28 June 2008


The Pioneer Cemetery in Stead Street, Kimberley, is an historic landmark and tourism attraction. Some of the graves date back to 1871. It has become overgrown with grass and littered with rubbish. Keep Kimberley Clean, the Kimberley Historical Society, the McGregor Museum, students from Adamantia High School, Kimberley Girls' High, Diamantveld Primary School, and the Sol Plaatje Municipality are now involved in a clean-up project. The project started with more than 200 students from Diamantveld Primary picking up the litter. The cemetery was the third burial ground at the diggings. The original burial registers were destroyed by fires. The cemetery was officially closed in 1884 but family plots were used long afterwards. The native (black) plots which had no headstones were levelled many years ago and are now outside the cemetery fence. The Jewish section has its own registers kept by the synagogue. In the late 1970s, a card file was compiled by Muriel MACY from headstones and notes from newspapers. This is kept by the Kimberley Public Library. The cemetery gate was presented by Countess LABIA. Some of the early burials are those of George and Jane HARDY, Alexander HALL (1834-1877), W.H. IREMONGER, Thomas HERBERT and son, W. JAHN, C.P. VAN BLERK, Hubert and Catherine BURKE, M.A. KNOLL, Jane KENNEDY, and Kate MORROGH.


The Battle of Barbarossa was again commemorated this month at Leeuwberg. The battle was the largest and most ambitious military operation between the Germans and the Russians during WWII. Advocate Colin STEYN and his wife Jackie own Leeuwberg, where the annual commemoration takes place. The entrance money is donated to the Armour Museum. This year about 800 people attended.


Kroonstad Business and Tourism (KB&T) will be moving into the Old City Hall which will become the tourism information centre. The old stately building will be renovated. KB&T has developed a database of tourism-related events and places in and around Kroonstad. For more info contact KB&T at 082-552-5471.


Hitler MBAMBO (69) was born in Edendale, Pietermaritzburg, which was originally the farm Welverdient belonging to the Voortrekker Andries PRETORIUS. Hitler is regarded as Edendale's history man and is a member of the Edendale Heritage Association. Together with the Natal Museum and Amafa AkwaZulu Natali, the association has renovated PRETORIUS' house, which is now part of Edendale Primary School. Reverend James ALLISON, a Methodist missionary, bought land the farm in 1855 and established his second mission which he called Edendale.


Khanya NDLOVU of the Voortrekker / Msunduzi Museum in Pietermaritzburg specialises in Zulu and Coloured history. She's been working on research for an exhibition, due to be opened at the end of August, on the Coloured people of Pietermatizburg. The project was started at the beginning of 2007. It will look at the contributions and achievements of Coloured people, as well as some of their history in KwaZulu-Natal. Early British settlers such as Henry Francis FYNN and John DUNN both had several Zulu wives. Khanya is hoping that sponsorship from the Msunduzi Municipality will be approved so that the exhibition can include a touch-screen computer that enables genealogies to be seen thanks to the work of Father Duncan McKENZIE from Durban. Khanya leaves the museum at the end of the month to become curator at the Durban Local History Museum.

PAST LIVES - a look at ancestors, some famous, some not

Cissie is a new play written and directed by Nadia Davids, whose parents and grandparents lived in District Six. It is the story of Cissie GOOL, a District Six activist. Nadia first used Cissie as the subject of her high school oral history project, for which she interviewed people who had known Cissie. When Nadia was doing her PhD in theatre, she wrote about Cissie in her thesis.

Zainunnissa "Cissie" ABDURAHMAN was born in Cape Town on 06 November 1897 to Dr. Abdullah ABDURAHMAN (or ABDURAGHMAN), and his wife Helen (Nellie) Potter ABDURAHMAN (maiden name JAMES). Her father (1872-1940) was born in Wellington, Cape, and was of Indian ancestry. Her mother (1870s-1953) was a Scottish suffragette. According to the IGI, Helen Potter JAMES was born on 02 September 1872 to John Cuming JAMES and Harriette STOUT in Greenock, Renfrew, Scotland.

Cissie's father was the eldest son of the nine surviving children of a Cape Malay, Abdul ARRAMAN / RACHMAN and his wife, Kadija Dollie. His grandparents, Abdul and Betsy JEMAALEE bought their freedom from slavery in Cape Town and were friends of Lady Duff GORDON, being mentioned in her Letters from the Cape. Abdullah was the first Cape Malay to attend the South African College. In 1888 he enrolled at the University of Glasgow and in 1893 obtained the M.B.,C.M. degree. After graduating, he did post-graduate work in London. While in London he married Helen, whom he had met when a student in Glasgow. Two daughters were born of this marriage, Cissie and Waradea. In 1895 they returned to Cape Town and he started his own medical practice. The marriage ended in 1923 and in 1925 Abdullah married Margaret May STANSFIELD, who was living in Vancouver in 1965. Margaret May STANSFIELD was born in Somerset West on 31 December 1899. She died in April 1972 in Vancouver, Canada. They had a son and two daughters, including Begum who married Prof. Ralp HENDRICKSE. Cissie's father was the first non-white to serve as a city councillor, from 1905 to 1940, and was also leader of the African People's Organisation which he had helped establish in 1902.

Helen was a member of several Cape Town organizations, including the Cape Town and Wynberg General Board of Aid, the Ratepayer's Association, the Women's Municipal Association, the African People's Organization Women's Guild, Western Province Amateur Musical Society, the Women's Enfranchisement League and the National Liberation League Finance Committee.

The ABDURAHMAN home was in Mount Street in the early 1900s. They also lived at Oak Lodge, 173 Kloof Street. Cissie grew up learning Latin, reciting Tennyson and playing Mozart. She marched with Mahatma Gandhi, met Olive Schreiner at a dinner her parents hosted, and later became the first coloured woman to earn an MA in Psychology. Cissie studied at the University of Cape Town where she obtained the degrees of B.A. (1932), M.A. (1933) and LL.B. (1962).

One of her earliest political actions was to organise a march to Parliament in March 1930 to protest against the Women’s Enfranchisement Bill, which gave the vote to white women only. She joined the Socialist Party. In February 1935, with her husband and Communist Party member Sam KAHN, Cissie established the Anti-Fascist League in Cape Town. A few months later she was the first South African woman to lead a national liberation movement, the National Liberation League, which she founded. In August 1938 Cissie was elected to the Cape Town City Council, the first non-white woman in the country to serve in local government. She served from 1938 to 1951, representing District Six. For several years she was the only woman serving on the city council. In 1949 she was elected chairwoman of the city’s Public Health Committee, a position her father had also held. During the 1940s, she became the president of the Non-European Front. In 1946 Cissie took part in a campaign to start a movement of passive resistance in Natal and together with nine Indians was charged in the Durban magistrate's court. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a £3 fine which she refused to pay. She was then sentenced to imprisonment but was released a week later when her son, Shaheen (20), took his own life in Cape Town. In 1962 she received an LLB degree from the University of Cape Town and was admitted as an advocate to the Supreme Court, the first non-white woman.

In 1919 she married Dr. Abdul Hamid GOOL, a medical practitioner and a graduate of Guy's Hospital, London. There were three children from this marriage, including Rustum Yusef (1923-). After 20 years of marriage, they divorced in the 1940s and Cissie moved in with Sam KAHN, a Jewish member of the Communist Party. Cissie died on 04 July 1963 from a stroke. She was known as the "Jewel of District Six" and Cape Town's "Joan of Arc".

1) Estate file of Abdullah ABDURAHMAN (MOOC Vol. No. 6/9/6016 ref. 67759)
2) Estate file of Helen Potter ABDURAHMAN (MOOC Vol. No. 6/9/21168 ref. 3349/53)
3) Divorce record of Abdul Hamid GOOL and Zainunnissa ABDURAHMAN (CSC Vol. No. 2/1/1/1428 ref 563)
4) Abdullah ABDURAHMAN Family Papers (Unisa, ref AAS223, 1906-1962; UCT Libraries, ref BC506, 1882-1954; and ref BCZA83/30-34, 1906-1962)
5) Not only the younger daughter of Doctor Abdurahman, PhD dissertation, University of Cape Town, 2002, by Patricia van der Spuy
6) Zainunnissa Cissie Gool 1897-1963: A biography of Cissie Gool in Images and Words, MA thesis, University of Cape Town, 2002, by E. Everett
7) Dictionary of South African Biography
8) International Genealogical Index


An ex-convict who became a motivational speaker plans to sue the Department of Education and publisher Maskew Miller Longman for breach of privacy after his life story was published in an Afrikaans school textbook without his consent. Jacob MAKGWABA found out about the textbook when a student at Suncrest High School near Vanderbijlpark said she recognised him from his photograph in the Sonder Grense textbook for Grade 12 students. The entry was from an interview he had done with the Sunday Times newspapers in 2005. He was released from in 2005 after serving a 10-year sentence for armed robbery, followed by an 18-month trial period for hijacking, in which the charges were later dropped. He is now an anti-crime motivational speaker and a member of the Evaton Community Policing Forum. The publisher said they obtained the rights to publish the interview from the Sunday Times.

26 June 2008


The Sandstone Heritage Trust's Sandstone Estate near Ficksburg is well-known for the preservation of steam locomotions and trains. Earlier this month, another locomotion, a Falcon dating from 1895, arrived in Ficksburg, from Bloemfontein. Lukas NEL of Bloemfontein worked for the railways for 42 years. Now he restores old locomotives and trains. Restoration work on the Falcon took five months, working mostly from old photographs. It was restored to its 1914 state. It was originally bought in 1895 by Cecil John RHODES because President Paul KRUGER would not let trains through the Transvaal to Rhodesia. So RHODES built a narrow gauge railway line from Beira to Rhodesia, and bought the Falcon. In about 1914, the South African Railways bought the locomotive to use in South West Africa. In the 1920s a narrow gauge railway line was built between Upington and Kakamas, and the Falcon saw service there. For the last 30 years or so, the Falcon was at the James Hall Museum in Johannesburg. The Sandstone Heritage Trust obtained permission to restore it and bought it. The only other Falcons in working condition in the world are also at Sandstone Estate.


