Lost Tusks

Otto W. Beck

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Hi,
My name is Otto Beck. My connection to East Africa (Kenya) is fishing flies. I owned and managed a fly tying company in Kenya for many years. I've never done any big game hunting but did do a lot of bird and small game hunting. I'm presently working on a book of East Africa and the history of fly tying in Kenya. During my research, I've come across numerous legends and stories about hunting in Kenya. An interesting story is about Tusker beer and how it got its name. At one time, giants tusks spanned the archway to the Stanley Hotel in Nairobi.
Tusker dates back to 1922 when the first delivery was made to the Stanley Hotel (without the Tusker name). George Hurst, who with his brother Charles had started the brewing company, was an avid hunter. On a hunting trip in 1923, he encountered a large elephant (tusker) and took a shot. From what I heard from a reliable source, there was a misfire and before he could take another shot, the elephant was upon him and trampled him to death. Later in the year, his brother Charles suggested to the board to name the beer Tusker in memory of his brother and perhaps the elephant as well.

Legend has it that the Tusker that killed George didn’t have much time to celebrate his victory. George’s gun bearer grabbed the rifle (a double barrel Westley Richards) and killed the elephant.The tusks weighted over 200 pounds each and were used as an archway at the hotel. After independence the owners of the Stanley were approached by Jomo Kenyatta's wife and asked to donate the tusks to the Nairobi museum. They never made it to the museum. Replicas were made by Zimmerman but they are gone as well. I would appreciate if someone could shed some light on this mystery.
 

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Welcome Otto to AH! Fascinating bit of history. Thanks for sharing.
Just what did you flyfish for in Kenya? Any pictures you could share?
 

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Welcome to AH Otto W. Beck! Thanks for sharing this intriguing story and wish you the best to find what you are looking for.
 

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Welcome to AH Otto.
Great historical story.
What do you fly fish for in Kenya? There may be a fishing trip in my future.
 

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Welcome aboard!
 

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Welcome to AH, Otto !
 

Otto W. Beck

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Thank you for the informative article. I certainly know what happened during the post independent period. I wanted to find out about these particular tusks. Were they indeed from the elephant that killed George Hurst?
 

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Thank you for the informative article. I certainly know what happened during the post independent period. I wanted to find out about these particular tusks. Were they indeed from the elephant that killed George Hurst?

Sorry can't help you with that...and after all this time could be near impossible to find someone to verify it....good luck in your quest
 

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Hi,
My name is Otto Beck. My connection to East Africa (Kenya) is fishing flies. I owned and managed a fly tying company in Kenya for many years. I've never done any big game hunting but did do a lot of bird and small game hunting. I'm presently working on a book of East Africa and the history of fly tying in Kenya. During my research, I've come across numerous legends and stories about hunting in Kenya. An interesting story is about Tusker beer and how it got its name. At one time, giants tusks spanned the archway to the Stanley Hotel in Nairobi.
Tusker dates back to 1922 when the first delivery was made to the Stanley Hotel (without the Tusker name). George Hurst, who with his brother Charles had started the brewing company, was an avid hunter. On a hunting trip in 1923, he encountered a large elephant (tusker) and took a shot. From what I heard from a reliable source, there was a misfire and before he could take another shot, the elephant was upon him and trampled him to death. Later in the year, his brother Charles suggested to the board to name the beer Tusker in memory of his brother and perhaps the elephant as well.

Legend has it that the Tusker that killed George didn’t have much time to celebrate his victory. George’s gun bearer grabbed the rifle (a double barrel Westley Richards) and killed the elephant.The tusks weighted over 200 pounds each and were used as an archway at the hotel. After independence the owners of the Stanley were approached by Jomo Kenyatta's wife and asked to donate the tusks to the Nairobi museum. They never made it to the museum. Replicas were made by Zimmerman but they are gone as well. I would appreciate if someone could shed some light on this mystery.


Otto, welcome to AH. Sorry but I can't help you in your search.

Your story brings back a memory.

When I was around 7, our family was eating lunch at the Mbeya Hotel. I went to the restroom and had to pass the bar. No one was in the bar but there was a Tusker Beer bottle with about two inches left in the bottom setting on the bar. I looked both ways, no one was around, especially my parents, and I downed the beer. It was warm and other than Chloroquine, the nastiest thing I had ever tasted. But I sure felt tough for downing it!

