A ceremony was held to celebrate the-life of EMERITUS PROFESSOR ARTHUR HUGH BUNTING, CMG (who died on May 8) at Reading University on September 6. Speaker’s referred inter alia to the four years he spent as Head of the Scientific Department of the Tanganyika Groundnut Scheme from 1947 to 1951 when it was closed down.
Extracts from the book ‘The Groundnut Affair’ by Alan Wood
Bunting arrived to test the soil while bulldozers were already clearing the ground …. He had a portable soil testing kit in a wooden box; he used a tea-strainer as sieve and he tested for acidity with dyes which changed colour. … But with this box Bunting obtained results which were to prove remarkably accurate, although he did not detect the unusually high proportion of clay in the soil as he had no means of mechanical analysis. The decision to start the Groundnut Scheme at Kongwa had been taken before he was able to carry out his tests …. In view of subsequent events it was what Bunting had to say on rain which was the most important. With scientific caution he noted: ‘Actual rainfall figures for the area are entirely lacking and the subject needs further investigation’. He strongly opposed the opening of a new area for groundnut cultivation in the Southern Province in 1948 but was overruled.’ Summarising the experience gained, the author of the book wrote ‘It was impossible not to be impressed by the vigour with which the multitudinous problems the scheme faced were being tackled by Hugh Bunting and two other leaders and their helpers’ A speaker at the ceremony said that Bunting’s outspokenness when talking to the British cabinet minister responsible for the Groundnut Scheme resulted in him being sacked and told that he would never be employed in the Colonial Service again. The Foreign Office then offered him a job in the Sudan and he continued to be involved in development projects all over Africa for the next forty years. He was working until a few days before his death.
GORDON CHITTELBOROUGH (86), once described as ‘the tentalent man’, who died on July 28, spent 39 years in Tanganyika/Tanzania from 1938. He was a pharmacist, teacher, builder and fluent Swahili speaker. He began as a missionary of CMS Australia. He became Provincial Secretary of the Province of East Africa and later worked on the creation of a new Province.
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE CLAUS (76), husband of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, died from pneumonia on October 26. He was particularly active in development co-operation and visited Tanzania regularly. The Tanzania Government was represented at his funeral.
RH R (DICK) CLIFFORD who was born in 1920 in India and grew up in Kenya started his service in Tanzania as D. O. Moshi in 1953. His final position was Personal Secretary to the then Governor of Tanganyika, Sir Richard Tumbull.
High Court JUDGE LUHEKELO KYANDO (59) who died from a severe attack of asthma on 13th October had given his last major judgment only a few days earlier. He had rejected a request from four Muslim Sheikhs to stop the BAKWATA elections (see above).
MAJOR GENERAL ROWLAND MANS served with 1I6th King’s African Rifles (initially trained in Moshi) during the advance into Italian Somaliland during the Second World War. At the battle of Colito they took 489 Italian and 31 African prisoners. In 1942 Mans led Tanganyikan soldiers in occupying Mayotte in the Comores and then conquering Madagascar from the Vichy French regime. Later, he represented former Tanganyika soldiers on the British and Commonwealth Ex-Servicemen’s League and launched the ‘Askari Appeal’ in 1998 which raised £250,000 to provide gratuities to former Tanganyikan askaris. The oldest of these had served in German East Africa in the First World War and was aged 110 in 2002, having lived in the same house, except for his war service, for 100 years. Mans was President of the East African Forces Association from 1997 to 2002 (Thank you John Sankey for sending this -Editor).
ROBERT SHARP (86) FRTPI (Rtd), MIMunE., died on 27th August. He joined the recently formed government Department of Town Planning in Tanganyika in 1954. At independence he became Commissioner for Town Planning (later renamed Director), a position he held until he returned to England in 1969. (Thank you John Rollinson for sending this -Editor).