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March Days

This is a poem that John Masefield wrote in 1902.


Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amethysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

John Masefield
One of the big spirits at the CSIR was a man named Andre Gerber. In the heady days before 1994, Andre Gerber was the head of the CSIR's Watertek Division.  Here is one of Andre's astute observations. In South Africa there is either too much water, too little water or the water is too dirty. With this in mind it is clear that South African Engineers are faced with water issue challenges.  It is not so much the technical challenges as the budgetary challenges - and that is what drives innovation.  It is not for nothing that they say - 'n Boer maak 'n plan. John Masefield John Masefield - circa 1920

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