British Empire Article


Contributed by David Potter


Africa
We're off to Nyasaland
Dedza Mountain
"We're off to Nyasaland" I informed my bride on our return from honeymoon in April 1956. She, having never heard of it, an atlas was rapidly produced. Having been interviewed at the old Colonial Office some months earlier, and expressed a preference for Uganda I was somewhat surprised to learn to learn I had been appointed as 'Master, Dedza Secondary School, Nyasaland.'

We're off to Nyasaland
Stirling Castle
So the following August saw the happy couple set sail, steerage class, on the Union Castle Mail ship, the 'Stirling Castle' for Cape Town. On arrival we took the train for a 2000 mile, four day journey north to Nyasaland via Mafeking, Bulawayo, Salisbury, and Dondo Junction, just short of Beira, for the rail car for Limbe. Here we were met by the school's Headmaster, Jack Smith, who helped them buy a car, an essential piece of equipment when resident 140 miles further north and 65 miles from the nearest town, Lilongwe.

Between getting married and leaving for Africa we, both teaching in East London, had been living in one room. On arrival, at the school we moved into a large three-bedroom house with a sitting and dining room, bathroom, two kitchens a khonde (veranda), basic furniture and servants' quarters.
We're off to Nyasaland
Dedza House
However there was only a fitful supply of electricity in the evenings from the school's generator, turned off at 10 pm with paraffin Tilley lamps at the ready if one was giving a dinner party. Otherwise one went to bed, as the work-day started early. We did have piped water, sometimes rather muddy, especially in the dry season, piped from a dam half-way up the side of the mountain against which the school had been built. The hot water system consisted of two 44 gallon steel drums on brick pillars beneath which a fire could be lit. They were filled with water from the nearby stream by the gardener. Quite often the stoker was too enthusiastic, the water in the drums boiled and they bounced up and down with steam pouring out in a most alarming manner. But there was never an accident so there must have been some secret P.W.D. safety mechanism.

We're off to Nyasaland
Dedza Secondary School
The house was my first brush with 'authority'. Even before leaving England. I was informed I could not take my wife with me because of a shortage of accommodation. Pointing out that whilst this may be the situation in the capital and major towns, it was not the position on the school sites. Therefore "no wife, no go." Not everyone was so bold and had to go without marital comforts for some months. Hence our first child was born less than 12 months after our arrival.

Unlike many appointees we did not have a lengthy training course before departure, simply a few days at a former country house, transmogrified into a teacher training college, at Flax Bourton, near Bristol. The course was run by Ian Stott and his wife who had spent years in Nyasaland as missionaries before he joined the government education department. The most useful hint, of which there were many, was to take a pair of bellows, for fires were needed at Dedza at an altitude of over 5000 feet. We went quite well equipped with household utensils and general impedimenta. One comforting item was a battery short-wave receiver, with accumulators which could be re-charged from the school's erratic electricity supply. We were thus able to listen to the BBC Overseas Service, and have been switched on to 'The Archers' ever since.

We're off to Nyasaland
Local Woman
We only ever had two servants, a gardener and a general house servant. One of them, Tito, first the 'garden-boy' and then the 'house-boy' - I regret that 'boy' was the generic term at the time, although we never addressed our servants directly as 'boy' - joined us soon after our arrival and was with us until we came home ten years later. Some colleagues felt it was against their principles to employ servants. But the locals regarded this as unfair. Their argument was that the Europeans had the money: it was their duty to spread it around. Except for tea in bed, brought in by the house servant - we bought a 'teasmaid' on return to the UK - my wife did all the actual cooking, on a Dover, wood-burning range. The family never had any tummy troubles, unlike others who had a local cook; nor did any of us suffer from malaria, for we were diligent with mosquito nets and a daily prophylactic.

We're off to Nyasaland
Children Playing
We were blessed with our first child and then a second whilst at Dedza. I drove my wife the 65 miles to Lilongwe over dirt, pot-holed roads of mud, quite an experience for some one about to give birth. Actually she drove herself, because holding on to the steering wheel and concentrating on keeping the car on the road took her mind off other matters. Our daughter used to play with Tito's and the other servant's children. My wife on showing some small children when back in England a photo of two of them of the same size taken together, one black, one white, was asked "Which of them is yours?", strongly suggesting colour prejudice is not innate.

