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January - April 2010 Magazine |
Mabukuwene Nature Reserve
Fridays 19:00 - 21:00 hrs
Norman's Email address
With thanks to:- Editors - Rob McKenzie & Norman Scott
UNDER THE PSEUDOLACHNOSTYLIS MAPROUNEIFOLIA
The Troop was started in 1909, but only officially registered on the 1st January 1910 as the
documentation of the fledgling Movement took a few years to catch up with the rapid spread of
Scouting around the world. In taking advantage of 'two' formal dates, we have carried our
Hundredth Anniversary celebrations into this year. Anniversary activities that have been held
since January of this year were our One Hundredth Anniversary Dinner and our Mini Expedition
to the Mangwe area. Both are recorded in this edition of Pioneer Trail. There are more activities in
the planning stage for the remainder of the year, culminating in December 2010 with an
expedition to an exciting destination. The planning of a number of options for this expedition is
currently underway with the final choice of destination dependant on available funding.
The Troop has experienced a low attendance at the weekly meetings in the past four months and
activities over weekends. School sports events have dominated over our Scouts’ recreational
time, resulting in our Scouts missing out on weekend Scouting activities and in some instances
their Friday evening meetings. However, it is pleasing to learn that Scouts Dale van Aarde and
Brendan Judge have excelled in their school cricket, having been selected for the under sixteen
Matabeleland Cricket Team and they are now waiting to hear if they have been selected for the
under sixteen Zimbabwe Cricket Team. I wish them well in their selection. At the Troop, they are
in line for the next generation of seniors whom I depend upon for the continuation of Boy Leader
orientated training, and with this situation in mind, I am aware that the Troop will suffer if they are
not in a position to attend many Troop activities. Other members are also affected but not to the
same degree. Generally members of the Troop are progressing in accordance with their age and
to this end I must congratulate Patrol Leader Christopher Mackenzie on his achievement in being
presented with The Chief Scout Award. The presentation was made by our Provincial Scout
Commissioner for Matabeleland, Mr. Bekezela Ndebele during the Troop’s One Hundredth
Anniversary Dinner. Congratulations Christopher on your achievement.
The Troop attended the annual Baden-Powell camp held
in Gordon Park during February. The Troop went into
camp on Friday 19th and stayed until Sunday 21st taking
part in the many activities that had been organized for
the one hundred and twenty Scouts from various
Bulawayo Troops to participate in. During the Baden-
Powell Day service held on the Sunday at noon to
commemorate the birthday of our Founder, Patrol
Leader Christopher Mackenzie was announced as the
winner of the 2009 Mike George Hike Project.
Christopher’s log-book, on which the hike project was
judged, was of his One Hundred Kilometre Hike that he
and Scouts Dale van Aarde and Declan FitzPatrick, all
three members of the Troop, had completed during the April school holidays last year.
Congratulations Christopher on winning this most challenging hike project and my congratulations
are also extended to Dale van Aarde and Declan FitzPatrick for their stout effort in completing this
gruelling cross country hike through the rugged Matobo hills in five days.
At the end of March, we invited the Scouts of the 8th Bulawayo (Hillside) Troop to join with us in a
Wide Game. Assistant Scout Leader, Leon Wuyts organized the game, which was held in
Mabukuwene Nature Reserve where our Troop meets. With its bush and granite terrain this
proved to be a suitable venue for the game selected. The game ended off with our traditional end
of term sausage sizzle, a new experience for the Scouts of the 8th. The Scouts of the two Troops
had been mixed to form the teams, so that no Troop won. A real fun activity and we thoroughly
enjoyed their company, despite the claims and counter claims of, dare I say it, cheating. The
cheating was summed up as ‘using your scout initiative’. Everybody was happy with that verdict.
The monthly hikes continued to be held, although with somewhat lower numbers. We did have
two new boys join in on one of the hikes but they have not joined the Troop. We can not win them
all, even with an exciting outdoor programme to challenge and extend their abilities.