With recent floods in KwaZulu-Natal, family treasures have been lost. Here's some advice on how to salvage documents and photographs. Rinse the items with clean water as soon as possible, to get rid of silt and mud. It is crucial to completely dry the items as quickly as possible. Photographs should be removed from frames. Books and papers can be dried where air is circulating. Place plain paper towels in-between the pages and change as they become saturated. To dry photographs that have been professionally developed, place wax paper in-between each photograph as they are drying, or lay the photographs out individually. Photographs may curl if dried in this manner, but can be flattened later. Small books can be stood on end on a flat surface with the pages fanned open to air dry. Books and magazines with glossy paper must be opened so that every page remains separated while drying. Continue to dry items at least 24 hours beyond the point at which they seem dry to touch.

When items cannot be dealt with immediately, wrap each book in plastic or stack papers no more than 3 cm high and freeze. Photographs should be isolated between layers of wax paper before freezing. Items can be thawed at your convenience until the pages or photographs can be separated without tearing and then dried in the above manner.


For nearly 400 years, Robben Island was a place of exile and imprisonment for troublemakers and lepers. It was declared a World Heritage site in 1999. Robben Island was run by the prison services before 1994. They made sure that the island's fauna and flora was well-cared for, making it a place with a large variety of animals and birds. Sadly, and infuriatingly, the island is now an environmental crisis because of a lack of proper management by Robben Island Museum who took over from the prison services. An explosion of feral rabbits, despite warnings by environmentalists to management over 3 years ago, has caused great damage. The warnings were ignored. Other animals such as deer, springbok and bontebok are starving to death. Concerned citizens have dug into their own pockets to help the starving animals, with volunteers taking food to Robben Island.

25 June 2008


I've had some unusual research requests in the past, but helping to trace the rightful owners of a tablecloth, must be the most unusual so far. The tablecloth belonged to a Jewish woman who escaped from Nazi Germany, landing up in England. After the war, she moved to South Africa to join her sons. She died in 1980. The embroidered and initialled tablecloth was kept by an unrelated woman in Germany, whose grand-daughter in the USA asked for my help. Four days later, the deceased woman's descendants were found. A happy ending to an unusual request.

22 June 2008


Author: Marion G. Moore
This 56 page book traces the history of this historical hotel and its owners from its beginnings to the present day. The anecdotes and legends are illustrated with mostly black & white photos, maps and old documents. If you would like to buy a copy, contact Marion, giving your name and postal address. She will give you details regarding payment options: Marion G. Moore, E-mail: ian.marion@xsinet.co.za


Authors: Bill Bizley and Pat McKenzie
Publisher: Midlands Meander Association, 2007
This book covers the history of the Midlands area from the Yorkshire Methodist settlers that arrived in 1864, the Zulu War and the Anglo-Boer War, to local families and places, and indentured Indian labour. A large amount of research was done in the Howick Museum, family papers and photographs. For more information contact the Meander office at info@midlandsmeander.co.za


Author: Scott Balson
Publisher: Interactive Presentations Pty Ltd, 2007
Scott BALSON spent 30 years working on the history of the Griquas and this novel is the result. Set in 1930 in Matatiele, it tells the history of the Griquas from pre-1652 to the present day, through a grandmother talking to her grand-daughter. The Griquas were pastoralists of mixed descent and trekked into the interior where they founded the town of Kokstad. The author was born in Tanzania, went to school at Michaelhouse, and started his working life with Barclays Bank. He moved to Australia in 1986. It was while working at Barclays that he came across the Strachan & Co coins, which led to his interest in the Griquas.


Author: Lindi BAIRD (great-grand-daughter)
Publisher: Just Done Productions, 2007
The BAIRD surname has strong ties to the Battle of Blaauwberg, to the opening of the interior in the Great Karoo and personal ties with Lord Charles SOMERSET. Courage, arrogance, deep trusting friendships and mystery add enigma and spice to this family’s rich history in South Africa. The story involves a British nobleman who was hailed as one of Scotland’s finest soldiers. Another who was appointed as the Commandant of Navy Intelligence in Simon’s Town, a cousin who became the first landdrost in the interior region, and a grandson who might have been the first explorer to discover a fossil in the Great Karoo. For many years John BAIRD’s history remained a myth in South Africa, with endless dead-ends and very little information to research.


Author: Yvette Christiansë
Publisher: Kwela Books, 2007
This novel was inspired by, and is based on, an 1823 court case involving the slave Sila van de Kaap and the murder of her child. During the trial, Sila chose to remain silent and did not give a statement. Sila arrives at the Cape as a slave from Mozambique. She is sold to Dominee Neethling and his wife. The Dominee later loses his congregation and farm. His alcoholism eventually leads to his slaves being sold. Sila gets sold to various owners. When her second owner, the elderly Mrs. van de Wat dies, Sila and her children don’t get their freedom as the old woman’s will is lost by her cruel son. Sila and the children are sold to settle gambling debts. Their new owner is cruel and Sila becomes deaf in one ear from his beatings. When her 6 year old son Baro is badly beaten by her owner, four days later Sila decides to free her son from his pain by slitting his throat. On the 30th April 1823 she is sentenced to death, but this is later changed to 14 years of hard labour on Robben Island. As Sila breaks and hauls stones on the island, she has conversations in her head about her life. Yvette Christiansë was born in Johannesburg and immigrated at the age of 18 to Australia. She is an English professor at Fordham University and lives in New York City.

CITIES, TOWNS & VILLAGES - discover their history

St Francis Bay is situated halfway between Port Elizabeth and Knysna. The Portuguese navigator Diogo Pereira BOTELHO was the first European visitor in 1537, when sailed into the bay to get fresh water. In 1575, another Portuguese navigator, Manuel de Mesquita PERESTRELO, explored the coast. He reached a bay on St Francis day, and named it Cabo de Sao Francisco, after the patron saint of sailors. On 16 January 1690 the ship De Noord was stranded near Cape St Francis. It was returning to Table Bay when the ship hit a reef. None of the crew of 18 was lost at sea, but only four of them arrived back in Table Bay, having walked the distance.

In May 1752 Governor Rijk TULBAGH sent August Friedrich BEUTLER and a group of 71 men on an exploratory trip. They erected a beacon bearing the VOC emblem on a small island, long since disappeared. On his map appear the names Cromme Riviers Baay and Baay St Francificus. In 1765 the first Trekkers arrived and settled in the area. On 2 May 1785 the Pigot, homeward-bound from Madras with passengers and crew numbering over 100 persons, anchored in the bay where the crew recovered from scurvy. During the first British occupation of the Cape, Commissioner-General J.A. DE MIST went on a tour of of the colony. On his maps appear the names Kruisfontein near present-day Humansdorp and Welgelegen where today the thatched houses of St Francis Bay are situated.

The Cape St Francis lighthouse, a national monument, is at Seal Point and was completed in 1878. At 33 meters, it is the highest lighthouse built on the South African coast. For many years, it was one of the most remote on the South African coast and in the early years, the only way to reach it was by ox-wagon or on foot over the dunes. Seal Point being the third most southerly point in South Africa.

On 20 February 1929, the ship Cape Recife was wrecked on Cape St Francis, whilst enroute from Cape Town to Durban. Legend has it that two swans were released from their crate by the crew. They flew ashore and settled on the Kromme River. Their descendants can still be seen in the area.

The village of St Francis Bay was built on land bought in 1954 by Leighton HULETT, of the prominent Natal sugar cane family, who moved from Zululand with his wife, Anne, and children. Leighton was a WWII flying ace. They had seen an advertisement in the Farmers Weekly offering 273 morgen of fishing land along the coast. They arrived in an old ox-wagon. Leighton built a fishing camp with seven rondavels, a bathing block and a kitchen. In August 2007, Pam Golding Properties was asked to sell a cottage in Harley Street, said to be the first cottage built by Leighton in 1962. In 1956 fifty-one plots were laid out and was known as Cape St Francis. Leighton insisted on maintaining conformity of style in the buildings - thatch or black roofs and white walls. In 1960 the area was named Sea Vista. The village was proclaimed in 1965. In the early years St Francis Bay was remote, with gravel roads and 10 cattle grids to be crossed from Humansdorp. At times the causeways were impossible to cross with the river in flood and no electricity or telephones. In 1976 there were about 200 houses. On 7 May 1979, after a public referendum, the village was officially named St Francis Bay. Eskom power came in 1981 and by 1984 there were about 400 houses. St Francis Bay became a fully-fledged municipality in 1993 with Jean CHAPUT as the first Mayor. Around 50% of the village is constructed around man-made canals and waterways, giving it the nickname "Little Venice".

Leighton's next project was Marina Glades. He exchanged a house and a plot, acquiring 179 morgen with 2,8km of river frontage. The pumping and digging of the first canal started in 1967, creating the first marina in South Africa. Soon there was a small trading store, hotel, bottle store, and tennis club. In 1974 there were 161 houses in the village. A new development, known as Santereme and named after the town in which PERESTRELLO was born, saw a change in architectural style - from white walls and thatch to Mediterranean-style houses with terracotta-tiled roofs and earth tones for exterior walls. The HULETTs built a golf course as a private facility, that later became a golf club. An airfield was also laid out. In 1977 the Kromme River bridge was built.

