Eleni Trataris Cotton
Eleni was born in Nyasaland, her family being highly regarded in the community and probably best known for running a bakery business in Blantyre/Limbe. Her husband, John Cotton, joined the Nyasaland Police in January 1958 having previously served in the BSAP from 1953 to 1957. Eleni took to writing at an early age and her novel "Bertha the Swiss Trader's Daughter" is described as Love, War and Conspiracy in the Turbulent Past of Malawi and a tale of a family caught up in the John Chilembe rising of 1915 and the Great War. Another published novel is "Straight From the Donkey’s Mouth", a story of a Greek Island, its People, their Politics - and their Donkeys!. For more details on Amazon Click here
Origin: Tony Drynan - November 2017
What did you do in the war Granny?
Remembrance Sunday, held on the second Sunday in November, the Sunday nearest to 11 November, Armistice Day, is held to commemorate the contribution of military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts. Many of us remember the last war, those of us in our 80s were at school or, at least, should have been. However, we have a number aged in the 90s who were more actively involved, either in the forces or in war work otherwise. Regular subscriber Mary Brill is one and very much a country girl at the time she has put together her memories. They were included in a book produced by the Womens' Institute (a copy can be found in the Imperial War Museum) and about which she was interviewed by local radio in Taunton some years ago.
Click here to read it.
Origin: Mary Brill - November 2017
Africa ~ how do you see it?
It is a fact that newspapers and television generally only headline the bad news, after all there is no interest in anything of a routine or unremarkable nature. So it is that Africa now comes across in the media as a continent in total decay, ravaged by political intrigue, corruption, violence and so much more of negative content. Is the "real Africa" hidden under this veneer of disarry and despair? Attached is a well written "map" with an interesting insight and the suggestion that indeed it is. Click here to read it
Origin: Anonymous - November 2017
This picture appeared in the May 2017 Edition of the Kwa-Zulu Outpost Magazine of the BSAP and was taken in Nyasaland during the BSAP deployment in 1953.
Pictured are the six members of the BSAP who were seconded to the Nyasaland Police in 1953 together the Nyasaland officers:
Standing: Constables Hughes, Crahart, Drew, Williamson, Grant.
Seated: Inspector Wright (NP), Supt Lemesurier (NP), S/2/Sgt Smith.
Origin - BSAP Outpost Magazine May 2017
Who remembers Arthur Dent?
No, not that one in the comic science fiction series 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' by Douglas Adams but Arthur Dent of Zomba Plateau and the Lakeshore. He was one of the oldsters, an eccentric bachelor and indeed a character with quite a history behind him. I'm sure quite a few of us ran across him but he was well known to Reg and Mary Brill at the Lakeshore and Brian and Jayne Burgess on Zomba Plateau. Rodney Walshaw, a Govt geologist, met him in 1961 and compiled the attached "The life and times of Arthur Cyril Dent 1893-1983". It's interesting - Click here to read it.
Origin: Webmaster - October 2017
Dick Lancaster R.I.P.
It is sad news to hear that Dick Lancaster left us on 25th September 2017. Dick was 86 and although fitted with a pace-maker he had generally kept good health up until a few days before he died and had met up with a former colleague just over a week earlier. Dick joined the Nyasaland Police in June 1960 after a couple of years in London with the Metropolitan Police and previously in the Nigerian Police from 1952 to 1957. Widely experienced in police duties generally in his later posting in Nyasaland he was mainly involved in policing matters of immigration. On retirement the family settled in Dorset.
Origin: Webmaster - September 2017
After some fifteen years in Nyasaland Reg and Mary Brill returned to the UK in 1963 where they were faced with the same dilemma that so many of us had to undergo. What should they do next? Too young to retire but considered too old, perhaps, to embark on a new career Mary sets out what they sought to achieve, the differences of life they encountered and all the hard work involved in renovating a property in Cornwall and their efforts in trying to earn a living. Mary has put it together as a delightful family memory but there is an interesting postscript added to her account ~ click here to read it.
