George Six

Name ID 1456

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris
Page Number: 215a
Extract Date: 1950's

Dr. George Six

Dr. George Six, a London physician, was an unlikely member of Tanganyika's hunting community. He had come to Africa not with the intention of practicing medicine, but to purchase a farm. Six and his English wife, Mary (nee Bell), the daughter of a judge, rented a house outside Arusha. George soon made the acquaintance of Jacky Hamman at Arusha's government administration building, known as the boma, where Hamman was purchasing game licenses for one of his safaris.

The suave and sophisticated George Six was Hamman's diametric opposite in every way - in physique, temperament, education, intellect, and background - yet the two became firm friends.

Once settled in Arusha Dr. Six opened a gun shop next door to the Safari Hotel where Lawrence-Brown Safaris, Jacky Hamman's outfit, was located. He then purchased two thousand acres in Tanganyika's densely wooded Kiru Valley, south of Lake Manyara. The farm was virgin bushland and lay close beside the wall of the Great Rift Valley, only a few miles from Magara, where Bror and Cockie von Blixen had once lived at Singu Estates. George's acreage was in Tsetse Fly country and useless for domestic animals because of the deadly tsetse-borne disease, trypanosomiasis. In such regions in Tanzania there is an almost total absence of human settlements due to tsetse flies, but nearly always there is an unusual abundance of wildlife, and the Kiru Valley was no exception. In the 1950s it was chock-full of game, particularly elephant, rhino, and buffalo, and provided plenty of sport for the hunting enthusiast.

Extract ID: 3834

See also

nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Geoff Jones
Page Number: 2004 11 12
Extract Date: 1954

Geoff Jones - Arusha School 1954?

I had a chat with Mark Morgan the other day and he mentioned that he had come across your site.

My name is Geoff Jones and I went out to Arusha in 1954 with my family. My father,Bryn had been appointed Chaplain Master to the school the rest of the family included my mother Pat, my sister Eira and young brother Huw.

The Headmaster at the time was Cyril Hamshere, other members of staff included H A Jones, ‘ Lanky’ Johnson and of course Bill ‘Corky’ Morgan. We had a wonderful life out there running pretty wild with the Morgan boys. My Dad became Head after Cyril Hamshere and stayed there until the end of 1969 when he returned to the U.K. to take up a Parish in South Wales.

I have had a great time looking through all the information on the site and will continue to do so. I was particularly interested to read about George Six who was a friend of Dad’s. His son Eric is now a Neuro surgeon in Texas and we met up earlier this year at an Iringan re union. I will continue to be in touch.

Thanks for your email, and the "news".

You must have arrived in Arusha a year after me. What age were you then? I was at Arusha School 1953 (aged 7) to 1957. My father was the Rector at Christ Church, just across the river Themi from the school.

I think your father was followed by David Nettelbeck as the headmaster. He went on to write a thesis about the school, and I’m hoping to get a copy in the next week or two to add to the web site.

Do please have look through your old photo albums and see if you can find a few which will be interesting to visitors to the web site.

Extract ID: 4894

See also

nTZ Feedback
Page Number: 2004 12 30
Extract Date: 1955-58

Eric Six - Arusha School 1955 - 1958

My name is Eric Six, Geoff Jones gave me your website, and it was fascinating to read about folks about whom I had not thought in years, surprisingly I was more familiar with the adult names than fellow students. I attended Arusha 1955 to 1958, then went on to Iringa, where I stayed till it closed in1963. There were only a handful that saw the entire life of StM & StG. I completed High School at Prince of Wales in Nairobi.

For those that knew me in school it comes as a surprise that I eventually became a Neurosurgeon, as I have to confess being a fairly lousy student, being more familiar with the tacky, and cane or cricket bat (if you crossed HA Jones); than with prizes in the school magazine. I too was brought up in the bush, in Kiru Valley about 100 miles from Arusha on the way to Babati.( David you were familiar with North Lewis, they lived about 25 miles from us off the Singida road.) Hunting was a way of life on the farm, but after doing that much hunting as a youth, I shoot only with a camera now.

David, I noticed that Elizabeth Palfry also lives in Texas---- I would appreciate you giving her my web address if she would like to write. I am familiar with her Dad, through my parents of course. Funnily enough I also knew Pete Hugo, and a number of the farmers from the Olmolog area.

I was sitting here trying to recall the names of classmates from 50 years ago with little success.

Geoff Jones (BLs son),

Corky Morgan {Father's namesake the old man liked to pull on your ears.},

Gerald Hunwick, {TFA}

John Cashin {PWD},

Clara De Liva,

Paul Marsh,

David Ulyate {farm},

Leslie Hague {The Beehive Restaurant}

Bizarrely I cannot recall but the one girl!

(Fritz Jacobs, Erik Larsen.Klaus Gaitja, Alex Zikakis, Hannes Matasen, Ivo Santi Barry Jones Louis van Royen Kevin Legrange were on either side of us) I am told that George Angelides still lives in Arusha and has a great reputation as a hunter guide.