Assistant Scout Leader, Leon Wuyts attended
a General Information Course, followed by a
Basic Scout Practical Woodbadge Course,
both of which he qualified for. I wish to
congratulate Leon on making progress in his
Scout Leader Training and for being presented
with his Assistant Scout Leader Warrant
during the Anniversary Dinner. Unfortunately,
Leon has not been able to find employment
here in Bulawayo owing to the current
economic and unsettled conditions prevailing
and has left for the United Kingdom to find
employment. Once again we find ourselves
losing our younger generation who are so
desperately needed for our country to grow and prosper. All the best Leon in your future
endeavours in your new home. I am sure that the experiences you have gained here in Scouting
will help you in your life ahead.
On 27 March 2010 Mr. Nelson Manda Sakala a former Chief Scout Commissioner of The Scouts
Association of Zimbabwe, passed away in Bulawayo. Nelson was born on 20 July 1954 and as a
young boy joined the 56th Bulawayo (Mpopoma) Scout Troop in Bulawayo. As an adult he served
as an Assistant Scout Leader in the 36th Bulawayo (Matshobana) Scout Troop and later as the
Scout Leader of the 53rd Bulawayo (Sizinda) Scout Troop. As a Commissioner, Nelson served in
various positions within the Province of Matabeleland. In 1996, he led a Bulawayo Scout
Contingent of eight Scouts to Aberdeen, Bulawayo’s twin City in Scotland. Aberdeen is twined
with five cities around the world and held a Jamborette for its twined cities at Templars Park, in
Nelson was a big man with a big heart and was always cheerful, laughed a great deal and
enjoyed a joke. Taking his scouting seriously, he organized many training camps and
competitions for the Scouts of Matabeleland and always tried to 'Be Prepared'. He was known to
us here in Matabeleland as 'Malume' (Uncle) Nelson was awarded the Medal of Merit followed
several years later with the Silver Eagle. These awards are presented to individuals for
exceptional voluntary service to the Scout Movement over many years.
Whilst preparing this edition of Pioneer Trail I was informed that Mr. George Crockett passed
away in Ireland on Friday 7th May 2010. George’s sons Colin and Leslie were members of the 8th
Bulawayo (Hillside) Scout Group and it was during their time as members of the 8th, that George
became involved in Scouting on the 8th Scout Group Committee, serving as its Chairman for
many years. Whilst serving on the 8th Scout Group Committee, George was prevailed upon to
stand for the Matabeleland Scout Council and served on that Council for twelve years, first a s a
committee member and then as Chairman. For his unstinting services to Scouting, George was
awarded the Medal of Merit followed a number of years later with the Silver Eagle.
The Troop’s condolences are extended to the Sakala and the Crockett families.
100th Anniversary Group Registration Hike
2nd January 2010
The first weekend of the month is the traditional weekend for our monthly hike. This month’s hike
fell on the 1st and 2nd of January 2010, when most people stayed in the city to celebrate New Year
with family and friends. So it was not surprising to find only three lonely Scouts who had opted to
stay at Gordon Park in the Matopo hills for such an important event, far from the hurly burly of city
life and its parties.
Half expecting someone to visit on the Saturday, the start of the hike was delayed until mid
afternoon, but when it became apparent that no other Scouts would come out to the Park to join
in on this hike, the three of us set off deeper into the Matobo Hills. Our choice of hike was
prompted by my solo hike up Zhugwe in March 2009 and so it was that Leon, Chris and my-self
headed off mid afternoon for the first hike of the year.
Seeing that I had already pioneered a route up Zhugwe, the others let me have the lead. The
bush was much thicker and the grass a good deal higher, but I never-the-less re-traced my
previous route of nine months earlier. It was great to be on top of this kopje once again and to
point out the familiar land marks all around us. Two black eagles soared effortlessly above,
almost close enough to touch.
After a long stay at the top, time seemed to have stood still, we started on our descent. Before we
reached the valley floor on the eastern side, the sun had long set and it was quite dark. Bundubashing
our way alongside a dry stream bed in a northerly direction was exhausting and I
unfortunately fell off the side of a large boulder. In the fall I sustained a long gash in my forearm
which bled quite profusely. In the dark I was unaware of how serious it was, just as well for we
still had a long way to go to get back to Inguluvane.
