rhodesia customs and excise tie logoexCUSTOMSnet

Welcome & Introduction

Net Directory   :   World Wide Network

Ex-Zimbabwe Customs & Excise   -   Old Boyz & Girlz

Introduction by John "Aussie" Austin 


Welcome to “our” net:-

 Our “free” directory continues to grow from month-to-month. In July 2002 we launched it with considerably less than 30 members. You will note at the bottom of your latest copy of the DIRECTORY how much and how quickly it has grown since then.

You may notice too that our married / divorced / widowed / etcetera ex-colleagues have also been recorded under their maiden / former names. This has been done deliberately in an effort to make it easier to find long-lost former colleagues (and, also, as a prompt for the failing memories of some of us older dudes!).  The start & finish years of service are also included, along with each officer’s last station, and current town, province, & country of residence (when such information is provided)

Therefore, do please tjek out your entries and let me know if I need to make any corrections (either now or at any time in the future).

The only rule for membership is to have been an ex  Federal / Rhodesian / Zimbabwean / Customs member - or a surviving spouse of same.  Any kidz of qualifying exCUSTOMSfolk are automatically eligible for full membership. There are no fees or costs, other than your own use of your computer and your own on-line time.

I have been “nudged” into setting-up this “old-boy-net” only for that purpose, and for no other (well ok, - and also because we’re all getting a LOT older and very much more globally scattered). My motivation is simply to provide a communal "self-help" tool to enhance our collective "keeping-in-touch-ability". There is no central control. My involvement and initiative is only to maintain the directory for us all, and to update & re-issue it from-time-to-time - as & when necessary).

There is NO editor nor any editorial rules; so emails for the whole group are initiated and actioned directly by their authors. In this way, no one person gets lumbered with any unnecessary workload….. although, I am always happy to pass on newsletters to our group from time-to-time. ANY member can address the GROUP on any subject matter, and there are no sanctions on content – save self-sanction (it should never be any member’s deliberate intention to publicly embarrass or hurt another member .

Please use the Directory to contact selected individual acquaintances; or to post a Christmas or other greeting, newsletter, or notice to the whole list....... or simply to be on the list to receive whatever news is doing the rounds. Each member decides how much or little they make use of it. Of course I do encourage the emailing of newsletters and family updates to the whole group, as that will help keep it vibrant, interesting & useful...... Andre Guernier has already promised us all one of his "newsies" in the New Year (he is winding down from consultancy work in Cambodia - into retirement in Australia - and his annual update newsletters are fascinating, and a joy to receive).

So,…… If you want to put any stuff onto the "exCUSTOMSnet", please just do so.

This "net" belongs to all of us and each member is entitled to and, indeed, should initiate correspondence onto it directly wherever possible,……. and without prior reference to / through me. To do otherwise simply "lumbers" me with a lot of extra work that I don't want...... as well as dumping onto me editorial decisions which, also, I do not want.

Initially, all of the names & e-ddresses need to be keyed into your email address book. If using OUTLOOK or OUTLOOKexpress, then these can also be GROUPed - so that you have a one-click facility when wanting to write to all of us.

Anyway, enough of my intro-speak.

Please feel free to "recruit" any other exCustoms dudes whom you think might be interested about joining in. Meanwhile, happy networking.
Aussie Austin (& Joleen)         J J J J


Arthur Adams (see his current email address in our E-dresses.doc that you already have) manages our PHOTO GALLERY of eALBUMS under the following album collection headings:

1. MEMBERSHIP ALBUM = all dudes and spouses/family currently in our membership;

2. WE REMEMBER ALBUM = all dudes and/or spouses and/or immediate family..... deceased, for whom we would like to post a remembrance;

3. CUSTOM HOUSES, PORTS, POSTS, & PLACES ETC = all those old pics from places and postings  of old;

4. 331(2) NEE = anything else, nee (as we say, in our own-speak).

