14 April 2012


This is a Titanic mystery with a South African connection, and I'm looking for the story behind this.

Edith BOON was apparently a passenger on the Titanic, probably aged 15 years, along with her grandfather (name unknown). They embarked at Southampton. It is not certain whether she was born in South Africa or England. There is a letter that she wrote on 26 April 1918, addressed to "Dear May", which seems to have been written while in Retreat, Cape Town. The 5-page letter is "a personal account of the sinking of the Titanic" and is in the National Library of South Africa in Cape Town as part of the A.A. FULLALOVE Collection. Arthur Anthony FULLALOVE (1911-1978) was a South African Railways employee and amateur researcher and writer. He collected books, documents, photographs and diaries.

Edith was adopted by her grandfather and they first lived in England and then in South Africa. When she was 14 years old, they returned to England, but shortly afterwards her grandfather decided to immigrate to America, and he bought them passage on the Titanic. A First Class ticket cost £4 350 and a Third Class ticket cost £30.

Edith's letter includes the following "“On the boat we had a glorious time; all the way round the deck was a cycle track and also beautiful gardens – really the Titanic was a moving palace... The cabins were beautifully furnished and very large. We had four bunks in our cabin, including a dressing table, washing stand and wardrobe, and leading from our cabin into the next was a beautiful bathroom.” She further describes the disaster... "Oh! Never shall I forget that scene. My grandfather told us that our lives were now almost at an end and that only prayers shall help and comfort us. He helped to get us a boat, kissing us goodbye and taking his wedding ring and slipping it onto mine. He left us with a prayer on his lips and tears in his eyes. Oh! Never, never! will I forget that moment, he turned away and we lost sight of him among the crowds that were struggling for a seat on the boats. We then saw hundreds of people struggling in the icy water on the one side of us and on the other we saw the huge iceberg floating away, and without exaggeration it seemed to be as large as Table Mountain, well I dare say it is only natural that it should seem huge for we were not too far away from it. The last I can remember is the awful cry of the drowning; then of the explosion..."

Who was Edith BOON? She is not listed as such in any of the Titanic passenger lists or survivor lists, nor on my South African listing. Did she use another name? Who were her parents, her grandfather? Why did she write a letter detailing the voyage?

There was a Edith Maud BOON born 07 March 1868, daughter of Henry M. BOON and Eleanor; baptised 05 May 1868 in the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Grahamstown.

At the Pearson Street Congregational Church in Port Elizabeth, on 23 November 1857, Henry Mays BOON (age 29, bachelor, Sergeant of the 6th Regiment of Grahamstown) married Eleanor SHONE (age 25, spinster of Grahamstown). They were married by special licence and the ceremony was at the house of the officiating minister. The witnesses were Jeremiah GOLDSWAIN and H. GOLDSWAIN.

In 1867 Henry requests an appointment as a gaoler. In 1869 he again requests this, this time in Peddie.

Henry Mays BOON born August 1825; married 23 November 1857 to Eleanor SHONE; died 03 November 1870; buried in Peddie. Eleanor was born 13 February 1833 in Clumber, daughter of Thomas SHONE and Sarah PHILLIPS, baptised 12 June 1833. She died 10 September 1921 in Peddie, age 88 years and 6 months.

Her Death Notice was signed by E.H. BOON (daughter present at death). Eleanor married her second husband John PEVERETT in Peddie (born 16 March 1822 in Cambridgeshire, England; died 30 July 1890 in Peddie). There were no children of this marriage. Eleanor's children were:
1) Eleanor Hughes BOON born 11 March 1862; baptised 15 April 1862; died 30 May 1942 in the Cape.
2) Charles Henry Murdoch BOON born 11 October 1864; baptised 01 February 1865.
3) Edith Maud BOON born 07 March 1868; baptised 05 May 1868; died 23 January 1921 in the Cape; married John Granville NICHOLSON.
4) Henrietta May BOON born 04 March 1871; baptised 26 March 1871; died 29 March 1871; buried in Peddie.

There is a Edith BOON whose birth was registered in the March 1896 quarter in Fulham District, England. Also a Edith BOON whose birth was registered in the June 1896 quarter in Basford District, England.

A George BOON died on 04 April 1901, age 35 years, at Woodstock, Cape Town.

28 May 2012 update - The above listed BOON families do not fit the latest news. I have now received a copy of Edith BOON's letter written on 26 April 1918 at Retreat. In it she writes that she knows May is very interested in the Titanic, and so tells her what she recalls, even though it is difficult for her to deal with the memories. Edith was living in Holland with her parents and little sister (she also refers to her as her twin), when her grandparents arrived for a visit from England. A week later, her sister became ill and died. Her mother was hospitalised with shock, and her grandparents stayed on to look after Edith during the day, while her father was out working. When Edith's mother was released from hospital, she found it difficult to see Edith without her sister, so she asked the grandparents to adopt her. This happened when Edith was four years old. Edith and her grandparents left for England for a short while and then to "Africa". Her mother later adopted other little children.

Edith and her grandparents stayed in Africa until she was 14 years old, after which they left for England and then Holland. In Holland, Edith was told who her parents were, as she had regarded her grandparents as her mother and father. After so many years, she decided to remain living with her grandparents. After a stay in Holland, Edith and her grandparents returned to England in 1912. On 02 April 1912, they left England aboard the Titanic for the USA, as First Class passengers.

Edith's grandfather found a life-boat for her and his wife. He took his wedding ring off and gave it to Edith, and kissed them goodbye with a prayer and tears in his eyes. Her turned into the crowd and they lost sight of him. Once they were safely on board the life-boat and rowing away from the ship, they saw him one last time on the deck, bidding them a last farewell. Edith wore the ring all her life. She ended her letter by signing off as "I remain a Titanic survivor" and asks May not to show the letter to anyone else as it is badly written.

Have I discovered who Edith was? No! The only Edith on-board who matches in age was Edith BROWN (later married to HAISMAN). However, she was in Second Class, and the letter writer specifically stated that her grandfather would not allow her to go down to the other Classes so she did not know what they looked like. Also, the two girls memories of their grandfathers on the fateful night, are very different.

Her grandparents were on her maternal side. So what was her mother's maiden name?

13 April 2012


Fernando PESSOA, born Fernando António Nogueira de Seabra PESSOA on 13 June 1888 in Lisbon, was a Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic and translator described as one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century. He died on 30 November 1935 in Lisbon. His father, Joaquim de Seabra PESSOA, a civil servant in the Ministry of Justice and a music critic for the daily Diário de Notícias, died of tuberculosis on 13 July 1893 in Lisbon.
Fernando's mother, Maria, and his step-father, João

His widowed mother, Maria Madalena Pinheiro NOGUEIRA, married João Miguel dos Santos ROSA by proxy in December 1895. On 06 January 1896, Maria and Fernando left Lisbon for Durban, Natal, where João Miguel, a military officer, had been appointed Portuguese Consul in June 1895. They lived in West Street.
The house in West Street, Durban

In August 1901 the family went to Portugal for a year on leave. They also spent some time in Azores, at the home of his mother's sister, Anica (Ana Louisa Nogueira DE FREITAS). Anica's son, Mário Nogueira DE FREITAS, in 1920 employed Fernando at his company - Felix, Valladas & Freitas Lda., where it is said that Fernando met his love, Ofelia QUEIROZ, a 19 year old secretary. The relationship ended in November 1920, although he started corresponding with her again in September 1929 until January 1930 when they broke up again. While in Azores, Fernando and Mário, compiled a handwritten newspaper, A Palavra / A Palrador, which Fernando kept going when back in Durban. The family left Azores for Lisbon before sailing back to Durban in September 1902.
Fernando, in Durban, age 10

Fernando attended St. Joseph Convent School in Durban, a Catholic school run by Irish and French nuns. He moved to Durban High School in April 1899, becoming fluent in English and developing an appreciation for English literature. The English essay he wrote for his entrance examination to the University of Good Hope won him the Queen Victoria Prize in November 1903, beating 898 candidates. The prize was either money or a collection of classic English literature. Fernando chose the books. After successfully completing the Intermediate Bachelor of Arts degree at Cape Town University in 1905, he returned to Portugal. While preparing to enter university, he also attended evening classes at Durban Commercial School. At the age of sixteen, the Natal Mercury newspaper published his poem "Hillier did first usurp the realms of rhyme", under the name of Charles Robert Anon, in the 06 July 1904 edition. He used many pen names during his writing career.

School report card

Clifford Edward GEERDTS (born in Pietermaritzburg, died 1968, married to Doris Courtenay EDMONDS) attended school with Fernando in 1904, and recalled him as "pale and thin... he was regarded as a brilliant clever boy... although younger than his schoolfellows of the same class he appeared to have no difficulty in keeping up with and surpassing them in work. For one of his age, he thought much and deeply.... he took no part in athletic sports of any kind and I think his spare time was spent on reading." Amongst the poems written while he was still a schoolboy in Durban, is the following sonnet, denouncing Joseph Chamberlain for being the cause of the Anglo-Boer War.

Joseph Chamberlain
Their blood on thy head, whom the Afric waste
Saw struggling, puppets with unwilful hand,
Brother and brother: their bought souls shall brand
Thine own with horrors. Be thy name erased

From the full mouths of men: nor be there traced
To thee one glory of thy parent land:
But 'fore us, as 'fore God, e'er do thou stand
In that thy deed forevermore disgraced.