We're off to Nyasaland
Nyasaland Roads
The school had originally been more of a trade school with workshops etc. and educated boys up to Cambridge Overseas School Certificate level, as did two other secondary schools viz. Zomba Catholic known as 'Box 2' (Dedza was 'Box 48' - after the Post Office box numbers) and Blantyre (protestant). However after a visit from Miss Gwilliam, the Colonial Office Inspector and the arrival of Jack Smith, ex-Mauritius and Fiji, a Sixth Form was started. Previously Nyasaland students went to Goromonzi school in Southern and then to Munale, in Northern Rhodesia. I was fortunate enough to be able to design and equip a geography lab in a former woodwork room, which would have been the envy of many English grammar schools. I taught primarily geography, but also history, religous education and music. The standard of teaching was extremely high and our students went on to major universities in the UK and elsewhere becoming doctors, professors, etc. and one, after service in the World Bank, is currently Malawi's Minister of Finance.

We're off to Nyasaland
DCs House
One evening in March 1959 a State of Emergency was declared. I was the member of staff on duty that night. On finding the classrooms, where prep should have been taking place, empty, I went up the hill and found all the students in a high state of tension assembled in the hall. Asking them unsuccessfully to disperse and go on to prep, I then picked out the youngest and 'weakest' and luckily cajoled them into moving down and so on until only the ring-leaders remained and without followers they duly succumbed. A rather tense moment. The boys were sent home a few days later. But not before the school had been 'strafed' by Rhodesian jets, which frightened the boys, many of who had never seen a train let alone a jet. The District Commissioner turned up in a Land Rover with armed policeman, and had to be 'shoo-ed' away, before the students saw them.

We're off to Nyasaland
Lilongwe
Age fifteen I had bought a shot-gun and took it with me expecting the place to be full of wild animals. But the locals had seen most of them off. The only thing I shot was a civet cat which had been hanging round the house after our domestic animal. But when the Emergency came I swapped the gun for a set of golf clubs, and made sure the servants and other knew there was no longer a firearm in the house.

An example of how mis-understandings occur came about, probably in 1957, when Vincent Gondwe asked me in the staff room one day if I had received instructions to promote the Federation in my lessons. I had not, and said so. He thought he knew I was lying, because the locals had an intelligence system even better than the colonial government's, and were aware that Stowell, then Director of Education had indeed sent out such an order. What they did not realise was that Jack Smith being a wily old bird, and knowing how his mainly young idealistic staff, there to help Nyasaland become self-governing, would re-act. Personally I had been somewhat sympathetic to the Federation till Roy Welensky changed the rules to ensure the whites of Southern Rhodesia would remain in the driving seat. Some years later after self-government I raised the matter with Vincent and sorted it out, resuming our friendship.

We're off to Nyasaland
Blantyre
After nearly three and a half years we went on leave in 1960, flying home vie Entebbe to see friends at Makere, and returning by ship on the Kenya Castle via Suez, Tanga, Mombasa, Zanzibar, Dar-es-Salaam, and back by train from Beira. I was then Deputy Headmaster, but soon, at very short notice was posted to Blantyre as Acting Provincial Education Officer, pending the arrival of Dick Travers from Kenya. He followed on from Ivan Freeman, also from Kenya, who succeeded Stowell, and Harry Hudson came from Uganda to be Deputy Director. They all brought a refreshing change to the education set-up and enabled considerable progress to be made. I then became District Education Officer for Blantyre Urban, Rural and Chiradzulu. Subsequently I was Regional Education Officer in Northern and then Southern Regions. Officer in charge of setting up and running Day Secondary Schools and Chief Administrative Officer of the Polytechnic, not answerable to the Principal! We had two more children, one born in Mzuzu and the fourth one in Blantyre.

One certainly had to make decisions, and be versatile. Blantyre Urban was an unusual District in that the majority of the teachers were female, whose husbands were employed in business, government or other services. The primary schools were run by the churches. Suddenly I was informed I had to pay the teachers and was given the funds to do so. But I had neither the staff nor the time to pay them out individually as the churches had done. I therefore told the teachers they had to open an account at one of the four banks. Then four lists were drawn up with salaries due, four cheques were issued and the banks did the rest. Major spin-offs were that the wives had direct control of their money, and it started to build-up a internal savings, an important factor in economic development.

To do all the paper-work I had to employ an additional, reliable, competent accounts clerk. But how to pay her? I had however been given a large sum of money to build new primary schools, so a little of that was siphoned off. A traveller called offering to sell me steel frameworks for a school building. I was able to give him a list of quantities and the costs of building. These were available as the missions always claimed that the government grants for the construction of teachers' houses and classrooms did not cover the costs. Getting tired of this constant complaining, I worked out the bills of quantities, priced and distributed them. The matter was never raised again as it turned out the government was slightly overpaying!

