January - April 2010 Magazine
Founded 1909

Pioneer Trail Pick emblem
Mabukuwene Nature Reserve
Fridays 19:00 - 21:00 hrs
Scout Leader
Norman Scott
Norman's Email address

With thanks to:- Editors - Rob McKenzie & Norman Scott


Pseudolachnostylis Maprouneifolia The Troop was started in 1909, but only officially registered on the 1st January 1910 as the documentation of the fledgling Movement took a few years to catch up with the rapid spread of Scouting around the world. In taking advantage of 'two' formal dates, we have carried our Hundredth Anniversary celebrations into this year. Anniversary activities that have been held since January of this year were our One Hundredth Anniversary Dinner and our Mini Expedition to the Mangwe area. Both are recorded in this edition of Pioneer Trail. There are more activities in the planning stage for the remainder of the year, culminating in December 2010 with an expedition to an exciting destination. The planning of a number of options for this expedition is currently underway with the final choice of destination dependant on available funding.

The Troop has experienced a low attendance at the weekly meetings in the past four months and activities over weekends. School sports events have dominated over our Scouts’ recreational time, resulting in our Scouts missing out on weekend Scouting activities and in some instances their Friday evening meetings. However, it is pleasing to learn that Scouts Dale van Aarde and Brendan Judge have excelled in their school cricket, having been selected for the under sixteen Matabeleland Cricket Team and they are now waiting to hear if they have been selected for the under sixteen Zimbabwe Cricket Team. I wish them well in their selection. At the Troop, they are in line for the next generation of seniors whom I depend upon for the continuation of Boy Leader orientated training, and with this situation in mind, I am aware that the Troop will suffer if they are not in a position to attend many Troop activities. Other members are also affected but not to the same degree. Generally members of the Troop are progressing in accordance with their age and to this end I must congratulate Patrol Leader Christopher Mackenzie on his achievement in being presented with The Chief Scout Award. The presentation was made by our Provincial Scout Commissioner for Matabeleland, Mr. Bekezela Ndebele during the Troop’s One Hundredth Anniversary Dinner. Congratulations Christopher on your achievement.
Click to enlarge:
Baden-Powell Day Service,
St George's Chapel

The Troop attended the annual Baden-Powell camp held in Gordon Park during February. The Troop went into camp on Friday 19th and stayed until Sunday 21st taking part in the many activities that had been organized for the one hundred and twenty Scouts from various Bulawayo Troops to participate in. During the Baden- Powell Day service held on the Sunday at noon to commemorate the birthday of our Founder, Patrol Leader Christopher Mackenzie was announced as the winner of the 2009 Mike George Hike Project. Christopher’s log-book, on which the hike project was judged, was of his One Hundred Kilometre Hike that he and Scouts Dale van Aarde and Declan FitzPatrick, all three members of the Troop, had completed during the April school holidays last year. Congratulations Christopher on winning this most challenging hike project and my congratulations are also extended to Dale van Aarde and Declan FitzPatrick for their stout effort in completing this gruelling cross country hike through the rugged Matobo hills in five days.

At the end of March, we invited the Scouts of the 8th Bulawayo (Hillside) Troop to join with us in a Wide Game. Assistant Scout Leader, Leon Wuyts organized the game, which was held in Mabukuwene Nature Reserve where our Troop meets. With its bush and granite terrain this proved to be a suitable venue for the game selected. The game ended off with our traditional end of term sausage sizzle, a new experience for the Scouts of the 8th. The Scouts of the two Troops had been mixed to form the teams, so that no Troop won. A real fun activity and we thoroughly enjoyed their company, despite the claims and counter claims of, dare I say it, cheating. The cheating was summed up as ‘using your scout initiative’. Everybody was happy with that verdict.

The monthly hikes continued to be held, although with somewhat lower numbers. We did have two new boys join in on one of the hikes but they have not joined the Troop. We can not win them all, even with an exciting outdoor programme to challenge and extend their abilities.