Where lie the sons and husbands, where those dear
That thy curst craft hath lost? Their drops of blood
One by one fallen, and many a cadenced tear,

With triple justice weighted trebly dread,
Shall each, rolled onward in a burning flood,
Crush thy dark soul. Their blood be on thy head!

In August 1905 Fernando sailed for Lisbon on-board the Herzog, leaving Durban to study diplomacy in Lisbon. His family remained in South Africa. He lived with his grandmother Dionísia and two aunts at 17 Rua da Bela Vista. After a period of illness, and two years of poor results, a student strike put an end to his studies. He became a self-taught student, spending a lot of time at the library. In October 1906 his family visited from South Africa, staying at 100 Calcada da Estrela. They returned to South Africa in May 1907 and Fernando returned to his grandmother's house. In August 1907 he started working at R.G. Dun & Company, an American mercantile information agency (now Dun & Bradstreet). His grandmother died in September 1907 and left him a small inheritance, which he spent on setting up his own publishing house, Empreza Ibis. The venture was not a success and closed down in 1910. In 1910, his step-father was transferred from Durban to Pretoria. His step-father died in Pretoria in 05 October 1919.

His step-uncle Henrique dos Santos ROSA, a retired General and poet, introduced him to Portuguese poetry. In 1912 he wrote a critical essay which was published in the cultural journal, A Águia. In 1915 a group of artists and poets, including Fernando, created the literary magazine Orpheu, which introduced modernist literature to Portugal. Only two issues were published (Jan-Feb-Mar 1915 and Apr-May-Jun 1915) due to funding difficulties. The third issue was lost. It was finally found and published in 1984. In 1912-1914, while living with his aunt and cousins, he got interested in spiritualist sessions that were carried out at home, but it was only in late 1915, when he translated a series of esoteric books, that his interest in spiritualism was fully awakened. By March 1916 he experienced what he considered medium experiences. In June he wrote to his aunt, then living in Switzerland with her daughter and son-in-law about his "mystery case". He also developed a strong interest in astrology, becoming a competent astrologist. He created more than 1500 astrological charts of well-known people such as Shakespeare, Byron, Oscar Wilde, Chopin, Napoleon, Mussolini, and the Kings Sebastian and Carlos of Portugal. Fernando also founded the literary review Athena (1924–25). In 1925 he wrote a guide book to Lisbon, in English, which was only published in 1992.

From 1905 to 1920, when his family returned from South Africa after the death of his step-father, he lived at 15 different places around Lisbon, sometimes with relatives, sometimes in rented rooms. From 1907 until his death, he worked in 21 firms in Lisbon, sometimes in two or three of them simultaneously, as a freelance translator of English and French correspondence. He was a frequent customer at Martinho da Arcada, a coffee house in Comercio Square, where he used to meet friends in the 1920s. Another favourite coffee house was A Brasileira in the Lisbon district of Chiado, where today there is a statue of him. It is quite close to his birth place at 4 Largo de São Carlos, in front of the Opera House. His last home, from 1920 until his death in 1935, is now the Fernando Pessoa Museum at 16 Rua Coelho da Rocha. He rented an apartment on the first floor when his mother and siblings returned from South Africa in March 1920. Here he lived with his mother, his half-sister and two half-brothers. After his mother's death in 1925, his half-sister, her husband and their two children sometimes lived there too. His half-brothers emigrated to England in 1920. On 29 November 1935, he was admitted to the Sao Luis dos Franceses Hospital and died the following day of cirrhosis, leaving many unpublished and unfinished work in the large trunk, which are now housed in the Portuguese National Library. The contents of the trunk included over 25 000 manuscript sheets of poetry, prose, plays, philosophy, criticism, translations, linguistic theory, political writings, horoscopes and assorted other texts, variously typed, hand-written or illegibly scrawled in Portuguese, English and French. He wrote in notebooks, on loose sheets, on the backs of letters, advertisements, on stationery from the firms he worked for and from the cafés he frequented, on envelopes, and on paper scraps.

In 1988, his remains were moved to the Hieronymites Monastery in Lisbon, where Vasco da Gama and Luís de Camões are also buried. His portrait was used on the 100-escudo bank note. In 1987, a commemorative statue, funded by the Antonio de Almeida Foundation, was erected on the corner of Pine and Gardiner Streets in Durban. The South African artist, Willem BOSHOFF, an admirer of Fernando's work, created a black granite art piece entitled Book of the Disquiet, which has inscriptions taken from Fernando's The Book of Disquiet, sandblasted on the granite. The Book of Disquiet was published 50 years after his death and is one of his greatest works.

Willem BOSHOFF's art piece

The following chronology was published in Fernando Pessoa: Escritos Autobiográficos, Automáticos e de Reflexão Pessoal (Assírio & Alvim, 2003) and corrected by Richard Zenith:

13 February: Joaquim António de Araújo Pessoa, Fernando Pessoa’s paternal grandfather, is born in Tavira, the Algarve. A supporter of the “liberal” faction during the 1828-1834 civil war, he flees to Oporto, where he enlists in the infantry, in 1833. He fights with Brio for the winning side and moves to Lisbon, where he marries. He dies as a much decorated general.

17 June: Dionísia Rosa Estrela de Seabra, Pessoa’s maternal grandmother, is born in Lisbon.

18 April: Manuel Gualdino da Cunha, future husband of Pessoa’s great-aunt Maria Xavier Pinheiro, is born in Lisbon. A navy officer and a fervent supporter of the Progressives, one of the two major political parties, he will hold high-level posts in the administration of the national rail service.

10 August: Rita Emília Xavier Pinheiro, the oldest of Pessoa’s four maternal great-aunts, is born in Velas, on the Azorean island of São Jorge. Never marries.

11 August: Maria Xavier Pinheiro, the great-aunt closest to Pessoa, is born in Calheta, on the island of São Jorge. She marries Manuel Gualdino da Cunha somewhat late, and they have no children.

29 December: Pessoa’s maternal grandfather, Luís António Nogueira, is born in Angra do Heroísmo, on Terceira Island. Earns a law degree at the University of Coimbra and holds various government posts, eventually becoming Director in Chief of the Civil and Political Administration and a State Counsellor.

14 June: Pessoa’s maternal grandmother, Madalena Xavier Pinheiro, is born in Velas, on the island of São Jorge.

24 April: António Maria Silvano, cousin and future husband of Pessoa’s great-aunt Carolina, is born on Terceira Island. Will retire as a general in the army, in 1897.

22 April: Pessoa’s great-aunt Carolina (Xavier Pinheiro) is born in Angra do Heroísmo, on Terceira Island. Marries António Maria Silvano in 1868, by whom she has four children: Carolina Adelaide Pinheiro Silvano, António Pinheiro Silvano, Joaquim Silvano and Júlio Maria Silvano.

13 February: Marriage of paternal grandparents.

Lisbela da Cruz Pessoa, first cousin of Pessoa’s father, is born in Tavira. Will remain a widow, without children, after the early death of her husband, an army officer named Romão Aurélio da Cruz Machado (1849-1873).
9 October: Pessoa’s great-aunt Adelaide (Xavier Pinheiro) is born in Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira Island. Marries Joaquim de Andrade Neves, a doctor from Madeira by whom she has three children: Jaime de Andrade Neves, Laurinda Pinheiro Neves and Joaquim de Andrade Neves.

28 May: Fernando Pessoa’s father, Joaquim de Seabra Pessoa, is born in Lisbon. A civil servant for the Ministry of Justice, he works evenings for the Diário de Notícias, and is the paper’s music critic from 1876 to 1892.
1 December: Birth of Henrique dos Santos Rosa, an older brother of Pessoa’s stepfather. A brigadier general upon retiring from the army in 1903, he is also a poet with a wide-ranging culture. Will exert considerable influence, both literary and political, on Pessoa, who becomes his close friend after returning to Lisbon in 1905.

29 September: Pessoa’s stepfather, João Miguel do Santos Rosa, is born in Lisbon. Enlists in the navy in 1871.

24 April: Marriage of maternal grandparents.

19 March: Birth of Ana Luísa Pinheiro Nogueira, Pessoa’s Aunt “Anica”, his mother’s only sister. In 1889 she marries João Nogueira de Freitas (1865-1904), an agricultural engineer.

30 December: Pessoa’s mother, Maria Madalena Pinheiro Nogueira, is born in Angra do Heroísmo (Terceira Island).

April: His mother comes to the mainland after her father, Luís António Nogueira. is named Secretary-General of the Oporto branch of the civil government. Raised between Oporto and Lisbon, she will not live again in the Azores.

22 November: Birth of Jaime Pinheiro de Andrade Neves, son of Pessoa’s great-aunt Adelaide and Joaquim de Andrade Neves. Comes as a child to Lisbon, where he will have a long career as a physician, after first graduating from the School of Medicine in Paris. Dies in Lisbon in 1955.

28 June: Birth of António Pinheiro Silvano, son of Pessoa’s great-aunt Carolina and António Maria Silvano. Will pursue a career in the navy. Dies in Lisbon in 1936.

28 June: Death of maternal grandfather.

6 August: Death of paternal grandfather.

5 September: Pessoa’s parents marry in Lisbon.

13 June: Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa is born at the Largo de São Carlos, 4, 4th floor left, on a Wednesday at 3:20 p.m. 

