Here is a personal recollection associated with
the first day of Queen Elizabeth's eventful reign.
As a British colonial geologist employed by the Kenya Government I was involved
during the period January-June 1952 in the official geological mapping of the
South Kitui area approximately 130 km SSE of the Kenya capital, Nairobi.
Early that same year Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King George VI, and her
husband Prince Philip visited the Crown Colony of Kenya. At that time I was
situated in the bush without visitors, radio, telephone, cell phone, or newspapers
but with restricted fortnightly mail. My news therefore of the Royal visit was indeed
sparse and very belated.
Imagine my great surprise one morning whilst exploring in the bush, listening to
my three local field staff commenting about the sudden death of (Kingey Georgey)
and that the visiting memsahib, Princess Elizabeth, would now be the new Queen.
Qn asking my staff about this momentous death news they expressed extreme
surprise that I, a mzungu (white man), was unaware of the King's death which
had occurred the previous day. It was clearly evident to me that they could only
have received the information through the local 'bush telegraph' initiated in Nairobi
thence via Kitui, the District Commissioner's Headquarters, situated some 40 km
north of my isolated, tented bush camp.
This was East African communication at its very best.