5. 331(3) NEE = more of 331(2)

We have webAddresses (URLs) for all of these eALBUMS, but we only make them available to our membership. If you are eligible for membership do please sign.

b. The URL addresses for our e-albums are created by Arthur, initially, as category "private". This means that they can ONLY be accessed if you have the URL (http://) addresses. As you can only get these by being a member of our exCUSTOMSnet, the URL addresses will not be readily available to web surfers. So, come on then, don't be shy in sending all those pics to Arthur;

c. No special software is required to view any of the e-Album pics. Moreover, they can be downloaded by any of us as required (see d. below);

d. Downloading of pics from the site. Either right click the pic and select "Save Image As" and then select the folder where you want it saved.

e. Help each other out…… Some of us have expertise, others have hardware (scanners, digital cameras, fancy computers),…… so help one another. Those old photographs in dusty albums can ALL be digitally captured and shared with us all via this facility. So, let’s do it, dudes & dudesses. No, not tomorrow, do it NOW!!!!

ANYWAY, let's get down to business. Like, how do we send stuff to Arthur and what other tips concerning digital contributions that we send to him. Well then, here are a few pointers for your consideration:

  i. Please send all pics to Arthur as ".jpg" files whenever possible;

 ii. Arthur can handle all file sizes. However, I realise that many of us are still reliant on 56.6 dial-up modems and so, therefore, it would be helpful to send your pics to Arthur as LO-resolution scans for the time being. Screen resolution is not affected by using LO-res. If you have a hi-speed broadband connection on your computer, then the resolution of the picture doesn’t matter – so go for MED-res;

iii. Pictures sent to Arthur should include advice concerning, inter alia, mutatis mutandis, etcetera, & moreover (sorry Jarv), the following data -

A. Which eALBUM applies..... see 1 to 5 above, and

B. DOB + DOD & age in the case of the "WE REMEMBER ALBUM",  plus full names & nickname, cause of death (optional), copies of any newspaper obituaries (optional),  and

C. A caption to include all names of folk in pic, place & event, year or decade; and

D. Anything else that will help Arthur log them in..... (and the rest of us find them again).

E. Year began + year ended service, last posting & grade, are also required for the alphabetical ROLL OF HONOUR album.

TIPS for SCANNING…………  and other optical attachments


Go on, include a picture with your next newsy to the network & copy it to Arthur Adams for one of our e-Albums (see above)


BUT, please bear in mind a couple of important tips and do’s & don’ts. You see digital scanners & cameras are actually immensely more powerful tools than many users realise. They come into their own in the creative industry, where a picture or subject digitally scanned (by scanner or camera) at high resolution has the ability to be projected onto a screen or paper to produce good quality when enlarged to street poster, movie screen or motorway billboard size. The price in memory for such high resolution creation of say an A4 image will mean the creation of a file size that could well take several minutes to send as an attachment to an email.

What about quality?  Won’t low resolution snaps be inferior quality? The answer is not really (not unless any of us intend our likenesses to be posted onto election posters, motorway hoardings, cinema screens, and the like). You see a computer monitor doesn’t have sufficient pixel ability to make use of anything above low resolution anyway. Moreover, the printing of odd pics at postcard size is not going to be jeopardised either.  (e.g. When Kodak and others in UK offer to print & process ordinary camera film, one has the option of additionally having them all digitally scanned for £2. These days, they deliver the scanned pics on a cd, but originally they used to be delivered on one by 1.44mb floppy disc --- or as julle okes in SA call them,  “stiffies”.  So, to get 24 to 27 pics onto one 1.44mb floppy/stiffy, they could only have all been low-resolution scans).


Finally, choose one (or two) good pic(s) to crop (electronically) and scan into .jpg format on low resolution. Remember .bmp or other formats can usually be additionally “saved as” .jpg files. And then send that one good snap as your enclosure (i.e. not a whole set of snaps from your last holiday).


The overall principle is to keep file sizes down, so that we can all successfully and easily receive each other’s news and pictures. So the idea is to keep the upload and download times short.


Go for it……… We all look forward to seeing how well we’ve all matured!!!!!   JJJ




TIPs for FORWARDING…… (maintain neat presentation)

Netiquette  Guidelines……compliments of Fay Jack

Netiquette simply means ‘Network etiquette’ and refers to the do’s and don’ts of online communication. When you write an email it’s easy to say things you would not say in a normal conversation as you are not face to face with the person your are communicating with. What’s worse is that unlike a conversation an email remains with the person you have written it to for as long as they don’t delete it- as a reminder of your pleasant or unpleasant thoughts.

