BULAWAYO, Saturday, August 20,1966 — It was panic stations in Bulawayo yesterday. Early in the day 18 brawny Boland men flew in “for today’s match at Hartsfield”, only to be told the game was at Salisbury.
And then, in the evening there was a big flap about the Big TopDoyle’s Olympic Circus came perilously close to not opening on the first day of their three-day run in the City. Unlike the circus folk, the rugby men from Cape Town had an opportunity of putting matters right at Jan Smuts Airport, Johannesburg, where they changed planes.
A rugby fan in the immigration service suggested kindly that they were heading for the wrong city. Mr Chris Ackermann, the team’s manager, shook his head. The letter he carried in his pocket from the secretary of his rugby board said otherwise. And that’s how Bulawayo’s Panic One came about.
Panic Two was caused “by matters outside the control” of the show folk- there was congestion on the line between Wankie and Bulawayo.
And what should have been a leisurely afternoon’s work on the show site in the city became a nightmare for the circus people who laboured to put up the Big Top. Their train did not arrive until it was dark. Crowds of sight seers milled round the site at familiar shape of the Big Top began to rise through the tangle of ropes and poles.