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29/12/2014:- Volume 4 Number 4 - NOTES pp. 382 - 394
THE PIONEERS ASSOCIATION OF NORTHERN RHODESIA
This Association was formed in May, 1957, and the following is an extract from its Constitution:
The Society to be called " THE PIONEERS ASSOCIATION OF NORTHERN RHODESIA."
1. Its objects shall be :
(a) To record the history of the early occupation of the country, together with the names of those men whose struggles against almost insurmountable difficulties enabled Rhodesia to become a valuable addition to the British Empire, and to maintain" esprit de corps" among those who came to Rhodesia in the early days and who shared in the exceptional trials and troubles of the occupation and settlement of this Colony.
(b) To establish scholarships open only to the descendants of members of the Society.
(e) To endow a bed in the Lusaka Hospital and other hospitals in Rhodesia primarily for the members of the Society.
(d) To assist any deserving member of the Society who may have fallen on mil days, including any dependants of any member.
(e) To devote funds to any educational, benevolent or other objects which the Society may from time to time deem desirable.
2. The Headquarters of the Society shall be in Lusaka, until otherwise determined by the Society in general meeting.
3. The following, being of European descent, shall be eligible for membership:
(a) Who arrived in Northern Rhodesia prior to 15th May, 1927.
(b) All those who assisted in the repression of the Rebellion in Mashona-
and Matabeleland of 1896 and 1897
Pioneers Association of Northern Rhodesia
This is to certify that ________________
is recognised as a Northern Rhodesian Pioneer and Early Settler, having arrived in Northern Rhodesia on _______________
Chairman :- ______________
Secretary :- _______________
384 THE NORTHERN RHODESIA JOURNAL
(c) To perpetuate the Society, all descendants of those qualified for membership shall be eligible for election.
(d) Wives and/or husbands of members.
4. The Association shall be non-political.
5. The Society may acquire by purchase or otherwise, land, premises or other property for the use of the Society.
6. The Entrance Fee shall be 10s. 6d. and the Subscription shall be 10s. per annum; provided that members who have subscribed for at least ten consecutive years shall pay an annual subscription of 5s. instead of 10s.
Provided, however, that female members shall pay only half of the fees and subscriptions mentioned in this Clause and in Clause 7
7. Any member who has paid his Entrance Fee may become a Life Member on the payment of a further £5 5s. to be paid at the time of his application to become a Life Member.
8. Honorary Patrons may be elected by the Committee.
9. It is recorded that the Society came into being on the 15th May, 1957, and the original members of the Committee were: Messrs. Ett A. Copeman, M.B.E. (Chairman), W. H. Wroth, O.B.E., R. B. Dean, C. Wienand, M.B.E., D. W. du Buisson, R. MacFadyean, J. G. I. Taljaard (Treasurer) and W. Culverwell (Secretary).
10. Members may on payment of a fee of 5s. submit the names of any descendants of those eligible for election as members of the Society, who, if under the age of twenty-one years, may be admitted without Entrance Fee.
II. The governing body of the Society shall be a committee of seven members resident in Northern Rhodesia.
The Chairman and Vice-Chairman and three ordinary members of the Committee shall retire annually but shall be eligible for re-election at each annual general meeting.
12. The Governing body may set up Branch Committees and from time to time define the number of members of each Branch Committee, the method of election or appointment and the powers and duties thereof.
The rest of the Constitution comprises rules and bye-laws common to such associations.
The Association is arranging to endow two beds in the European Hospital at Lusaka; one in the male and one in the female wards. It is also prepared to assist any distressed pioneer to the limit of its resources, especially in respect of medical fees and attention, and in placing before the Early Settlers Award Fund the case of any distressed pioneer.
Members who arrived in the Territory before 15th May, 1927 are entitled to the Scroll. (See illustration.)
THE GREAT NORTH ROAD
We are indebted to Mr. E. H. Lane-Poole, a retired Provincial Commissioner, for the following notes on the building of the Great North Road:-
The Great North Road was originally known as the 'Traction-Engine Road" and was referred to by Europeans and Africans alike as the Chitu-kutuku road. The notion of establishing a rubber factory on the Charnbezi River close to Kasama for the collection, processing and distribution of rubber originated with Jocelyn de Yong, at that time in charge of Agricultural Affairs in Northern Rhodesia. The traction engine was required to operate the machinery of the factory and to transport it to the site, the Chitu-kutuku road had to be constructed.
