Roses-Round-up

Fascinating factual tales and stories on South Africa history by Rose Willis. Read all about her here and subscribe to her newsletter Rose’s Round-Up for a small fee.

Rose’s ROUND-UP – A privately-published monthly newsletter mainly covering snippets of Karoo history * Copyright: Rose Willis * Cellphone: 082-926-0474
email: rosewillis705@gmail.com. P O Box 28636, Danhof, 9310

 

Rose’s Round-up November 2012 No 226

OUTRAGE AT THE ARREST OF TOP MEDICAL MAN Outrage has been expressed across the world regarding the arrest in Dubai on August 18, of Beaufort West-born Professor Cyril Karabus, 77. Cyril, one of the world’s top paediatric oncologists, was returning from Toronto in Canada where he had gone to attend a family re-union and the wedding of one of his sons. “This was the first time in many years that all five siblings were together in one country with their parents,” said his son, Michael. Cyril’s wife, Jennifer, their daughter, Sarah (also a well-known paediatrician) and her two children, [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 2012 No 225

NO HOLIDAYS FOR THESE LEARNERS The quality of schooling and state of education is given much publicity these days, but in 1851 a frontier school mistress stood no nonsense and took an arbitrary decision. Mrs. Eedes principal of the Retreat Boarding School for Young Ladies in Grahamstown, simply informed parents that half year school holidays had been cancelled. According to the Cape Frontier Times of June 1851, she took this step because she was not entirely satisfied with the performance of the girls in her care. They were not doing as well as they could in all subjects, so [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 2012 No 224

A JOURNEY OF TASTE TREATS, SURVIVAL AND EMPOWERMENT Sydda Essop’s cookery book, Karoo Kitchen, is set to find a place on the bookshelves of all Karoo lovers. Much, much more than just a recipe book, it pays homage to the Karoo, the rich cultural diversity of the region and its people. A well-illustrated, worthwhile read it is a journey of discovery, survival and empowerment and it does not pull the punches when it comes to isolation, political turmoil, and poverty. The recipes are as varied and interesting as the people of the Karoo. The book includes a wide variety [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 2012 No 223

IN SEARCH OF SOLUTIONS A two-day TEDx conference, scheduled to be held in Prince Albert on September 1 and 2, will search for creative ways of helping the community solve ecological problems. TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a non-profit organisation, which was started in 1984, to investigate, explore and identify environmental problems and share ideas on solving these. The Prince Albert conference, entitled Meet Me There: Working Beneath, Between, Beyond and Towards a Thriving Planet, aims to assist the local community to find solutions to difficult conflicts, through group discussion, says organiser Hélène Smit. The programme features some top [...]

Rose’s Round up July 2012 No 222

SPOTLIGHT ON THE FUTURE Two top conferences will be held in the Karoo in October. The first, the Second Karoo Development Conference, takes place in Beaufort West from October 14 to 17. Discussions will focus on the future of the region, its people, and their environmental, ecological and economic role in South Africa. The programme will include talks on the effect of the SKA (Square Kilometer Array) and “fracking”, the gas exploitation of the Karoo’s shale beds. Tourism, mining management, agricultural development, the role of small towns in the general economic infrastructure, poverty alleviation and job creation, will also be [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 2012 No 221

FOR MUCH MORE THAN A MEAL A new cookery book, to be launched in August, promises to be a valuable addition to any Karoo library. Written by Beaufort West’s Sydda Essop, it comprises a rich collection of recipes and stories from the many diverse cultures that make up the Karoo. Sydda interviewed over 70 cooks and healers, varying in age from 20 to 90, to compile this book which contains recipes ranging from the traditional to the more exotic and including a variety of herbal remedies. Basics such as bread, beer, curry and sweets, as well as some easy-to-prepare meals, [...]

