly got up deciding to turn round & fly home.

I have no reason to be frightened. If Arnold & George had the slightest doubt of it being safe, they would have said so & I would have cancelled it – but they haven’t. It wore off during the day.

Went shopping most of the morning & to the Boma to meet my messenger who is coming with me – & they were most casual & haven’t even chosen him yet. Kept harping on about I must pay him subsistence allowance till I felt quite huffed; & also they said “Can’t you send him straight back by bus from Fort Jameson?” Silly ass! Mr Wood.

In the afternoon wrote letters and completely re-packed, then walked round for a chat with the Allins – almost entirely about Rosalind of course, who has a flat in Durban & very gay time, too gay they think. Arnold came in very late for lunch having flown to Petauke & back!!  Also late for supper & after it, was out working till after 10. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Tuesday, 24 March 1959


Fine & sunny

Arnold left at 5.30 to fly to Fort Jameson & further with the Commissioner, to assess what further assistance & equipment will be needed.

Molly brought the Land Rover, & I had THE most awful sinking feelings for an hour beforehand, feeling quite faint & then sick, but managed not to show it. I just said to Barbara as I left “I wish I had my bed socks!” & she knew what I meant[4], & I asked her to pray for me. I also wrote a note to Padre Adams asking for his prayers, & left it in his car when I went to Holy Communion. Went to the Boma and got my messenger, Moses Mwanza, whose house is at Fort Jameson so if only the naughty D.O. had arranged it a week ago we could have taken his wife & let his family know it etc.. however – & he had no food money so I had to stop & let him buy food – then the Land Rover made a queer noise so I turned round & went to the garage but they convinced me it was all right.

We finally set off at 10 – & my spirits lifted & I had no further need for bed socks! What a miraculous effect everybody’s prayers had.

Tarmac 20 miles. Then wide gravel, O.K., to Rufunsa, 102 miles, 1 o’clock, & had lunch at the Rest House. Several soldiers obviously staying there & lorries etc. so didn’t go in. Within minutes of leaving, met an Army Convoy of 38 – road very wide and luckily passed them all before it narrowed to the old road. Became very twisty, round & round & up & down among hills Muk just like theutu, but not an “escarpment” as I expected & there was little obvious going down, & then suddenly – at 148 miles & 4 o’clock – there was the Luangwa River.

Very low, with sandbanks showing, & a magnificent steel bridge. The hills the other side were just the same, rather narrow road & all blind corners, but nowhere frightening steep-drop-edges; & we met no traffic at all.

 Reached Kachololo at 5.30, 191 miles. Smart rest house, electrically light! & Nice square houses with Bath. Met at supper Mrs Cairns from Katete & Miss Browning, Matron from Fort Jameson.

Wednesday, 25 March 1959


Hot & sunny.

Left leisurely after breakfast, Mr and Mrs Prentice going before me – an agricultural research man ex-Uganda & Kenya & now Mount Mukulu, two boys at Peterhouse.

More twisty hills, & passed another convoy of 24 army lorries (I understand they are King’s Africans Rifles lorries returning to Bulawayo, & the Reservists who used them have been flown back).

Then the road straightened out normal again, & was magnificent & we sped along about 50 mph most of the way.

Went in to Minga to say I come P; & reachedetauke at 11-ish. Staying with D.C.John & Pam Waddington (son of our ex-governor here). Also staying her cousin Daphne Jones from Nigeria, & Jill Hatchwell! What a surprise.

In the afternoon went to meet the headmaster Mayaka & another teacher & wife & one woman teacher. None had been Guides or Scouts so it was a failure; but I talked to them about it & they asked a few questions. I explained the religious & political policies.

Went for a walk round the Boma – pretty with high trees everywhere & houses dotted among them, & glimpses out over an immense G.view, tiny swimming pool, & two tennis courts, about 30 people here! P.W.D.police agriculture etc. & P.C.M.U. (Petauke Co-operative Marketing Union) with European manager & mechanic – enormous amounts of food grown & exported to Lusaka & Fort Jameson by Peasant Farmers.

People to sundown – Jim & Sheila Carly, D.O. ex-bureaucracy, now got a baby son Peter, four, cadets & L.D.A.s one leaving for Gwembe tomorrow, Bill Brown.