Click to enlarge:
Basic Scout Woodbadge Course
Gordon Park, 6-7 March 2010

Assistant Scout Leader, Leon Wuyts attended a General Information Course, followed by a Basic Scout Practical Woodbadge Course, both of which he qualified for. I wish to congratulate Leon on making progress in his Scout Leader Training and for being presented with his Assistant Scout Leader Warrant during the Anniversary Dinner. Unfortunately, Leon has not been able to find employment here in Bulawayo owing to the current economic and unsettled conditions prevailing and has left for the United Kingdom to find employment. Once again we find ourselves losing our younger generation who are so desperately needed for our country to grow and prosper. All the best Leon in your future endeavours in your new home. I am sure that the experiences you have gained here in Scouting will help you in your life ahead.

On 27 March 2010 Mr. Nelson Manda Sakala a former Chief Scout Commissioner of The Scouts Association of Zimbabwe, passed away in Bulawayo. Nelson was born on 20 July 1954 and as a young boy joined the 56th Bulawayo (Mpopoma) Scout Troop in Bulawayo. As an adult he served as an Assistant Scout Leader in the 36th Bulawayo (Matshobana) Scout Troop and later as the Scout Leader of the 53rd Bulawayo (Sizinda) Scout Troop. As a Commissioner, Nelson served in various positions within the Province of Matabeleland. In 1996, he led a Bulawayo Scout Contingent of eight Scouts to Aberdeen, Bulawayo’s twin City in Scotland. Aberdeen is twined with five cities around the world and held a Jamborette for its twined cities at Templars Park, in Aberdeen.

Nelson was a big man with a big heart and was always cheerful, laughed a great deal and enjoyed a joke. Taking his scouting seriously, he organized many training camps and competitions for the Scouts of Matabeleland and always tried to 'Be Prepared'. He was known to us here in Matabeleland as 'Malume' (Uncle) Nelson was awarded the Medal of Merit followed several years later with the Silver Eagle. These awards are presented to individuals for exceptional voluntary service to the Scout Movement over many years.

Whilst preparing this edition of Pioneer Trail I was informed that Mr. George Crockett passed away in Ireland on Friday 7th May 2010. George’s sons Colin and Leslie were members of the 8th Bulawayo (Hillside) Scout Group and it was during their time as members of the 8th, that George became involved in Scouting on the 8th Scout Group Committee, serving as its Chairman for many years. Whilst serving on the 8th Scout Group Committee, George was prevailed upon to stand for the Matabeleland Scout Council and served on that Council for twelve years, first a s a committee member and then as Chairman. For his unstinting services to Scouting, George was awarded the Medal of Merit followed a number of years later with the Silver Eagle.

The Troop’s condolences are extended to the Sakala and the Crockett families.

N. Scott
Scout Leader

100th Anniversary Group Registration Hike

2nd January 2010

The first weekend of the month is the traditional weekend for our monthly hike. This month’s hike fell on the 1st and 2nd of January 2010, when most people stayed in the city to celebrate New Year with family and friends. So it was not surprising to find only three lonely Scouts who had opted to stay at Gordon Park in the Matopo hills for such an important event, far from the hurly burly of city life and its parties.

Half expecting someone to visit on the Saturday, the start of the hike was delayed until mid afternoon, but when it became apparent that no other Scouts would come out to the Park to join in on this hike, the three of us set off deeper into the Matobo Hills. Our choice of hike was prompted by my solo hike up Zhugwe in March 2009 and so it was that Leon, Chris and my-self headed off mid afternoon for the first hike of the year.

Seeing that I had already pioneered a route up Zhugwe, the others let me have the lead. The bush was much thicker and the grass a good deal higher, but I never-the-less re-traced my previous route of nine months earlier. It was great to be on top of this kopje once again and to point out the familiar land marks all around us. Two black eagles soared effortlessly above, almost close enough to touch.

After a long stay at the top, time seemed to have stood still, we started on our descent. Before we reached the valley floor on the eastern side, the sun had long set and it was quite dark. Bundubashing our way alongside a dry stream bed in a northerly direction was exhausting and I unfortunately fell off the side of a large boulder. In the fall I sustained a long gash in my forearm which bled quite profusely. In the dark I was unaware of how serious it was, just as well for we still had a long way to go to get back to Inguluvane.

On reaching Inguluvane, we each enjoyed a cold drink which Leon had the foresight to load into the cooler box on our departure from the Park. Using the light from the headlights of Inguluvane, I cleaned up the blood from my arm and we headed back to the Park for a much needed shower and an equally appreciated dinner.