Rose’s Round-up May 2012 No 220

TITUS OATES REMEMBERED IN ABERDEEN The centenary of the death of Captain Lawrence “Titus” Oates was recently commemorated in the little Karoo village of Aberdeen. On March 16, 1912, Oates, a member of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole, stepped out tent during a blizzard saying: “I’ll am going out. I will be some time.” He was suffering badly, and in severe pain. He never returned. Scott, and his companions, died waiting for his return. While Oates died on the ice, his death is linked to wounds received on the sun-scorched plains, outside Aberdeen in the [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 2012 No 219

IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN It is time to visit the Karoo once more for the ever-popular annual Prince Albert Olive Festival. This year’s event, scheduled for April 27 and 28, will centers around the Fransie Pienaar Museum, Market Square and spill out across the nearby school’s sports fields. Highlights will include stargazing, history and ghost walks, witblitz, wine and olive tasting, plus an olive pip spitting competition, a half marathon for the energetic and trips across the Swartberg Pass and into Gamkaskloof, The Hell, for explorers. Entertainment will be provided by Chris Chameleon, The Eden Minstrels and a Boeremusiek orkes [...]

Rose’s Round-up March 2012 No 218

IN SEARCH OF AN OLD LETTER Historic researcher Kent Rasmussen recently came across an interesting item. He wrote: “I have a copy of a letter that Charles H. Crane wrote to Mark Twain in June 1901, inviting him to write an article, apparently for The New Examiner. Mark Twain left a note indicating that he planned to answer Crane's letter, but I can find no record that he actually did. Perhaps a letter from him to Crane has been preserved somewhere.” Kent feels that Twain’s correspondence with Crane might have been mentioned in one of the early issues of the [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 2012 No 217

FACELIFT FOR THE SWARTBERG PASS Exciting projects are underway on the 124-year-old, Swartberg Pass, outside Prince Albert. Among these is the restoration of the dry-stone walls, a feature of this world famous, 27-km long pass, which was designed by Thomas Bain. Considered his masterpiece, it is now a World Heritage site. Convict labour used to build this pass and after work began in 1881 the project was fraught with problems. It claimed several lives. The Swartberg Pass, often compared to the breathtaking Djaraleng Pass in Asia, was officially opened on January 10, 1888 and since then it has been a [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 2012 No 216

TOP AWARD FOR BOOK TOWN MAN Darryl Earl David, one of the founders of Book Town Richmond, won the top prize in the highly prestigious Natal Witness Short Story Competition at the end of last year. He received the winner’s trophy and a R10 000 cheque for his story, Bliksem and Biltong Le Grange, which was also published in the first issue of The New Richmond Reader, in December. Darryl, however, was not the only winner with Karoo connections. Richmond-born, Denise Gilden, who lives in Pietermaritzburg, walked off with a prize for her debut short story, The Dream. She has [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 2011 No 215

CELEBRATING IN COLOUR AND STYLE Prince Albert has proved it knows how to party. So, next year, the village aims to celebrate its 250th anniversary in style. Fans are advised to start penciling dates into their diaries. The first step on the road to this milestone celebrations took place on Saturday, December 3, when the town’s new, arty dustbins were unveiled. “This collection of 94 special bins, decorated by local artists, many of whom were children, makes us confident that we now have will have the most attractive, colourful and informative dustbins in the world,” says tourism officer Zelia Mullins, [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 2011 No 214

‘SCOTT’S SURGEON’ REVISITS DISCOVERY A new book about a Lutheran minister’s son, who was a major role-player during the heroic period of exploration when Nansen, Amundsen, Shackleton and Scott raced each other to the poles, becomes available this month. Written by Gus Jones, Scott’s Forgotten Surgeon will be launched on board the Discovery at Dundee Heritage Museum, in Scotland, on November 24. It has a link to the Karoo - Dr Reginald Koettlitz, is buried in Cradock beside his beloved French-born wife, Marie Louise (nee Butez). A poignant love story surrounds this couple who died within two hours of [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 2011 No 213

END OF AN ERA The postal Round-up has come to an end. Sadly, this was inevitable because so many of its loyal readers were having trouble reading the reduced type. Also, those with access to e-mail had opted preferring a speedier service with copies that could be printed out in larger type. So, the post list dwindled and the drama of getting to the copy shop, stationers and post office seemed hardly worthwhile, particularly after I wrote off my car. So, I decided to stop producing the postal version. However, some staunch supporters flatly refused to accept this, saying they [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 2011 No 212

