On Saturday 1886 a group of Collegiate girls were taken to the beach adjacent to the mouth of the Baakens River and South End. In all likelihood these pupils were boarders and not day students. As no public transport was available, the girls must have walked from their accommodation down to the beach with their teachers in tow. What exacerbated the situation was that age, very few people were able to swim so when what one presumes was a rip tide occurred, none of the girls were able to swim. Even if they could, they would not have been able to deal with it successfully
Main picture: Bathing house at the mouth of the Baakens
Of all the business colossuses that Port Elizabeth has produced, John Paterson might outrank them all except perhaps the Mosenthal Brothers. Pamela Ffolliott correctly labels Paterson a Titan. To successfully establish two enterprises of the stature and calibre of Standard Bank and the E.P. Herald which have endured for more than a century and a half is testament to his foresight. Paterson encapsulates the vision, energy, restless spirit and other attributes of a successful businessman.
As his two most notable business accomplishments viz the establishment of the Eastern Province Herald and Standard Bank have been examined in detail elsewhere, this blog will only investigate the earlier life of this remarkable, indefatigable man as well as his civic-mindedness which drove his desire to establish a municipality in this forsaken town.
Main picture: John Paterson