CHIT-CHAT ~ 2020


NO PRICE INCREASE ~ Yet again, no increase in prices at the Holiday Inn, Coventry, for the NPA Reunion this year - 9th July 2020. It is encouraging that the level of attendance has been maintained over the past three years and it is hoped to achieve similar results this year. It is always a pleasure to see our valued regulars but it would be so good to welcome those of you who have not previously been able to join us.
So, a regular or otherwise, donít delay, CLICK HERE to download the 2020 hotel Order Form.
Ken Wikinson, January 2020

Paddy Adair on parade at Kota
Sir Glyn Smallwood Jones GCMG MBE was Chief Secretary Nyasaland prior to succeeding Sir Robert Armitage as Governor in April 1961. In his capacity as Acting Governor he paid a formal visit to Kota Kota in Oct 1960. Paddy was stationed there at the time and it fell to him to provide the Guard of Honour. Suffice to say he was well up to it, as was his men, and they are to be commended on their immaculate turnout and their high standard of drill.
  • For the Pathe News film of this event Click here
  • For more details Click here
    Ken Wikinson, February 2020

  • Origin - Donald Hargreaves, February 2020
    Commendations for a joint CID/SB operation - Donald Hargreaves
    1961 was a year plagued with political disorder which included a series of arson incidents in a remote part of Karonga district. Essentially these were criminal actions whether political or otherwise. Serious disruption was the inevitable result and firm action was required. So, Donald Hargreaves, the District SBO, was deployed with Insp Chirwa leading the SB team together with Brian Graves leading the CID team to the area where they were camped for some 10 days in the bush and under the stars. Fortunately they had their cooks and a good supply of beer but this did not distract from an extensive investigation leading to the identification and apprehension of the culprits. The difficult nature and result of this investigation was recognised by a formal commendation from the Commisioner J. V. Mullins. Sadly Inspector Chirwa, an excellent officer, was later to lose his wife, she was murdered by the mob when Chipembere, the rebel ex-Minister, led the armed attack on Fort Johnson in his abortive coup attempt in February 1965.
    To read the Donald Hargreaves copy of the Commisioner's commendation
    click here.

        ~~ ALL AT SEA ~~
    Alison McLennan in 1964
    Fred Tomkins at the end of his tour with the Police in Nyasaland did what so many of us did - we took advantage of the passage paid free cruise home by way of the Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company. His daughter Alison (McLennan) records their family trip with fond memories. Her Mum, it seems, didn't enjoy it but Dad, Alison and brother Greg surely did. Among the memories of their time in Africa Alison still has a packet of sand from a lakeshore beach and copies of Union Castle posters. Further it was back to Wales for the family's pet baboon, "Chippy" (see the
    Alison McLennan Collection).
  • For Alison's report click here
  • Click here to view a promotional video of the Transvaal Castle.
    Origin - Alison McLennan, February 2020

    .................................... Mary Brill in 1956
    It was by sea in 1956, and also by the Unon Castle line, that Reg and Mary Brill, together with their young family, returned to Nyasaland after UK leave. Unlike Alison's Mum, Mary thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
    To read Mary's description of that voyage Click here.
    Origin - Mary Brill, February 2020

  • Cyril Marlow MBE, PPM
    Cyril Marlow who served in the Nyasaland Police from 1960 to 1975 passed away in 2001. The Society of Malawi records his obituary as put together by David Stuart-Mogg, editor of the Historical and Scientific section of the Society Journal. Comprehensive, interesting and informative
    click here to read in full.
    Origin - David Stuart-Mogg, February 2020

    Cosmo meets Mary
    Where was the entertainment in Nyasaland in the 1950s? There was a cinema in Blantyre, clubs in Zomba, Blantyre, Limbe, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Fort Johnston but very little elsewhere. Radio was basically limited to popular music on LM and unreliable, intermittent short-wave reception of the BBC World Service. So, in the outstations, ex-pats sought each other's company as best they could and dinner parties, with or without parlour games, were often the meeting places. However there was a 'pecking order', with the OC Police, the DC and his ADC, an Agric or fisheries officer maybe being on almost common ground. At least a level above was the PC, the Provincial Commissioner, so it was that in 1959, Reg and Mary Brill were stationed in Karonga when the PC, Cosmo Haskard, visited the area and they took it upon themselves to invite him and his wife to dinner. An invitation that was accepted. So with some considerable effort, a lot of thought, a little worry and some panic Mary went about making the necessary arrangements, deciding on the menu and preparation - Karonga was hardly the place to find things Tesco style readily available! Fortunately, it went well greatly to the relief of them both. Cosmo Haskard died in at the age of 100 in 2017 after a disguished career which included Governor of the Falkland Islands from 1964 to 1970.
  • For Mary's details of their meal that evening click here
  • For Cosmo's distinguished career including details of his time in Nyasaland Click here
    Origin - Mary Brill, January 2020
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