What happened in Durban 50/40 years ago? 1962/ 1972

What happened in Durban 50 years ago?

Last year I wrote up an article covering what happened in Durban 50 years ago. I used my late father in law’s newspaper cut-outs as reference. I am doing the same this year so here goes:

 1962.

The winners of the Dusi Canoe Marathon were the doubles pair, Derek Antrobus and Peter Gladwin of Pietermaritzburg. 

The first intake of Active Citizen Force trainees from Durban leave Durban Station on Jan 2nd to join their country wide counterparts at various military basic training bases. ACF Military Training of 9 months duration is now virtually compulsory for every able bodied white male.   My turn came up in April when the second batch were called up.

Durban’s claim to be the third largest city in South Africa is refuted. The 3rd largest city is awarded to Soweto.

The Transvaal Castle, built in 1961, one of two new Union Castle ships arrived in Durban on her maiden voyage. In 1966 she was sold to the South African Marine Corporation , “Safmarine” who now joined Union Castle on the South Africa–UK run. In 1977, the SA Vaal was sold to a consortium and used for cruising in the Caribbean under the name “Festivale”.

Marcel Marceau, much acclaimed as one of the greatest mimes ever, has a week long run of performances at the Alhambra Theatre in March.

Kingsmead Sports Ground in Old Fort Road is considered for demolition as the ground falls into major disrepair.

Though not Durban related, John Glenn becomes the first American astronaut in space as he orbits the Earth 3 times in 4 hours 56 minutes before splashing down in the Caribbean near Puerto Rico. He was the third person in space after Yuri Gagarin and  Gherman Titov.

Miss Geraldine Waters is chosen as Miss Freshette at University of Natal Freshers’ Ball held at the Athlone Hotel. The two runners up are Miss Rosemary Mackenzie and Miss Lee Parker. All of Durban.

The Passion Play presented every 5 years is being performed in Durban. Directed by Father Noel Coughlan, David Horner takes the role of Christ for the 3rd time.  Durban is the only city in the world allowed to present the Passion Play getting special permission from Oberammergau.

The tragic death of Terence John Flusk (17) having been assaulted at a house party shocks Durban. The accused aged 18, is found guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.  The death of Terence  was remembered by his mother and family annually on March 10th in a memorial insert in the Durban newspapers.  The last I saw it was in 2007.

“The Natal Daily News”, probably Natal’s favourite newspaper, changes its masthead to “The Daily News”  on Monday 26th March 1962.

The Durban City Council gives approval for flowers to be sold inside the main entrance of Stellawood Cemetery. How many remember the flowers sold on the pavement by Mrs Barbieri outside her home in Stella Road near Stellawood?

The New Nurses’ Home at Addington Hospital under construction is making good progress and will open in 1963.

Mr Izak van Heerden, a master at Durban High School, is chosen as Manager of the Springbok rugby team to play the British Lions in a four match test series.  Izak van Heerden as manager/coach of the Natal  rugby team was instrumental in raising Natal’s stature as a provincial rugby team.

The Jones Car Tyre and Retreading Company of 60 Pine Street is totally destroyed in a fire.

Dudley Andrews, who played a major role in the development and teaching of ballroom dancing in Durban dies at the age of 53. His dance studio called “Dudley Andrews” was in Kent House, West Street. His wife carried on the studio, many teenagers and young adults learning the intricacies of the quick step, fox trot, waltz, jive and the hot dance of the time, the cha cha.

The Durban Ocean Terminal is opened coinciding with the arrival of the new flagship of the Union Castle Line , the Windsor Castle.  Sadly today a white elephant.

The 1962 Comrades Marathon,  an up run, is won by John Smith of the UK in 5 hrs 57 mins and 5 secs. Jackie Mekler is second, 7 minutes behind. The race was run on 30th May.

The first 80 families of the Zanzibari Indian Community who lived on the Bluff are moved to Chatsworth. This 600 strong community, the descendants of slaves, were living  in an area overlooking Durban off Bluff Road. I have an idea the cemetery was left intact. The Zanzibari  community dates back to 1873.

With South Africa now a republic, the Durban City Council decides that the Union Jack will no longer be flown from the flag pole on the City Hall portico. 50 people gather to watch the lowering of the flag for the last time at 5 pm.  At the time there was a rash of car bumper stickers proclaiming “Natal – the last Colonial Outpost”  which featured the Union Jack.

A South African Airways Skymaster “Lebombo” and a South African Air Force Harvard trainer collide over the Bluff. The Harvard crashes on the Bluff with pilot and co pilot parachuting to safety. The Skymaster is able to land with a severely damaged tail fin.

In April, the Convent School in St. Andrew’s Street closes with the transfer of the school to a totally new facility in Glenmore.  The nuns’ convent in Convent Lane,  at the back of the Durdoc Centre, was also vacated  when the nuns moved to Glenmore.

The Durban July is won by a 16-1 rank outsider called Diza with apprentice Aubrey Roberts up. Second is White Foam, then the favourite Jerez and The Giant ran in fourth.

The second rugby international, South Africa vs. British Lions,  is played at Kings Park Durban on July 21st.  Keith Oxlee,  the Natal fly half kicks a penalty and scores the only points in a hard fought match.

The Twine’s Hotel, corner Gardiner Street and the Esplanade,  closes it doors and is due for demolition. The hotel was built in 1902.

Following much local support in a “Save Kingsmead”  campaign, restoration of the old grandstand and the wooden stands starts in earnest. Local firms pitch in with contributions of material required.

The Durban Gold Cup horse race is won by a 20-1 outsider, Speciality, ridden by T. Lange.    Runners up were New Chief, The Giant and West Point. The favourite Scotfree runs fourth from last. Punters having a bad year!

The Durban firm, Natal Glassworks,  53 Williams Road is gutted by fire.

The Durban – Kwa  Mashu train line is opened with an hourly train service.

The Natal Grand Prix is run at the Westmead Race Circuit on 22nd December. The Grand Prix is won by Team Lotus with Trevor Taylor the winner, just edging out Jim Clark.  Richie Ginter of Team BRM is third and South African Neville Lederle fourth.  A short while after the grand prix, whilst practising for the South African Grand Prix at the Westmead Circuit in Pinetown, Gary Hocking, a Rhodesian motor ace loses control of his Lotus Climax, collides with a tree and is killed.

In my review of 1962, I recorded the passing of Terence Flusk. I came across this in the Sunday Tribune 11/3/2012:

 

 

What happened in Durban during 1972?

Demolition begins at an old Durban landmark, Yorkshire House on the corner of Field and Smith Street.  The site will become the new headquarters for General Accident Insurance and  will accommodate a new multi-storey building. Yorkshire House was cornered between the OK Bazaars in Smith Street and Stuttafords in Field Street.

The Channon Report concerning improving productivity in Municipal Services is tabled before the Durban City Council.  Councillor Mrs. Pat Geary strongly urges the Durban City Council to revise the present long winded procedures of present day local municipal government.

A major blaze occurs at the oil refinery at Reunion.  The fire breaks out 240 metres from the main refinery installation and clouds of black smoke can be seen all over Durban.

The area below the stage in the Durban City Hall is excavated to accommodate a mechanically elevated section which will increase the stage area. The City Hall floor was also to be replaced. I remember that on completion, there were signs posted outside the entrance doors of the hall stating, “ No stiletto heels are allowed”, these being high fashion at the time.

The French luxury liner, France, pays a rare visit to Durban.

The  South African “Book of Life” to replace the green ID cards is introduced.

HUNUC (Habitat University of Natal Underwater Club) is prepared for its submergence off the Durban Coast. Vaughn Stone is one of the “inhabitants” who with others will live in the specially built and designed steel structure. The interior includes a 4 plate stove, landline telephones, a fridge, shower and toilet. Trials are undertaken in Durban Harbour when the “craft” is submerged alongside a wharf. Admiral Johnson of the SA Navy who launches the “craft” is not sure if he is “launching a ship, a submarine or a house”. Four teams of  divers and researches will each spend 7 days underwater carrying out observations and experiments. A later entry in the scrapbook. Thousands watched as the underwater habitat HUNUC is towed out to sea in May.  Hours later the habitat lay on the sea bed opposite Addington Hospital,  a battered wreck!

Durban’s Mayor Mr Goldman starts the 1972 Durban to Johannesburg (DJ) motor cycle rally.

Moira Wood is chosen Rag Queen 1972 with Sue Clarence and Ruanne Louw as princesses.

History of Old Durban, and Reminiscences of an Emigrant of 1850 by George Russell, is reprinted by T.W. Griggs after being out of print for many years. This book was written by Russell at the suggestion of George Christopher Cato, Durban’s first mayor. My late father in law bought a copy then which I have today. An excellent book to have if you  are interested in the foundation  years of Durban.

Mrs Joan Cashmore, widow of renowned British architect,  Mr F. Milton Cashmore, visits Durban and appeals for the preservation of old buildings such as The Marine Hotel,  and the Old Mutual Building in Gardiner Street. Mrs Cashmore states, “ The history of Durban may not be long, but it is rich in valour and achievement and it will lose its character if buildings which are vital links between past events and present are pulled down.” The Marine Hotel and the Old Mutual Building are both eventually demolished.   

 Warrant Officer, Mickey Doo who was the Station Commander of the Cato Manor Police Station during the 1960 riots dies in Krugersdorp at the age of 63.  Those who remember the violent riots which claimed the lives of 9 policemen may recall the hordes of Blacks who rampaged down the “old” Berea Road finally being stopped at the Berea Road/ Umbilo Road intersection to prevent them from reaching the CBD.  I recall as a senior student at St Henry’s the mobs making their way past the school via Marists Road. The military eventually used the school grounds as a “military base” with a couple of armoured vehicles stationed there.    

