Marangu Hotel

Name ID 1653

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Extract Author: Shaun R S Conner
Page Number: 2004 08 09
Extract Date: 1947-1970

Shaun R S Conner - Arusha School 1963-1966

My family were coffee farmers in and around Arusha, Moshi, Oldiani from 1947 until about 1970.

My Uncle, Colonel Terence Conner was a well known character in Tanzania, from farming to sports. I am wondering if a history of the period has ever been written with information on the British farmers and indeed other farmers and their lives during that time.

I was at Arusha School from 1963 to 1966 and lived on a farm outside Moshi at a place called Waru Waru.

My father worked with my Uncle and they had a large farm at Oldiani then moved to Ogaden estate ouitside Arusha and thus to West Kilimanjaro before a compulsory purchase order was placed on all the 26 arable farms in West Kili in about 1975.

Shaun R S Conner

Forgive me, I think your email slipped by, and I have never responded to it. Life has been so busy, that I havenít had nearly as much time as I would have liked to devote to the web site.

Good to hear from you, and to add your name as another alumni of the school. My father was the rector of Christ Church in Arusha 1953-57 and visited many of the farms in the Oldeani area. His diaries are on the web site, and any names mentioned are indexed.

I donít know of any formal history of the area, and the British (and many other nationalities) farmers. There are lots of anecdotal accounts in various memories, some old, and some published fairly recently.

The main text Iíd love to find is an inventory of all the farms in the area carried out by the Custodian of Enemy property soon after WW2.

Try to find these three

http://www.ntz.info/gen/b00755.html

http://www.ntz.info/gen/b00055.html

http://www.ntz.info/gen/b00497.html

(more about David Read at http://www.serengetimasai.com/index.html)

Where are you now - have you been back to Tanzania?

Thank you for your email. Yes, I have been back to Tanzania since we left in 1966. As I say my Uncle continued to farm until 1975. I went back in 1988 to wedding at the Marangu Hotel in Moshi. Previous to that I did a trip with my Uncle in 1974 visiting all remaining friends in Oldiani, Arusha and Moshi.

My Uncle moved to live in Nairobi and I have literally been out so many times over the past 20 years to Kenya I couldn't say for sure how many. We have many friends in Kenya still.I love Africa! I will try and get the info you seek. I have a good contact in Moshi, Rennie Barnes and I think he has access to all sorts of info about the farms. I will try.

Shaun

Extract ID: 4827

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic
Page Number: 202
Extract Date: 1957

Marangu Hotel,

A second excellent hotel, the Marangu Hotel, run by Mr Bennett's sister-in-law a couple of miles away from the Kibo, completed the tourist trade infrastructure and climbers took off on a trek through the rainforest on the first stage of the 36-mile walk to the summit.

A river with a spectacular waterfall ran under a little bridge between the two hotels. Ice cold waters ran down the mountain and fed the Marangu Hotel swimming pool, perhaps the coldest in which I have ever swum. A glowing carpet of pink wild flowers covered the green verges of the road making Marangu a sylvan paradise from which from time to time one caught tantalizing glimpses of the snow-clad glory of Kibo and the black rocky fast-ness of Mawenzi, speckled sometimes with a hint of snow. The mighty mountain seemed to cast a spell on everyone. The Chagga had known since time immemorial that the gods dwelt there, so would never desecrate such a holy place. That Europeans should wish to climb to the top seemed stupid, pointless and profane.

Like all goddesses, the mountain hid her beauty coyly, some-times for days at a time behind wispy veils of gossamer tinged with the rainbow colours of the sky. The brooding spirit of the mountain, which seemed to follow one nearly everywhere one went in the Northern Province, never looking exactly the same and constantly fascinated me.

Another feature of Marangu was Nicholas Marko's bar, a short walk from the Kibo Hotel. I often went there after dinner for a chat and a drink with the locals, who kept me up to date with the latest intelligence, political and otherwise. The regulars included teachers, local government and cooperative officers, nurses and coffee farmers, and the conversation was always lively and amusing. As in Dar es Salaam, though usually the only European present, I was invariably treated with great courtesy. The latest hits from the Congo provided excellent background music.

Extract ID: 4383
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