Kafue Pilot Polder

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Reload Sunset

The Polder

Horizon article - a progress report in pictures.

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Thanks to David Boote for this item.

The Dead White Man - a story by Paddy Flening about himself, his Labrador, Uci, and his Vespa Scooter.

Some background information from Paddy.

In 1960/61 the mines were flush and flourishing. The Kafue Polder was financed by one of the mining companies - I forget which one - but it published Horizon Magazine (Roan Selection Trust - Ed.). The company hired one of the world's top photographers to come to Zambia to photograph its work. (I have a strange feeling that he was an Austrian although time has dimmed my memory on that). What is not in dispute is that, at that time, he was one of the world's greatest photographers and was treated like royalty when he came to the Polder. Being the youngest staff member, I was assigned to him full time to make sure that he had everything he wanted and could go anywhere he needed to go to get his pictures. I recall that there was an article on the Polder in Horizon using his pictures. The point is, it was the pictures that were important not the articles. The pictures cost a fortune and were not always easy to get. That explains how I came to be doing something so stupid as to ride a scooter along the top of an irrigation canal - it's obviously a posed set-up.

For many years after that event I tried (and failed) to get an original copy of one particular picture that cost me a lot of sweat. He wanted a sun-set picture with Borasus palms in the fore-ground, the river in the middle-ground and the Kafue Flats in the back-ground. When I eventually found a suitable location by trolling up and down the river in my boat, it was on the far bank of the river. The difficulties started when he explained that looking into the setting sun, any trees in the fore-ground would be in silhouette unless back-lit by flood-lights. I spent a whole day lugging generators, wires, poles and flood-lights across the river to get that picture. I recall that it was published on the front cover of Horizon - maybe even the copy you have in your posession.

Here it is, Paddy!
Reload Sunset

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