Thursday, 29 November 2012

Chapter 17 Oom Piet

I got to know Oom (Uncle) Piet in 1970 when my cousin married his daughter. Later on he was the Stationmaster at Thompson Junction when I was transferred there as a Centralised Train Controller.

We were both avid fishermen and caught Tiger fish in the Zambezi river. He was actually the one that taught me to catch Tiger, but I am transgressing.

Oom Piet was going to Bulawayo with the mail train and I asked him to buy me an arc welder while he was in town.

When he arrived back from Bulawayo I heard him from miles away shouting at me. What had happened was this.

He bought the welder and had to cart it to the train at Bulawayo station. Those who know the station know that you have to walk around the end of the train in order to embark, meaning the trains were pushed backwards into the station. This meant walking some distance in order to get to your compartment.

This welder weighed around 30 kilos and was packed in a box.

When the train stopped at Thompson Junction, Oom Piet shouted to me to come and collect this piece of lead because he was not going to carry it one yard further.

We got on famously and Oom Piet has since retired and living with his daughter and son in law in Durban. Sadly Oom Piet died in 2006.

Ref. Rhodesia

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