 The first super tanker to make use of Durban’s offshore single buoy mooring, BP / Shell’s British Explorer, discharges 207 000 tons of crude oil.

The Durban – Johannesburg oil pipeline bursts at Bellair  and millions of litres of partly refined oil spews into the Bay from the Umbilo Canal.  A tight security net is thrown along the entire area as there is a risk of a flash fire. The threat was such that army commandos, city and railway police were called  out at night to man roadblocks and  to line the entire route of the break to prevent the public from approaching the breach.

Jock Leyden the noted Natal cartoonist celebrates 35 years service with the Daily News.

The 1972 July is won by In Full Flight (5-1 odds) , ridden by Raymond Rhodes and  is trained by David Payne, the youngest trainer in the race.  Pedlar runs second, King’s Guard third and Angelina fourth. The hot favourite Mazarin at 6-4 runs ninth.  David Payne eventually emigrated to Australia.

The Comrades Marathon is “invaded” by a team from English running club, Tipton Harriers who make a clean sweep. The 8 man, Tipton Harriers team make off with the Winner’s Cup as well as the first novice home, Mike Orton, and the Gunga Din Shield for the team. The team consists of Ron Bentley (Captain) Gordon Bentley,  Ron Copson, Mike Orton, Bill Carr, George Johnson, John Malpas and Tony Burkett. Second home was Dave Bagshaw who won in 1971, followed by Dave Box. Mike Orton won in a record time of  5 hours 48 minutes 57 seconds for the up run. Unofficial runners amongst others, Christoff Mabiso and Simon Mkhize complete the course for the first time.

Stephanie Reinecke of Durban is chosen as Miss South Africa. She is the seventh Miss South Africa from Natal in the 16 years the competition has been held.  Stephanie only makes the final 15 in the Miss World Competition held in London.

The Gold Cup is won by Humdinger ridden by Ron Roberts followed by Free Style and Fleet Owner who dead heated for second with Indian Boy fourth.

Edgar Adeler, the honky-tonk pianist at the Malibu Hotel’s Father’s Moustache celebrates his 78th birthday at the nightspot with a birthday bash.

The worst fire in three years in Durban completely guts the Cinerama Theatre (corner Smith and Aliwal Streets) ,  previously the 20th Century. The fire also destroys the photographic studio in the same building.  Eight fire engines  fail to save the building.

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154 Responses

  1. Melanie
    | Reply

    Very interesting read. Thanks for taking the time to write it all up. I’m looking forward to later years…I wasn’t yet born in ’62. I arrived in Durban on the Windsor Castle in ’73 as a baby.

  2. Claudia Levarelli
    | Reply

    Dear Gerald, what a lovely contribution. May I ask that in this contribution you please add ‘Thomas More School’ now Thomas More College, opened its doors to 55 boys on 1 February 1962. The school now holds 1192 boys and girls to date.

    • shirlee Naidoo
      | Reply

      I was born in 1966. I am so privileged to read about these article. I was only seven years old at that period of time. I have very little memory about Durban and Chatsworth when I was seven . I am so blessed and homered to know the things that happen when I was little girl. Amazing stories to tell my grand children. God bless shirlee Naidoo Bayview

  3. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Claudia,
    You have just added it with your comment. My late father in law obviously did not add the opening to his scrapbook or it may not have been prominently displayed in the newspaper. Why do I seem to recall that the School was opened by the late Archbishop Denis Hurley or am I wrong.?
    Gerald.

    • Claudia Levarelli
      | Reply

      Dear Gerald
      The school had the Archbishops patronage and support. It was a dream soon realised by the late Robin Savory and the Archbishops brother, Chris Hurley. Chris Hurley was our Headmaster (1970-78), successive to Robin Savory (1962-70).

      • ivan beal
        | Reply

        you mention robin savory, would this be the same robin savory that taught latin and i think history at st charles marist brothers college in pietermaritzburg? if so i was in his class for a couple of years. he was an excellent teacher and i did very well at latin. archbishop hurley was a marist old boy and visited the school often. i heard in later years that robin savory had died at a fairly young age in a motor car accident.

  4. Jo Wallstrom-Walda
    | Reply

    Oh how this year brings back memories. I went to Convent High and was in my matric year in 1962. It was sad to move to Glenmore. Does anyone remember the cafe called “Wedding Bells” on the corner of Smith Street & ? I forget. They used to have a lady there that read tea leaves. I remember walking from the bus stop in Smith Str to St Andrew’s street, when I heard this almighty scream behind me and a huge thump. Someone had fallen (or Jumped) out of a flat window and was killed on impact. I remember being hustled away pretty sharply. We girls from the convent often used to go to Marist Brother’s to watch cricket on a Saturday. The captain of the cricket team was my boyfriend at the time. Arch-Bishop Hurley was always there to watch the cricket. He would always greet us with a big smile. The entertainment at the time was going to the Umbilo Drive, and then later to the Bluff Drive In. A group of us often used to go to Brighton Beach, Anstey’s Beach and Fynnland’s Beach near Salisbury Island. They had a dance floor there which bounced as you danced. I can’t remember the name – maybe “wagon Wheels”?
    Father Noel Coughlan was our parish priest on the Bluff and he used to get into an absolutele frenzy when the rehearsals were on. Funny enough he married my husband and I in Verulam in 1967. He was a lovely person. I wonder what happened to him? Later in 1962 I met my husband and we would often go to the Cumberland Hotel for dinner and dance. Somehow or other we always landed up at the Cuban Hat and had Pie Chips and curried gravy. We always had to run like mad to catch the last bus to the Bluff. My husband would then walk from our house to Montclair. going via Edwin Swales, Clairwood and Blamey Road to where he lived. To think that its 50 years ago. My how time flies. Regards Jo Wallstrom-Walda. I love this site. I often read it when I feel nostalgic.

    • Rodney Leak
      | Reply

      Jo Wallstrom-Walda 2 April 2012 comment on Wedding Bells. It was on the corner of Smith and Russell Streets. It was owned by the Wait family of the Astra Hotel that was at the bottom of Russell Street.
      I went to St Josephs Primary, then Parkview and finally Glenwood High leaving in 1966.
      Keep up the narrative.

      • Mark Lowe
        | Reply

        Hello Rodney

        I know that Alan and Doreen Hawtin, great friends of my late grandparents (Robert and Betty Virtue) and then also my late parents, owned “Wedding Bells”possibly in the 60s and 70s before retiring. Alan and Doreen at that time lived in Bishop’s Court in Russell Street (possibly above “Wedding Bells”? Alan died in 1982 and Doreen in 1988.

    • Vernon Varty
      | Reply

      Hi Jo … The Wagon Wheels was up Florida Road, where the John Drake Trio played for many years. I played Friday and Saturday nights at The Barbeque, which was near Fynnlands railway station, at the start of the causeway to Salisbury Island. They had a sprung dance floor, and I wonder if that was the place you mean. Funny thing, I had a girlfriend Jennifer who lived near Lighthouse Road, and I had no car (and no busfare) so I used to hitchhike home … also to Montclair. Small world.

  5. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Jo
    It’s great looking back at years gone by, not so? I went to Marist Brothers leaving in 1961 so will probably remember who your boyfriend was. Talking Convent girls in 1961/2 I was going out with a Convent girl but the 9 months Army stint put paid to that. In 1968 I met another Convent girl through a Marist friend of mine and we married in 1970. Barrie Black and I have been together 42 years now. Barrie’s close friend is Hazelmay Duncan (nee Watkin) also Convent, both matriculating 1964. Hazelmay’s husband is Alan Duncan also from Montclair. What was your maiden name if I can ask? Wedding Bells was near Russell Street. There was (and still is ) a big block of flats on the corner called Russell Mansions.

    • Jo Wallstrom-Walda
      | Reply

      My maiden name was Walda. We came to South Africa in dec 1951 from the Netherlands. We were on the ship called the “Zuider Kruis” which was a converted warship. From Cape Town it went to America, Australia. New Zealand. Then back to Rotterdam to pick up more immigrants. It stopped in Cape Town where we disembarked on 4 dec 1951. From there we boarded a train which took 3 days to get to Durban. The girls I remember from my Matric year was Edwina Akels, (they had a big hardware shope in ?, Laura Mcloughlin whose brother was Gordon McLoughlin, captain of the cricket team of Marist Bros in 196/1962? , Deidre Pratt who lived at the Gables on the Esplanade. She was very artistic and made lots of things in paper mache etc. I wonder what happened to them. Barbara Barbeiri was in one lower standard than me and used to dance quite often when we had concerts. Too many things to remember. Regards Jo

    • Bryan
      | Reply

      And right next to wedding bells was Willingdon mansions, and diagonally across the street another landmark tea room, the Mexican Hat, owned by the parent’s of surfer George Thompson, a little way down Russell st was the..Tudor Rose..Hotel, excellent dining.

    • Kitty Hooey nee Douwes
      | Reply

      I remember the name Hazelmay Watkin. Did she go to St Joseph’s Convent in Smith Street in the 1960’s ? I was there but went on to DGHS where I wrote Matric in 1964. Kitty.

      • Darryl marx
        | Reply

        Hi Kitty
        Remember you and Ant many years ago
        Last I heard you were in the UK
        We emigrated to Canada in 1999
        Love to hear from you
        Darryl.

    • Peppy Burns Anckorn
      | Reply

      Hi I remember Hazelmay. She lived next door to the Pedlar family. What a small world.

