The Friendly City – Port Elizabeth – My Home Town

For me Port Elizabeth represents my roots, physically and emotionally. It was only the lack of work opportunities after I had completed my Articles of Clerkship, that I was forced to relocate to Joburg in 1980. Emotionally it is more that the place where I grew up, went to school and university. My roots go much deeper than that. One of the first citizens of Port Elizabeth was my great great great grandfather. With his house at Number 7 Castle Hill being a National Monument, I can truly feel a part of Port Elizabeth’s illustrious history.

Main picture: The central suburb of Port Elizabeth.

Apart from the historical connection stretching back to the arrival of the Reverend Francis McCleland in Port Elizabeth in 1820, it was the endless beaches. Once I was old enough, I would cycle the 20 kms down to the beach, usually Pollock, to meet friends. There were a number of groups of beach guys: the surfing bunch, the life saver crowd such as Clive Meyer and those that just hung out on the beach. That was me but I certainly did my fair share of body surfing as well. Naturally there were other groups with different ideas about what was important. These are the guys who hid out in the sand dunes and bushes but they were not there to admire the surf or the beach or the girls in their bikinis. They were there to smoke weed.

It was not only the unspoilt littoral but the flanking river system with their estuaries which demarcate the coastal extremities of the city while to the north west, the Lady’s Slipper mountain hems the town gently in.

Beachfront promenade at Hobie Beach

Beachfront promenade at Hobie Beach

Such is the town which I proudly state are my roots, gentle and serene and never ostentatious and impersonal.

Port Elizabeth might no longer be called home but it still retains a special place in my heart.
St Mary’s Church

This is the church at which my forefather was appointed as the first minister

The Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin

The Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin

Until the arrival of settlers in the early 1820’s, the needs of the British garrison at Port Elizabeth had been served by chaplains in passing ships. By 1825 a substantial settlement of 500 people had congregated in the town, one of whom was the Rev Francis McCleland. During that year he was appointed Colonial Chaplain, and the foundation stone for the Collegiate Church of St Mary the Virgin was laid. Until the church was finally opened for worship in 1832, the congregation met in a school room near the present St Augustine’s Cathedral.

Number 7 Castle Hill

This was the residence of the Reverend Francis McCleland. It is the oldest extant house in PE.

Number 7 Castle Hill

Number 7 Castle Hill

 

Addo Elephant Park

The Addo Elephant Park

Aerial view

Aerial view of the main beach

Beachfront promenade along Marine Drive

Beachfront promenade along Marine Drive

Beachfront promenade at Hobie Beach

Beachfront promenade at Hobie Beach

Beachfront walkway

Beachfront walkway

City Hall

City Hall

Conservatory in St Georges public park

Conservatory in St Georges public park

Cycling along the Port Elizabeth coastal roads

Cycling along the Port Elizabeth coastal roads

Donkin Heritage Reserve

Donkin Heritage Reserve

Feather Market Centre

Feather Market Centre

Fort Frederick look out point

Fort Frederick look out point

Holy Trinity Church, Central

Holy Trinity Church, Central

Ironman South Africa – start of the swim

Ironman South Africa – start of the swim

Jumping dolphins in front of Shark Rock Pier, with the Boardwalk Hotel in the background

Jumping dolphins in front of Shark Rock Pier, with the Boardwalk Hotel in the background

Kings beach public park

Kings beach public park

Lady’s Slipper - view from Telkom tower

Lady’s Slipper – view from Telkom tower

Lady’s Slipper mountain trail

Lady’s Slipper mountain trail

McArthur Baths

McArthur Baths

Mosaic path at Donkin heritage reserve

Mosaic path at Donkin heritage reserve

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

Pollock Beach

Pollock Beach

Port Elizabeth Skyline

Port Elizabeth skyline

Presbyterian Church on the hill

Presbyterian Church on the hill

Public Library in Central, Port Elizabeth

Public Library in Central, Port Elizabeth

Running along Port Elizabeth beachfront walkway

Running along Port Elizabeth beachfront walkway

Sardinia bay beach

Sardinia bay beach

Seaview Lion Park#2

Seaview Lion Park

Seaview Lion Park

Seaview Lion Park

Singa Lodge, Port Elizabeth

Singa Lodge, Port Elizabeth

St Georges public park

St Georges public park

Stanley Street, Richmond Hill

Stanley Street, Richmond Hill

Sunrise at the Donkin Reserve

Sunrise at the Donkin Reserve

Sunset from Port Elizabeth beachfront

Sunset from Port Elizabeth beachfront

This flag can be found in the Donkin Reserve. It is 12 meters by 8 meters and has become a prominent part of the PE skyline.

his flag can be found in the Donkin Reserve. It is 12 meters by 8 meters and has become a prominent part of the PE skyline.

Thunzi Lodge, Port Elizabeth

Thunzi Lodge, Port Elizabeth

 


1 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing. It’s absolutely great reading and viewing your posts, bring back very fond memories of my “home town”.

    My Grandma lived on Mowbray Street, Newton Park, where i spent many school holidays under her care and can relate to almost all your stories as someone, who was there, and who did it too.

    I left PE in ’82 from Newton park tech, into the Military for 2 years, after which I settled down in Johannesburg and have been here ever since.

    Now, I have a web site, which I can show to my 2x children and relate your stories to them as if they were my own words.
    Thanks for the memories.

    Reply

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