24 February: Mário Nogueira de Freitas, Pessoa’s first cousin, is born to Aunt Anica on Terceira Island.

21 January: Pessoa’s brother, Jorge, is born.
2 April: Birth of Maria, Aunt Anica’s daughter and Pessoa’s first cousin.
10 July: Aunt Anica’s family (including Pessoa’s grandmother Madalena) returns to Terceira after living for several years on the mainland.
13 July: His father dies from tuberculosis.
15 November: The surviving family – Fernando, his mother and brother, Grandma Dionísia and two housekeepers – moves to the Rua de São Marçal, 104, third floor.

2 January: His brother Jorge dies. That same month his mother meets her second husband, João Miguel Rosa.
27 December: Pessoa’s maternal grandmother, Madalena Xavier Pinheiro, comes from the Azores to Lisbon, to keep her widowed daughter company.

30 December: His mother is married, by proxy, to Commander João Miguel Rosa, Portugal’s consul in Durban, South Africa, since October. The groom is represented by his brother, Henrique Rosa.

5 January: Pessoa’s maternal grandmother returns for good to Terceira.
20 January: Embarks with his mother for Madeira, where on the 31st they board the Hawarden Castle, bound for Durban. They are accompanied by Manuel Gualdino da Cunha, Pessoa’s uncle.
27 November: His mother gives birth to Henriqueta Madalena, known as Teca, her first child by João Miguel Rosa.

25 January: Death of his uncle Manuel Gualdino da Cunha, in Pedrouços.
5 October: Death of his maternal grandmother, in Angra do Heroísmo.
22 October: Birth of Madalena Henriqueta, the second daughter of Maria Madalena Nogueira and João Miguel Rosa.

11 January: His mother gives birth to Luís Miguel (nicknamed Lhi), her third child by João Miguel Rosa.
14 June:  Ofélia Queiroz, Pessoa’s only sweetheart, is born in Lisbon.

25 June: His half-sister Madalena Henriqueta dies.
1 August: Sails with his family to Portugal on a ship that calls at Lourenço Marques, Zanzibar, Dar-es-Salaam, Port Said and Naples.
13 September: Arrival in Lisbon, where the family stays in a rented flat on the Rua de Pedrouços, 45, ground floor, near the Quinta do Duque do Cadaval, where Pessoa’s great-aunts Maria and Rita live, along with his Grandma Dionísia.
October(?): Travels with his family to the Algarve, to visit his “aunt” Lisbela Pessoa Machado (cousin of his deceased father) and other paternal relatives.

2 May: Travels with his family to Terceira Island, in the Azores, staying nine days (7-16 May) in the house of his Aunt Anica, Uncle João and cousins Mário and Maria. Pessoa’s family returns to the mainland earlier than planned, due to an outbreak of spinal meningitis.
20 May: Back in Lisbon, the family lives in a flat on the Avenue Dom Carlos I, 109, 3rd floor left.
26 June: His mother and step-father sail for Durban with the other children. Pessoa remains in Lisbon.
19 September: Departs for Durban on the Herzog, which sails around the Cape.

17 January: His mother gives birth to João Maria, her fourth child by João Miguel Rosa.

16 August: His mother gives birth to Maria Clara, her fifth child by João Miguel Rosa.

20 August: Departs definitively for Lisbon on the Herzog, which sails on the western coast of Africa.
5 September: His Aunt Anica, widowed in 1904, moves to Lisbon with her children,
14 September: Pessoa reaches Lisbon, where he stays for a few days at the house of his Aunt Maria in Pedrouços (where his Aunt Rita and Grandma Dionísia also live) and then moves in with his Aunt Anica, on the Rua de São Bento, 98, 2nd floor left, where he will live for one year.

Early October: Goes to live with his family, in Lisbon on another long leave from Durban, at the Calçada da Estrela, 100, 1st floor.
11 December: Death of his half-sister Maria Clara, in Lisbon.

May: His family returns to Durban and he moves in with his great-aunts Rita and Maria and his Grandma Dionísia, at the Rua da Bela Vista à Lapa, 17, 1st floor.
6 September: Dionísia de Seabra Pessoa dies. Fernando is her only heir.

June: Moves in with his Aunt Anica, on the Rua Passos Manuel, 24, 3rd floor left.
12 September: His family moves from Durban to Pretoria, where his stepfather has been named consul general of Portugal.
21 September: His great-aunt Maria dies at the home of Aunt Anica, Rua Passos Manuel.

14 October: António Maria Silvano, husband of his great-aunt Carolina, dies in Lisbon.

April: Moves, with Aunt Anica and her daughter, to the Rua Pascoal de Melo, 119, 3rd floor right.
November: Aunt Anica moves to Switzerland with her daughter Maria and son-in-law Raul Soares da Costa, a naval engineer. Later they will live in Italy, returning to Lisbon in 1924.

November: His mother, still in South Africa, suffers a stroke affecting her left side.

14 February: His great-aunt Rita dies in the home of another great-aunt, Carolina, in Lisbon.

14 June: His great-aunt Adelaide dies, in Lisbon.
7 October: His stepfather dies in Pretoria.
November: Meets Ofélia Queiroz at the firm Félix, Valladas & Freitas

29 March: Moves to the Rua Coelho da Rocha, 16, 1st floor right, where he will reside for the rest of his life.
30 March: His mother and the children from her second marriage, who sailed from South Africa on 20th February, arrive at Lisbon. They stay for a few weeks with her cousin António Pinheiro Silvano, on the Av. Casal Ribeiro, 35, and take up residence at the Rua Coelho da Rocha in late April, after Pessoa has made the necessary preparations (connecting the utilities, acquiring furniture, etc.).
May: His two half-brothers leave for England, where they will study at the University of London. They will marry British women but have no children. Luís dies in 1975, João in 1977.
29 November: Pessoa breaks off with Ofélia Queiroz through a letter.

21 July: Pessoa’s sister marries Francisco Caetano Dias, who works for the administrative services of the armed forces. They go to live at the Quinta dos Marechais, in Benfica, and take Pessoa’s semi-invalid mother with them. His ailing “uncle” Henrique Rosa also goes to live with them. Pessoa will live on his own for two years.

8 February: Henrique Rosa, brother of Pessoa’s stepfather, dies at the Quinta dos Marechais, in Benfica.
17 March: His mother dies at the Quinta dos Marechais.
16 November: Birth of his niece, Manuela Nogueira Rosa Dias.

30 April: His great-aunt Carolina dies in Lisbon.

November or December: His sister and her family move to Évora, where they will live for three years.

11 January: Date of his last letter to Ofélia Queiroz, who will continue to write him for over a year. They will still talk on the telephone and meet on occasion. Ofélia, who will marry some years later, dies in 1991.
November(?): His sister and her family return from Évora to Lisbon.

1 January: Birth of Luís Miguel Rosa Dias, Pessoa’s nephew, in Lisbon.

Pessoa’s sister and brother-in-law build a house in São João do Estoril, where they and their children will live most of the time. When in Lisbon, they will continue to stay with Pessoa at Rua Coelho da Rocha. His sister, Henriqueta Madalena Rosa Dias, dies in 1992; her husband, Francisco Caetano Dias, in 1969.
23 March: Death of his cousin Mário Nogueira de Freitas.

29 November: Beset by fever and strong abdominal pains, he is admitted into the French hospital of Lisbon, where he writes his last words, in English: “I know not what tomorrow will bring.”
30 November: Dies at around 8 p.m., attended by Jaime de Andrade Neves, his cousin and physician.
2 December: Buried in Lisbon at the cemetery of Prazeres.

Joaquim de Seabra PESSOA and Maria Madalena Pinheiro NOGUEIRA's children:
Jorge Nogueira PESSOA born January 1893 in Lisbon, died 02 January 1894 in Lisbon
Fernando António Nogueira de Seabra PESSOA born 13 June 1888 in Lisbon died 30 November 1935 in Lisbon

Maria and João Miguel dos Santos ROSA's children:
Henriqueta Madalena Nogueira dos Santos ROSA (aka Teca, born 07 November 1897 in Durban, married Captain Francisco Caetano DIAS)
Madalena Henriqueta Nogueira dos Santos ROSA (born 22 October 1898 in Durban, died 25 June 1901)
Luis Miguel Nogueira dos Santos ROSA (born 11 January 1900 in Durban)
João Maria Nogueira dos Santos ROSA (born 17 January 1903 in Durban)
Maria Clara Nogueira ROSA (born 16 August 1904 in Durban, died 11 December 1906)

12 April 2012


Davina McCALL, the former Big Brother UK presenter and host of the Long Lost Family show, had a mother with South African connections. Florence Francois Catalina KOCK (born 22 June 1945, maiden name HENNION) passed away in Pretoria on 15 April 2008. The mother and daughter had a troubled relationship. Her parents divorced when she was three years old. Davinia went to live with her paternal grandparents, Dennis and Pippy, in Surrey. She saw her father Andrew McCALL, an events organiser for Portsmouth Harbour Authority, often but little of her mother in Paris, France. She moved in with her father and his second wife, Gaby, in London at age 13. In 1997 she married an actor, Andrew LEGGETT, in Westminster, London, but this ended four months later. Today, Davina has three children - Holly Willow, Tilly Pippy and Chester Micky - with husband Matthew ROBERTSON and lives in Woldingham, Surrey. They were married on 29 June 2000 at Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire.