On reaching Inguluvane, we each enjoyed a cold drink which Leon had the foresight to load into
the cooler box on our departure from the Park. Using the light from the headlights of Inguluvane, I
cleaned up the blood from my arm and we headed back to the Park for a much needed shower
and an equally appreciated dinner.
The January Troop hike had been completed, only about seven kilometres which was not a very
impressive distance, but it certainly tested us in many ways.
Tuli Gorge Hike6 -7 February 2010
Our choice of where to hike this month was largely determined by an outing organized by the
Matopos Conservation Society. The Society’s quarterly event on Sunday the 7th was to be held at
Mshashasha Falls in the eastern Matopos, during which a talk on fungi was to be given. As the
Scouts of the Troop are members of the Society, I thought that we should make an effort to
attend and accordingly changed the dates of the hike to the Saturday /Sunday. However, there
was a slight problem in that all but one Scout had a sports fixture on the Saturday and so only
Leon, Chris and my-self were available to go on the hike.
Leaving from Gordon Park after lunch on the Saturday, we headed for the Old Gwanda road via
Sandy Spriut, Fort Usher and then to the Tuli River where we parked Ingulungundu at a Dam. A
small embarrassment, I had forgotten the map at Gordon Park and we were entering country that
I had last been to many, many years ago. However, not all was lost as I had looked at the map
the previous day and had a good idea of the lay of the land. Donning just one small knapsack and
our water bottles, we headed off down steam following a small track that led into the forest land
where the local inhabitants grazed their cattle and cut wood for their cooking fires. Hidden
amongst the kopjes and trees was the remnants of King Lobengula’s 'Kantoor' or office. After
awhile we realised that we had wandered far from the Tuli River, so on finding a small game trail
we followed it until we reached the Tuli River.
On reaching the river, we dropped down into a narrow gorge through which the river was
channelled. Hoping from boulder to boulder, crossing from one side of the narrow gorge to the
other under a very hot, cloudless sky, soon had us perspiring freely. High above us on the side of
the kloof, baboons barked at us for intruding on their territory. It was really a fantastic experience
hopping from boulder to boulder, but all too soon we came to the point where we were to scale
the steep eastern side of the gorge in order to head for the small country school of Lokudzi. The
point at which we had chosen to leave the gorge was where a tributary of the Tuli tumbled down
the side of the gorge in a series of rapids/waterfalls. Very convenient, for on following this
tributary we discovered a path used to drive cattle between the pastures on the banks on the Tuli
River to the homesteads at the top of the gorge. Once at the top of the gorge it did not take us
long to get our bearings, for all we had to do was to follow one of the many paths running
alongside this tributary, which lead us to Lokudzi School.
A rest was called when we reached the school before heading westward over a low kopje back
toward the dam at which we had parked Ingulungundu. Once on top of the kopje we had a
magnificent view of the surrounding country side and there, some three kilometres distant,
nestling below us in the bend of the Tuli River was the dam at which we had parked
Ingulungundu. Our hike route had taken us through thickly forested areas, boulder hoping down a
narrow picturesque gorge at the bottom of which was a clear stream bubbling its way between the
jumbled mass of rocks. Cro ssing large expanses of grassy plains and finally over the top of a
dwala from the top of which the majesty of the Matobo Hills showed themselves in all their rugged
grandeur. All this experienced in just ten kilometres of hiking.
We camped the night at the dam and then
on Sunday morning we packed up and
headed for the Mshashasha falls where
we met up with the members of the
Matopos Conservation Society.
The Cockleshell Heroes12th - 13th February 2010
Instead of the scheduled Friday evening Troop meeting at Mabukuwene, Mr Sanderson invited us
Scouts round to his house instead, to give us an introduction to his Parent’s Camp activity that he
was to do on the following afternoon. The Parent’s Camp was scheduled for the weekend of 13th
and 14th February.
On our arrival, we were taken to one of his out
buildings where we were given a task, namely to
carry a canoe from the garage to the lawn in front
of his house. Once we had it on the lawn, it was
clear that it was not a normal fibreglass canoe, but
one that was firstly very old and secondly it had a
canvas covering over a frail wooden frame. Mr.
