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1st BULAWAYO (PIONEER) SCOUT GROUP PIONEER TRAIL Magazine (Zimbabwe)

1st BULAWAYO (PIONEER) SCOUT GROUP PIONEER TRAIL Magazine (Dec 2004)

       
Sep - Dec 2004 Quarterly Troop Magazine

Pioneer Trail Pick emblem
Meeting
Mabukuwene Nature Reserve
Fridays 19:00 - 21:00 hrs
Scout Leader
Norman Scott
Norman's Email address

With thanks to:- Editor, typist, distributor - Karen FitzPatrick

UNDER THE PSEUDOLACHNOSTYLIS MAPROUNEIFOLIA

Click to enlarge:
Patrol Leader Paul Carlsson conducts a Scouts Own at the Gordon Park September 2004 church service
Patrol Leader Paul Carlsson
conducts a Scouts Own at the
Gordon Park September 2004
church service

What should have been a relaxed third term of the year turned out to be a rather active period. But then, Scoutingís motto of 'Be Prepared' was no idle choice by our founder, Lord Baden-Powell. Despite this last school term of the year being a time of qualifying examinations for the next year ahead, our scouts found the time and energy to demand active scouting. Oh well, forget about the quiet time and read about the Scoutís accounts of events that unfolded.

An upsetting event for the Troop during the term was Patrol Leader Joseph Roseís decision to leave the Troop. The new scouts took to Joe right from the start and they asked me several times if I couldnít persuade him to come back. For me, I was sad for several reasons, one being that Joe was well on his way to attaining his Sable Award, which he was capable of gaining and I am sure he would have treasured that achievement in years to come. Having said that, I also appreciate that scouting plays its part for a certain period in the development of a young man and when that period ends and the person moves forward in other interests and is inspired by many noble persons in the adult world, then to leave scouting, instead of lingering on half-heartedly, is a wise decision. As Joe mentioned to me about his scouting, - years and experiences I will have to draw on as I grow into adulthood - indicates a mature outlook on his life and his career. I would also like to think that by this remark, Joe enjoyed and gained much from being a scout. To you Joe, I wish you the best for your future and if scouting has played a positive role in your life, it has achieved its goal.

With Joeís departure, the Troop, which has witnessed a steady growth this year, with more boys joining this last term, has been left with one Senior Scout and one Patrol Leader This means that next year will be a difficult year in maintaining the level of scouting that has been steadily nurtured over the years. The difficulty will stem through the large number of new inexperienced Scouts being tutored by the two seniors and myself. Each individual Scout must progress at his pace, for this is the hallmark of Scouting, but this will not now be easy. However, I am sure a way will be found to ensure that each Scout will progress and that our programme of active, hands on scouting will continue.

Mentioned in this edition of Pioneer Trail is the investiture of Thomas Timberlake into the Troop. The investiture was held at the end of the Michigan International Camporee report back at our meeting place, Mabukuwene Nature Reserve. In the past, I have programmed investitures to be held in our campsite at Gordon Park, but it was impossible from a time point of view, to organize Thomasí investiture to be held at Gordon Park in the remaining month of the year. The investiture at our town venue was, however, still memorable, for holding it after the report back of an international event witnessed by a supportive gathering of parents and friends,
Click to enlarge:
Scout Thomas Timberlake is invested into the Troop
Scout Thomas Timberlake
is invested into the Troop

underscored the universal nature of Scouting and that Scouting is preparing young men for their adult life in the community. So, my initial disappointment at not being able to carry out the investiture in the Matopos was well compensated for by the nature of the report back. Further, our meeting place is located in a nature reserve with our 'Scout hut' built on top of a granite outcrop, reminiscent of the Matopo hills. To you Thomas, welcome to Scouting and our Troop in particular.