FIRST SERIOUS LOOK KAROO’S ‘COLOURED’ MUSIC A new book, written by Marie Jorritsma, a senior lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, takes a closer look at so-called “coloured music”. This pioneering work, the first to make a serious attempt to place the music of the Coloured Community into the wider acoustical landscape of South Africa, studies the three church congregations in Graaff-Reinet. It covers the challenges of inscribing Coloured voices, examines hymns and how they affect history, the inter-relationships between “mission music” and its counterpart in the independent African church, as well as singing in the “the Queen’s English”, [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 2011 No 211

ALL REBELS CAPTURED IN NEW BOOK Taffy and David Shearing have just completed another valuable work on the Anglo-Boer War. Entitled The Rebel Record, this 983-page, three volume series contains the names of 15,433 Cape colonists who joined the Transvaal and Orange Free State forces as rebels during the war. Ideal for military historians, genealogists and family historians it forms the database of Taffy’s 2004 University of Stellenbosch doctoral dissertation The Cape Rebel of the South African War. In the foreword Prof Albert Grundlingh of Stellenbosch University says, “Taffy and David have been exceptional in mining the rich history of [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 2011 No 210

FORGOTTEN SURGEON REMEMBERED A new book on Dr Reginald Koettlitz, who travelled with Scott’s first expedition to Antarctica and is buried in Cradock, will soon be available. Entitled Scott’s Forgotten Surgeon and written by Aubrey A (Gus) Jones, this well-researched book, contains previously unseen photographs and archive material, such as correspondence with Nansen. Koettlitz, the son of a Reformed Lutheran Church minister and an English woman, completed his schooling at Dover College and studied medicine at Guy's Hospital in London. On qualifying he worked as a general practitioner in a country village for eight years. Then, in 1894, he [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 2011 No 209

OUTWARD-BOUND FROM PRINCE ALBERT Prince Albert’s Dick Metcalf claims to have “Karoo-blood” in his veins. A keen historic researcher, photographer and explorer, with longstanding family ties to this fascinating arid area, he loves nothing more than travelling through the vast, ancient Karoo thirstland. To share his love of the area he recently devised 27 trips for fellow adventurers and published them in a small, well-illustrated, black-and- white, wire-bound booklet entitled Outward-bound from Prince Albert. It is available from the Fransie Pienaar Museum. Using the book as a guide, visitors can travel across the Swartberg Pass to the Cango Caves and [...]

Rose’s Round-up May 2011 No 208

WHERE DID YOU GET THAT HAT? Wellknown Prince Albert artist, Christine Thomas, is presenting a new exhibition. Entitled Een Mens Het Baie Name (One Person Has Many Names) it opens on April l and celebrates the words, works and world of Piet Balelie, a colourful local personality. “The exhibition is a multi-dimensional portrait of Piet, his extraordinary clothing and colourful hats,” says Christine. “Each hat in itself is a story and sums up Piet’s philosophy of life. He is illiterate, yet has an enviable ability to use words, stories, rhymes, riddles and jokes to share his world with others. His [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 2011 No 207

BECOME BETTER ACQUAINTED WITH OLIVE A new biography on Olive Schreiner is proving popular. Written by Heather Parker Lewis, it is not a political work, but concentrates rather on Olive’s day-to-day life, marriage, wardrobe and medicine chest. Olive lived simply in the “uptight” era of Victorian respectability. When no woman dared to be seen without stockings, she shunned these together with corsets and stays. Olive also skinny-dipped and sunbathed in the altogether. Sadly, in later life she was so poor that she packed the inside of her coat with newspaper to keep warm. Olive Schreiner - The Other Side of [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 2017 No 278

ATTENTION ALL BOER WAR BUFFS Exciting plans are on the cards to host an Anglo-Boer War weekend at Matjiesfontein. It will be held in The Lord Milner Hotel from April 7 to 9. A “boutique collection” of top speakers will present a series of talks on various aspects of the war. Among them will be the eminent historian, Dean Allen, author of Empire, War and Cricket and an authority on “old Matjiesfontein”. He will lead a walking tour around the village during which visitors will be allowed to explore some of the unique Victorian buildings, many of which have fascinating [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 2017 No 277

