Once Called Home

Memories from a dusty outpost in the veld.


Whitewashed Jacarandas

By Diana Polisensky

A young Jewish doctor, married to a gentile, confronts dread disease, Victorian work practices, race prejudice and municipal complacency in an African Colony after WWII.

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About Whitewashed Jacarandas

Hope Looms in a Vast Land Wide Open with Possibilities…

Jobs are scarce after WWII but Doctor Sunny Rubenstein lands an appointment in Southern Africa at a gold mine. Attached to it is the smallest municipality in the world, Umzimtuti. Surgically competent and self sufficient, Sunny anticipates a free rein in this backwater where dread disease is still commonplace. He needs to save his marriage to Mavourneen and overcome the mine management, the hospital matron and the entrenched mayor to bring Umzimtuti into the 20th century.

He decides to stand for council but Mavourneen and the small Jewish community worry that rising hostilities in Palestine against British occupation threaten his chances. Furthermore, King George VI and the Royal Family are due to stop off for afternoon tea at the Railway Park on their Victory Tour. Though Empire is on the wane, fervor for King and Empire have never been higher in Umzimtuti.

Based on real events, this is the story of conflicting values, small minds and big ideals of a Colonial era that is seldom portrayed.

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About Diana Polisensky

Diana Polisensky is a recluse living in a tree house on the edge of the Pacific. When colonialism was still respectable she was born into a medical family and grew up in a swimming pool in Africa. She crossed the Atlantic as a young woman and experienced life on all three American coasts, ending her career in genetic engineering behind the hedges at Rice University in the Lone Star State. Whitewashed Jacarandas marks the first installment in an epic saga chronicling the end of the colonial experience in Southern Rhodesia.

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