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2nd Bulawayo (Raylton) Scout Group (Photo kindly sent in by Vernon Roberts)
The insert - (left) Peter Reuterick, George Zacharias. (Right) (?1), Bill Powel
Bill or Bob Speller, Steve Enslin, Ian Morrison, (?2), Alex Cracknell, Eric Widdop, Ken Young, Hendy Riekert, Roger Davis, (?3) though I remember the face from Rover crew.
(2nd from back row)
(?4), (?5), (?6), (?7), (?8), Vincent Boshoff, Wally Driver, Robert Jenkins, (?9), Jimmy Murphy, Pat Forbes, (?a)
(Middle Seated row)
Bennie Joubert, (?b), (?c), Scout Leaders: Bob Palmer, Zacharias George's brother, Cub Mistress, Jerry Stevens, (?d), Frikkie le Roux, The Pastor , (?e), Alfie Riekert, Bennie Riekert, not sure which is which Twins.
(?f), (?g), Bobby Orr, (?h), (?i), (?j), (?k), (?l), (?m), (?n), (?o), (?p), (?q), (?r), (?s), Cuthy Sewell
(Sitting on the ground) Rose, not sure, Harry Molensky, Charles Molensky, Sandy Morrison.
(If you recognise any of the unnamed Scouts - please let me know - thanks)
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Ralton Rover Group 1940
(Photo from James Irwin's post on Facebook in "8th Hillside Scout Group, Bulawayo"
2nd Raylton Byo Rover Crew|
(Rovers were aged 18yrs - no upper age limit)
Killed in Action 1939-1945
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2nd Bulawayo (Raylton) Cub Group
(Photo Kindly provided by Gordon Proud and sent in by Vernon G Roberts)
1. ?, 2. Bobby Orr. 3. ?. 4. Mrs. Palm - Arkela. 5. Pat Forbes. 6. Crawford Nish.
7. Henry Fourie. 8. David Boschoff. 9. Willy Haggart. 10. Colin Scott. 11. Freddie Butterfield.
12. ? 13. Norman Dawes. 14. Colin Smith. 15. Hayden Johnson. 16. Gordon Proud.
17. Billy Fairlamb. 18. Colin MacFarlane. 19. David Fairlamb. 20. ?
(If you recognise any of the unnamed Scouts - please let me know - thanks)
Gordon Caw (Email) Mentioned in Expat '72 and 11th Riverside Magazine.
I was APC (Scouts), a post I left circa 1975/6/7 - can't remember exact year, but I think Chuck Wilcox had succeeded Dave Fyfe as PC. As Assistant Provincial Commissioner, I closed and returned these 2nd Raylton Scout hall keys to the then Rhodesia Railways. I enjoyed your references to Assegai (I was in two winning patrols of 2nd Byo) and of Cookout - some of which I organised. Rob mentions you becoming a Sable Scout - interesting as I suggested the title to Stan O'Donnell to replace Queen's Scout after UDI. I was or am(!) a Queens Scout and guided several Scouts to that award over the years.
Your items on Gordon Park are of interest as I was a member of the Crew for several years with Skip as Rover Leader - Bob Talbot and Bill Hill were my sponsors. During my time we built The Leask and opened up The Bowl, including sinking the well and establishing the water system. Other projects included the construction of the Chapel etc.
Enough waffling for now - if you think I can fill any gaps for you, let me know.
I left Byo in 1978 after closing Iscor's Rhodesian operation to take up managing their office in Durban, but in 1980 was transferred to London to run that office for them. After nearly 30 years with Iscor I retired in 1998. In the UK I was an ADC(Scouts) and County Adviser for the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, but left Scouting when the Berlin Wall came down and our market rapidly expanded eastwards and I didn't really have the time to do the Scouting job properly.
A few observations to your questions, not in any order, especially as you are asking me to remember events in my life from 70 odd years ago! Judging by my age the first Assegai was probably in 1950 which, I think, is the one we (2nd Byo) won.
John Landau, who I knew well, succeeded Stan as Chief Scout in Rhodesia. John died a few years ago - I think at his home in the UK.
Gerry Stephens was the first PC for Matabeleland (previously DC for Byo) and he appointed DC's for Byo North, Dave Edgar, Byo South, Arthur Edwards, Byo West, Philip ??? a Matabele name I cannot remember.
Gerry was succeeded by Les Stratford who appointed me APC (Scouts) and Mike George as APC(Cubs). Dave Fyfe (an ex 2nd Byo Rover) followed Les and then Chuck Wilcox, circa 1976. I left Scouting at this point - call ups, family, work etc. During my time as APC, apart from Cookouts etc, I and Les set up and ran the Bulawayo Jamborally celebrating 100yrs of Bulawayo;
I also set up Expats ( Expedition And Training for older scouts) (and another Expat-72 webpage) and combined scout/guide camps - a real innovation as most guide leaders were convinced the boys would seduce the girls, but I was supported by Pat Mengel the Guide District Commissioner.
