Tuesday, August 29, 2017

PE historic icons

The Donkin Lighthouse (actually called The Hill Lighthouse built in 1861) and the Pyramid (actually called the Donkin Memorial built in 1820), two of Port Elizabeth's most iconic historic landmarks.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Retha's Trail in Schoenies

One of Port Elizabeth's little gems that very few people seem to know of is Rheta's Trail in Schoenmakerskop.  Rheta's Trail stretches behind the houses (from #24 to #40) in Schoenies on Marine Drive between  and can be accessed between numbers 22 and 24.  The trail is always open and was created by local resident Retha Taylor along with a couple of workers.  The trail starts by the labyrinth on the eastern side and is more about what you'll find along the way than the trail itself as it's not really a hiking trail in the sense of the word due to its length.  Or in this case "shortness".  Along the way there are literally hundreds of items that act as conversation pieces, some representing something significant in people's lives and others just because.  Or as we say in Afrikaans, "Sommer maar net."  Next time you're in the area do drop by as I promise you you will love it.


Friday, August 25, 2017

A beachfront New Year timelapse

The past two weeks have been hectic.  I've been to the SATSA conference in Stellenbosch and a Karoo Heartland meeting in Jansenville, spent way too much time catching up (and I'm not even there yet) and in the process of all of this missed a few posts in the last week.  I even thought about just taking a break for a few weeks but then realised that somewhere I'll have to catch up again. Anyhow, it's Video Friday and today's video is a time lapse by Chris Wright of the beachfront starting on New Yaer's eve 31 December 2014 and ending on 2 January 2015.  I just loved the whole scene passing by.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Uitenhage Boer War concentration camp site

 Last week I did a post about the Uitenhage Concentration Camp Memorial and this week I just want to share another of the pictures I took.  This one just a bit closer.  The back wall is divided up into nine sections, each representing one of the 9 people who died in the concentration camp.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Zola Nqini Statue in Uitenhage

A few weeks ago we took part in the NG Kerk Uitenhage Oos' Amazing Race around Uitenhage.  One of the clues sent us to a picture of a statue which I didn't recognise.  After asking a few people we ended up at the Market Square in front of the Uitenhage Townhall at the statue which turned out to be that of anti-apartheid activist Zola Nqini.

Nqini was the former supreme commander of Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), the then armed wing of the ANC.  He was detained a few times and also spent some time on Robben Island.  Although Nqini was from Uitenhage, he was banished to the outskirts of Queenstown when he was released from prison.  He was later killed by SA Defence Force special forces operatives during an attack on ANC houses in Maseru, Lesotho along with 29 South Africans and 12 Lesotho nationals. The statue was unveiled in December 2015, on the 33rd anniversary of his death.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Humewood Skyline

The Humewood skyline with Shark Rock Pier in the foreground as seen from Pollok Beach

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

North End Defense Force Memorial

One of the things I discovered while in North End Cemetery is a Defense Force Memorial remembering soldiers who died in service of their country during the first and second World Wars.  According to the main plaque the memorial stones commemorate soldiers that were buried elsewhere but who's glory won't be forgotten.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Jewish Cemetery at North End

One of the things that really interested me when I visited the North End Cemetery the other day was the walled off Jewish Cemetery.  I didn't get to explore it though as the sign by the entrance says, "Code of Conduct. Please note that all visitors to the cemetery must wear appropriate dress. Men and women must cover their heads".  Turned out I didn't even have a cap in my car so I went no further than the door.  I did do a bit of a search on the net for more info and found some interesting info.  

The first interesting tidbit I discovered was that the cemetery was referred to as the Creek Jewish Cemetery.  Looking at an early layout diagram of the cemetery the creek next to it is quite prominently indicated.  Now I'm wondering, was the North End Cemetery not perhaps referred to as the Creek Cemetery in the early days?  Something to look into a bit more.

Land for the North End Cemetery was set aside in 1861 and the cemetery was laid out in 1863.  As early as 31 July 1861 the Council received a letter of application for a piece of land in the newly granted North End Cemetery.  At that stage the Jewish community had to go to great expense to convey bodies to Grahamstown for burial in the Jewish Cemetery there.  

A report in the "Eastern Province Herald" dated 31 July 1863 states: "The Jewish Burial Ground at Creek has been used for the first time on the occasion of the burial of the child of Mr. E.H. Solomon on Wednesday, 29 July 1863." The grave of this child, Aaron Solomon aged 8 years, is to be found in Row 4 of Section A. The other graves in that row cover the period up to 1871 and include one for 1903. This indicates that burials did not take place in a specific order and that they seem to have worked from the "center" out which is usual for all cemeteries of that period. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Wave Action

Standing at the rock below Something Good (the one with the hole through which the waves crash) and looking back towards Hobie Beach, Bird Rock is quite a prominent landmark in front of you.  This photo was taken on a rough day with waves smashing over Bird Rock on the right.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Uitenhage Concentration Camp site

A few weeks ago we took part in an Amazing Race in and around Uitenhage, organised by one of the local churches as a fundraiser.  The race started at the old festival grounds on the outskirts of town.  While waiting for everybody to arrive I took a walk over to the Concentration Camp Memorial with my camera.

Not a lot of people know that Uitenhage had a concentration camp right on their doorstep during the Anglo-Boer War between 1899 and 1902.  The concentration camp used to be situated on 10 hectares of land on the outskirts of town where the festival grounds can be found.  During the war a large number of women and children were dying in a Bloemfontein camp because of extreme temperatures.  It was decided to establish a new camp which had to be somewhere near water and a train line.  Uitenhage was ideal for that and a camp was built for 2000 people, although only 1800 stayed there.  At first the residents looked down on the people in the camp but then realised that they were their own people.  The locals started to go to the camp to talk to those held there and even played records for the women and children.  All the houses were built of zinc and wood as opposed to the tents of the other camps. Today, only the house that is believed to have been the commander’s stand on the site. The rest of the houses were broken down and rebuilt in Port Elizabeth’s Red Location.  In front of the house visitors will find a memorial statue as well as a monument made out of high cement walls and pillars in memory of the eight adults and children who died in the camp.