The world-renown surfing waves known as Bruce' Beauties are in St. Francis Bay. In the early 1940s, a young American, Bruce Brown, arrived in the area with some friends to find the perfect wave. This search became the surfing classic film Endless Summer, which Bruce produced in 1961.

The area is also well-known for its unique and varied fynbos species. In 2002 a local former school teacher, Caryl LOGIE, came up with a plan to record the fynbos in the area. She used local school children - Michael JURIES, Carol FELIX and Deana CUPIDO - to collect, press and label fynbos. The children recorded the area and habitat in which each plant was found, and each plant was described in detail. Caryl moved to St Francis Bay in 1996. She was a teacher at Woodridge for 29 years where her husband Bart was headmaster. Bart has written two books on the Eastern Cape - Governors Travels and Travellers' Joy. Another local resident, artist Trish CRITCHLEY taught the children how to hold the plant and draw what they saw. They also learnt more about what previous generations used the plants for. Local people used to collect the berries of the waxberry. They would boil them and use the skimmed product for polishes and ointments. Betran MUNNICK was the first boy to start drawing and he was soon followed by Mercurius FREDERICKS, Llewellyn BAADJIES and Romano WALTERS. The children's hard work is on display at the St Francis Bay Heritage Centre in Harbour Road. The children attended Sea Vista Primary when the project started, but have now moved on to the Humansdorp Secondary School.

The Irma Booysen Flora Reserve is named after Irma Ina BOOYSEN (maiden name VON BELOW). Her husband was the original owner of the farm Ongegunde Vryheid. When the farm was developed into a township, Irma persuaded her husband to set aside a tract of land for the preservation of coastal fynbos. Irma is well-known for her botanical paintings of the many species of plants in the area.

She was born on 13 January 1920 in Middelburg, Cape. After attending schools in Durban and Cradock, she qualified as a nurse at the Johannesburg General Hospital. She married Dr. Edward Matson KERR, a neuro-surgeon. Irma took part-time art classes in the early 1950s. Her prefered medium was watercolours. Her favourite flower to paint was the Erica, and she later did the paintings for a book, Ericas in Southern Africa, published in November 1967 with Fay ANDERSON. The paintings received the Grenfell Gold Medal at the Royal Horticultural Society's Spring Show in London in 1968. While working on the book, Irma was living on a farm between Humansdorp and Plettenberg Bay. She was divorced in 1967. Irma later married John BOOYSEN and they settled in St. Francis Bay. Here she partnered up with a botanical student, Richard COWLING, who was doing a doctorate on the area's fynbos. She provided the drawings. Dr. COWLING moved to Australia and by December 1983 Irma had completed 97 sketches for their planned book. She died on 21 January 1984.

Gustav VON BELOW married Frederika Magdalena Catharina KUHN in Germany. He died on 30 March 1883 at the age of 52 in Middelburg, Cape.
b1. Gustave August born 22 Sept 1861, died 01 Mar 1942, married Martha Magdalena DE BUYS (born 09 Jan 1864, died 20 Dec 1947, Death Notice MOOC Vol. no. 6/9/14570 ref. 24/48)
b2. Frederika Anna Carolina, married Gerhardus Johannes PRYRA (died 1921, Death Notice MHG P3150)
b3. Franz born 12 Jul 1866, died 01 Sept 1923 in Middelburg, married Anna Josina Robberdina MORGENROOD (Death Notice MOOC Vol. no. 6/9/328 ref. 1088)
c1. Magdalena Francina
c2. Gustav
c3. Anna Josina Roberdina
b4. Herman Wilhelm, fought in the German Corps in the ABW on the Boer side
b5. Rosa Lazetta

Discovering Southern Africa; by T.V. Bulpin; Muizenberg, 2001.
Botanical Exploration of Southern Africa: An Illustrated History of Early Botanical Literature on the Cape Flora, Biographical Accounts of the Leading Plant Collectors and their Activities in Southern Africa from the days of the East India Company until modern times; by Mary G. Gunn and L.E. Codd; A.A. Balkerna, Cape Town, 1981.
South African Genealogies, Vol. 1; by J.A. Heese and R.T.J. Lombard, HSRC, Pretoria, 1986.

A GENTLEMAN’S GAME - South Africa’s first cricket games

Cricket was brought to South Africa with the British annexation of the Cape in 1795. It is believed that Charles ANGUISH, who had played for Surrey and Middlesex, might have swung a cricket bat after being appointed Comptroller of the Customs at the Cape in 1797. He was also one of the first members of the MCC founded in 1787, and died at the Cape shortly afterwards.

The first recorded match was played in 1808 in Cape Town between two military teams. The Cape Town Gazette and African Advertiser of 02 January 1808 announced that “A grand match at cricket will be played for 1000 rix dollars a side on Tuesday, January 5, 1808, between the officers of the artillery mess, having Colonel Austen of the 60th regiment, and the officers of the Colony, with General Clavering. The wickets are to be pitched at 10 o'clock.”

Another early reference is from January 1810, when the Ordnance Department and the Officers of the 87th Regiment played against the “Officers of the rest of the Army” on Green Point Common. The prize was also 1000 rix dollars. Early matches took place on Green Point Common and on Higg’s Field in Wynberg. Green Point Common has been used continuously for cricket since those days, making it one of the oldest cricket venues in the world, even older than Lord's in London which was built in 1814.

The first century in South Africa was scored at Wynberg in January 1842 when a civilian named TAYLOR scored 110 against the military team. The first cricket club in Cape Town was Wynberg Cricket Club, formed in 1844. The inaugural match was played in October of that year, between Cape Town and The Colony. In 1845 the Indians (British soldiers who’d served in India) and the Civilians had a match. In 1846 a Simon's Town team took on a World team at Wynberg.

In the eastern Cape, three clubs were started in 1843-4. These were at Sidbury, near Grahamstown, the Port Elizabeth Cricket Club and the Grahamstown Cricket Club. The Port Elizabeth club was formed in 1843, with its first match reported in the Grahamstown Journal. In 1844 the Algoa Bay Cricket Club was formed and included G.H. CHABAUD, William H. HARRIES and DUNSTERVILLE. On New Year’s Eve 1844, the Port Elizabeth club played a match, Married vs Single, which was reported in the Cape Frontier Times of Grahamstown. The scoreboard read as follows:

Married — 1st Innings
J. MURRELL, snr., run out, 21
J. SCALLAN, bowled P. SCALLAN, 9
J. WHITE, bowled J. TEE, 0
E. SLATER, bowled F. ROSS, 0,
F. EASTES, caught J. MURRELL, 13
S. CARR, bowled J. TEE, 0
G.P. VINEY, not out, 0
Non-members of the Club:
W.M. HARRIES, caught C. TAYLOR, 0
J. ROLLS, bowled J. TEE, 3
W. KEMSLEY, run out, 0
Bye balls: 6
Total: 44

Single — 1st Innings
P. SCALLAN, bowled Mr. KEMSLEY, 20
G. WOOD, bowled F. EASTES, 1
P. MURRAY, bowled F. EASTES, 6
John TEE, caught MURRELL snr., 9
John CAMPBELL, bowled VINEY, 3
P. ROSS, not out, 0
G. MURRELL, bowled MURRELL snr., 15
C. TAYLOR, stumped MURRELL snr., 0
Non-members of the Club:
J. WOOD, bowled VINEY, 0
C. COOPER, bowled HARRIES, 1
J. LLOYD, bowled SLATER, 3
Bye balls: 3
Total: 43

In 1876 Port Elizabeth town council presented a Champion Bat as a trophy in the first cricket tournament between towns. Teams represented Cape Town, Grahamstown, King William’s Town and Port Elizabeth. The tournament was won by King William’s Town. The bat is on display at the Port Elizabeth Cricket Club. After Port Elizabeth’s bad performance, their cricket club imported the first professional coach to South Africa. Henry Hayward WEBSTER was brought out by Dr. Owen Robert DUNELL, South Africa’s first cricket captain. Henry was born on 08 May 1844 in Handsworth, Sheffield, Yorkshire and died on 05 March 1915 in Port Elizabeth.

In 1887 there was a “non-European” match between Cape Town’s Albert Cricket Club and Kimberley’s Red Crescent Club. That same year saw Malay cricketers taking part in the Jubilee procession. In 1888 Sir Donald CURRIE sponsored the first English cricket team to visit South Africa. February 1891 saw a match between the Malays and Europeans. In 1892 18 Malay cricketers played a match against visiting English cricketers. The Malay Union Cricket Club was given permission in 1892 to play on Green Point Common. Simon’s Town, Woodstock and the Docks all fielded both white and coloured players.

This year sees Newlands cricket ground celebrating its 120th birthday. Its origins go back to Thomas Barry HEROLD, secretary-treasurer of the Western Province Rugby Union. He wanted the Union to have its own grounds. In 1888 the Western Province Cricket Club was also looking for its own grounds. Land belonging to Lydia Corrina, Vicomtesse DE MONTFORT, was selected as the ideal location. The land was known as Mariendal and was given to Lydia as a wedding gift when she married the Vicomte. She was the daughter of Jacob LETTERSTEDT, a brewer who was given the title deeds in 1845. The Rugby Union leased a plot of 150 yards by 150 yards. Lot 27 was leased by the cricket club in 1887 for £50. After a pitch was laid down, it was officially opened in January 1888 with a two-day match between the Mother Country team and the Colonial-born team. A long-term lease agreement for 25 years was signed in 1888 and the rent increased to £100. In 1894 the ground was purchased for £3000 and another field laid out at was then known as the Pond end. The first Test match at Newlands was played against the first English touring side, led by Aubrey SMITH, in 1888-1889. In 1902 the pine trees extending from the B field along Camp Ground Road and around the pavilion were replaced by oak trees. Australias' first visit to South Africa (1902-1903) included three Test matches at Newlands.

