CHIT-CHAT ~ 2019


This is the date for your diary
The 2018 Reunion proved a big success but threre were very few new faces - where are you? The attendance was good but there are so many who have yet to grace us with their presence. Make this the year to change that - see you then at the Holiday Inn, Coventry, on Thursday 11th July 2019.

Why not make it a real break with a two night stay - Vanessa Farmery has negotiated a second night at the same greatly reduced price - £75 per room plus breakfast - and, perhaps, enjoy a work out in the exercise room and a dip in the pool! For further details and subject to having booked for the Reunion, email nyasa.police@gmail.com.
Webmaster - March 2019

"A Chip off the Old Block?"
It seems that Tim Chevalier has not only taken on the good looks of his parents, Frank and Paddy, but also their qualities of good sense, hard work and adventurous nature. Nyasaland born he has come to the fore as a wild life photographer and conservationist, recognised widely and particularly so in Africa. Our man down under, Tony Drynan, reports that whilst in New Zealand he found time to visit Ray Punter in Rotorua and he draws our attention to a recent interview in Capetown about work coming his way, the breakdown by genre of his life and his typical projects. Click here to see and hear the interview.
Further, Tim has a very comprehensive Facebook account - Click here to view it.
Origin - Tony Drynan, May 2019

I have to report that during my service in the Nyasaland Police I received a formal "Warning Letter" about my dog. Quite a few of us had the pleasure of owning dogs during our service and I was no exception. Mine was a handsome Alsatian which I had purchased as a puppy from Brian Burgess and named Duke (pictured left at Rumpi). Among his foibles was a tendency to swallow bated fish hooks as happened whilst I was stationed at Nkata Bay but the vet could recommend no more than "let nature take its course"! He accompanied me throughout my various postings which were then mainly in the Northern Division. It was whilst I was SBO at Mzimba that gave rise to this official Warning Letter. Whilst visiting outstations I had left Duke behind. It was then, the following day, that I received this letter from the OC Station to the effect that during my absence my dog "had spent the whole time wandering in and out of the station" with instructions to ensure that Duke be confined to my quarters on any future occasion. Fair enough I suppose but was a formal letter really necessary? A question that remained with me for some time, after all, the OC had the office next door to mine and there were regular meetings between us ................
Ken Wilkinson - April 2019
Adendum: I can confirm the "fish hooks" saga. I was privileged and had the pleasure of looking after Duke whilst Ken was on leave. He was with me whilst I was at Nkhata Bay and Rumpi. At Nkhata Bay I often fished for binga off the jettty there using a three pronged hook bated with nsima. Twice (one never learns) Duke swallowed the lot - hook, line and sinker. Too dangerous to pull out, the line had to be cut as far down the throat as possible and the rest left to a powerful digestive system - I'm pleased to say there appeared to be no ill effects. However, my most endearing memory of Duke was at Rumpi. There he was taken for a daily walk by the houseboy's five years old daughter. She was not much bigger than Duke himsef but what friends they were and although of gentle nature he may have been, I dread to think what woud have happened to anyone who made a move towards that wee girl. What a picture they made and I regret I have no photograph to record it.
Webmaster - April 2019

Malcolm Llewelyn CPM (1925-2019) ~ RIP
It is sad to report the passing of Malcolm Llewelyn on 11th March 2019. Malcolm was 94 with a wealth of experience behind him. He joined the Nyasaland Police in November 1951 after wartime service in the Royal Navy. His postings included general duties and, in particular, setting up the Police Training School in Limbe. He was awarded the Colonial Police Medal in 1962 and on leaving the force in the rank of SSupt he returned to Wales spending some thirty years as a teacher. An easy-going individual with a sense of humour, he was very competent and highly regarded. He will be greatly missed and on behalf of Nypol the Association Manager, Ken Wilkinson, has expressed heartfelt condolences to the family.

Founder member Christopher Bean steps down from his post as the Nypol Association Manager. It was with the late Les Renno some twelve years or so ago that he set up the Association and nurtured into the success it has since become. In particular he maintained contact with so many of our members, organised the ceremony with Les at the Arboretum and kept us all in the picture with the latest Association news. He has done his share and done it well, for that we are all appreciative and indeed grateful for the sustained effort and application over so many years and we wish him well in his "retirement".
Stepping up to the plate is Ken Wilkinson (1959-1964) to take on this role in addition to that of Reunions Manager. He has been active in the Association from the early days and is well versed in its organisation. He is undoubtedly the man for the job but it is important that he is well supported by all of us.
Webmaster - January 2019

"The Boy who Harnessed the Wind"
This is a Netflix film, released on 1st March 2019 and tells the story of William Kamkwamba a schoolboy in Malawi, who seeking to save his village from the drought, devises a plan to build a windmill to power an electric water pump. Initially his father considers it a futile exercise and there is some family disharmony but, eventially, there is reconciliation and with the help of friends and villagers a full-size windmill is built which leads to a successful crop being sown.
Click here to view the trailer
Webmaster, March 2019

The Livingstonia Escarpment
Most of us spent some time up in the Northern Division and travelled up or down the Livingstonia escarpment. It was a harrowing trip, especially in a PMF four-tonner when it could take quite some manoevring to negotiate the bends. Well click here to view a quite recent video of that road where little has changed it seems.

