"Grant, O Lord to all who travel in this vehicle, a safe journey; that it may be used in thy service, to the furtherance of thy Kingdom in East Africa. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen"
The words of our College Chaplain as he blessed the first landrover on the 25th April, 1992. The following week 'Bertha', as she had become affectionately known was packed into a container in Dublin, along with other items for an Aids Clinic in Mwanza and Sewing Machines for Zambia. An article had appeared in the September, 1989 edition of Landrover Owner Magazine, entitled, the 'Fourth Challenge Expedition', in which three students from Southampton University had driven a 110 across the Sahara and delivered it to a Church Missionary Society Project in Eastern Zaire. Could some of our Diploma Students not do the same, we asked ourselves; so modifications and rebuilding of the first landrover was started in September, 1990 with two students, Dermot Brennan and Joe Lynch, taking it over as their major project. The specification from Hombolo Farm near Dodoma in Central Tanzania ran as follows:-
(1) Fit a Toyota 'B' type 4 cylinder 3 litre engine. (2) Extend the chassis to 127" wheelbase. (3) Build and fit a flat bed body c/w dropsides, mesh top, hood and bench seats -namely a multi-purpose vehicle.
It would take too long in an article of this nature to describe all the technical details; however the vehicle which appeared on the College Stand at the National Ploughing Match, held near Limerick in October, 1991 looked something like what is shown in Fig. 1.
On our way to Dublin Docks with LR1, on the 1st May, 1992, we stopped in the Parish of Donard, in
Co. Wicklow in order for the local press to take photographs; the parishioners had offered to sponsor the cost of shipment to Africa. A hitch hiker passing through, Philip Boughan of Blackrock,
Co. Dublin saw the commotion in the middle of the village and one week later offered us his old 1974 Series 111 S.W.B. Hard Top for the Vocational Training Centre in Arua, North West Uganda. Since the vehicle had to be ready by February, 1993, two former students, Eugene O'Reilly and Martin Crean undertook to overhaul the engine transmission and body work and the results of their efforts is shown in Fig. 2. Four Dublin Churches sent 'Annie' to Dublin in February 1993 for shipment as part of an ecumenical effort for the Refugees from Southern Sudan.
PEGGY SUE: 1995
By now we had accumulated a large pile of Series 111 second-hand parts, such that whenever the father of the technician in our department offered us his old 1974 Series 111 S.W.B. Hard Top, we decided to have another 'go', and, having 'captured' two prospective Diploma students, namely Padraig Flynn and Donal Moriarty, we persuaded them to take on 'Peggy Sue' as their major project under the watchful eye of Eugene O'Reilly Once again the chassis, transmission and body work were overhauled and repaired including the design, manufacture and fitting of a roll bar and external safety cage to current R.O.P.S. standards. LR3 was finished by the end of September, 1994, in time to go on display on the College stand at the National Ploughing Match, held near Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, as shown in Fig. 3. Peggy Sue was shipped out to Tanzania from Southampton Docks in November, 1995 as part of a large consignment of items for the Mpwapwa Medical Centre in Central Tanzania, where it is given sterling service, under the watchful eye of Dr. Rachel Tarling.
By this time the team were suffering from 'landrover fatigue' but whenever Mr. Dan Spillane, a neighbour of the former owner of LR3 offered us a good running engine out of his old Daihatsu Four 1988 110 hard-top was purchased from Mr. Hans De Groot, of Kerry Drains Service in September, 1999 and over the next eighteen months the students and staff of the Agr. Eng. Department refurbished the engine and bodywork, including fitting an internal roll bar. 'Rosie' was shipped out to South Africa in the middle of March, 2001 bound for the Diocese of Nakuru, one hundred miles, north of Nairobi in Central Kenya . A former student, Angus Craigie from Dunlavin, in Co. Wicklow and two of his friends drove the vehicle up to Kenya through Zimbabwa, Malawi and Tanzania where they handed the vehicle over to Mr. William Keyah, on behalf of the Development Department of the Diocese of Nakuru. Landrover Project Committee Eugene O'Reilly-Chairman, David Frizelle, Secretary Con O'Connor, Treasurer, Fr. Pat O'Donnell, Chaplain and Kevin Woods.