ISBN 9781779223548
Pages 206
Dimensions 244 x 170 mm
Published 2019
Publisher Weaver Press, Zimbabwe
Format Paperback

The Mashonaland Irish Association

A Miscellany 1891-2019

edited by Joseph Woods

With a raucous St Patrick’s Day dinner at Fort Salisbury (Harare) in 1891, a mere seven months after the Pioneer Column raised their flag on Cecil Square, the Mashonaland Irish Association was founded. Not only is it the oldest expatriate association in Zimbabwe, the MIA is the oldest Irish association on the African continent. The association developed into a vehicle for celebrating Irishness through a busy social calendar and welfare programmes. For over a century, the MIA has weathered the various challenges and upheavals of a shared colonial experience and Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence. Today, it continues to celebrate all things Irish while embracing its diaspora as it approaches its thirteenth decade of existence.

This Miscellany charts the association from its inception to the present day with contributions from historians, scholars, writers and poets, priests, nuns, missionaries, ex-MIA Presidents and members; the diverse contributions range from the colonial Anglo-Irish to the Jewish-Irish experience and throughout, personalities have been resurrected, colourful ones recorded and even the Minute books examined; all attest to the richness of the association, its events but above all its members. Cumulatively, and beyond the stories of individuals, the narrative provides new insights into the layered complexity of the colonial experience, and the adaptation (or not) of people of a different culture and belief into a foreign setting.

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