  6. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi again,
    Being Dutch we had some immigrant families with sons at Marist, von Kruiselberge, van Hest, Smits are the ones I recall. The head girl was Edwina Akal who now heads Embury College in Windermere Road. She is Dr. Edwina Grossi now. The hardware shop was in Stamford Hill Road near Sutton Park. I knew Gordon McLoughlin well and his sister. Gordon and I played league hockey. Gordon sadly no longer with us, a sad story. Laura used to come with her brother to the socials we had at St Henry’s in the 1960s. She was very outgoing and popular with the boys. Good dancer if I remember. That was Margeret Barbieri the ballerina who eventually became lead dancer with Sadlers Wells in London. She still lives in the UK. Her brothers were at Marist. Deidre Pratt you got me on that one.

    • Peter
      | Reply

      The Akal family are well known and highly respected in Durban business and social circles. One of the Akals was headmaster at St Henry’s Marist in the past 10 – 15 years or so, as my youngest son attended there. I know several of the brothers or cousins, I am not 100% sure and have been to their store in Stamford Hill Road several times. They are now part of the listed Midas group.
      In my dealings with the Akal family they have proven to be solid, honest and respectable gentleman and businessmen.

      • Bryan
        | Reply

        I knew Derek Akal from weightlifting, he was from Bellhaven and I from YMCA, I think he has gone to Australia a number of the Akal family have, he was an excellent lifter and represented Natal.

        • Gerald Buttigieg
          | Reply

          Hi Bryan
          I know Derrick ( not Derek) Akal quite well and recall his weightlifting days at Bellhaven. He took his weightlifting seriously and I used to accompany him to competitions to give him support. He used to have an issue as to whether he had done enough preparation for his competitions. I recall him getting his Natal colours. He eventually retired from Akals (later Midas Akals) not so long ago but hear he is now associated with Marshalls in Durban, As far as I know he still lives in Durban with his wife Barbara.

          • ivan beal
            |

            mon cher gerald
            you will find some akals in the class photos that i sent to you
            there is one of them sitting behind neville kerdachi in one of the photos, i can’t remember his christian name but there were quite a few akals and there were at least two families of kerdachis that i can recall

    • Isabel Ronaldson
      | Reply

      Margaret Barbieri now lives in Sarasota Florida USA. and is co-director of the Ballet there, with her husband
      and as an old girl of convent high (1951) now living in the USA, still remember her ballet evenings at our concerts together with Kerry Roberts who did the Spanish dancing, it’s nice to read these comments and also a walk down (long way)memory lane.

    • ivan beal
      | Reply

      another memory, you mention margaret barbieri, i was at school with her brother edward, he and i were in the same class, i am sure that gerald would have known him. he has a brother quite a bit older than him, i think about six years older. i am still in contact with edward, he is living in los angeles, or was a couple of years back. he came over to london some years back and we had a re-union dinner, you can imagine the nostalgia, he had his wife with him and my wife renee was also with us. i think his brothers name is mannie. i know that margaret was big in ballet at sadlers wells in london but i was not aware that she had moved to the states. i have a class photo of edward and i at school. gerald was, i think either a class above or below us. i was born in 1940. seems so long ago now!!

  7. Jo Wallstrom-Walda
    | Reply

    Well Gerald, its good to know that some of us did well. I remember Edwina vividly, they originally came from Lebanon and she had beautiful auburn hair. Her sister Cheryl was also a few classes below us. When we came in the Zuider Kruis in 1951 quite a few fellow Dutch people came too. The only one’s I remember going to Marist Bros were the Schuurman boys. Harry & Theo, the 3 younger one’s I don’t remember that well. Theo was about my age. My Parents became good friends with a lot of Dutch and Belgian people. My father was contracted by Philip Frame who had a textile factory in Jacobs. My father’s job was to install all the looms and set the patterns in them for the blankets that they started out with. He was a loom tuner by trade and did pretty well. Afterwards it became quite a large business. My family went back to the Netherlands in Jan 1963 and I came back alone in October 1965. So I missed quite a few years there. But I’m very glad I came back. Have never regretted it. South Africa is the most beautiful country. Ps please let me know what happened to Gordon. They were such a lovely family I would hate to think that something awful happened to Gordon. If you prefer to e-mail me please look on facebook under Josephine Wallstrom. Regards Jo

  8. Norm King
    | Reply

    This is the first time I have accessed your site.. wonderful. I am an old Durban boy (born 1950) left SA in 1973 to work in London and never returned to live. Ex Glenwood high…..It was great to read and remember…Thanks for the effort

    • Peter
      | Reply

      Hi Norm,

      I just discovered this site this week ! and I agree that
      it’s really a great idea. I was born in 1946 btw.
      My younger son attended Glenwood High and I attended
      Sastri College.

  9. Lorna Currie Thomopoulos
    | Reply

    Gerald’s list priceless on so many levels.
    I was at the party when Terry was killed and many years later taught his nephew at Maris Stella ( boys were allowed the first two years of school if their mothers or sisters were or had been pupils)
    My husband, George Thompson Thomopoulos ( yes, that Thompson) owned The Mexican Hat on the other corner of Russell and Smith St between 1969 and 1974 and we would send a waiter over to Wedding Bells to buy chips when we ran out.

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      | Reply

      Hi Lorna
      Thanks for the compliment. Although we only remember our generation as such, at least its there to remember. Your husband would not know the surname of Theo who owned Theo’s Cafe would he? See my post Durban round and about 1955. Theo would have been older than him but being Greek, it is a rather close knit community.

    • caroline nathan rozentvaig
      | Reply

      Hi Lorna,
      I remember when you told us at school that you were at the party when Terry was killed.This year is the 50th anniversary of Durban Girls High School matrics.I am living in Joburg .Where are you living now.What happened to Devora Nelson, Pamela Hitchcock,Wendy Emery etc.Linda Cohen who also lives in Joburg asked me what we are going to do for the class of “64 celebration.

  10. Lorna Currie Thomopoulos
    | Reply

    Theo Merkouri…now living in Greece. His brother owned Basil’s Cafe on cnr of Point Road and Smith Street ( he also returned to Greece and died last year).
    I have a connection with Izak van Heerden. He was my mother’s cousin and she often popped up to his Berea flat to drive him somewhere as he never learnt to drive!
    He was involved in Argentinian rugby too and is a revered figure in their rugby history.
    Also have a memory of seeing a boyfriend off to the army at Durban station that day. It felt like a war with all the hundreds of uniforms and tearful females.

    • Allan Hannah
      | Reply

      Hi Lorna

      You are probably aware that Izak van Heerden spent some time at DHS as a master and rugby coach. I sent Allan Jackson a picture of Izak and DHS rugby players that were coached by him and I am hoping that he will publish the picture for your info!

      Regards
      AllanH

      AllanJ replied: Here’s the picture at last.

      AllanH wrote: I am third from the right, bottom row, as you look at the photo. No doubt readers will recognise some the faces and I hope that that bring back fond memories!!

      • Owen Van Renen
        | Reply

        OMG. Is that Animal Wallace i see.? Chills. He terrorized everyone n my first year at DHS 1961.

  11. Rodney C.
    | Reply

    The mention of Mr Goldman as mayor reminded me that he was the first Jew to be Mayor of Durban, however, he kept the Rev Bill Deeble as his mayoral chaplain. Bill Deeble had been chaplain to Mr Goldman’s predececessor as mayor , Mr Trevor Warman. Rev Deeble was Rector of St Margaret-on-the-Hill (Anglican) Church and at one time (maybe still) had the distinction of being the longest serving Mayoral Chaplain in Durban. Mr Warman was elected to the City Council by a group who were attempting to oust the supposedly ineffectual councillors, many of them of long standing. One other thing that I remember about Mr Warman was that he managed to obtain membership of the DHS Old Boys’ Club without having ever attended DHS. At that time , membership of the club was strictly restricted to ex-DHS pupils.

  12. Rodney C.
    | Reply

    ‘ A major blaze occurs at the oil refinery at Reunion. ‘

    This brings to mind another recollection of that era. I don’t suppose that they are still run, but in those years I remember that in school holidays different Durban industries gave free tours. My mother often took me and my brothers on these outings and one of them was to the then Mobil refinery at Reunion. Others that I recall were to Lever Brothers at Maydon Wharf, Dunlop (Gale Street?), and the whaling station at the Bluff. We used to travel in one of the luxury municipality coaches – I think that they were a powder blue in colour unlike the everyday municipal uses.

  13. Lyn
    | Reply

    Does anyone have any memory of a Barbara and her friend Peter who used to frequent the Beach Hotel every evening? They both lived on the Berea. This goes back to the years 1969-1970 and beyond. I’m trying to reconnect with them or even get some up to date news about them.

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      | Reply

      Do you have a surname? This would help. We are going back 40 years plus so the more info you can offer the better.

  14. Lyn
    | Reply

    Is anyone aware of other sites where I could possibly enquire if anyone knows how to reconnect with old friends? I’m only interested in genuine sites where old friends can reconnect. The only sites I’ve been able to find so far, other than this lovely site, are those dealing with dating and such.
    Thank you.

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      | Reply

      Hi Lyn
      There is a site http://www.sareunited.com which I see still operates. I used it a few years ago but not recently as, if I recall there was some charge for getting information. Apart from that, I do not know any other local service. This FAD site is not really the forum for what you are asking as it is mainly directed at information about Durban and not people tracing. However I am sure that names mentioned in scripts and photos that have been posted have reconnected people such as the current thread Lee Man Ltd., see the diary, where there is obviously a reconnection of old Durbanites.

      • Esther
        | Reply

        Lynn, Try facebook – there is a page called waar in die wereld which apparently is brilliant at finding people you have lost contact with, or one of the Durban pages…there are several.

  15. royal connor
    | Reply

    having been borne in Warwick Avenue 67 years ago, I am hugely interested in being updated in relation to what is happening there and in the surrounding areas…

    • peter
      | Reply

      Hi Royal,

      That makes us ex neighbours as I was born in Old Dutch Road 67 years ago !