In 1939 The Cricketer said: “The ground is a paradise: the stately oaks on one side and the towering mountain on the other, like a majestic sentinel guarding a greensward in a setting unparalleled for beauty in any cricket ground in the world”. E.W. SWANTON wrote in his book The world of cricket: “Newlands is one of the cricket wonders of the world”.

The 1948-1949 MCC tour of South Africa saw the gates at Newlands being closed for the first time in its history, such was the interest in the matches.

On 01 December 1948, the memorial scoreboard with its clock, was unveiled by the Governor-General, Gideon Brand VAN ZYL, a cricket supporter with connections to the Green Point Cricket Club. The tablet, which bears no names, bears the following inscription: “In memory of cricketers of Southern Africa who gave their lives for their country. They played the game. Ter gedagtenis aan die krieketspelers van Suidelike Afrika wat hulle lewens vir hulle land gegee het.” The clock and tablet was presented by the Transvaal Cricket Union. In 1956 a new stand seating 1300 and separate accommodation for the media was built. The architect was Brian MANSBERGH. The grass ramps were extended and the Oaks and pavilion boundaries moved in to provide room for 1000 scholars and junior club members. The tearoom under the Oaks was rebuilt and improved after being burnt down. In June 1958, Frank CREESE, the WPCC secretary-groundsman retired after 35 years. He was succeeded as WPCC secretary by Ron L. AINSLIE, while his son Ronnie became groundsman and caterer.

In 1969-1970, Newlands saw a Test double-century (209) in South Africa's first innings by Graeme POLLOCK, who had pulled a leg muscle and needed a runner, against Australia. Admission cost 70 cents for adults and 35c for children. A seat in the Main Stand cost R2.40, in the Railway Stand R1.80, Oaks Enclosure R1.60, Planes Enclosure R1.50 and Temporary Stand R1.40.

In 1986, floodlights were installed for the first day-night match at Newlands – Western Province against Transvaal on 03 December 1986. In 2003 South Africa hosted the first ICC Cricket World Cup and Newlands was chosen to host the opening ceremony.

The history of South African cricket; by M.W. Luckin; W.E. Horton and Co., Johannesburg, 1915
Cricket in southern Africa: two hundred years of achievements and records; by Jonty Winch; Johannesburg, 1997
Century at Newlands 1864-1964: a history of the Western Province Cricket C; by S.E.L. West & W.J Luker; Western Province Cricket Club, Newlands, 1965

CENTURY CLUB - celebrating long lives

Piet SCHOLTZ of Zeerust turned 102 on 4 January 2008 at the local retirement home. The party was attended by four generations, including his eldest great-great-grandson, Coenraad BOSHOFF (13), and two daughters, Ralie LE GRANGE (74) and Elsa GROVE (71). He grew up on his father's ostrich farm in near Aberdeen. Piet served six years in the military and was a cook during WWII. He also looked after Gen. Jan SMUTS in Irene.

Alice GROBLER of Mokopane (previously Potgietersrus) turned 102 on 12 January 2008 at the Piet Potgieter Monument retirement home, where she is the oldest resident. Her only child, Francois, who lives in Soekmekaar, was in attendance. She has one grandchild and two great-grandchildren. Her husband, also Francois, died many years ago. Alice was born in Pretoria and lived there for many years after marriage. She moved into the retirement home in November 2003, moving there from a retirement home in Modjadjiskloof (Duiwelskloof). Alice is a keen reader, reading three books per week.

Philip RABINOWITZ celebrated his 104th birthday on 16 Februray 2008 in Hout Bay. He was born in Keidan, Lithuania, and was the world record holder for his age group in the 100 metres and 200m sprints. Four generations of relatives were at the birthday party. His great-niece, Lisa SHANKMAN, attended with her infant daughter, Gabriella. Philip was an avid walker who still walked two or three kilometres per day. He passed away on 29 Feb at home in Hout Bay. His funeral service was held in Pinelands. Shortly before his death, he was helping his daughter, Joyce KRUGER, with her business bookkeeping.

Magdel PRETORIUS from Grootvlei, north of Pretoria, celebrated her 100th birthday in March 2007. She shared the special day with her grandson Hennie who turned 16 on the same day. Amongst the birthday visitors were her friends Bob and Becky STEKETEE from the USA. Magdel was born on a farm near Middelburg in Mpumalanga, and grew up in Standerton. She was the oldest child and had two brothers and a sister. In 1944 she married MC. He died in 1995 at the age of 80. Magdel has one son, also MC. She was a volunteer in the South African Air Force.

Louis Jacobus BOTHA, who turned 100 on 10 April 2006, passed away on 26 October 2007. At the age of 99 he was still playing bowls for the Warmbaths Bowling Club. His funeral service was on 1 November at the NG Kerk Moedergemeente. He was buried at Koedoeskop, near Bela Bela (previously Warmbaths). Louis was born in the Transvaal. He was a transport rider, taking the first explosives to the mines in Thabazimbi by ox-wagon. From 1944 to 1967 he lived near Northam. In 1969 he settled in Warmbaths. He loved boxing and bowling. He was survived by his wife Fransie; one child, Louis jnr. and his daughter-in-law Nellie, who retired to Jeffrey's Bay but moved to Nylstroom in 2002 to be nearer to Louis snr.; 12 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Sukrani SINGH was born in India and came to South Africa as a young child. She celebrated her 110th birthday on 16 April 2007, in Pietermaritzburg. Her South African identity book shows her birth date as 16 April 1904 but her daughter, Savathrie NRGHIN, said that was an estimated date. According to a now-deceased brother, Sukrani was born in 1897.

Hazel Dorrington WHEALS was born in May 1906 in Richmond, Natal. She was the youngest of five children born to Rev. UNDERWOOD (Wesleyan minister) and his wife who descended from 1820 Settlers. Her father died when she was six years old. Hazel grew up in Fort Beaufort where her elder brothers ran the first garage in the town. She attended school in Grahamstown and later worked as a nurse in King William’s Town before marrying. She retired to Kenton-on-Sea and moved to East London at the age of 80 to live with her daughter, Betty FERGUSON. Hazel later moved into Langham House and then Kennersley Park. Hazel outlived her daughter Betty and her elder son Michael. She has another daughter, Rosemary, and 12 great-grandchildren. On her 100th birthday she received a special visit from Makhaya NTINI, the South African cricketer.

Bettie VOSLOO was born in May 1907 on the farm Groot Rietvlei, in the Swaershoek ward of Cradock district. In 1922 she entered Hoër Meisieskool Rocklands in Cradock as a standard 7 student. The school merged with Hoër Seunskool in 1972 and became Hoërskool Cradock. Betty boarded at the school and would go home for the holidays by horse-drawn cart. In 1923 she wrote the government exams, coming top of the class and beating 54 students and winning £120. Betty matriculated in 1925 and trained as a teacher in Cradock. She married Isak ZIETSMAN, from Onderplaas in Humansdorp. They lived at Onderplaas until 1992 before moving to Ons Tuiste in Humansdorp. Isak died in 1999 at the age of 90. The couple had four daughters. Betty has 13 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. For her 100th birthday, Betty was spoilt by Hoërskool Cradock’s old students association as the school’s oldest living former student.

Willie KOK of the Moria retirement home in Krugersdorp celebrated his 100th birthday on 22 May 2007. He was born on the farm Doornfontein. He lived on the farm Deelkraal in Fochville with his wife Martie. Their only son, Gert, and his wife Malie, later helped with the farming. His second wife died nine years after their wedding day.

Annie (Nonnie) WINTERBACH celebrated her 107th birthday on 3 June 2007. She lives in Durbanville with her youngest son Desmond (72) and his wife Perla. Annie grew up in Tulbagh and later moved to Cape Town where she married and had four sons. She lived through the Anglo-Boer War and two world wars. She sold furniture door-to-door and bought her first car in 1941. Her husband died in the early 1980s.

Rachel LAMINIE of Knysna celebrated her 114th birthday on 11 October 2007, with a party at the Josafat Church in Parkdene, George. Rachel was born in Langkloof, one of 16 children, of which eight have already died. One of her younger sisters is 105 and Rachel's oldest daughter is 80. Rachel's husband, Klaas, died in 1972. Her youngest daughter Ada looks after her at her house in the Buffelsnek Forest Station, the same house where Rachel's 12 children were born. Rachel was born in 1893 in Langkloof.

Lucy GROENEWALD celebrated her 100th birthday on 14 October 2006 in Nelspruit. She was born in Lichtenburg, grand-daughter of Cmdt. Hendrik VERMAAS, who according to Lucy fired the first shot of the Anglo-Boer War. At the age of 23, she married Robey, a wealthy maize farmer. He died in 1951.

Catharina Johanna (Katie) MEYER of the SAVF retirement home in Witbank, celebrated her 102nd birthday on 1 November 1998. She was born in Natal while her family was trekking. Katie’s father was Jan Adriaan DE LANGE and her grandfather was the Voortrekker Commandant and son-in-law of Piet RETIEF, Hans Dons DE LANGE. Durig the Anglo-Boer War, her family was put in a concentration camp near Durban, where her two brothers and her father died. After the war, Katie and her mother moved to the farm Boesmanskrans, where they lived with her grandparents in tents while the burnt down farm house was re-built. A school was built on the farm and the children were taught by “Kruppel Jan” LE ROUX. Katie became a shorthand typist and worked for an attorney in Pretoria. She married Jan Adriaan VENTER, a machinist with the Railways. They had three children: Meraai (died in 1996), Jannie (79 in 1998) and Clifford (61 in 1998). After Jan’s death, Katie married Theodorus Johannes MEYER, a geologist who worked for Louis LUYT. He died in the 1970s.