Do you remember that little dog of Hamshire's, the miserable devil loved to chase us, I happened to be amongst those she caught and got bitten by, I still have the scar..

Sorry about all the parentheses but saves a whole lot of explaining.

After independence my Dad built a number of hotels in Tanzania ,amongst them Lobo lodge, Ngorongoro crater lodge ( the hotel on the rim just before getting to the original rondavels) and rebuilt the hotel on manyara escarpment, those all happened in the late 60's. They also managed Hotels in Zanzibar, and Dar-- the New Africa and Kilimanjaro being better known.

Enough from me. Please remember to pass my address to Elizabeth.

Dear Eric,

I am just catching up with things after Christmas, and realise that I didn’t reply to your email from 30 November. However, I was away in Zambia for most of the month of December.

By bcc I am copying Elizabeth Palfry with your email, and shall leave it to her to get in touch with you.

Thanks for all your memories of Arusha and Tanzania. If you ever have time to write more, do please keep in touch. I hope to have your email up on the web site in the next few days. You will also be interested in a History of Arusha School (up to 1971) which will be available in full. I found it a fascinating read, and help me to understand some of the things that happened at the school, which made no sense to me back in 1953-57.

You mention the North-Lewis’s. I think that when we left Arusha in 1957 we gave them one of our dogs, which within a few weeks was eaten by a leopard!

Did you find the photo, probably of their home, at http://www.ntz.info/gen/n00452.html#04078. I seem to remember on that trip that a snake was found under our car, and it had to be shot before we could leave!

You mention Paul Marsh – my brother!

Thanks again for you memories – keep them coming

Extract ID: 4962

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris
Page Number: 215b
Extract Date: 1956

Six becomes a director

When George Six decided to take up hunting as a full-time occupation, Jacky Hamman helped him get the experience he needed to qualify for a professional hunter's license. It was Jacky who told Stan about George and what a great asset he would be to Stan's outfit. When Lawrence-Brown met George he agreed with Jacky's assessment. The relationship proved beneficial - Six invested in Stan's firm, and in 1956 he became a director and one-third shareholder of Lawrence-Brown Safaris.

George eagerly took up big game hunting and Hamman was his mentor. Between professional safaris the pair hunted elephant together in every corner of Tanganyika. Jacky's influence was apparent with George's choice of a heavy rifle. Unlike Jacky, George was big, powerfully built, and strong, but like Jacky he exclusively used a .577 Manton box-lock double rifle.

Hamman, the experienced hunter, returned George's admiration. "That George is something else," Jacky liked to say. "He can tell you about removing an appendix, fixing a diesel injector, give the Latin name for some kind of mud fish, or you can ask him about the muzzle velocity of anything, and he can damn well tell you right now."

Extract ID: 3835

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris
Page Number: 216
Extract Date: 1956

Leni Riefenstahl

Although George Six had long ago given up his urban existence in favor of a wanderer's life of adventure, he maintained excellent contacts in Europe, especially in the French and German movie communities. Although George was of mixed English-French parentage, he spoke the King's English, as well as fluent French, Spanish, Swahili, and German.

One of George Six's numerous international acquaintances was the controversial German flimmaker Leni Riefenstahl. Leni had been one of the women admired by Adolf Hitler, and she was also Germany's most famous movie actress, having won acclaim for performances in The Blue Light and The Holy Mountain. Riefenstahl made the admired Olympia about the 1936 Berlin Olympics for Hitler, and that is where she first met George Six. In his varied career, George had participated in the 1936 Berlin Olympics as a member of the British swimming team. During subsequent travels Six had taken up photography, first as a hobby, later as a profession. While on assignment as a Life magazine photographer in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, he worked with pioneer underwater photographer Hans Haas.

In 1956 George became reacquainted with Leni Riefenstahl when she asked him to help her make a full-length documentary film about the slave trade in East Africa. George invited me to join him on the Riefenstahl safari, which lasted over seven months and traveled through Kenya, Uganda, and the Belgian Congo. Leni's movie was called Schwarz Fracht, or Black Cargo.

For some reason during a preliminary survey of Kenya before filming was to begin, Riefenstahl was driving George's specially built, woodenbodied, shooting-brake Willys Jeep. The heavy car went into a fast skid on a rough stretch of graveled road leading to the Tana River near Garissa Bridge, rolled down an embankment, and came to rest upside down. Luckily for Leni, George was aboard, because in the accident she suffered a concussion and a deep gash to the head. She was also badly bruised and had sprained her neck. George suffered a broken kneecap and a broken wrist. From his medicine chest in the car, George washed and stitched Leni's head wound. In those days safaris did not have radio telephones. Instead, a Nairobi radio station would broadcast messages to white hunters listening out in the bush after the regular BBC world news broadcast each evening. In an emergency it was necessary to find an administrative outpost and hope that it had radio contact with Nairobi.

