This section is designed to answer frequently-asked questions (FAQ) about how to use these new diary pages on FAD. You’re welcome to leave a comment or get in touch if you don’t find what you’re looking for. Continue reading
Posted in Housekeeping
I have just picked up a new comment way back in the diary with a request from Hester Joseph who manages the Diakonia Centre and thought I would give give it its own post and hopefully a bit more prominence. She wrote:
My name is Hester Joseph and I work for an organisation called Diakonia Council of Churches. They own the Diakonia Centre which I manage. The Diakonia Centre used to be the Convent High School. St. Andrew’s Street has been renamed Diakonia Avenue after the Diakonia Council of Churches which was started in 1976.
Next year (2014) the building will be celebrating its Centenary. I am looking for old photographs of the area and anything about the Convent High School or the St. Joseph School for boys which was also housed in this building.
I have replied to Hester to the effect she might well try the archive in Old Courthouse Museum in Aliwal Street. Anyone who has information is welcome to contact me or leave a comment below.
Frank Beeton has been a friend (and contributor) to this site for many years and he has written in tell of an upcoming reunion of the 1963 class at Grosvenor High School. Leave a comment below if you’re a member of that matric class and I’ll forward Frank’s contact details to you.
The first query today is a really long shot. It’s from Linda Keown (nee Botha) who wonders if anyone might know the final resting place of her father’s ashes. He was Albertus Johannes Botha and died in Durban 29.4.90. I have had a look at the SA Gravestone Project which is discussed on this site, but I didn’t uncover anything.
The next query is from John Readman and concerns the Consolidated Whaling & Deep Sea Fishing Company of South Africa Ltd. I hadn’t heard of it but I did know that there had been quite a number of short-lived whaling operations in Durban. Anyhow, John wrote:
The Consolidated Whaling & Deep Sea Fishing Company of South Africa Ltd operated in Durban from June 1912 to November 1913 – it was a partnership between Sir George Doughty, M.P., a fishing entrepreneur and member of the British Parliament based in Grimssby, Lincolnshire, England, his son Wilfred Vere Doughty & his nephew, Stanley Doughty. In June 1912, Stanley Doughty travelled to Durban with the aim to grab a toehold on this whaling enterprise, and later he was joined by his wife and two children. At some time in 1913, Sir George & Lady Doughty travelled to Durban, but by November 1913, the business was over and everyone returned home.
Apart from a record of travel to Natal, a photograph in Durban of Stanley with his wife & two children being pulled [in a Riksha, Ed.] by a Warrior (a tourist photograph it seems), I have very little about this enterprise. Can anyone supply me with a other information please?
John sent in this evocative picture of Stanley, his wife and two children posing with a Riksha puller during their visit to Durban. One can hardly imagine how exotic the experience must have seemed to them in those far off days.
Courtesy John Readman’
John also sent an extract from The Times of July 13th, 1912, which mentions the departure of the two vessels for Durban.
Courtesy John Readman.
This is the first in an occasional series of posts to highlight interesting pages and articles on this site which you may have missed. This one concerns the visit of HMS Durban to Durban in December 1929 and contains some delightful extracts from the souvenir booklet published on the occasion.
Souvenir programme published by the Durban Town Council.
I wonder if anyone can help out with an question about the location of a gold mine in Bellair which was first raised by Graham Brown on this site a couple of years ago. I did forward the question to Durban history buff Donald Davies who is interested in gold mines in the Durban area and he recently got back to me to report that he had made no progress on the location. He asked if there was anyone out there who knew where the mine was; perhaps a former firemen who remembers the cat incident.
As a child I recall hearing of a Gold Mine situated in or near Blairmont Avenue in Bellair which had actually produced a few ounces, or maybe a few grams, of gold before it was closed. The hole must have remained for some time because I remember, as a child, my parents discussing a newspaper article about cat that fell into the hole and had to be rescued by the fire brigade!
No, I didn’t know what Paipo boards were either, but it turns out that they are plywood bellyboards which were widely used in the early years of surfing, including in Durban. Bob Green is an expert on such matters and he wrote in to say that he has added a couple of interviews with Durban Paipo boarders to his website.
Posted in Links
Tagged Paipo board
A few things today. Nicole White wrote:
Happened to see a comment by Rodney 20 March 2013 on FAD regarding Ward and Salmon’s Outfitters. I was trying to find out more information about it myself because of the attached photo I found. Hopefully more info will come in.
Hi. I would really appreciate if anybody could assist me in finding more info on a Lady Firth who owned a property in Haraldene road. I am currently researching the historical and architectural significance of the property . Just any lead will do.
W.P. van Rheede van oudtshoorn (Piet)
Reader Hazel Adams wrote in with an offer:**
My sister , June Willcock and I rode at Muriel Higgs’ Riding School in the 60′s through to the early 70′s. We have some photos from our time of riding there. My mother, May Willcock helped her quite a lot from then and through to the end of the riding school and the end of Miss Higg’s life in Glenarvon, Moore Road. My mother has died and so I now have a box of correspondence and accounts from those days which is old and dusty but may be of interest to someone researching either Miss Higgs and Natal equestrian history.
Gail Cooper wrote:**
Hi, I lived at Kings Hall Durban in 1962 with my family having come over from England. I was seven at the time and just wondered if anyone has any photos of it from back then ? Or anytime really?? Sadly my mother had Alzeihmers for quite few years before passing away and consequently threw out all of our old family photos. I would love to be able to share at least something of my stay in Africa as it was (and still is) a very special time for me. Could anyone at all please help ? Thank you
** These two items came in as comments on much earlier posts and I have repeated them here to give them more visibility.
Nicole White sent in the picture above. The Rikshas are a real Durban icon and I’ve always had the feeling that more use should be made of them as a tourist attraction. The ones I’ve encountered have always looked a bit decrepit and not that inviting. It wouldn’t cost that much, surely, to spruce them up a bit.
I have been taken to task by Betty Welz about an inaccuracy on the page concerning the visit of Prince George to Durban in 1934. In it I said that the Prince had later become King George VI but, of course, that was his elder brother. The Prince was killed in an air crash in 1942.
The page makes interesting reading and contains a number of excerpts from the official program.
Here are a few pictures from Arthur Gammage who regularly contributes to the site. Arthur’s with the City Architect’s Department and has access to pictures of the street signage of businesses which were kept by the Advertising Signs Section because all such signs required official approval.
The pictures include the frontages of the Three Monkeys Coffee Bar, after it moved into Pine Parkade, and the Chuck Wagon Restaurant (mentioned by Robert Hart in a recent diary entry) which was in the Plaza Hotel in St Andrews Street.