Norman Carswell
Brian Carswell has updated the Chit-Chat 2017 about his father, Norman (left), who served in the Nyasaland Police from 1948 to December 1957 and there are not many of our members now who served with him. However, Brian, now resident in Tasmania, took the time to fill in some details of his father's remarkable career which covered not only Nyasaland but previously the Merchant Navy, the Palestine Police and security services since.
Click here for more.
Origin: Brian Carswell - February 2019

Action on the Lake
Vanessa Farmery reminds us with this linked video that the first naval action of the First World War took place on Lake Nyasa. Left is the German steamship 'Hermann von Wissmann' which, in the 1890s, was engaged on the lake as an anti-slavery gunboat. Also on the lake was the British vessel 'SS Guendolen', launched in 1899, which plied the lake carrying goods and passengers on a 15-day round trip visiting the various ports. On 13th August 1914, some two weeks after the outbreak of war, the Guendolen commanded by Captain Edmund Rhoades, found the Wissmann on a slipway at Liuli (Tanzania now but then German East Africa) and attacked it. This took Captain Berndt of the Wissmann totally by surprise having been unaware that war had been declared. As normally friends and drinking partners it is said that Bernt jumped into a boat and approached the Gwendolen accusing Rhoades of being drunk - only to be taken prisoner! The action disabled the Wissmann briefly but in 1915 it was completely put out of action. Click here to view this interesting video
Origin: Vanessa Farmery - February 2019

Justice is bottled
Mary Brill, now in her mid-nineties, is surely one of our most treasured contributors. Her articles about life in Nyasaland with husband Reg, in both the Agric Dept and the Police, are full of interest and her skill in making the Dorset brooches has added some style to the Reunion raffles over the years. This piece, having found it among her late husband's papers, tells the simple story, albeit not without a twist, of a local District Commissioner hearing a case on the production and possession of that local and lethal drink, kachasu. Click here to read
Webmaster, February 2019

In the BSAP UK Outpost magazine David Gall writes of his time with the BSAP unit in Nyasaland during the 1959 emergency. Whereas, he says, reports that the BSAP 'saw a fair amount of action and used quantities of tear gas to quell rioting mobsí it is not in accord with his recollections. Not once, he says, did he wear his tin hat nor hear a shot fired in anger. Click here to open the Outlook magazine and read all about it on pages 6 & 21.
Webmaster - January 2019

Bill Dodd (1932-2018) ~ RIP
it is sad to report the passing of Bill Dodd on Boxing Day 2018. H was 87 and had been unwell for some time. He joined the Nyasland Police in March 1960 having previously spent seven years in the Liverpool City Police. His experience was greatly valued and in particular he was a skilled investigator and prosecuting officer. An outgoing individual with a fine sense of humour he will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Origin - Joy Wilkinson, January 2019

Our man in "The Land of the Long White Cloud"
For those of us who got his newsy Christmas letter will know that Ray Punter continues to enjoy an ever active and busy lifestyle in his adopted homeland of New Zealand. He remains a resident of Rotorua where he continues working at Rainbow Springs Nature Park and he has not hung up his fishing rods. Pictured left is the 8lbs Rainbow Trout which won him a free fishing licence for the coming season and when it became obligatory for boats on Lake Rororua to be named, his son Graham opted to keep memories alive with the name "Nyasa" for his good looking vessel. However, the big question is "How does Ray prepare his fish for the table?". In Nyasaland it was smoked in sawdust for a few minutes in a simple biscuit tin with nothing extra added. Things have moved on since so just click here to see exactly how Ray does it now in 2019 to produce the very best of tasty Rainbow Trout.

Alison in Cyprus
Most of us served at one time or another in the military and some us served in Cyprus during the EOKA emergency there in the mid-fifties. They were tense times with General Grivas and his men in seeking Enosis (Union with Greece) operating a vigorous armed struggle against the British. However normal life continued, not without precautions, so click here to read of the Fred Tomkins family home life there during that difficult time as described by his daughter Alison (McLellan) at the start of their many worldwide travels from South Wales via Cyprus and Africa to eventually settle in Australia.

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