Life today in Zimbabwe is very testing - from whichever point one would wish to view it. However, whether it is clear to us or not, history is unfolding as it should. Scheduled for early next year are Zimbabweís national parliamentary elections and if the last elections are anything to go by, the country is in for a very lively time. With this in mind, I decided to bring forward our hike in the Chimanimani Mountains and so the hike was held during the first week of December 2004 instead of January 2005. This hike is one of our troopís highlights of the year, as we have to travel almost six hundred kilometres across to the eastern border of Zimbabwe where the Chimanimani Mountains are located. Further, the mountains are real mountains quite unlike our Matopos hills near Bulawayo and the area receives a much higher rainfall. The traveling to and from the hike in the mountains, which rise to an altitude of 2660 metres above sea level with cool invigorating air, the different vegetation and bird life, the abundance of crystal clear water in the mountain
Click to enlarge:
Dylan, Kieran, Tim and Tom entered the
junior section in the Provincial Cook-out Competition. The Troop took second place
Dylan, Kieran, Tim and Tom entered the
junior section in the Provincial Cook-out
Competition. The Troop took second place

rivers, all make for a magnificent area in which to hike. An added bonus this year was that none of the junior Scouts had ever been to the Chimanimani Mountains and some had never traveled so far from home. This just goes to show what Scouting can do for individuals. A report on our hike appears in this edition of Pioneer Trail.

Pseudolachnostylis Maprouneifolia And now, it is back to my hammock beneath my favourite Pseudolacnostylis Maprouneifolia with my floppy hat pulled over my eyes as I dream of what exciting experiences our Scouts will be privileged to be part of in 2005. Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

NORMAN SCOTT
Scout Leader

Matopos Cave to Worldís View
1-2 October 2004

Tom, Edwin, Kieran, Chris, Connor, Dylan, Daniel, Paul, Gumbie and myself met at Danielís house, and were taken out to the Matopos in Mr. Swannackís car and Normís Landrover. We drove into the National Parks to Worlds View where we parked the Landrover. Then Mr Swannack drove us to the Kezi Road to Matopos cave, in which we were going to sleep. It was an amazing cave with
Troop members gather for a team photo before leaving the Matopo cave, Kezi road
Troop members gather for a team photo before
leaving the Matopo cave, Kezi road

Bushman cave paintings. It was a cold night so Dylan and Christopher got a roaring fire going which warmed and lit the place up.

The next morning we got up late after a late night playing and talking. We started the hike at about 8.00 am with a long trip ahead. Gumbie led us through a small marshy area where we literally had to hack our way through. It was amazing walking through all the vleis, and over hills and through valleys. On the way Paul and Gumbie tried a few minutes of fishing at a dam we stopped at and caught little more than a tiddler.

From the dam, we carried on walking through open bush land up to a point where we had to go down a kopjie. This took a while to get down because of the steepness and all the stinging nettles. Once we got down that kopjie we carried on to the Maleme River where we stopped for a rest. We walked non-stop for the rest of the way to Worlds View where we had left Normís Landrover.

Click to enlarge:
Gumbi and Paul try their hand at fishing in Mwizilume dam, along the hike route
Gumbi and Paul try their hand at fishing in
Mwizilume dam, along the hike route

We took a slow cruise back to Gordon Park where we showered and had lunch. That afternoon Tom, Gumbie, Paul and myself went abseiling off Leask rock. At first it was scary but then I got the knack of it. We got back into Bulawayo late and everyone was exhausted. I think it was the most challenging hike yet.

TIMOTHY CHADWICK


Morning Glory Farm, Kudale Cave, Silote Hike
5-6 November 2004

We all gathered at Christ the King on a hectic Friday afternoon. All nine of us were there except Connor Paul and Gumby. For the first time Norm was actually late! Chayce had brought along a friend from Petra School called Robbi, who wanted to come along on the hike. The whole lot of us and our packs had to fit into Inguluwane - Normís little brown landy. It was a bumpy ride on the Old Gwanda road but we arrived at our destination just before it got too dark. We camped at a farm called 'Morning Glory Farm'. It had plenty of houses and dormitories, but we slept outside. The ground was soft and great for sleeping on. We unpacked our kit and had supper. Chris, Chayce, Dylan and Robbi got a roaring fire going which gave lots of light. After supper we played a game of 'Ravins Hill' and went to bed far too late.

We woke up early on Saturday and had tea and breakfast. After we had cleared up our camp we all went exploring and found a small clean dam. This would play a great help after the hike! This hike was a short hike only 14 kilometres and we didnít carry our packs so it was more of a walk and exploration than a hike. Norm showed us a cave named Kudale which had many other caves extended onto it. There was graffiti all over the cave walls but it was still a magnificent cave and some of the Bushman paintings were very good. All of us were caving and climbing and some of us got stuck in the narrow passageways. Once we had finished we set off to Silote Mountain. On the way, all the guys with sticks were smashing monkey oranges, which of course was great fun. We got to the summit of the mountain and had a good rest. About 200 metres below us to our east was the Mtshebezi River. After our rest, we risked our necks trying to get down an almost vertical face! Anyway, we got to the bottom safely and headed back to camp.