We're off to Nyasaland
Secretariat, Zomba
The salesman went on to Zomba the capital and sold the Education Department a ton or so of the stuff. Unfortunately the Works Department refused to authorise payment. Meanwhile the sisters at Mlanje had built a large extension to their teacher training college relying on faith to pay the bills. The problem was solved however as the Blantyre Archdiocese bought the steelwork and the Education Department helped finance the Mlanje development.

As a 'field' officer, often with rather tenuous communication links with the Ministry in Zomba, one had to make one's own decisions. I soon came to the conclusion that I must make 90% without telling HQ, 8% telling them what I had done, and 2% seeking advice. As time went the latter two percentages became steadily smaller. However there were exceptions. When the UK supplier of school books and equipment sent out a member of staff to find why the company had not been paid by the new local authorities, who had spent the school fees on more exciting things like Land Rovers etc. I was instructed to report to Zomba to explain why I had failed to report this heinous behaviour. However the meeting was immediately cancelled when I drew attention to the two or three telephone calls and a letter pointing out what was happening.

Accompanying representatives of the Beit Trust, I was somewhat surprised to learn they had paid for a primary school we visited. This was because the Roman Catholics had received a considerable sum for the same building. A quiet word with Father X, the mission's Education Secretary, secured a promise not to do it again. There was little point in making a fuss because I knew that the mission had spent far more than the government at promoting primary education in the area.

We're off to Nyasaland
Minister Chiume
My personal relations with the new Malawian ministers were cordial. Perhaps the fact that Mr. Chiume and I, unlike most of my European colleagues, were both 'vertically ' challenged' had something to do with it. Also because if I disagreed with him, politely of course, I did not hesitate to put my case. Officers were expected to accompany the Minister on 'ulendo' Usually they were late at the rendez-vous, sometimes by a couple of days! Our motor-caravan proved its worth on those occasions. Once at the end of visit to a remote part of the Southern region, still fifty odd miles from Limbe and the minister was holding a late afternoon political rally, I asked if I could leave as I had a play rehearsal that evening back in town. He refused. But as the meeting was about to start and the locals had presented him with gifts, including lots of eggs, he gave me a basket of them, and told me to go, and I just made my rehearsal in time.

We're off to Nyasaland
Anglican Cathedral
The Malawi Congress Party officials on Likoma island complained to the Minister that the colonialist Regional Education Office had chosen to site their new day secondary school where he, rather than they, felt it should be built. Kanyama Chiume, I was told, replied, "If Mr. Potter thinks that's where it should go, so be it." I had sited it there because, having checked the charts, I knew the Lake steamer bringing the cement etc. could come close inshore either side of the school, depending on the prevailing wind. The site also had the advantage, for a government school, of being some way from the Anglican cathedral, the focal point of island life.

We're off to Nyasaland
Scouts on Mlanje
At Dedza, I ran a Rover Scout Crew at a nearby Forestry Training School, and there was a Scout Troop at the school. Scouting was very popular and I continued in various capacities until the movement was banned, except for Europeans and Asians, by Dr. Banda. As the government were my employers I had, very regretfully, to resign. Ironically a Malawian Scouter who had received the highest level of scout training with a view to becoming the national leader was taken into the replacement Young Pioneers organisation. Its training manuals, apart from those concerned with political and military matters, were virtually identical with those of the scouts.

We're off to Nyasaland
Independence Day
Other tasks I undertook were acting as second-in command for running the Independence and Republic celebrations. For a time just before the former event I was in charge as my chiefs stomach ulcer blew up and Dr. Banda as an ex-UK GP confined him to bed. Consequently I was summoned to the Presidential bungalow and had, most unusually, a private interview. I will never know whether Dr. Banda did this deliberately or not. But everyone knew of this personal, private briefing and it gave me the authority to countermand the Malawian ministers' and other demands, by simply saying , The president wants...." No one else knew what was said but it can now be revealed that the Life President wanted to be certain his unpublicised guests from South Africa were properly looked after.

We're off to Nyasaland
Dr Banda
Another occasion which required some rapid quick thinking was the day before the Republic was to be launched with a service and gun salute. Checking the already printed service with the Malawi Rifles (ex-KAR) band we came to one hymn marked 'typical tumbuka tune'. The band were non-plussed. I tried to contact Tom Colvin, a Scots missionary who had drawn up the order of service: he was in Geneva. So I worked out the rhythm, and sang the melody to the band, with the immediate response 'Inde, bwana' They certainly knew the tune and so the Republic of Malawi was launched to the tune of the children's hymn "Jesus loves me this I know, 'cos the Bible tells me so".