If after nearly fifty years, my memory serves me aright, it was in the dry season of 1913 that a sparely-built person with a reddish neatly-trimmed beard appeared on a bicycle to ask our help in obtaining labour for the clearing of about 200 miles of road in the Serenje District as far as the Mpika border, He was J. E. Stephenson known throughout the Territory as Chirupula. We supplied him with a couple of hundred men and he forthwith set to work on the road. About a year later I was inspecting the road when I met an employee of the Public Works Department, named Quincey, engaged upon the same business, who later drove the engine to the Chambezi. A few weeks later, C. D. Simpson who was in charge of the whole project arrived with his wife.
Shortly afterwards in August, 1914, the Great War was declared and we heard little more of the traction engine or the rubber factory, but it was currently supposed by the sceptics that if the engine got to its destination at all it must have been manhandled most of the way.
The traction engine was, however, not the first vehicle to use the road. In the early months of 1914, a Captain Kelsey of the Welche Regiment conceived the idea of being the first person to travel from the Cape to Cairo by motor car. His vehicle was what in those days was popularly known as a " tin Lizzy ". Several months had been occupied by him in travelling by short stages from Kashitu, delayed by frequent shortages of petrol which he seemed to have expected to find anywhere in the bush when he wanted it. In April he had reached a point near Chitambo Mission where he came upon and wounded a leopard. Following the wounded beast into long grass, a proceeding which any novice would have warned him against, he was badly mauled. Mr. and Mrs. Moffat devotedly attended to his lacerations at the Mission and he was apparently cured when complications supervened and he died at the source of the Lukushashi River. I buried him.
A direct result of the war was the conversion of the Chitu-kutuku Road to a military transport route. Up to that time the quickest way by which military intelligence could be transmitted from the front at Abcrcom to Headquarters on the railway line was by a system of Dispatch Runners who, travelling in pairs by day and night accomplished some extraordinarily fast times. However, it came to be suspected that the system was abused and the mail bag tampered with. The service, therefore, was discontinued and it was decided to erect a telegraph line along the road.
3S6 THE NORTHERN RHODESIA JOURNAL
In October, 1915, I was engaging labour for the telegraph construction which was in the charge of Rushforth of the Post Office. The line was completed from his camp which I think was at a village named Luputa to Kashitu, and I was allowed to communicate on the telephone with J. E. Stephenson. Motor lorries were already using the road as far as his camp, and ox-drawn waggons were testing the virulence of tsetse fly. But the African bush is apt to thwart human ingenuity and human endeavour. A herd of elephants whose habitat was in the Ika Hills rejoiced in the man-made road and in their nocturnal perambulations brandished aloft their exuberant trunks, bringing down the telegraph wires in coils for the Bantu maidens to turn into bangles for their own beautification. The oxen died by the score, their flesh providing carcass meat for the troops. Abandoned waggons and the chassis of lorries divested of all usable and portable parts lay derelict by the side of the road for months and often for years.
In 1915 the main body of the Northern Rhodesia Rifles trooped along this road, a force composed chiefly of civil servants and local volunteers, followed by a contingent of the Southern Rhodesia Regiment. The latter required 1,000 native porters a month to supply their needs, and the sparsely populated district was called upon to provide 150,000 lb. of native meal a month. After a year spent in providing men and food for the front, I left the district and never saw the Great North Road again.
THE GREAT EAST ROAD
Mr. E. H. Lane-Poole has also provided the following notes on the making of the Great East Road. We are particularly glad to have these, as very little has appeared in the Journal about the making of this road:
Within a year of the Colonial Office assuming the administration of the Territory from the British South Africa Company, the first Governor, Sir James Maxwell protested at the necessity of having to transport himself and his staff through three different countries—Southern Rhodesia, Portuguese East Africa and Nyasaland—in order to visit his Eastern Province at Fort Jameson. This was the origin of the Great East Road. Accordingly, early in July, 1925, I. being stationed at Petauke, was instructed to survey and demarcate by visible beacons what appeared to be the most feasible route. I, therefore, commandeered two of the best canoes on the Luangwa River and after an adventurous voyage arrived at Fundu's village, which had for some years been the recognised place for crossing the lower Luangwa. There was in fact a food depot here amassed by the Rhodesia Native I.abour Bureau, and a rough road maintained by the villages en route existed from the east to west and was well known under the name of the R.N.I.B. road. But this route, used extensively by natives proceeding to work in the western part of the Territory or in Southern Rhodesia, lay through villages widely scattered and through very broken and mountainous country near the boundary with Portuguese East Africa. It was, therefore, not the most adaptable for motor transport.