ON THE MOVE AGAIN I am on the move again. This time to our family farm, Chez Nous - which means home - 60 km south of Bloemfontein. There my youngest sister and I have built a lovely, two-bedroomed wooden cottage and hopefully will be living in it towards the end of January, with sheep, cattle, and donkeys as our nearest neighbours. Preparing to go has not been easy as we have had to pack up the memories of all who lived in this huge old family home. Everyone who has ever been part of this house seems to have [...]

  • alabama

Alabama Confederate Raider

The Confederate raider the Alabama was built by Lairds of Birkenhead during the American Civil War. She was designed to prey on the mercantile shipping of the Northern states. The Northern government attempted to have her impounded under the neutrality laws, but she escaped to the Azores, where she was armed on 29 August 1862. Her captain, Raphael Semmes, and her officers were Southerners, her crew British. By 28 July 1863, when she arrived at Saldanha Bay, she had accounted for SS enemy ships, and on 5 August she captured the Northern bark Sea Bride outside Table Bay. The Alabama [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 2016 No 276

SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH FOR THE YEOMEN Yeomen of the Karoo, the story of the Imperial Yeomanry Hospital at Deelfontein, was successfully launched at the Richmond Book Festival in October. One of the authors, Dr Arnold van Dyk gave talks in town and at the actual hospital site where there was a great deal of interest in the ruins of the old Adamstein Hotel and the two graveyards. This occasion was turned into a celebration by Mark Borrie, of Hawksmoor wines Paarl, who sponsored a wine tasting in the front yard of the once elegant old Yeomanry Hotel. Festival organiser Peter Baker [...]

  • national archives

National Archives Source Codes

National Archives Sources Codes below is a compiled list of links to pages which contain References to Source Codes from the National Archives of South Africa for documents listed on the National Archives of South Africa's website under the section called NAAIRS (National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System). To contact the Archives personally you can do so here but be advised that they are understaffed and will not always answer your emails. I am here however on a professional basis to help you retrieve and photograph any of these documents. Contact me. Bloemfontein Archives Source Codes Cape Town Archives Source [...]

Source Codes for the Port Elizabeth Archives

Reference to Archives Source Codes for the Port Elizabeth Archives GSEE Department of Justice, Supreme Court Port Elizabeth (1974 - 1975) GSEE Department of Justice (Illiquid Cases) (1982 -) PWDP Department of Public Works (1948 - 1983) 3/PEZ Municipalty, Port Elizabeth. Department of the City Engineer (1950 - 1976) 3/PEZ Municipality, Port Elizabeth. Department of the Town Clerk (1944 - 1970) 3/PEZ Municipality, Port Elizabeth. Electrical Department (1948 - 1979) 3/UIT Municipality, Uitenhage (1950 - 1967) 4/PEZ Divisional Council Port Elizabeth (1858 - 1964) Should you need copies of any of the documents which full references can be found on [...]

  • document

Durban Archives Source Codes

Durban Archives Source Codes are listed below from the National Archives of South Africa for documents listed on the National Archives of South Africa's website under the section called NAAIRS (National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System). To contact the Archives personally you can do so here but be advised that they are understaffed and will not always answer your emails. I am here however on a professional basis to help you retrieve and photograph any of these documents. Contact me. ABD Port Natal Administration Board (1949 - 1987) RSC Registrar of the Supreme Court, Durban and Coast Local Division, Criminal [...]

Source Codes for the Cape Town Record Centre

Reference to Archives Source Codes for the Cape Town Record Centre which need to be ordered from the Cape Town Archives ACD Native Administration Board, Diamond Fields, Kimberley (1973 - 1979) ACN Northern Cape Administration Board, Vryburg (1971 - 1979) AEK Administration: House of Assembly: Department of Education and Culture: Heuwelkruin Girls' School (1937 - 1985) AFC Department of Agricultural Economics and Marketing, Fruit Inspection Service, Cape Town (1945 - 1965) AKR Coloured Advisory Council (1943 - 1955) AWC Development Board Western Cape: Langa Area (1926 - 1978) AWC Development Board Western Cape: Former South-Western Cape Administration Board (1956 - [...]