  16. devora nelson reed
    | Reply

    Please note that there is a reunion for DGHS class of 64, and the person to contact in connection with this is Meryl Gluning Trevethan at meryltre@telkomsa.net

    • Mike Sjolander
      | Reply

      Hi Devorah

      I have just been going through this site and it reminded me that we had our Glenwood O B dinner with a small group from the class of ’64.
      I retired from educaton a few years ago and live in Ballito.

      Mike Sjolander

  17. Mary Drake
    | Reply

    Does anyone remember the Palmerston Hotel in the middle 50’s with the John Drake Trio playing there. Great band with great music. The late John Joustra on bass with Johnny Marshall on Drums and Johnny Williams on Vibes. Wonderful days and great music to dance to. Where did all those wonderful times go to. Cuckoo Lane with the musicians getting together after their regular jobs and just hanging out and playing great jazz. The old Cosmo club in what was then known as Cartwright flats. I would love to hear from the ” oldies” that are still around who danced to John’s music also to Phil Harbor and Basil Metaxis, Maureen Donne – a wonderful vocalist and going back even further Billy Farrell’s big band with Freddie Kidwell. There was also Cherie Wayner the organist and Boris Cohen who played at the Bencorum that was burned down. I know I am almost 80 years of age but there must be some of us left from those wonderful days in Durban where music was music. My e-mail address is marydrakesa@yahoo.com and I would love to hear from you.

  18. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Mary,
    Welcome to FAD. My first question is were you a teacher at Avon Primary School in Westville mid 1980s? I have a recollection you were as you taught my son there in 1983. But to your post. Yes I would say that most of those names you mentioned would only be recalled by “oldies” all in their 70s and 80s now! I recall John playing at the Los Angeles Hotel for the people who gathered in the open treed courtyard in the evenings. I was then playing Hockey for the Gongs Hockey Club and that was our get together venue after practice as the club had no clubhouse. That was 1967-1970. Sadly bands as you describe them hardly exist these days and the ones you mentioned were all well known. I remember Cherie was it not spelt Wainer? There was also Eldon Hawkes at the time. Possibly one forgets that in those days, bands were hired to play at wedding receptions. These cannot be related to today’s over the top events as normally receptions then were limited to a few hours in the afternoon with the bride and groom leaving from there directly to their honeymoon destination. If an evening wedding it was virtually the same.
    John if I recall at one time taught music at the Art Centre in Albany Grove. If you ever passed that building in the afternoons after school, you had a cacophony of sounds as students rehearsed. Simon Kerdachi taught drums there. Yes one wonders where all these musicians disappeared to. As it is, the only place you see pianos these days is in the communal lounge of old age homes!

    • Vernon Varty
      | Reply

      Hi Gerald. I’m happy to say that there are still at least some bands who play at wedding receptions. Mine is one of them. I played PLENTY of weddings in Durban from the early 60’s up till 1988, then moved to Cape Town in my early 50’s, looked for like-minded musicians, and we are still a busy band now, even at my advanced age (78). And yes, we still do weddings, not as many as before, but there still seems to be no shortage of young people who like our music. One of the great loves in my life is your correspondent Mary Drake, with whom I fell in love when I was 10 years old, and Mary certainly knows those great days.

    • Mary Drake
      | Reply

      Hi Gerald So Sorry its taken me so long to add to my last post. Yes John did teach music at the Art Centre in Albany Grove. John used to sing the following words to the number “Making Whoopie” In John Drake”s studio there’s lots of noise, a girl is screaming – boys will be boys, So don’t forget folks, that’s what you get folks,
      Whilst making whoopie.
      Unfortunately I don’t remember the rest of the words Maybe someone else remembers them
      Vernon Varty – you are very special and I treasure the school photo with both of us in it together with other family members

  19. Annie
    | Reply

    Oh my word!! I got married in 1972 in Durban- Am now on the North Coast- I was born 63 years ago, in the Cape. schooled in Durban..Gosh what memories this site brings back,, and how time has flown..Where does it go???

    Thank you so much for this site. a real tearjerker in my case.

  20. peter
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald,
    Albany Art Centre in Albany Grove brings back memories. I used to go there for piano lessons with the late Mr Patrick Chambers. If I recall correctly, he spoke about his daughter Cecilia ( named after the patron Saint of music ), who was a student at the
    Natal University. She was also a violinist under his tutelage. If I remember correctly
    he told me that she had an accident at a young age and lost her life as a result. There was also another music teacher, Mr John Shirley, ( Shirleen ? ) at the art centre. There were also some shops in Albany Grove like Pellegrini’s, a Portuguese restaurant called O Pescador ?

    • Amina Carini
      | Reply

      Hi
      I’ve just come across this website. I am so pleased to see that someone else remembers Mr. Chambers. I started piano lessons with him when I was 4 years old in 1963, for about 6 months. Used to hop on the tram. I then went back when I was 8 years old. All these lessons were held in his studio at Art Centre, Albany Grove, next to Gerald Kerdachi. I remember that he had a photo of Sir Percy Scholes (Oxford Companion to Music) on his wall. Sir Percy Scholes had taught him harmony, if I
      am not mistaken. He also had pictures of his late wife (who was Mauritian) and himself as a young man, as well as a piece of art that his daughter Cecilia had done. It was a bridge with a weeping willow (crayon with black polish over and the scene “scratched/etched ” out. I remember copying this idea. He was a wonderful, dedicated teacher, who did so much to help those who couldn’t afford music lessons, eg. the cleaners at Art Centre who wanted to learn to play the piano. I think we paid R6 a month for 2 children to have piano and theory lessons. I stayed with him until my grade 11 (standard 9) year, even though I had passed my grade 8 piano 2 years earlier. I then went on to learn voice with Madame Davia (also Art Centre), and did a B. Mus. at U.C.T. Thank you Mr. Chambers. By the way, he taught my mom and her siblings at a coloured school in “School Lane” which runs between West Street and Pine Street.

    • Lynda holmes
      | Reply

      I also learnt music theory, violin and piano with Patrick Chambers in the 1970s and still have a photograph he gave me of himself. Used to live in the same block of flats as me in Kings Mansions, Acutt Street. Used to hear him come home late at night after having a meal in a small restaurant in Albany Gtove. He certainly new how to teach theory. A very lonely man who died at Nazarareth House. Will always be remembered.

      • amina carini
        | Reply

        Hi Lynda — I also have a photo of Mr. Chambers. I teach music and I have it up in my classroom at school. Yes he was lonely. We often had him over for a meal. I do wish that I had told him just how much I appreciated all that he had done for me.

  21. Mimi
    | Reply

    Good day Guys,

    This website is super cool. I need some help finding information on 17 cato street, Durban. this is just off smith street. It is a very old building. Any old articles or news or incidents that took place in this building. It is now a business premisis. I want know what was here previously, owners, incidents, deaths…anything that you may have come across or know of.

  22. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Mimi,
    Just to enlighten other readers Cato Street is not too well known as to its location. So let’s put that right and say that Cato Street runs between Smith St. and Winder St. It virtually is an extension of Prince Alfred St and has Stanger St running parallel to it. It butts on to Winder St. close to where the Victoria Embankment (Esplanade) becomes Winder St. That is in the vicinity of the Customs and Excise Building as one enters the harbour from the Esplanade.
    Looking at the 1938 directory 17 Cato Street was the Hotel Bradford with W.J. Lowers as owner . 30 years later 1968, the hotel is still there but now called the Casa Mia Hotel. On one side at No 15 was the Dept. of Indian Affairs on the other side No 19-21 was Softex Mattress (PTY) Ltd.
    Strange request Mimi but that is all I got. Deaths??

  23. mel
    | Reply

    Hello Gerald,

    With regard to your reply of July 8th to Mary Drake, I would have said that it was your namesake Gerald Kerdachi (a very fine drummer) who taught drums at the Art Centre.

    Sadly his brother Simon, a pianist and piano teacher passed away last night, 1st September 2014, after a long battle with diabetes, and after a leg amputation.

    All three Kerdachi brothers (with Desmond on trumpet) were very well-known Durban musicians.

    • John M
      | Reply

      Gracious me ….. as I recall my mother was bookkeeper for Ted Kerdachi in the 50s – must be father of the 3 brothers!? Or maybe uncle as next post says there were several families.

    • ivan beal
      | Reply

      hello mel, here i am again going through the nostalgia, every so often i read through these pages again, this time the memory that comes back is neville kerdachi, he was at school with me, after leaving school he bacame a very successful businessman involved in real estate in durban and probably elsewhere, there was alsoa gerard de rauville another marist boy who was very much involved in the property market in durban and laster, london england where i met up with gerard not many years ago. however, i was unaware that there were three kerdachi brothers performing as musicians, surely they must have been related?

  24. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Mel,
    I knew Gerald Kerdachi from school days at St Henry’s. He was a couple of years older than me and I knew he played drums but did not know he taught them. I am sure I met him post school days and he had an electrical business. Sad to hear of Simon who I knew by sight only. There were a couple of Kerdachi families in Durban at that time. Thanks for the info.

    • Vernon Varty
      | Reply

      Desmond Kerdachi (trumpet) and Simon (piano) both had leg amputations, The 3rd brother Gerald (drums) lives at Abu Dhabi with wife Zelda … he runs his own engineering business there. I vividly remember rehearsing in Simon’s studio after 1:00am with Dianne Chandler for her City Hall concert the next evening.

  25. Shirley Wagner Parel
    | Reply

    Do any of you girls remember the Fashion Club held at Payne Brothers on a Saturday morning. I went a few times with my friend, the Springbok swimmer, Joyce van Reenen. I also remember Dickie Lauder and the Blue Jeans performing there.

