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Eric Meacock's Story

Recollections of my years on the Board of Governors.

February 23rd  1982, we had an early start flying from Tunisia via Algiers to Casablanca Morocco and after a 2½ hour wait in the airport, where we were joined by Ken Strom who arrived from Geneva,  we all flew on to Marrakesh to be met by the Postmaster and after settling into the Hotel "La Mamounia" met some more locals for traditional mint tea and biscuits.

 Click to see enlarged

Ken and I had a long yarn over a couple of drinks and dinner.

After breakfast on the 24th we commenced our first board meeting and worked until lunchtime- the hotel service was a disaster, they take so long and mixed up the orders so much we lost two hours and ceased work at 4pm to visit the main Post Office.  We were shown right over this very primitive operation in a large building. The main activity was the cashing of postal cheques (the postal cheque system being on computer, the only other mechanical aides we saw were a dust extraction machine (vacuum cleaner) in the mail bag opening section and two stamp cancelling machines. Two cars were provided to take us to see a second Post Office (outside only) and some national monuments, however, the sightseeing was marred by the two cars becoming separated and Ken and I stood around for 1½ hours waiting for the others. We did see a little of the 'fakirs' and their performance outside the 'souk'. After having dinner in our rooms we returned to the board room and worked from 9.30pm to midnight.  We put in a good days work on Board business on 25th with a late afternoon visit to Post Office and The Souk where after much haggling I bought two silver bracelets and a ceremonial dagger { Your best price}. We finished the day with sandwiches and beer before an early retirement to bed.              Friday 26th, woken at 5am once again by the meuzzin calling the people to prayer from the minerets......plenty of work achieved in the Board room today including allocation of duties and setting of salaries etc. We had dinner and cocktails with the Regional Postal Minister , who had come all the way from Rabat to meet with us and took us to see the Tanneries, the Mosque and Royal Palace ( wonderful carvings on 16th century building). The evening meal, a traditional Moroccan dinner with all 14 of us seated around a low table eating with our fingers, our Moroccan hosts were quite at home helping themselves to pieces of the meal from our plates as well as handing us choice bits from the main central dishes of Pastilla, Mèchonis  (half a roasted lamb), Cous-cous (vegetables)and a very palatable Moroccan Red Caberna (1977). The Minister presented each of us with an ornate Silver Tea Pot. The entertainment was again some traditional dancing girls, an effective and interesting display.                    Click photographs to enlarge.

                              MarakeshD.jpg (41669 bytes)

Les Tanneurs (tanneries)     piscine de l'hotel "La Mamounia" (Pool at hotel)   Official Dinner Marrakesh

27th Francis and I went swimming in the hotel pool at 8am, the water was warm, the air was cold but invigorating coming as it did from the snow capped mountains in the back ground. A short board meeting today finishing at 12 noon as our plane to Cassablanca left at 3pm.

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

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