Suzie HUGO of Ottosdal celebrated her 100th birthday on 5 November 2007. She was born on the wine farm Fairview near Paarl, that belonged to her father. It was her father who introduced goats to Fairview. In 1943 Suzie married Boet HUGO and they had three children. Boet died in 1973. Suzie has four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. In 1998 she helped with the restoration of the Fairview farmstead. She still helped her son Francois and his wife Maggie, with their dairy farm, in her early 90s. Suzie was well known for her boererate (Boer folk remedies) and was credited with saving the life of Nico JORDAAN, who still lives in the Ottosdal area, when he was a young child and had croup.

Two nuns at Emmaus Convent in Cambridge, East London celebrated their 100th birthdays last year - Sister Serena on 13 October and Sister Bertrand on 27 November. They are originally from Germany. Sister Bertrand entered the convent when she was 18. She is one of 15 children and followed in an older sister's footsteps. She arrived in South Africa in 1928 and worked in Johannesburg, King William's Town and Queenstown. In 1960 she visited her family in Germany.

Tertia FLEMMING of Pretoria celebrated her 100th birthday on 5 December 2007. She lived in Bloemfontein for many years, and was on the executive of the Oranje-vrouevereniging (OVV) where she did welfare work. Her interest in welfare comes from the days when she boarded with an aunt, Maria KLOPPERS, who ran the Maria Kloppers Children's Home in Johannesburg. She was born in Robertson and matriculated from Hoërskool Helpmekaar in Johannesburg. After school, Tertia enrolled at Potchefstrooms Onderwyskollege in 1926. In 1929 she joined the Suid-Afrikaanse Vrouefederasie (SAVDF). In 1945 she moved with her husband, Reverand H.C.J. FLEMMING, to Natal, where she joined the Natalse Christelike Vrouevereniging (NCVV). The couple moved to Bloemfontein in 1954 where the Reverand became the minister of NGK Bloemheuwel. Flemmingpark, a housing estate for senior citizens in Brandwag, Bloemfontein, is named after her. tertia was also involved in setting up nursery schools in Bloemfontein - Rooikappie and Tinktinkieland. The Mooihawe retirement home in Bloemfontein was also one of her projects. In 1953 she received an international award for her welfare work. In 1987 she was a recipient of the Order for Meritorius Service, presented by the then State President, P.W. BOTHA. Tertia has lived at a retirement home in Pretoria for the past 17 years, and was until recently still active in the SA Vrouefederasie in Pretoria. Reverand FLEMMING died in 1977. They had two children. After his death, most of their large book collection was donated to the University of the Free State. When Tertia left Bloemfontein in 1990, she donated most of her books to the same university. She has eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

Josie NEL of Greytown turned 100 years old in December 2007. She was married to Phillip NEL, who captained the 1937 Springbok rugby team. He played in 16 Tests and was captain in 8. His first Test was in 1928 against New Zealand, and his first captaincy was in 1933 against Australia. Josie received a visit from Jacob ZUMA, ANC president, on her birthday. She speaks Zulu. Her daughter is Jeanne JENNINGS.

Diena HERMAANS of Helenvale is 104 years old. Her youngest child, Pieter, was born on Christmas Day in 1956 in Jansenville. Diena had 12 children. Pieter is married to Denise.


The SEAMAN family held a reunion at Van Staden‘s River Mouth Resort earlier this year. Members gathered from Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town and the Eastern Cape to help celebrate Joan MASTERS' (née SEAMAN) 70th birthday on the 2nd February. Edith STOCK (87) was the oldest member present. The youngest member was Keegan LE ROUX (two weeks old). Joan is one of six children of Edith‘s sister, Marjorie, who married into the SEAMAN family. One of the STOCK children, Lyn WATCHURST, was also present. The SEAMAN family were farmers in the area. Some of the family lived in Uitenhage.


Liliesleaf Farm, where the Rivonia trialists, including Nelson MANDELA and Walter SISULU, met in the early 1960s, is to be renovated as a museum and resource centre. The project will cost about R50-million, funded by the National Lottery, the Department of Arts and Culture and a cigarette company. The farm will open as The Learning Centre, which will include a Liberation Centre, a coffee shop with a curio outlet, exhibition areas and a 66-seat auditorium. The museum will include the main house, where Arthur and Hazel GOLDREICH were interrogated by police during the raid; a thatched cottage where Umkhonto weSizwe and SACP members met; and two outhouse buildings from where MANDELA and other key members of MK operated for two years.


South Africa's second oldest mosque, the Palm Tree Mosque in Long Street, celebrated its 200th anniversary in December. The oldest mosque, by 13 years, is Owal Mosque in Dorp Street. A procession of people dressed as slaves, horses pulling carts, pupils from various madressas and the Habibia Siddique Muslim Brigade marched from the Church Square Slave Lodge to the mosque in Long Street. This was followed by the recitation of the Qur'an by scholars, and a Sunday lunch. The mosque was initially a private residence with a dedicated upstairs area for prayer.


The oldest children's home in the country, Die Suid-Afrikaanse Kinderhuis, celebrated its 200th anniversary in February with a special joint service by the Groote Kerk and the Lutheran Church in Strand Street. The two churches have been the main driving forces behind the home. The home opened on the 1st September 1908 after a widow, Margaretha MOLLER, approached the then Governor of the Cape, the Earl of Caledon, with a proposal. Today the home houses 44 children between the ages of 6 and 18.


A feature documentary about Isaac OCHBERG, a wealthy industrialist who rescued children from death in Eastern Europe in 1921 and gave them new life in South Africa, was short-listed for a 2008 Oscar in the documentary short category. By 1921 more than ten million people in Russia had perished from six years of war, famine and disease. About 300 000 Jewish orphans faced a bleak future. In 1920, Isaac OCHBERG, who had emigrated from Russia when he was a teenager, started a fund raising drive. Less than a year later, he had raised £10,000 and set off from Cape Town to rescue as many Jewish orphans as he could. He brought 167 children to South Africa. The documentary was filmed in the original locations, and combines archive footage, as well as testimonies from the children.


The old Seaview Hotel in Port Elizabeth will be replaced by a R300-million development that includes a five-star hotel and about 100 apartments. The hotel was bought by the Kat Leisure Group for R15,4-million at an auction in June 2007. The hotel is older than 60 years, so the company has applied to SAHRA to have some parts demolished. While the hotel stands vacant, thieves have stripped it of copper pipes, windows, glass, corrugated sheets and bathtubs. The inside is smelly from human waste and stagnant rain water. Before Kat Leisure bought the hotel, the property had been on the market for two years. A Dutch national, Bob DE RONDE, bought the hotel in 2002, but ill health forced him to close in 2007. Built more than 70 years ago, the Seaview Hotel was a popular venue for lavish banquets, weddings and dinner dances. It was built for Sir Lewis RICHARDSON who died two years before its completion in 1935.


Grahamstown-born artist Jane WILES settled in Bathurst three years ago where she built the Wiles Gallery. She's the daughter of Norman and Lucy Mary MULLINS. Lucy was born in Johannesburg in 1918 and trained as a nurse. After divorcing Norman, Lucy and her two daughters moved to Engcobo. Jane attended Sacred heart Convent in Queenstown. Lucy met Brian WILES, when she went to lessons with his artist father, Walter Gilbert WILES, in Knysna. She married Brian in 1954 and her daughters officially took his surname. The family moved to Knysna and Jane went to school in Port Elizabeth where she matriculated from the Senior Collegiate School for Girls in 1963. Brian died in 1993. Lucy (90) lives in a retirement village in Port Alfred and still paints. Jane studied art and psychology at Rhodes University. In 1964/65 she spent a year in Pennsylvania on an American Field Scholarship. In 1969 she started lecturing in English at the University College of Rhodesia. She married Professor Tony VOSS in 1969 and had two children, Lucy in 1970 and Ben in 1973. She went on to start and run the Black Sash office in Pietermaritzburg, and did a drama degree. Jane taught English at Fort Hare University from 1979 to 1983, then at the University of Zululand from 1983 to 1994. She took up art full time after the death of her partner, Lorenzo De Neuilly RICE, whom she married three months before he died in 1994. The artistic streak runs deep in this family - Jane‘s son from her first marriage, Ben VOSS, is well known for his work on Green Mamba and Black Mamba with Spud author John VAN DE RUIT. Jane‘s daughter, Lucy, has a PhD in drama in education. Jane is collecting her step-father‘s and his father's paintings. If you have a Wiles work, contact Jane at Tel: 046 625 0340.


The City of Cape Town has a number of major renovation projects on the go or in the planning stages for various city landmarks. There is a proposed R40-million plan to restore its crumbling City Hall, and turn it into a public centre for music and cultural productions. The plan was developed by the city, the Cape Town Partnership (CTP) and the Cape Town Heritage Trust (CTHT), and calls for the establishment of a section 21 non-profit company to manage the restoration of the building. The section 21 company would raise the funds from donors and bank loans.

Another project is the re-development of the Sacks Futeran buildings in Buitenkant Street. The five buildings have been bought by the District Six Museum, which intends spending about R25 million on them in the next two years. Plans include a theatre, a restaurant, a shop, and archiving the museum's collections. The Museum is seeking funding partners.

