The Jubilee Bicycle Parade 1950


Beehive of Industry Jubilee Bicycle Parade

Last week I wrote about the float winners at the Que Que Jubilee Celebration of Rhodesia in 1950.  This week I am continuing with the bicycle parade that accompanied it.  There were all kinds of entries: clowns, and fairies, goblins and witches, Noddy in his little red toy car and Mr. Plod the Policeman on his bicycle, Mary with her little lamb and Doctor Foster in top hat and tails.  However, this is how decision making on what to be went at our house.

The Jubilee Bicycle Parade 1950

Dad was always telling us over the dinner table that Que Que was going to be the industrial hub of the country.  “The Globe and Phoenix Mine is rich, but it’s not gold that holds the real promise here: it’s the Iron and Steel Works.  All kinds of spin offs, secondary industries, can be attracted to Que Que if we play our cards right.  “Yes!” he’d say, as he sliced decisively through the Sunday roast, “Que Que will be the hive of industry.”

When the topic of the Jubilee Parade came up my mother had an inspiration.  Knowing full well Dad wasn’t into fun and games she said, “I’ve got a brainwave!  Diana, why don’t you go as the beehive of industry?  You’ll be the town symbol.  I’ll make your bee costume and we can decorate your tricycle with honey suckle vine.  The bees do love it so!” she enthused. “ Let’s hope it will portend the industry that will swarm to Que Que. What do you all say?”

Dad was agreeable, “I can go along with that,” he said.  Did Mother have a way or what!   (I was learning fast).

“Well,” my mother continued while the going was good.  “What about you boys?  What would you like to go as?”

“I’m not that interested,” said my older brother.

“Well there is going to be a five shilling prize for first place.”  My mother knew what worked for who.

“I could make an engine for my bicycle so I don’t have to pedal so hard up hill,” he replied.

“We’ll that’s an ambitious project,” my father said.  “But practical.  That’s what I like to see!  How are you going to go about it?”

“I haven’t figured it out, yet.”

“Well its coming up soon.  Better get cracking.  Apply yourself.”

“Dad!” I pointed out. “It’s supposed to be fun!” Turning to my big brother, I instructed,  You’ll have to decorate your motor.  It’s a fancy dress parade, after all.”

“I don’t want anything to get in the way of the mechanics and jam things up,” he countered.  I bet I’ll win first prize anyway,”

“No you won’t!”

“Now you two,” said my mother, cork up.  “David, lets put our heads together.  “You’re such a bright spark, why don’t you go as the candle of enlightenment?”

“What’s that?” he asked (he was only 3).

“Well its bringing the light of knowledge to the dark continent…Africa…something like that,” my mother explained.

“Why does there have to be some higher meaning to everything?  I don’t think anyone will get it,” objected  Brian.

“It doesn’t matter,” Mom said. “We can have fun on all sorts of levels.  I’ll go to Slomans Lumber Yard and see what I can find,” she persisted unperturbed.  All we need is a big white tube to fit over his body for the candle and a cardboard crown for a flame.  They’ll have just the thing.  They always do.  It’s as good as done.”

“Its going to be a bit restrictive for him,” my father pointed out practically. “In all fairness, I can’t see him lasting long in it.  I’m staking my odds on Que Que: The Beehive of Industry!


  • Pat S.

    Reply Reply June 5, 2010

    I love your mother, Diana! She was such a positive thinker with a “can do” attitude. It feels that life was very good for your family in Que Que. Love, Pat

    • Diana

      Reply Reply June 6, 2010


      Thanks, Mom had a charisma about her. Yes, our lives were full, free and purposeful. It was a wonderful life. We just didn’t appreciate it at the time of course.


  • Betty

    Reply Reply June 5, 2010

    Actually, Diana, all of your Mum’s attributes of positive thinking and “can do” spirit went straight into your DNA. I have seen you work your feminine wiles on Jan so many times…and who can say “no” to you anyway!!! I am caught up in the spirit of the big parade and how all the townspeople participated wholly in whatever was planned for the community. I would adore to meet Policeman Plod and Noddy and all the quaint and interesting characters in your book…a whole nother world from Texas! Love the costume and the little Mary Janes….the honeysuckle looks a little pitiful, as do your wagon wheels!! It looked like great fun….I have gone back in time because of your reminescing!

    • Diana

      Reply Reply June 6, 2010


      You can meet Mr. Plod the Policeman and Noddy and Big Ears. They were characters in Enid Blyton’s series of Noddy books for young children dating back to the late 40’s. They were standard fare for English kids and all the colonies. They went out of favour later for politically correct reasons, but they were innocent, reflecting the times and I think they have made a comeback. Yes, English culture is a lot softer somehow than American and children’s books do reflect that I think. What are Mary Janes? Are they the black patent leather round toed shoes with the button over strap? They were for special occasions only! Honeysuckle wilts the minute you cut it. You can imagine what it looked like in the heat by the end of the parade! What do you mean, the tricycle was state of the art 1950! I was so proud of it! A picture is worth a thousand words but I do believe putting it in context gives it depth. You are such a creative writer yourself, try this format with your own album.


  • LoveFeast Table

    Reply Reply June 7, 2010

    What a precious photo!! I love your hair!! How did the other bikes turn out? Did the candle costume enlighten others? Did your brother come up with a motor?

    • Diana

      Reply Reply June 8, 2010

      My mother used to plait my hair and then cross them over my head. As Dad predicted, the motorised bike was a bit ambitious. The candle costume was a bit restrictive and David didn’t last long in it. I think Mom had the most fun in making the costumes. Mom and Dad seemed to have a lot of grass roots philosophy which passed over most peoples heads but everyone was happy on thier own level of interpretation. We had a lot of fun.

      Love the concept of your blog site. so much of our lives centered around the dining table together brainstorming, sharing dreams, troubles and so on. It was a great time to be young. Great to see you reviving it.


  • Jan

    Reply Reply June 7, 2010

    Let me get my tricycle and I’ll join you in a flash

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