Florence spent the last years of her life in Pretoria, in poor health after the death of her husband, Henri KOCK, a retired diplomat, in 2005. Davina supplemented her State pension. After retiring from the diplomatic service, Henri went into a property business with a partner but he lost everything. Florence's father was a doctor and her grandfather owned a chateau. He set up Paris' first mobile police unit known as the Tiger Brigades. Florence had a daughter, Caroline, when she was 16. After moving to London in the mid-1960s, she met and married Andrew McCALL, then a graphic designer. Florence was 22 when Davina Lucy Pascal McCALL was born on 16 October 1967 in Wimbledon, London. Back in Paris after the divorce, Florence worked as the manager of an Yves St Laurent boutique. By 1983 she had three failed marriages. She took a job at the South African Embassy in Paris, where Henri KOCK, himself three times married, was her boss. A few years later, he left his wife, Christiane and their young son Edouard, to marry Florence. In the late 1980s and 1990s, they lived in South Africa, Germany, Morocco and Israel. Edouard lived with them. His half-sister, Juanita, lived with her mother until 1994 when her mother was killed in a car accident and she went to live with her step-father Henri and Florence near Tel Aviv. She recalled Florence as a heavy drinker but when sober she was fun and a great cook. Davina met Henri when he was posted to Israel. Florence's daughter-in-law, Helene KOCK, recalls that Florence's greatest sadness was never seeing her grandchildren. Florence died at the Pretoria East Hospital from a lung infection, after a year-long battle against leukaemia. Florence volunteered with Alcoholics Anonymous. Constand DE VOS lodged with Florence during the last 18 months of her life and found her to be outgoing and friendly.

Henri was born on 09 December 1940. He died on 02 November 2005, and the last address was 684B Rhode Street, Faerie Glen, Pretoria. Henri and Nelmari TREURNICH were divorced in 1970. Henri and Arina SAMUELE were divorced in 1978.

In 2009, Davina took part in the Who Do You Think You Are? TV show in the UK, and found her long-lost French relatives in France. She met her mother's cousin, Francoise HENNION and her son Pierre, and her half-sister Caroline from Florence's first marriage. She also found out that one of her ancestors was rumoured to be an illegitimate son of George IV who left his family with huge debt when he died, and that her French great-grandfather, Celestin HENNION (1862-1915), was France's chief of police in the 19th century. The son of a farm labourer, Celestin joined the police and progressed through the ranks. He received the Royal Victorian Order medal from George V for organising security during a royal visit to France in 1914. On her father's side she found that her great-great-great-great-grandfather James Thomas BEDBOROUGH (1787-1860) was was apprenticed as a stonemason. When George IV ascended to the throne in 1820 he began an expensive renovation of Windsor Castle, and as the master stonemason, James oversaw much of this work. He became a property developer and mayor of Windsor. When he died, James left a complicated will and large mortgages that were used to finance his business and his family's Upton Park mansion. The stress of sorting out James' estate led to the suicides of two of his sons.

09 April 2012


"They are trying to make Johannesburg respectable. They are trying to make snobs out of us, making us forget who our ancestors were. They are trying to make us lose our sense of pride in the fact that our forebears were a lot of roughnecks who knew nothing about culture and came here to look for gold. We who are of Johannesburg, we know this spirit that is inside of us, and we do not resent the efforts that are being made to put a collar and tie on this city. Because we know that every so often, when things seem to be going very smoothly on the surface, something will stir in the raw depths of Johannesburg, like the awakening of an old and half-forgotten memory, and the brick-bats hurtling down Market Street will be thrown with the same lack of accuracy as when pioneers of the mining camp did the throwing"... so wrote Herman Charles BOSMAN of Johannesburg in A Case of Jerepigo...

Johannesburg was declared a city in 1928 but was founded on 04 October 1886, the date proclaimed by President Paul KRUGER on 08 September 1886 when he declared the area open for public digging, under the leadership of Carl VON BRANDIS. The first tent went up in Ferreira's Camp on 09 July 1886, put by John Paptone DE ROI, who died in 1931.

"Proclamation by His Honour the State President - Whereas it has become apparent to the Government of the South African Republic that it is desirable to proclaim the farms named Driefontein, Elandsfontein, Southern portion of Doornfontein, Turffontein, Government farm Rantjeslaagte, Langlaagte, Paardekraal, Vogelstruisfontein and Roodepoort, all situated in Witwatersrand, district Heidelberg, as public diggings.
Therefore I, Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, State President of the South African Republic, on the advice and with the consent of the Executive Council, in terms of section 5 of Law No. 8 of 1885, as amended, proclaim the above-named areas as a Public Digging in the following sequence and as from the following dates, respectively, to wit: -

The farms Driefontein and Elandsfontein, on Monday the 20th September, 1886;
The southern portion of the farm Doornfontein and the farm Turffontein, on Monday the 27th September, 1886;
The piece of Government ground named Rantjeslaagte and the farm named Langlaagte, on Monday the 4th October 1886;
The farms named Paardekraal, Vogelstruisfontein and Roodepoort, on Monday the 11th October 1886;

Insofar as they have not been beaconed off by owners or lessees for Mijnpachtbrieven, or, under Law No. 8 of 1885 as amended, reserved for cultivated areas, gardens, arable land and water furrows in the vicinity thereof.

God save land and people.
Given under my hand at the Government Offices at Pretoria, this 8th day of the month, September, A.D. 1886.
S.J.P. Kruger State President
W. Eduard Bok State Secretary"

Here are some of Johannesburg's first...

On 17 July 1886 the Diamond Fields Advertiser in Kimberley announced the existence of a newly-discovered 30 mile-long gold reef, 50 miles south of Pretoria in a place it called "Vetvatterrand" (Witwatersrand). Eight days later, Joseph Benjamin ROBINSON, one of the richest of the Kimberley mining magnates, was in the Transvaal. As described by Eric Rosenthal in his book Gold! Gold Gold!, he "behaved like a man demented, and scarcely lying down to sleep, he hurried from farm to farm on the Rand, taking options or purchasing for cash." Robinson had been beaten to the Reef by a crowd of diggers who formed a camp alongside the only water source, Fordsburg Dip, on the farm Turffontein. The camp consisted of tents and wagons, and was named after its leader, Colonel Ignatius FERREIRA (age 46). He was a Boer soldier and had tried his luck on the diamond diggings too. In July, the Diamonds Fields Advertiser reported that the population of Ferreira's Town was 300 persons, and there were 14 "hotels" supplying liquor.

Colonel Ignatius FERREIRA 
Ferreira's Camp, 1886
The first mayor was Johan Zulch DE VILLIERS, inaugurated on 01 October 1897, having arrived in town the same day. He was born in Paarl in 1845, and started his public career in the Orange Free State Volksraad (Parliament). He was known to be "a reliable, honest and tactful official". He moved to the Transvaal in 1881 and was a special landdrost (magistrate) for Pretoria, Barberton, Lydenburg and Swaziland, between 1881 and 1897. He lived at 22 Koch Street near Joubert Park. On 01 October 1897 the first town council was also appointed. The town was divided into 12 wards, each ward consisting of two councillors, one of which had to be a Transvaal burgher. De Villiers was Mayor until 1900. He retired from public life in 1902 but served for two years as a member of the Transvaal Legislative Council. He died in 1910.

The early Witwatersrand farms
The first baby born in Ferreira's Camp was Paulus Johannes HARTOGH, born on 13 May 1887. He was the son of Paulus Johannes HARTOGH senior. This is possibly his family - Paulus Johannes HARTOGH was 30 years old when he married Cornelia Susanna Gertruida PRELLER at the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk in Pretoria on 23 March 1885. She was 21 years old. Paulus was born in the Cape Colony and Cornelia in the ZAR. She died in 1921 and he died in 1936. There is a Paulus Johannes HARTOGH who died in 1967. Possibly Paulus who was born in 1887? He was married to Amalia Cathrine.

The first electric street lamp was erected on the corner of Rissik and President Streets in October 1895. Wright & Graves advertised "K boots" in the first electric sign circa 1905. The first gas lamp was erected on 17 November 1892 by the Johannesburg Lighting Company. A town engineer, William Henry MILES, was appointed in 1889. He established the town's first fire brigade in 1892 on Market Square.

The first electric trams were introduced in March 1906, travelling from town to Siemert Road, Doornfontein. The trams ran until March 1961, when they were discontinued. The first car to be seen on the streets was a Benz Voiturette. The Standard & Diggers' News reported that it was "the motor car, or noiseless carriage, the first and only in South Africa" and was exhibited at Wanderers' Grounds on Wednesday 13 January 1897. The exhibition was put on by Hess & Co. On the same day, two ladies from a visiting theatrical company were the first women in the country to sit in a car. The first traffic light was erected in March 1927 on the crossing of President and Rissik Streets. It was placed in the middle of the road, but was knocked over shortly afterwards by a motorist.

Benz Voiturette Motor Car
The first railway tracks were laid in 1888. The line from Johannesburg to Boksburg was opened in March 1890 and was known as the Rand Tram. It was extended to Springs in October 1890, and to Roodepoort in November 1890. The line from Cape Town reached Johannesburg in September 1892. The line to Pretoria opened in January 1893, to Maputo in November 1894 and to Durban in December 1895.

Johannesburg's first road was created in 1889, from Ferreira's Camp to Jeppestown, down what became Commissioner Street. It was made by three ox-wagons, laden with stones, driven up and down in a straight line for a week to compact the stones.