Sanderson explained that this canoe could be
dismantled, folded up and stowed in a canvas bag
for transporting. Under Mr. Sanderson’s guidance
and mostly his effort, we set too to dismantle the
canoe, pack it in its bag and then dust ourselves
down, for it was covered in layers of dust. Not
really surprising, as we were told that it was last
taken out of the garage about ten years ago.
Cough, splutter, cough.
Having succeeded in our mission for the evening,
we enjoyed cold drinks, tea and biscuits. All too
soon the bewitching hour of 9.p.m. came round
when we paraded and closed the meeting.
It is Saturday afternoon at Gordon Park during Parent’s camp.
Those of us who could attend the
Parent’s camp, which included only
Mr FitzPatrick representing the
parents, were at Gordon Park well
before 2 pm. awaiting the arrival of Mr
Sanderson. Norm had taken the
canoe stowed in its bag, to the Park in
the morning. Our next instruction from
Mr. Sanderson was to take the canoe
to Sandy Spruit dam. Once there we
all helped to re-assemble it. One of
the formers or ribs was missing, so a
plan was made to make a temporary
adjustment in order that the canvas
skin could be stable and not tear.
When we were ready we carried it to
the water’s edge, launched it and two
volunteers hopped aboard. With paddles in hand the intrepid sailors headed across the dam until
they were but little specks against the blue waters. Norm kept shaking his head as he couldn’t
believe that he had a Troop of ‘Puddle Pirates’. After everyone had had a chance of paddling
around the dam, it was time to fold up the canoe and head back to Gordon Park.
Back in Gordon Park for the Parents’ Camp
After the traditional braai dinner, we gathered around the campfire to be led by Leon in song and
merry laughter. Mr FitzPatrick playing his guitar kept us singers hopping from one song to the
next until Leon called on Mr Sanderson to tell us the story behind the canoe exercise. And so the
story of a true Second World War operation unfolded. The war time operation, which took place in
France, featured the use of a few specially selected men using collapsible canoes just like the
one Mr Sanderson had allowed us to disassemble and then reassemble. Their mission was to
sink German war and supply ships in a harbour, so blocking the harbour to shipping and
disrupting shipping movements. The operation was successful, despite the loss of all but two men
of the operational team. They became known as the Cockleshell Heroes, a name coined from
their collapsible canoes.
Parent’s camp continued over to the Sunday morning and included the monthly church service
before everyone packed up and departed for home.
Ahoy. Mr Sanderson’s Puddle Pirates
Bushman Painting Camp to Gordon Park5th - 6th March 2010
Having left Norm’s Landy at Gordon Park, Mr Barrett took us in his Landy to a small kopje
alongside the La Concorde road on Lucydale farm on the way to Figtree, a small settlement on
the Bulawayo - Plumtree main road. Chris and Cameron found some Bushmen paintings on the
rocks we had made our camp next to. Having had our supper, we soon settled down for the night
in some bushes just off the road.
In the morning, we all had the usual oats for breakfast. Chris, Kevin and Cameron (a visitor to the
Troop) set off to see if they could find any more paintings, whilst Declan, Kieran, (also a visitor to
the Troop) Leon, Norm and I finished packing our kit before we too set off and soon caught up
with the others.
When we were all together again, I being the biggest guy was put in the front to
lead and bulldoze the way through the tall,
thick, damp grass. It was tough going, but
great fun. In next to no time, although we
had already hiked about three kilometres,
we reached the main Bulawayo - Kezi road.
We followed the road for about two hundred
metres, where we found the remains of Fort
Inungu. We had a rest here and read the
plaque which gave a few details of interest
about the fort. Before leaving Norm took a
I was tasked with leading once again. I
followed a few faint footpaths until they
turned off from the direction we were
heading in. We were in farm lands and every
now and again we had to cross over a
fence. Some one thought that we should
name this hike, the hike of barbed wire fencing. In the middle of one of the paddocks we came
across a large shady tree with its branches spreading out like an umbrella under which we
stopped for a rest. Continuing on the hike following a farm track all went smoothly until we found
ourselves having to climb over gates that had been wired closed. We found an old deserted
village. Norm then took the lead as he wanted to take us through a gap in the range of kopjes
ahead of us where the natural wall, known as Shentendebudzi could be clearly seen. This is a
Dolerite rock outcrop in the Granite, which looks like huge rock bricks. Chris, Kevin, Cameron and
I climbed about on the wall and took a few pictures.