The prineipal obstaeles were the Luangwa River itself and its trlbutary the Lusenfwa River. In the early days these were erossed by canoes and later by barges lashed together to form a rudimentary pontoon hauled by a wire eable. The Belt Bridge was built about 1932 or 1933 and inaugurated by a ehampagne lunch attended by most heads of departments from Lusaka. But what exercised me most in 1925 was the erossings of the three large rivers on the east section, the Nyimba, Mchimadzi and the Mvuviye. I explored all rivers up stream and down and eventually seleeted sites which seemed feasible. The surveyots when they came on the scene complimented me by alleging that they had to deviate little from the route I had recommended but in actual fact they adopted a route very much to the south and nearer the boundary with Ponuguese East Africa. East of the Mvuviye River the line was relatively simple, passing over a flat plain interrupted only by patches of sand until the Fort Jameson boundary was reaehed. About this time a fumigating shed was built, usually known as the "smudge " house where vehicles which had picked up tsetse fly in the Petauke District were decontaminated for the protection of the cattle ateas in the Fort Jameson District; a road engineer was stationed near the Nyimba River and the pontoons on the two larger rivers were greatly improved. Lorries and private cars were soon erossing the Luangwa pontoon at the rate of fifty a month.
It has been my lot to have witnessed the origin of both the Great North Road and the Great East Road, and to have played a very minor, part in the eonstruction of eaeh.
By "BWANA BOB" (R. N. STEWART)
[ln Journal No. 3 of Vol. I, we told some stories of one of the best known of Northern Rhodesia's old-time prospectors—Jack Merry. Bob Stewart relates below another amusing incident—a typical one too in the life of this tough, likeable character.—EDITOR.)
The events related below occurred about the period when there were only about three weeks left befote the Concession rights of prospeetors were to expire.
The Rhodesia-Congo Border Concession had an option on the prospeet known as " Chifumpa " diseovered by Jack Merry but passed on to Schanspit, the stotekeeper at Kasempa, on the understanding that Merry was to retain a 50 per eent share. A lengthy and interesting story eould be told about the diseovery of this mine and its registration, but this is not my intention. I merely wish to relate an incident conceming the pegging of the extensions east and west by myself of this mine.
The Rhodesia-Congo Border Concession had discovered that I was the only prospector who had valid prospecting licences which held the right to peg and register after discovery. Knowing this and knowing that there were but twenty days left before the tight of these licences would become useless I decided to set out for Chifumpa with the intention of pegging the extensions, which I eventually did.
Realising that a very short period was left I was eompelled to use a Model T Ford as far as the Lunga-Kafue confluenee crossing, when ftom there I set off with five carriers for Chifumpa, the car returning to Broken Hill.
388 THE NORTHERN RHODESIA JOURNAL
During the afternoon of the second day I came upon Jack Merry. He unfortunately had been imbibing his favourite medicinal beverage" Honey Beer" the cheapest and best drink, he claimed, that could be got upon the earth; he was certainly under the weather, but in spite of this and having been told that he too was proceeding to Chifumpa, I suggested his travelling along with me. "Not on your life ! Sure and I would not like a repetition of my first two days travelling with you. I've sure no intention of eommitting suicide for you nearly killed me then." I personally have always had a very philosophical outlook on life and as long as one's ethics of life have been set on a sound course, nothing need perturb one. I mention this for the reason that I am very fond of music and always travelled with a very good gramophone, which I eonsidered always helped one to remember what had been left hehind, and made one realise that there was no earthly reason why one should permit oneself to become degraded to the level of the primitive people of Northern Rhodesia.