In her book “Netiquette”, Virginia Shea describes netiquette as “a set of guidelines for cyberspace behaviour”. Here are some of those guidelines:

Remember the human: Remember that you are not just typing words onto your computer screen. Someone is going to read those words and have to deal with them.

Behave online as you would in real life: If you wouldn’t do it in real life then don’t do it online. Be ethical.

Respect other people’s time: Don’t send out junk mail to others. This wastes other people’s time. Chain letters are a good example of this. It is annoying to have to waddle through scores of junk emails in your inbox to find the important ones.

Respect other people’s privacy: Don’t read other people’s mail. In many workplaces, computers are shared by several users. For some people it may be tempting to read someone else’s mail. Well unless you have permission to do so, DON’T. It’s unethical and the embarrassment and possible repercussions if you get caught just aren’t worth it.

Respond: It is annoying to keep on sending emails to someone without any response from them. It is good practice to respond to emails as soon as you get them, even if it’s just to acknowledge receipt of the email while you give yourself time to prepare a proper response.

Proper grammar and spelling please: Ever read an email that had no punctuation, no capital letters, numerous abbreviated words, etc.? In business that is just unacceptable. If you are going to write it, write it properly. Check your spelling before you send it off.

Remember “please” and “thank you”: Even online, “please” will get you what you want faster and “thank you” will increase your chances of getting it again when next you want it. Use them often.
Be forgiving of other people’s mistakes: Don’t be too tough on those who offend you online. Inform the person who does so by all means, but do not offend them in return. As Virginia Shea puts it: “If you do decide to inform someone of a mistake, point it out politely, and preferably by private email rather than in public. Give people the benefit of the doubt; assume they just don't know any better. And never be arrogant or self-righteous about it. Just as it's a law of nature that spelling flames always contain spelling errors, notes pointing out Netiquette violations are often examples of poor Netiquette.”




More   NETIQUETTE   STUFF…………. Compliments of Gibby







When writing e-mails and/or replying to/forwarding them, it’s important that we observe the necessary ‘protocols’, as follows:



Summarise the contents of the message here.  As such, this is the most important line in the e-mail and ultimately determines whether the message is viewed of binned.



As it is, we receive too many e-mails, so rather direct your message to a particular person.  Also, when responding to a message addressed to several/ many recipients, don’t ‘Reply to All’ and broadcast the message to everyone.



When addressing several/many people who don’t know each other, use ‘Bcc’.  You wouldn’t dish out their ‘phone numbers, would you?


4.       SHORT & FOCUSED

Reading a computer screen is no fun.  Reading a cellphone, PDA or Blackberry screen is torture.  Keep it simple & slick.  If your message looks like a thesis it’ll be dumped.



Don’t use all CAPS (upper case) – not only is it difficult to read, but it looks as if you’re shouting – nor, for that matter, all lower case.  And, while we’re at it, don’t use colour fonts or italics and never – ever – resort to Comic Sans MS.


6.       MUM’S THE WORD

Anyone can ’Forward’ your message, which can lead to embarrassment or even being fired.  Personal and confidential information should be saved for the telephone (or, better still, for personal discussions).


7.       NO ‘EMOTICONS’

You should have done enough schooling to be able to write a message clearly.  If you need to stick a smiley face to ensure your statement isn’t misunderstood, rewrite it.



         We couldn’t give a ____ about little Susan’s brain tumour.  And, as for people who send               

         those Chimpanzee-behind-the-computer, thank-God-

         it’s- Friday things, they’re the reason condoms were



9.       NO SMS-SPEAK

U R not so busy that you need to bastardise the English language like this – and BTW abbreviating phrases is just as bad.  Contractions like ‘I’ll’ and ‘we’re’ are fine, but LOL – WTF.


I0.      NO FLASH

          What are you, a Korean schoolgirl?



