Info requests

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Piet Jonker wrote in some time ago to ask:

I am searching for information about the iron barque Willem Eggerts. This ship was built in 1885 for the Dutch owner N. Brantjes by McIntyre shipyard in Paisley, Scotland.

Willem Eggerts 1886 - courtesy Piet Jonker.

The ship was sold in 1910 to Rennie and Sons and was sailed to Durban (Natal) by Captain Rigden. The ship was used as a coal-hulk and around 1930 beached in front of the Beira lighthouse.

Do you have any information about the ship during her time in Durban?
Greetings, P Jonker, Holland.

Mark Yegambaram wrote:

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your compilation. It has invoked warm “fuzzy” nostalgic feelings within me.

You seem to have a lot of information on the history of Durban and surrounding areas and I was wondering if you can shed some light on something that is bugging me?

I live in Chatsworth (Durban) and would like information on when the first residents of the Township of Chatsworth had moved in. The only information I could get from the municipal reference library is the date 1960 which does not make sense as we know that Chatsworth was only planned in that year.

Please sir if you have any relevant information or could refer me anyone with such information, it would be greatly appreciated.
Kind regards

I wonder if anyone can help Mark with the info he’s looking for. He addresses me as sir which makes me feel quite old but there’s a pleasing ring to it and I’m considering insisting on it in future   😉….

Renee Lucas wants to know if anyone knows of a Durban-based Mauritian society?

Dear Allan
What a wonderful website you have, I really enjoyed it and have spent some time reading the articles.  I came across your site in the course of my genealogy research .  Of particular interest to me was the article on whaling as my grandfather spent a part of his life in this occupation, I have a picture of him somewhere on one of the whalers!

I was (and still am) looking for information about a Mauritian society which existed in Durban, not sure of the dates it existed but I am told that its members were primarily Mauritians and their descendants, so possibly the time line could be anything from 1840 – 1970?  Do you or fellow contributors have any knowledge of this?  I really would love to know more about it.
Kindest Regards

It’s a long shot, but Lindsay Sullivan wants to know:

Hi there,

I am wondering if you have any idea (however unlikely!) how I can get a hold of one of those Cuban Hat drinking glasses???


Clayton Hayward wants to know if anyone has info on his grandfather:

Good Morning,

I realize you probably get swamped with requests but I’ve been trying to get any type on information on my grandfather who was stationed at the Bluff Battery as well as being a city councillor for a period. His name was George Willis and due to the fact that my family are either scattered or do not have contact with one another I would dearly love to try find out any info has on him. I met him once when I was 9 years old for a very brief 5 minutes.

I must apologise if it seems like a missing relatives web site it’s just that I would love to know more of the man. I know he was a keen diver and served in North Africa during the war, I imagine he was based at the Bluff Battery after the war and he was a captain in the Radar section.

I really would appreciate any info you might have.
Best Wishes

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12 Responses

  1. John Taylor
    | Reply

    Most people who visited Beira in the 1960’s will remember the hulk of the Willem Eggerts which was deliberately beached in front of the Farol do Macuti lighthouse in 1935 to act as artificial protection against the sea. Finding out anything about the vessel’s time in Durban is somewhat difficult. After being sold she was sent to Durban in 1911 where she languished in a warehouse, before becoming a coal haulier up and down the East African coast for World War I purposes. After that, information is thin.

    • John Taylor

      Further to my above comment, I see that the Willem Eggerts was deleted from the Lloyd’s Register in 1913, which explains why details about her are so sketchy. She was probably moored somewhere as a hulk until her beaching at Beira in 1935.

  2. John Taylor
    | Reply

    For Mark Yegambaram – Wikipedia provides the following insight into the origins of Chatsworth. Sadly, it also reflects the racist nature of our history….
    In the 1940s, The Pegging Acts and the Ghetto Act were passed. These acts gave the government the right to remove and destroy shacks and small self-made shelters, with the intention of improving sanitary conditions. This led to the Group Areas Act of June 1950, which designated certain areas for the Whites and other areas for Indians, Coloureds and Africans. Indians were removed from areas such as Mayville, Cato Manor, the Clairwood and Magazine Barracks and the Bluff, and were placed in areas like Riverside and Prospect Hall and at Duikerfontein and Sea Cow Lake.

