Tin Ceilings

A. Ross & Co. General Dealers in Harrismith had gone phut, sold out to OK Bazaars. Their big old building was being gutted. Dad enquired about the ‘pressed steel’ ceilings* and was told ‘You can have the ceilings gratis if you strip them and remove them within a week.’ He bought six ‘nail puller pliers’Continue reading “Tin Ceilings”

Many Marys

Sheila gave us the breakdown: Mary Craig married Alex Caskie; they had a daughter Mary Caskie, who married John Francis Adam Bland; their eldest son was Frank, who married Annie Watson Bain; their second daughter was Mary Frances, who married PG Swanepoel; their eldest daughter was Barbara Mary, who married Jeff Tarr; their eldest daughterContinue reading “Many Marys”

Little Switzerland on Oliviershoek Pass

I asked Leanne Hilkovitz Williamson about Poccolan / Robinson’s Bush and this brought a flood of memories: She takes up the story: I was born on the farm De Nook which belonged to my grandfather Elias Hilkovitz and was inherited by my father Leo Hilkovitz after the 2nd World War probably round about 1945, twoContinue reading “Little Switzerland on Oliviershoek Pass”

Did You Got A Licence?

When I got back to Harrismith in December 1973, we were moving house. The ole man had sold the old house . . . . and built a new one in Piet Uys street uptown. I filled the blue kombi with stuff – small furniture, paintings and odds – and drove it the kilometre orContinue reading “Did You Got A Licence?”

Virtuoso

Miss Underwood taught Mom Mary to play the piano and taught her very well; she then also taught big sister Barbara to play and taught her quite well, too; in my imagination this set off the following family discussion: Let’s send little Kosie to her as well! He’s such a delicate little chap. If heContinue reading “Virtuoso”

Koos Kombi

Today Mother Mary took a break from playing the piano. She suddenly remembered a time Mona du Plessis came to her after a ‘do’ at the town hall. These memories come and go so she must tell them as she thinks of them. Mona said to me – says Mary – “While we were atContinue reading “Koos Kombi”

Chaka’s Rock Luxury Beach Cottage

Back around 1962 we joined the du Plessis on a beach and fishing holiday on the Natal north coast – Chaka’s Rock! They were beach regulars, this was one of our two beach holidays that I can remember.  It was amazing! The cottage on a hill above the beach, the rocks and seaside cliffs, narrowContinue reading “Chaka’s Rock Luxury Beach Cottage”

The Bend – Earlier Daze

Before we learnt to drink beer on the banks of the mighty Tugela, we drank oros and water while observing our elders drinking beer on those same rocks on the same bend in the river that gives the farm its name. Here’s an 8mm ‘cine’ movie taken back in the early 1960’s – before weContinue reading “The Bend – Earlier Daze”

Two Grand Pianos

Mom Mary Bland learnt to play the piano on her Granny Mary Bland’s upright Otto Bach at 13 Stuart Street. Her sister Pat didn’t play, but when Granny died the piano had to go to the older granddaughter. But how to get it there? Jack Shannon had a bakkie and he volunteered to schlep itContinue reading “Two Grand Pianos”