Our route from here was much easier as we followed an old road for a while until we reached
Ingwe Lodge. Then through the game fence into the Matobo National Park. I the bulldozer was
brought back into action to forge a path through the tall thick grass of the National Park. At long
last we found the picnic road leading from one side of the scenic dive to the other. Following this
path in a southerly direction we arrived at the waterfalls behind the Headquarter buildings at
Gordon Park. On entering Gordon Park at half past twelve, we flopped down exhausted in the
outdoor kitchen area. Here we had our lunch, a long rest and then undertook a good turn for
Gordon Park by repairing a section of washed out road down to the Mtshelele River. Our hike had
covered a distance of sixteen kilometres through open farmland covered in tall grass and the
broken granite kopjes of the Matopos.
Ntaba Mbomvu Hike ...... or Hansel and Gretel Hike3rd April 2010
We woke up early, had breakfast and then prepared for our morning hike. No kit was necessary,
only water bottles as we did not intend to go very far. After tidying up, we set off from Gordon
Park in the direction of Shumba shaba across the vlei from the Park. We climbed up as far as the
'saddle' and then entered the Gulati Communal Land, following an overgrown footpath. It took
some time to bundu bash our way until finally we reached the tail end of the first rocky kopje we
had named Hansel.
There were a number of
puddles in the little dips in the rock’s surface
that we enjoyed splashing through whilst
listening to Norman and Leon’s so called
'discussing' but in other words arguing. Their
argument was all about the Ndebele Kings. It
did not take us long to reach Hansel which we
climbed and rested on its summit where we
sat and chatted.
Feeling refreshed, we descended to the valley
below, bundu bashing our way through some
thick bush until we reached the base of its twin
kopje, Gretel. Here we met a lady and her
child who were going to the stream a little
further on to collect water for their village. We
chatted with them before starting on the climb
up Gretel. On our way up we came across some young men chopping firewood from the trees. At
the top of Gretel we found some shallow pools that had been filled from the recent rains. The
water had been warmed by the sun, so we took off our boots and put our feet in. Having had our
second rest, we made our way along the ridge leading back down towards Gordon Park.
Again hiking through the thick bush at the bottom, we came across a small stream at a point
where it flowed over some rocks. We again took off our boots and sat in the water where it
cascaded over the smooth rock covered in algae and 'bum slid' down into a large pool. Having
had our fun we then followed the stream, bundu bashing through a forest of Lantana. We found a
few more pools and a fairly high waterfall.
Out in the open ground once again, we bumbled our way towards a gap in the range of kopjes
and headed for Shumba shaba. We approached Shumba from the south east, crossing many
small streams along the way. Once at the top we had another refreshing wallow in the rock pools.
From here we headed back to Gordon Park and a late lunch. What was meant to be a mornings’
walk, turned out to be a day’s hike, or so it seemed for we were quite tired. We had hiked ten
One Hundredth Anniversary Group Dinner16th April 2010
Friday 16th April 2010, saw the current Scouts of the Troop, along with their parents, old boys with
their wives and friends of the Troop, gather at the Bulawayo Country Club to celebrate our One
Hundredth Anniversary, with the holding of a Grand Dinner. We were fortunate in having two 'old'
boys among our number of thirty-nine people, Dr Eric Block and Mr. John Stakesby-Lewis. John
was Eric’s Patrol Leader of more than fifty years ago.