Merry had, as I have related, refused to accompany me, but he espied a case and asked my cook what it eontained. "Gramophone," he replied. "Have you any good records " "Yes," replied the gramophone carrier. " Maningi, Bwana, good band march." "Take it out and let me hear them!" He, Merry, had gurgled away at least three pints of coffee in an hour and appeared to be reviving from his staggering atound. I was ready to continue my journey when the Grenadier Band March was being played. Up jumped Merry, grabbed the gramophone, closed the record carrier, gave it to one of his carriers to hump along, placed the gramophone upon the boy's head and said, " You black b—'s, I can sure walk to Dublin behind this music ! " I really forget the number of times this tune was used to accompany us along. Merry gave this" table boy" 2s. 6d. for his trouble, saying," Sure, Thomas (the boy's name) God has been kind to you in giving you such a crop of curly hair it has not damaged the Bwana's machine."
To my astonishment, Merry kept up, or I regulated myself and carriers to his pace, thereby enabling us to reach Chifumpa together. This prospect was reached just at dusk a few days later. On arrival Mr. Sharp, engineer in charge of the LC.B.C. Development Project and a miner named du Plessis were busy having sundowners. I was a very cautious imbiber, always preferting light drinks, never alcohol. Merry was the reverse. These two men, observing Merry, scuttled away with a bottle each to hide them. This turned out be be brandy and whisky; Tomango was left upon the table. The bottles they had temoved had been hidden in large sized rubber boots.
Merry hastened in to find them both enjoying Tornango, and said, "Sure, you two guys don't imagine that you can bluff me. I can sure smell brandy or whisky. Sharp, you drink whisky and you, Dup, drink brandy. Now go and find some—you'll probably be dead by morning drinking that g's wash !" No spirits were forthcoming so Merry got up and asked their cook if he had any honey beer. "No, Bwana, sorry " Merry said to du Plessis, "Get up, Dup, and let me have the comfortablc chair. Bwana Bob has just about killed me with his speed walking. You should know by now that you should look after elderly men. Didn't your fathcr teach you anything about manners bcfore you were let out on your own ? "
In Merry's carelessness in getting into the Morris chair he upset the boots in which the brandy had been hidden. Unfortunately for the owners of the house the cork had not been placed into the bottle. On hearing the gurgling of escaping liquor and smelling
it Merry became almost frantic. He delved his hand into the boot in time to extract the bottle before it had all escaped. They endeavoured to retrieve it from him, but nothing like this was going to happen. They then grabbed for the boot, placed it to Merry's mouth and he swallowed an extraordinary amount of neat brandy direct from the boot. The bottle was a quarter full and was to have been kept until after I had pegged the extensions, which was accomplished the following moming, when I left at 2 p.m. on my forced march to register the claim extension at Mumbwa, which I had reached with one day's grace.
Mr. Draper, the D.C., queried the time I had taken, imagining that I must have used a eyele. Until Mrs. Draper chastised him somewhat, saying, "You should not doubt Mr. Stewart's word ! " He did not, and forwarded my application to Lusaka.
POSTAGE STAMPS OF NORTHERN RHODESIA
It's a long time since we had anyrhing for the philatelist in the Journal and the following two extracts should be of interest. The first is from The Encyclopaedia of British Empire Postage Stamps, Vol. 2, Africa. The second is from a book British Posrage Stamp Designs, by John Easton published in 1943. (John Easton is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the famous printing firm of Robert MacLehose of Glasgow, which prints for our National Atehives and for the National Publieations Trust.
The extract from the Encyclopaedia reads:
In order that this subject may be more clearly undetstood, we will fitst deal with North-West Rhodesia, the old kingdom of Barotseland. About 1890 there were some ten whites in this territory, which was over 200,000 square miles in atea. The first mail route north of Bulawayo was opened in 1897 to Livingstone and Kalomo.
From these settlements a runner-service went north-west to Lealui (the first capital, sometimes spelt MonguLealui) with a branch track to Mankoya. A northerly service ran thtough Namwala, Mumbwa to Kasempa, where the road forked to the north-west to Mwinilunga and north to Solwezi. Prior to building of the railway north of the Zambezi River which was commenced in 1904, all mail was earried by runners.
Also in the late nineties, the Great North Road was opened up with a runnet service and this travelled from Kalomo through Mazabuka, Lusaka and Broken Hill to Ndola. At Lusaka and at Broken Hill there were btanches which led to North-Eastern Rhodesia, the first via Petauke to Fort Jamseson and the second via Mkushi to Serenje and Mpika (see North-Eastern Rhodesia).