The January Troop hike had been completed, only about seven kilometres which was not a very impressive distance, but it certainly tested us in many ways.


Tuli Gorge Hike

6 -7 February 2010
Our choice of where to hike this month was largely determined by an outing organized by the Matopos Conservation Society. The Society’s quarterly event on Sunday the 7th was to be held at Mshashasha Falls in the eastern Matopos, during which a talk on fungi was to be given. As the Scouts of the Troop are members of the Society, I thought that we should make an effort to attend and accordingly changed the dates of the hike to the Saturday /Sunday. However, there was a slight problem in that all but one Scout had a sports fixture on the Saturday and so only Leon, Chris and my-self were available to go on the hike.

Leaving from Gordon Park after lunch on the Saturday, we headed for the Old Gwanda road via Sandy Spriut, Fort Usher and then to the Tuli River where we parked Ingulungundu at a Dam. A small embarrassment, I had forgotten the map at Gordon Park and we were entering country that I had last been to many, many years ago. However, not all was lost as I had looked at the map the previous day and had a good idea of the lay of the land. Donning just one small knapsack and our water bottles, we headed off down steam following a small track that led into the forest land where the local inhabitants grazed their cattle and cut wood for their cooking fires. Hidden amongst the kopjes and trees was the remnants of King Lobengula’s 'Kantoor' or office. After awhile we realised that we had wandered far from the Tuli River, so on finding a small game trail we followed it until we reached the Tuli River.

On reaching the river, we dropped down into a narrow gorge through which the river was channelled. Hoping from boulder to boulder, crossing from one side of the narrow gorge to the other under a very hot, cloudless sky, soon had us perspiring freely. High above us on the side of the kloof, baboons barked at us for intruding on their territory. It was really a fantastic experience hopping from boulder to boulder, but all too soon we came to the point where we were to scale the steep eastern side of the gorge in order to head for the small country school of Lokudzi. The point at which we had chosen to leave the gorge was where a tributary of the Tuli tumbled down the side of the gorge in a series of rapids/waterfalls. Very convenient, for on following this tributary we discovered a path used to drive cattle between the pastures on the banks on the Tuli River to the homesteads at the top of the gorge. Once at the top of the gorge it did not take us long to get our bearings, for all we had to do was to follow one of the many paths running alongside this tributary, which lead us to Lokudzi School.

A rest was called when we reached the school before heading westward over a low kopje back toward the dam at which we had parked Ingulungundu. Once on top of the kopje we had a magnificent view of the surrounding country side and there, some three kilometres distant, nestling below us in the bend of the Tuli River was the dam at which we had parked Ingulungundu. Our hike route had taken us through thickly forested areas, boulder hoping down a narrow picturesque gorge at the bottom of which was a clear stream bubbling its way between the jumbled mass of rocks. Cro ssing large expanses of grassy plains and finally over the top of a dwala from the top of which the majesty of the Matobo Hills showed themselves in all their rugged grandeur. All this experienced in just ten kilometres of hiking.
Click to enlarge:
Christopher and Leon at
the dam on the upper
reaches of the Tuli River

We camped the night at the dam and then on Sunday morning we packed up and headed for the Mshashasha falls where we met up with the members of the Matopos Conservation Society.


The Cockleshell Heroes

12th - 13th February 2010
Instead of the scheduled Friday evening Troop meeting at Mabukuwene, Mr Sanderson invited us Scouts round to his house instead, to give us an introduction to his Parent’s Camp activity that he was to do on the following afternoon. The Parent’s Camp was scheduled for the weekend of 13th and 14th February.

Click to enlarge:
Declan holds up one of the 'ribs' of the canoe
whilst Martin continues with the dismantling

On our arrival, we were taken to one of his out buildings where we were given a task, namely to carry a canoe from the garage to the lawn in front of his house. Once we had it on the lawn, it was clear that it was not a normal fibreglass canoe, but one that was firstly very old and secondly it had a canvas covering over a frail wooden frame. Mr. Sanderson explained that this canoe could be dismantled, folded up and stowed in a canvas bag for transporting. Under Mr. Sanderson’s guidance and mostly his effort, we set too to dismantle the canoe, pack it in its bag and then dust ourselves down, for it was covered in layers of dust. Not really surprising, as we were told that it was last taken out of the garage about ten years ago. Cough, splutter, cough.

