I got to see the inside of St Augustine's Cathedral for the first time a few weeks ago while on a tour of Route 67. The church isn't generally open like St Mary's on the other side of the Public Library, so if you want to see it you need to make special arrangements or alternatively just attend a service.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
When the first Catholic priest, Father George Corcoran, set foot in Port Elizabeth in 1840 it wasn't just a case of getting off the boat and taking up his position. No, he was shipwrecked in Cape St Francis and had to travel the last 100km to town on horseback. Once he arrived here he found that there were only 42 Catholics in the town. But the show had to go on and in the ensuing years the Catholic community in Port Elizabeth started to flourish. It meant that the congregation needed a church and Father Corcoran obtained a plot for a church on Prospect Hill / Castle Hill in 1844. By 1847 a new two-storey building was erected on the site on which the MacSherry hall stands today.
In 1847 Dr Devereux who was based in Cape Town at the time was appointed as the First Bishop of the newly formed Vicariate of the Eastern Cape. Father Corcoran died of yellow fever in South America in 1852 and Dr Devereux transferred Father Thomas Murphy from Grahamstown to Port Elizabeth. Father Murphy was responsible for the building of the church as it is today although he first extended the then existing building which became known as St. Augustine’s Hall. This served as school, church and hall.
The design of the church was apparently based upon the style of a church in Selbridge near Dublin, Ireland with the plans being formulated by a Mr McCarthy but executed by the local architect and first Town Engineer of Port Elizabeth, Robert Archibald. The Foundation Stone was laid in December 1861 and construction took place under the watchful eye of Father Murphy. Five years later on the 25th April 1866, with the steeple almost completed, St.Augustine’s was opened and solemnly consecrated by Bishop Patrick Moran. It's very interesting to mention that this magnificent building was built as a parish church, not a cathedral. Apon his death Father Murphy was buried beneath the high altar in the cathedral.
The bronze statue of Christ the King which can be seen above the door was donated by the Frost family in 1931.
The parish church of St Augustine's became the bishop’s church and cathedral some 54 years later but was only formally declared and consecrated as a cathedral in 1939.
Information courtesy of http://staugustinespe.co.za/history/
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Port Elizabeth has two cathedrals, both located in the city centre. St Mary's Anglican Cathedral, where the foundation stone was laid in 1825, and St. Augustine's Catholic Cathedral where the first stone was laid in 1861. Standing in front of St Mary's and looking up at the tower, I was wondering if it is referred to as a church tower or a cathedral tower.
Friday, November 10, 2017
A month or two ago I was down in the city centre on a Sunday morning to take some photos and I noticed a guy with a funny thing on his back come walking up the road towards me. As I passed I realised that it was the Google Street View camera. Cool! There may be photos of me taking photos of the Street View Guy on the net soon.
Fast forward to last week and Google launched 170 trails, all 19 National Parks and 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites throughout South Africa available on the Google Street View platform. You can now literally follow a whole trail 360 degrees from the comfort of your chair and check it out before taking it on yourself.
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Today is the 10th birthday of Port Elizabeth Daily Photo. Yes, exactly 10 years ago to the day PE Daily Photo was started by SAM (Sue and Max Hoppe) with a post featuring some generic facts about Nelson Mandela Bay. Two days later they were off and running, doing 500 posts before passing the baton on to me. I did my first post on the 15th of March 2009 which means I have been at it for about 8 1/2 years now and this is the blog's 3555th post. Although I don't post every day anymore due to time restraints, I do try to post as often as possible and it's still a great pleasure sharing this beautiful city I live, work and play in and it's surroundings with you all on a regular basis, busting the myth that there is nothing to see or do in Port Elizabeth. Happy birthday PEDP!
There was also a post on the worldwide City Daily Photo blog last week about PEDP turning 10, if you are interested in having a look.
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Friday, November 3, 2017
It seems somewhere I've lost a whole week of posts. No, not in lost, but in just so busy that I haven't even been able to think about blogging. I need days to be extended by 3 or 4 hours so that I can have some extra time to just sit back, relax and, most importantly, switch off a bit. My mind is going at 1000 miles an hour and is all over the show, very much like the wiggles in the sand at Kings Beach I snapped a photo of two weeks ago. Flip, is it two weeks already?
