Home Articles Tales of Zambia Life at ZAF Livingstone - Page 2
Life at ZAF Livingstone - Page 2
Monday, 23 November 2015 10:32
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Life at ZAF Livingstone
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One particular Saturday morning Bill (a mild looking but „toughie“ contract N Rhodesian) awoke several of us from our morning slumbers to announce that it was his birthday, and that we should report to the men-only public bar in the Fairmount Hotel to celebrate the occasion. We kicked off at 10am, and enjoyed a splendid day which saw only four of us left by 10pm (Bill, Gary, Bent Arms Morgan - known as BAM, and myself), all well oiled of course. Back to the North Western to try room service for a nightcap. I don't recall from where they originated, but we did manage to procure a few bottles of Lion Lager. We opted to sit outside in the feature garden quadrangle; which was overlooked by our rooms. BAM soon retired to bed and it couldn't have been much later when Gary suggested that if we wanted to give Bill his birthday bumps, we should do it before the stroke of midnight. Gary and I were both quite fit, but we were soon to discover that Bill had a strength that belied his looks. Struggle as we might, we could do no more than pin him to the ground for brief spells. Seeking an alternative that might give us some advantage, we found that by making use of the metal framed park bench on which we had been seated, we could at least restrain him by sitting on it with him pinned underneath. Stalemate! Okay, we had gained some ground and if we couldn't go so far as giving him bumps let's see if we can cool him off. Into the fishpond he went! We were struggling to position the park bench over him when Rosa Klebb intervened. Not a happy woman. When she had cooled down a little, I apologised on our behalf and suggested that if she would like to call in a professional company the following morning, she should have the garden (the state of which, it has to be said, bore witness to our rigourus efforts) recovered to her own satisfaction as a matter of priority and we would foot the bill without question. Her reply was not what we expected „Get back to Maramba, you b-----ds“. It was at this point that the RAF Cpl Admin guy came out of his room wearing his RAF raincoat (bearing Cpl stripes) over his pyjamas, and told us that he would be charging us ….

The following morning we were wheeled in front of the Flight Commander. A list of serious offences was read out, concluding with Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order. I was a worried soldier. „What have you to say for yourself Bramwell?“ I came clean and explained it exactly as it happened, up to the point of apology and offer to recompense Rosa. „What was her reaction?“ enquired the Flight Commander. „Get back to Maramba, you b-----ds“, I replied. His face slowly drained of colour. Maramba, it should be understood, was the local African township and, despite impending independence, the colonial way of life still influenced attitudes. The charges were admonished, and nothing more was said to us. Some weeks later we were all moved out of the North Western Hotel to a Government Hostel on the outskirts of Livingstone, known as Chandamali. Here we built our own club/bar which allowed us more liberty, and the opportunity for „games“,and which over time became very popular with the residents of Livingstone.