The British introduced Brown Trout to the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. We used to have them in the Chimala River up on the Eldon Plateau.( near Kitulo NP) Some people enjoyed catching them. Last I heard they were probably seined out these days. Do you know when the British introduced trout to southern Tanzania? Are there decent trout populations in southern Tanzania? How is the trout population in Kenya? Is there much of a trout presence in Uganda?

You mention the ivory replicas were made by Zimmerman's. Here is a photo of Zimmerman's from the 60's.

23710022_022-jpg.158776


I can't help you about the ivory but there is a chance that @JudyB can. She used to work next door to the New Stanley Hotel at the EAPHA, in the 60's and 70's. Below is one of her photos that show the New Stanley awning in the background. You might try to pm her. She doesn't check in very often. Last time I reached out to her was around Christmas and I haven't heard back yet.

full


All the best in your quest.
 

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Welcome to AH and thanks for sharing.

@Wheels I always appreciate your historical view from back in the day as someone wh0 was there.
 

Otto W. Beck

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Otto, welcome to AH. Sorry but I can't help you in your search.

Your story brings back a memory.

When I was around 7, our family was eating lunch at the Mbeya Hotel. I went to the restroom and had to pass the bar. No one was in the bar but there was a Tusker Beer bottle with about two inches left in the bottom setting on the bar. I looked both ways, no one was around, especially my parents, and I downed the beer. It was warm and other than Chloroquine, the nastiest thing I had ever tasted. But I sure felt tough for downing it!

The British introduced Brown Trout to the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. We used to have them in the Chimala River up on the Eldon Plateau.( near Kitulo NP) Some people enjoyed catching them. Last I heard they were probably seined out these days. Do you know when the British introduced trout to southern Tanzania? Are there decent trout populations in southern Tanzania? How is the trout population in Kenya? Is there much of a trout presence in Uganda?

You mention the ivory replicas were made by Zimmerman's. Here is a photo of Zimmerman's from the 60's.

23710022_022-jpg.158776


I can't help you about the ivory but there is a chance that @JudyB can. She used to work next door to the New Stanley Hotel at the EAPHA, in the 60's and 70's. Below is one of her photos that show the New Stanley awning in the background. You might try to pm her. She doesn't check in very often. Last time I reached out to her was around Christmas and I haven't heard back yet.

full


All the best in your quest.
 
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Otto W. Beck

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Thanks for your story and the pictures. I don't know about any trout fishing in Tanzania. There are a number of trout streams on Mount Elgon both on the Uganda and Kenya side.

Trout was introduced in Kenya by the legendary Lt. Col. Ewart Crogan in1905. This guy was a real piece of work. He fell in love with Gertrude Watt, a rich socialite. Her step-father had no use for Ewart, who had been kicked out of Cambridge. In order to impress Gertrude (or rather her step father) he proposed to be the first person to walk from Cairo to Capetown. The step-father accepted – probably hoping that Ewart would croak along the way. It took him two years to travel the 4500 mile for Love and Glory. He reached Cape Town at the age of 24.

Following was copied from “Fish & Safari Kenya”
Aberdare National Park offers some of the finest trout fishing in Kenya. Dubbed ‘Scotland with lions’ its clear tumbling streams with mossy overhangs and shady bends, run through peaks which are often shrouded in mist, moors and banks of tussock grass. The brown and rainbow trout found in these streams are not indigenous to Kenya and trace their origins back to Lock Leven in Scotland, from where they were first imported into Kenya in 1905 by Lt Colonel Ewart Grogan. Grogan arranged a consignment of Loch Leven Ova, Brown and Rainbow, to be shipped to Mombasa. The Ova were then sent by train to Nairobi where they were packed in ice and loaded onto ox wagons to make the journey to Nyeri. From there the Ova were hauled up to the heights of the mountains and introduced into the Gura River. Subsequently a number of trout hatcheries were established by the Kenya Fisheries Department and Ova were imported from countries as far a field as Australia and England. Today the waters of the Aberdares, Mt Kenya and Cherangani Hills are restocked with fingerlings.
 

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"From the Cape to Cairo" was a boring read as a kid. When you know where places are or read with a map, it becomes much more enjoyable.

Never knew that Grogan introduced trout to Kenya. 1905 was certainly in the early days. Neat to know some of the trout history of East Africa. Appreciate it.

A friend of my fathers used to work for Grogan. He did survey and irrigation work, I believe at the Lake Jipe farm.
 

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Welcome to AH and thanks for sharing.

@Wheels I always appreciate your historical view from back in the day as someone wh0 was there.

Just thinking Charlie and you make wheels sound really really really old...:A Outta::E Lol:
 

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