Origin - Mary Brill, September 2017
Some Encounters of an alarming kind
Brought foward by request from Chit-Chat 2014:
Donald McCarry set the ball rolling with a few nervous moments when coming face to face with some of the perils that abound in Africa. The flora and fauna, fascinating though it may be, is not without the odd disturbing element. Although deadly diseases like blackwater fever and smallpox are largly eraticated and malaria, yellow fever, etc, under control nothing changes in the animal kingdon, all good to see maybe, but there are some frightening species among them particularly when encountered in situations where they may feel threatened. I have added a few but, unless you know better, I think it was Ray Punter's experience with the lion that was the closest call of all (see Chit-Chat 2015).
Click to read more
Terry Young - September 2017
Colin served in the Nyasaland Police for some three years, 1959 - 1962, and in particular he was well experienced in the para-military aspects of the PMF. With service previously in Kenya and subsequently elsewhere he put his considerable experience into writing the specialist book 'On Revolutionary War'. A highly regarded publication it is included in the library bibliographies of both RMA Sandhurst and the US Army War College and examines the theory and practice of both insurgency and counter insurgency and includes case studies from Congo, Kenya, Rhodesia, Angola and Kurdistan.
Further details can be found in the "Items of Interest" page.
David continues his production of novels with his latest thriller entitled "Glory". Described by Mid-Atlantic Book Reviewers as "Another thrilling escapade from the master of of sea adventures".
More details of David (Nyasaland Police 1956-1964) and his prolific writing can be found in the "Items of Interest" page and for details of his many novels and other books, available through Amazon, click here.
Origin - David O'Neil, September 2017
The Brill Team take the Honours
As indicated below 93 years old Mary Brill has become something of an expert in the lost art of producing Dorset buttons, now generally worn as brooches. So, her selection (left) gained a well earned First Prize in the Handicrafts Section at the Loders Village (Dorset) WI Flower Show on Saturday 19th August, 2017. Not only that but she also got a Second and a Third in the knitting class. Further, her daughter, Maggie, got four firsts, two seconds and two thirds in the produce and cooking classes.
A lot of hard work justifiably rewarded - very well done indeed.
Webmaster - August 2017
|Mike Budgen - Nyika National Park
At last a guide to the Nyika National Park has been produced and is available for purchase. It has been very well written and presented by Sigi Johnson with the help of others who contributed in different ways. It will surely take you back to those days when we enjoyed the remote wildness of the area and has to be in your collection of Nyasa memorabilia.
Click here for details of the Guide and how to buy it
Origin: Mike Budgen/Jennie Kettlewell - August 2017
The Nypol Lads - Continued
At the 2017 Reunion Nypol poetess Kathleen Carr (left) followed up her poem of last year (click here) with another set of keen observations, ably putting into words those thoughts reflecting her views of our aging members, the Association and our annual get-togethers over the passing years.
Click here to read and enjoy.
Origin: Kathy Carr - August 2017
The 2017 Reunion held at The Holiday Inn, Coventry, on Thursday 20th was well supported albeit with only a few new faces. Pictures are in the 2017 Reunion Gallery but it would be appreciated if any members have any pictures of the evening they could email them to the Association for possible inclusion.
To view what is currently on-line click here.
Webmaster, 27th July 2017
May Brill - South Africa re-visited
Following service in Nyasaland Reg and Mary Brill moved to Sedgefield, a coastal town in the Western Cape of South Africa. It was a time they both recalled with great affection and, back in the UK in 1997, having won a newspaper competition for a return flight there, were pleased to take advantage of this to go back, visit old friends and reacquaint themselves with the area. Here Mary has taken the trouble to write up some of her time there and, in particular, the journey through the Swartberg Pass. Click here to read it
Origin - Mary Brill, July 2017
The Reunion Raffle 2017
Mary Brill, a strong supporter of the Association, has added a "Dorset Brooch" (pictured left), to the raffle prizes at this year's reunion. Mary is now a Dorset resident who, at the age of 93, has the skill to produce these fine, intricate dress accessories. The Dorset brooch or button first became popular with the growth of button making in the 1600s/1700s fading with the industrial revolution. However, there are those, like Mary, who keep them very much in being as the contemporary buttons of today.
