Port Elizabeth of Yore: Naming of the Second Quay

As jetties were constructed, they acquired a name: North, South and Dom Pedro. How the name was determined is unknown. It is unlikely that a Jetty Naming Competition was instituted with prizes for the most popular name. Rather it was more likely that it was common parlance that determined it. In the case of the Dom Pedro, it was the name of the slaving shipwrecked at that spot which “selected” the name.

But how were the quay names determined? With the first quay having been named Charl Malan, what would quay number 2 be called?

Main picture:
Item N46246 – Port Elizabeth, 1939. No 2 quay at Port Elizabeth harbour. [Transnet Heritage Library]

Amongst the suggestions motivated for consideration, the PE Historical Society weighed in with two to the System Manager of the South African Railways: Settlers’ Wharf or alternatively Captain Evatt Wharf. Furthermore, the committee suggested that the naming ceremony, if the Railways Administration agreed to the suggestion, should be held on Settlers’ Day 1960. Whilst the matter received the sympathetic consideration of the Railway’s Administration, the Society was advised in due course that the matter had been further examined and it was found that it was not the policy of the Administration to give individual Quays specific names.  Apparently special cases or exceptions had been made in the cases of the Charl Malan Quay and the Dom Pedro Jetty in Port Elizabeth, the Healey Hudson Quay at East London and the Maydon Wharf in Durban.  Notwithstanding these exceptions, the current policy stipulated that quays and berths would only be lettered or numbered. The Society was further informed that in cases of the subsequent two quays at Port Elizabeth, they had already been named Quay 2 and Quay 3. The System Manager further advised the Society that in view of the fact that the quays had already been named that it would be inappropriate if a ceremony in relation to Settlers’ Day would be held.

The Naming of No. 2 Quay [Looking Back, Volume 1, No. 1, March 1961]

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