All early covers are of great iuterest, and one of the grcat charms of the postal history of Central Africa is the fact that one can study it on stamps which were curtent when people who are still living (and who often have lively memories of their early adventures in these parts) used them on their correspondenee home.
The Airmail Service was inaugurated on 18th December, 1931, when the Broken Hill-Cape Town route was opened, pieking up mail at Salisbury, Bulawayo and Johannesburg en route. The first service north was the one deseribed under
390 THE NORTHERN RHODESIA JOURNAL
Southern Rhodesia on 28th January, 1932. On the following day another plane left Broken Hill for Athens via Nairobi. Other ftrst flights in 1932 were:
29th January: Mpika and Broken Hill to Cape Town.
2nd March: Mpika or Broken Hill to Nairobi.
2nd June: Mpika and Broken Hill to England.
26th August: Broken Hill to Elizabethville.
North-Eastern Rhodesia: The first posts were those carried hy the runnets employed by the missionaries sending their mail to Portuguese Territory so that it could reach a port and so find its way on to a steamer bound for Europe. In 1886, the Afriean Lakes Corporation opened a trading station at Mandela (now Blantyre in Nyasaland Protecrorate) and handled for an additional charge such little pre-paid mail as came out of Central Africa. These letters were forwarded to the British Vice-Consul at Quillemnaine (Portuguese East Africa) where local adhesives were affixed to carry the mail to its destination.
From 1891 to 1894 this area was administered ftom Zomba (now Nyasaland) but in that year it passed into the hands of the British South Africa Co. It is not generally appreciated that the area under the Company's administration included most of the country that was later to become Nyasaland. In 1889 the Company's Charter was amended to eover this area and in the same year the British Government declared a protectorate over the Shire District with Blantyre as the centre. Two years later the area protected was extended to include South Nyasa with Zomba as the chief town. The northetn area still remained under the B.S.A. Co.'s administration using their stamps overprinted " B.C.A." until 1895. These stamps are listed under Nyasaland Proteetorate although they could with equal merit be included with the early issues of Rhodesia, for they are known to have been used at Abereorn, Fife, Fort Rosebery, Chienji and Sumbu.
In 1893-94, twenty-three post offices were opened in what is now Nyasaland and North-Eastern Rhodesia, those in the latter being Abercorn, Fife, Katwe, Tanganyika (the village and district in Rhodesia, not to he confused with Tanganyika Territory), Sumbu, Rhodesia (later Kalunguisi), Johnston Falls, Fort Rosebery, Chienji and Sakontwi; there were also several postal ageneies opened south of Lake Tanganyika. In 1891 a concession was obtained from the Pottuguese to use Tshinde (later Chinde) at the mouth of the Zambczi where mail to and from Northern Rhodesia and British Central Africa (as well as the Congo and Tanganyika Territory) could be handled by a British clearing post office. This concession ceased in 1923. From time to time post offices were closed and others opened, and in 1935 the far north only had seven—Abercorn, Chinsali, Fott Rosebety, Isoka, Kasama, Kawambwa and Mporokoso. Frequeutly names were changed.
The roads from Broken Hill (see earlier paragraphs on North-Western Rhodesia) led to Mpika, the centre from whieh runner services served the thirteen post offices at Fort Jameson (the G.P.O.) Petauke, Serenje, Sakontwi, Fort Rosebety, Luena, Mporokoso, Kasama, Abercorn, Fife, Mirongo, Nawalia and Kalungwisi. In 1908, the arrival of the head of the railway at Broken Hill caused a complete change in the routing of letters, which then travelled to Cape Town ditect and so on to England.
The finest work on this interesting subject is the aptly named The Romance of thc Posts of Rhodesia, published in 1940, and the supplementary articles in the London Philatelist by H. C. Dann, on which we have freely drawn for this history. Mr. Dann records a postal notice of 1907 ascribing a lost mail bag as having been destroyed by lions !
In the early days it was customary to send the postal charges for a letter with the runners when the adhesives of the loeality to which they were earried were affixed. This fact accounts for the mail from Matabeleland and Northern Rhodesia bearing Bechuanaland, Z.A.R, Transvaal, Natal and/or Portuguese East African adhesives.
The 1914-18 War: Rhodesian Poliee occupied the Caprivi Concession in South West Africa in 1914, and it is possible that a field post office was used, but we have been unable to find any record of such.