    • Dave Strydom
      | Reply

      Hi Shirley,
      It was Dickie “Loader” and the Blue jeans, they played at “sessions” in Durban and up and down the Coasts.

  26. Ella
    | Reply

    Hi all 🙂
    Would any one have any recollection of a certain indian magician ,called Yusultini, would have been round about late 1950’s early 1960’s -In the Durban area. . Any information, pictures,accounts or Newspaper clippings would be much appreciated .
    Thanks.

  27. Glenda Koekemoer(nee Sutherland)
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald,
    On 10 June 1972 my brother Alan Sutherland was tragically killed at Summerveld training centre. He was in his final month of being an apprentice jockey. We still miss him today.

  28. Derek Austin
    | Reply

    Some sad news about the son of the famous Ken Denysschen who played for Durban City. Go to this link http://www.biznews.com/thought-leaders/2013/08/09/the-story-of-a-mayor-who-conned-an-rdp-house-owner-and-pocketed-the-rent/

  29. Liz
    | Reply

    Hi there,
    I am looking for Greek flag ships that was docking in Durban harbour in the year 1968, the month of October and November period. The ships docked at the harbour for about a month. My friend has never met his father and that is the last information he has. If anyone can assist with the above information and details, it would be appreciated.
    Regards,
    Liz

  30. Alec Turner
    | Reply

    Can anyone recall the name of the well known and extremely popular restaurant in Albany Grove. It was early 70’s.
    I certainly remember the tragic events of the schoolboy Flusk. I was in the same class at DHS with some of the boys that were involved , I lived in Gordon Road. Our neighbour behind us was Basil Metaxis we often listened to him playing his sax.
    Who remembers walking down West St.after work and going to the “Cookie Look” at the Claridges Hotel?

    • Shirley Wagner Parel
      | Reply

      Hi Alan. Wasn’t the restaurant called “74”. If so it was where I got engaged in 1965. Hope this rings a bell.

      • Shirley Wagner Parel
        | Reply

        Thanks for the correction “67”. I knew it was a number. It must have been a good place as I was only 17 when I got engaged there and I have been married 49 years. Great memories.

        • Karen Laxton
          | Reply

          HI Shirley
          It was the “67” and I signed my name on the wall … Along with many other people!! DId you do,that … It was the best restaurant in Durban and I had my 21st dinner there !! I am 70 now … Wonderful memories of all the Musicians .. Does anyone remember Peter Platt? ALso played piano with Johnny Marshall .. John Drake, the Kerdachi brothers, Basil Metaxis … Such fabulous memories!! THanks ! Karen née Wilson.

          • Peter Heath
            |

            Wow Karen! I had lunch at the 67 whenever I could. The Kerdachi Brothers – did they live in Vause Road? Did they have a sister Sandra? And was their dad a councillor? If so, I remember them well from my school days. I lived in Silverton Rd – 103, I think. Basil Metaxis was a musician if my memories serv me – and didn’t he do a bit of radio work? I used to produce radio commercials at Henry Diffenthal’s studio furthur up Albany Grove opposite the Playhouse Bioscope. I worked in Albany House for Lintas. What fantastic memories. I also lovd th Royal Hotl cheese board – but that’s another story. You made my day Karen. Thanks! Peter Heath

  31. Danny Moodley
    | Reply

    I started work at the killerney Hotel in1962. the first Dbn to Jhburg oil pipeline
    started in 1964,The Contract was given to the Americans.I was offered a Job.The contract
    was completed in 1966.The name of the contractors were McAlpine Sommerville.
    The Artisans came from Canada,USA and Britain.Most of our South Africans were
    assistances.This contract was given by the South African Railways And Harbours.

    • JohanM
      | Reply

      Danny I remember the Killarney Hotel of the early 80’s. They used to provide strip shows with cheap pub lunches at the time lol.

  32. Frank Beeton
    | Reply

    I think it was the “67”. I took my wife to be there on our first serious date. We’re still married after nearly 45 years so it must have been good!

  33. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Quite right Frank it was the “67” Restaurant located at the bottom end of Albany Grove, Victoria Embankment end.
    Shirley. “74” is the name of a popular fish that is caught in KZN waters although one hardly hears that name today. Maybe it was on the menu in 1965??

    • Rodney Leak
      | Reply

      I remember the 67 in Albany Grove very well. In the ’60s they were not nearly as many restaurants as there are today and it waqs usually a treat to go to one, such as the 67 anyway. For a family occasion my Gran was down from Joburg so to 67 we went. Presented with the a la Carte menu she proceeded to order a five course meal thinking it was table d’hote style of eating. We never did tell her that it nearly broke the bank! Another place i recall was Lindy’s in Smith Street, between Field and Gardiner?

      • JohanM
        | Reply

        In the early 80’s I remember places like Diamond Circle in the old Malibu Hotel, Club Med disco, the famous XL roadhouse at the beachfront opposite the Malibu Hotel which was open 24/7. London Town Pub with its red bus inside lol. Father’s Moustache where you could watch good quality cabarets. Maharani and Elangeni Hotels, the Blue Waters next to the old Natal Command Army Base. Don’t know which of these still exists as I moved back to Cape Town in 1989 after I got married.

      • John M
        | Reply

        “67” was great!!! Also the Napoleon in Aliwal Street.

  34. Linda Fivelman nee Walls
    | Reply

    Rodney Leak .. Good grief… Same class at school St Josephs. Sister Clements, mrs Walker, Mrs St.George, Sister Brandon who made us sit under the fig trees in the grounds ( ..bird poo and green figs. ) Still remember well. Mrs du Casse .
    Same class Cheryl Bennett, Carol Salmon, Georgina Fraser, Pat Harding, Leona Adams ,. So many hilarious memories, .. Sister Carmel, Sister Clements. Such characters !!! And so dedicated!

    • Rodney Leak
      | Reply

      Yup Linda. You are remembered. Have a class photo with you in my archive. Put it on the St Josephs fb page a few years back.

  35. JohanM
    | Reply

    Hi, what an interesting article on Montclair’s history. I arrived there from Cape Town in December 1982 as a young 18yr old railway policeman fresh from Esselen Park Police College in Johannesburg. All our youngsters lived in the ER Carney Railway Hostel up top in Benson Rd, and I was stationed at the old Louis Botha Airport at the time. Initially those days few of us had our own personal transport to travel to Durban on a Friday or Saturday night if we were off, so we opted for the MONTCLAIR HOTEL (MONTY’S) for drinks and a dance or two which was just below the hostel in old South Coast Rd. I tried to check it out on google maps but I can’t seem to find it anymore. Do anyone perhaps know what ever happened to this very popular spot since then and where to look for it if the building still exists. What fond memories for the last 33yrs, how time flies lol????

    • Mike
      | Reply

      Hi Johan M. The hotel has long been demolished and a cold-storage company has been built on the land.

  36. Sandra Talbot
    | Reply

    Hi, I am trying to find out more about Yorkshire House, which is mention under “what happened in 1972”
    My grandfather was stationed in Durban during World War 2 and died in Addington Hospital in 1943, on the cemetery register his address was Yorkshire House, Durban.
    I have been searching the internet, and this is the only reference I have found. Just wondered if anyone remembers it and can give me any more details.
    Thank you.

  37. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Sandra,
    A difficult one to answer but I remember Yorkshire House on the corner of Smith and Field Streets. It was a double / possibly triple storey building in the midst of the Durban CBD. It was demolished and replaced by a multistorey General Accident Insurance building. This is given in the reference you mention in your post. As far as I know Yorkshire House when I knew it was purely commercial offices and not a residence. I looked up Yorkshire House in the 1938 Durban Directory I have and it is listed there. In 1938 there were mainly commercial offices but listed are several names only. I would need to have your grandfather’s name to see if he is listed specifically. If he was only stationed in Durban, possibly he was being attended by Dr Fleming Johnston who had rooms in the building or perhaps solicitors who also had offices in the building. Also SEARCH this site to get access to Durban’s graveyards.

    • Sandra Talbot
      | Reply

      Hi Gerald,
      Thank you for your reply, I have since spoken to my mum, (grandad’s daughter), and she seems to think he was actually living in Cato Street, at least this is where she believes she wrote to him. Grandad had lost an arm during the Great War, and was in Durban working in the victualling depot for the Navy. It could be, as you suggest he was being attended to by the Doctor, or it was some other official business connection. He was buried in Stellawood Cemetery and some lovely lady on another website, has very kindly photographed the burial site for us. Thank you for you help.

  38. Geraldine anne Kelly
    | Reply

    Dave Box who came second in the comrades in 1971 to Dave Bagshaw passed away in Durban this week aged 86yrs. He was a lovely man was still riding his bicycle last year. May his soul R.I.P.

  39. Aloysius
    | Reply

    Who were Miss Durban in 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1970

    • Karen Laxton
      | Reply

      HI Aloysius

      I was “Queen of the Bay” in 1962 …. I believe it changed to Miss Durban a few years later. IF you have any pix of the competition I would be very grateful! MY name was Karen Wilson in those days ! THanks
      Karen

      • Allan Jackson
        | Reply

        Hi Aloysius. If you have any pix for Karen just let me know via Contact in the menu and I can arrange to get them to her.

  40. Deryk McBain
    | Reply

    Anybody know the contact address or phone details of : Wendy Morgan – Peter Morgan –
    Patricia Morgan ex Cunningham Lane, Red Hill ? These were the girls’ single names before marriage. Peter was an electrician, Wendy married a butcher named ‘Copper”after being educated at Northlands Girls High School, circa 1980.