In setting a truly Scout atmosphere to the
venue of our dinner, was a display of Troop
memorabilia from its very inception right to
the present. Central to the display was a
Trek Cart of a bygone era, richly covered
with the Troop’s leather bound logbook of
1914 to 1959, our light blue scarf with the
Pioneer Pick emblem on its apex, our
registration certificate dated 1st January
1910 and inscribed with our original name:
1st Matabeleland Scout Troop. Behind on
the wall were two Troop flags, our original
flag estimated to be close to one hundred
years old and our current flag that was sewn
Bringing us right up to date was our
anniversary, morning tea set for two with the
anniversary logo emblazoned on each of the
nine items of the set. Next to the trek cart, a hike scene with tent, fold up hike primus cooker,
maps and sleeping bag added the outdoor touch to the display. Each of the three remaining walls
of the dinning room was decorated with flags and banners, all creating a jolly atmosphere for the
The three course dinner was as follows:-
Calamari Rings or Chicken Pineapple Cocktail
Roast Beef with rice, roast potatoes and vegetables with Chicken in a white wine and chutney
sauce as an optional extra
Baked Chocolate Fudge Pudding and Ice Cream.
Dr. Eric Bloch, a well known Zimbabwean economist,
was our guest speaker. Dr. Bloch, along with his older
brothers had been in the Troop in the 1940’s through
to the 1950’s, their father Mr. Hans Bloch being the
Scout Leader at the time. Dr Bloch went on to
become the Cub Master of the Group’s Wolf Cub
Pack. To celebrate the Troop’s and Zimbabwe’s
Fiftieth Anniversary, the Central African Jamboree
was held in Ruwa Park, Harare (Salisbury) in 1959.
Dr Bloch had been a senior Scout of seventeen at
that time and for that occasion he had tracked down
the Rev. T.O. Beatty, the first Scout Master of the 1st
Matabeleland Scout Group in 1909, living in
retirement in South Africa. Dr Bloch lost no time in
making arrangements for him to attend the Jamboree
at Ruwa Park. Having played such a long and active
roll in the history of the Troop it was, therefore, no
coincidence that Dr Bloch, who still resides in
Bulawayo, to be chosen as our guest speaker for this,
our One Hundredth Anniversary Dinner.
Dr Bloch’s speech was a collection of reminiscences of his days as a Scout, not only of Troop
activities but also the time he and others of the Troop spent in the development of Gordon Park,
which had been acquired for the Scout Movement in 1936. In his recollections, he recounted
clearly how a number of young Rover Scouts from various Scout Groups in Bulawayo, spent their
weekends in levelling a flat area for the outdoor Chapel set amongst the kopjes and then the
construction of the water settlement tank and storage tanks in preparation for the Southern
African Rover Scout Indaba to be held at Gordon Park in 1951. In all, he spent each weekend for
five years working out at Gordon Park.
Nobody looked upon it as work, for the fun of
doing something constructive in the company
one’s friends made it a joy to be there.
Following Dr Bloch’s speech, Patrol Leader
Christopher Mackenzie was presented with,
The Chief Scout Award by the Provincial
Scout Commissioner for Matabeleland, Mr
Bekezela Ndebele. This presentation was
followed by Mr Ndebele warranting Mr. Leon
Wuyts a s an Assi stant Scout Leader of the
Troop and also the presentation of his Basic
Woodbadge Certificate and Gilwell Woggle.
Mr. James Irwin, Scout Leader of the 8th
Bulawayo (Hillside) Scout Troop was also presented with his Basic Woodbadge Certificate and
Gilwell Woggle. These presentations being made at this auspicious occasion will long be
remembered by the three gentlemen concerned. Well done and Congratulations, gentlemen.
To round off the evening, Mr. Barry Knight who has spent the last eighteen months researching
the history of the 1st Bulawayo Scout Troop launched our Troop’s history book. Although only one
copy at present as we are actively looking for funding for it to be published, we felt that this was
the right time to launch the book. Running to sixty A 4 size pages, which will be re-formatted to A
5 size when published, I must congratulate Mr Knight on an exceedingly well documented
account of the Troop’s history. I very much doubt that any other Scouting history spanning one
hundred years could be so thoroughly documented, including photographs covering the entire
period. The launch of the book was accompanied by a power point slide show of a selection of
pictures covering the last one hundred years.
A sincere Thank You Barry for the writing up of our Troop’s history.
My final Thanks go to Assistant Scout Leader Leon Wuyts for so diligently organizing the event,
which was well attended and enjoyed by all.
