The Band had its beginnings in about May 1974.It was originally six strong.(Four bugles and two side drums) and the bandsmen doubled as guards escorts etc.In early 1975 funds normally allocated to the RAR for public relations tours in T.T.L’s were released for the purchase of five saxophones.The instruments, together with a trombone loaned by me enabled the band to play their first tunes.Trumpets, a clarinet, a second trombone and two bases followed in due course and the band reached a final tally of 19 including the Drum Major.
Bandsmen at practice at Chikurubi Training Depot. Photo from Rory White.
In addition to playing at passing-out parades and medal parades the band often combined with the Prisons Band at various functions.It attended the Trade Fair twice in its own right at the Intaf Stand.Special Mention must be made of Supt. J. White (D.C.M. Prisons) and his men for their handwork in training the musicians and to Maj. K.R. MacDonald (1 RAR) and Maj. F. Hayes (Signals) for donations of various kinds.It is of interest to note that following a passing-out parade at Mutasa on 30th September, 1979, the band were involved in an action.
They had been offered to the Lions Club convention at Brondesbury Park Hotel and according to all accounts had been well received.At 0300 hrs the hotel came under rocket, mortar and small arms fire.As no-one present apart from the manager, had a firearm handy, it was as well that the band was present and returned fire promptly exhibiting good discipline.
Intaf and Prisons Bands at Chikurubi Training Depot
Intaf Band on parade at Chikurubi Training Depot