Title: AFRICAN STANDARD. Second Extra Special. ...
Publisher: East African Standard Limited
Publication Date: 1918
Binding: No Binding
Book Condition: Very Good
Edition: 1st Edition
Broadsheet on thin paper (folded creases and patches of foxing; some edges slightly worn). 21 x 34 cm. The African Standard, the oldest newspaper in British East Africa or Uganda, was established as a weekly by Alibhai Mulla Jeevanjee, a very rich Parsee contractor, general merchant, & immigrant businessman in 1902. In 1905 Jevanjee, sold the paper for £50 to Maia Anderson (1874-1936) & Rudolf Franz Mayer (1874-1934), who changed the paper's name to the East African Standard. On Aug. 19, 1905 it became a daily paper and in 1910 moved its headquarters from Mombasa to Nairobi. The East African Standard declared strongly colonialist viewpoints & spent the first few months of the First World War proclaiming the need to keep peace in the colonies & not encourage Africans to seize the opportunity to revolt. Mayer, arriving in East Africa in 1900 from Germany with nothing but an old hand printing press and five pounds, had become by 1914 naturalized British & during WW1 he married Anderson. In August 1914, as martial law was proclaimed in the Protectorate, Mayer was interned by the authorities, his East African Standard printing works was used to print war propaganda & he was struck-off the members list of the Nairobi Chamber of Commerce. On his release from detention, Mayer volunteered for Col. Meinertzhagen's Intelligence Corps serving with the likes of Grogan and Northrup McMillan as an Honorary Lieutenant from 1915-18. The East African Standard announced that the War in Europe was over, November 11th, 1918 with typical flair and drama in two special editions (one of which has survived here) containing the cables announcing of the armistice. Newspaper staff, including the General Manager, Editorial Department and Printing staff assisted in distributing those special editions across Nairobi in cars. Consequently the following day the souvenir edition newspaper was attenuated . Motor cycles and rickshaws flew the Union Jack; Whitesway and Laidlaw department store blazed out with the flags of all the allies; from the uncompleted clock-tower of the new East African Standard buildings fluttered the Union Jack, and rockets were let off at intervals. On 13 November two days later, Von Lettow's German Army seized Kasama unopposed. The next day at the Chambezi River, Lettow-Vorbeck was handed a telegram announcing the signing of the armistice in France and he agreed to a cease-fire, marching his army to Abercorn and formally surrendering on 23 November 1918. Mayer had been discriminated against, as a German, during and after the First World War and twice had his application to join Nairobi Club turned down. After the war there was an uncomfortable discussion about whether he was an enemy alien, in spite of having served with British forces as an intelligence officer. Later, Mayer became a member of the Municipal Council in 1929 and was elected Mayor of Nairobi in 1931. Despite all the odds this ephemeral item has survived with all its back-story (it is a rare, fragile single-sheet supplement & the only copy I have ever discovered for sale). Seller Inventory # 5221