Port Elizabeth of Yore: On the Cusp of the 20th Century

This blog is loosely based upon the reminiscences of Mrs. Margery Lochhead who was born in 1888 in Port Elizabeth and recalls the town of her youth. Not only was the town on the cusp of a new century but it would also herald the advent of revolutionary technologies such as the motor vehicle and electricity. These inventions would forever change the mode of transport but also humanity’s relationships with work and leisure.

However, these changes were still in the future. In the latter part of the 19th century, the horse, the cart and Shank’s Pony [i.e. one’s own legs] were still the predominant modes of travel.

Main picture: Main Street before 1883. Note that this portion of western Main Street north of Donkin Street still possessed numerous of the original basic single and double storey buildings. As redevelopment steadily extended towards Russell Street, in due course these buildings would be replaced with larger more elegant structures

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: St. Mary’s – The Mother Church

Given that there are no longer any residents who live in close proximity to the church, there are few  parking facilities in the area and there are hardly any parishioners who attend regularly, what is the future prognosis of this icon of Port Elizabeth? Naturally, I am biased because my great-great-grandfather was its first pastor but is society in general not able to appreciate that this building is integral to the history of Port Elizabeth. 

It will serve Port Elizabeth well to remember that it is not a church, probably in dire financial difficulties, that has to be saved, but a treasure of the city itself. 

This blog is the history of this institution.

Main picture: St. Mary’s after being reconstructed in 1896 but before the construction of the UBS building in Main Street

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Churchill’s WW1: From Humiliation to Redemption

Being born in Blenheim Castle, built by his ancestor the 1st Duke of Wellington, the victor at Waterloo, would leave an indelible imprint on the impressionable youngster. He believed that he was born to greatness. Another streak also drove the red haired youth; a deep desire to impress his parents both of whom, due to their social commitments, neglected the youngster who craved their affection.

Churchill’s humiliation during WW1 was unquestionably the folly and slaughter at Gallipoli but what was his ultimate redemption and what did it take to overcome the stigma?

Main picture: Churchill’s favourite pasttime – painting which he only discovered later in life

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Review of the DVD documentary entitled “Churchill”

This DVD provides one with the reasons why this man is held is such high regard by the British public & why he is rightly regarded as the epitome of dogged determination & a pillar of strength in Britain’s hour of need.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Unlike most politicians who, if one strips away their political deeds usually conceived in smoke filled rooms, are nothing more than empty shells. Churchill instead was the epitome of the courageous & audacious soldier whose acts of bravery drew people to themselves.

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Stalin’s Duplicity and Perfidy during WW2

Stalin played a very cynical and cunning game during WW2. Having deliberately killed millions of kulaks in Russia what more could the West expect when dealing with this brute of a man, a murderer of more people – his own Russians – than the Germans in total.

The full extent of Stalin’s duplicity and perfidy during WW2 was purposely understated or even whitewashed during WW2 by the British and the Americans. The reason for attaching little importance to these heinous crimes, for that is what they were, was the need to defeat the Nazis.

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The Narvik Landings Fiasco: In its wake why was its progenitor Churchill appointed as Prime Minister

A Personal View – April 2014

The Parliamentary Session in the British House of Commons on the 9th May 1940 was acrimonious. The emergency debate revolved around the catastrophe in Norway.

This campaign had been Churchill’s brainchild as the First Lord of the Admiralty. As Churchill rose to speak, he instinctively knew that this speech would probably be the most important speech in his entire political career. At 64 years of age, his life-long ambition of holding high political office could possibly remain a pipe-dream.

Main picture: Untrained British forces landing at Narvik, Norway

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