The first of three articles about Ron Morkel’s family. In his book Rhodesia. Beginning to End, he described how his grandfather Arthur took six months, fighting swollen rivers and bouts of malaria, to reach Salisbury in 1891. He overcame many hardships to establish a prime farm, Ceres near Shamva and also two successful small gold mines. A fascinating insight into the early years of Rhodesia and the story of a remarkable pioneer.
More from Ron Morkel’s book. Cliff attended St Andrew’s college in Grahamstown and was barely back in Rhodesia when his father Arthur posted him for 5 years at an isolated and desolate gold mine near the Mozambique border. He served in Abyssinia and Kenya during World War II and on his return established Mazuri cattle ranch, near Que Que. He nurtured the wild life on the ranch, including a magnificent herd of sable antelope.
In the third part from his book we meet the author, Ron Morkel. After attending St Andrew’s he managed Mazuri Ranch and after his father Cliff passed away, became its owner. He spent 14 years as a part time soldier fighting Mugabe’s terrorists. In addition to running the cattle ranch he also supplied the chrome mine bordering his ranch with timber, meat and groceries. Later he and neighbours hosted carefully selected trophy hunters on the farm, as part of a carefully managed wild life project. By 1978 it was obvious that there was no future in Rhodesia and he left the magnificent ranch behind, taking only $2,000 they were allowed. The family first went to Ireland, his wife’s home country, and later to the US.