White Rhodesians have celebrated the 13th anniversary of the country's unilateral declaration of independence from Britain.
White Rhodesians have celebrated the 13th anniversary of the country's unilateral declaration of independence from Britain. Five hundred people attended a ball in Salisbury with white leader Ian Smith. In a speech, he warned the British and American governments that time was running out for a negotiated settlement between his transitional government and the Patriotic Front guerrilla movement.
SYNOPSIS: There was a festive atmosphere a the ball as Mr. Smith signed autographs for admirers - although there may not be another chance to celebrate the colony's illegal breakaway.
Entertained by a band of black musicians, Ian Smith and his wife Janet danced among some of the other 500 whites at the ball. Each couple had paid 35 U.S. dollars to attend, with the proceeds going to a charity for disabled soldiers. Then Mr. Smith addressed the audience.
To do anything otherwise would, I think be unintelligent and negative, and I believe it would be contrary to all the principles of democracy that we have always stood for and fought for".
After his speech, there was the ceremonial ringing of the Liberty Bell.
Mr. Smith rang the bell 12 times to usher in midnight then proposed a toast to the country's white-led troops.