Yet another additional task was to run the Music and Dance Festivals which the new regime introduced to revive and encourage traditional cultural activities. This involved using buses. When running the first one in Mzuzu I persuaded the Nyasaland Bus company to run a relief (duplicate) service bus about 150 miles to Chitipa (Fort Hill) and gratis 'private' hire back, 300 miles or so.
We're off to Nyasaland
The Family
And repeat the procedure to get the participants back home. Meeting the General Manager at a play rehearsal in Limbe some months later he waxed indignant at the so-and-so who had bamboozled his staff into making such an agreement. I kept my counsel. When organising the next Festival in Blantyre I couldn't pull off the same arrangement and would incur considerable up-front costs, which I might not re-coup if it rained. So I asked for a guarantee against loss. I was told government didn't give guarantees. So I said "No guarantee, no festival." They did not wish to upset the Minister, so accounting policy took a rapid U-turn.

The experience of having to make decisions and being responsible for one's own actions was not necessarily always appropriate on returning to a more ordered, bureaucratic hierarchical regime back home. Some ex-colonials failed to adapt but others went on to do very well in their second careers. I returned to educational administration in Warwickshire but soon changed occupations completely to become a government servant again. This time as an economist in the Home Civil Service, with another enjoyable and varied second career, almost as incident ridden and exciting as the first.

We finally left Malawi in January 1967. The children were growing up. I would need a job in the UK and at the age of almost 36 it was getting rather late to start a new career. But most of all I felt I had done as much as I could to carry out the job I had come out to do, that of helping the country attain self-government.

The Author Adds
In addition to the chapter on 'Education' in Colin Baker's book Expatriate Experience Of Life And Work In Nyasaland - there are many more anecdotes to do with my time in Africa of which here are a few I can remember.

We're off to Nyasaland
Opel Caravan
Soon after acquiring our new Opel caravan, in fact the day after driving it up from Blantyre to Dedza, to the Angoni Highlands hotel, where we spent a night or two before moving into our house on the school site, I managed to crash the car. It skidded in loose sand on the road. Completely inexperienced in driving on dirt roads, I had not realised the tyres were bone hard having been prepared for the tarmac roads in the Blantyre/area, and that one avoided the soft road edges, sticking to the (literally) crown of the road. Fortunately I was unhurt, and the car could be driven - back down to Blantyre for the bodywork to be hammered out. The car served us faithfully thereafter, for thousands of miles through mud, sand, rivers etc and often at 40 mph on the corrugations - anything slower, and the car felt as though it was shaking to pieces, and probably would have.

A memorable occasion was trusting an old map - that's all there were - when we, including months-old Anne, took a 'road' from the Roman Catholic mission at Bembeke, down the 2000 foot escarpment to another RC mission at Mua near the Lake. The 'road' got steeper and steeper and we suspected something was not quite right. But there was nowhere to turn and it was too steep to back up. We knew, it when the abandoned 'road' was blocked by a fallen tree. The road building had started but was soon abandoned.

We're off to Nyasaland
Elephants Crossing
But the only way out was to keep on going down. So having a long tow rope on board we belayed the car round a tree and with the help of a friendly local walking by edged it on the slope round the blockage with the baby in her basket - a cane-work 'cot' made by our gardener which lasted for all four children and came back to the UK - by an open door to grab it if the car disappeared down below. We managed this twice and then had to find a way through the woods before reaching the open coast road and on to the Mission. The fathers were amazed as no other vehicle had managed to traverse the 'road' as far as anyone knew. Returning to Dedza was relatively easy as there was another road up the escarpment built when the first attempt was abandoned. The story spread through the land and we were known throughout the land for this unintended exploit.

We're off to Nyasaland
Henga Valley
I had two adventures with rivers and cars. Once with the Opel and Jean's parents in the car we came to a river we had to cross by a ford. Not sure how deep it was, the passengers got out whilst I gently drove the car on. It was actually shallow enough for them to wade across, it not having been deemed advisable to try and reverse back.