Having succeeded in our mission for the evening, we enjoyed cold drinks, tea and biscuits. All too soon the bewitching hour of 9.p.m. came round when we paraded and closed the meeting. It is Saturday afternoon at Gordon Park during Parent’s camp.

Click to enlarge:
Having paddled around Sandy Spruit Dam, Kevin
Fitzpatrick and Martin Sanderson come ashore

Those of us who could attend the Parent’s camp, which included only Mr FitzPatrick representing the parents, were at Gordon Park well before 2 pm. awaiting the arrival of Mr Sanderson. Norm had taken the canoe stowed in its bag, to the Park in the morning. Our next instruction from Mr. Sanderson was to take the canoe to Sandy Spruit dam. Once there we all helped to re-assemble it. One of the formers or ribs was missing, so a plan was made to make a temporary adjustment in order that the canvas skin could be stable and not tear. When we were ready we carried it to the water’s edge, launched it and two volunteers hopped aboard. With paddles in hand the intrepid sailors headed across the dam until they were but little specks against the blue waters. Norm kept shaking his head as he couldn’t believe that he had a Troop of ‘Puddle Pirates’. After everyone had had a chance of paddling around the dam, it was time to fold up the canoe and head back to Gordon Park.

Back in Gordon Park for the Parents’ Camp

After the traditional braai dinner, we gathered around the campfire to be led by Leon in song and merry laughter. Mr FitzPatrick playing his guitar kept us singers hopping from one song to the next until Leon called on Mr Sanderson to tell us the story behind the canoe exercise. And so the story of a true Second World War operation unfolded. The war time operation, which took place in France, featured the use of a few specially selected men using collapsible canoes just like the one Mr Sanderson had allowed us to disassemble and then reassemble. Their mission was to sink German war and supply ships in a harbour, so blocking the harbour to shipping and disrupting shipping movements. The operation was successful, despite the loss of all but two men of the operational team. They became known as the Cockleshell Heroes, a name coined from their collapsible canoes.

Parent’s camp continued over to the Sunday morning and included the monthly church service before everyone packed up and departed for home.

Ahoy. Mr Sanderson’s Puddle Pirates

Bushman Painting Camp to Gordon Park

5th - 6th March 2010
Having left Norm’s Landy at Gordon Park, Mr Barrett took us in his Landy to a small kopje alongside the La Concorde road on Lucydale farm on the way to Figtree, a small settlement on the Bulawayo - Plumtree main road. Chris and Cameron found some Bushmen paintings on the rocks we had made our camp next to. Having had our supper, we soon settled down for the night in some bushes just off the road.

In the morning, we all had the usual oats for breakfast. Chris, Kevin and Cameron (a visitor to the Troop) set off to see if they could find any more paintings, whilst Declan, Kieran, (also a visitor to the Troop) Leon, Norm and I finished packing our kit before we too set off and soon caught up with the others.
Click to enlarge:
Back row: Declan, Kieran, Leon, Michael
Front Row: Cameron, Kevin, Christopher

When we were all together again, I being the biggest guy was put in the front to lead and bulldoze the way through the tall, thick, damp grass. It was tough going, but great fun. In next to no time, although we had already hiked about three kilometres, we reached the main Bulawayo - Kezi road. We followed the road for about two hundred metres, where we found the remains of Fort Inungu. We had a rest here and read the plaque which gave a few details of interest about the fort. Before leaving Norm took a group photo.

I was tasked with leading once again. I followed a few faint footpaths until they turned off from the direction we were heading in. We were in farm lands and every now and again we had to cross over a fence. Some one thought that we should name this hike, the hike of barbed wire fencing. In the middle of one of the paddocks we came across a large shady tree with its branches spreading out like an umbrella under which we stopped for a rest. Continuing on the hike following a farm track all went smoothly until we found ourselves having to climb over gates that had been wired closed. We found an old deserted village. Norm then took the lead as he wanted to take us through a gap in the range of kopjes ahead of us where the natural wall, known as Shentendebudzi could be clearly seen. This is a Dolerite rock outcrop in the Granite, which looks like huge rock bricks. Chris, Kevin, Cameron and I climbed about on the wall and took a few pictures.