Traffic jams started in 1886, when ox-wagon owners would find themselves parked in, sometimes five wagons deep, and had to dismantle their wagons, piece by piece, if they wanted to move. Colonel Ignatius FERREIRA was the first one with his ox-wagon, parking it where he set up camp close to where he was mining for gold. He started his own gold mine within 100m of his wagon. Within a very short time, a large number of wagons and carts had been parked around his wagon. In 2012, property owners in the Main Street Mall, mainly mining companies, brought a replica of his ox-wagon to the CBD, where it was placed in Main Street as a permanent fixture alongside other mining memorabilia that now form part of an outdoor mining museum. Although not the original, a similar wagon was found at the James Hall Transport Museum and restored by Balthi DU PLESSIS, a Pretoria museumologist and professional-ox wagon restorer. The leather thongs (osrieme), whips and ropes used to tie up the oxen are no longer made the way they used to be, but Balthi found two people – H.J. GREYLING of Victoria East who hand-made the whip, and S. DU TOIT of Cornelia who made the ropes.

The first telephone system, imported from Paris, came into being in September 1894 on Plein Square, with about 250 subscribers. The following instructions were issued: "Subscribers to the Telephone System should not wait for a return-bell after they have rung up the Central Station, by means of the black button on the instrument. When the latter has been pressed, the receiver should be taken from the hook and upon an enquiry from the Central, the name and number of the subscriber with whom connection is required, should be given. On the reply "Voorwaarts" being heard, the receiver should be replaced on the hook, the white knob pressed and the return-bell awaited before taking the receiver down again."

The first gold weighing 350 ounces was sent to Pietermaritzburg on 12 April 1887. The first share transaction happened in a miner's tent in Ferreira's Camp. The first shares to be quoted at a stock exchange happened in June 1887. Johannesburg's first stock exchange started in a tent, moved to Donovans' livery stables on the corner of Sauer and Commissioner Streets, and then to a brick building on Commissioner Street. This building had stained glass windows, tiled lavatories, a bar, offices and a front porch. The first stock exchange slump happened in 1891, as reported in the SA Mining Journal of 1912, brought about when the alluvial gold had run dry, and capital was needed to mine below the surface.

The first bank was opened by Standard Bank on 11 October 1886 in a tent. It later moved to a thatched cottage at 185 Anderson Street. The first bank manager was Donald P. ROSS who wrote to his head office that the population of Braamfontein was then 100 persons. The Standard Bank Arena today has a Donald Ross Room. The first bank clerk was Mr. P. MYNHARDT.

Mail delivery was rudimentary. Letters were sent from Pretoria by runners and deposited in a gin box in Arthur Ballantine EDGSON's canteen in Ferreira's Camp. He read out the names on the envelopes while the early residents waited for their mail. Mail accumulated, and towards the end of the first year of this service there were 10 000 unclaimed letters, 130 of them for a SMITH family. In September 1886 a small post office was erected on the site of the present Rissik Street Post Office. The postmaster was C.A. DORMEHL. At that time there were 18 mail coaches per week between Johannesburg and Kimberley. The first telegram was sent on 27 April 1887 by J.E. SYMONS, the telegraphist. He sent it to himself. The office was in Market Street and by 1890 it employed 26 telegraphists and dispatched 400 000 telegrams per year. The first postal pillar box was erected in June 1889. The first house-to-house mail deliveries took place on 02 November 1896 with 20 postmen employed to deliver 3000 letters. Three months later, in February 1897, the budget for £3 000 wasn't approved and the service was discontinued.

The first prostitutes were women from the Kimberley diamond fields, mostly Coloured women from the Cape. By 1892 larger numbers came from France, Belgium and Germany. The area between Bree Street in the north and Anderson Street in the south, Sauer Street in the west and Kruis Street in the east, contained most of the brothels and became known as Frenchfontein.

The most famous brothel was known as Sylvio Villa, on the corner of De Villiers and Rissik Streets. It was opened in 1895 and closed in 1906, and was owned by Auguste Francois ROGER. The madam was Alice MULLER who controlled the nine working women - Evette VERWEY, Suzanne DUBOIS, A. DUMAS, Blanche DUMONT, Marie BUFFAUT, Jeanne DUBOIS, Marie ANDRE, Jeanne DURETT and Georgette CARPENTIER. They charged "£1 for short time" or "£5 per night". They had to pay Alice £4 per month for food and accommodation. This excluded clothing, laundry and medical expenses. Auguste married Therese BITTERLIN. He died in 1923.

The Green House brothel was located at 19 and 20 Sauer Street. Others included the Monte Christo, Phoenix and Spire House. By 1888 Frenchfontein had 97 brothels, 77 saloons, 43 hotels and 12 billiard rooms. In 1898 a Morality Act was introduced that made provision for possible banishment of moral offenders from the ZAR. When the Anglo-Boer War broke out in 1899, the prostitutes and pimps left for the safety of Cape Town. This resulted in the Cape passing the Betting Houses, Gaming Houses and Brothels Suppression Bill in 1902. Again, they left, some returning to the Transvaal and others going to Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

Johannesburg's first barmaid was Amanda Anna AQUENZA (maiden name SCHILLING), employed by Charles Armstrong BROWN in a bar in Ferreira's Camp. He was the first saloon owner in town. She arrived in 1887. A prospector, Edward Clarence TRELAWNEY-ANSELL, wrote a book in 1939, I Followed Gold, in which he noted: "I do not think that I shall ever forget the arrival of the first barmaid in Jo'burg. Word of her coming had got ahead of her. Tales were being spread of her wonderful beauty, the glorious clothes she wore, the very low cut of her bodices, etc. Special emphasis was also laid on how easily she bestowed her nightly favours - at a price. The day came when the coach was to arrive with this beauty of the bar. Crowds of the Jo'burg "boys" were there to meet her. The coach arrived with the beauty seated inside. Cheer after cheer went up as she was carried shoulder high from the coach to the billiard room of the Central Hotel, there to be regaled with iced champagne. Then she was forced to stand on the billiard table - in clothing that today would be thought much over-dressed, but was then thought supremely naughty - in corsets and voluminous drawers edged with plenty of lace - and was sold to the highest bidder for the sum of £150, champagne flowing like water meanwhile and all laughing and enjoying the fun." She married Charles but they divorced in 1897. She later worked at the Vienna Cafe on the corner of Market and Joubert Street. In 1903 she claimed compensation from the government for losses suffered during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902.

In late 1886 Bishop BROUSFIELD visited Johannesburg. He noted that of the 26 shanties erected, 16 were for the sale of drinks. Three years later the 16 had become 127 saloons. In 1891 a newspaper editor organised a Barmaids Referendum. Seventeen thousand votes were cast at the 288 saloons. Mrs. GROTH of Kimberley Bar was declared winner by 2 000 votes. She was described as an "Aphrodite blessed with an ample body and great personal charm". After Pretoria fell to the British on 05 June 1900, a proclamation under military law prohibited the manufacture and sale of liquor and all outlets were shut. The bars re-opened in Johannesburg in January 1902.

The first liquor licence was issued in June 1886. The first brewery was established in 1887, Wiltshire Brewery was set up in Ophirton. The first building in Johannesburg was the Central Hotel, in Ferreira's Camp, made of wood. Later, when Randjeslaagte was proclaimed as the new town, Frank Howard BUSSEY, the owner of Central Hotel, built a new hotel on the corner of Commissioner and Sauer Streets, of stone quarried from Doornfontein.

The first barber shop was opened by George MEREDITH in Ferreira's Camp. The first jail was in Commissioner Street, opened in the same month as the town was established. The first jailer was Mr. C. BRAHN. It was a brick building with a thatched roof. A later jail was built on the site of the present Drill Hall, on the corner of Twist and Plein Streets.

William Somerset MORKEL (31 Oct 1845-16 Jan 1914) opened the first butcher in Ferreira's Camp, on the corner of Bree Street East and Marshall Square. He later had a second butchery in Bok Strret, Doornfontein. William's father, Pieter Loreth MORKEL, was a butcher at the Cape. Willem became a butcher too and moved to Kimberley, where he married Johanna Helena MARITZ (15 Jan 1854-20 May 1918) and their children were born:

1) Theunisina Christina born 13 Dec 1874
2) Hendrik Johannes (aka Harry) born 02 Jul 1876
3) Gerhardus Maritz (aka Gerrit) born 23 Jun 1878; died Jul 1955; married Flora Fanny MATTHEWS (born 25 Nov 1880)
4) William Somerset (aka Sommie) born 26 Sept 1879; died 11 Jul 1921 in Bethal; married Hester Jakowa KOTZE
5) Stephanus Kimberley (aka Steve) born 18 Nov 1881
6) Douglas Francis Theodore born 18 Oct 1885; died 20 Feb 1950 in Johannesburg; married Hulda Marie BUCHLER (died 1930)
7) John Vernon Bester born 16 Jan 1890; died 1924

The family lived in Davies Street in Doornfontein, and later moved to Bok Street in Hospital Hill. Harry took part in the Anglo-Boer War, along with his brothers Gerrit and Steve. Sommie was taken prisoner-of-war by the British at Abraham's Kraal on 10 March 1900 and sent to Deadwood in St Helena. During the war, both shops were closed and the family survived from a small rental income. Sommie and Douglas became Springbok rugby players. Harry was a champion hurdler. Sommie was also a mining contractor.

The first Johannesburg census was held on 02 April 1890, only whites were recorded, a total of 119 128.