On another occasion, travelling with the Deputy Chief Education Officer, Harry Hudson and his wife returning from Likabula, on the edge of Mlanje mountain to Limbe, we diverted from the usual route because of a flooded river. Harry had a Citroen which had a pneumatic body-lifting arrangement, very useful where the roads had been eroded by flood water so the car could lower itself down into the gap and up the other side. On one occasion the water was still flowing fast. Harry and I wanted to try and drive through, but his wife said no. In retrospect, just as well, as I expect we would have been swept away.

We're off to Nyasaland
Touring Nyasaland
As an Education Officer I had some interesting decisions to make, e.g. discovering that although there was obviously a fixed date and time for the national Standard six exams, at a certain school, the nuns had held it several days earlier. As it was remote and there were no phones in those days, a blind eye or rather a deaf ear was called for.

There was a Unified Teachers Code of employment, rather better than some in the UK, and a case came up in a primary school in Mlanje of a girl pupil becoming pregnant, by it was claimed, one of the teachers. So a disciplinary tribunal was set up with the Regional Education Officer me, as chairman and one representative of the teachers' union and one from the employers. I asked that one of these be female. We heard evidence from the relevant parties and then I arranged for the female rep to be alone with girl, my suggesting to the other male on the panei we 'went for a beer' By the time of our return the woman had got the girl to reveal the identity of the true father and the teacher was innocent. He, probably only person in the village with the money to pay for the loss of a (virgin) bride-price, had been set up.

When it was clear that one of my District Education Officers was being distracted from his job after some hints had failed to obtain an improvement, I mentioned to him that there was probably a vacancy coming up far away in the Lower River area where it was very hot. Not a pleasant posting, unlike the one he currently occupied. Nothing further needed to be said, and we remained good colleagues as his work resumed its normal tenor.

We're off to Nyasaland
Fort Johnson
An interesting job arouse when Mr Borley, Director of the Game, Fish and Tse-Tse control department, based at Fort Johnston at the foot of Lake Nyasa, asked me to help with the problem of tse-tse fly control as the tse caused cattle to weaken and die. His men went out on patrol and caught the tse-tse, but where did the sighting take place? I devised a method by which they recorded the direction in which they were moving and the time each observation was made. Thus knowing the speed at which they were walking it became possible to make a rough map of the tse-tse distribution.

I decided to try this out. A lift in a Land Rover to a remote spot in the bush, a few miles away from the Boma (District HQ), from which I walked on. A little worrying in a clearing to come across elephant droppings -probably days old - but how was I to know? - and then being laughed at by baboons. I pointed my stick at them pretending it was a gun but they weren't fooled. Arriving at a remote village the small children ran away in alarm - almost certainly the first white person they had seen.

Mr Borley told me later the system worked. A pleasant by-product was that Jean, Anne and I stayed for a couple of days or so in the local lakeshore hotel, expenses paid, at least mine!

We're off to Nyasaland
Independence Day
We were involved with the Malawi Independence and Republic Celebrations on July 6 1966 and 1968? respectively. Brian Walker, an Admin Officer, two years behind me at Bury Grammar School, was in charge at Independence with me as his deputy. Ten days before the day Brian went down with a stomach ulcer, and Dr Banda, who had been a GP in N W London put him to bed. So I was in charge. One task was arranging the seating plan on the podium in the Stadium where the main events took place. I carefully arranged excellent seats for Jean and me! A difficulty arose when the Duke of Edinburgh's entourage included an additional security man at the last minute, so a late re-arrangement persuading the dignitaries to move along. The Malawian ministers wanted seats on the front row, but this was still a colonial affair, so no go. They knew I had had a personal interview with the Dr B. but they didn't know any details, so I simply said 'His Excellency wants it done this way.' In effect he had given me the authority needed One minister I had to be firm with was a Mr Muwalo - the only person I have known who has finished up at the end of a hangman's noose - for allegedly plotting to overthrow Dr B.

Brian looked after some events, I did the others. There were several 'emergencies' One was important guests stranded at the frontier and or even at Dar es Salaam. Had to organise clearance and even an aeroplane. When I attended the final rehearsal at the Kanjedza Centre for the Republic midnight hand-over service the programme was already printed. For one hymn it read 'typical Tumbuka' (tribal) tune. The KAR (later Malawi Rifles) military band looked blank. Wfiiere was Tom Colvin, a Scots missionary who had devised that part of the service in Geneva! So I worked out the metre, and the Republic of Malawi was launched to the tune of a children's hymn 'Jesus loves me, This I know 'cos the Bible tells me so!', which the band knew well.