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
On Saturday morning we went for a walk along Kings Beach to enjoy the beautiful weather we had over the weekend. Miggie was feeling a little under the weather and not her normal bubbly self so strolled along by herself to the one side. Of cause dad always has his camera...
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
I think I'm going to take a little break from Campanile posts before people get tired of it. I have a few more but will keep it back for a week or two. Route 67 literally has 67 art pieces scattered along the way between the Donkin Reserve and Campanile. Next to the bus station at the bottom of the steps down from Market Square, you will find the Walk of Words. The pavement contains a whole host of words in different languages to represent the new South Africa and its prosperity as a democratic nation. As trying to decide which ones to photograph and this was the shot. PEACE and BLESSING.
Monday, October 23, 2017
Friday, October 20, 2017
Yesterday I posted a picture of the view looking north from the Campanile observation floor. It means I have three more directions and what's the use of showing you only one? So here is the view to the west. The Settlers Freeway is at the bottom and slightly to the left of the centre of the picture is Market Square and the historic Public Library in the city centre. Above on the hill is the Donkin Reserve, lighthouse and pyramid with the Great Flag (65m high pole and 15m x 10m flag) next to it.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
There are four viewing windows at the top of the Campanile. The new full-length viewing window looks out to the east over the Port Elizabeth Harbour. The view south is towards the beachfront, west across the city centre towards the Donkin Reserve and then north along the Settlers Freeway. Looking at the picture the Settlers Freeway (M4) is on the left and the railway lines on the right. The roof at the bottom of the picture is the Port Elizabeth Station building. Into the distance Algoa Bay is on the right-hand side and the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is the white building roughly in the middle of the picture while the mountains on the horizon are the mountains beyond Uitenhage.
Monday, October 16, 2017
One of the new features of the recently refurbished Campanile is a full-length viewing window on the harbour side of the tower. The window has caused some ruptions with historic purists but personally I think its a great addition. The window really gives the best view of the adjacent Port Elizabeth Harbour and all its activities.
Friday, October 13, 2017
It's very easy to do a self-guided walk around Route 67 but if you really want to get the just of it then you have to do it on a guided tour. There are a number of guides who do the walk and more information is available from the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism info centre at the Donkin Lighthouse building. When I visited the Campanile the other day there was a guide and intern based at the entrance who were available to guide visitors for free up the tower and tell them more about the history and recently completed renovations. I'm not sure how long the guides would be available to do these free tours, but while they are there I would highly recommend making use of them.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
The Campanile is actually seen as the starting point of Route 67 going up the hill and ending at the Donkin Reserve. With the refurbishment and re-opening of the Campanile recently, it is now fully part of Route 67 and one of the novel bits that was added to the Campanile was marking step number 67 as you climb up the tower's 204 steps.
Just for those unfamiliar with what Route 67 is, it consists of 67 public art pieces symbolising Nelson Mandela's 67 years of work dedicated to the Freedom of South Africa. The artworks were all designed by local artists from the Eastern Cape and the route is a proud celebration of our city's heritage and history.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Have you been to visit the newly renovated Campanile yet? After extensive renovations which included the removal, renovation and return of the bells, total overhaul of the bell structure, installation of a lift (if only they can get it to work properly), the installation of a big full length viewing window on the harbourside, a viewing hatch to see the bells and a number of new smaller features, the Campanile - originally opened in 1923 - reopened to the public about six weeks ago. Since reopenening I have been up three times already and I really want to urge everybody to go and do it. Parking is at the PE Station, there is security around and, most importantly, there is no entrance fee. There is so much I want to show you about the Campanile so stayed tuned.
Monday, October 9, 2017
When I started blogging in 2008 I didn't do it because I wanted to be a blogger. I did it because I enjoyed traveling (even if it was just around my own city) and taking photos, and wanted to share everything I got to see with others. Over the years I've done over 3000 posts on Port Elizabeth Daily Photo and close to 1800 on Firefly the Travel Guy, shared pictures and information of many places and things, discovered so much more than I ever realised I would, made numerous friends and followers, built up a brand and changed my blogging style yet kept to being myself. There have also been struggles blogging burnout turned out to be the biggest one of them.
