Society holds priests and other arbiters of human behaviour to a higher standard than normal humans. So when their behaviour does not conform to these standards, the disbelief and interest is all the greater.
So it was with two clergymen of St. Mary’s Church half a century apart.
Main picture: Rev Francis McCleland
All of these photographs display the tranquility of nature through its reflections on the water.
Not only Fischer’s Jewellers embody the essence of Port Elizabeth but for many of its citizens, especially in prior generations, Fischer’s was their preferred choice for jewellery. Apart from this obvious connection, my grandmother had another, more obtuse connection, to this iconic store.
Main picture: One of the very earliest photos of the newly opened Fischer & Co building in Main Street circa 1914
This quaint hamlet on the banks of the Swartkops River is well-known for yachting. This is the rather modest history of this village.
Main picture: The original red house on the Zwartkops River
The one misconception about the Malays in South Africa is derived from the nomenclature “Malay.” In fact they originate from Indonesia. Another erroneous notion is that Malay population only arrived after the British settlers.
This blog disabuses one of all these fallacies.
Main picture: Green or Pier Street Mosque
Port Elizabeth is fortunate in having somebody prepare a list of its inhabitants at the inception of the town itself. Without a functioning civil authority, nothing is recorded, let alone a population register.
This blog lists Port Elizabeth’s inhabitants in 1822 together with a biographical sketch of some of them.
Main picture: Port Elizabeth in 1823
Initially the Presbyterians in Port Elizabeth could not afford their own church so they supported the “New Church,” an Independent Church, from 1853. This church was located at the corner of Main and Donkin Streets. Finally, in 1861 they were able to support their own church.
Accordingly, they built a magnificent Gothic style church in a prominent position on the hill which is visible from Algoa Bay.
Main picture: View of the Hill Presbyterian Church from Donkin Reserve
The fact that just over a year after Cinématographe was invented in 1895, it was demonstrated commercially first in Joburg and then in Port Elizabeth, is indicative of the pervasive nature of technology. Moving pictures had finally been invented albeit without embedded sound.
In spite of these restrictions, people flocked to witness the latest invention which, like all pioneering devices, would be used both for good and ill. Think of Geobbels, the Communist states and even Donald Trump with his fake news.
Main picture: A little gathering outside the theatre that became the Grand Continue reading
In the annuals of history, one of the key criteria for the establishment of a town was a ready water supply. What this meant in reality was that towns were located on a perennial river with a persistent strong flow. Not so Port Elizabeth. This problem was to bedevil its development over the years.
Where did Port Elizabeth obtain its water supply from, especially in the early years?
Main picture: On this puny stream, grandiloquently called Shark River, that supplied Port Elizabeth with its first piped water