The first company of the Zuid Afrikaanse Republieke Polisie was composed of 16 men, formed on 12 November 1886, in a precinct stretching from Boksburg to Krugersdorp. The first police station was in Kort Street, between Market and Commissioner Streets. This site was used in the 1890s to build the Gaiety Theatre. The Officers' Barracks were at the bottom of Market Square, while the barracks for the mounted police were in Kazerne in Bree Street. Soon after this a police station was built in 1887 in Bree Street, on the corner of Simmonds Street. In January 1895 Senior Detective J.J. DONOVAN was arrested on a charge of accepting bribes from a canteen owner, Mr. GREENSTONE. In November 1898, Chief Detective Robert FERGUSON was caught buying gold amalgam and passing it on to Count SARIGNY. Both officers were dismissed.

The first cricket club was formed in November 1886. The first match was won in a Test against Britain in 1906. The first rugby club, Wanderers, was started in 1886, and lost its first match against a Pretoria team, but they won in 1887. On 04 November 1890 the first golf club was formed. The first Association Football Club was the Alpha, formed in 1887. The first bicycle track race took place on 26 October 1889. The first roller skating rink was opened in February 1891 in Kerk Street. The first baseball match was played on Sunday, 10 February 1895 at the Old Wanderers Club, Simmer and Primrose versus City and Robinson. The game was introduced by American mine workers, and kept alive by Dr. BRENMAN and J.C. HOLDERNESS. The first ice-skating rink, named Niagara, opened in 1910 near Park Station. The first hockey club for women was started in 1903/4, and the first hockey Test was played in 1925, against England.

The first chess club was set up in 1891, with Lord Randolph CHURCHILL the first president of the Johannesburg Chess Club. Johannesburg's first concert was held on 21 June 1887, put on by the International Order of Good Templars to mark the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It took place in Thompson's Store in President Street. On 13 October 1891, Sir Dan GODFREY conducted an orchestra, playing the piano with one hand and conducting with the other, at the Standard Theatre. The first circus was Fillis's Circus, set up in Ferreira's Camp in September 1886. The first flower show was held in the Wesleyan Church in February 1893.

The first snow fall occurred on Saturday 16 May 1891, during the morning. The first swimming pool was opened in Fordsburg in April 1888. The first banquet was hosted by the mining magnates for President Paul KRUGER in February 1887. A month later, an Irish banquet was held on St Patrick's Day. The first movie shown in South Africa was at the Grand National Hotel in Johannesburg on 04 April 1895. On 19 April 1895 the first kinetoscopes - boxes in which people could see a moving image - were opened to the public in Herwoods Arcade on Pritchard and President Street. The first presentation of film in South Africa was made on 09 May 1896 at the Empire Palace of Varieties on the corner of Commissioner and Ferreira Streets. It was opened in 1895 and run by Edgar Maurice HYMAN (died 1936). That year the first South African film was produced - scenes shot from the front of a tram in the city of gold. The Apollo Theatre in Pritchard Street showed moving pictures, and the first bio-cafes were opened in 1912.

Empire Palace of Varieties
The first school was opened in Ferreira's Camp in November 1886. There were 14 pupils, and Mr. H. DUFF was the first teacher. He built the school house which cost £7.10 plus £14 for furnishings. The first church building was the Methodist Church in 1887, on the site of the present-day His Majesty's Theatre, in Commissioner Street. By 1887 there were three government schools, all near Market Square, under the auspices of the Dutch Reformed Church.

The first female office worker was Miss Annie Francis Letitia (aka Letty / Lettie) IMPEY. She was the daughter of Richard Pullman IMPEY (born 1829 in Whitby, died 1920 in Benoni) and Hannah Tamplin HART (died 1908). Her father was a farmer near Greytown, then moved to Burghersdorp before becoming a manager at the diamond mines in Du Toitspan. After this he moved to Johannesburg where he became a civil servant. Lettie was born in Greytown and attended St Michael's School in Bloemfontein. Her family arrived in Johannesburg in 1887 by cart and horse from Aliwal North after a journey that took four weeks. She opened a school in the vestry of St. Mary's with five pupils, which grew to 280 students and was government-aided. She met President Paul KRUGER while teaching. Ill health forced her to give up teaching, and she went to England. Upon her return, she started working for the solicitor Henry LINDSAY in about 1894 as a shorthand secretary. She created quite a sensation at the time as she was the only woman in business and was booed by men for usurping their place. She sat in the office with a screen around her for privacy as it was not quite proper for a lady to be seen working in an office! She married Tom Henry TANDY. His first wife, Elizabeth WELSH, had died in 1895. They had a daughter, Ina Impey TANDY (married JACKSON) who was one of the first pupils at Parktown Convent and later became president of the Old Girl's Association. Lettie became chairman of the Northern Suburbs Unionist Party. She was also a member of the Unionist Club and White Cross Legion. She enjoyed crafts, gardening and croquet. She lived at 23 Curry Road, Oaklands, Johannesburg. Her memoirs are in the Strange Collection at Johannesburg Public Library.

Lettie TANDY, 1934
The first two cemeteries were Braamfontein and Brixton. Before they were established, a cemetery of 12 stands was laid out in January 1887 on the corner of Harrison and Bree Streets. This site proved unsuitable and the corpses were exhumed in the 1890s and re-buried in Braamfontein Cemetery. Braamfontein had its first burials in 1888 and contains the graves of many early Johannesburg pioneers. During the Anglo-Boer War, a cemetery was opened in Turffontein, on the site of a concentration camp. Brixton Cemetery was opened circa 1908. West Park Cemetery opened in 1932.

The first person buried in Johannesburg was Mary DEARLOVE who died on 29 March 1887, at the age of 45. Her nephew, Joseph Dearlove HARDY, a transport rider, was interviewed for the Sunday Times of 23 April 1911 - "It was in March 1887 that I dug the first grave on the Rand. My aunt Mrs Mary DEARLOVE fell ill. I outspanned on what is now Market Square and let the oxen graze there whilst I walked up to where my aunt lay ill in a tent. There were two doctors in attendance, a German and an Englishman who had come with the Rush. But they could not save her, and I had to go to Captain VON BRANDIS and asked him where they buried people. He said he did not know if there was a place, but he would send a man with me to point out a plot for a cemetery. I had the first grave marked out and my boys dug it. A carpenter friend of mine, John MALZER, helped with the coffin; but the nearest Minister was in Pretoria. We sent to Pretoria but there was no conveyance available, and a Mr RENS officiated at the graveside reading the burial service. As we got back from the cemetery a Wesleyan minister turned up."

Mary Ann LOW was born circa 1841 in Adelaide, Australia. She was first married to Robert McINTYRE and they had a daughter, Jane (married OSBOURN). Mary married Joseph Avery DEARLOVE in June 1865. Joseph was born in 1828 in Westminster, London, to John DEARLOVE and Mary Ann WILLIAMS. He died on 24 April 1906 in Boksburg. He is listed as Joseph Henry buried 25 April 1906, age 78 years, in the St Mary's Cathedral Burial Register. In 1869 Joseph and Mary were living in Burger Street, Pietermaritzburg, and he was a farmer. In 1873 they were living in Kimberley, where he was a butcher. Mary and Joseph had the following children:
1) John born 1865, died 1965 in Pretoria
2) Mary Polly born 28 Mar 1866; married John William KILFOIL (died 1902) in 1893?
3) Arthur Fredrick William born 1867, died 1899; married M. WATSON in 1898? He is possibly Frederick who was killed while serving with the Imperial Light Horse (1st Batattalion) near Ladysmith on 02 Nov 1899. Two of his brothers fought on the Boer side and survived. Trooper Frederick, regimental number 410. The battle is described here: http://www.ladysmithhistory.com/a-to-z/sorties/
4) Jessie born 25 Oct 1869 at Burger Street, Pietermaritzburg; died 1945. Alfred James CATTERAL was 26 years old, a bachelor, a bar and store-keeper, and living in Johannesburg when he married Jessie DEARLOVE on 15 May 1888 in St Mary's Catherdral, Johannesburg.  Jessie was 18 years old, a spinster and living in Johannesburg. They divorced in 1907.
5) Charles Edward born 1870, died 1946 in Johannesburg; married Elizabeth Phoebe COKER (died 1941)
6) Joseph born 16 Nov 1871 in Kimberley; baptised 15 Jun 1873 at St. Cyprian's Anglican Church, Kimberley; died 1911?
6) Francis Avery born 1872, died 1931, married Agnes HUDSON, divorced in 1911; married Philis Grace
7) Joseph Avery born 1872, married Jacoba Johanna
8) Walter Henry Lewis born 1874, died 1928; married Blanche HILL (died 1928)
9) Edith Ann born 01 Feb 1877, died 22 Jan 1971 in Discovery, Johannesburg; married Thomas Hodson WHIPP (died 1931)
10) John born 1879; married Georgina (died 1947)?

Frederick OSBORNE was 32 years old, a bachelor and a merchant living in Boksburg, when he married Jane McINTYRE on 22 Jun 1891 in St Mary's Catherdral, Johannesburg. Jane was 30 years old, a spinster and living in Elandsfontein. Edith DEARLOVE was a witness at the marriage. Jane died in 1939. Frederick had died by then.

Joseph Dearlove HARDY was 27 years old and a trader when he married Jacoba Petronella Elizabeth VERSTER on 17 May 1881 in the Anglican Church in Bethlehem, Free State. He was born in Bethlehem, as was Jacoba who was 24 years old when they were married. In 1903 Joseph claimed compensation from the government for losses suffered during the Anglo-Boer War. He fought on the Boer side and was taken as a prisoner-of-war by the British. He was age 46 at time of capture in Durban, and gave his address as Simmons Street, Johannesburg. He was sent to Diyatalawa POW Camp in Ceylon, on the ship Ranee II.