Click to enlarge:
Morning Glory farm, night camp
Morning Glory farm, night camp

Once back at the farm we just swam and ate a late lunch. We had a major weed war in the dam until Norm had to call us so we could get going to a neighbouring farm. At this next farm Norm attended a Matobo Conservation Society meeting while the rest of us, led by Tom, went swimming in deep clear pools, and caving near the pools. We had plenty of fun and we caught more than enough sun and went home looking like beetroots. On the way we went past King Mzilikaziís memorial and made a note to include this and Mzilikaziís gravesite on a future outing. We got back to town at about quarter to six. A really great hike.

TIMOTHY CHADWICK

Michigan International Camporee Report Back
26 November 2004

Preparations for the report-back started mid afternoon when the mountains of souvenirs that Joe and I had brought back from the Third Michigan International Camporee were arranged for display in our open sided 'Scout Hut' at Mabukuwene Nature Reserve. Central to the display was a large board with over one hundred photographs taken at the Camporee.

Next to this board was a huge map of America with an arrow marked on it pointing to Northwoods Scout Reservation in the state of Michigan where the Camporee was held. On the tables were countless badges, scarves and Troop nametapes, various designs of woggles and even complete scout uniforms. In addition the state flags of Michigan and Virginia which in turn were flanked by the Zimbabwean and American national flags tastefully dropped from 'sky hooks' added to the kaleidoscope of colour transforming our 'Scout Hut' into Aladdin's cave for the evening. Then there were brochures of the various places and towns visited - from amusement parks to the Michigan state capital building, and on to Washington DC and itís famous landmarks.

Click to enlarge:
Scouts look over the display of souvenirs
Scouts look over the
display of souvenirs

that Joe and Norman brought back from the Michigan
Camporee
that Joe and Norman brought
back from the Michigan Camporee

Occupying a corner of the display tables was a computer dutifully flashing a slide show of the Camporee events taken by American Scout Leaders Terry Lowery and Paul McKim of our Troop, Chippewa. The CDís complemented the report-back Joe and I gave later to our own slides.

By 6.00pm the braai fires on the patio outside had burnt down to red-hot coals awaiting the members of the Troop, their families and friends. As people arrived, so the social interaction of talking and laughing transformed the evening with warmth and friendship.

At the appointed time of 7.30pm the last crack, whoosh, ssss of a sausage, accompanied by the pop of bottle caps was heard as the lights dimmed. And so with a full moon rising behind our guests, the overhead projector blazed into life with the introductory messages, the first by Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, who in 1929 stated:

'We should take care, in calculating patriotism into our boys and girls, that it is a patriotism, above the narrow sentiment which usually stops at oneís own country and thus inspires jealousy and enmity in dealing with others. Our patriotism should be of the wider, nobler kind which recognizes justice and reasonableness in the claims of others and which leads our country into comradeship with, and recognition of, the other nations of the world.'
This was followed by a message by Arnold Alderman; Chairman of the Connecticut International Camporee held in 1992 of which I had been a participant.
'What good comes out of an International Camporee?
What elements will come together, propelling this experience onto a higher level?
An International Camporee is more than just a high-priced camping adventure. A Camporee is an investment in the future. We the Scouts and Scouters, who make up the World Organization of the Scouting Movement, send a message to the world. We can live in peace. We can co-operate. We can maintain our individuality, while respecting and appreciating the diversity that surrounds us. This is the value of an International Camporee. And this is the message and meaning of Scouting.'


With these two powerful messages as, if given in person by their authors, Joe and I welcomed our guests to the report-back.

As the slide show progressed, Joe and I took turns telling our story of adventure, experience, and social integration with the Scouts from twenty countries of the world to do justice to both the organizers of the Camporee, under the chairmanship of Bruce McCrea, Scout Leader of Troop 180, Lansing, Michigan and to the authors of the two introductory messages above. Further we wanted to bring home the statement in the passage 'Desiderata' for our world is bleeding and we need some positive encouragement:
'With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful - strive to be happy.'

