Normal Topic My family arrived in Mauritius in late 1961 (Read 3,681 times)
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My family arrived in Mauritius in late 1961
10th Oct, 2007 at 4:30pm
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Name: Chris (southlea@btinternet.com) 
Date: Wed 12 Sep 2007 00:07:13 BST
Subject: HMS Mauritius.
  My family arrived in Mauritius in late 1961 and as Dad was the MPBW Stores man (Peter E J Pearce) he was on a 3 year tour of duty.
We arrived pre swimming pool days and dad and mum helped get the Civilians Adsmiralty Social Club Going. My self I arrived as a very tall 8 year old and ran with a few of the older teenagers due to my size.
We swam in the newly built pool prior to it being opened Wink Yeah, we climbed the gates when it was being built and tested and had a swim when it was being filled as it took about 2 days due to lack of water pressure.
I note my old Headmasters Comments. Agh yes! Commander Wood who I have never forgiven for caning me with a bamboo cane from the schools bamboo hedge. He proudly selected thin flexible canes to inflict more pain.
And befor anyone complains, if Cmdr Wood is still in Plymouth my memory has not failed and I still remember his bungalow at the end of the school building and his Morris Traveller Car (white I believe).
I had been warned of his love of his bamboo canes and was advised to put a thin writing book down my shorts, he caught my friend doing it and gave him extra lashes!
So when I wrongly got blamed and got called to his office I put some paper inside my pants so he did not notice when I got my "six of the best".
The school had a wide age range and we all had to try and be friends. Invited to the base commanders house by his daughter, her mother called her to one side and told her to send myself and Robert Dovey home as his father was not a navy officer and mine was not civvie officer status.
In three years my education hardly moved on from my good schooling in England. But then again we did enjoy the numerous impromptu days off when Cmdr Wood went for his regular meetings with the base Cammander at the Gymkhana Club for a round of Golf!

Of course there was no TV not that any of my friends had one back home in England! Supplied with old Morse code "tappers" we taped four wooden teleprinter roll centres (From the Comcen) together and had a torch bulb on top wired to a few batteries from Bagaruttis or Dunies Store
( opposoite the market) and communicated between the flats on the base using morse code.
We went to Sunday school on Saturday as families went to the beach on Sunday. The Navy ( driver waved a flag to indicate the way he was turning bus ) took us to Bishop Allans house ( Anglican Bishop for Mauritius and various other Indian Ocean islands)
and afterwards to Trafalgar hall for saturday morning cartoons and kids films. Main kids feature film was on Monday night.
The odd matelot braved the kids time at the Monday cinema sitting and many a kid got a cuff from them when half a polo mint was dropped in a kids bottle of coke and they tried to control the "fountain" that erupted soaking all around Wink
Sandays at the original Le Chaland Wooden buildings and then the "them AND us" centre. Officers one side and us others at the other side. The only difference being the Officers got White Table cloths with a blue Navy Motif and the "Others" got Blue Table Cloths with the same motif in white!
As kids we were banned from using the local buses, did that stop some of us? Like ++++ it did.
Port Louis by bus was fine until we saw some of our dads in Navy Transport on way to the docks, and we never gave it a thought that the chap who ran the merchant seamans club in Port Louis would actually report our coke buying sprees on our adventures to the city.
As 8 to 16 year year olds the car or Navy bus ride to Flic En Flac seemed an easy bike ride, until we tried it. Telling parents we were at the pool we headed off for a day at the beach, down hill it was an easy ride! We swam in our clotes and dried out on the way home before darkness fell and we slowly climbed hundred of feet uphill home to Vacoas, sneeking in the side door of the cineama a though we had been their all through the film if any adults at home had missed us.
A day out in the holidays often started with a trip to the Coca Cola factory to hide in the bushes by the exit gate and get supplies for a days escape as the lorries went out to deliver Wink
Food of course was our favourite chilli cakes made on a scrubbed pavement slab. The RN hospital assured our concerned parents that the hot oil they were cooked in killed any potential dangers!
Of course we were very green even in the early sities, the coke bottles we "borrowed" from the Coke factory were returned to Bagaruttis or Dunies as the deposit on the empties supplemented our meagre pocket money Smiley
More to follow !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  

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Re:  My family arrived in Mauritius in late 1
Reply #1 - 10th Oct, 2007 at 4:30pm
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Name: Martin Randle (admin@hmsmauritius.co.uk) 
Date: Wed 12 Sep 2007 17:55:53 BST
Subject: Response
  Hi Chris,
What a remarkable memory you have - all those episodes as a kid certainly struck home! I think the 60's was a great time to be a kid no matter where on this planet you were. Look forward to reading more of your epistle. Realy good that you took the time and trouble - it should jog a few memories.
Regards
Martin and Chris

  

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