Origin - Mary Brill, July 2017
|Heather Dwyer (nee Morrison)
Heather who was a firm supporter of the Association and resident in Australia was taken from us by cancer in January 2017. It was her wish that her ashes be scattered with those of her parents (Danny and Gertrude Morrison) at Ku Chawe on Zomba Plateau and this has now been achieved. Pictured are the views from where they lie, on the left is the view over the town towards Ntonya mountain and on the right a section of the mountain road.
Click for more
Origin: Mary Abela - June 2017
The nature of Life (Brought forward by request)
This is a poem. A poem written by a widow, Ianthe Exall, who lived most of her life in Afica and who felt obliged to leave following the death of her husband and return to the UK where she was born. A very nostalgic piece it so well sets out the almost traumatic changes which are inevitable with the loss of a life time partner and, in particular, when accompanied by a complete change of lifestyle as, in her case, the move from Africa to the UK - sadly not uncommon amongst our members and our friends. It is the "Nature of Life" as she says, and having to come to terms with it. To read this poem please click here.
Origin: Tony Drynan - March 2015
Comment: Ianthe Exall is a noted poet, in particular on the subject of football and she was also active in the South African National Blood Service.
The Jon Dennison Collection
Pictured left are Robin Gorham, Alex Macdonald and Jack Grincell, to see the full picture visit the Galleries from where you can access the 'Jon Dennison Collection'. Jon has come up with a whole heap of Nyasaland pictures, mainly of Police, some KAR and some general. Remember that to see the pictures full size merely click (or tap) the relevant image, they can also be viewed as a slideshow from the dropdown menu accessed by way of the thee dots top right of the screen. A click on the letter 'I' (also top right) will reveal any information there is about the picture.
Origin - Jon Dennison, May 2017
Bilharzia in Lake Malawi?
We all remember our lazy days swimming in Lake Nyasa, days out at Palm Beach, Monkey Bay and Cape Maclear for instance. The Lake then was one of the only lakes in Africa where you could swim safely in the knowledge that there was no bilharzia, however there are reports now of cases being reported there. Caused by a nasty little worm. It needs a host to lay their eggs in and, unfortunately, it could be us or the freshwater snail that lives in the reedy areas of the lakeshore. It seems there are some parts of the Lake that seem to be more affected than others, and the worst appears to be in the south - the Cape Maclear penninsula and beyond.
Bilharzia in Lake Malawi ~ What are the facts?
Click here for a comprehensive and academic report.
Webmaster - 16th May 2017
|From our own correspondent
Golfers all know the importance of the "back nine" - holes 10 to 18 on a normal golf course. A good front nine puts the pressure on to maintain the standard, a bad front nine puts the pressure on to improve. So it is with the winter of life - our "Back Nine". So our own correspondent in Oz, Tony Drynan, has come up with this piece of writing and advice applicable to all of us - young and old.
Click here to read it.
Origin: Tony Drynan - May 2017
|Mackay man's pilgrimage to find family ties
GEOF ACTON said his eyes welled with tears when he sat in the same spot in Israel where his mother, Rona, had done so 71 years previously.
He held with him just a single photo of her seated on a rock in front of water and a cliff face, a photograph taken by his father whilst on their honeymoon in 1946.
Geof's father, Les, served in Palestine from 1938 to 1949 prior to his service in Nyasaland. The trip was a bucket list venture for Geof, now resident in Mackay, Queensland, where the full story appeared in the Mackay Daily Mercury of 8th April 2017.
Click here to read it.
Webmaster - April 2017
|From our Own Correspondent - "Was it something in the Nyasa madzi?"
Our Own Correspondent down under, Tony Drynan, reports on 25 year old CATE CAMPBELL and her sister 23 year old BRONTE CAMPBELL, both of whom were born in Blantyre and lived in Nyasaland for the first 7/8 years of their lives before moving to Australia in 2001 where they have won the nation's hearts. They were the first Australian siblings to qualify for the same event at any Olympic Games in history. He reports their continuing success in the 2017 Australian Swimming Championships where they dominated the women’s 50 Freestyle splash n’ dash with Bronte edging sister Cate by just .01 of a second. Bronte led the pack in 24.75, Cate 24.76.