Thursday, 26 March 1959

Left at eight, picked up a woman with bad-leg being carried to hospital on clever stretcher across two bicycles, & took her to St Francis is

Reached Katete Boma at 11 & went to Dick & Sicily Beck, a delightful couple & seem so very pleased to see me, most warming, held out her arms & hugged me! Now got two little boys David, four, & Aidan, two. She is doing some French translations, did French at Cambridge & Dick did Italian & is a Dante fan. In the afternoon we went to St Francis’s and had a talk with Miss Joy Mollet about possibly starting Rangers with the Student Nurses.  I felt a bit inadequate as I hadn’t stupidly got the Alternative for Africans of South Africa & can you so could only say “we do the same as Europeans” which is true of the few Ranger companies we have had from time to time. But I will send them to her. Went round the hospital, about a hundred patients. Buildings tiled but very badly so, & leak. Talked to the student-nurses, most of them ex-Guides, & told them about the four lines of guiding which they followed as a child, & how it can become part of your life; & then told them the Ranger program.

Also m!atron Miss Astell(?) Miss Phillips (ex-Queen’s Guide) & Miss Burns sister-tutor, ALL ex-Guides! Dr Cairns, very young, & Mr Jebett, layman supervisor.

Then drove on to Fort Jameson, excellent road, no trouble, & arrived 6.30. Went to the Phillips’s, but they didn’t know where I was staying, nor did people she rang up, so I went to the hostel– and found I was booked there. Most comfy, exactly like Highland House including curtains!

Friday, 27 March 1959


Warm & sunny

Good Friday, very conscious of it all last week and all morning.

Mrs Beasant came: she booked me in here, & is more-all-less in charge of me, as she runs the Brownies the only thing that is functioning at present. So we made plans of what I will do, and sound she went off to stir everybody up!

The Commissioner left last month & left nothing planned; the Guides have faded out completely; so have the Indian Guide; the Coloured Guider Mrs Mehl is away; nobody knows what the African Guides are doing; the local association hasn’t met for six months & Mrs B.herself took over the Brownies about a year ago “temporarily, to keep them going” & has no uniform or warrant; & the White Sisters’ Convent carries on regardless.

So it is JUST as well I came, & just as well the Conference was cancelled so I have 3 extra days here, & language exams giving me another two days next week.

When she had gone – plus Miller (Holly’s cadet, helping with Brownies) – I went & saw the headmaster Mr Sansom (enormous moustache) (good Heavens, so has George Ransom, how odd!) & he will do a film show on Tuesday.

Went with Mrs Richardson the manageress to church 1.30. Only 7 of us, but we had a nice Service & we sang hymns unaccompanied & he talked about the sayings from the Cross, very good: “Forgive them, Father…” Forgiveness, he goes on forgiving us always; “verily this day shalt thou be in Paradise” to the repentant thief, we must respect repent & we can continue to do so right up to the end & will still be forgiven. “Behold thy son” handing his mother to his friend; explained how different they were, but both faithful & loyal to the end, standing thereby Him bearing witness to their friendship for Him in spite of the mocking crowd – “I thirst” bodily suffering always with us in this world, & it is the patients with which we bear it that is the proof of our reliance upon God. “Into thy hands I commend my spirit”we can only do that if we are used to practising it all our lives. If our thoughts all our lives are filled with material things so will it be at the end.

Wrote to G. & went for a walk & early bed.

Saturday, 28 March 1959

Sunny & hot

Washed hair & close, then walked along to sign Phillips’s book, up to D.C.’s (away) & to Mortimer’s & had a chat about guiding here & got more names.

In the afternoon prepared my reports on Lusaka & Broken Hill ready to type, then Mrs Beasant came & we went to the Convent of Immaculate Conception to talk to the Sisters about coming to see Guides & Brownies next week – & found a pack of Brownies in full uniform!! & Five grown-ups wearing Guide badges.

Brownies sang & danced & I spoke to them (I was in mufti, caught!) & We arranged to see them on Wednesday afternoon properly.

Had T & discuss things, none of the sisters know anything about Guides, & most of the ex-Guides are barely educated beyond the girls themselves, & hardly speak any English, so since sister Rodrigue left, tides have failed. Might start, now we have a “Guide to Guiding” in Nyanja!

Went along to Phillips is for a good old chat with Margaret. Didn’t see Rex, developing photographs.

Our invasion of police last night en route for Nyasaland are still with us, resting.

Sunday, 29 March 1959

Showers, cool

Woken by great knocking is on doors all round “4 o’clock Sir”, & heavy boots, & they departed about 5.30. Much in my prayers all day, they & their colleagues & their enemies.

Two communion 7.30 & a full church about 40 or more, choral service, beautiful flowers. Net Mrs Dowding, secretary of L.A.rather dubious about having a meeting, inclined to let others arrange it. Went with Mrs Richardson & Miss Spring.

Went again to 10.30. Family Service, again a good congregation & joyful Service & child-y sermon: Jesus lives NOW, Easter time of new life (hence Easter eggs) & time to make new Good Resolutions.

