Not only does Fischer’s Jewellers embody the essence of Port Elizabeth but also for many of its citizens, especially in prior generations, Fischer’s was their preferred choice for jewellery. Also, the building is one of the remaining structure built in the Art Nouveau style.
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
Amongst the few things that I know about my grandmother’s upbringing, is that as a Beckley, she was raised in the family house in Draaifontein. Furthermore, Elizabeth Daisy McCleland always claimed that she was the first person to be betrothed in the St Albans Church.
Only after recently receiving a photograph of the original iron & timber church from Rosemary MacGeoghan and the excellent notes by Anthony Beckley, have I been able to establish something of substance about this quaint church.
This is the story of the family church.
Main picture: Original St. Alban’s Church
A letter by Mary Ann Beckley nee Waspe to her daughter Elizabeth Daisy McCleland shortly before her death on 30th December 1931