Beverley Westwood Probus Club member Sam Walton was the speaker at THE February lunch held at the Beverley Arms.
Sam, who farms at Lockington, gave members a very nostalgic view of the former British colony of Rhodesia.
Back in 1957 he was chosen as a representative of the Young Farmers’ Club to take part in an exchange visit which lasted from April to August of that year.
During that time, he and a fellow young farmer toured the colony, visiting and staying on various farms whilst learning about their agricultural methods.
They also managed to fit in some tourism and Sam showed photographs of, among other places, the Victoria Falls. He and his colleague received very warm welcomes wherever they went and Sam came away very impressed by the beauty of the country, the friendliness of his hosts, the good relations that generally existed between the white farmers and their indigenous work force and the opportunities for agriculture. So much so that he seriously considered an offer of employment there but was warned by his host that one day he might wake up to have his throat cut. Three years later, his host was shot dead.
This lead Sam to express to members his anger and sadness about the happenings since independence.
The country he told us had been ruined financially, the farms wrecked and some of the best agricultural land in the world laid to waste.
A question and answer session followed; after which President Les McLaughlin proposed a vote of thanks to Sam and this was enthusiastically received.
Membership of Beverley Westwood Probus Club is open to retired business or professional men.
The next event will be a coffee morning at the Beverley Arms Hotel on Wednesday February 20 at 10.15am.
The next lunch will be at the Beverley Arms Hotel on Wednesday March 6 at 12.20pm when the speaker will be Ian Hamilton and his subject the Falklands Conflict.