Met Mrs Rushforth, also on L.A. and will have a meeting at her house next Wednesday, more hopeful.

In the morning & afternoon typed comments to Lusaka two districts – Marjorie Rundle 12 things marked to do something about, Pat Vale about three! Also wrestled with Rangers syllabus & suggested adaptations & was agreeably surprised how often I could put “same” with no change.

Went for pleasant walk round the hillside, & admired little houses perched up with lovely views towards foresty hills & hills & more hills.

After supper Dr Barclay fetched me to their house to hear records of the Messiah – quite beautifully sung, very good tenor & soprano Jennifer [somebody-or-other] only 7 of us there & an enormous tea afterwards, poor thing worked so hard & nobody came.

Mrs B. a lively big young woman, born S.R., Principal of the Indian school! Has six European women teachers & three Indian men. Very few of the women speak English. All Muslim, so don’t come out much.

Lovely comforting telegram from my darling.[5]

Monday, 30 March 1959

Sunny & lovely. Shower.

Yet another holiday, & everybody busy on their own ploys. It seems absolutely weeks since I left Lusaka, & I haven’t done ANY Guiding at all yet except that unexpected little Brownie Pack on Saturday.

Title morning report about Broken Hill, then did a lot of washing, slept doggedly all afternoon, did some ironing, called on people called de Jong to ask her to come to L.A. meeting, very young & he does Cubs & wants to start Scouts as a patrol, like my idea for Guides. He is Dutch & evidently very B-P-ish about “the patrol system” etc.!

Dressed up grand & went – with the Madocks – to dinner with Rex & Margaret Phillips. Also Milligans (staying at Codrington, just going on leave) Ockwells (Police, she very pretty)

Rex wanting to know all the Barotse news, & [was] entertaining about old Harrington at Senanga etc.

Tuesday, 31 March 1959

Fine & sunny.

Set out at 8 & attacked people in their lairs:

Police, asked if go on to Lundazi & they say yes, no danger at all. Any trouble in Nyasaland is now away from our border & we have not had a single incident on our side. enquire for letters, one only from Katondwe saying O.K.for me to visit them. Also asked & arranged for a Film Show for Africans at the Welfare next Thursday.
African education – Mr Mortimer about possible places where there are Guides.
Miss Spring, W.E.O. & she accompanied me to Katopola school for Coloureds, received politely by Mr Sharpe & told firmly that  while Mrs Mehl is away on leave (till next term) it is quite impossible for Guides & Brownies to meet, & there is absolutely nobody who would come & help Mrs Mehl on her return. Retired baffled, my dear.
To Walela (Upper Primary Standard III – VI Girls boarding) children just arriving after 10 days holiday, & met polite headmaster & Miss Mseteka, a T3 Chipembe Cadent who ran Guides all last term. So I will come next Thursday to see them.
P.O. sent wire to G.& did my Good Turn for the day, smilingly appreciated.
Miss Spring to lunch & chat.
Typed reports on Lusaka for Executive Committee.
Called on Phillips’s after-dinner, then
Mrs Barclay to arrange coming to talk to her school & ask her to come  +  her staff to the L.A. meeting next week.
Film Show at the European hospital for all Cubs, Brownies & others, a jolly audience.

Wednesday, 01 April 1959

Sunny, cool took the Land Rover to be serviced.

Walked to the Indian School & gave a good talk to them: how it started, how it spread, what it gives. They were very responsive & quick. Scouts & Guides, run by Mr and Mrs Mehl, so both at present in abeyance. No Indian able to do it. Hundred and 58 Indian children or Muslim, girls in green trousers with long Navy surge gym tunics over the top & saris round their necks like bathing tiles! All very incongruous. Taught absolutely entirely English syllabus in English, six European women teachers! & To Indian men.

Wash clothes, fetched car.

Lunch with Madocks, D.C., talked about their year in London at the N.R. office, recruiting, Colonial Office disapproved; & of the trouble here, Fort Manning D.C. panicked & had to be “rescued”; all available D.O.s & messengers patrolled the border paths & stopped & questioned everybody passing, & stayed near Chiefs’ courts & farms – & there were no incidents. In Fort Jamison some of the European women were disgracefully panicky & the wildest rumours flew round.

Mrs Beasant & I went (plus her four children) to St Anne’s & there were the same five scruffy girls faithfully still wearing Guide badges, & a dozen more, some had been Guides & some hadn’t, but they knew everything that was done, so sensibly joined in. the same Brownies came, very shy. I taught them for games & two songs & they showed singing games & a nice time was had by all. Tea with Miss Spring, drinks Mortimers, washed hair & finished letters. Late bed.

