Ronnie Hamilton

Name ID 2384

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Extract Author: David Hamilton
Page Number: 2008 05 16
Extract Date: 1947-1950

Arusha 1947-1950

I was intrequed to read about Gladys Rydon as my late father, Ronnie Hamilton, was her business partner and managed Ol Kokola estate on the slopes of Mt Meru between 1947-1950, when he left to take up a job in the growing sisal industry further 'up the line'.

My mother, Olivia, can clearly remember staying at Gladys' lovely home on lake Diluti and told me that her son David was a very talented artist. David lived in separate house on the estate where he had his studio.

My Ma was also the receptionist at the 'New Arusha' for a short time and had the nickname 'The Honeypot' for reasons that have never been made clear to me!

Ronnie was an ex-army major (Kings 4th, Burma and India) and chose Tanganyika after he was sent to train KAR troops in jungle warfare. I think he thought he had died and gone straight to heaven! The farm was situated at 7,500ft and the only transport that could get up there was Dad's US Army Jeep and his horses!

I was born in the European hospital in Arusha in 1948 and we went on to live near Voi and later near Korogwe, when I went to school up at Lushoto.

Of course Arusha was not Arusha without it's share of scandal and Ma came to stay with the Swaffin's as she was running away from her first husband, Eric Hunt! I imagine she and Dad met at the New Arusha and the rest, as they say, was history!!!

I last visited Arusha in 2004 when I climbed Kilimanjaro. The place was very changed and had lost its charm, but I hope to go back again within 2 years.

Kind regards, David Hamilton

Extract ID: 5658