  41. Vernon Varty
    | Reply

    Hi again Gerald. Quite a few contributors above refer to musicians from those 50-60 years ago days in Durban. If any of your readers are interested, a track each by Eldon Hawkes and Steve Gale will be airing on a weekly jazz program here tomorrow evening 2 December. If anyone would like details of how/when to listen, give me a shout … my e-mail is vernon@riverboat.co.za … nostalgia rules, OK?

  42. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Vernon,
    Thanks for your comments and your memories. Still hitting it out at 78 is the way to go!
    Only Varty I knew was an elderly gentleman who was the Storeman at Overport Exchange roundabout mid 1970s.

  43. Janet Nicholson
    | Reply

    I came out to SA in January 1972 and remember following the Comrades runners in the MG Midget that I brought out with me from the UK. My flat mate and I were the only people around when Mick Orton overtook Dave Bagshaw at Cato Ridge. My flat mate took a picture, which would probably have been published in the newspaper had we thought to offer it. I’ve now lost touch with my flat mate so have no idea if she still has the photograph.

  44. Hubert Edwards
    | Reply

    I arrived in Durban from Rhodesia in April 1971. I lectured at the University College for Indians on Salisbury Island. The college became the University of Durban-Westville moving to the new campus in Westville in 1972.
    I got married that year at the Old Fort Chapel (St Peter in Chains) a popular wedding place.

  45. Sheila McFarlane
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald
    Happy happy 2016. I trained at St Augustine’s 1961 and have lost contact with most of my “comrades”, so hopefully someone in my group will see this.
    Thanks Gerald.
    Sheila Mcfarlane (Paton)

  46. Frank Beeton
    | Reply

    I’ve just looked at the 1962 summary and must offer a correction. Gary Hocking was killed at Westmead practicing before the Natal Grand Prix and not afterwards. The remains of his Rob Walker Lotus 24 lay in Syd van der Vyver’s garage in Blake Road for some time afterwards as Syd cannibalised it to repair his own similar ex-Jack Brabham/John Surtees car which he rolled and damaged during the Grand Prix. Syd’s own car was badly damaged by fire during 1963 which led to his retirement from motor racing, having been SA Motor Racing Champion in 1960/61.

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      | Reply

      Hi Frank,
      Thanks for the correction. I looked at the 1962 scrapbook again and see that Mr Black had posted an article on the SA Grand Prix of that year 1962. This was next to the article reporting on the death of Gary Hocking which was rather vague in that it mentioned he was killed in a practice lap. I assumed that the two articles were linked but you have set the record straight. Mr Black never recorded the dates of his postings so time wise I have no idea what happened before what.

    • Gerry Bassett
      | Reply

      That information is correct on Syd van der Vyver. It was a sad day at the Westmead Circuit concerning Gary Hocking. Mr Syd used to live next door to a school friend, and I would go there after school, and stare at the Lotus’s bodywork sitting on the roof of his car garage! I was also a big fan of Gorden Henderson and his Scorpion Alfa, which I believed at the time, to be the remains of a wrecked car in which the driver died in Lourenco Marques.

      • Frank Beeton
        | Reply

        Quite right Gerry! The driver who died at LM was Jo Eckhoff. Gordon Henderson must have bought the remains of his crashed 2,2 litre Cooper Climax, because the engine went into an Alfa Romeo Giulietta sedan which was raced as the “Alfa Monaco” by Gordon’s Monaco Motors. The first Scorpion Alfa was copied from Syd vd Vyver’s Lotus 18 in which he won the 1961 SA Championship. However the car had Cooper wheels, and possibly suspension parts, which also came from the remains of Eckhoff’s car.

  47. Vernon Varty
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald … I just re-read all the above posts, and would like to offer a contribution or correction to your first 1962 post, top of page. I was called up for ACF training, and left Durban in January 1956, for our long camp at Potchefstroom. We also had short (3-week) camps for 4 years afterwards. I had asked for Air Force as first choice, Navy as second, so naturally the army stuck me in the Natal Field Artillery, in the mud and dust. We were called up on a ballot system which grabbed 50% of all 18-year-olds each year. Ironically, I did NOT want to go but was called up, while my brother Barry desperately DID want to go but was not called.

  48. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Vernon,
    Having experienced ACF training at first hand I do not think I am wrong nor does the script need correction. Prior to 1962 when the first group of ACF trainees were called up, there was a ballot system based on I think, volunteers and also “names picked out of a hat”. Not everyone’s name was in that hat. In 1959, a law was enacted that made it compulsory for all those turning 16 in 1959, had to report to a police station or army base and register for ACF training. At that time it was not yet written in stone when the first call up was to take place but it did set the wheels in motion and I, like all the others knew that sometime in the near future, there was a more than likely chance of being called up. Once you received your call up papers which happened in 1961, you could apply for exemption on two grounds. One was medical and the other study commitments. On medical grounds you really had to have good reason to seek exemption. I had a school friend who had chronic asthma. He was not exempted but posted to the Army Admin group where he did clerical work for 9 months. On grounds that you contemplated tertiary study, you could get exemption but all it did was postpone your call up and once graduated you still had to do your army service. If I remember correctly a lot of the ballotees (pre 1962) were allocated to the various Commando groups. It was only in late 1961 that many regiments were resuscitated. Durban Regiment was one of them unlike the DLI or NMR and other well known ones who had retained their post war (WW2) regimental structures. In the ballot system, you did not undergo 9 months continuous training but rather, as you say one long camp followed by short camps the years following. Whether the name ACF (Active Citizen Force) was used for your training that I cannot say but I know that it was continuously bandied about round about the time I was called up. As I said the first ACF group left Durban in January 1962 followed by another group every three months thereafter. Basically the difference is, you were “ballotted” that is unfortunately your number came up, many did not . In my case as well as all the others, it was a fait accompli, I had to register, I was going to be called up whether I liked it or not.
    PS I have written up my being called up. Do a SEARCH on FAD of Going to the Army 1962.

    • Vernon Varty
      | Reply

      Thanks Gerald, and sincere apologies. I didn’t know that the system had changed in 1959, and by then I was so heartily sick of the army that the less I knew about it the better. One of the unpleasant memories that comes back to me concerns the extra parades our intake had to do. For the 4 years following our long camp we were expected to attend parades at Old Fort Road, every 6 weeks. I attended the first one, and we all sat around on the floor of the big hall doing nothing for over 2 hours, then we were dismissed. That was enough for me and I never went to another parade. The army didn’t seem to miss me because I never heard a word from them. Four years later, having missed the final parade of the series, I was unceremoniously collected from my home by 2 MP’s and handed over to the SAP as a prisoner. Reason given was that I had missed a parade (apparently they were concerned only with that final parade so I thought it prudent not to mention the 28 or 30 others that I had missed). I ended up spending the night in a cell at Durban Central police station and appeared in court the next day. The fine handed down was 5 pounds or 19 days, and not owning such a vast sum I had to ask a friend to pawn my guitar and amplifier. Live and learn I guess.

      • Dave Strydom
        | Reply

        Hi Gerald,
        You are correct.
        All defence force training prior to 1959 consisted of a three month basic training camp. It was in 1959, the last quarter (I think), that the nine month training camps were introduced. I was called up shortly thereafter.

  49. Dave Strydom
    | Reply

    A wonderful site Gerald, keep it up. Durban was such a wonderful place in those days, mine beginning in the fifties. To see most of the old buildings gone in sad. Special places never to be forgotten, the Playhouse, Cockneys pride, Smugglers, Mick’s Pie Cart, Polar Bar, XL, Cosmo, Bedford, Perks pies, Cuban hat, Nest, Cogee, Kenilworth’s as so many more. I remember the pungent smells of the flower stalls at the end of and corner of Pine st and Soldier way. The bus station before it was decentralized, Roxy, Oxford and Capri.
    Exchanging comics at the Princess Saturday mornings. I could go on forever. Why does it all have to change so and then end.

  50. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Dave,
    Its called Progress by some, others say its Changing Times. Just be grateful you lived through “Durban at its best” days.

  51. Dave
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald,
    I have a question I hope you can answer. As you left Durban station and started up Gardner street on the right hand side was the hotel and pub, cant remember the name, then there was a little shop just before the Model dairy, a tobacconist and newsagent. Once more the heavy pungent smell of tobaccos, cigars, newspapers and periodicals assailed the nostrils! Something in my head says something like Tennyson Burrows? Then of course there was the 3 record selections for a shilling from the juke boxes in the Model dairy. We did know how great it was but just not how great!

  52. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Dave,
    You may be a bit older than I, I am in my early 70s but I have fairly good memories of Durban in the early 50s. I do seem to recall that there was a pub on the corner of Pine and Gardiner Streets with the door of the pub on the corner. This is a vague memory for me and I also have recollections of that corner being redeveloped probably in the late 50s into the building that stands there now, called Poynton House. I cannot recall a hotel being there only a pub. I looked up my 1938 Durban Directory and indeed a pub did exist there called the Victoria. At street level the tobacconist / newspaper / periodicals was and is still there J. Tennison-Burrows where the UK magazines and “comics” like Roy of the Rovers etc. were available just after the Union Mail liners docked in Durban Harbour. The shop is much smaller now. Next door was the Model Dairy and I remember it as it must have been during the war times, having a large area at the back with many small tables and chairs with white table clothes. Teas and eats used to be served and it was a popular “resting place” whilst shopping. I cannot recall there being “juke boxes” in the Model Dairy as it was quite a conservative establishment but then I may be wrong. The Model Dairy did change at some stage as the shop reverted to a “tea room / cafe” with a street level counter only , the seating area being discarded. In the early 60s I do recall a gym was established on the first floor of Poynton House which was very popular, this being something new in Durban where you exercised “in public” as from the Post Office side of Gardiner Street you could see people going through their routines in the gym. Big glass windows gave you ample view. Just beyond the Model Dairy was the old Natal Bank Building with its brick walls and tower. This was demolished in my time and replaced with the modern bank building (FNB?) that now stands on its site. Have a look at some of the old post cards and do a SEARCH for Gardiner Street which will bring up a post I wrote up of the area as I knew it.