This year has been a busy one both personally and at work and I started running out of pictures, especially for the Port Elizabeth Daily Photo blog. I felt pressured by myself to keep producing posts and started to lose my blogging mojo. One morning I got up and felt like I just lost interest. After chatting to a good friend about it his advise to just make a clean break and take some time off. Which I did. It's been 6 weeks and the main thing I have realised is that I should dictate to my blog and not allow the blog and other people to dictate to me. So here I am and I'm back, but under my own terms without making myself feel guilty if I don't blog every day. I know this blog is called PE Daily Photo, but rather than change the brand I decided to keep it as is for now, even if I only end up doing four or five posts a week depending on how much material I have.
Before I end off I just want to thank those people who emailed and messaged me to find out why I suddenly stopped posting and if anything was wrong. I really appreciate your support and I'm really sorry if your daily Friendly City fix suddenly disappeared. I am back again and I hope you continue to enjoy everything I share with you.
My comeback picture is a selfie reflection taken on the observation level of the newly refurbed Campanile looking through the see-through trapdoor at the bells above. Lots of Campanile photos and info to come in the next few weeks.
Love you all!
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Monday, August 28, 2017
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
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
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
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
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.
Friday, August 11, 2017
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Over the years my interest in cemeteries has taken me to most of the cemeteries around town with the notable exception being the North End Cemetery. Not because I didn't want to but rather a case of never really being in that part of town with time to go. A week or two ago I found myself there though in search of information I needed as part of a Geocache multi cache put together by Commaille. I was really surprised at how well maintained and neat the cemetery is plus I didn't feel unsafe at all. My quest for the necessary information took me, among others, to the pauper section of the cemetery. A section that stands in stark contrast to the rest of the cemetery.
I found the following about the history of the cemetery. With the exception of the individually walled and accessed Jewish and Muslim sections at North End, only interior carriageways separated the various Christian denominations. Subsequent extensions to the North End Cemetery made provision for the members of the Dutch Reformed Church and the Chinese community in the early twentieth century, as members of the two groups migrated to the town. The arrival of the Indian community, late in the nineteenth century, necessitated comparatively little adjustment, as the majority were Hindus. A crematorium for their use was duly built at North End on the seashore. The unused Moslem section of the cemetery was then adopted as the site for scattering ashes. Indian members of the Christian and Moslem faiths joined their co-religionists in death. A special isolation cemetery was laid out at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in the 1890s and named after the bubonic plague outbreak of 1901. These days the crematorium is no more with only foundations and a concrete slab remaining.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
A couple of weeks ago the sea was slightly angry one morning and as I was driving down Marine Drive I noticed that the waves out Pollok Beach way looking quite impressive. Grabbed my camera and headed over to Lovers' Lane, snapping the waves smashing right over Bird Rock.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Monday, August 7, 2017
Friday, August 4, 2017
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Addo Elephant National Park, as with all National Parks, has a policy to only have animals that occurred there naturally. Giraffes didn't thus you won't find them in the park. The best place to see them though is at the Kragga Kamma Game Park just outside Port Elizabeth.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Monday, July 31, 2017
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Friday, July 28, 2017
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Did you know that the Port Elizabeth Lawn Tennis Club in St Georges Park was founded on 1 September 1879, making it the oldest active tennis club in South Africa? The club hosted the first South African Lawn Tennis Championship in 1891 and today the club is still situated on its original site.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Sunday, July 23, 2017
The Port Elizabeth City Hall really is one of the most beautiful historic buildings in Port Elizabeth. Did you know City Hall was originally built between 1858 and 1862 with the clock tower being added in 1883.
Friday, July 21, 2017
When you mention Addo, most people think elephants. They wouldn't be wrong though BUT, these days Addo is so much more than just elephants. Crisscross Adventures is a tour and adventure activity company based in the Sundays River Valley and they offer a wide range of activities from tours to the Addo Elephant National Park to quad biking, canoe safaris on the Sundays River and sand boarding. Check out their new promotional video and tell me you don't want to go and explore and experience the valley after seeing it.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Today's post basically is a report of a post I did in 2014. It's one of those little pieces of Port Elizabeth information that very few know about and is worth reposting.
When you mention the word concentration camp most people would probably associate it with the Germans during the second World War. Few know that concentration camps were first implemented in South Africa by the British to hold Boer women and children during the Anglo Boer War (1899 and 1902).
