Rhodesia Beginning to End – Arthur, Cliff and Ron Morkel

Ron Morkel who now lives in North Carolina is the grandson of Arthur Loreth Rubidge Morkel who in 1891 made the arduous six month journey to Salisbury at a time that Cecil John Rhodes and Leander Starr Jamieson were establishing the colony which became Rhodesia.  Ron wrote a book Rhodesia. Beginning to End which is about the three generations of this Morkel family, and also about Rhodesia as a country – from its beginnings with Rhodes, until the end when  Mugabe took over.  Like most Rhodesians, Ron had to leave his wife and children alone on the cattle ranch for weeks on end while serving in the army fighting terrorists. They emigrated in 1978 with only the allowed $2,000, leaving a magnificent ranch with livestock and wildlife behind. His wife Brigid was from Ireland and that is where they settled first, before moving to the US, where Brigid worked as a nurse and Ron established a taxidermy business in Florida. He later moved on to other activities in North Carolina.

Rhodesia Parts 1,2,and 3 under ‘Morkel Ancestors’ on the website are about Arthur, Cliff and Ron.  Arthur endured almost unbelievable hardships getting established in Rhodesia.  They took six months to trek with a donkey wagon from Johannesburg to Salisbury, waiting weeks for flooded rivers to subside and recuperating from debilitating bouts of malaria.  Arthur eventually developed a magnificent farm near Shamva as well as two small  gold mines.  His son Cliff worked for five years in isolation at their gold mine in desolate country close to the Mocambique border.  Cliff served in the army in Abyssinia during the second world war and afterwards established the Mazuri cattle and wildlife ranch near Que Que.  Son Ron eventually took over on the Ranch while also spending fourteen years fighting terrorists.

Ron kindly supported my efforts to extract the three stories from his book, and they are amazing to read.


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