  53. Dave Strydom
    | Reply

    Hello Gerald,
    Thanks for that, it came flooding back. I meant to say pub and I now remember it moved up commercial road just above the Oxford and was known as the new Vic. Yes it was on the corner and the crossing to the station used to go diagonally across and not from corner to corner as now. I loved the comet from Tennison-Burrows and the others too. Bought my first pipe there. I am mid seventies. We frequented the Model dairy and sat at that counter countless times, the juke boxes were the smaller ones mounted on the counter and you could select three songs for a shilling. They were there from the beginning of the rock and roll era 56 or so. I remember the dining area at the rear too. I have been in the UK now for almost two decades and have not (have been back to SA on holiday a few times) into Durban proper since 1988 so have forgotten a lot. I did drive down West from about the corner of Umbilo road to Brickhill road and was amazed at the hundreds of taxis ducking in and out without even looking with hooters blaring for customers. In the length of that drive I could count the number of whites on my two hands they were that few. Lunch time on those hot summer days we would go for a dip in the Medwood gardens pool which I believe is now no more. Nostalgia!

  54. Frank Beeton
    | Reply

    During the ‘Sixties the corner of Gardiner and Pine Streets was occupied at pavement level by Natal Radio. Their display window was crammed with electric guitars, much to the delight of the musically inclined. The Model dairy used to serve the most magnificent pie, chips and gravy!

  55. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Frank,
    Quite right I remember that shop with the musical instruments. They also used to have the odd full drum kit on show if I recall. It was the era of the 4 piece rock band then copying the Beatles. My memories of the few bands I do remember were Dunny and the Showmen, A Group called Blue with a friend of mine Billy Gaugain, Dickie Loader and the Blue Jeans of course, The Bats who were a Joburg group who did a long stint at the Butterworth Hotel’s , Le Macabre, Four Jacks and a Jill two of whom I think were Durbanites. Clive Harding and Glynis Lynn(?) who married eventually. Incredible to believe the bands mentioned would all be close to or in their 70s!

    • kristian hansen
      | Reply

      Hi, i remember those bands you mentioned, my brother used to play drums for the deans, i think that two of the members, Barry and Dave’s father owned the ? i forget the name now, it was opposite the yacht club on the esplanade and many bands played there, Dickie Loader, The Diamonds, Ivy League etc. Used to go there on saturdays for lunch time sessions. Great site you have, brings back many memories.
      Regards, Kristian Hansen

  56. Glenn Bubb
    | Reply

    Good Morning Gerald,
    Magnificent site. Thank you sincerely Sir. Halcyon days. Durban in the sixties. As youngsters, the big outing was for the old man to park his Wood trimmed (always highly varnished), shiny black Morris Minor station wagon at the top of West Street, outside Barclays bank DCO (which I later learned was an acronym for Dominions, Colonial and Overseas) and the four of us, the old man, the old lady, my brother and I, would take a slow, window shopping meander to the beach-front. Ice cream cones were a must from the Polar Bar. Greenacres. Payne Brothers. ABC and Cuthberts Shoe stores. OK Bazaars. Stuttafords. Dennis Mans Shop. Markhams. Beare Brothers. Chix. Past the Cenotaph, the Central Post Office, City Swimming bath and Medwood gardens. The Waverly hotel on the corner of Aliwal Street. The Tudor and Metropole to the beachfront.
    The long traipse back was down Smith Street, the Royal was far too expensive, so the stop was down some wood panelled arcade into the Central Hotel (next to Kings Sport shop), where for 95c each, everyone enjoyed the full dinner menu of soup, fish, mains and pudding. Waiters in stiffly starched outfits. Silver cutlery and butter balls.

    Was this utopia ? Uncomplicated and bereft of stress. The scribe T.S. Elliot seems to sum it up rather well in his musing ”Time present and time past are both perhaps present in time future, and time future contained in time past”

    Thanks again for this superb nostalgia.
    Kind regards.

  57. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Glenn,
    Yes those REALLY were the days and unless you experienced life in Durban as it was then, I would say you missed something. Life really was more carefree and far less stress. Anyway thanks for the comments. If you haven’t read it yet perhaps you would enjoy this. Go to the Banner Page of FAD, click on Beach, Music Entertainment, click on Gerald’s Big Interesting page and read “What did you do for fun?” A bit long but..

  58. David Morty
    | Reply

    Yorkshire House – I have been collecting photo’s of buildings built by my maternal grandparents David & Martha Burns ( D Burns & Co) but have been unable to trace a photo of Yorkshire House. They also built many other notable buildings such as Stuttafords, Ansteys, Point Prison, Lion Match Factory office block, Cumberland Hotel & Surrey Mansions to name but a few. Does anybody have a photo of Yorkshire house?

  59. Colin Lewis
    | Reply

    Does anyone have any memorioes of the offshore Single Buoy Mooring construction?

    I was sub-contracted by Land and Marine who operated the barges that towed the pipes out to sea. We stayed at the Plaza Hotel whilst on the contract from the UK.

  60. Rodney Coyne
    | Reply

    I don’t remember exactly when, but it must have been about this time : a submerged cabin was placed off Addington Beach and it was supposed to be occupied by 2 or 3 people for some scientific observation of the sea floor. If I remember rightly it was never used because it had just been placed on the sea bed when it was wrecked by rough seas. I think that it was placed somewhere near the wreck of Ovington Court.

  61. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Rodney
    It was 1962. See What happened in Durban 1962 or else Search for HUNUC (Habitat University Natal Underwater Club.

  62. Ben Dippenaar
    | Reply

    Dear Glenda (Koekemoer- Sutherland) I knew Mark well, and about Alan. Horse fell on him at Summerveld during work. Mark won the July on Right Prerogative, right? We were a group who had dinner at The Charcoal Haven on Saturday nights, then on to disco dancing at the Millionaires’ Club in Gillespie street. I still have contact with Dave Byrnes, son of “Big Race” Joe Byrnes, now in his 80’s. The 70’s in Durban were the best decade in the whole world for young guns like us. The Split Level in Scottburgh was brilliant as well. How could those days end? Does anybody still have a photo of the old Smith Street police station. Please email it to me. Forever grateful. Now sitting in Gordon’s Bay, missing Durban. We cannot relive the past. Cherish the memories!

  63. Dave Kershaw
    | Reply

    I arrived in Durban exactly 50 years ago (18 April 1966) on board the Edinburgh Castle. I had a wife and 4 small boys between 1 and 9 years old, Steven, Mark, Paul and Peter. We had 300 Brit pounds (R600) but nowhere to live and just the promise of a job at Dunlop in Sydney Road. My salary was to be R265 per month. The Immigration Dept., put us up at The Wagon Wheels Hotel in Florida Road for 2 weeks, after that we were “on our own”. Somehow we survived and we left Durban late 1967 (actually we were living in Sarnia, Pinetown by then) for a much better paid job in Johannesburg but ALL our holidays were in Durban. When we entered the port in Durban I looked at the lovely buildings along the Victoria Embankment and saw the Customs and other officials dressed in white – I thought that we had arrived in Hawaii! My oldest son, Steven, still lives in KZN, in Drummond. Lovely memories.

  64. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Peter Heath
    I do not seem to be able to reply beneath your comment so hope you find this reply here.
    Henry Diffenthal passed away just recently I saw his funeral notice in the newspaper.
    About the Kerdachis. I think there were three families I know of in Durban. One family was the musicians Simon, Desmond and Gerald , then there was another family with Neville who I think his father was the councillor and then there was another family with Colin Kerdachi who was Sandra’s brother. There were other Kerdachi families as well. I knew Gerald, Neville and Colin from St Henrys Marist.

  65. Frank Beeton
    | Reply

    Kristian Hansen, the establishment was the Esplanade Hotel, and the bands played upstairs on the Al Fresco Terrace. I think the owner’s surname was Kline, and his two sons were musicians.

    • kristian hansen
      | Reply

      Hi Frank,
      Yes you are quite right and i remembered the name al fresco the next day after posting.

  66. Lynne
    | Reply

    Hi can someone please help me.I’m trying to trace the Naidoo Family who lived at unit 11 Road 1102 in the 1970s in Durban chatsworth I think.the parents were George and Manormoney and the siblings were Collin,Venillah,Pamela,Jean and Michelle who is probably all older than 50 by now

  67. Ingy
    | Reply

    What a lovely article and read brought back many memories. I went to St. Josephs Convent School for 2 years Class 1-2 – 1963-1964. Used to catch the bus from the Bluff. Remember a lot of buildings mentioned. Always loved the Christmas window shopping. My parents used to park opposite the old Tech then we used to walk to the beach front and back getting an ice cream by the Polar Bear Cnr Broad and Smith. Wouldn’t be able to do that now sadly. Give us back those days.

    • ivan beal
      | Reply

      hello ingy, i lived on the bluff for a while, firstly at Fynnlands beach then later on, at glenardle road, there was a chap named arthur zebert who was quite well known on the bluff, he later became a photographer as did another acquaintance who used to come to the beach on the bluff where there was a swimming pool built at the edge of the shore so the seawater and tide would fill the pool, if we had any money, we could take the funicular railway down to the beach. the other chappie was raymond turner who also ended up as a photographer fairly well known in durban.

  68. Cynthia
    | Reply

    hi there

    I would love to ask some questions to you guys who were born before 1986 ..am writing an assignment and i ended up here my topic is so simple How was Durban during the period 1986-2016 ..

    i would be pleased and happy if some of you guys can share their view or experiences of living in Durban with me.

