Sheila has just had a treasure chest smuggled to me by James, Mignon’s husband. A dozen books, old letters, a diary of her 1985 trip taking Mother Mary right around those small islands which made such a damn nuisance of themselves in the era they call the Breetish Empire Daze. Of course, they’d just say ‘The Empire.’
So where to start among these riches, which could take ages to sort through?
I now know that in November 1957, a concert to raise funds for the Harrismith hospital was held in the ‘Kerksaal’ (that would have to have been the saal of the moederkerk in the middle of town, otherwise it couldn’t have just been called ‘kerksaal’).
Mom Mary played this piano solo – Rustle of Spring by Christian Sinding. Close your eyes and listen:
. and in March 1957 at an earlier concert – also funds for the hospital – Mignon’s Mom Mona du Plessis played Chopin’s waltz in E minor. Close your eyes:
At the March concert, Mary also sang with Mona and Esther Mouton in a ‘vocal trio,’ and in another trio with Trudy Else and Esther, they sang ‘Come To The Fair.’
Mary also played Cecile Chaminade’s ‘Pierette’
Lucky Harrismith! To have these talented ladies perform for them. Our Moms! All their numbers would, of course, have been better than the motley youtube crew I’ve shown you above!
Also in the treasure chest: My letters from America, from Veld and Vlei, from the army in Potchefstroom, and to Mom and Sheila in the UK. Lots of work!
Oh – and under all this good old stuff there was a bottle of champers and a bottle of red! Sheila and James run a proper smuggling ring!
Love these memories. Pete . Sheila is an amazing treasure trove. You all keep our beautiful town and our wonderful childhood alive. Thank you
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Pleasure Annie! Lucky to have so much material popping up thanks mainly to Sheila!
Annie, one of the gorgeous trio that almost got me to heaven: Shirley, Goodness and Mercy.
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