Origin: Tony Drynan - April 2017
National Association of Retired Police Officers
Did you know that in addition to organising the Nyasaland Police Association for the past 11 years or so Christopher Bean has been an active Committee Member of the Doncaster Branch of NARPO (National Association of Retired Police Officers) over the past 10 years? However at their AGM on 29th March 2017, at the age of 81, he opted for retirement. In expressing his thanks, the Chairman, Graham Cassidy, spoke, in particular, of his "dedication and guidance to the committee". By way of appreciation Christopher was made a Life Member of NARPO and presented with a certificate recording this event. Further he was given a set of Marks & Spencers vouchers ~ no doubt to be spent by Elizabeth!. Christopher intends to continue his support for NARPO qualifying for membership as he does by virtue of his pre-Nyasaland service in the then West Riding Constabulary.
Webmaster - March 2017
|WINTER VISITORS TO UK
Winter visitors to the UK are rare and generally come from the north, there are birds, of course, Redwing and Fieldfare (right) being among them. However, Nypol contributer Alison McLennan (nee Tomkins) and her husband John, from the south - Brisbane in Australia - undertook this ordeal for five weeks during February and March 2017 - and very unBritish they didn't complain about the weather!
Click here to read all about it
Webmaster - March 2017
David O'Neil ~ A Place in the Sun
Not one of David's maritime sagas but a tale of two generations set in Provence, France, against a background of wine production as the families work the land. Their lives and loves, trials and difficulties, sacrifices and perils, failures and successes are seen through the eyes of the different generations involved with a lifelihood purely dependent on their own efforts and the blessings of Mother Nature. David has another two books on the way so watch this space!
Just how many books has David written since his time in the Nyasaland Police? How does he find the time? However, many of his books are available from Amazon and the Kindle versions have to be outstanding value for money.
For a list of his works plus a short CV: Click here
For those available on Amazon with prices: Click here.
T. Young - March 2017
It's just a gas
Thanks to Ken Wilkinson the PMF training video involving the use of tear gas which was lost on the transfer from Picasa to Google Photos has been restored. Fortunately it was rarely used and when it was it was hardly effective but for training purposes we all had to suffer its effects without the aid of respirators - and this 1959 video although somewhat grainy is a valuable addition to the website and clearly suggests the effects are less than pleasant for those caught up in it. Click here to view.
Origin Ken Wilkinson - March 2017
This very fine drawing of a Nyasaland Policeman is in possession of Sarah Colegrave, a London dealer in fine art. It has the inscription 'Madama Di', presumed to be the name of the sitter and is signed with the initials 'M.M'. Sarah understands the artist (M.M.) was Margaret Metcalfe the wife of a KAR Officer, a distinguished anthropologist, archaeologist and talented artist who first started pioneering research in Central Afica and Nyasaland in the early 1920s. There is an enlarged copy of the picture in the Police Days Extra Gallery. The original was on display at Sarah's stand at the "Works on Paper Fair" at the Royal Geograhical Society in London from 9th to the 12th February 2017. To visit the Sarah Colegrave Fine Art website
Click here and pause to think just how proud our man would feel to see himself so displayed.
T. Young - February 2017
|"Up the Creek" or shades of "The African Queen"
During her time in Nyasaland and stationed with husband Reg variously throughout the country Mary Brill took the opportunity to see as much of the country as she could and this included trips on the Ilala. It then called at Mwaya in Tanganyika and it was whilst there that the Mate suggested a trip up a creek that entered the lake nearby. Four passengers with the Mate in charge and two crew they set off on what was to be a three hours trip. Much of the film "African Queen" was filmed on one such waterway, it wasn't this one but it could well have been!
To read her account of this unusual trip Click here.
A Short Cruise ~ In addition Mary has put together a piece of her observations during a short cruise on the vessel in 1958 - Click here to read it.
Origin Mary Brill - January 2017