Click to enlarge:
Thomas Timberlake being invested into the Troop
Thomas Timberlake being invested into the Troop

Having given our report back, the evening came to a most fitting climax with the investiture of a new recruit, Thomas Timberlake, into the Scout movement, and our Troop in particular. The international nature of the evening, the presence of members of the movement as well as those non-members who unsparingly support the ideals of Scouting, will no doubt leave a long lasting impression on Thomas.

In conclusion, I would like to thank all who attended our report back. It is support of this nature that is so important in the overall development of our youth and for all involved in community service.

NORMAN

Chimanimani 2004 Expedition
6-10 December 2004

Click to enlarge:
Photie halt 
Banana Grove route in the Chimanimani mountains
'Photie halt'
Banana Grove route in the
Chimanimani mountains

On the big morning we all arrived at Paulís house - some as early as a quarter to seven! Until all eight of us - namely Norm, Paul, Tim, Edwin, Dylan, Christopher, Thomas and myself were there and ready with our kit at 7.30. We managed to pack all the kit into the trailer with some truly inspired packing by Mr Swannack, and then, after a prayer for travelling mercies given by Mr.Carlsson, we were off.

The trip was uneventful in the driving side but poor Norm had to put up with a huge racket nearly the whole way there from the seven of us passengers as we tried our level best to wind and annoy everybody else - all to no avail! After ten hours and a lot of food we all made it safely to the waterfall lay bye where we, traditionally, would sleep. There we met up with Ken Nortjie, from Mutare one of Norm and Paulís friends who would be our companion on the hike.

We evaluated the situation, then decided to move on and try to spend the night at the Outward Bound School as Norman knew Mr Guy Carey from previous trips, Luck was on our side and we were given a dorm to stay in as well as a place to leave our trailer. A big Thank You to Mr.Carey for his hospitality.

Click to enlarge:
One of the many waterfalls and pools on the Bundi River in which we swam
One of the many waterfalls
and pools on the Bundi River
in which we swam

In the morning we woke up, well rested and leaving our trailer at Outward Bound we moved off with our kit in Kenís small vanette and us bundled into the Landie.

While Norm settled our National Parks fees we all set off, Paul and I leading because we supposedly knew the way, from Paulís 4 and my 3 previous trips. We had barley travelled 200 metres when we made our first mistake. Going down an amazingly steep firebreak halfway down we had our first of 3 casualties when Dylanís bag strap snapped. After a quick fix, we moved on, Norm and

Click to enlarge:
Overnight camp - Terryís cave
Overnight camp
Terryís cave

Ken having passed us to the right on the correct path about five minutes ago. Eventually we all regrouped and started our climb up Banana Grove, which would prove to be our next test for our first time younger scouts. Tim was on fire and forged ahead of them but there were numerous breaks on the way up. All tired and glad the climb up was over, we stopped at 'fotie halt' for a rest. The panoramic view was glorious.

We then, after splitting into two groups moved on, Paul and I not so sure of the path that we were on but still leading. We were just about to leave the path and make a beeline for our target when we saw our turnoff just a couple of hundred metres ahead. What a relief!

We were now in sight of our target, Terryís cave, where we were to stay the night. It was now that it started to rain, just hard enough to merit us putting on our raincoats. With new vigour we surged forwards, knowing that we were on the final stretch. This is when our party really started to stretch out, as those capable of speed started to show it. We then moved down into the Bundi Valley, where a few people had problems negotiating the river, but we all managed to cross and then it was just a short steep climb and a walk up to Terryís. Paul and Tim met some stiff competition on the climb from two girls in the mountains. They were down by the river but when they saw us heading off to 'their' cave, they also decided it was time to set up camp. An intense battle ensued, Paul and Tim, I am ashamed to say, being beaten to the target. However, with lady like courtesy they did give us the cave, as there was a small 'two woman' cave just around the corner.

Click to enlarge:
Tom, Edwin and Tim hiking towards Fishermanís cave with
Turret Towers providing the majestic backdrop
Tom, Edwin and Tim hiking towards
Fishermanís cave with Turret Towers
providing the majestic backdrop

After lunch, four of us decided to take a walk down to Southern Lakes for a swim and just to enjoy ourselves. We had our goggles on, hoping to see some mountain cat fish, which we had seen last time. Unfortunately we had no luck but it was still great to swim in the pools, which Paul and I managed to touch the bottom of (an almost unheard of feat), as the water was quite low. After a while, we headed back to camp, hoping to have supper prepared for us, which was wishful thinking. We arrived to find that Norm had used his charm to some how befriend our neighbourís. So we cooked and ate supper and then had coffee with Megan and Lucy Van de Ruit, who, after the hike was over, very kindly helped us to badger the Chimanimani club into providing a meal for us. Then it was bedtime, me in a wet sleeping bag as I had forgotten to waterproof my rucksack.