A locust swarm hit town on 28 May 1891. The first pet shop opened in a tearoom which was opened in 1900, on the corner of Noord and Harrison Streets. Isobel SOLOMON is said to have brought the first pet cat into town from the Cape, date unknown. Apparently the first pet dog was a fox terrier owned by Dr. George James McCarthy MELLE in April 1887. Its name was Whiskey. Dr. MELLE was one of the first doctors in town.

Dr. George James McCarthy MELLE died on 13 September 1937 at the Johannesburg General Hospital. He was married to Anna Elizabeth Susanna (aka Annie) VAN NIEKERK in 1889 and had two sons and two daughters. He was born in Rondebosch on 18 June 1861 to George Alexander MELLE and Alison TAIT. George James received his medical education at Edinburgh University, where he qualified in 1886. In 1887 he was acting locum for Dr. J. FEHRSEN of Cradock. He then went to Johannesburg, becoming one of the few doctors in the new town. While in Johannesburg, he became secretary of the newly-formed Transvaal Medical Society. In 1889 he bought a practice in Robertson, Cape, where he remained until the Anglo-Boer War broke out, when he served as civil surgeon with the British forces. Subsequently he joined Dr. HOFFMANN in Paarl, but later resumed practice in Robertson, with an interval of practice in Riversdale. In 1915 he left Robertson and practised in Rhodesia. He joined the South African Native Labour Contingent in 1916. In 1918 he was appointed M.O. to the Miners' Phthisis Bureau in Johannesburg, and in the following year he became Mine Medical Officer to the Zaaiplaats tin mines. He then settled in Potgieterus until his death.

George James McCartney MELLE
George Alexander MELLE was born in 1819 in Hamburg, Germany, the son of Johan Ulrich August VON MELLE. He qualified as a surgeon / chemist (apothecary). On 01 Nov 1841, he left Hamburg onboard the ship Franziska, arriving in Table Bay on 03 Jan 1842. He had a chemist at 49 Plein Street in Cape Town in the 1840s-1850s. He married Alison TAIT in 1846. In 1855, George took his family to Germany for a visit. He died at the Cape in 1875 and was buried in Montagu Old Cemetery. Alison died 04 January 1890 and was buried at St Peter's in Observatory. She was age 61 and lived in Woodstock.
George and Alison's children included:
1) Catherine Fredericka born 09 Dec 1845; baptised 17 Feb 1846 at St Andrew's Church, Cape Town; died 21 Jun 1915; married Barend Cornelius Berning LOUW; both buried at NGK Cemetery, Main Road, Observatory (Mowbray)
2) Theodore Albert Charles baptised 06 June 1847 at St Andrew's Church, Cape Town; moved to the USA in the 1860s
3) Thomas John Alexander baptised 22 September 1850 at St Andrew's Church, Cape Town
4) Agnes Margaret Josephine baptised 11 July 1852 at St Andrew's Church, Cape Town
5) James Abercrombie Gordon baptised 25 June 1854 at St Andrew's Church, Cape Town (went to the USA to visit Theodore Albert Charles and not heard of again, may have died in the San Francisco earthquake)
6) George James McCartney born 18 June 1861 in Rondebosch
7) Alison Mary born 20 January 1848; died 29 October 1939; married Adriaan Johannes Jacobus LOUW (26 Mar 1847-29 Aug 1921), both buried at NG Strooidakkerk, Paarl
8) Mary Henrietta Tait; died 1897; married MEIRING

George James McCartney MELLE and Anna Elizabeth Susanna VAN NIEKERK had the following children:
1) Basil George von Brandis born 31 Mar 1891 in Somerset West; died 08 Jan 1966 in Orchards, Johannesburg; married Margaret Alexander (aka Peggy) DONALD
2) Henry Augustus born circa 1892; died 1957; married Grace Jeanette VAN BOESCHOTEN
3) Gwen; married Harold ROBERTS
4) Eileen; married Bertrand Silver BOWER

Dr. Basil George von Brandis MELLE was a Rhodes Scholar in 1912. He played cricket for Hampshire, Oxford University, Transvaal and Western Province. His first class span was from 1908 to 1924. Basil George von Brandis MLLE and Peggy DONALD had the following children:
1) Elizabeth
2) Michael George born 03 Jun 1930 in Forest Town, Johannesburg; died 28 Dec 2003 at Betty's Bay. He played cricket for South Africa, Transvaal and Western Province. His Test debut was South Africa vs Australia in Johannesburg 10-14 Feb 1950. He toured England in 1951.

Henry Augustus MELLE and Grace VAN BOESCHOTEN had the following children:
1) Jenette born circa 1928; married Vivian HOURELD
2) Davidine born circa 1932; married Robert HINES

The first chemist was opened in 1886 by Mr. J. HEYMANN. It was in Commissioner Street and was named Golden Mortar Dispensary. The first cafe, Cafe Francais, was in Ferreira's Camp, on the corner of Market and Joubert Streets. The first chewing gum, Beeman's Pepsin Chewing Gum, was sold in 1895 by A.A. OFFICER.

Beeman's Pepsin Chewing Gum
The first hospital was established in the jail in Commissioner Street. The building was used for prisoners as well as the hospital. The first District Surgeon was Dr. Hans SAUER. In April 1887, the hospital moved into a two-roomed galvanised iron and wood building next door to the jail. A temporary hospital building was erected in August 1888 that accommodated 14 patients. This was the beginning of the Johannesburg Hospital situated on Hospital Hill. In Eric Rosenthal's book, "Gold! Gold! Gold!", Dr. SAUER described Ferreira’s Camp - "Within a fortnight after our arrival, Ferreira’s Camp began to assume the aspect of a busy place; tents and tented wagons covered a wide area, and here and there primitive reed-and-clay shanties appeared. Newcomers turned up every day, by ox wagon, by horse wagon, by mule wagon, and by every imaginable sort of vehicle, from the Old Colony, from Natal, from the Orange Free State, from Kimberley, from Pretoria, in fact, from all parts of South Africa. This rush continued without interruption for years. As there was practically no accommodation in Ferreira’s Camp, everyone had to manage in the open as best he could. All this happened in the beginning of the winter of 1886."

Joseph Barnett ISAACS was born in Brynmawr, Brecknuckshire, South Wales, in about 1861, the son of Barnett ISAACS and his wife Ellen. Joseph arrived in Johannesburg in about 1889 and started his photographic business in about 1894. He was later joined by his younger brother David. They were photographers for the London periodical Black and White. The brothers' early photographs are known as the Barnett Collection. Joseph, who was unmarried, died while on holiday in Wales and was buried at his birthplace on 23 July 1897. David carried on the business as Joseph Barnett & Co. In 1902 he launched a series of postcards. He became well-known in the cinema industry, helping to pioneer African Consolidated Theatres with Isadore William SCHLESINGER. By the time David decided to sell the photographic business, he was approached by Charles Davidson DON, editor of The Star from 1915 to 1938, who persuaded him to sell the collection to The Star, which he did in the 1920s. David died at the age of 90 in 1964. The 2100 plus photographs cover the early years of Johannesburg between the 1890s-1913; its buildings and streets; gold mining, mainly on the Witwatersrand, but also as far as Barberton; events like the Jameson Raid in 1895, the Matabele Rebellion in 1896, the Queen Victoria Jubilee in 1897, and the Anglo-Boer War in 1899-1902

Remembering Old Johannesburg, by John O’Meara
For Jo’burg was a mining town
And a very lively spot.
You’d get caught up in the action
Whenever things got hot.
A raw and ugly place, they say,
Like me with a very plain face,
But we both grew up so suddenly
There was little time for grace.

And when there’d been some fighting
We thought it quite a lark
To count the feet of policemen
being buried in Milner Park.
Later cannons started booming
along the road that led to the zoo,
lobbing shells on the hill at Brixton,
and we were there watching too.

There was such a mix of people
and colours of many a race
that later, when I travelled
I never felt out of place.
I’ll always be grateful to Jo’burg
for giving me a lively start.
Though it was a hardy place to live in,
it was a town with a very big heart.

06 April 2012


Boer Boy: Memoirs of an Anglo-Boer War Youth, by Chris Schoeman (Zebra Press, 2010). This is the true story of a ten-year-old boy's experiences during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. Charles DU PREEZ recounts his life on the family farm Wonderkop in the Eastern Free State, the destruction of the farm, the flight during Lord KITCHENER's scorched earth campaign, and the capture of his mother and siblings. He recalls hiding in the mountains with his father, their capture and voyage aboard the Aurania to India as prisoners-of-war, life in the POW camps of Ambala (north of Delhi) and Solon (at the foot of the Himalayas), where he was the youngest inmate, and their repatriation to South Africa and re-building their lives after the war.

After serving briefly on commando, Charles' father, Philip, took the Oath of Neutrality and returned to his farm. The British military undertook to protect surrendered burghers against the efforts of their compatriots to get them to return to their commandos. Unable to implement this policy effectively, the British started the scorched earth campaign - rounded up the men and sent them away as prisoners-of-war, and destroyed the farms. In September 1901 Philip and his family decided to flee. They joined another 30 or 40 families, trekking away from the British. The troops found their laager, and Philip and Charles hid in a cave. They were captured in January 1902 and transported in open coal trucks to Durban, from where they were shipped to India. Philip’s wife, Charlotte, along with the younger children, was captured and interned in the Winburg concentration camp.