A small mixed force of Rhodesians and Belgians successfully resisted German attacks against the northern border and the defence of Saisi in June, 1915, was a notable affair. A field post office stamp is known, as illustrated.
The First Rhodesian Regiment fought under Botha in South West Africa and the Second Regiment left in March, 1915, for German East Africa. Early in 1916, Brigadier-General Northey assumed command and crossed the northeastern border into German Territory.
The 1939-45 War: It is too early to attempt a synopsis of the postal services of this war and no record of field post offices attached to the Rhodesian forces is known to us. In the main, Southem Rhodesian men were transferred to British regiments and served in West and East Africa. In 1942 many were transferred to South African regiments and with some of the latter, in 1943, the Rhodesian African Rifles and the Rhodesian Air Askari Corps were transferred to South East Asia Command.
The first Northern Rhodesia Regiment took part in the Somaliland Campaign and also served in East Africa, Madagascar, Ceylon and India.
Mr. John Easton has the following to say in his book: Northern Rhodesia, 1925
If Waterlow had wished to show De La Rue how the Gambia series might have been designed they could nor have chosen a better subject than the first issue for Northern Rhodesia, which was designed by W. G. Fairweather. It has perfect balance, is essentially sane in its treatment of the various details, and is nevertheless as attractive a stamp as any collector of the pictorial could hope to acquire. The series contained nine low values and eight high values, and affords a rare instance of the larger design heing an almost exact enlargement of the smaller. There is a slight difference in the scale of the head, and it must be admitted that first thoughts were right; the head in the high values is a little too large, and tends to make the design top-heavy.
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The small " Proper " head is set in an oval at the top centre, with a smallish crown fitting the oval and cutting the upper frame-line. POSTAGE & REVENUE, on a curved panel, fit the bottom of the oval, and as the figures of value are cut out of the solid spandrels so formed in the top corners, the "Formal" portion of the design is grouped together and given the prominent position. The design was made lcss severe by the introduction of a small ornament, which emerges ftom the white frame to the oval and supports the spandrels.
In the lower values this omamentation branched off from the upper part of the frame, and had to be reinforced by a white line, but this was adjusted for the higher values, when the ornament curved up from below and made a natural braeket for the spandrels. NORTHERN RHODESIA, in a mannered type of lettering which is the weak spot in the design, was engraved across the bottom of the stamp, and the intervening space betwcen it and the head contains an attractive picture showing a couple of elephants and a giraffe amld their natural scenery, with a canoe on the river in the background.
NEW CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS NUMBER
Father Bronislaw Stefaniszyn, s.j., PH.D. (RAND.), lives at Kasisi Mission outside Lusaka. He is a missionary of long standing in Northern Rhodesia and is a well known writer in scientific journals devoted to Africa. His co-author here, Hilary dc Santana is a member of a ruling Chikunda house and he is now Mission Secretary at Katondwe Mission in the lower Luangwa valley. Mr. T. C. L. Symms, who lives in Lusaka, was one of the foundets of the Lusaka Natural History Club. Philip Jelf is a retired District Commissioner.
Allan Chelemu, whose article on Chinunga appears in this number, was well known to many generations of District Officers in the Northem Ptovinee. Geoffrey Stokes says of him (in litt.):
Posted to Fife as a Probationer in mid 1909, I found Allan Chelemu, a Yao from Nyasaland, there as Clerk. I left Fife on transfer towards the end of the dry season of 1911 and did not return to that District again until 1916. At that time, 1916, Allan was still clerk. Sometime before I again left Fife (September 1918) Allan, in terms of his agreement, took a gratuity and went home to Nyasaland. Shortly after that, Draper, acting D.C. Tanganyika District, wanting a clerk, wrote to Nyasaland to inquire whether Allan would rejoin. Allan, so I have heard, was called up by his Resident and told that he could either accept Draper's offer or take up war work ln Nyasaland.
Allan elected for Northern Rhodesia, went to Abercom and has remained there ever since. He is a good fellow; and Tagart writing to me some time before he died, said that he remembered Allan as being the best African Clerk he had ever had. He finally retired in 1933 in Abercorn on pension and a street in the town is named aftcr him. After the 1914-18 war he was given a medal which has " Interpreter "embossed around the edge. He also has the Certificate of Honour.