Thursday, 02 April 1959

Sunny & lovely.

Left after breakfast, called at the Burma & said goodbye to D.C. etc. & picked up Moses Mwanza  & also a destitute wanting to go to Lundazi, & set off about 9.30. Easy pleasant drive, quite good road, had a picnic lunch, & drove slowly and arrived at Lumezi before 2.

They welcomed me warmly & wasted their entire afternoon sitting chatting!

Missionary sisters of our Lady of Africa – commonly known as the “White Sisters”, – their Mother House in Algiers where they spend a year before coming here – all in French. They have missions in West, North, East & Central Africa, none south of here. They come from France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Canada & England, chiefly. These ones here are: Mother Rafaelis, Germany, Sister Innocentia Holland, Sister Louise-Andre Canada, and Sister Leon-Marie.

Mother does the Badge Scheme with the women & a lot of village work.

Sister Innocentia teaches Standard IV & English & Arithmetic to Standard III.

Sister Louise-Andre teaches Domestic Science & seems to be the Housekeeper, & brings me my food.

Sister Leon-Marie is the Nurse & has a dispensary almost the whole day, & a compound of hearts full of in-patients.

The School is Standard III & IV only, 70 girls – all in one dormitory & in the passage! Some of them seem quite old – 16 or 17. Sister Leon-Marie took me all round in the afternoon, & whenever we saw a Guide she came up & shook hands, most unusual & I should think quite against their natural customs, but really quite correct from the Guide point of view. Some delightful handcrafts made of bark cloth, bags & purses & needle cases & mats & cushion covers, with beads or painted patterns.

Walked along with Sister Innocentia to the Fathers’ Monastery & the boys boarding – Standard II – VI, about 150 of them; & the Church, next to which a new huge Church is being built.

I joined the Sisters in their little Chapel at 6, but of course couldn’t join in it, & followed my own prayer book regardless.  They came into my parlour after supper for recreation – wanting to know about Dad & Mum & the start of Scouting & so on, so I talked far too much & we didn’t go to bed till half past eight, terribly late for them, poor things, as they have to get up at 4.30 every day.

Friday, 03 April 1959

Joined them in Chapel at 6 when the Father came in & did Mass, & I read the Communion Service & tried to see if it fitted in with theirs but couldn’t recognise anything except “The Lord be with us”!

All morning the Mother was with me & we walked down to the gardens (poor soil) & the stream, flowing crystal clear & some lovely rocks, & on to the fathers’ & the boys’ dormitories & into their classrooms & spoke to them. All say “English is easy”!

Then we sat & sewed, mending veils, & talked non-stop, about her family & about the people here, still full of superstition & witchcraft, & don’t like their daughters to go to school – very natural, they would far rather have her at home working & obedient & manageable, then going off to learn “reading ‘riting and ‘rithmetic” & how to bake cakes in a stove & cut out smart dresses & embroider pillow cases.  At school, a girl gets big ideas about beds & chairs & spoons & lamps, & why should old father by these things for her? & She is provided with food, the meal ground by an engine-grinder, & naturally mother wants her to come & help cultivate & pound & gets angry if she won’t. All very difficult.

We had a Guide meeting in the afternoon, 19 of them, but I suspect some are roped in as they didn’t know what their Patrol was! None in uniform & only to enrolled, apparently they have great discussion & had themselves said that each other were not yet fit to be enrolled! Great lamentations, however, great improvements were expected, & I explained to Sister that “understanding of the laws & an effort to keep them” is all that is needed before enrolment, so they decided to have an enrolment tonight at Camp Fire & I enrolled 6.

Went to Scouts’ meeting, they intended to have it “in the classroom for instruction” but I persuaded them to go out on the football field. In a long line to be inspected, 4 Patrols, patrol leaders all the smartest! None in any uniform at all except a few “good luck” & Scout belts. Scoutmaster Mr [?? Left blank]

They played an amusing blindfold-catching game, then I taught them “limbo” from Jamaica which they loved; and did Lions coming, Patrols up trees.  And a short talk about “trusted”.

Benediction in church, a native priest played the organ, church packed, nice full-throated singing.

Camp fire enrolment first & for it we had left up the flag, which shone above the shadows in the firelight as if floodlit, lovely.

Usual jive-type of dance, & the common alternate powers in the middle native dance – I’ve seen it so often but have no idea of the words or the tune which is in J-time, & could no more do it or teach it than fly!

Taught them mottos, P-P & jamboree – tribes good – & talk very short & simple, dads “to be happy” message.