Our route from here was much easier as we followed an old road for a while until we reached Ingwe Lodge. Then through the game fence into the Matobo National Park. I the bulldozer was brought back into action to forge a path through the tall thick grass of the National Park. At long last we found the picnic road leading from one side of the scenic dive to the other. Following this path in a southerly direction we arrived at the waterfalls behind the Headquarter buildings at Gordon Park. On entering Gordon Park at half past twelve, we flopped down exhausted in the outdoor kitchen area. Here we had our lunch, a long rest and then undertook a good turn for Gordon Park by repairing a section of washed out road down to the Mtshelele River. Our hike had covered a distance of sixteen kilometres through open farmland covered in tall grass and the broken granite kopjes of the Matopos.

Michael Dodds

Ntaba Mbomvu Hike ...... or Hansel and Gretel Hike

3rd April 2010
We woke up early, had breakfast and then prepared for our morning hike. No kit was necessary, only water bottles as we did not intend to go very far. After tidying up, we set off from Gordon Park in the direction of Shumba shaba across the vlei from the Park. We climbed up as far as the 'saddle' and then entered the Gulati Communal Land, following an overgrown footpath. It took some time to bundu bash our way until finally we reached the tail end of the first rocky kopje we had named Hansel.
Click to enlarge:
On top of Hansel, with the blue sky
forever rising high above us.

There were a number of puddles in the little dips in the rock’s surface that we enjoyed splashing through whilst listening to Norman and Leon’s so called 'discussing' but in other words arguing. Their argument was all about the Ndebele Kings. It did not take us long to reach Hansel which we climbed and rested on its summit where we sat and chatted.

Feeling refreshed, we descended to the valley below, bundu bashing our way through some thick bush until we reached the base of its twin kopje, Gretel. Here we met a lady and her child who were going to the stream a little further on to collect water for their village. We chatted with them before starting on the climb up Gretel. On our way up we came across some young men chopping firewood from the trees. At the top of Gretel we found some shallow pools that had been filled from the recent rains. The water had been warmed by the sun, so we took off our boots and put our feet in. Having had our second rest, we made our way along the ridge leading back down towards Gordon Park.

Again hiking through the thick bush at the bottom, we came across a small stream at a point where it flowed over some rocks. We again took off our boots and sat in the water where it cascaded over the smooth rock covered in algae and 'bum slid' down into a large pool. Having had our fun we then followed the stream, bundu bashing through a forest of Lantana. We found a few more pools and a fairly high waterfall.

Out in the open ground once again, we bumbled our way towards a gap in the range of kopjes and headed for Shumba shaba. We approached Shumba from the south east, crossing many small streams along the way. Once at the top we had another refreshing wallow in the rock pools. From here we headed back to Gordon Park and a late lunch. What was meant to be a mornings’ walk, turned out to be a day’s hike, or so it seemed for we were quite tired. We had hiked ten kilometres.

Michael Dodds

One Hundredth Anniversary Group Dinner

16th April 2010
Friday 16th April 2010, saw the current Scouts of the Troop, along with their parents, old boys with their wives and friends of the Troop, gather at the Bulawayo Country Club to celebrate our One Hundredth Anniversary, with the holding of a Grand Dinner. We were fortunate in having two 'old' boys among our number of thirty-nine people, Dr Eric Block and Mr. John Stakesby-Lewis. John was Eric’s Patrol Leader of more than fifty years ago.

Click to enlarge:
The Troop's Trek Cart was at
the centre of our display

In setting a truly Scout atmosphere to the venue of our dinner, was a display of Troop memorabilia from its very inception right to the present. Central to the display was a Trek Cart of a bygone era, richly covered with the Troop’s leather bound logbook of 1914 to 1959, our light blue scarf with the Pioneer Pick emblem on its apex, our registration certificate dated 1st January 1910 and inscribed with our original name: 1st Matabeleland Scout Troop. Behind on the wall were two Troop flags, our original flag estimated to be close to one hundred years old and our current flag that was sewn in 1997.

