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Eric Meacock's Story

Recollections of my years on the Board of Governors.

27th February 1982 we were met at the Casablanca Airport by Postmasters and Postal People who transported us the 25 kilometres to the city and The Casablanca Hotel where we booked in finding our reservations had been marked V.I.P.  Ken and I had great rooms overlooking the main souk boulevard and a view of the sea, each room had a bowl of fruit and nuts placed on the table. Ken and I decided to take a walk in the souk looking at leather work but we ended up buying dresses for our women folk, quite pleased with the purchases having beaten the retainler down to less than half his original asking price, afterwards we enjoyed a great dinner together then spoke briefly with the others before a night cap of 'duty free scotch' and turning in for the night.

Sunday 28th A luncheon meeting with 37 Moroccan members and Postmasters went very well, all expressed great interest in I S P and many endeavoured to speak a few words with me including the minister (Delegate) P & T from Rabat (M. Ogmensour (Financial Service) who requested my business card as he is an official in soccer and will be seeing the Australian team play in Spain. We found the Administration in Morocco, similar to those in Tunisia, quite enthusiastic about the I S P and their Postmasters being members of it.  Ken and I walked for 1½ hours after dinner in the quiet streets of the city ( unusual to be quite but it was Sunday) we looked at some nice buildings and shops. The Post Office was flood lit and decorated colourfully for the Kings Birthday that week, as are all the streets decked out in red flags, pictures of the King and all the kerbstones painted red and white like barbers poles. (Click photos to enlarge)

Hotel & Kings Birthday decorations.

Ken's Swiss Army knife was put to good use Monday morning 1st March 1982 for the ritual destruction of American Express Credit Cards. The rest of the day was spent reconfirming our flights homeward bound, visiting places of interest and a Post Office in the afternoon with two local Postmasters, one, Bensalla, is the new Moroccan Liaison Officer. Driss Chakib and Bensalla took us to Derb Sidna (Great Souk) with much fine clothing, leather goods and gold and silver jewelry. Chakibs wife ( a delightful and charming lady) put on a traditional Moroccan meal of orangé pressée, mint tea, gateaux, pastries and honey homemade leven bread - all nine of us sitting around a round table eating out of a most attractive centre bowl.

Onward flight schedules saw us all separating, Ken to Spain, Francis to Geneva, the others to New York and myself to London. Arrived at the airport early and had to sit around for an hour then face customs with much opening of cases etc, the plane finally left and stopped at Tangiers to board additional passengers, having done that they then discovered a punctured tyre, so everyone had to leave the plane and we lost another half hour. Flew over Spain (Madrid) desolate looking country plenty of snow in the high mountains. England was pretty much under cloud too.  After visiting relatives in Chester and meeting a couple of local Postmasters I spend several days with UK Liaison Officer Alan Burton visiting local post offices etc., returning to London by train and making contact with Kenneth Hall before next day returning home to Perth WA.

Eric Meacock Asia/Australasia Region
Copyright © 1999 [International Society of Postmasters]. All rights reserved.
Revised: August 16, 2000 .

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