2nd Byo. First, the photos. I do not recognise any that I could identify, but I do recognise several names - Sandy Morrison lived next door in Raylton; Stan Savage was my first SM; Dave Fyfe I've mentioned; Trevor Wright became, ultimately, General Manager of Rhodesia Railways and so my boss!
I see I get to be an insert (top left corner) of the undated photo. Going by some of the names given I reckon the photo was taken circa 1945. When i joined the cubs (1944/5) there were 3 sections - cubs, scouts and rovers (ages 8-11, scouts 11-18, rovers 18-no upper age limit).
There were also rover crews in at least 1st and 3rd Byo and I'm sure they formed the first GP "crews" - most ceased, probably in the 50's,but when the RAF set up the flying training depot at Heany during WW2 and up to circa 1954, a Rover crew was set up there (17th Byo, Heany) and many helped at GP. I knew many of them, especially "Minto" Nuttall who had a wonderful mustache!
The GP Rover Crew (a service crew) was started by Skipper Knapman in the 50's, early members being Bob Talbot, Richard Morley and Ronnie Williams. Later Mike George, me (Gordon Caw in 1959), George Gibson, John Stakesby-Lewis, Gert Hoppe. Bill Hill, who arrived in Byo in the 50's from the UK joined - he was a great cook and he supported me in my quest to establish Senior Scouts (15-18 years) in Byo.
We formed the Mallory Patrol of which Rob was a founder member. Bill returned to the UK in the 60's, but not before guiding me in setting up Byo's first Senior Scout troop at the 2nd. I was also largely helped by John Landau, Ken Nortje and John Ford of the 2nd Salisbury.
I steered Michael Davies, Danny White, John Cowan, Louis Corby, Alan Birchall, Alan McClelland, George Baisley, Michael Kettle, Gavin Miller, Fred Capon to become Queens Scouts. We did, of course, have many adventures along the way. During my time at the 2nd our SMs were Stan Savage, Ken Danks and Wally Edgar.
Onto The Leask and here we must involve the Connolly family. They were (are) of Pioneer stock.
Naomi taught me, did much for cubbing in Byo and was a member of the leader Training Team. (I joined the Training Team in circa 1962/3 following my Scout and Senior Scout Training Courses at Gilwell in 1961).
Ossie Connolly, of Connolly & Co (engineers) in Byo also had a ranch in south Matopos (I think inherited) on which Moffat established a missionary station. The Rev. Leask had a dwelling there, the bricks of which were used to build The Leask at GP, courtesy of Ossie (an ex Rover of Skipper Knapman's) who also financed and built the Knapman Hut. The Leask's site was probably due to the proximity of the Rough and Long Stores and the shelter which was used for meals and sleeping - looked upon as HQ! The Leask,s construction was largely by the crew and locally employed men, including Willie, who was like a "caretaker" for many years. An African bricklayer helped a lot. I don't know where or how the rafters originated, but the water was pumped from river well and it was from there we got the sand - brought up in the Bedford truck. The water was stored in a corrugated iron tank before the large "brick" one was built. The pipework and showers etc were installed before my time, no doubt by the earlier help from Byo Rovers.
We did install a phone system to the well pump house and up to The Bowl - it was an old "turn the handle" to ring system and not very good. There was no connection to the outside world. I think the nearest phone to the outside world was at old Prior's store.
Bob Talbot lost his leg at an early age - a shooting mishap whilst cleaning a firearm. For blasting down a well we lowered him with his good leg/foot in a bucket and after we had prepared the site he prepared the charge and set the detonator, bringing the fuse wire back up to the surface which was lit once we had taken shelter. Only Bob could do as only he had a blasting licence. No health and safety regs in those days!
I last visited Byo in 1998 when I retired from Iscor. The cracks were beginning to appear (especially at Milton School which Rob and I attended), but the town wasn't too bad and The Bulawayo Club (of which I'm still a member!) where we stayed was very good.
I hope I've covered most of your "asks", but do come back if I've missed something.
Frikkie Le Roux - Grandson Peter Le Roux (Email)
I wanted to thank you for the Matebeleland Scouts web site - I run a scout troop in Benoni, near Johannesburg, but my father was a cub at 2nd Raylton and my grandfather (Frikkie) was TS there for a while and also at Queen's Park troop. He was later an RSL with the Rover crew. I have inherited his Rover Scout flash, purple DC plume and Wood Badge woggle but unfortunately not much else. I may have some photographs which I can scan and forward to you - will have to check with my mom. Is there currently a Rover crew active in Matebeleland? I'm also a member of our District Rover crew so it would be interesting to get in touch with some of them if possible. I'd also be interested in exchanging badges etc. with anyone who is interested.
