Outlawing the In-laws on Both Sides

Gervas' parents Charles and Cecily Hughes on one of their many visits to Que Que standing outside Gervas' office 1930

Outlawing the In-laws on both sides
It was 1937 and after the trip to see the Seventh Wonder of the Natural World, Victoria Falls, Barbara returned with her parents to her childhood home of Herschel in the Cape, that she loved so much to await the the birth of her first child.

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A Dog’s Grave of a Garden

Greenham house 1936

A Dog’s Grave of a Garden

Greenham didn’t have a normal sign post to direct people. ‘The Big Tree,’ a massive Mukamba (pod mahogany) grew at the house turnoff, partly on the line of the Tiger Reef mine road. Gervas persuaded the road builders to spare his ‘sign post’, causing a kink half way along an otherwise perfectly straight five mile section of road.

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Getting Married in the Saddle

Barbara and her brother John at their family home Herschel in 1913

Getting Married in the Saddle

Barbara Forster Millard was the eldest child of Dr. Philip and Ursula Millard and had a privileged life as a doctor’s daughter. She was a tubby child. Her native name meant ‘Little Eyes on the Pot.’ As a baby she was happy and placid, with a white nanny in full uniform for some months and then an African nanny called Adeloo.

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Intoxications at Que Que Hotel

Intoxications-at-Que-Que-Hotel

Intoxications at Que Que Hotel
The Que Que Hotel, on Main Street, facing the Railway station, was run by ‘Hacker’ Matthews an ex-pugilist. Next to the hotel was a large wood and iron hall, where Hacker staged boxing matches. Foolishly, Gervas in his early days took on an local Afrikaner. He hit him. Nothing happened. When he hit back, that was the end of the fight.

Another tough local was Mr. Lucas, a ranch manager for the BSA Company, a tall powerful man, but lame. His visits to town were by mule-cart; to stop, he would grab a wheel with one hand. He would sit in the bar drinking, but never spoke. A young and too friendly police lad insisted on talking to him in the bar. Mr Lucas became annoyed by this distraction from his drinking and gave the lad a back hander without getting up, sending him across the room, through the swing doors, out for the count.

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A Suitable Girl in the Bundu

Gervas Hughes Two Ton Truck parked outside his office and workshop on First Street, Que Que 1928.

A Suitable Girl in the Bundu

Charles and Cecily Hughes had been trying to persuade Gervas to get married since 1922. He would hear nothing of it. He would choose his own bride. A decade went by.

On one of his earlier voyages from England to Africa, in 1909, to visit his sons (Gervas’ older half brothers) Charles spent time with President Theodore Roosevelt and Frederick Courteney Selous, the famous elephant hunter and explorer, who were friends and hunted together in East Africa. On a voyage in 1932, Charles and Cecily met a lovely South African girl, Barbara Forster Millard, who they thought would be just right for Gervas. He informed them firmly he was not interested.

Charles and Cecily Hughes had been trying to persuade Gervas to get married since 1922. He would hear nothing of it. He would choose his own bride. A decade went by.

A Suitable Girl in the Bundu

The sixteen voyages Charles Wylde Hughes made to Africa to visit his sons provided ample opportunity to meet interesting people from all over the world. In 1909, Charles spent time with President Theodore Roosevelt and Frederick Courteney Selous, the famous elephant hunter and explorer, who were friends and hunted together in East Africa.

Once Charles’ youngest son Gervas came of age, in 1922, they began to persuade him to get married. They were always on the look out for a suitable match. Gervas would hear nothing of it. He would choose his own bride. A decade went by. Then, by chance, on a voyage in 1932, Charles and Cecily met a lovely South African girl, Barbara Forster Millard, who they thought would be just right for Gervas. He informed them firmly he was not interested.

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Jacks of All Trades

Que Que's First Street, 1930. (Notice the baboon on the donkey's back)

Jacks of All Trades

When Gervas Hughes arrived back in Que Que in 1928 there was still no electric power for Que Que, but the G&P Mine supplied water from their pipeline, originating from the small cement weir above Sebakwe Poort. When the drought came there was not enough water so bore holes were put down in the vlei near Amaveni, along with some type of water-softening plant. On the same site was a native cemetery. Mr Edgar Smallman, being the town engineer, besides other things, managed the pumps. He said, “The graveyard gives the water body”.

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