A Pair of Boots

Many years later I felt much the same joy and pride of ownership when I bought a pair of magnificent hiking boots in London. I felt too, the same sense of despair when I came home with a blister on my heel the first time I used them on a hike! I learnt later to wear two pairs of socks, or even a pair of ladies knee-length nylon stockings under one’s normal thick socks.. However, it takes some courage for a bloke over six foot high with size 11/12 boots to enter a ladies hosiery and ask for such a pair of nylons to fit him!

This is how it happened. Continue reading “A Pair of Boots”

The Rising Ghost

My Uncle and Aunt lived in a fine stone house with black tiled roof situated on a high ridge overlooking the Westcliffe Flats and the Johannesburg Zoological Gardens.  We often stayed with them when we visited Johannesburg from Swaziland almost as far back as I can remember.

It was awesome to be there and hear lions roaring at night in the middle of such a large city. I spent many a Sunday there while I was at boarding school and especially enjoyed the wonderful lunches served by a manservant in white uniform and gloves. From time to time he would attend with a silver tray and brush to remove crumbs from the table. This was a new experience for me!

It was not long after I had left school, (and was beginning to feel rather ‘adult’) that I was staying in the house alone, since my uncle and aunt were away on holiday. The Allied invasion of Italy at the end of 1943 was receiving much attention from the media and formed the main topic of conversation for most people. Continue reading “The Rising Ghost”

A Rookie on Trek in Basutoland 1954

I joined the Agricultural Department in Basutoland in May 1954 and, after a brief spell in Maseru, was posted to Mafeteng in July. I was still trying to get used to a new job, when in September the Agricultural & Livestock Officer in Mohales Hoek   [L Bischoff who helped me a great deal to find my feet] suggested I trek to Qhobeng to join him and Desmond Taylor, the District Commissioner, in Mohales Hoek .

The object was to go into the matter of disputed grazing areas along a common boundary between the people of Mohales Hoek and Mafeteng. I think some people from Maseru District were also involved. This dispute had been going on for a long time. Several years previously at Qhobeng there had been a large pitso and gathering of all concerned including representatives from the Paramount Chief to resolve the difficulty. Continue reading “A Rookie on Trek in Basutoland 1954”

The old Mbabane Courthouse

 

My mother told me I won a prize dressed as a kewpie doll at a baby show or Fancy Dress Party held in the Mbabane Court House in 1925. Thank goodness, I do not recall the great event! However, twenty-one years later I sat in the same courthouse dressed in black legal gown and white neckpiece carrying out the duties of Registrar of the High Court of Swaziland.

This entailed making documents available to the Honourable Judge and Assessors; swearing in witnesses; handing in trial exhibits as required and taking life seriously. (Actually, I was a Clerk grade 111 Acting Assistant Registrar and Master of the High Court, and responsible to a senior civil servant who was the true Registrar and Master) I shall return to this later.

Continue reading “The old Mbabane Courthouse”

I Slept Carelessly – A Shepherd’s Tale

‘I SLEPT CARELESSLY”

 

It had been a very long tiring day bouncing about in a Land rover in the Lesotho Mountains, up and down steep bridle path tracks where there were no roads. We had held meetings with Basotho farmers in remote areas to introduce dipping and dosing methods to control external and internal parasites in sheep and Angora goats.

At about nine o’clock that night we reached base at a Livestock Improvement Centre but we were so tired we merely put down our camp mattresses and rolled up in our blankets to sleep. This was about three years after Lesotho had gained its Independence in 1966 Continue reading “I Slept Carelessly – A Shepherd’s Tale”

Basotho Women –Mothers to the Nation

Basotho Women – Each one a Mother to the Nation

Note : These comments are made from casual observations whilst working in three mountain areas of Lesotho some thirty to forty years ago. They are not the result of scientific study. During recent years much development has taken place in terms of building and improving roads, bus services, the establishment of water supplies and schools Continue reading “Basotho Women –Mothers to the Nation”

Adam Kok’s Epic Trek over the Drakensberg -1861 to 1863

The old Dobson Map of Basutoland (Lesotho) published in 1909 clearly indicates ‘AdamKok’s Road’ which he followed on his epic trek from Philippolis to Nomansland, later known as East Griqualand, where he established the town of Kokstad. This trek over the Drakensberg Mountains during 1861/63 must rate as one of the epic journeys undertaken during the 19th Century. This is how it happened.

Continue reading “Adam Kok’s Epic Trek over the Drakensberg -1861 to 1863”