Port Elizabeth of Yore: The HMS Dorsetshire-First Ship in New Harbour

The cruiser, HMS Dorsetshire, had a special connection with South Africa and Port Elizabeth in particular. As the flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Evans’ Africa Station, she was the first vessel to moor in the newly completed Charl Malan quay. It was WW2 which brought her back to the Union during 1940 and 1941 when in her quest to search for the Nazi raiders and escorting convoys in the southern Atlantic and Indian Oceans, she would often call at South African ports to refuel and to revictual. Lastly amongst her crew of 750, nearly 100 of them were South African.

Main picture: HMS Dorsetshire alongside the almost completed Charl Malan quay

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Enclosed Harbour Scheme in the 1930s

Even though the celebration in 1933 focused on the opening of the Charl Malan Quay, this project represented more than just the construction of one quay. Instead, it represented the conversion of the port into a proper enclosed harbour.

None of the river mouths on the Algoa Bay littoral are suitable for use as a harbour. As some stage there had even been suggestions to use the Zwartkops River but these were never advanced to the planning stage.

 Finally, the bull was taken by the horns and the jetties and anchorage converted into a proper modern harbour. 

Main picture: An aerial view of the Charl Malan Quay under construction

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