4 November 2010

:Sea Life 1951. Lourenco Marques, Mozambique.

First draft
We left Dar es Salaam, heading south to Lourenco Marques now renamed Maputo. When we visited, Mozambique was still a colony of Portugal. The name change took place shortly after Mozambique became a republic. The old name has always seemed to me, since a small boy to have had a grand ring to it. From my eight birthday I have been a keen stamp collector with a few temporary periodic lapses. First stamps of the world, then British Colonies, then in my later years, theme related. The older stamps of Mozambique had only the name Beira wrote across the bottom. There was no country of Beira and it took sometime to deduce where the stamp came from. I found it eventually from a large school wall map, the word Beira jumped out then the name Mozambique. Looking further on the map lower down was the name Lourenco Marques, that name stuck in my brain, it now seems for ever!

Lourenco Marques was a long way from Dar es Salaam about 1500 miles or a little more, a few days steaming. If we still had a passenger or two on board I am now unable to remember or whether we still had cargo on board. I do remember we had cargo to load mainly large bales of hides, mostly cattle hides. I seem to remember wild cattle mentioned during loading, added to that we were not far from the South African border and the railway ran into Lourenco Marques from South Africa and down from the north also.

We, or I did, got quite a surprise when we got an invite to a cricket match... could we raise a team? The word spread though the ship. I don't think we quite made a team, we made up the eleven from spare British locals. In 1951 Lourenco Marques was a thriving port and railway junction. Then, British officials of kinds seemed to abound in all kinds of unlikely places. Oh, and the cricket match, I think we did managed to lose.

We were here 3 days, we all enjoyed  the hospitality of the local expatriates and the stories swapped.

1 comment:

Henric said...

Hello! Eric. I found an old wooden alligator I got from my now passed away grandfather. He was a sailor on the world seas from 16 years of age. The inscription carved into the bottom of the alligator says
"Remember Africa 1951
Lourenço Marques"
Great to read your post about this.
Best Regards Henric from Sweden