The war's scorched earth campaign was the first in modern conflict in which civilians were deliberately targeted as a way of shutting down the support networks of a guerrilla army. By mid-1902, 200 000 whites and 100 000 blacks were homeless and destitute. Thirty thousand Boer captives were held in India, Ceylon, St Helena and Bermuda, while their wives and children were held in concentration camps across South Africa.

Shortly after the war ended, Charles and Charlotte recorded their experiences. Charles also made a tape-recorded interview in the 1960s. The Anglo-Boer War Museum in Bloemfontein has the letters that Philip and Charles wrote from Ceylon to their family. Charles died in 1970. This book draws on these sources and other contemporary documents to describe a family going through that war. It also includes some introductory genealogy, information about the Winburg district and the build-up to the war. The book is illustrated with photographs from private and museum collections. There is much information about not only the DU PREEZ family but also about the VON MALTITZ family (their neighbours) and the WESSELS family, as well as a number of sharecroppers or bywoners that lived on the farm and later acquired their own farms. Boer Boy is also available in Afrikaans, titled Boerseun.

Philip and Charles brought back a love of polo from their time in India. The DU PREEZ and VON MALTITZ families became well-known in South African polo circles. The Hammonia area, close to Ficksburg, became one of the polo playing areas. At one stage three of the four Springbok polo players came from Hammonia.

Chris SCHOEMAN was born in Somerset East and has master's degrees in history from the University of Port Elizabeth and Colorado State University. He has worked as a historian and journalist and has authored and co-authored several books.

The DU PREEZ family tree:

Phillipe DU PREEZ born circa 1681 in Courtrai; died 21 May 1721 in Tulbagh, South Africa.
Son of Hercule DU PREEZ (born 1645 in Flanders) and Cecile D'AHTIS (born 1650 in Courtrai)
Phillipe married Elizabeth PREVOST (born 31 Oct 1683 in Les Attiques) in 1698 in the Cape.
Their children included Jacobus DU PREEZ (baptised 27 Sept 1711; died 04 Feb 1747 in Tulbagh)

Jacobus married Maria Susanna THERON (died 15 Jan 1797) in Drakenstein on 28 May 1741.
Their children included Pieter DU PREEZ (born at Patriarg Farm, Zeekoegat, Riversdal, and baptised 29 Dec 1748)

Pieter married Johanna DE BRUYN (baptised 02 Sept 1753) on 21 Oct 1770. He died on 12 Dec 1829 at Zeekoegat, Swellendam.
Their children included Jacobus Lodewicus (baptised 01 Nov 1772)

Jacobus Lodewicus married Susanna Jacomina MULLER (born 1772) on 26 Mar 1797. He died on 06 Sep 1851 in Riversdal.
Their children included Philippus Anthonie (born 26 Dec 1814)

Philippus Anthonie married Salomina Magdalena Christoffelina MULLER on 03 Nov 1838 in Swellendam.
He died on 09 Mar 1900 at Wonderkop Farm, Senekal.
Their children included Philippus Anthonie (born 27 Oct 1844)

Philippus Anthonie married twice -  first to Elisabeth Susanna WESSELS and then to Charlotte Aletta Ann HOPKINS (born 07 Apr 1867).
Elisabeth died in 1888.
He married Charlotte on 16 Oct 1888.
Their children were:
1) Philip Charles born 04 Nov 1891; died 1970 (married Alida Roos VON MALTITZ on 01 Jun 1925)
2) Ruby Edna born 26 Sep 1894 (married Jan Abraham VAN DER MERWE in 1919)
3) Nellie born 25 Aug 1896 (married David BOTHA in 1924)
4) Jacobus Lodewicus (born 02 Feb 1899; died 1952; married Henrietta RADLEY)
5) Charlotte (born 18 Dec 1903, married Andries RADLEY in 1925)
6) Helgard Marthinus (born 09 Apr 1906; married Jeanette VAN DYK in 1933)

Philippus Anthonie died on 20 May 1918 at Wonderkop Farm, Senekal. Charlotte died on 17 Aug 1949.

Charlotte Aletta Ann HOPKINS was the daughter of Charles Kingsley HOPKINS (born 16 Mar 1823; died 05 Mar 1889) and Johanna Gertruida Margaretha BOSMAN (born 08 May 1829; died 26 Dec 1883 in Heidelberg).
Charles was the son of Henry HOPKINS and Maria Helen HIBBERT (baptised 05 Nov 1784) who married on 01 Dec 1812.
He was born in Dulwich, London, England.
Charles arrived at the Cape in 1840.
He first married Johanna Gertruida Margaretha Elizabeth BOSMAN on 26 Jan 1847.
He married Johanna Petronella SCHOLTZ ((born 29 Mar 1843 in Worcester; died 11 May 1920; buried at Old Cemetery, Knysna) on 12 Aug 1884. She was the widow of Johannes Urbanus HUMAN who died on 23 Apr 1878. After Charles' death, she married J.C. TRUTER in about 1900.

Charlotte was recorded as "fled when the British came" in the Winburg camp register on 17 September 1901. Her husband was recorded as " Philippus Antonie, aged 58, on farm". The children put into the camp with Charlotte were recorded as Ruby Edna (7 years old), Nelly (5 years old) and Jacobus Lodewicus (2 years old). Charlotte and the children left the camp on 13 December 1901 for their farm.

04 April 2012


I've spent most of my life in the aviation field, so when I received a research request from a client in Afghanistan, I immediately recognised one of the names that turned up in this search. Evelyn Frederick DRIVER was one of the first thirty licenced pilots in the world. His nickname was Bok. On 27 December 1911 the first airmail was carried by Bok in his Bleriot monoplane, between Kenilworth Race Course and Oldham's Field near Muizenberg, in seven and a half minutes. He was born in Pietermaritzburg in 1887. He attended Hilton College and SACS, where he got his nickname due to his rugby skills. On 01 August 1911 he earned Aviator’s Certificate No. 110 of the Fédération Aeronautique International.

On 11 and 12 September 1911, Bok took part in the Royal Mail Aerial Postal Service flown to mark the coronation of King George V. The mail carried letters for the Royal Family, and one addressed to the King, signed by the directors and pilot aviators of the Grahame-White Aviation Company. Bok flew with Clement GRESSWELL, an Englishman, and Gustav HAMEL, of Scandinavian descent. Bok carried most of the mail in his Farman biplane, 11 bags on three flights. This included specially-designed postcards signed by Bok. The flight was from Hendon Aerodrome to Windsor, and on his return Bok landed at Nazeing Common, North London 30 minutes later. There were 100 000 letters and postcards addressed to nearly every country in the world, which were delivered using a total of 720 flying miles.

Part of this was the first airmail flight in South Africa. This post was opened on Thursday, 21 December and closed at 20:00 on 26 December 1911. The mail was limited to special copyright postcards depicting Bok’s Bleriot monoplane flying over Cape Town with Table Mountain in the background. These postcards were sold for one shilling, and for one halfpenny they could be sent to any place in South Africa. All the postcards were date-stamped at Kenilworth and Muizenberg and then circulated by ordinary mail. There were 2 597 postcards printed in total.

One of the postcards sent on 27 December 1911
One of the postcards sent on 27 December 1911

The first airmail flight in South Africa was scheduled for the morning of 27 December, but was postponed because of heavy rain. Bok took off at 19:15 from Kenilworth Race Course, landing at Oldham’s Field on the verges of Zandvlei in Muizenberg seven and a half minutes later. The mailbag with 729 postcards had been fastened to the back of his seat and delivery was for Muizenberg's newly opened Post Office at 184 Main Road. He handed over the mail to the local postmaster, Mr. P.J. HUTCHINGS, listened to congratulatory speeches and then took on board the Kenilworth mailbags for the return flight, which he accomplished in twelve and a half minutes, arriving at 20h10. This made him the only aviator to have flown the inaugural airmail service in two countries. Bok flew a second mail from Kenilworth to Muizenberg on 02 January 1912.

Evelyn Frederick DRIVER in the pilot's seat for the first airmail in South Africa on 27 December 1911
Evelyn Frederick DRIVER
The Police Museum Complex on Main Road, Muizenberg, contains Het Post Huijs which was originally the post office and where the first airmail was delivered. If you drive northwards out of Muizenberg's Main Road, you will find Oldham Field, between Main Road and Zandvlei, opposite the old railway station where Bok landed. George William Newitt OLDHAM was a chemist and his field was used as a dairy farm and sports ground.

2011 Centenary of First Airmail
In 1914 he went to England and was given a commission in the Royal Flying Corps. In 1915 he was sent to German South West Africa as a military pilot, but a year later he began to suffer ill health. He died on his farm in Tylden near Ladysmith in Natal on 22 July 1946. He was married to Minnie Humphreys BARRETT. They divorced in 1913 and she married Dr. Harold JOWITT. She died in 1957 and Harold (nickname Heli) died in 1963. Evelyn's second marriage was to Doris NN.

His son from his wife Minnie, Lynne, started flying with him from the age of three in 1912. Lynne later used the surname DRIVER-JOWITT. His son, Jonathan P. DRIVER-JOWITT (aka Jon), is an orthopaedic surgeon in Cape Town and has flown glider and powered aircraft recreationally. Jon’s son, Simon DRIVER-JOWITT, is also a pilot and flies for Nippon Cargo Airlines. Jon, Simon and another of Evelyn's great-grandsons all learnt to fly powered aircraft on a J3 cub owned by the Mashonaland Flying Club in Harare. The latter great-grandson flies for SAA.