Granny Bland

The baby in the feature picture is Mary Caskie, daughter of Alexander Caskie and Mary Craig. Her father Alexander Caskie became mayor of Harrismith. She married JFA Bland II and gave birth to JFA III. Frank (JFA III) Bland married Annie Watson Bain, daughter of Stewart Bain, mayor of Harrismith. So much of mayors, yourContinue reading “Granny Bland”

New Country, New Identity, New Skill

I was reading about Andrew Geddes Bain, geologist, road engineer, palaeontologist and explorer in the Cape up to 1864, and his son Thomas Charles Bain, road engineer in the Cape up to 1888, when it suddenly struck me! First, let’s see what these two very capable men achieved: Andrew Geddes Bain built eight mountain passes,Continue reading “New Country, New Identity, New Skill”

Pencil Thin Moustache

(draft) Whenever I hear Jimmy Buffet singing Pencil Thin Mustache I think of my uncle Dudley, oops, my cousin Dudley. Dudley Bain was a character and my cousin. I’d known him over the years when he used to visit his old home town of Harrismith, but really got to know him once I started practicingContinue reading “Pencil Thin Moustache”

The Grand Old Man of Harrismith

Stewart Bain was born in Wick, Scotland on 9 September 1854; He and his brother James came to South Africa in 1878, to Durban. Then they trekked on to the metropolis of Harrismith in the Orange River Colony, building bridges for the railway line extension from Ladysmith up the Drakensberg to Harrismith; Stewart married JanetContinue reading “The Grand Old Man of Harrismith”

Bain of Harrismith

My granny Annie had an older brother Ginger. He was the oldest of the seven ‘Royal Bains’ and a great sportsman. They owned the Royal Hotel and they were ‘Royal’ so as not to be confused with the ‘Central Bains’, who owned the Central Hotel! As fishermen from the tiny hamlet of Wick on theContinue reading “Bain of Harrismith”

The Bain Family’s Scottish Roots

Katrina (nee Miller) Duncan, from near Oban in Scotland, stumbled across my other blog here and made contact with us. She sounds delightful, but so she would – she’s family! She has been researching the Bain family tree and she and my sister Sheila have worked out that we share a Great-Great-Great Grandfather, one DonaldContinue reading “The Bain Family’s Scottish Roots”

The Two Annie Watson Bains

By the time we knew her she was Annie Bland. Never ‘granny’. Only Annie. She was our dear Mom’s dear Mom. In fact ‘Annie Watson Bain’ to me was the lady who died in World War 1 and whose name was on one of the monuments outside the Town Hall. She was our Annie’s firstContinue reading “The Two Annie Watson Bains”