Bringing us right up to date was our anniversary, morning tea set for two with the anniversary logo emblazoned on each of the nine items of the set. Next to the trek cart, a hike scene with tent, fold up hike primus cooker, maps and sleeping bag added the outdoor touch to the display. Each of the three remaining walls of the dinning room was decorated with flags and banners, all creating a jolly atmosphere for the occasion.

The three course dinner was as follows:-
Calamari Rings or Chicken Pineapple Cocktail
Roast Beef with rice, roast potatoes and vegetables with Chicken in a white wine and chutney sauce as an optional extra
Baked Chocolate Fudge Pudding and Ice Cream.
Click to enlarge:
Dr. Eric Bloch and
S. L. Norman Scott

Dr. Eric Bloch, a well known Zimbabwean economist, was our guest speaker. Dr. Bloch, along with his older brothers had been in the Troop in the 1940’s through to the 1950’s, their father Mr. Hans Bloch being the Scout Leader at the time. Dr Bloch went on to become the Cub Master of the Group’s Wolf Cub Pack. To celebrate the Troop’s and Zimbabwe’s Fiftieth Anniversary, the Central African Jamboree was held in Ruwa Park, Harare (Salisbury) in 1959.

Dr Bloch had been a senior Scout of seventeen at that time and for that occasion he had tracked down the Rev. T.O. Beatty, the first Scout Master of the 1st Matabeleland Scout Group in 1909, living in retirement in South Africa. Dr Bloch lost no time in making arrangements for him to attend the Jamboree at Ruwa Park. Having played such a long and active roll in the history of the Troop it was, therefore, no coincidence that Dr Bloch, who still resides in Bulawayo, to be chosen as our guest speaker for this, our One Hundredth Anniversary Dinner.

Dr Bloch’s speech was a collection of reminiscences of his days as a Scout, not only of Troop activities but also the time he and others of the Troop spent in the development of Gordon Park, which had been acquired for the Scout Movement in 1936. In his recollections, he recounted clearly how a number of young Rover Scouts from various Scout Groups in Bulawayo, spent their weekends in levelling a flat area for the outdoor Chapel set amongst the kopjes and then the construction of the water settlement tank and storage tanks in preparation for the Southern African Rover Scout Indaba to be held at Gordon Park in 1951. In all, he spent each weekend for five years working out at Gordon Park.

Click to enlarge:
Hungry Scouts line up to
be served their food

Nobody looked upon it as work, for the fun of doing something constructive in the company one’s friends made it a joy to be there.

Following Dr Bloch’s speech, Patrol Leader Christopher Mackenzie was presented with, The Chief Scout Award by the Provincial Scout Commissioner for Matabeleland, Mr Bekezela Ndebele. This presentation was followed by Mr Ndebele warranting Mr. Leon Wuyts a s an Assi stant Scout Leader of the Troop and also the presentation of his Basic Woodbadge Certificate and Gilwell Woggle.

Mr. James Irwin, Scout Leader of the 8th Bulawayo (Hillside) Scout Troop was also presented with his Basic Woodbadge Certificate and Gilwell Woggle. These presentations being made at this auspicious occasion will long be remembered by the three gentlemen concerned. Well done and Congratulations, gentlemen.

To round off the evening, Mr. Barry Knight who has spent the last eighteen months researching the history of the 1st Bulawayo Scout Troop launched our Troop’s history book. Although only one copy at present as we are actively looking for funding for it to be published, we felt that this was the right time to launch the book. Running to sixty A 4 size pages, which will be re-formatted to A 5 size when published, I must congratulate Mr Knight on an exceedingly well documented account of the Troop’s history. I very much doubt that any other Scouting history spanning one hundred years could be so thoroughly documented, including photographs covering the entire period. The launch of the book was accompanied by a power point slide show of a selection of pictures covering the last one hundred years.

A sincere Thank You Barry for the writing up of our Troop’s history.

My final Thanks go to Assistant Scout Leader Leon Wuyts for so diligently organizing the event, which was well attended and enjoyed by all.

N. Scott
Scout Leader.

Click to enlarge:
Patrol Leader Christopher Mackenzie
receives his Chief Scout Award.