Greenmarket Square will get a multi-million-rand facelift in time for its 300th anniversary on 10 March 2010. The square has played a significant role in the city's history since the late 17th century when it was used as a trading area. Plans include making the Square pedestrian-friendly, widening of the Shortmarket Street sidewalk, upgrading of the ablution block, construction of a concert stage, reconfiguration of the informal trading areas, and moves to link it to the 2010 soccer World Cup fan mile. Heritage features such as a slave memorial and original water pump are also being considered.

Property developments in and around the Greenmarket Square precinct have boomed in recent years. Eurocape Holdings, the largest foreign investor in Cape Town's CBD with its R1 billion Mandela Rhodes Place development, and the Indian Hotels Company, Asia's largest hotel group, are investing R300 million in the development of the Taj Palace Hotel, a five-star luxury hotel on the corner of St George's Mall and Wale Street. The hotel will form part of what is to be called the Cathedral Precinct, linking the Company's Garden with St George's Mall and Greenmarket Square. Vunani Properties, another major investor, has launched a jewellery mall off Greenmarket Square.


The old Rand Steam Laundries buildings on the corner of Barry Hertzog Avenue and Napier Road in Richmond, Johannesburg were demolished in January 2008, even though they were protected under the Provincial Heritage Resources Authority of Gauteng (PHRAG). The four-acre site was where Rand Steam started in 1902. They were the oldest remaining laundry buildings in Johannesburg, some dating back to 1896. The site consisted of a village with cottages for employees; a blacksmith and farrier who maintained the carts used to collect and deliver laundry; and a soap-making section. The last remaining cottages have been stripped of doors and inner walls. The site was bought by Imperial Group in March 2006. The buildings were protected in terms of two provisions of the National Heritage Resources Act (NHRA):

- Section 34(i) that prohibits alterations or the demolition of any structure older than 60 years without a permit to do so from the PHRAG
- Section 27 whereby the structures were provisionally declared a provincial heritage site which also requires a permit to alter or demolish structures within the proclaimed area

The NHRA provides for penalties when the protection is contravened. The penalty for demolishing a heritage site is "a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or both such fine and imprisonment". In 2006 architect Justus VAN DER HOVEN was fined R300 000 for demolishing an Art Deco building, Dudley Court, in Parktown North. He also received a five-year suspended sentence, but the building was already lost and this type of punishment does not seem to deter others.

According to Dean MERREDEW, a property consultant with Imperial, a demolition permit was obtained and sent to PHRAG in November 2007, along with an engineer's report stating that the site was a health hazard. According to him, there was no answer from PHRAG. Hubert BRODY, chief executive of Imperial, said the company believed it acted lawfully and had obtained a demolition order from the council. He said the order was given "in the interest of public safety" and called for demolition within 15 days of issue or to appoint a structural engineer to make a recommendation. He said a firm of structural engineers was consulted. The firm "strongly" recommended demolition of the building. A statement issued by Imperial stated that "our people did not give adequate regard to the possible historic and cultural considerations regarding the property. We apologise unreservedly for this error of judgement".

Shortly after Imperial bought the site, Flo BIRD of the Parktown & Westcliff Heritage Trust (PWHT), requested that the site be provisionally protected. This was done and notice was given in the Provincial Gazette of 20 September 2006. PHRAG was planning to declare the site a permanent heritage site. According to MERREDEW the first Imperial heard of this protection was when PHRAG sent a notice to them in October 2007, asking them for comment on the change from provisional protection to permanent protection. Imperial objected, claiming that the site was barren. In October 2006, John CARSTENS, MD of Imperial, said the company was in the process of applying for rezoning of the site from residential to a motor dealership site. He indicated he was not averse to the protection the site had been given. In terms of this protection, Imperial would have to undertake a heritage impact assessment. Demolition may not take place without a heritage survey. This survey records the social history of the site, the date of construction and the architect, and the history of the buildings.

A protest was held on 7 February 2008, organised by the PWHT , the Parktown Association (PA) and other heritage pressure groups. By law, no more than 15 people at a time were allowed to hold the protest banner and demonstrate, so the 150 protestors of all ages and races took it in 15 minute turns to man the protest. John CARSTENS resigned from Imperial and will be leaving in July.

Rand Steam Laundries and Cleaning and Dyeing Works came into existence in July 1902 when Palace Steam Laundries (originally Auckland Park Steam Laundry, revived in 1898 as Palace Steam Laundry) and the Crystal Spring / American Laundry amalgamated. The American Laundry was in financial difficulty. Frank Oscar NELSON, owner of Palace Steam Laundry, was a major shareholder in American prior to the amalgamation. He was a laundry man from Chicago and is said to have opened the first steam laundry at the Robinson Mine. He built a large twin-gabled, double-storey house, designed by Bertram AVERY, on the Rand Steam Laundries site. Rand Steam Laundries became the biggest laundry operation in South Africa. The Union Castle shipping line sent its laundry to them every week by rail. By 1910, Rand Steam Laundries had 13 branches on the Reef and employed 33 delivery vans. The AMOILS family owned the property from 1946 until it closed in 1962. Since then, the property has been used by a number of light industrial companies.

Laundries back then were generally known as steam laundries. Steam entered the title when machinery began to be used for washing and ironing, and these machines were powered by a steam engine.

Studies in the Social and Economic History of the Witwatersrand 1886-1914; by Charles van Onselen; Ravan Press, 1982
Parktown & Westcliff Heritage Trust


Bathurst’s historic Pig ‘n Whistle Hotel, the oldest licensed pub in South Africa, was provisionally liquidated in December 2007 and put up for auction. No details are known as to whether a buyer has come forward or not. The current owners, Carel KIRSTEIN and Zelda ODENDAAL, bought the complex from show jumping Springbok Mickey LOUW four years ago.

The Bathurst Inn, as the Pig ‘n Whistle was originally known, was built by 1820 settler Thomas HARTLEY, a blacksmith from Nottinghamshire. In 1825 he built a house on Lot 8 next to his forge. The inn provided accommodation and provisions, along with a blacksmith and farrier service. From 1832 surgeon Ambrose CAMPBELL rode in from Grahamstown and attended to patients on the first Saturday of every month. After Thomas’s death in 1840 his widow, Sarah, took over the running of the inn and it became known as Widow Hartley’s Inn. In 1849 Thomas BAINES made an oil painting of the inn and village. Later that year Sarah died and her son, Thomas, ran it for a short while before selling in 1852 to another 1820 Settler, Jeremiah GOLDSWAIN. During WWII it was renamed The Pig 'n Whistle by the pilots from the nearby 43 Air School. Part of the current kitchen walls include a portion of Thomas HARTLEY’s original house.


The pair of huge fig trees in Main Road, Walmer, are looking tired. The area around the landmark trees used to be a bog called Bog Farm. Sydney STEVENS (89) remembers playing under the trees when he was a child. His father used to manage a dairy herd in the area and their house was built on what is now the Fig Tree Shopping Centre car park. Sydney recalls using wood from the trees to make braking blocks for their wagons. There were two big dams which used to fill naturally from the groundwater and people used to bring their cattle there for water and could also buy at a penny for a five-gallon tin.


The Iziko Slave Lodge in Cape Town hosted a salaatul ghaib (prayer for an absent person) on the 2nd January to remember the slaves on the only day that slaves were given off work. Archaeologists have uncovered a slave register of 6000 names, many of whom were Muslim. According to Ismaeel Davids of the Islamic Unity Convention, many Muslim slaves were not given a proper burial in accordance with Islamic burial rights until the abolition of slavery. During the 1700s there were more slaves than free persons at the Cape, of whom a thousand lived at the lodge at one point. Ebrahim RHODA, a researcher of Muslim history in the Cape, said many of the slaves had contributed to building Cape Town. Slaves were brought from India, Angola, Mozambique and various south-east Asian countries to work as gardeners, child nurses, cooks and laundry maids.


Cancer researchers have traced a married couple who sailed to America from England in about 1630, and believe that this couple is the reason why many people in the USA are at higher risk of a hereditary form of colon cancer. George FRY and his wife were married in Somerset, England, and immigrated to America with at least two of their children - a boy who passed the mutated gene to the New York family and a girl who passed it on to Mormon pioneers to Utah. One of the parents was the originator of the mutated gene linked to colon cancer. Almost 400 years after setting foot in America, the genealogy connecting the FRYs to family branches in Utah and New York was found by Deborah NEKLASON, a geneticist at the University of Utah's Huntsman Cancer Institute. The mutation was confirmed in the two families by blood tests and linked through genealogy to the FRYs, the only connection between the New York and Utah branches. The genetic mutation has not been found anywhere else in the world besides America. Researchers found 13 other families in Texas, Nebraska, Washington, Michigan, Wisconsin and Vermont with the same mutation. Though researchers at the University of Utah had studied the Utah family branch for about 20 years because of a high occurrence of colon cancer, they were unable to link them with the New York branch. Two years ago, NECKLASON tracked the common last names in each family. She traced one of the families further back, came across a familiar name and that led to George FRY and his wife. This study highlights that you need to pay attention to your family history.


The mid-1800s saw thousands of Indians migrate to other British colonies, including Natal, to work on sugar plantations. Today, their descendants are connecting with the places where their ancestors lived in India. The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) is helping to make their search easier. Its Diaspora Programme helps trace the ancestral roots of those who migrated during the colonial period as indentured labour. Even though indentured workers had their names, village and district address entered on their emigration passes, there are still problems that show up. Many names have changed their spellings over the years, while villages have been incorporated into different districts. There could be several villages with the same or similar names. The IGNCA programme has trained local researchers who collect information and produce a comprehensive report. Researchers look through old land records, talk to elderly people and possible relatives, and check birth and death registrations.


