MAST-INGLE, Wren

MAST-INGLE, Edwin Wren:

EDWIN WREN2 MAST-INGLE (HAROLD ROYDON1) was born 1939. He married (1) CAROL ANN SMITH. He married (2) NOELLE O'CONNOR. He married (3) TERESITA LEPIZ VAN GRAAN.  He is the son of PHYLLIS ELAINE FLEMMER7 FLEMMER (ARTHUR CLAUDE6, CHRISTIAN LUDVIG5) born 22 November 1911 in Witbank Transvaal, and died 25 May 1998 in Claremont Cape Town. She married HAROLD ROYDON MAST-INGLE 4 September 1937 in St. Peter's Cradock South Africa. He was born 12 May 1912 in Randfontein Transvaal, and died 14 August 1994 in Margate Natal.

EDWIN WREN MAST-INGLE December 17, 1939 - 2024 (estimated)

In writing my personal history I was faced with three problems. Firstly, how clearly the reality of inevitable death (on this planet at least for the purist who will argue eternity) is brought home. Secondly how easy it is just to define one's whole life by dates alone and thirdly, how boring most of our lives are when reviewed by those (the greater majority) who have little more than a passing interest in genealogy or those with an interest in the future. Of course contributing to this problem is the overwhelming desire to sanitize the process in the hope of peer recognition and everlasting approval.

I presume that irrespective of experiences, successes and failures - the substance of lives within the structure of chronological benchmarks - those reading this 100 or 500 years hence will comment: 'how quaint!', much in the way we do with our ancestors.

So let me set the scene….

Born to Harold and Phyllis (nee Flemmer) Mast-Ingle in Parkhurst, Johannesburg (SA) at 03h10, December 17 1939. Eldest of three children - Charles Arthur (1941-64) and Fay (1944 - ). Educated at Roosevelt Park High School and trained as a journalist. Married in 1965 to Carol (nee Smith) with the union resulting in three children - Julian Charles (1965), Baras Arthur (1980) and daughter Cija (1982)

Other marriages (following divorces) - Noelle in the 80s, Dora, Magdalena Teresita (nee Lepis Vals) in the 1990s.

Interests: Developing a philosophy through experiencing as much as life has to offer.

I was swept up in the rock n roll phenomenon in the early 50s, which not only changed the face of music, but also changed society forever, giving young people more liberty, life and colour. I taught myself to play a tenor saxophone and started a band with music - both playing and listening, becoming a lifelong love. Learnt to play the guitar, keyboards and ending being the world's 2nd best blues harmonica player, joining bands for concerts in the UK, Seoul Korea, Istanbul Turkey, San Jose Costa Rica and a dozen others.

Started a newspaper in 1959 at 20, and sold it to travel through Central and East Africa. It was an era when one could stand on top of a vehicle in the Luangwa Game Reserve, Northern Rhodesia and pick out wildlife in every direction as far as the eye (or binoculars) could see. The highlight was spending six months at Nkata Bay in Malawi where I left the expedition. Just myself, a young black helper called Banda and my typewriter resulting in a book which later became the film 'The Mercenaries'. (In the mid 70s I returned to Malawi and spent a year writing a book about the country.)

I joined the South African Press Association and was poster to the then Salisbury (Rhodesia) covering the Congo war and the break-up of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. I became friends with people such as Roy Welensky, (Federation head), Edgar Whitehead, Rhodesia PM, Joshua Nkoma (leader of the black freedom fighters who saved my life) and the most famous of the world's trumpet players, Louis Armstrong who was touring Africa.

One particularly inebriating evening, I climbed up the outside of my office building and fell into the offices on the 4th floor. The telex operator on duty had a heart attack and I was fired.

I moved to the Copperbelt, Northern Rhodesia about mid 1960 to visit a girlfriend and took a job as mine public relations official at Bancroft. Formed the only band on the Copperbelt. Between that and my full-time job, became a millionaire by 1964. In the early 60 years many Belgians fled the Congo. I organised a 'humanity chain' and these people with only a car to their name, were able to travel the 2000kms to South Africa via stop-overs with families. 

One of the highlights was being the first person to find the crashed plane of Dag Hammarsjold, United Nations General Secretary on a mission to the Congo. His plane was full of bullet holes but the story remains hushed up.

In May 64 I set out for six months leave with a tidy balance of R1 000 000 in my bank. My first trip to Europe, started with the first 1000 kms in a twin engine plane from Ndola to Lusaka, the a four-engined Skymaster to Salisbury and a turbo-propped Constellation to Johannesburg followed - taking as long as the flight from Johannesburg to London.

I worked my way around the highlights and low life of London having purchased myself a hundred guinea Shantung silk, electric blue suit and an MGB sports car (400 pounds) to match. Took off enough time to travel right around the UK to Scotland and Wales.

Then went to the continent travelling on a loose arrangement with three Australians who were in a small bakkie. I met Anni Brondum, a Dane who provided the glamour and seven languages while I provided the car and petrol. We went as far as Oslo in the north and zigzagged through the mid 60s Europe to Spain. Anni and I parted company in Milan, Italy and I took the Lloyd Africa ship from Trieste back to Durban, SA. At Suez I took a bus through Egypt and rejoined the ship at Alexandra. There were stops at Aden and Mogadishu on the East coast of Africa and I was one of the last South Africans allowed into them before the apartheid banning until 1994.

After motoring back to Northern Rhodesia via the recently completed, but empty Kariba dam, I assisted with the Africanisation policy introduced by Anglo American, meeting with president-to-be, Kenneth Kaunda and his team for governing.

Returned to SA in October 64 after the new government took over in NR. Married in 1965 and during the course of the next 35 years had three children, married again twice, published six books, travelled to Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Costa Rica, Taiwan and several more African countries.

 

 

Contact

Steve Herbert arcadia@49er.co.za

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