    Cynthia

  69. mark awerbuch
    | Reply

    HI All
    I’m an ex Durban boy.Went to DPHS and then as a border to Kearsney College in Bothas Hill.Matriculated 1964,Army Gym 1965 and UCT 1966-1971.I lived at 65 South Ridge Rd on the Berea.House since demolished and now a block of flats-sadly.I knew Sandra Kerdachi-she taught me how to French kiss .I reckon I was 14 or 15.Knew one of her brothers, not Simon but can’t recall his name ??? They lived in Vause Rd,and yes her dad was a city counsillor. Others from that era were Pat Diamond and Chad(Roger Criteon);they were really good mates of mine.Knew a great guy Henry ?? a reasonable surfboarder, Hugo Van Zyl(?sp). Also Calvin Rhodes,Martin Stewart,Jannie Kombrink- naughty boys and members of a gang at South Beach known as the Beach Boys .There was a beautiful girl who lived in or close to Vause Rd,Angela Summers .A girl I liked very much was Lizzy Jankovic who lived in Silverton Rd.If I recall correctly Terence Flusk was kicked to death by David Anderson and ?Ian McTavish at a party.
    Can anyone help me with info on the aforementioned people.Plus what was the name of the cafe on South Beach that served a “load of milk”? I think it was milk with a shot of vanilla; and what was the name of the cafe at the end of North Beach to the left of Cuban Hat and The Nest when facing the sea?

    I’m a retired medical specialist now and live in Adelaide South Australia – forced into retirement in Feb 2014 by acute lymphoblastic leukaemia for which I was forced to travel to Israel for a bone marrow transplant because the Australian doctors refused to treat me on the grounds I had a very poor prognosis.I had my transplant in October 2014 in Jerusalem.

    Thanks

    • ivan beal
      | Reply

      i wonder if sandra kerdachi’s brother was neville, he was at school with me, i am not sure if he was a city councilor but he was a very successful businessman, probably still is, but perhaps retired by now as we must be a bout the same age i am 76 although i have not retired, i still operate two retail shops in muswell hill in london. i very much hope that your treatment was a great success mark

  70. mark awerbuch
    | Reply

    And something else. My first real girlfriend was Sue Johnson.She went to St Mary’s Girls School in Kloof.Her dad was a GP .I think his name might have been Hugh .Does anyone know what became of Sue? I last saw her about 45 years ago – ouch.

    • Mark Billingham
      | Reply

      The name of the cafe at end of North Beach (Bay of Plenty) was Dantes.

  71. Graeme
    | Reply

    I’ve got a feeling that the shop at the end of North Beach, slightly in and towards the old ice rink, was Montazuma…
    It is still there now but a mickey mouse setup compared to what is was in the 60’s.

  72. mark awerbuch
    | Reply

    Thanks Graeme but wasn’t Montezuma a block of flats on Snell Parade. Perhaps the milk bar/cafe I’m thinking of is or was called Milky Way?

    • Allan Jackson
      | Reply

      HI Mark. Montezuma was a tearoom in Playfair Road between the Cumberland Hotel and Natal Command, I know because I used to stop there when I was on a camp at Natal Command.

  73. Graeme
    | Reply

    Hi Mark and Allan, yes you are correct. Montazuma is behind the Cumberland Hotel. Mark Billingham mentioned above the cafe was called Dantes…………maybe this is correct but I cannot remember that name in the 60’s….. Age has caught up….although Milky Lane sounds more familiar.
    I know at that time you could buy a mean Dagwood toasted sami there and it used to stay open fairly late on Saturday nights to cater for us after the Durban Surf “sessions”. How good were those!!!

    • ivan beal
      | Reply

      hello graeme, talking of late night cafes, do you or anyone else remember micks pie cart nearby the station, we used to go there after a late night party and have pie and chips or hot dogs, or anything to eat after being up late becoming hungry on the way home, i used to live at kings hall in aliwal street at the time

  74. mark awerbuch
    | Reply

    Thanks guys – Dante’s is right.Would go there for lunch with my late Uncle Chony Tomson and first cuz Shaun later to become World Surfing Champion,now living in California .Other cousin Michael Tomson also went to California and started surfwear company,Gotcha.

  75. Robby
    | Reply

    Thanks guys – Brings back so many memories

    Does anyone perhaps have any facts and history to share on the “Old Customs and Excise Building” in Durban.

    • Lynn Raw
      | Reply

      I worked there from 1968 to 1973 and it does hold a few memories. While I was there they introduced separate counters for whites and non-whites with barriers between them. Virtually everyone there used the non-white counters from then on so after a few months they were removed. I guess a victory for the Durban sense of inclusion. Another memory was the whole staff being taken on to the roof to see the arrival of the first jumbo jet in Durban. On a more childish note a colleague and I obtained some agarbathi and burned it under the intake of the buildings air-conditioning unit. This caused a strong perfume throughout the building and numerous complaints.

  76. mark awerbuch
    | Reply

    Anyone with knowledge of the Athlone Hotel which was in or close to Durban North. I was taken there as a young boy in the late 1950s and early 60s. I’m trying to recall the manager’s name which I think was either Phil or Harry – ??

  77. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Mark,
    I recall visiting the Athlone Hotel tea garden with my Dad in the early 50s. It was a popular meeting place and there was a resident troop of monkeys which visitors fed with peanuts sold in small brown paper bags by the Indian vendors. The Athlone stood out like a beacon in those days as a large white structure across the Umgeni River with not much else around it. I looked up my 1938 Durban Directory and the hotel is listed as Athlone Gardens Hotel, Riverside so it existed then already. In the 1965 Directory it is also listed as Athlone Gardens Hotel. I seem to recall rather vaguely that in the 1960’s it was owned / run by a Mr Paola but I cannot confirm that. The hotel was enlarged later and if I recall additional floors were added. Not much more that I can add.

  78. mark awerbuch
    | Reply

    Thanks for that Gerald. Now how could I have forgotten about those intrepid monkeys?
    My grandfather, Sam Tomson, (Tomsons Sheet Metal Works, Prince Alfred Street), would sometimes take me there on Saturday. He was friendly with the owner/ ? manager and it’s his name I’d like to find out

  79. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    HI Mark
    Wasn’t the Thomson’s Sheet Metal Works marque, the Winking Cavalier? It was a decal they attached to cars they had done a number on if I remember. And I think I still have one tucked away somewhere. No leads on the name you are looking for.
    Gerald

  80. mark awerbuch
    | Reply

    Tomsons – no ‘h’. Shortened from Tomchinsky after emigrating from Latvia to South Africa.
    Not sure about the decal. My uncle Sonny Tomson was a rally driver – VWs and Volovos.

  81. DANNY MOODLEY
    | Reply

    DOES ANYBODY KNOW A PERSON BY THE NAME OF RALPH GOLDBERG—WHO OWNED MANY HOTELS IN DURBAN BEACHFRONT–BEACH HOTEL–LONSDALE–KILLARNEY—TROPICANA—-AND MANY HOLIDAY FLATS IN THE 1960s

  82. mark awerbuch
    | Reply

    Know the name well but not the guy. My sister Janice Ellison still lives in Durban and there’s a high likelihood she’ll know him. Will ask when next we Skype.

  83. DANNY MOODLEY
    | Reply

    THAT PIPELINE THAT BURST IN BELLAIR—I WORKED FOR THAT CONSTRUCTION—IT WAS A TWELVE INCH
    STEEL PIPELINE —THE CONTRACTORS WERE FROM USA AND CANADA—THE NAME WAS McALPINE SOMMERVILLE CONSTRUCTIONS
    THE CONTRACT FOR 30 MILLION POUNDS—IT STARTED INN 1964
    WE SOUTH AFRICANS WHO WORKED THERE—LIVED IN CARAVANS.
    IS THERE ANYONE THAT REMEMBERS THIS CONTRACT.

  84. Amber
    | Reply

    Hi all,

    Sorry a long shot but worth a try… My parents got married in the 80’s at Old Fort Chapel by a Reverend Hall but i am needing his full name. My mom is deceased and my dad is terrible at remembering names 🙂

    Any help would be so greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Amber

    • Allan Jackson
      | Reply

      Hi Amber, I hope someone will know but the snag is that people would get their own priests to marry them at the Old Fort Chapel so the Reverend Hall could have been from any church in Durban.

  85. Frank Beeton
    | Reply

    Hello Amber, your long shot may have hit its target! The late Reverend Roy Morris James Hall was my wife’s uncle, being the resident minister at either the Bluff or Stella Presbyterian Churches during that period. He often conducted weddings at the Old Fort Chapel, so I think he may have been your man!

  86. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Amber,
    There was a Reverend Hall whose parish was St Margaret’s on the Bluff. He was Presbyterian. This info is from my wife who was a member of that parish. He would be well into his old age now if he is still alive. She cannot remember his first name. However I am sure if you approached the Presbyterian Church administration in Durban they should have some sort of record of his service in Durban and possibly other information. Good Luck. Let us know if he is the one.

  87. Frank Beeton
    | Reply

    Correcting my post: Reverend Roy MAURICE James Hall. Gerald, I think we are both talking about the same person!

  88. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Frank
    Yes when I told my wife that Rev Hall’s first name was Roy (from your post) she said ” that’s him”.

  89. Amber
    | Reply

    Thank you so much all you lovely people! It is very much appreciated 🙂

    Keep well.

  90. helen
    | Reply

    Wat happened to Paul George Mopp who was murdered in durban 50yrs ago. I’m struggling to get info of my late father any info whatsoever would be a big help. Thank you, my contact details are 0833686155.

    • Allan Jackson
      | Reply

      If anyone knows anything and can’t conveniently phone Helen, just leave a comment or contact me at the address on our contact page.

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