Problems were there to be solved. There was only enough seating for two outside events. So as soon as the opening of the Independence Arch had finished and the guests departed, prisoners, who had been hidden behind bushes rushed forward, put the seating on lorries to be taken to the next-but-one event!

We're off to Nyasaland
Mission Boat
Before the State Balls Jean and I did the seating. At Independence Day the top European officials were invited, but at Republic Day, when the African ministers were in charge, they invited those who had done the work. It was quite a job keeping the Israeli apart from the the Arab etc.

One of the privileges I had was being elected by the Anglican Diocesan Synod as, I think, the only non-Malawian, to the 11 man body which elected the first black bishop in Malawi. It was Joseph Mtekateka from Mozambique to be Bishop of Lake Malawi, based on Likoma.

We're off to Nyasaland
MV Edmund Rhoades
An enjoyable 'ulendo' (safari) was by government launch from Nkata Bay to Likoma to site the new government secondary school. Government supplied some building material and steel corrugated sheets for the roofing. This would be unloaded from a lake steamer and so I chose a site, well away from the dominating cathedral and its influence, on an isthmus so the vessel could choose to unload on the leeward side. Two of the local politicians complained to Mr Chiume, the Minister of Education, that the colonialist officer, me, had ignored them. Tony Davis told me that Chiume told them that if Mr Potter said that was the right place, so be it! Unlike most officers I got on well with Chiume - perhaps because we are both 'vertically challenged' and I didn't fear or suck up to him.

The first time I climbed Mlanje Mountain was with two rover scouts from the Forestry Crew. We didn't have porters, which annoyed them. We set off for the summit but there was no map and we actually arrived at the South Peak. We knew this because people had reached it from the other side of the mountain, whereas we had crossed from the Lichenya plateau, where we stayed in the mountain hut club's hut. We were almost certainly the first recorded to make that journey, and my companions were the first non-whites to use the hut.

On the way back to Dedza we had lunch with Mr Westrop, a tea-planter and Scout Commissioner, and his wife. Jean had joined us, and while the men had a beer, Jean was chatting to Mrs Westrop. She told Jean it would be the first time in her life she had sat down to a meal with a black man and was very nervous; as a result, so was Jean. But the atmosphere changed when the talk turned to the flora and Mrs W was astonished as my African colleagues knew the Latin names of the various plants - they were foresters - and Mrs W was also a botanist, so the conversation flowed.

We're off to Nyasaland
Mlanje
A year or two later Jean and I with two children climbed the mountain with porters and with our servant Tito carrying the baby on his back, to stay in the same hut. My chief memory is of Jean and I making love in the heather under an African sky!

We're off to Nyasaland
MV Ilala
We still have on our wall a leopard skin which a villager brought to our door at Dedza in 1957. had been killed at the village and there was then no market for the skin - that soon changed! We paid 30/- for it, I think (1.50), and then had it cured by the Zambezi Mission people at Blantyre for I think 3.00 pounds. The whole thing cost 4/10/- (4.50) We also have a snake skin I bought for 50p from a chap who came aboard the lake steamer the 'Ilala' whilst I was doing a ulendo visiting village schools along the lake shore, not easily accessible by road.

We're off to Nyasaland
Dhow
This chapter has gone on long enough. There are many other stories - a trip across Northern Rhodesia to the Copper Belt and back - with family and spare petrol and springs on board etc. - travelling on an Arab dhow on the Lake - flying in a de Havilland single engine Beaver beating up deer and crocodiles -and having one break down a hundred miles from my destination so having to take the bus - driving our motor caravan on hairpin bids on dirt mountain roads - etc etc.

We're off to Nyasaland
Nyasaland Trains
Our last flight was dodging tropical storms as we flew in a DC3 to Beira to join the Ellerman Lines' 'City of Exeter' for our final voyage home. A year before we had taken the 'Shaw Saville 'Northern Star' from Durban to Durban via Freemantle , Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland. Rarotonga, Tahiti, Apulculco, Panama Canal, Curacao, Trinidad, Lisbon, and Southampton. Three weeks in UK, and then Madeira, Cape Town and Durban. UDI declared in Rhodesia so motor caravan and family booked on an Italian Lloyd Triestino vessel to Beira and then up to Limbe by train.

On the City of Exeter a cargo vessel with luxury space and facilities for 100 passengers, we called at Lourenco Marques, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, and Las Palma: Gran Canaria. On this leg I met a man who later offered me a job as a result of our conversation.

Colonial Map
1959 Map of Nyasaland
Colony Profile
Nyasaland


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