Yours in Scouting
Peter le Roux
It is with great sadness that I have heard of the passing away of Bob Palmer who died of lung cancer in 2004. Amongst other positions, Bob Palmer was a Scout Master at the 2nd Bulawayo (Raylton) Scout Troop and a Commissioner on the National Scout Leader Training Team. He attended the 1979 Jamboree replacement in Kandersteg, Switzerland as a Scout Leader.
Ten Commandments: - Trusty, Loyal. Helpful, Brotherly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Smile, Thrifty, Clean in body and mind.
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Vernon Roberts (Email)
It is with sadness, and also with gratitude for his life, that I note here the death of my father, Vernon Roberts, that occurred yesterday morning in Tyler Texas. (06 July 1930 to 16 June 2020). My mom, brother and I were all with him at home.
A man of honesty and integrity whose word was his bond. A faithful husband to his wife of 65 years and a loving and involved father to his two sons. A photo I took of him and my mom when I was at high school around 1973 and lastly, a recent pic of him and my mom. An outstanding man who served his country for 30 years. I couldn't be more proud and thankful for him. He made it to my mom's 89th birthday and was just 3 weeks short of his 90th.
I have been looking at the internet site on Gordon Park and in particular Skipper Knappman.
My scouting days were from 1943 to 1945, then I had about a year as a squire in the Rover Crew. Although I was not an advanced scout I did love the camping at Gordon Park, and I remember once going to Judson's farm, turning right at Cement and camping near a river.
One important skill that Skipper had, and I may have missed it, is that he spun the rope and gave a few of us young scouts lessons at the 1st Bulawayo Scout hall.
Just wondering if you would like to get some information about the mid 40's?
I am 76 and living in Tyler, Texas, quite a way from our old stamping grounds, but I have sent out the word to Australia, many ex-Scouts there. They are due to have a M'dalas meeting tomorrow and I have asked them to scratch their heads and recall the best days of our life. So maybe we will get a response?
The problem us older guys have is that we are not computer literate - and for most of us its a steep learning curve.
The above photo of the Cubs, Scouts and Rovers goes back to yester-year (Gudala), and I have tried to name the ones I remember - there are stories for most of them that I can recall.
Regards,Vernon G Roberts.
6/12/2006 To continue... Skipper had such an impression on me that I always had a rope for spinning, there is one in my shed now. The metal eye I thought was to protect the end, but as you say it could have been a weight to ease the spinning.
The rope I have now, does not have a metal eye; I have tapered the rope, some ply-a-bond and used some thin twine to bind it (forgotten the correct term).
I will try and give some of the memories of what we had in those days, and I do not want to offend anyone and hope that some will come forward and correct and add to.
May be it is best that I start with the Leaders: -
Gerry Stevens was our first scout Master then he was promoted up the ladder, but he would always make a point of calling in the see our group.
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Some years ago his son sent out a letter and was trying to trace & collect info on the older Scouts, (if you would want a copy let me know and I will scan a copy and send it to you) Peter Rueterink had receive a letter from him and was very frail and in a wheel chair in a care home in Boksburg, South Africa, so I have not been able to check on the names in the photo.
I have not met Jerry’s son but heard he had married Joan Sanderson and I had been friendly with her older brother Sandy. Now that you mention that Joan represented Rhodesia in hockey, I remember, they were good athletes and I remember her parents were sincere Catholics. I am not a Catholic, but many
my friends at the time were Catholics and I think it was on a Wednesday that we would go to their youth evening.
Then for a short while Frikkie le Roux took over for a short spell and then the main stay in my time was Bobby (Bess) Palmer. He was a conscientious and kind person and from a respectable family, his dad did a lot for the war fund and I think he was high up in the Moths.
There were two sisters, Snooky married John Hartley and the last I heard of them was that they were in Durban. I think the older sister was Gladys not sure nor have I had any news of her since my early 20’s.
The 3rd Bulawayo had Mr Follwell and a Mr Sheasby, Mr Follwell had sons and so did Mr Sheasby, but no knowledge of them, though Mr Sheasby did teach the Ambulance Brigade to some of us young guys and the classes were held near the Railway Time office and at the sports matches he or one of his colleagues would be there give aid to the injured.
Their Hall was next to Queen’s sports field and as I remember they were those who had the most badges, all I ever achieved was my Tenderfoot. Though I had attempted a few others, but lost interest after being let down by the senior who was suppose to test me. Also most were unruly guys so I joined the wild bunch.
The 1st Bulawayo I only remember Skipper and that the Hall behind the High Court, next to the Y.W.C.A. and I would say they were in between us and the 3rd.
During WW II all of the scouts were called upon to help at fund raising functions, so we did some worth while work.
