Born:  24 June 1934

Died:  11 June 2006

The grandfather of chilapalapa stories, Wrex Tarr, died from an apparent heart attack whilst in the bar entertaining participants at the end of the second day’s play in the All Cape bowl tournament.  The event was being hosted by the Gonubie Bowling Club in East London.  Wrex was participating as a member of the St Francis Bay team.  He was 71 years old.

Apart from his fame through his chilapalapa stories, Wrex had many other achievements to his name.  As a BSAP Field Reservist he won the President’s Medal for Shooting in 1978.  This was but one of Wrex’s list of accomplishments.

With acknowledgements to The Daily Despatch (East London) for additional detail.

WREX TARR (24 June 1934 – 11 June 2006) Added 28/04/07

Wrex Tarr In Camo
“On a very hot day, through the Zambesi vlei….”

Wrex Tarr was the eldest of of three children from Thomas and Ann Tarr.  Wrex had a brother, Tom, and a sister, Mauveen.  Wrex married Beryl Tarr (nee Lancaster) on 21st September, 1957.  They had three children; Berenice, Giselle and Darryl.  Wrex was educated at Prince Edward High School in Salisbury.  He re-married on the 15th October, 1979, to Merrellyn Tarr (nee Churchman).  They did not have any children and were still happily married at the time of Wrex’s passing.

Some of the milestones in Wrex’s life included:

  • Newsreading for the Rhodesia Broadcasting Company;
  • Chilapalapa Records;
  • Being awarded the President’s Medal for Bisley rifle shooting in 1978;
  • Together with his second wife, Merry, representing Zimbabwe in Archery at the 1988 Olympic Games at Seoul.

Wrex was not just about entertaining, he was also a family man and placed a high value on these relationships.  He ran a successful swimming pool business in Zimbabwe and, later on after relocating to South Africa, was an organiser and contributor to the St. Francis Conservancy Project where he served as a Steering Committee member.  These achievements, together with his many Chilapala records is how Rhodesians and Zimbabweans will remember Wrex.  He excelled at whatever he turned to and, ironically, was entertaining at the time of his death.  He will be sadly missed by all.

Reproduced per kind permission of Chris Whitehead, the Editor of the Rhodesians Worldwide magazine.