If initiating contact, consider the person who’ll be reading the message as you write it – i.e. write as if you were talking to him/her.



How are we supposed to know that pimpingainteasybutsomebodysgottodoit@yahoo.co.za is Steven Hendry?



When replying to a message, always click ‘Reply’ instead of ‘New Mail’, so that the context is known immediately.  However, this will NOT include any attachment/s – if you want the attachment/s to be included, hit ‘Forward’.



Read for ambiguities and check all names, addresses, spelling and grammar before sending.



Who are you to tell me what’s important?  Unless you’re my brother pleading for a life-or-death kidney transplant donation, chill – I’ll read your mail just as soon as I delete this erectile dysfunction spam.



Adapted by R.A. Andriés from GQ@WORK, a supplement to the March 2006 edition of GQ magazine.





The following provided by Quentin Gibson (Gibby)





Do you really know how to forward e-mail messages?  50% of us do; 50% DO NOT.

Do you wonder why you get viruses or junk mail (Spam)?  Do you hate it?  Every time you forward an e-mail there is information left over from the people who got the message before you and sent it to you, namely their e-mail addresses and names.

As the messages get forwarded along, the list of addresses builds and builds and builds.

All it takes is for some poor sap to get a virus and his or her computer can send that virus to every e-mail address that has come across their computer.  Or, someone can take all of those addresses and send junk mail to them or sell them to spammers in the hopes that you will go to the site and they will make five cents for each hit that they sell.  That's right, all of that inconvenience over a nickel and because someone included visible email addresses in their forwarded message!

How do you stop it?  Well, there are four easy steps:

1.         When you Forward an e-mail, DELETE all of the other addresses that appear in the body of the message (at the top).  That's right, DELETE them.

Highlight them and delete them or backspace them or cut them – whatever it is you know how to do.  It only takes a second.  You MUST click the "Forward" button first though and then you will have full editing capabilities for the body and headers of the message.  If you don't click on "Forward" first, you won't be able to edit the message at all.

2.         Whenever you send an e-mail to more than one person, do NOT use the To: or Cc: columns for adding e-mail address.  Always use the BCC: (Blind Carbon Copy) column for listing the e-mail addresses.  This way the people you send to only see their own e-mail address and no one else's.  If you don't see your BCC: option, click on where it says To: and your address list will appear.  Highlight the address and choose BCC: - and that's it, it's that easy.  When you send to BCC: your message will automatically say "Undisclosed Recipients" in the "TO:"  field of the people who receive it, providing extra security and privacy to all the people in your Address Book.

3.         Remove any "FW:" in the subject line.  You can re-name the subject if you wish or even correct spelling.

4.         ALWAYS hit your Forward button from the actual e-mail you are reading.  Ever get those e-mails that you have to open 10 FW: pages to read the one page with the information on it?  By Forwarding from the actual, final page you wish someone to view, you stop them from having to open many e-mails just to see what you sent.  (Many people will not open all those e-mails for fear of getting a virus so your message may go unread.)

Have you ever gotten an e-mail that is a petition?  It states a position and asks you to add your name and address and to Forward it to a number of people or your entire Address Book.  The e-mail can be Forwarded on and on and can collect thousands of names and e-mail addresses.

FACT:   The completed petition is actually worth a couple of bucks to a professional spammer because of the wealth of valid names and e-mail addresses contained therein.  If you want to support the petition, send it as your own personal letter to the intended recipient(s).  Your position may carry more weight as a personal letter than a laundry list of names and e-mail addresses on a petition - and, again, you will protect the privacy of those in your Address Book and provide them additional security against viruses and spammers.  Please remember this when thinking about forwarding petitions.

So please, in the future, let's stop the junk mail and the viruses by working together and respecting the privacy and security of one another.

Finally, here's an idea!!!  Let's send this to everyone we know (but please strip my address off first!).  This is something that SHOULD be forwarded.

One more little request to all:  If you can't be bothered to take the time to do this, then please just DELETE this e-mail instead of sending it on because you're otherwise just feeding further into the problem.  And YOU may end up getting the virus or spam that you don't want in the long run.  Sad but true.