An older scout, would now be about 82 or 3 is Dave Candler, he was a friend of my eldest brother, and the last I heard about Dave was that he was in England and had retired as Rector of the Barningham Winks, Baconsthorpe, Plumstead and Hampstead (Norwick, U.K. Diocese. Please check spelling the note I have is old, 1994.
Do you have access to Google Earth? It is free and the satellite pictures of Bulawayo and most of the other cities are clear, I am able to zoom on to the places where we stayed the Scout Halls, etc and it has rejuvenated the old brain cells.
Oh! I have a copy of 'The Hackney Scout Song Book' 1943. There are still many stories to tell, and will keep you informed. However, one that is important is Cuthey Sewell, the one in the wheel chair, George Zackarias, Rodger Davis and Peter Rueterick, would push him to Rovers every week from 14th Avenue Main Street, they were great guys.
Keep the Home Fires Burning?
The Tenderfoot Ridgeback Texan.
12th July 2008 George Zacharias son came back and told me that his dad had passed way some years back, but he thought that his mom knew where Rodger Daviis was; However, Eric Widdop's grand son contacted me, he is in England and another relative is still in Bulawayo and they were trying to get some history on their Grand father. Unfortunately Eric was a few years older than me and there was little I could give him and when I tried to contact him again he had left the company so did not have his new mailing address.
Wade Begemann's father Xavier (Zavy) and I have known each other since apprentices, then as families and stayed next door to each other when Wade and our son Alan grew up together.
May be the next two stories will ring a bell with some of the Mdala scouts. At Raylton we had an old lorry that use to transport us to Gordon Park, can't recall the type or model, but it had no doors and the hooter was operated by crancking? At the bottom of the Matopos dam wall I think the hill was referred to as Layman's hill, going down was fine, but when heading back often we would have to disembark and push.
Then at the scouts we had a trek cart, not sure how many of us handled the cart, trying to think now, there were two on the main draw bar (deselboom- not sure of spelling), one on each rope from the axle and about four pushing? I know there was a record in dismantling the cart and then assembling it and to put it together for a number of uses i.e. look out; to hide it by all the parts laying flat on the ground; and even a bath?
I hope that there is still someone around who could correct me but I think it was in about 15 seconds to strip the cart. The problem that I find is that most of my age group are not handy with the computer or in SA it is expensive to link onto the internet.
The mention of the Jamboree rings a bell for me. In 1943 or 4, a group from Bulawayo went to one in the Vic Falls and the only two I distinctly recall who were there were two brothers from the Hillside group, Hughie and Bobby Moore. When we were journeymen we worked together on the Rhodesia Railways.
Should I be able to sratch up any other news I will pass it on to you.
Humba Gashli Shamwari.
- A bit of other Gordon Park history for you is that Dad blasted the rocky outcrop from the camping area going to the Bowl and also did all the plumbing for the old showers etc. Both Mom and Dad's ashes are scattered at the Chapel. - from Rob Talbot
S P Reuterink (14/7/08)
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P. 0. B0X 26
17 January 1985
Mr S P Reuterink
15 Rolls Royce St
Dear Vernon Roberts
It has become increasingly apparent over the past six months or so that many of dads friends and relations are unaware of his state of health.
Rather than attempt to write individually to all concerned, I'm having this letter photo copied and hope you will forgive its seemingly impersonal nature.
Dad's physical condition gives no cause for concern although, of course, at
his age - 82 in July - it must be expected that the odd ache and pain will
manifest itself. However, Dad's mental condition, brought about by hardening of the arteries, has affected his memory and in recent months this senility has required that steps be taken to have him placed under proper medical supervision.
For the past three months we have had Mrs C Stratford boarding with Dad and keeping an eye on him. We had hoped that this arrargement would have enabled him to remain at 10 Leicester Avenue for some while longer, but regrettably it became clear that he was quite unable to look after himself and we had to seek his admission to the Edith Duly Nursing Home where we were fortunate to find there was a vacancy. He has been there since Monday the 7th January.
Many of you recently sent Christmas cards to Dad and must have wondered he had not reciprocated. Similarly, I have found letters from family members unanswered and I am sure you will all now appreciate the reason for this.
Dad enjoys reminiscing and I know he would continue to welcome snippets of news from any old friend who may wish to drop him a line. I suggust such correspondence should be addressed to myself at P 0 Box 26 Bulawayo, as this will ensure it reaches him and that Joan and I can assist him in identifying the writer.
I am quite satisfied that Dad will be very well cared for at the Edith Duly which is a private nursing home, ideal for a person in his condition, :and he will continue to visit us on Sundays so that the family link will not be weakened.
As I am certain to have inadvertently overlooked several of Dad's friends in the posting of this letter, I would much appreciate it if you passed on the contents to any mutual acquaintances.
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