In the morning we woke up to salami and baked beans on toast - the joys of backwoods cooking and then off on day two of our hike, what was planned to be and was, the most relaxed day of our hiking. We hiked for two or three kilometres to our first stop, the jump place. One person failed to leave the path at the right time but a search and rescue mission quickly rectified the mistake, then we all had a bit of fun in the water, most of us doing the jumps. Man the water was cold; we were all bluey-purple by the time we got out.

Click to enlarge:
Preparing to descend out of the mountains down the
Hadange Pass
Preparing to descend out of the
mountains down the Hadange Pass

After that we continued on, stopping at Peterhouse cave for lunch and the Bundi Falls for another swim. The joys of the Chimanimaniís! Then it was a short climb up onto the Bundi plain. Paul and I stopped to fish at a few of the pools but had no luck - no supper for us tonight! The fishermanís cave was just a short walk away and there we stopped. It was a bit small for nine of us but we all managed to squeeze in.

Paul, Tim, Tom and I then decided to climb Peza, the mountain above our cave. It was a long easy climb so we travelled fast and made it in time to see a whole lot of white mist all around us. What a view! However, the mist soon cleared showing us some breathtaking views as it slid aside. While up there we also border jumped into Mozambique, but thankfully we werenít caught. We learned that, when you look, itís amazing what you can see. Within 5 metres of the beacon we found a scorpion as well as two snails with black waggy tails battling it out with a wasp.

The climb down was quite treacherous as the mud was slippery and if you werenít careful youíd end up on your backside, something we managed to do, not just once but on numerous occasions. We arrived back quite late and proceeded to stuff ourselves with 2-minute noodles - Paul and I had 3 packets each - and after that we still had instant pudding. Oh, the joys of backwoods camping!!

In the morning we woke up just in time to say goodbye to the mountains and after a quick breakfast we cleaned up, finding two gas canisters telling of our illustrious past in the mountains. One, left from 2000 and the other, we had hidden in 2003. We then hiked to the sphinx and headed down the Hadangi trail to leave the mountains. It was dangerous because of the continuous rain and we had to travel at a snailís pace. We made it down and left the Park, speeded up our pace a bit - not because it was less slippery, but it was less dangerous. On the one stretch of about 10 metres, everyone except Chris landed on their butt. We then reached the main road - just a short while and weíd be finished. Our party split up along the way, most attempting a short cut, but Ed and I stuck to the road. Needless to say we got back to the Outward Bound School first.

We then went for a swim at Tessaís Pool. It was great after being hot and sweaty to dive into the pool. They also had some jumps there, which we did. We went down to the pool about three or four times that day. It was nice to walk about without a pack on your back.

That evening we had a presentation where we were all given specially printed T- shirts with the 2004 Chimanimani Hike logo which had been donated by an anonymous donor. Thanks to them - they know who they are.

Then after a bit of rough and tumble to expend the kids energies and a quick check up, we headed off for our supper at the Chimanimani Club and after that we went to the van de Ruitís house for coffee.

A really great evening thanks to the Van de Ruitís.

The next morning we woke up early, but after breakfast, we still left late but not before saying cheers to our new friend, Ken. On the way back we stopped at Chirinda forest, an absolutely awe-inspiring place, to see the Big Tree. As a result we were slightly late on our return home. Everyone was also a lot quieter on the way back, lacking some of the spark that they had on the way up. So, after a peaceful trip back we all, Iím sure, had a great nightís sleep.

What a trip!
GUMBEE

Click to enlarge:
Ken Nortje (Mutare), Christopher, Thomas, Edwin, Paul, Dylan,Jonathan, Timothy and Norman at the Outward Bound School in
their hike 'T'-shirts
Ken Nortje (Mutare), Christopher, Thomas, Edwin, Paul, Dylan,
Jonathan, Timothy and Norman at the Outward Bound School in
their hike 'T'-shirts


GERIATRIC GRUMBLINGS

Being an interested supporter of the youngsters of the 1st Bulawayo (Pioneer) Scout Troop and having been invited to take part in the December 2004 Chimanimani Hike with the Troop, Norman asked me to write a few impressions on how I viewed the Hike.