I first started genealogical writing when I launched Generations — a South African genealogy newsletter in April 1997. The writing bug had bitten, but after producing 30 issues, postage costs and a too-busy life brought Generations to a halt. It was always my ambition to re-launch the newsletter, and finally this is now possible.

A new name, Bygones & Byways, was chosen to reflect the expanded fields of interest, not only South African genealogy, but also history and travel. Tourism is a major sector in South Africa. Combine that with our fascinating history and natural beauty, and you have a sector that can help build communities and bring history to life. There are many places across the country that have interesting histories, and often these are not known. I hope to cover some of these stories in future issues.

Readers who were used to Generations will see that the format has changed, and that some regular columns are missing. This is part of the new look, but columns that were popular in Generations will be appearing here in future. Your comments are welcomed, as are ideas for future articles.


Janet Melville spent over 30 years collecting information on the VAN DER MERWE families of South Africa. She started off by sending letters to all those listed in the telephone directories country-wide, long before the days of e-mail! The result is a book with over 2 000 pages. An accompanying CD includes photographs and archival documents. In 2004 Janet received the D.F. du Toit Malherbe award for genealogical research from the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, primarily for this book. The book costs R800 plus R50 postage in South Africa. Payment can be made to Standard Bank, Rink Street, Port Elizabeth, Cheque Account: 080 275 729, Branch code: 050 417. For more information contact Janet at jmelville@xsinet.co.za


Derek BRADFIELD, from an Eastern Cape farming family, was an outstanding sportsman at Kingswood College in Grahamstown, as well as the band’s drum major. He joined the South African Naval Forces as soon as he was old enough. After basic training, he joined the crew of a frigate attached to the HMSAS Natal. On the 14th March 1945, just four hours into its maiden voyage, they detected and sank a German U-boat off the east coast of Scotland. Years later, veterans of HMSAS Natal met the son of U-714 commander, Capt.-Lt. Hans-Joachim SCHWEBCKE, who died with his crew of 50 on that fateful day. Derek later worked in the advertising department at The Herald newspaper. Derek lives in Port Elizabeth. This book was self-published. Contact Derek at telephone (041) 585 0215.


Author: Hester Wilhelmina Claassens
Publisher: Protea Boekhuis, Pretoria, 2006
This 516-page Afrikaans book looks at the history of boerekos (farmer’s food) at the Cape. The term boerekos dates back to at least 1751, when it appears in a report dated the 14th May from the Cape church council to Amsterdam. Mention is made of a minister who is recuperating in the Swartland by “boerekost te eaten”. The author, Hettie Claassens (72) of Pretoria, researched the topic for a doctorate in cultural history from the University of Pretoria. She consulted archival records and looked at the work of people such as C. Louis LEIPOLDT, Hildagonda DUCKITT, E.J. DIJKMAN and Renata COETZEE. Long-standing beliefs about the origins of some recipes are debunked. Her research started in 1986 and she received her degree in 2004. After studying at the Cape Technikon, she became a domestic science teacher. She later studied Afrikaans linguistics through Unisa, obtaining a Masters with a thesis on the language usage of the BUYS families of Mara.

CENTURY CLUB - celebrating long lives

Piet SCHOLTZ celebrated his 101st birthday on the 4th Jan 2007 at the Suid-Afrikaanse Vrouefederasie retirement home in Zeerust. He was married to Christina for more than 60 years before she passed away. They had five children, all still living. He has 16 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren. During WWII he was a cook, and in later years was he served in the Police Force.

Naas BOTHA of Brakpan celebrated his 101st birthday on the 7th Feb 2007. He was born on the farm Bloemendal near Nigel. In 1933 he moved to Brakpan, by ox-wagon. He has lived in the same house in Gardner Avenue for 32 years. His wife, Hettie, died 14 years ago.

Morris (Morrie) CANIN celebrated his 100th birthday on the 18th Feb 2007 at his home in Morningside, Sandton. He is married to Mildred (88). Morris was born in Porterville and has been married to Mildred, a painter, for 68 years. They have three sons and five grandchildren. During WWI he was in Manchester, visiting relatives with his mother. He attended Parktown Boys' High and was cricket captain in 1924. By WWII he owned a melamine manufacturing company. Later he bought a farm near Kempton Park, where he grew flowers for export. The couple started a farm school, the Bluegirls Water School, for farm children.

Katriena PYLLET celebrated her 104th birthday on the 20th Feb 2007. She was born on a farm near Klipplaat in the Karoo, one of three daughters. Both her husbands pre-deceased her, with the second one, Frank, dying at age 101. Katriena lives with her daughter-in-law, Georgina, in Rosedale, Uitenhage. She has four children, five grandchildren, 39 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren.

Bessie DU TOIT of Strydenburg celebrated her 100th birthday on the 23rd Feb 2007 at the Aandblom retirement home. She has four children, 13 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. One of her grandchildren is Lize BEEKMAN, daughter of Elza, and an Afrikaans singer and songwriter. Bessie is also the oldest living former pupil of the Hoërskool Hopetown, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2004.

Helen COOPER of Bloemfontein celebrated her 100th birthday on the 4th Mar 2007. She was born in Lydenburg and attended school Collegiate Girls’ School in Port Elizabeth. She later worked as a personal assistant at The Friend newspaper. Helen was married to Errol Gordon COOPER who founded E.G. Cooper & Sons. During his career Errol had dealings with Nelson MANDELA and Oliver TAMBO, and Mr. MANDELA sent Helen a letter of congratulations on her birthday. Helen and Errol had one daughter, Lesly (married to COHN) and two sons, Peter (73) who lives in St. Francis Bay, and Brian (60) who lives in Bloemfontein. There are also six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Dawie WARMENHOVEN celebrated his 104th birthday on the 18th Mar 2007 at the Westerbloem retirement home in Bloemfontein. He was born in Klerksdorp, one of six children. His father died when he was seven years old, and at the age of 17 he started working at Barclays Bank. When he was 25, the bank sent him to England for three years. He married Marthie VAN NIEKERK from Fauresmith when he was 32. She was a teacher at Eunice Girls’ High in Bloemfontein. The couple lived in Bloemfontein since 1955 and did not have children. Marthie died at the age of 96 in Oct 2003 after a hip replacement operation in the Bloemfontein Medi Clinic. She was very involved with child welfare issues in Bloemfontein.

Mertie VAN DER WESTHUIZEN celebrated her 100th birthday on the 26th Apr 2005 at Huis Ametis in the Strand. She was born in Rouxville. After Matric she went to Normaal Onderwyskollege in Bloemfontein where she qualified as a primary school and music teacher. Her first teaching post was in Wepener, where in 1928, she married Andries VAN DER WESTHUIZEN. The couple moved to Kimberley in 1945. They had a son, Pieter. In 1977 the family moved to the Strand, living at the Seemeeu apartments for 15 years. Andries died in 1994, five months before his 100th birthday. Mertie has two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Hannie CLAASEN celebrated her 100th birthday in June 2005 in Paarl. She was born in Victoria West. She moved to Cape Town where she became a teacher. She was fondly known as Juffrou Claasie. She never married and moved to Paarl to live with her sister. She was one of the first residents of the Huis Vergenoegd retirement home.

Margaret (Maggie) TOWILL celebrated her 100th birthday on the 15th July 2005 at Jafta, The Hill, Johannesburg. She never married. She was born in 1905 in Hammersmith, England. At the age of three years, her family moved to South Africa. She worked as a typist at Park Station in Johannesburg.

Alida Magdalena (Alie) VAN ROOYEN celebrated her 100th birthday on the 30th Nov 2005 at Silwerkruin retirement home in Wellington. She was born in the Vanwyksvlei district, the youngest of six children born to Willem and Johanna AVENANT. On the 19th Dec 1932 she married Boet VAN ROOYEN, a teacher who mostly taught in Prince Albert. He died in 1985. They had two children, Johannes (married to Linda) and Naomi (married to Alex). Johannes was a Consul-General in the USA, Canada and England, before settling in Pretoria. Naomi became a lecturer in Wellington. Alida also has eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Netta DU TOIT celebrated her 102nd birthday on the 28th Oct 2004 at Serenitas retirement home in the Strand. She was born a THEUNISSEN on the farm Vergelegen in Somerset West. Quite a creative person, she later gave music lessons in Somerset West and the Strand. In 1931 she married Petrus DU TOIT, a manager with Standard Bank. They later settled in the Strand. Petrus died in 1978. They had one child, Reinette (married DE VILLIERS), who became a writer. Netta has four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. The grandchildren, Zaresa BOSMAN, Antoinette RYPSTRA and Talitha MEYER, are all artists.

Magdalena Christina (Maggie) MARAIS celebrated her 103rd birthday on the 25th Aug 1993 at the Huis Pam Brink retirement home in the Strand. She was born ROOS on the farm Rozenhof near Stellenbosch on the 25th August 1890. At the age of 16 she moved to Stellenbosch to become a teacher. She taught at De Doorns and Darling. Maggie married Johannes Petrus Albertus MARAIS, a farmer from the farm Bergsig in Jonkershoek. They did not have children. He died at the age of 74 and Maggie moved to the Oranje Private Hotel in the Strand in October 1970. She died at the age of 103 years and 7 months in April 1994. Maggie’s brother, Tielman Johannes ROOS, died at the age of 98 in March 1993 in Somerset West. He was a widower and lived at Herfsjare. He was survived by four sons: Schoeman (Somerset West), Francois, Tielman and Wilhelm (all of Strand), a daughter, Anna (Boksburg), seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Bettie DU TOIT celebrated her 104th birthday on the 14th Feb 1992 at Moria retirement home in Krugersdorp. She was born in Zeerust. Her husband, Jan, died in 1980 at the age of 93. The couple had five children, of whom two were still living in 1992.