Click to enlarge:
Assistant Scout Leader Leon Wuyts receives his
Warrant and Basic Woodbadge Certificate and
Gilwell Woggle

Click to enlarge:
Scout Leader James Irwin receives his Basic
Woodbadge Certificate and Gilwell Woggle

Click to enlarge:
A corner of the Dining Room

Mangwe Mini Expedition

17th - 19th April 2010
In our continuing celebrations to mark our special anniversary year, the following members of the Troop undertook a three day expedition to the Mangwe District, approximately one hundred kilometres south west of Bulawayo. The expedition members were; Patrol Leader Christopher Mackenzie, Shaun Francis, Declan FitzPatrick, Michael Dodds, Kevin FitzPatrick and Dylan Irwin (8th Hillside) The leaders were Mr Martin Sanderson, Assi stant Scout Leader, Leon Wuyts and Scout Leader, Norman Scott. Our hosts were Earnest and Betty Rosenfels of Glenmore Farm, Mangwe.
Click to enlarge:
Scouts of the expedition
aboard "Emma"

We travelled in a 1950 Bedford three ton truck, going by the name of 'Emma' The space on this vehicle proved to be quite adequate for the eight of us, especially as a temporary tent had been fitted to cover half of the back in order to provide shade for the occupants consigned there. Now, having done the expedition and learning from the Rosenfels that a tent on a wagon is called a 'Tilt’ I should really use the correct terminology and say 'a half tilt provided the occupants with shade'. Naturally such an old truck drew many glances and cheery waves from [people as we chugged along.

Having collected the fees for the expedition, Leon undertook to draw up the menu and to purchase the rations, which were then left to the Scouts to turn into scrumptious meals. This they did with ease under the clear blue skies and starlit nights out in the bush-land of Mangwe.

Our Thanks are extended to Mr. and Mrs. Rosenfels, to Neville Rosenfels and to Miss. Winch for hosting us and sharing with us the history of the district.

And now, what the Scouts have to write of their expedition.

1. ARRIVAL AT GLENMORE. Saturday afternoon. Chris noted:-
As we came into Glenmore Farm Mr. Sanderson started to blow the kudu horn just as we approached the Homestead. Everybody came out to see us and welcome us.

Mr. Rosenfels and Mr. Sanderson started talking, and Norm was talking to Neville. Then some of us climbed into Neville's Jeep and he took us to show us where we would be camping for two nights. There was firewood, water, and a toilet for us. Later a tractor and trailer came with chairs and two tables which were placed round a campfire.
Click to enlarge:
Makombwe Kopje overlooked
our campsite

Click to enlarge:
The "Voorlooper" leads
the sixteen span of oxen

2. SETTING UP CAMP. Saturday afternoon. Mike's notes:
We were all very excited and eager to set up camp. We started by getting the fires going and putting the kettle on. We were all quite hungry so we prepared lunch. We quickly unpacked the lorry (Emma). Then the Rosenfels came to pick us up for the wagon journey, which we were to begin by their homestead.

3. TREK-WAGON RIDE. Kevin wrote:
At the homestead we waited for the oxen.

While we waited Neville showed us the long stock-whips. When he cracked them the tip of the whip made a `crack' as it broke the sound-barrier. The oxen were very stubborn, but after about forty minutes they were all in-spanned to the wagon. We got comfortable and set off on the wagon ride. It was a very bumpy road so some of us walked with the oxen.

We had some cokes whilst on the wagon and in about 25 minutes we passed our camp site coming from a different direction. Once back at the farm the oxen were out-spanned. We then made our way back to our camp site and got dinner on the go.

Click to enlarge:
Martin demonstrates how to
load the Tower Musket

4. DINNER IN CAMP. Dylan noted:
Chris set up his kitchen and then lit a fire. He started to cook a very nice potjiekos. The scouts ate very fast otherwise they would have to do the dishes. Unfortunately Shaun and I had to do them. The Rosenfels family came, bringing drinks and chairs. After we had washed the dishes and were seated around the campfire. Mr. Sanderson brought out his Tower musket. It was made in the Tower of London in 1840 A.D. so it is now 170 years old. I loaded it (with only a percussion cap & black powder).

I cocked the hammer and pulled the trigger. It did not go off. So we had to help the old spring by hitting the musket hammer with an ordinary hammer. BANG. It went off! The birds all went quiet.