Source Codes for the Bloemfontein Archives

Reference to Archives Source Codes for the Bloemfontein Archives AB Administrator of Relief, Bethulie (1902 - 1907) (Other Archives) ABE Administrator of Relief, Bethlehem (1902 - 1907) (Files) ABE Administrator of Relief, Bethlehem (1902 - 1907) (Other Archives) ABK Chief, Free State Archives Repository, Bloemfontein (1910 - 1988) ABL Administrator of Relief, Bloemfontein (1902 - 1904) (Files) ABL Administrator of Relief, Bloemfontein (1902 - 1904) (Other Archives) ABO Administrator of Relief, Boshof (1902 - 1907) (Other Archives) AED Administrator of Relief, Edenburg (1902 - 1904) (Other Archives) AFA Administrator of Relief, Fauresmith (1902 - 1907) (Other Archives) AFI Administrator of [...]

Source Codes for the Pietermaritzburg Archives

Reference to Archives Source Codes for the Pietermaritzburg Archives AG Auditor General's Office (1899 - 1910) AGO Attorney General's Office (1845 - 1928) CNC Chief Native Commissioner (1893 - 1952) CSO Colonial Secretary's Office (1842 - 1919) DDA Department of Development Aid (1899 - 1988) DPH Department of Public Health (1901 - 1911) EI European Immigration (1878 - 1911) II Indian Immigration Department (1858 - 1924) IRD Immigration Restriction Department (1897 - 1912) MJPW Minister of Justice and Public Works (1861 - 1910) MSC Master of the Supreme Court. Insolvent Estates (1840 - 1897) MSCE Master of the Supreme Court. [...]

Source Codes for the Transvaal Archives

Source Codes for Cape Town Archives AGT Auditor General, Transvaal (1900 - 1910) CI Chief Immigration Officer (1907 - 1912) CJC Central Judicial Commission (1902 - 1906) CS Colonial Secretary (1900 - 1910) CT Colonial Treasurer (1900 - 1910) C2 Commission for the Custody of British Prisoners of War (1899 - 1900) C3 Provisioning Commission, South African Republic (1899 - 1900) C20 Transvaal Civil Service Inquiry Commission (1904 - 1905) C30 Transvaal Public Service Inquiry Commission (1906 -) DCU Director of Customs (1900 - 1916) EC Clerk of the Executive Council (1901 - 1907) FLD Foreign Labour Department (1904 - [...]

Source Codes for the Cape Town Archives

Source Codes for Cape Town Archives ACE Director, Elsenburg Agricultural College (1933 - 1959) ACLT Department of Agriculture Credit and Land Tenure (1910 -) AFC Principal, Fort Cox Agricultural College (1929 - 1936) AG Attorney General (1899 - 1923) AG Attorney General, Series Walvis Bay Arbitration (1893 - 1912) AG Attorney General, Anglo-Boer War and High Treason (1899 - 1919) AGR Secretary for Agriculture (1876 - 1913) APC Plant Inspector, Cape Town (1911 - 1954) ARE Regional Assizer, East London (1933 - 1946) BCS Chairman, Publications Control Board (1951 - 1973) BEK Regional Director of Bantu Education, King William's Town [...]

The Cape Census of 1865

There has always been much speculation among genealogist and historians alike as to whether South Africa has ever had a Population Census Register like the British and the consensus has been a big NO. The real fact is that YES there have been several, but the Cape Town Archives no longer have the original records, sadly only the statistics exist. A Census of population was taken in March, 1865. No census of the Colony, in the proper acceptation of the word, has been taken previous to that. Up to the year 1865, statistical returns for the annual Blue Book [...]

