by Daphne Levy
My father, Henry Levy (known as Harry
to all his friends) emigrated from Glasgow as a young man in the early
1900's, and arrived in the Rhodesias. He had an introduction to his
father's cousin, Isaac Wolffe, who lived in Bulawayo. After working for
a time on the copper belt in Northern Rhodesia, he joined the Goldfields
Mining Company and became secretary of one of their gold mines (the
Wanderer Mine) near Selukwe.
During the first world war he served
in the Rhodesia Regiment in German East Africa. Returning to Britain on
holiday, he met my mother, Ethel Baker, who came from Manchester. They
were married in Cape Town in 1926 and during the first years of their
married life had to contend with harsh living conditions in those early
After many years on the mine, my
father was transferred to Goldfields head office in Bulawayo. He died in
1954 and is buried in the Jewish cemetery in Bulawayo. I was born in
Selukwe in 1931 and went to boarding school in Gwelo (the Convent) and
later to the Girls' High School in Salisbury, after which I studied for
a science degree at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, SA.
Memories of my childhood in the
mining communities round Selukwe, and at boarding school, are very happy
ones. Selukwe was a sleepy little town, where my mother would do her
weekly shopping. The mayor of Selukwe was Jock Smith the butcher, whose
son, Ian, was to become so politically involved.
There were a few Jewish families in
the area, mostly traders. Names like Katz, Grill, Rabinovitz, spring to
mind. Immediately prior to world war 2 there was an influx of German
Jewish refugees, who temporarily settled on a ranch outside Bulawayo
belonging to a Mr. O'Connor. I recall visiting these families with my
parents and listening to the dreadful stories they had to tell.
How fortunate I was to be living in
that part of the world at that time! In 1956 I left Rhodesia to live in
Britain. My mother had passed away and I felt the need to be close to my
immediate family.... aunts, uncles, and cousins. In 1961 I married
Anthony Myers, a Londoner. We live close to London (in Pinner,
Middlesex) and if any old Rhodesians remember me, as Daphne Levy as I
then was, I would love to hear from them via the website.
My e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org