During the early part of 1962 I was an Inspector in the Northern
Rhodesia Police, stationed at Ndola, on afternoon shift. That evening
we had a typical storm. Thunder, lightning, torrential rain, and wind. All of a
sudden the lights went out. A tree, we assumed, had brought the power
lines down. Fortunately we had an emergency generator which kicked in
and gave the station lights. The whole of the town was in darkness.
I was told to go, with my car crew, to the Provincial Commissioner’s
residence to see if he and his wife were OK. I duly drove to the PC’s house
and found that a tree had fallen across the driveway leading to the house.
The tree was too big to saw up and all we had for light were the police car’s
lights and no tools were to be had at 9 o’clock at night. By this time a
couple of Land Rovers had arrived, so I decided to use a length of rope we
had found and pull the tree to the side of the driveway. It was raining hard
by this time and I was not in the best of moods.
I asked the others (by this time quite a crowd from the house had arrived)
where “the old bugger” (the PC) was. There was a tap on my shoulder and
a voice said, “right here, my boy”. Yes, it was the PC himself, with a grin on
his face. Was my face red! However, we had a good chuckle, and the tree
was pulled to the side of the driveway and we all went our separate ways.
The next day the PWD removed the tree.