5. UNMARKED GRAVE. Shaun's notes:
As we were heading towards the Pioneer Cemetery, someone spotted a lone grave right beside the dirt road on the way. No one knows the poor soul's name, but it is rumoured that it was some person of the name of Scott. In no way related to Norman. We did try to find a plaque but with no luck. Nothing came to light.

After exploring the remnants of the stone walls of Lee's House on the rocky bank of the Mangwe River, we all piled into the Jeeps again slightly damp from splashing around in the pools of the River and headed for Mangwe Fort.

This Fort was u sed during the Matabele Rebellion of 1896 as a laager to protect the women and children of the bustling community of Mangwe. Though it was never attacked, the defences were impressive, especially after 114 years. The outer earthen walls, strengthened by palisades, defend an inner stone rondavel about 18m in diameter with the remains of a roof of mopane poles, many of them still in place.

After looking around the fort area for a while, and reminding Martin of a brass plaque he had put there 38 years before (in May of 1974) whilst on the Rhodesian Schools Exploration Society expedition, we climbed back into the Jeeps and set off for a jaffle lunch at Mangwe Dam.

7. MANGWE PASS MEMORIAL. Notes from Declan:
After exploring the Dam on the Mangwe River, and after our lunch of jaffels, we continued on to Mangwe Pass and the Memorial in the Pass. We jumped out of our Jeeps and examined it. It had stone steps which led up to it.

Click to enlarge:

Here is the text on the Memorial:-
One hundred years ago the first of
the missionaries, hunters and traders,
Passed slowly and resolutely
along this way.
They rev ealed to those who followed
The bounties of a country
They themselves might not enjoy.
8 - 7 - 1954

At the bottom of the steps there was an area of cement with the tracks of oxen and the wheel marks of an ox-wagon. There were also some footprints in the cement. These were all from 1954 when the Memorial was opened.

We then scouted around for the beacons which the Historical Monuments Commission had put in place to mark the border of the memorial site. Later Neville radioed Graham Robertson and we met him on a hill top where there where some ancient stone walls.

7. THE STONE RUINS also by Declan
We drove up to the top of a rugged stone kopje. How the two Jeeps managed such a tough climb where there was no road was quite awesome. We were told that the stone ruins were of the Khami era as they were built in the same style as those found at Khami near Bulawayo. They were not very extensive but in good preservation for the most part.

Feeling hot and dusty after travelling around since leaving Mangwe dam where we had a swim, we were invited to Mr. Robertson’s house, which was on our way back to our camp. The homestead was built in 1904 and is still in the ownership of the family, about two generations later. It was a really great place set among beautifully laid out gardens. Here we had a swim in a real swimming pool and then looked at a number of gin traps that had been last used many years ago. Then it was back to camp for our last night.

The next day on our way back to Bulawayo we visited Fort Luck.

The world is very big,
The number of its people overwhelming.
But listen for the laughter,
The words of kindness.
Let them give you courage -
So that you in turn can bring to every life,
Concern and gentleness,
Hope and delight.

1st Bulawayo (Pioneer) Scout Troop Programme of Activities
for May - August 2010

'Celebrating One Hundred Years of Scouting'
1909 - 2009

Troop Programme of Activities for:-

1 Monthly Hike
4 Schools open
9 Gordon Park Service: 12.00 noon
14 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
21 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
28-30 Colin Turner Pioneering Competition

4-5 Monthly Hike
11 Troop meeting: Mabukuw ene
13 Gordon Park Service: 12.00 noon
18 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
19 Boys Skills Course: PHQ
25 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
26-27 Troop Weekend Camp

2-3 Monthly Hike
9 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
11 Gordon Park Service: 12.00 noon
16 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
17 Provincial Snare Hunt: SPCA
23 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
30-31 William Arnold Carnegie Assegai Competition

1 William Arnold Carnegie Assegai Competition
5 Schools close
6-10 Heroes’ Weekend: Monthly Hike.
8 Gordon Park service: 12.00 noon
20 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene
27 Troop meeting: Mabukuwene

...culminating in December 2010 with an expedition to an exciting destination.

Additional Activities may be added to the Programme

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