My earliest memories of Rhodesia was taking a bus out to the opening of LAKE McILWAINE. I drove the bus and only collected 12/6 in fares, but had a wonderful free meal and drink at the official tent! Moving into a 5th floor flat in Cleveland House from Cranbourne Hostel was complete luxury. Later, as a tanker driver with Caltex, I drove my tanker across the new bridge at Hartley while the official party still hadn’t cut the tape! They used to say that the pile of empty Castle bottles behind Claude Smith’s house put £200 on the value!! I must say, the years 1951 to 1963 were the most entertaining of all. My first tuxedo from Edgar’s(on hp of course) for dances at The Grand in Speke Ave and the State Lottery hall at weekends. Christmas 1954 was different as a polio scare cancelled all children’s parties, so Caltex decided to send two Santas to deliver the presents to children of the staff. My driver was ‘Boxer’ Jackman who had sworn off drink, and during our travels, as Santa, I was in! Invited to a drop or two, it got very frosty in the bakkie. We got bogged down in the mud at the old Belvedere flats, and while ‘Boxer’ and a crowd of picannins struggled to get our ‘SLED’ out, I delivered the goodies to Paul Everill’s two kids and a couple of heart warmers before strolling back to the bakkie. Plenty more memories, but sufficient for the time being.
~ George Kerr