Saturday, 04 April 1959

Fine then heavy long storm.

Up early again for Mass at 6. Wrote to G. & the children, & felt suddenly in touch with them again although for no reason. Mended veils with Sister L-A who showed me a photo of all her family back home in Quebec, a homely family of grocers & commercial travellers, & three of the nine are nuns. Also did a little Silozi for the first time! I have managed to do a bit orally most days but not to sit down & write an exercise.

In the afternoon the was the most unexpected storm for about two hours.

Had another meeting with the Guides & we did all the patrol-y things I could think of.

After supper the Sisters came & joined me in my parlour & we had pleasant conversation & all sewing busily till bedtime.  What aNICE lots they are, lively, laughably, chatty, very ready for a joke, most fluent in English, French & Tumbuka, devoted to Africans but not the least sentimental about them.

Sunday, 05 April 1959



Went to Chapel later than usual, when they came back from Mass.

The entire school & all Sisters came to see us off & we left at 9, plus the reverent mother who comes for the Guide’s training at Kanyanga.

We had a pleasant easy drive on a lovely shining tripping duly glistening sweet-smelling morning. L stopped atundazi Boma for drink with Mrs Burges & “sorry can’t stay for lunch”, & reached Kanyanga at 11.30 – the entire school there, uproarious greetings!  Very glad we came earlier than intended, as they had heard a rumour we would come on “Thursday” and got enough right, & all arrange for today too.

Busy thereafter: lunch 12.30. 2, Guide meeting & enrolled 13, the whole school surrounding them & the Chief there. then a meeting for me to tell him & others (about eight assorted) about guiding, & tea, Chief Magodi, his daughter was enrolled today, not very influential but every little helps, especially here just now. He seemed most proud to be invited & his counsellor gave fervent speech of thanks.

Then a very useful Guiders’ training lasting two hours, with the Patrol Leaders in too to make numbers & gain the idea.

Supper & blissful peaceful prayers, & restful half-hour Meditation.

Camp fire, the best I have seen for years, full of vigour & gaiety & variety, partly native dances well done with practice & control & exact timing, & partly English & French Canadian stuff.  A beautifully-done “The Cocks’ Dialogue” cleverly dressed with masks and cocky little tails, black from Johannesburg, white from Kanyanga & told black all about the-P & lady clay coming & the whole thing ended with all the Guides doing “Tambola”. Really well-done & the flight had a colossal long recitation word-perfect.  A lovely Opening & Closing song, entirely Africanised; & several old favourites also Africanised, “hole in my bucket” & “come and see my farm” etc.. I was given a beautiful program in bark cloth cover.

How awful if I had refused to come here because of the “troubles”, I thank God I came!

They really are touchingly glad to have me & so obviously need visits to perk them up.

Monday, 06 April 1959


Heavy shower.

Prepared today’s meetings & then Mother & I went to Chasefu, L.E.A. School, at ex-Scottish mission now abandoned (very sad) & the entire school was assembled to welcome me.

Mr Mtonga headmaster & has always been a keen scout, wife is a good Guider, they were at Lusaka & Broken Hill. A good troop of Scouts, & Cubs & all the girls in the boarding (Standards III & IV) are Guides & I enrolled 20 of them, & gave a pep talk. A Scout and Scout are going to the Jamboree, & they did a concert to earn money. Then the school dispersed & I had the Guides for an hour of games at sector. On the way home mother asked “what do I have to do to be enrolled?” . . . !  she’s such a dear & I have enjoyed her companionship, she was allowed to eat with me here.

In the afternoon I had the Guides for an hour and a half & we put up flags & practised Colour Party & they got very hilarious all marching themselves about all over the place, & were very enthusiastic about the other activities too; & we ended with a prayer of those taking the exam tomorrow (secondary school entrance).

Sister Rodrigue came in after supper for discussion but she was obviously very tired – they are two sisters short as one became very ill last week & the other had to take her to Salisbury, & she was teaching Standard V1 so Sister Rodrigue has had to do that as well as her own.

Tuesday, 07 April 1959



We left punctually at 8, the whole Guide company down to wave us goodbye; & half an hour later we met Miss Spring on her way to do their exams, so it was well-time.

Stopped atLundazi for our – mother shot at the Indian town, & I had coffee with Mrs B.& heard more Gruesome Tales of the Troubles, including a good story of loyal & faithful servants caring for their masters’ things & dogs. The missionaries at Loudon were stoned & escaped bruised & cut. Went & saw “Button’s Castle”, the Government Rest House now run by the Bucklands from Monze; an extraordinary building & rather attractive.