    During the later 1940s and early 1950s, there were advertisements in the papers of an exclusively Indian suburb, Umhlatuzana. Later Silverglen and Red Hill were also developed. Then in the early 1960s Chatsworth was planned, opening in 1964 and consisting of eleven neighborhood units. Modern day Chatsworth has 64 suburbs that fall within its region. Chatsworth was deliberately built to act as buffer between white residential areas and the large African township of Umlazi.

  3. kevin daniel
    | Reply

    Hi out there. I am70yrs old and have collected a very small lot of sa & rhodesian stamps (they,re in shoe boxes etc) Neither my children/grand children are interested. I,m moving house and need to hand this lot over to someone in and around dbn who might be able to use them they are for free.

    • Allan Jackson

      Hi Kevin
      I’ll post your offer on the main page of the diary and let you know if there is any interest.

    • Gerald Buttigieg

      Hi Kevin
      I have sent Allan a note in this regard.

    • Greta Butcher

      Good day Kevin – have you already had a taker for your stamps or are they still available – I am an amatuer stamp collector and have many stamps that I started with from home/family letters etc all SA/Rhodesia/Nyasaland and it would be great to maybe get a couple more to fill out the collection – I did try buying but it became very costly so I just left gaps – thanks for offering though

    • Allan Jackson

      Hi Greta
      The stamps have been claimed.

  4. William Paterson
    | Reply

    Gerald: Just wondered if you received my latest email? In it I asked in what year did voice / music broadcasting start from Durban? (ie not wireless telegraphy)? Do you know under what corporate name it started? Writing about early days in Zululand, I was just about to describe how a farmer was struggling to receive shortwave broadcasts from London, only to realise Iwas way out of line! (I know that crystal sets were in vogue in about 1920 and the developmet of the vacuum tube after that changed everything) Any light you can cast? Regards, William

  5. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi William,
    No I did not receive your latest email. I am reluctant to put my email address up on this forum so you would have to go via Allan. When did broadcasting start in Durban? Well that is a hard one and I cannot give you a definitive answer at all so you would have to try and research that one. I seem to recall reading or being told that the Durban Municipality started their own broadcasting facility and it was housed in a building at the top end of Aliwal Street. The location if I recall later became the Myklebust Dance Studios. I would assume this was in the late 20s/ early 30s. This needs to be verified. The Durban Municipality was a rather enterprising organisation and if you recall had their own telephone network, an excellent tram / bus service, a philharmonic orchestra. It could well have had its own broadcasting services. It was called the Durban Corporation in later years hence the NDC number plate on their transport fleet. I cannot recall any building in my time that was called “Broadcast House” or to that effect so really I cannot help. What I can suggest is that you visit the Durban Reference Library where the assistants there I am sure could be of help. The DON Library I would say must have some record of what you seek.

    Edit: William I have done a search on Google and came up with a book called “Durban Calling ….the formative years and beyond. The author is H. Edmund Dawes and the book was published by the Durban Town Clerk’s Dept in 1973. It has 150 pages. Its content covers among other topics Performing Arts, Radio, General Radio Broadcasting. The period covered circa 1924/1927. No doubt this book is rare and out of print. I have not heard of nor know of H. Edmund Dawes but he was obviously a Durban Municipal staff member.
    In Allan’s book Facts about Durban (3rd Edn) it states : December 10th 1924, 60 people gather in a broadcasting studio located in the Durban City Hall to witness the first wireless programme to be broadcast from Durban.

  6. Allan Jackson
    | Reply

    This is in case Renee Lucas every comes back to this page. I have heard from someone who might be able to help you but the email address I have for you is no longer working. Use Contact Us in the menu, above, to let me know your new address.

  7. William Paterson
    | Reply

    Thank you for that early broadcast info. It corroborates info from another source. Regards, William,

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