Various provinces and local councils have plans for more name changes. Some of these proposals have led to protests, and not always peaceful ones.

The Eastern Cape is looking at changing the names of at least 58 towns, rivers, buildings, cemeteries, streets and landmarks next year. These include King William’s Town, Queenstown, Port Elizabeth, East London and Grahamstown. Local committees will look at changing names which are considered offensive; corrupted or misspelt; or colonial. Of the 58 places which could be renamed, 12 bear the names of colonial governors.

Cape Town is looking at changing 39 names, after the initial list contained 238 proposed name changes. The committee is headed by Rhoda KADALIE. Changes include renaming JB Hertzog Boulevard to Nelson Mandela Boulevard; De Waal Drive to Phillip Kgosana Drive; Coen Steytler Avenue to Walter Sisulu Avenue; DF Malan Street to David Poole Street; Castle Street to Krotoa Street; Hans Strydom Avenue to Albert Luthuli Avenue; and Oswald Pirow Street to Christiaan Barnard Drive.

Durban’s recently proposed name changes led to violent protests in the city. This after opponents claimed that proper procedure had not been followed in the renaming process and that affected people had not been adequately consulted. The list contained at least 288 proposed changes. The most controversial proposal was that of renaming Kingway in Amanzimtoti after Sibusiso Andrew ZONDO, an ANC member who planted a bomb at a shopping centre in the town on the 23rd December 1985. Two women and three children were killed, 48 people were injured. He was sentenced to death in September 1986. Irma BENCINI was 48 when she died and Anna Petronella SHEARER was 43. Cornelius Francois SMIT, Willem Arie VAN WYK (2 years) and Sharon BOTHMA were the children killed.

The proposal to rename Edwin Swales VC Drive to Solomon Mahlangu Drive was just as controversial. Major Edwin SWALES was a Durban resident who joined the Natal Mounted Rifles at the outbreak of WWII and in 1941 helped to liberate Abyssinia. He became a pilot and was killed three months before the end of the war. Knowing that his damaged plane was about to crash, he held it steady, enabling his crew of nine to bale out. They survived. He was one of only two South Africans to receive the Victoria Cross in WWII.

NMR Avenue is also in the firing line, to be renamed to Masabalala Yengwa Avenue. The avenue was named after the Natal Mounted Rifles, one of South Africa's oldest regiments which is still in existence. Smith Street is to become Anton Lembede or Moses Mabhida Street. It was named after Captain Thomas Charlton SMITH. He was a Waterloo veteran who commanded the British forces who were besieged at the Old Fort in 1842.

Name changes in South Africa have been common throughout its history. When South Africa became a republic, the government of the day started changing place names. The target then was any trace of the country’s British history. A classic example of this is the military base in Pretoria — it was first known as Robert’s Heights during British rule, changed to Voortrekkerhoogte by the Nationalist government, and in 1998 changed by the ANC government to Thabo Tshwane. What governments forget, is that a country’s history cannot be changed or erased merely by changing place names.


The Anglo-Boer War concentration camp in Krugersdorp will soon see a housing estate rise on its site. Plans for the new development were announced by Calvin SEERANE, Mogale City mayor. Portion 7 of the farm Paardeplaats 177Q, between Kroningspark Caravan Park and the Dr. Yusuf Dadoo Hospital, will be used. By 1901 there were 5 488 people in the concentration camp, which was the largest camp in the Transvaal. The concentration camp graves at the Burgershoop Cemetery, across town, will remain untouched. It is not the first time that development has taken place on a concentration camp site. At the Irene concentration camp, the graves were retained when a cricket pitch was built on the site.


Meisieskool Oranje in Bloemfontein celebrated its centenary earlier this year. The well-known Afrikaans school was founded in 1907 by President Marthinus Theunis STEYN of the Orange Free State. After the Anglo-Boer War, the British started implementing changes to the educational system which led to protests by Afrikaans parents. In September 1903 a petition was signed by 23 000 parents and handed over to Sir GOOLD-ADAMS, Lieutenant-Governor of the Orange River Colony. As a result of these protests, Christian National schools were established by Afrikaans communities. These schools were amalgamated with State schools in 1905 due to a lack of funds.

President STEYN held discussions in 1905 to establish a Christian National school for Afrikaans girls. Funding came from many sources, such as the NGK and the Netherlands. The school’s name honours the financial contributions made by the Dutch. The first classes at Christelike en Nasionale Sekondêre Meisieskool Oranje were taught on the 11th April 1907 and the official school opening was on the 2nd August 1907. Some of the first pupils were children who had been in the concentration camps. Boarding facilities were offered from the beginning, as many pupils came from rural areas. Elizabeth Susanna LE ROUX was the first school principal, appointed at the age of 26. She later married John Henry EYBERS and was the mother of the Afrikaans writer, Elisabeth EYBERS. Gladys STEYN, daughter of President STEYN, attended Eunice Girls’ School and later became principal of Meisieskool Oranje. She was also the first female barrister to appear in a South African court.

Part of the celebrations included the unveiling of an ox-wagon in the school grounds. The ox-wagon was used in 1938 in the Great Trek commemorations. It was built in Knysna and made the symbolic Trek from the Cape to various parts of South Africa. It was originally presented to the school in September 1944. The oldest former pupil at the celebrations was Mrs. Erna OBERHOLZER (97) who matriculated in 1926.


The Koinonia Community Centre has launched a project in Paarl. The Reverend Abe Maart Oral History Institute aims to preserve the history of the Paarl valley and help local youth understand their roots. The Institute builds on the project that Koinonia undertook for the Department of Arts and Culture in 2006, where the history of five struggle leaders was captured. The Institute will record the history of people and organisations, using a variety of media with the aim to broadcast these on the community radio station. Living legends in the community will be identified and interviewed. The project runs will be active until February 2008. For more information, contact the project manager, Harlan CLOETE at 082 925 5212.


Earlier this year, the Free State Artillery Regiment opened its new headquarters in Kroonstad. The HQ was previously in Bloemfontein. The Regiment is one of the oldest artillery units. It was established in 1864 by President Johannes Henricus BRAND and was known as the Oranje Vrijstaat Artilleriekorps. The corps saw action in the Basuto War and at the Battle of Thaba Bosiu, where Cmdt. Lourens (Louw) WEPENER was killed on the 15th August 1865.

In 1880 Capt. Friedrich Wilhelm Richard ALBRECHT was made Officer Commanding. He was born near Berlin on the 20th Nov 1848 and joined the military in 1867. He served in the 4th Prussian Guard Artillery of Berlin and took part in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). When he became OC in the Free State, he drew on his Prussian military experience to re-organise the corps. In 1894 he went to Germany to source military equipment for the Free State. When war broke out in 1899, the corps had about 400 men including 5 officers and 159 gunners and NCOs. There was also a military band, and a signal and heliograph section. They saw action at Belmont, Graspan, Modderrivier, Enslin and Magersfontein, amongst others. On the 27th Feb 1900 ALBRECHT, along with most of the corps, was taken prisoner-of-war at Paardeberg. He died on the 14th Nov 1926.

After ALBRECHT’s capture, Capt. Willem Hendrik MULLER, was made OC. He was taken prisoner-of-war on the 3rd February 1902. In 1932 the unit was re-named Oranje Vrystaat Veldartillerie. During WWII, three officers and 153 NCOs saw service with the 12th Field Battery, Fourth Field Brigade.


The Anglican Cathedral Church of St Cyprian the Martyr, in Du Toitspan Road, Kimberley, celebrates its centenary in 2007/8. The foundation stone of the cathedral was laid on the 5th March 1907, but the parish history dates back to 1870 when John Witherstone RICKARDS became rector. By 1876 the congregation had grown too large. In 1879 a new iron church building was imported from England. The cornerstone was laid by Lt.-Col. WARREN on the 28th August 1879. On the 18th November 1879, a strong wind swept away the new church before it was completed. The church was constructed again in Jones Street and dedicated on the 28th March 1880. When this church again became too small, the architect Daniel Westward GREATBATCH was asked to design a new church. The cornerstone was laid on the 5th March 1907 and the church was dedicated on the 13th May 1908. The building contractor was J. NEWTON. On the 30th June 1912, the church was elevated to cathedral status, with the formation of the Diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman. The steeple, completed in 1960, was to serve as a reminder of parishioners who died during World War II. The church also has the longest nave in the country.


The Dolphin Hotel in Nahoon, East London, was demolished in May 2007. A luxury apartment block is to be built on the site. The hotel’s history dated back to 1951 when Frits VAN SEUMEREN and Alf ROEBERT started building a tearoom with bachelor flats above. Once they had built to the first floor slab level, they were refused a trading licence as the municipality had their own tearoom nearby and did not welcome the competition. The plans were then changed and a hotel was built. The rooms included en-suite bathrooms, a first for East London.

The hotel was opened on the 2nd December 1952, with Frans STAAL as manager. Frans was previously with the Queens Hotel. He eventually bought shares in the Dolphin, and later sold his share to Rob GOORHUIS, who later also bought Frits’ and Alf’s shares from their widows. Tony JACOB and Ernie LAZARUS worked in the bar, known as The Fin. The Dolphin was an upmarket family hotel, with many of Frans’ own antique furnishings in use. Rob later sold the hotel to Glen and Sheena JOHNSON. They sold it to developer Grant FURSTENBURG (32), a former pupil at Selborne College. The new development will be known as Furstenburg Grand.