Then on to Lumezi, & had early lunch there, surrounded & smiled upon by all the Sisters, & they translated songs for me, & the Guides all gathered to greet me again, & we left amid shouts of “Come again!”

Reached for Jameson just after 4, went to Phillips’s house, changed quietly & went to give a talk to the adult Indians. Very few there, for women & about eight or nine men because it is Ramadan. Pity – however, I gave them rather a good talk, & appealed for a woman to help Mrs Mehl do the Guides, & also a man to help Mr with the Scouts. They were at once loud in reasons why they couldn’t & said the schoolmasters must do it ….  The women couldn’t possibly because they all have babies.. . . What a bunch.

Wednesday, 08 April 1959

Read a book & had breakfast in bed & didn’t get up till after 9!  Washed hair & went to town with Margret & then spent and are at Mrs Besson’s showing her some new games etc. – but very distrait with three small children constantly interrupting & neighbour to! So I don’t think she gained much. Her children are at a really difficult stage – eight, six, for & to – & I think it is wonderful of her to go on with Brownies & she makes all the children’s clothes & has now been asked to make 3 gowns for the Masons!

Did some washing & ironing in the afternoon & then at 3.45 went & picked up various people & followed Mrs Madocks out to Mrs Rushforth’s farm where she gave a tea party for the Local Association & others Interested – 10 of them.

After tea I gave a talk, rather a good one, giving them all the news of mum & of world guiding, a bit of “values”, which led us to N.R. & how rapidly it is growing here, & our Values, & Race Relations, & kind contact necessary for our future, Guiding the only platform to meet as friends; & what is going on here in Fort Jameson & what they could do.

Having told them what jobs are needed, I suggested they decide who should be on L.A.& meet soon; they then asked everybody here & every ONE willingly agreed to be on – not one came out with that oft-heard “Oh I would love to HELP -  but I’m afraid I couldn’t possibly do THAT because you see I WORK” or any of the usual reasons. I felt SO pleased with them & I really think they were all quite genuinely ready to Do Something – they only had to be told what was needed. It just shows that the fishes ARE in the sea if we can only catch them. And in the week I was away, Mrs Beasant had found 2 people to help part-time with Brownies & Ann Miln will start the Guides!  and one at once offered to be Group Friend to the African company.

So – having previously been rather depressed about Fort Jameson I am now delighted with them!

So I came home tomorrow bit full of elation; & we had a long chat – she hadn’t heard about the Longs separation & was much distressed; & she told me that Mr Hone, the Chief Secretary, is to be the new Governor & to be knighted at once!  H.E.doesn’t leave till the 21st. Rex very busy doing his annual report & had his two secretaries at the house all day. Rather difficult to do when they only arrived here 2½ months ago & had never been in this province before, & then had all these Troubles to cope with.  There was a roadblock in in.R.for the first time today, when Burges went to visit Mzimba in Nyasaland, and sand on his way back 2 large trees had been felled across the road – but nobody insight & they move them without too much difficulty.

Thursday, 09 April 1959

Fine – shower.

Nice lazy morning, wrote letters all morning & chatted with M.
In the afternoon went toWalela to see African Guide meeting, Guider ex-Chipembe Cadet, & as could be expected, ran a good meeting with real Guide things & a well-prepared programme. Then on to Brownies & enrolled one & presented a cup to the neatest six, gave a talk, & taught “salute the Queen”.

Then to African welfare Hall to show my films: Mr Mumeka, welfare officer, & another to translate. The hall was packed, I should say 1000 people with their, a quarter of them little ragged boys, & the noise was appalling & the stithe ! almost impossible to be heard but we yelled at the top of our voices, but it was obviously useless to try to comment as the film was going on. So after the first we went up to where the loudspeaker microphone was & commented from there as we COULD not get them quiet enough to describe the second film from stage. The loudspeaker was very raucous & I don’t know how much they heard. I regarded it as a complete flop, but afterwards I went & met the Scouts from the secondary school & they were really nice about it & appreciative. I gave them a quick forceful pep talk on the Promise, & I hope it sunk in!

Came back hurriedly just after eight & rushed into my best dress copper quickest change ever, but got to the sitting room just as the last guests left the sundown party! Sell for me, as I stupidly hadn’t written down my film on my list for Margaret. Luckily it wasn’t for my benefit, just a book-signers party.

Friday, 10 April 1959


Fine & sunny.