Mangwe Mini Expedition17th - 19th April 2010
In our continuing celebrations to mark our special anniversary year, the following members of the
Troop undertook a three day expedition to the Mangwe District, approximately one hundred
kilometres south west of Bulawayo. The expedition members were; Patrol Leader Christopher
Mackenzie, Shaun Francis, Declan FitzPatrick, Michael Dodds, Kevin FitzPatrick and Dylan Irwin
(8th Hillside) The leaders were Mr Martin Sanderson, Assi stant Scout Leader, Leon Wuyts and
Scout Leader, Norman Scott. Our hosts were Earnest and Betty Rosenfels of Glenmore Farm,
We travelled in a 1950 Bedford three ton
truck, going by the name of 'Emma' The
space on this vehicle proved to be quite
adequate for the eight of us, especially as a
temporary tent had been fitted to cover half
of the back in order to provide shade for the
occupants consigned there. Now, having
done the expedition and learning from the
Rosenfels that a tent on a wagon is called a
'Tilt’ I should really use the correct
terminology and say 'a half tilt provided the
occupants with shade'. Naturally such an
old truck drew many glances and cheery
waves from [people as we chugged along.
Having collected the fees for the expedition, Leon undertook to draw up the menu and to
purchase the rations, which were then left to the Scouts to turn into scrumptious meals. This they
did with ease under the clear blue skies and starlit nights out in the bush-land of Mangwe.
Our Thanks are extended to Mr. and Mrs. Rosenfels, to Neville Rosenfels and to Miss. Winch for
hosting us and sharing with us the history of the district.
And now, what the Scouts have to write of their expedition.
1. ARRIVAL AT GLENMORE. Saturday afternoon. Chris noted:-
As we came into Glenmore Farm Mr. Sanderson started to blow the kudu horn just as we
approached the Homestead. Everybody came out to see us and welcome us.
Mr. Rosenfels and Mr. Sanderson started talking, and Norm was talking to Neville. Then some of
us climbed into Neville's Jeep and he took us to show us where we would be camping for two
nights. There was firewood, water, and a toilet for us. Later a tractor and trailer came with chairs
and two tables which were placed round a campfire.
2. SETTING UP CAMP. Saturday afternoon. Mike's notes:
We were all very excited and eager to set up camp. We started by
getting the fires going and putting the kettle on. We were all quite
hungry so we prepared lunch. We quickly unpacked the lorry
(Emma). Then the Rosenfels came to pick us up for the wagon
journey, which we were to begin by their homestead.
3. TREK-WAGON RIDE. Kevin wrote:
At the homestead we waited for the oxen.
While we waited Neville showed us the long
stock-whips. When he cracked them the tip of
the whip made a `crack' as it broke the
The oxen were very stubborn, but after about
forty minutes they were all in-spanned to the
wagon. We got comfortable and set off on the
wagon ride. It was a very bumpy road so
some of us walked with the oxen.
We had some cokes whilst on the wagon and
in about 25 minutes we passed our camp site
coming from a different direction. Once back
at the farm the oxen were out-spanned. We then made our way back to our camp site and got
dinner on the go.
4. DINNER IN CAMP. Dylan noted:
Chris set up his kitchen and then lit a fire. He started to cook a
very nice potjiekos. The scouts ate very fast otherwise they
would have to do the dishes. Unfortunately Shaun and I had to
do them. The Rosenfels family came, bringing drinks and chairs.
After we had washed the dishes and were seated around the
Mr. Sanderson brought out his Tower musket. It was made in
the Tower of London in 1840 A.D. so it is now 170 years old. I
loaded it (with only a percussion cap & black powder).
I cocked the hammer and pulled the trigger. It did not go off. So
we had to help the old spring by hitting the musket hammer with
an ordinary hammer. BANG. It went off! The birds all went quiet.
5. UNMARKED GRAVE. Shaun's notes:
As we were heading towards the Pioneer Cemetery, someone spotted a lone grave right beside
the dirt road on the way. No one knows the poor soul's name, but it is rumoured that it was some
person of the name of Scott. In no way related to Norman. We did try to find a plaque but with no
luck. Nothing came to light.
