Christmas in Sierra Leone

The unusual and exotic Christmas described by Mavis reminded me of an unusual, but very different, Christmas we experienced in 1959. We were in Sierra Leone at a small college miles out ‘in the bush’. On Christmas morning we walked the half mile to the ‘town’ where there was a
service in the Methodist mission church. It was packed and very hot under the ‘pan’ (corrugated iron) roof. At the end we went out into the sunshine to be greeted by the local Paramount Chief, who was the leader of the Muslim community in that part of the country. ‘Happy Christmas’ he said. We walked home and as we reached our bungalow a great cloud of dust followed us up the dirt road, out of which emerged the Chief’s Land Rover. One of his servants sprang out and presented us with a magnificent joint of beef (still warm from that morning’s slaughter). A Christmas present from the leader of the Muslim community.

David Roberts