Lake Rukwa

Name ID 1594

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Extract Author: Nick Jolly
Page Number: 2005 04 04
Extract Date: 1947-1951

Sao Hill School

Very Interested to find your site whilst trying to locate information on the School I attended in the Southern Highlands near Iringa from 1947-1951. My father (Major) John Jolly had left the army after the war and obtained a job with the Government sponsored Ground nut scheme. We were first based at Mohambiqua (? Spelling) then Chunya , Arusha (living in the Arusha Hotel which was run by the Benbow family who later moved to run a Hotel on Zanzibar and finally in Tanga. When the ground nuts failed to grow quite as was expected of them, my father ,an engineer transferred to a new haulage company called Tanganyika Roadways.

I have many happy memories of this period of my life (jiggers and all!) and particularly remember, whilst living in the old goldmining town of Chunya ,going to a crocodile farm run by a Frenchman on Lake Rukwa which is mentioned on your site. In the dry season the tributaries dried up leaving pools in which the crocs. Gathered. These were located by Africans in dugouts using spears with string and cork float attached. When a croc came near to the bank a group of extremely brave Africans (as I saw it aged 8) entered the water and, having located the blunt end of the creature (the tail) under water dragged it out by its tail and dispatched it with shortened pickaxes. As I remember this gruesome carnage was accompanied by much singing and merriment. The banks were littered with crocodile skeletons picked clean by the ever present vultures.

I have always felt that I was incredibly fortunate to live as a child in Africa and would welcome any advice on locating information/contact with others who attended Sao Hill School

You mention your father joined Tanganyika Roadways. Do you have any more information about the company. There is a road in Arusha called Col. Middleton road, and someone suggested that he was associated with/in charge of a company called something like Tanganyika Roadways - set up to provide transport to farmers to get their crops to the railways for export etc.

I'm off to Tanzania at the weekend - I'll try to do a site update before I go, but if not it will be the end of the month before I can do it.

From memory my school was called the Southern Highlands School, Sao Hill near Iringa. The headmaster was Geoffrey Holland and Deputy was Lycett who had played cricket pre war for England. I recall with some pride that my record was seven beatings in one term.

My father worked with a Bert Western though I will check his address book to be sure. From my memory he was the senior but whether he was the MD or owner I am not sure. When my father died in 1990 I found Bert's telephone number and rang him, he was living I believe in Surrey but doubtful he will still be alive, but I believe he had children.

Tanganyika Roadways, with vehicles painted deep blue with yellow lettering ranged from Matadors with circular gun apperture in the cab roof to the mighty Diamond Tee Clippers that had been used to carry Tanks. All were ex-WD and were brought in from landing craft near Lindi beach for the Ground Nut Scheme.

When that folded Tanganyika Roadways bought the plant to set up business. My father was in charge of the jungle clearing plant and had hair raising tales of what went on. Health and Safety was in it's infancy.

Have a good trip, I am envious. I joined the Merchant Navy to try to get back! I still remember the aromas when, in the rainy season (it rained at night in my memory!) I woke up with the hot sun beginning to dry the vegetation.

Extract ID: 5038