The intrigue and mystery surrounding the Duminy ancestors’ connection with the well-to-do Lebre family of Tarascon in France reminds me of my own family’s long line of Master Mariners.The history of the Duminy family is a plethora of information – Andrew Duminy has meticulously researched the family history and descendants of Francois Renier Duminy and has rewarded all living relatives with a magnificent piece of history that every one of them will treasure forever.
Francois Renier Duminy’s prolific naval career, crowned with the Chevalier Grand Cross of the Order of St. Philippe as well as the Sovereign Prince Rose Croix, was an extraordinary achievement by a man who started off with the French East India Company and eventually brought him to the Cape. His involvement with the Freemasons and his long association the Lodge De Goede Hoop ensured his position as Grandmaster in 1795 and by undisputed vote again in 1797. Francois Renier Duminy’s social life led him and his wife to entertain and mix in only the best circles, which included maintaining their Cape Town residence, Le Jardin, as well as the farm Compagniesdam at Bloubergstrand. His naval career expanded when he was offered the position of Port Captain in Simonstown from 1803, but in 1806 the 2nd British Occupation abruptly concluded his employment.
The slave trade, education, land ownership and social life of this decorated Cape Town family are just some of the elements woven together in a rich tapestry reflecting their exciting life and times. A wonderful account of family history has been brought to life down to the exquisite relics of clothing, paintings, maps, documents and other artefacts that still exist in superb condition in local archives and museums.
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