The Queen Mother’s Visit

The Queen Mother’s Visit

The Queen Mother opened the Park Headquarter’s at Paraa – place of hippos in 1959. Earlier in 1954 Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Phillip had visited Uganda towards the end of their world tour. The Acoli royal traditional dance – Bwola was performed for Her Majesty. In a performance at Entebbe Airport, Edward Omara G. C. led the dancing team and carried the Min Bull – the Mother Drum of the Paimol clan living in north east Acoli District. With his team of Acoli Royal dancers he was at hand once again for the Queen Mother’s royal tour.

The Queen Mother’s visit was short- just staying one night. For such a short visit the worry was the English conversation piece – the weather, and the animals of course – will they behave and be available and easy to see.

On the day all was fine. The animals gathered at the watering hole in the Noah’s Ark fashion. A pride of lions had apparently “starved” for the royal for the visit. They performed the group hunt technique of stalk and pounce. At night the moon light was magnificent, at safe distance hippo shapes were seen to leave the water to the Nile to graze on the river bank, and elephant shapes and silhouettes moved freely in the distance.

Then at dinner Sergeant-Footman Taylor’s elephant moment came. He was the man for all occasions. His voice was strong and sonorous; and the announcement came:

“Your majesty there is an elephant at the door.”

And there the elephant was.

Light-heartedly chronicled by, Rennie Berre. C.M.G in “A Cuckoo’s Parting Cry”. Life and Work in Uganda 1930-1960 (Cedar Publishing Ltd. Cheltenham. UK 1990).

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