An Unexpected Journey: Life in the Colonies at Empire's End

A Woman's Role
by Margaret Reardon
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Publisher: Catherine Armstrong

Publication Date: October 28, 2015

ISBN: 9780993401015

Binding: Kobo eBook

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Travelling into some distant, challenging and at times dangerous regions of the world during episodes of political unrest, these autobiographical memoirs from diaries written at the time follow the author's role in the process of preparing and supporting the population of several countries on the eve of their formation of independence.

The details of the conditions and worries of the local population during the period of Military Occupation and Administration in Eritrea are fascinating, as is the author and her husband's adaptation to this new way of life after their time in the services during WWII. It forms an intriguing insight into the author's role as she accompanied her husband on his ascension through the ranks of the Colonial Service in Africa, in Tanganyika and Bechuanaland, where he ultimately worked at a senior level with the newly independent Botswana government.They were then posted to the Western Pacific, Gilbert and Ellice Islands or Kiribati and Tuvalu as they are now known, and the Caribbean Islands of Turks & Caicos.  

The way in which she made a difference to those less fortunate than herself and sought to improve the lives of local peoples and particularly the women and children she came into contact with, is inspirational. Her voluntary work was often supportive in nature, whether this was instigating the provision of education for young Moslem girls, working in clinics or schools, or informing and supporting mothers with malnourished or sick infants. She also helped to give purpose through craft work to female prison inmates, gave employment and support to prisoners leaving gaol, and was generally aware and willing to assist anyone who might need her support. In this way, the author and her husband were well matched and clearly made a formidable team. 

Each new location brought rewards and ...