The Bains in South Africa that descended from Stewart and James Bain of Sarclet and Wick, Scotland, who built railway bridges from Ladysmith in the British colony of Natal to Harrismith in the British Orange River Colony, then settled in Harrismith and built and ran hotels, now only have four male Bains left, despite having had seven and nine children respectively. These four are the sons of Peter Bain, son of Dudley Bain, son of Ginger Bain, son of Stewart Bain of the Royal Hotel . . . I think. I may have my facts slightly muddled.
In the year 2000, after two years of adventure in the UK, Chadd Bain returned to Mevamhlope in Kwa Zulu Natal. In 2001 he became involved with an orphanage called ‘Nkosinathi’, building, providing beds and blankets, organising food donations, and teaching the residents to grow vegetables.
In late 2002 Chadd met Kate, and they married in September 2004.
The first Orphan Christmas party was held in 2002 for 80 kids. The next year they had 150 children. The next year they decided to do more and started with educating 17 of the kids.
In 2009 Chadd was tragically killed in a motorbike accident in the sugarcane fields. He was only __ years old.
Kate and Chadd’s Mum Shelley and their team have carried on and continued to grow Izulu Orphan Project (IOP) ever since. Do go and have a look at the sterling work they’re doing.
Read a bit about Chadd’s grandad Dudley here
And about his first-to SA ancestors here
And about his Scottish roots here
I used to sing beautifully. The teacher who trained the boys choir in Harrismith Laerskool said so. Well, she might have. She was Mej Cronje I think, and was half the reason ous would volunteer for the choir. To look at her.
I was a soprano and we looked down on the altos who, though necessary as backup, weren’t in the same league as us squeakers. One directly behind me used to bellow in my ear: “Dek jou hol met bouse off hollie! FaLaLaLa La LaLaLaLa“.
One day this discerning talent spotter Juffrou Cronje chose me to sing a solo in the next konsert.
Then tragedy struck!
My balls dropped. They handled it very diplomatically. By ignoring it and cancelling practice. The konsert didn’t materialise (co-incidence? Surely they didn’t cancel a concert just because one boy suffered testicular descent?) and by the time the next one came around I hadn’t been banished – just consigned to the back and asked to turn it down.
* * *
Just in case there are people who think Harrismith se Laerskool se Seunskoor was a Mickey Mouse outfit, lemme tellya:
WE TOURED ZULULAND. The Vienna Boys Sausages were probably nervous.
We got onto the light blue school bus and drove for hours and hours and reached Empangeni where the school hall was stampvol of people who, starved of culture in deepest Zoolooland, listened in raptures as we warbled Whistle While You Work, High on your Heels is a Lonely Goat Turd, PaRumPaPumPum, Edelweiss, and some volksliedjies which always raised a little ripple of applause as the gehoor thought “Dankie tog, we know vis one“.
If memory serves (and it does, it does, seldom am I the villain or scapegoat in my recollections) there was a flood and the road to ReetShits Bye was cut off, sparing them the price of a ticket (though those were probably gratis?).
Can’t remember driving back, but we must have.
After that warbling faded in importance and rugby took over.