Archive for May, 1940

50 YEARS AGO

This appeared in TA issue 36, May 1990

The following articles are taken from the Tanganyika Standard in the middle of 1940 at the time when Britain was suffering defeat after defeat in the Second World War and fearing a German invasion.

TOWARDS A NATIONAL PARK FOR TANZANIA
The Game Bill 1940 introduced in the Legislative Council established a National Park in the Serengeti Plains. All hunting of animals was to be forbidden and the entry and movement of people in the Park would be controlled by a permit system. A special committee set up to examine the Bill invited the public to make its views known. However, there was only one response. An official commented that the writer of this response came from the Southern Province which was well served by the flying boat service between Dar es Salaam and Lindi. He doubted whether other members of the public in less accessible parts of Tanganyika would have had time to submit views.

AEROPLANE CRASH IN MASAILAND
Four South African soldiers on their way to the war in Northern Kenya (against Italian occupied Ethiopia) survived when their plane crashed on Longoi Hill in Masailand. As soon as the plane was found to be missing an official rescue party set off from Moshi. It was first held up by tyre trouble and then by the impassability of the bush. The party continued the next day on foot but met a lioness whose unwelcome attentions were only repulsed after even more time had elapsed. Meanwhile, the survivors from the plane had located a Masai family who immediately provided them with water and milk, slaughtered a sheep and built a boma for them to sleep in. A Moran was sent off to Kibaya to get assistance and did the night journey in record time. The Native Authority Dresser there organised a rescue party with food, water, medicine and a stretcher and set off immediately on the six hour walk to the scene. He then dressed the airmen’s burns and guided the party back to Kibaya later the following day.

So appreciative were the airmen for all the help they had received that they left all the money they had with them, Shs 160/-, to the various people who they had met. The survivors later said they could not express too highly their appreciation for the help and kindness so readily rendered to them by the Masai.

DISCIPLINE AT ARUSHA SCHOOL
Speech day at the Arusha (European) School was held on July 26th 1940. The Headmaster, in his report, said that in a tropical country where children grow old too soon and associate with adults far too much and where they see little of other children, the school had provided them with the normal family life so lacking In Tanganyika.

He went on to say that the background of the tropics had given a large number of people two extremes in dealing with child control and character building:
a) the all too frequent and utter negligence on the part of parents and the almost criminal leaving of children to ayahs and ‘house boys’ – an abnormality with which they had to deal 1n the school; and,

b) the hard and often choleric beating which summed up some people’s idea of discipline.

“Much of the constructive work of the school is”, he said “with all respect to parents here in Tanganyika, undone during the holidays. Late nights, drinking parties, unwholesome dependence on ‘boys’ for even the lightest of tasks, all militates against the building up of discipline, Character is formed neither by over indulgence nor by extreme rigidity. Later in his speech the headmaster said “We hold in honour the twelve boys who have gone from this school and who are today holding ranks as commissioned and non-commissioned officers in His majesty’s Forces. It was an old boy of the school, Raymond Hance, who was the first from East Africa to give his life for his country.

SENTENCE FOR RUMOUR

Juma bin Barwani, an African from Kigoma District was sentenced to three months with hard labour in August 1940 for ‘publishing a rumour likely to cause fear and alarm to the public’ The accused had told several people that soldiers were coming by train to Kigoma that night to impress male villagers for war service and that they would be seized when asleep in their huts ..

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