A son, Arnold, has just retired this year after serving many years as a clerk in the Provineial Administration.
THE KUNDABWIKA FALLS
The Kundabwika Falls in the Mporokoso District are on the Kalungwishi River, about ten miles upstream of where the road to Chiengi crosses the Mofwe dambo. According to Mr. Ian Mackichan, District Commissioner, they are about seventy feet high and 200 feet wide. These figures are purely estimates as the falls have never been aecurately measured.
Like most big falls there is an ngulu (nature spirit) associated with it, but nowadays few people go there to pray. There is also a priest, of the Shila tribes, attached to the falls and he lives close by on the Kawambwa side of the river. Some visitors have found the local Africans rather reluctant to lead them along the bush paths to the falls, possibly because of these spiritual assoeiations.
Half a mile below the falls are some good examples of Rock paintings on a huge slab of roek. Dr. Desmond Clark says that he has not dated these particular rock paintings and it is not in any ease possible to date rock paintings with any certainty. These particular ones are probably associated with a Nachikufu III stage of culture of which the best account is to be found in the chapter on Northern Rhodesia in the recent book of the National Publications Trust—Rock Art of Central Africa. Mr. J. H. Chaplin traeed these paintings and published an article on them in the South African Archaeological Bulletin, Vol. XV, No. 58, June, 1960, under the title—Some Unpublished Rock-paintings of Northern Rhodesia.
[Photo: D. L. Gunn,
The KundabwIka Falls
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MURDER OF A MESSENGER AT ABERCORN
By H. C. N. HILL
Sometime in 1934, I was approaching a village. The path lay along the side of a dambo in the middle of which was a large mushitu. I was met by the headman and villagers who, after the customary greeting, fell in behind me as I continued towards the village. Suddenly I was faced by a wild looking man who rose from the side of the path. An unkempt beard, long hair twisted into rats tails, a skin his sole clothing, he carried a spear, bow and sheath of arrows and an axe. With him were his wife and daughter wearing only what is known in lower night clubs as a " G " string. They seemed to be burdened with all their possessions. The rhree of them all talked and shouted together until a messenger established some order. We went on and when my tent was up the family drew near to the fly. I noticed all the villagers had avoided them. The headman thcn told me that the family had been living in the bush and lately in the mushitu, stealing food from the gardens by night. The man himself told a rambling story about a son having been murdered while on the Copperbelt, by relatives of a Boma Messenger from whom he wanted some restitution. I promised to look into thc matter. They would not leave the vicinity of my tent and slept by my camp fire. The next morning they had disappeared but made an unwanted appearance at my eamp rhat night. The same thing happened the following day—a Friday. On Saturday I reached Abercorn, and had hardly sorted out my things in the office when, about midday, there was a commotion outside. The family had arrived surrounded by a jeering crowd from the Messengers' lines. Rations were issued for the week-end and the Head Messenger told to find accommodation for them in the rest huts adjoining the Messengers' lines. Shortly after dawn on Sunday I was awakened by my house-boy who said the Head Messenger was outside and wished to see me at once. On going out I was told that a Messenger had been murdered. I went down to the lines and there found the family the centre of a hostile crowd. For their safety I sent them to the gaol. I was then taken to a hut. Inside was the naked body of a Messenger. His skull was split open exposing the brains. Although there was much blood about there was no sign of a struggle. A blood stained axe lay near the body and it appeared that only one powerful blow had been struck while the Messenger was asleep.
The man and his family, as well as several carriers, had slept under the eaves of visitors' huts which were full.
When I starred the Inquest and Preliminary Inquiry I thought I was in for a straightforward case. But no! The man and his family all denied any knowledge of the affair. The axe was identified by a carrier who said it was at his side when he went to sleep. No one had seen or heard anything unusual and the body had been found when a fellow Messenger went to wake the murdered man, who was alone at the time, his wife being away. Lastly, the deceased Messenger was not the one whom the man helieved to have had some eonnection with the death of his son. There was no direct evidence and I had to retum an open verdiet. I was unhappy about it and the native staff clearly indicated what they thought I On inquiries the son was srated to have died from natural causes.
After detaining the family in the gaol for their own safety—they were loathe to leave—for some time, I sent them away. Where to ? I often wonder. I left shortly after. I am sure rhey were suspects of witchcraft and no village would have sheltered them.
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