Left rather late, after nine, picked up Moses at the Boma & said goodbye to various people, Rex was busy dictating so didn’t see him – got petrol, & meat for the Sisters etc.. we took the “South Road” via Kazimulu & the Chadiza road, & reached Katete 11.45, a wonderful view southwards for about 2 miles; stopped at Cicely’s for a drink & chat, David ill with fever; 12 St Francis, & they asked me to lunch, Miss Mollet asleep as she is on night duty, but I gather she hasn’t started Rangers yet but intends to when her night duty ends. I hope the others, Miss Astell & Miss Phillips will help her, both ex-Guides.

On to Petauke & had tea with Pam Waddington, & Jill, & begged Jill to come to Mongu. Mrs Fosbrook & her American had passed through yesterday & spent three days here.

On to Minga White Sisters, got their 5.30. Met Mother Rodolphe, very young & pretty. Brownies

Sister George-Habert, Belgian, big & chatty, very bad English accent & teaches English! Does Standards V1 & 1V. Does Guides.

Sister crystal, English, which seems incongruous somehow, the first English White Sister I have met. Does the Cadets.

That’s all I have met, there are eight here.

Saturday, 11 April 1959

Fine, cloudy & very windy.

Prepared trainings & sat & sewed with sister G-H & really government must be terribly trying to deal with, they are grossly over-crowded & the education officers & health officers all came trotting out from Fort Jameson to See For Themselves & all wagged their heads & said More Dormitories yes certainly; & you MUST have a Dining Room, a proper Dining Room with windows & a nice hot tin roof & tables & chairs! So instead of putting dormitories & classrooms first which the Mission want, they put a dining room which they neither asked for nor want! & they have already made the bricks two years ago & are still awaiting the money. (Government pays half)

Had a trading for seven cadets & two sisters, started very late so didn’t finish, & they were shy & it didn’t go as well as I hoped but got better towards the end, just over an hour.

Sat & sewed wimple’s or Guimpes with sister Crystal & discussed exams & classrooms & cadets etc.

In the afternoon another training which went much better & finished everything I planned & all seem to enjoy it.

Benediction in the huge & beautiful church, lovely singing, & after supper they ALL came to sing in my parlour!

Sunday, 12 April 1959

Fine, sunny, warm, breezy.

After breakfast Sister George-Hubert took me Touring: the hospital (small & spotless) no wards as they still live in ordinary huts, with all their relations to look after them which is what they like best. Maternity 4 wards, a baby stillborn last night, poor mother sitting sadly with all her relations round her.

Then to the Leper village, an ordinary-type village with masses of fruit trees, theirs for the taking, & they grow most of their food. All very cheerful, one old woman hobbling along to fetch water on her half-feet & carrying the pot between the stumps of her wrists, said cheerfully “I’m very well, only my feet are bad so I can’t walk very well.”

Then we hurried to the great Church for High Mass, beautiful singing by a “choir” of the Kyria, followed by Benediction, about one and a half hours.

Then with sister round the classrooms & dormitories: 4 new classrooms, very nice except iron roof & no ceilings so very hot; the old ones have great windows & high roofs of tiles on reeds, very cool & light; but very old & getting rather ragged, & they intend to pull them down & build a similar block.

Dormitories Standard VI and TT O.K. thugh old, but the others are 60 in one dormitory all on beds with only-just room to walk between.  Eating-place is the Randa-type & they sit on the floor;  TT same type but tables & benches, quite right.

In the afternoon meetings of Guides & Brownies. Brownies run by Mother & Sister Paul, rather shy & speechless at first & a dull stern atmosphere, but they livened up.

Guides with sister she-H in separate groups with cadets, good. Didn’t see cadets, ashamed of myself.

Camp Fire: began rather late, girls ready & fire lit long before the sisters were ready, so we had rather less than an hour. All run by a cadet, excellently with written program & announcements, the Brownies were there & stunted[6] too. Good songs many familiar some new, a jolly crossing-feet dance. No time for my suggested talk about Dad, but just went through the five songs I taught them last night – not necessary; they knew them!

Monday, 13 April 1959


The sisters came in after breakfast for discussion about their companies & I commented on their meetings, especially Brownies & tried to suggest “jolly fine” methods. All the cadets there to see me off & sang a charming “sad to say goodbye” song – really it IS touching how they love a visit.

Left at 9.30. “It’s only 94 miles to Katondwe; you will be there by lunchtime” said Sister cheerfully . . .  we got there at a a quarter to five . . .

Moses was confident he knew the way, & it was the western side of the Luangwa River – confirmed by my map – & I now have great faith in Moses who is Always Right, but I kept looking surreptitiously at every turning & every signpost (of which there were about three in a hundred miles) & at last reluctantly but obediently turned along a tiny rough track with no signpost at all which Moses assured me was the great main road to Feira.  It got worse and sound were scoff rough & stony & Hill upon Hill, right down into the Luangwa Valley again, & at last there was Katondwe & my relief was great.

