Review of All For Nothing? My Life Remembered - Heritage

C. G. Tracey 
All For Nothing?  My Life Remembered

Reviewed by M. J. Kimberley¨
for Heritage of Zimbabwe (27) December, 2009.  

This book records the recollections of C. G. Tracey (known to all nowadays as CG) who was born in Gutu on the 31st December of 1923 and died on 20th July, 2009. He was educated at Ruzawi an Anglican private school in Marondera and then at Blundells, a well-known English public school founded in about 1570.

All his life CG has been a farmer initially at Handley Cross near Chakari and subsequently at Mount Lothian opposite Ewanrigg National Park in the Arcturus District.

As a practical farmer, CG was very successful, and his farming activities became very diverse embracing animal husbandry involving pigs, cattle (Jersey, Charalois, Limousins), and sheep where he was involved in developing Wiltipers, a new breed. He also grew crops of various kinds including maize, especially hybrid seed maize, cotton (300 acres) and soya beans. He also produced flower seed (zinnias, calendulas, petunias and marigolds) for export to international seed houses in America as well as vegetable seed including tomato and lettuce.

CG was very enterprising in his farming work and there are a number of examples of this. Soya beans were widely grown in the USA and Brazil in maize areas but in this country the low yields made the crop unpopular with farmers. CG approached research complexes in the USA and imported varieties from there as well as from Colombia, Brazil and West Africa which he grew on Handley Cross and this provided the impetus for our government plant breeders to develop new varieties and, today, soya beans are the most important oil-seed crop in this country.

With the advent of sanctions following UDI in 1965 and the resulting currency restrictions canned tomato products could no longer be imported. CG carried out research in England and 25mg vardenafil buy South Africa, had tomato cutters, pulpers and screening units made in Rhodesia, and after some experimentation began to produce very popular canned tomato juice with a twelve-month shelf-life from his own tomato crop.

It was not surprising that a successful farmer like CG was drawn into service in organised agriculture in this country. He was Chairman of the Pig Breeders Association and represented that Association on the Council of the RNFU and served that Council as one of its two Vice Presidents. He served as President of the Commercial Cotton Growers Association and as a board member of the Pig Industry Board and the Agricultural Marketing Authority. Way back in 1975, CG became Chairman of Tobacco Sales Limited, a public company listed on the Stock Exchange, which operated the tobacco sales auction floor, and became a conglomerate involved in many activities.

CG was extremely keen on horses and participated successfully in jumping and horse-riding arena events at the Salisbury and Bulawayo Shows. His love of horses led to playing polo and prescription viagra prices he and his brother Martin were members of the Chakari Polo team. CG started a commercial Stud and he describes an amusing tale of how during sanctions he purchased at Tattersalls’ brood-mare sales at Newmarket a filly bred at the Royal Stud at Sandringham and sold to him by Queen Elizabeth.

He was a keen competitor at agricultural shows and won prizes for cattle, pigs and sheep regularly at the Salisbury and Bulawayo shows and even competed with success at the Rand Easter Show. In 1996 he and his wife were presented with a silver rose bowl for exhibiting their livestock at the Salisbury/Harare Show for 50 consecutive years.

CG was a director of many companies not only agricultural but also commercial and industrial and he was chairman of the Zimbabwe Banking Corporation for a number of years and of the Zimbabwe promotion Council which made such a major contribution towards putting Rhodesia and amoxil without prescription then Zimbabwe on the map.

His story ends with a chapter on compulsory land acquisition and land invasions throughout Zimbabwe and, finally a very sad chapter on the loss of his own farm and his continuing fight for it through the courts.

CG lived an interesting and exciting life and he has told his story well. The book of 327 pages was beautifully printed in Mauritius and is a credit to CG, to his publishers Weaver Press of Harare, and to the many people who helped and advised him.

I have no hesitation in recommending that all our members purchase the book. It is available at bookshops or if necessary direct from Weaver Press.

There are still others in Zimbabwe who have made major contributions to what used to be a wonderful country and who have a tale to tell about their lives. Hopefully, the publication of this book will encourage them to put pen to paper as CG has done. CG captures the importance of this in his prologue with the words ‘the recollections of many of my generation will be lost forever unless they are recorded now’.