Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Last Sailing Vessels

The last hurrah of the sailing ship was the Anglo Boer War. Large numbers of sailing ships laid up in their home ports, were spending their dotage in quiet contemplation of their imminent and final demise in a wrecking yard, or if they were lucky, as a tour ship or museum exhibit. 

Instead these superannuated vessels were drafted back into service to transport troops and supplies of the British Empire to the Cape. In a strategically inept move, the Boer Republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State had displayed their temerity in invading the British Colonies of Natal and the Cape. 

Main picture:  The last sailing ship to be wrecked along the South African coast, the Colonial Empire came ashore at Cape Recife in 1917 Continue reading

Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Introduction of Air Flight

It can safely be presumed that the residents of Port Elizabeth were equally as fascinated at the concept of air flight as the rest of South Africa. As a testament to that allure was the great fanfare that Allister Miller’s flight from Cape Town in 1917 engendered. 

This is the story of how fascination transmogrified into plans and then planes. This was an age of dreamers and schemers. 

Main picture: Experimental air mail service between Cape Town and Durban

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Collegiate Girls School: Relocation to Bird Street

Central to the story of Collegiate Girls School was one of change, growth and progress. The school never emerged at its current shape, fully formed. Instead it was a process of renewal. To underscore this, was the first giant leap from a small school in a large house at No. 15 Western Road to bespoke buildings in Bird Street. 

It will serve us well to reflect that what is now viewed as a bold audacious step might equally have been a misstep. That required perspicacity and foresight and not 20/20 hindsight. 

Let us again join the school on its next profound step. 

Main picture: The first Collegiate School in Bird Street surrounding by a white trellis fence in 1878

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Trump: Is his Incompetence an Open Secret?

In today’s edition of the American Journal, The Atlantic, James Fallows’ article “It’s Been an Open Secret All Along” raises the preternatural possibility that Trump was voted in as President in spite of it being an open secret that Trump was not only unqualified to perform the job but also rank incompetent. 

What warning indicators were blinking ominously and why do intelligent commentators ignore those signals?

 Main picture: Donald Trump with former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon in more amicable times

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Trump: What his speech tells one about him

In many ways, Donald Trump has the dubious distinction of being the alter ego of Il Duce, Benito Mussolini. Typifying his approach is to declare that he is the greatest, the smartest and the best at everything. Such as bombastic, narcissistic, bragging and bullying demeanour is a divisive technique for a leader. At best he was suppress dissent but will never win an argument through cogent reasoning. 

Much more troubling is what his speech indicates about his neurological condition with its emotional equivalent of a five-year-old.

 Main picture: A smirking Donald Trump

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Is Trump’s Presidency Doomed?

Initially it was Trump’s bombastic, egotistical style which appalled me and raised my hackles. Later it was Trump’s inability to distinguish fact from fiction which sealed his fate in my eyes. Finally Trump will justifiably be crucified by later generations as his style of leadership has irredeemably cheapened that nation’s political discourse.

Has the cumulative effect of Trump’s blundering finally cast his Presidency as doomed? Signs of a backlash abound but will this Teflon coated man survive through sheer bloody mindedness?

Main picture: A smirking Donald Trump

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Why Helen Zille is so Wrong?

Helen’s accomplishments are legendary from exposing the lies regarding the death of Steve Biko, to opposing Apartheid during her days as a member of the Black Sash to her growing the DA from an inconsequential political party into one of substantial heft. 

But now Zille is a liability to the Democratic Alliance. 

Why? She is damaging not only herself but also the DA and ultimately South Africa.

Main picture: Helen Zille

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The Abuse of the Race Card in South Africa

By a wide margin, the Abuser-in-Chief is Julius Malema. At every opportunity, he takes a swipe at white South Africans imputing nefarious agendas to various innocuous actions. Julius might be the most egregious offender, but, unfortunately, by no means the only one.

This abuse is not confined to a select clique but is more wide-spread than is presumed. Here are some examples of the application of this technique in use.

Main picture: Julius Malema & the Race Card

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Will Consensual Non-Monogamous Relationships become the new Black?

After the legalisation and acceptance of LGBT behaviour, will CNM – Consensual Non-Monogamous – relationships be the next barrier to human happiness to be vanquished?

If societal pressure forced humankind to become monogamous, will this process of acceptance of CNM relationships result in its destigmatisation and adoption of an alternative life style? 

Main picture: Do you view this as beauty personified or as a mountaineering challenge?

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