A Jesuit Mission, with Little Sisters – Little Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary Conceived Immaculate (Servants of Mary Immaculate for short) – two Polish, sister Romana, elderly, sister Delores, fairly young & rather strange, & two African sisters with them.

Met the two young teachers Christina Malila & Gladys Masuku who were Cadets at Minga & have bravely started Guides & Brownies here; & I showed them books etc. & apparatus & discussed Warrant Test.

Tuesday, 14 April 1959


Fine hot

Up early as usual – but not as early as everyone else, & it really shakes me how these schoolgirls have to work: are put 5.30, their houses & classrooms & yards to sweep, water to fetch, school all morning, “free” for about two hours, afternoon school, handwork or gardening or games or Guides, evening study by artificial light (electricity here!) & bed at 9.they have to do it open quote in order to complete the syllabus,” – and it isn’t a Teacher who works out the syllabus, it’s a person in office in Lusaka.

In spite of the syllabus – we had our Guide & Brownie meeting from 8 to nearly 10, both following excellently what I had asked them to show me, followed by songs & my talk & I taught them Punchinillo. Then had a short time to discuss the meetings & initiate Sister Romana  as Group Friend (never been a Guide) & left at 10.30. Not long enough.
Reached Chalimbana at about 4.30. Stopped to see the hot springs at Chinyunyu - marshy so didn’t reach the spring itself but the little clear stream was so hot I couldn’t keep my hand in it, & further down it was a nice hot bath & and was washing his close there. A strange smell, sulphur I suppose, & the mud was greenish & wrinkled.

Went to Mrs Maynards, & after a while she kindly offered me to stay the night so I gladly did. She will be company & pack when they re-start after three years in abeyance. So we had a good chat after Leslie (two) was in bed & husband had gone to a rehearsal of “Androcle’s & the lion” (Shaw).

Wednesday, 15 April 1959


Fine, hot.

Left after breakfast, first visiting Mr Robertson who cast me down by saying it is probable that neither Mrs Scott & Mrs Muttendango will be here to do Guides & Brownies most disappointing.

Arrived in Lusaka 10-ish, breathing a thankful grateful prayer for the blessed care & protection I have received from God during this tour.

Took my staunch ally Moses Mwanza to the Boma, then went to see Jonas, now Minister for African affairs, for a half-our talk, I was so disturbed by the impression I got on my tour that the no longer in close contact with the people & they no longer rely & depend on it for help & succour when in need. I wanted to make three points – that D.C.s must if possible do to 2 tours, at least, in a district; that there should be Leave Officers to relieve people while away; that all D.O.s should spend almost their entire service in the Language Area they start in. he was rather defensive & resentful & I felt full of shame & trepidation, his answers were of course to quote all the people who have done two tours lately; & that there just are not enough people to be able to have Leave Officers; & he didn’t agree with me about the language areas because officers ought to be able to learn another language & do – which I question and anyway it wouldn’t be necessary if they stayed in the same area.

But when I left he did say “but I quite agree with you & I will do my best”. So I felt encouraged. I also told him about the boys who leave Kumali getting into such models.

Then went to Barbara Rhodes is & had a mardle, & she is still at a loss to know what to do about Ridgeway District here, & Marjorie Rundle is as busy as ever & cannot delegate to anybody.

Then went to Em & Dermot Williams for the night. Went to tea, with Barbara, at Mrs Desai’s lovely flat, Mrs Raushhod there & Martha Chileshe, & it was a farewell for Molly Goodfellow.

Took Dermot and Em to see the play “Separate Tables” by Terence Rattigan, very well-done specially the second act.

Thursday, 16 April 1959


Fine & sunny

Our birthday, G.52 & me 42

Had a lovely day of reunion for us.

First I went & called on Mr Gorman & on Mr Musumbulwa, the new Minister for African Education, & left the Land Rover at the garage.

My two sons came from Salisbury on the Dakota & arrived at 10 & I joined them & we all flew home together.

We had a pleasant smooth flight all the way & stopped at Mankoya with lots of schoolchildren on board.

Arrived three-ish safe & sound & very happy to be home & immediately thankful for a safe return. My darling was there to meet us, looking so kind & loving & welcoming.


[1] The wife of the Paramount Chief

[2] Now shown on the map as Libumbu ?

[3] Zambesi River Transport Company, for more, see >here

[4] She had “cold feet” !

[5] T0: Clay c/o Provincer, Fort Jameson - Sure you were right to go - Devoted Love - G.

[6] Performed stunts.




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