On the remote Tana River road traffic was scarce, but fortunately for Leni a police Land Rover happened to be passing George's crashed Jeep, and the police inspector drove Six and Riefenstahl into the Somali township of Garissa. At that time there was no flying doctor service, but the police radioed headquarters in Nairobi. My uncle, Norris Kirkham, of the Kenya Police Air Wing, was sent to rescue Leni and George. After a stay at Nairobi Hospital Leni returned to Germany before resuming her safari with us. She came back wearing a neck brace, accompanied by a number of German cameramen and technicians, along with her assistant, the gracious Hanni (Isle) Lanske.

* Leni Riefenstahl's film Black Cargo contained excellent wildlife footage, but it was generally regarded as a flop at the box office.

Extract ID: 3836

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris
Page Number: 204c
Extract Date: 1957

Stan Lawrence-Brown's lieutenants

Stan Lawrence-Brown wasted no time in recruiting lieutenants. He had brought with him from Kenya a young and talented hunter named David Ommanney . Ommanney had worked for both Stan and Dave Lunan during their partnership, having begun his apprenticeship with them in 1952. At Arusha Jacky Hamman came on board, followed in 1957 by hunters George Six, Derrick Dunn, Brian Herne, Nick Swan, and, in 1960 a very good Kenya hunter, Mike Hissey, and Stan's brother, Geoff. On a casual basis Stan hired Douglas Collins, Lars Figgenshou, and, for a time, Greg Hemingway (youngest son of Ernest). Greg's older brother, Patrick Hemingway, was a hunter with Russell's Whores and Shauris, just down the road.

Lawrence-Brown also employed casual hunters and "stooges" Arthur Squiers, Bob Robertson, Royce Buckle, Bruno Crone, Jon Hall, and store manager Dave Turner-Dauncey.

Extract ID: 3827

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris
Page Number: 212b
Extract Date: 1960~

Black Mamba

Hamman conducted a safari to his favorite place in central Tanganyika, known as the Yaida Valley. One morning Hamman and his client made a stalk on a big salt and pepper-maned lion. As the hunters crept forward a black mamba raised itself from the grass and struck Jacky in the thigh. Within seconds his leg ballooned to twice its normal size, turned beef red, and Jacky knew he was in bad trouble. He sat down, sending his gunbearer rushing back to the hunting car for his Fitzsirnmons snakebite serum. Meantime the trophy lion, which had been feeding on a kill, looked up. Seeing the hunters it bounded away. Jacky rigged a makeshift tourniquet with a belt in hopes of slowing the venom. When the gunbearer returned with the special mamba serum, Jacky injected himself twice, once into the snakebite, and once in the upper arm, hoping to get the serum into his heart before the venom got there. Miraculously Jacky survived the snakebite. He was very sick for a long time, and in town he relied on the advice of his friend Dr. George Six, whose wide-ranging interests included herpetology.

Extract ID: 3833

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris
Page Number: 217b
Extract Date: 1960's

Live venomous snakes

George Six remained in Arusha for some years after the death of his good friend. Besides his chosen career as white hunter, Six kept up his other remarkably varied interests. The former physician obtained a contract to supply live venomous snakes to American research groups. As dense bush was cleared on his Kiru Valley coffee plantation, enormous anthills were uncovered. George had a tractor driver knock down the anthills with a bulldozer. This usually revealed an amazing number of snakes living in these abandoned cementhard anthills. Once the 'dozer blade leveled the anthill, George would dash into the rubble and catch snakes. He often held the snakes with a forked "catching" stick, then grabbed them in his bare hands, holding them behind the neck, then by the tail. He would hold the snake at arm's length with the reptile's head facing the ground. Some days the catch would total as many as thirty venomous snakes, everything from boomslangs to black mambas and puff adders. George carefully catalogued the snakes, then placed them in fine wire-mesh cages for shipment.

While Six assisted with safaris for Stan Lawrence-Brown, his farm was managed by a salty old Australian named Bill Aherne. The plantation was regarded as a model, especially as George had ingeniously built gravity-fed irrigation canals that stretched for miles. Six was to suffer a terrible accident on the farm when his leg was crushed while he worked beneath a crawler tractor. The accident forced him to quit professional hunting. When Tanganyika became Tanzania, the newly independent government nationalized all the farms and most private businesses. George, who had put every cent he had into his Kiru Valley coffee farm, lost everything, and shortly afterward Mary, his wife, died of a heart attack.

Extract ID: 3838

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris
Page Number: 218
Extract Date: 1960's

Seronera Wildlife Lodge

Later, the new Tanzania government persuaded George [Six] to design game-viewing lodges on the western Serengeti Plains. One was built at Seronera, the other at Lobo, both major tourist destinations.

George moved into a seafront home at Oyster Bay, near Tanzania's capital of Dar es Salaam, where he opened a design office. Tanzania has always been short of European women, much less those who were members of the intelligentsia. George was fortunate to meet his second wife, an Ohio-born Irish-American named Marty Lanning, through a magazine for members of the Mensa Society. In 1980 the excesses of Tanzania's radical socialist government became too much, even for tolerant George Six. With one suitcase, George left to settle in America, where he became a designer of aquatic gardens for the city of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Extract ID: 3839
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