There were two concentrations camps in what is today known as Nelson Mandela Bay. One in Uitenhage and one at Kemsley Park in Port Elizabeth. The concentration camp in Port Elizabeth operated from December 1900 until approximately November 1902. It held an average of 230 children and 86 women housed in corrugated iron huts encircled by a high barbed wire fence. There was also a separately fenced camp for 32 men in tents. There were very few deaths in this so-called "model camp" compared to the thousands that died in the other camps. Only 12 deaths were recorded over the period it was in existence. This camp housed mainly Boers from the Free State from Jagersfontein and Fauresmith, among them General, and later Prime Minister, JBM Hertzog 's mother, wife, three sisters in-law and their children. The camp was closed in November 1902, and subsequently, a monument was erected at the Kemsley Park site. A monument and plaque at North End Cemetery have the names of the 14 people who died in the camp on it.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
It's really sad that the magnificent historic Public Library in the city centre is still closed with no indication on when the necessary work will be done or at what stage budget will be available to do it. The building was built in 1901 with the façade constructed in England and shipped to Port Elizabeth in numbered blocks to be reassembled in front of the building. The statue of Queen Victoria was added in 1903 to celebrate the queen's Diamond Jubilee that took place in 1897.
Monday, July 17, 2017
I had to go to East London for a SA Tourism workshop today and hit the road before sunrise and only returning well after sunset. Which means that I enjoyed both whiles on the road today with the sun rising as I was barrelling down the N2 this morning.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
This morning I attended a Geocaching event to kick off the Friend League challenge over the next few weeks. The challenge is pirate themed and involved finding the Lost Treasure of Mary Hyde. We're not really sure ourselves how exactly the challenge is going to go, but the reason for this post is to show you my Geocaching family. Now this is a really special bunch of people. Young and old, singles and families, students and retired people, some more well off than others, but none of this matters when we're Geocaching. I love these guys.
Friday, July 14, 2017
On the 1st and 2nd of September 2018, Nelson Mandela Bay is playing host to the 70.3 Ironman World Championship here in Port Elizabeth. Check out this stunning host city video that has just been posted by Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism. Not just is Port Elizabeth one of the best Ironman venues in the world, it also boasts fantastic scenery, history, culture, wildlife and food for visiting competitors and their families and supporters.
Thursday, July 13, 2017
The Russell Road Cemetery is another of Port Elizabeth's historic grave yards dating back to the early days of Port Elizabeth. As the town grew the increased demands on the St Mary's Cemetery next to the Baakens River became too much and a solution had to be found, not just for another cemetery but also to accommodate the different religious affiliations. Small pieces of land was allocated to the various Christian denominations on the town margins in the late 1830's and 1840's with the Wesleyan Methodists, Catholics and Congregationalists each getting their own burial grounds to the north west of the settlement in what became known as Burial Kloof. This kloof, a rocky area which created a natural stream when it rained, is the kloof down which Russell Road runs today. Back then the three cemeteries were adjacent to one another and were separated by walls with each church having their own entrance.
Today there isn't much left in the Russell Road Cemetery. The cemetery became very run down many years ago, and most of the graves were badly vandalised. In an effort to preserve as much of the remaining stones as they can, the municipality laid them flat and cemented them to the ground.
One grave stands out from the rest. The white grave in the centre of the cemetery belongs to James Langley Dalton who was a survivor of the Battle of Rorkes Drift and the recipient of a Victoria Cross. Unfortunately Dalton dies while visiting a friend in Port Elizabeth and was buried in this cemetery.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
In 1829 two stone beacons were erected near the beach that had to be aligned by ships sailing into Algoa Bay from the west so that they could avoid the very dangerous Roman Rock. In 1858 they were replaced by two new stone beacons. These were painted red and white with a black ball on top. The one beacon is located in the Cape Recife Nature Reserve near the lighthouse while the other one, usually referred to as the Lolipop Beacon, stands on the corner of Marine Drive and Admiralty Way. The beacon was called the Admiralty Beacon, and hence the name of the road.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
When was the last time you drove down Kragga Kamma Road to Coleen Glen? Been a while? Have you ever noticed the little building on the right hand side not far from Cow's Corner? Well that little building has a new tenant, a new jacket and a new purpose. Rest-a-While (Pebble Springs) is the biggest little farm stall around. Not so much a farm stall as in the traditional sense of the word, but who knows what it can develop into in future. Currently open on Saturdays and Sundays, Rest-a-While sells collectors items as well as some home made breads and jams and they support their local community by displaying their wares. Do take a drive out that way and drop by if you're curious. I just noticed it as I drove past and had to stop.