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Coronation Celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II
Mwinilunga District, June 1953

While Richard (Tim) Dening was District Commissioner in Mwinilunga District, Northern Rhodesia, Queen Elizabeth's coronation took place. Tim was given 25 to organize celebrations in the District. He arranged a varied show programme for the day-time and an evening fireworks display (which would be a totally unique and never-before seen event for the local tribes). All the local chiefs and villagers were invited.

The show programme included traditional dancers, a variety of sports, a scout parade and a baby show.

The Baby Show

The Kapita 'baby'.

Elisabeth (Betty) Dening, Tim's wife was in charge of organizing and judging the Baby Show. The show went ahead (despite advice from the Head Messenger who had told her that he thought it was an unwise idea, because all the Mamas would want their babies to win).

There were two categories for entry: Birth to 6 months and 6 to 18 months. However, entrants included children of school age (no argument involved!) The Kapita 'baby' (left) was one of the competitors.

Every entrant had to have a prize. Betty came up with bars of Sunlight soap and small bags of sugar for everyone.

 

The Fireworks Show

Chief Kanongesha All the local chiefs were present for the show day and the finale fireworks display, sitting on carefully arranged rows of kitchen chairs covered with lions' skins, as befitting their rank and importance.

Not only had none of the local people ever seen a firework before, Tim had never actually set one off before either! He and his Junior Officer in the Administration had earlier set up an array of rockets in a row. When it came time to start the display, the first rocket was lit, but misfired, coming down right in the middle of all the assembled chiefs.

Before anyone could draw breath, they had all disappeared, fleeing in terror along with the villagers, leaving the fireworks display to be admired solely by the remaining administrators!

 

Picture Gallery of the Day.

Queens' coronation celebrations in Mwinilunga, Northern Rhodesia - Hunting dance.. Queens' coronation celebrations in Mwinilunga, Northern Rhodesia - Ikishi katotoji
Hunting Dance - Katomboka
 
Ikishi Katotoji
 
Queens' coronation celebrations in Mwinilunga, Northern Rhodesia - Chief Sailunga Queens' coronation celebrations in Mwinilunga, Northern Rhodesia - Chief's drummer.
Chief Sailunga
 
Chief's Drummer
 
Queens' coronation celebrations in Mwinilunga, Northern Rhodesia - Lunda crowning ceremony. The baby show!
Lunda Crowning Ceremony
 
The Baby Show.
 
Queens' coronation celebrations in Mwinilunga, Northern Rhodesia - the three-legged race. Tito Ngambi winning the cycle race.
The three-legged race. Tito Ngambi winning the Cycle Race

 

 

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Website: Copyright B.Corker 2008     Images: Copyright EGL Dening 2008