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October 23, 2017

Last of the Rhodesians

What do you mean,

Last of the Rhodesians?

To quote Ernie, “Well, we are getting a bit thin on the ground”

Last of the Rhodesians, or LOTR is a Facebook Group. There are a good few Rhodesian interest groups on Facebook, but this one is my favourite by strip roads. It is run by Patti J North & has more than 9000 members. If you have links to or are interested in Rhodesia & want to join just one group for companionship, sharing, fun & caring then this one tops my list.

Groups are the new Clubs

Most of us grew up around a club of some sort. Country Clubs & Company Clubs were the centre of many communities not too long ago. The concept was probably imported from Britain. Working Men’s Clubs were common throughout England, Scotland & Wales. They were often not for profit, & provided leisure time entertainment for working men & their families. Many were subsidised by companies for their employees & offered cheap drinks, a venue for get togethers, activities like darts/pool along with movies & shows. The clubs in Africa were similar. The weather allowed for more outdoor facilities & many accommodated swimming, tennis, bowls, golf & other sports. Country Clubs existed alongside or in place of these clubs, & catered for their members. Each club had a set of rules & was run by a committee. Members who broke the rules were brought into line or banned if all else failed. These days, many people use social networking to keep in touch. Facebook is probably the most popular of these networks. People chat to their friends & sometimes reach out to make new friends. Facebook Groups make it easy to find & join interest groups. They serve the same purpose as the clubs of yesteryear.

Frank the Flasher & Dot the Drinker

Groups bring people from different ages, views, religion & politics together. Add the sense of being anonymous behind a screen or keyboard & far too often people bump into each other & forget the reason they joined a group in the first place. People with shared experiences of living in the same country at the same time have certain things in common. They are also individuals with their own ideas of right & wrong. They have different ideas of what is funny & what is offensive. Pleasure & pain are potent stimuli, & for many people from this time & place there was an abundance of both. Group Admins are often torn between encouraging the freedom of expression that people join groups for, & balancing the often strong opinions that we all have in certain areas of our lives.

It is no surprise that groups meet the same challenges as their real world equivalent – the local Club. Members include a large percentage of ex-servicemen of all ranks & their families who supported them & kept the cogs of society going through war & peace. They include the joker, the wallflower, the plan-maker, the social worker, the gossip & the correct-me-if-I-am-wrong. Spend enough time in one & someone is going to niggle you at some point. When this happens, the Rules are important. They are displayed for all to see, members agree to them by joining, & they should be fairly enforced.

Manager, please!

LOTR strikes the perfect balance. The rules are few but clear & consistently enforced. Members who do not like a post are encouraged to Scroll On By. This brilliantly simple guideline creates an atmosphere of tolerance & keeps tempers in check by reminding people that they are in control of what they read. If you don’t like a post, you know what to do. If you forget, someone will remind you.

Adults do not need to express their every opinion & this creates a safe space for people to have their say without turning “playground” on each other. The quality of the Administration of this group is probably the key to its success, & the reason why the group started just last year has rapidly grown to 9000 + members. Reading the posts shows that it has come to mean so much to so many. Woven between the Rhodesian interest posts are many others that encourage, share & raise a smile.

LOTR is TOPS

I am posting this under “Clubhouse” because LOTR is, in my opinion, the best group available to Rhodesians who want to catch up, interact & spend time together. It is the one group I have no hesitation in recommending.

There are others & they do have their own appeal, but this one attracts a broad spectrum of people who I have always found to be helpful, hilarious & interesting. When I have asked a question to verify a fact or to hear opinions I have been humbled & delighted by the response.

If it’s companionship, laughter, conversation, interaction or a giggle you are looking for – Apply to join. The Group Admin will accept your application after checking that you do indeed have ties or links to Rhodesia. Trolls are subject to strict border controls – Part of the process that keeps the group focused, safe & lively.

Group Info: from the Group “Description”  – “Welcome to our Group ✿ LOTR Officially opened Friday 26th June 2015. Hopefully we will record the memories of a scattered tribe namely Rhodesians… where our children’s children and our faraway children may one day come to read of our memories of our time in Rhodesia… a place that our feet left.. but not our Hearts”

I am not affiliated to this group in any way other than being a member. I do not know the Administrators personally (sadly).

Pic is PD

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