Williamson Godfrey

Williamson Godfrey Williamson Godfrey was born on 14 August 1875 in Mauritius and was the son of Subhan Godfrey of Durban. He was educated at Boys Model School in Durban and Bishops College in Calcutta. He also attended Edinburgh University and graduated in 1903 where he met his wife Catherine Swan of Edinburgh. He was the first qualified Indian doctor to practice in Johannesburg On his return to South Africa he worked in Johannesburg and was an early associate of Mahatma Gandhi, and with him rendered medical relief during the plague outbreak in Johannesburg in 1904. He was [...]

Rose’s Round up November 2016 No 275

PRINCE ALBERT TAKES THE GOLD Gold medals went to two Prince Albert farms in the 11th Annual South African Olive Association award presentations in September. Kredouw Olive Estate won a gold medal for its Frantoia oil, as well as silver medals for their Italian Blend and Favalosa oils, while Fred and Hein Badenhorst of Prince Albert Olives were awarded a gold for their Karoo Blend. This well-balanced, soft, medium-style extra virgin olive oil is blended from a seasonal selection of Frantoia, Leccino, Coratina, Barnea, Dor Carlo, Koroneiki or Favolosa cultivars. Fred and Hein also grow figs, grapes, pomegranates and citrus [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 2016 No 274

ART BOOK HIGHLIGHTS RESTORED HOPE Professor Brenda Schmahmann’s new book, The Keiskamma Art Project - Restoring Hope and Livelihoods, will be launched in Johannesburg on November 30. Pre-launch copies of this excellently illustrated book can now be ordered from Print Matters. “The book, the first to be devoted to this project, is a definitive and authoritative resource covering the project’s extraordinary achievement,” says Print Matters creative and publishing director, Robin Stuart-Clark. He explained that the Keiskama Art Project was started by Carol Hofmeyr, in 2000 to provide opportunities for hundreds of people in the little Eastern Cape village of Hamburg. [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 2016 No 273

BEAUTIFUL NEW BIRD BOOK A new and beautifully illustrated bird book, entitled Levaillant’s Legacy – a history of South African Ornithology, has just been released. Written by emeritus professor W Roy Siegfried, it pays tribute to the French author, François Levaillant, a noted ornithologist, explorer, naturalist and zoological collector, who visited South Africa in the 1780s. He described many new bird species, and several are named in his honour. He was among the first to use colour plates as illustrations. Opposed to the binomial nomenclature introduced by Linnaeus he preferred instead to use descriptive French names such as the bataleur [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 2016 No 272

KAROO PARLIAMENT CANCELLED The 3rd Karoo Parliament, which was to have been held in Laingsburg in September this year, has been indefinitely postponed. “Several factors, beyond the control of the organisers, have led to the Trustees approving this decision,” says Professor Doreen Atkinson. YEOMEN SOLDIERING ON Yeomen of the Karoo, the story of the Imperial Yeomanry Hospital, near Richmond, is now in its final stages of production. “Working on this incredible story of a unique hospital, never seen before, nor again, was a fascinating journey,” say authors Rose Willis, Dr Arnold van Dyk and Professor Kay de Villiers. “While working [...]

  • Bowesdorp

Bowesdorp Ghost Town

The old church Bowesdorp is a Ghost town on the national road from Cape Town to Springbok, in the magisterial district and division of Namaqualand, aprox 504 kilometres north-west of Cape Town and 591 kilometres south of Springbok. In 1850 the Dutch Reformed parish of Namaqualand was separated from the mother parish of Clanwilliam, a place for a church was required. A site was chosen on the farm Wilgenhoutskloof and the church, the first in Namaqualand, was completed in 1864. Plots were surveyed and sold and the village that sprang up round the church was at first named [...]

Loxton Cemetery

Loxton is a town in the magisterial district and division of Victoria West, 84 km west of Victoria West, 68 km south-east of Carnarvon and 126 km north of Beaufort West. In 1899 the N.G. Kerk bought the farm Phezantefontein, owned by A. E. Loxton, and established the village of Loxton and a new congregation on it. In 1905 the original village council was superseded by a municipality. Electricity is supplied by the municipal power-station. Water for domestic use is obtained from boreholes and for irrigation from a storage dam fed by a natural spring. During the excessive floods in [...]