6. JOHN LEE'S HOUSE & MANGWE FORT. Leon wrote:
After exploring the remnants of the stone walls of Lee's House on the rocky bank of the Mangwe
River, we all piled into the Jeeps again slightly damp from splashing around in the pools of the
River and headed for Mangwe Fort.
This Fort was u sed during the Matabele Rebellion of 1896 as a laager to protect the women and
children of the bustling community of Mangwe. Though it was never attacked, the defences were
impressive, especially after 114 years. The outer earthen walls, strengthened by palisades,
defend an inner stone rondavel about 18m in diameter with the remains of a roof of mopane
poles, many of them still in place.
After looking around the fort area for a while, and reminding Martin of a brass plaque he had put
there 38 years before (in May of 1974) whilst on the Rhodesian Schools Exploration Society
expedition, we climbed back into the Jeeps and set off for a jaffle lunch at Mangwe Dam.
7. MANGWE PASS MEMORIAL. Notes from Declan:
After exploring the Dam on the Mangwe River, and after our lunch of jaffels, we continued on to
Mangwe Pass and the Memorial in the Pass. We jumped out of our Jeeps and examined it. It
had stone steps which led up to it.
|Click to enlarge:|
Here is the text on the Memorial:-
One hundred years ago the first of|
the missionaries, hunters and traders,
Passed slowly and resolutely
along this way.
HONOUR THEIR MEMORY.
They rev ealed to those who followed
The bounties of a country
They themselves might not enjoy.
8 - 7 - 1954
At the bottom of the steps there was an area of cement with the tracks of oxen and the wheel
marks of an ox-wagon. There were also some footprints in the cement. These were all from 1954
when the Memorial was opened.
We then scouted around for the beacons which the Historical Monuments Commission had put in
place to mark the border of the memorial site. Later Neville radioed Graham Robertson and we
met him on a hill top where there where some ancient stone walls.
7. THE STONE RUINS also by Declan
We drove up to the top of a rugged stone kopje. How the two Jeeps managed such a tough climb
where there was no road was quite awesome. We were told that the stone ruins were of the
Khami era as they were built in the same style as those found at Khami near Bulawayo. They
were not very extensive but in good preservation for the most part.
8. Mr. GRAHAM ROBERTSON’S HOUSE.
Feeling hot and dusty after travelling around since leaving Mangwe dam where we had a swim,
we were invited to Mr. Robertson’s house, which was on our way back to our camp. The
homestead was built in 1904 and is still in the ownership of the family, about two generations
later. It was a really great place set among beautifully laid out gardens. Here we had a swim in a
real swimming pool and then looked at a number of gin traps that had been last used many years
ago. Then it was back to camp for our last night.
The next day on our way back to Bulawayo we visited Fort Luck.
The world is very big,
The number of its people overwhelming.
But listen for the laughter,
The words of kindness.
Let them give you courage -
So that you in turn can bring to every life,
Concern and gentleness,
Hope and delight.
1st Bulawayo (Pioneer) Scout Troop Programme of Activities
for May - August 2010
'Celebrating One Hundred Years of Scouting'
1909 - 2009
Troop Programme of Activities for:-
1 Monthly Hike
4 Schools open
9 Gordon Park Service: 12.00 noon
14 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
21 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
28-30 Colin Turner Pioneering Competition
4-5 Monthly Hike
11 Troop meeting: Mabukuw ene
13 Gordon Park Service: 12.00 noon
18 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
19 Boys Skills Course: PHQ
25 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
26-27 Troop Weekend Camp
2-3 Monthly Hike
9 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
11 Gordon Park Service: 12.00 noon
16 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
17 Provincial Snare Hunt: SPCA
23 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
30-31 William Arnold Carnegie Assegai Competition
1 William Arnold Carnegie Assegai Competition
5 Schools close
6-10 Heroes’ Weekend: Monthly Hike.
8 Gordon Park service: 12.00 noon
20 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
27 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
...culminating in December 2010 with an expedition to an exciting destination.
Additional Activities may be added to the Programme