So, my first comment is that, being aged, and supremely unfit, I did most of my viewing from quite a long way behind the rest of the Scouts, so my observations will necessarily be superficial.

I was interested to see that, apart from Paul and Jonathan, the 17 and 18-year-old Senior Scouts, the remainder of the members were five lighties 11, 12 and 13 years old, who had only joined Scouting earlier in the year. Some, from a Cub Pack and others, completely new to the Scouting movement. This was a surprise to me, because, being a little out of touch with reality, I had certain reservations about the ability of these young Scouts to complete this rather strenuous hike, carrying their rucksacks for three days, loaded up with kit and sleeping bags, food and other essentials from Loving Mothers.

I was wrong of course and considerably humbled too, because they and the Seniors were always miles ahead of me on the hike and I was always last to arrive at the overnight stops, even allowing for their swim stops along the route.

I had very little to do with the 'Lighties' individually, as I was a stranger to them. In any case, they did all their own cooking and catering while I was fortunate to eat with the adult group. Lucky me, because the Lighties seemed at times to have the weirdest sort of ideas about menus, the composition of ingredients for their meals and their own ideas as to meal times.

Inevitably, there were sometimes a few raised voices over the choice of sleeping places, choice of meals, lost items of kit but on the whole, these were brief confrontations. They did make for amusing interludes which all added up to a great Scouting experience.

One of the things which impressed me was the care and consideration exhibited by the two Senior Scouts to the Lighties, either individually or as a group. I found this very encouraging because it is not usually the case between groups with such a difference in ages. Of course, I was delighted in their consideration for me as well, even though the age difference was so much greater.

What else? Well, I have no doubt that all members of the Hike were pleased to have taken part in it and proud to tell their friends and relatives of their achievements and the wonder and beauty of the Chims. I have no doubt that there will be a long waiting list of Scouts who wish to take part in Normanís next Chimani hike.

My sincere thanks to Norman for inviting me, and to all the participants for their help, consideration and tolerance on the hike. I hope to meet up with them again, but I donít think that it will be on a hike. Preferably on a more relaxed Troop activity.

KEN NORTJE


1st BULAWAYO (PIONEER) SCOUT TROOP
TROOP PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES
JANUARY TO APRIL 2005


JANUARY
7 - 8 Monthly Hike
9 Gordon Park Service @ 12:00 noon
11 Schools Open
14 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
21 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
28 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene

FEBRUARY
4 - 5 Monthly Hike
11 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
12 - 13 Parents Camp
13 Gordon Park Service @ 12:00 noon
18 - 20 Baden-Powell Camp
20 Baden-Powell Day Service: Gordon Park @ 12:00 noon
25 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene

MARCH
4 - 5 Monthly Hike
11 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
12 Africa Scout Day
13 Gordon Park Service @ 12:00 noon
18 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
25 - 28 Easter

APRIL
1 - 2 Monthly Hike
7 School Closes
8 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene (Sausage Sizzle)
10 Gordon Park Service: 12:00 noon
15 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
22 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene
23 Saint Georgeís Day
29 Troop Meeting: Mabukuwene

Additional Activities May Be Added


A List of folks

I have a list of folks I know, all written in a book,
And every year when Christmas comes, I go and take a look,
And that is when I realise that these names are a part
Not of the book theyíre written in, but of my very heart.
For each one stands for SOMEONE who has crossed my path sometime,
And in that meeting theyíve become the Rhythm and the Rhyme,
I really feel that Iím composed of each remembered name.
And where it sounds fantastic for me to make this claim,
And while you may not be aware of any 'special link',
Just meeting you has changed my life a lot more than you think.
For once Iíve met somebody, the years cannot erase
The memory of a pleasant word or of a friendly face.
So never think my Christmas wish is just a pure routine
Of names upon a Christmas list, forgotten in between.
For when I send a Christmas wish that is addressed to you,
Itís because youíre on the list of folk whom Iím indebted to.
For I am but the total of the many folks Iíve met,
And you happen to be one of those I prefer not to forget.
And whether I have known you for many years or few,
In some way you have had a part in shaping things I do.
And every year when Christmas comes, I realise anew,
The best thing life can offer is meeting folk like you!
And may the spirit of Christmas that forever endures,
Leave itsí richest blessings in the heart of you and yours.


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