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!