Port Elizabeth of Yore: Matopos in Park Drive

Like most gracious villas in Park Drive, they have long ago succumbed to the wrecking ball to be replaced by a block of flats. Originally called ”Rocklands”, at the time of its demolition it was called “Matopos”.

Main picture:

Lot No. 29, No. 68 Park Drive, known as “Rocklands” was built in 1896 for Mrs. E.H. Townsend. In 1920, it was bought by H.O. Frielinghaus who altered to plans drafted by Jones & McWilliams and subsequently renamed it Matopos.

It has subsequently been demolished for flats of the same name. Fortunately, a reminder has been retained in the form of the original boundary wall and the summerhouse constructed in 1921.

The two photos below were taken about 85 years apart. The shot taken in c1930 shows H.O. or Chappie Frielinghaus in the garden and in the other photo are his two grandsons, Pete & Derek, about 85 years later.

This is an example of the post cards that HO and Eileen Frielinghaus received at their home at 68 Park Drive Port Elizabeth bearing the good news that their son Tuppy (Geoff) was alive after being captured in the battle of Sidi Rezegh on the 23rd November 1941

What is interesting is that Geoff had re-Christened his father from Heinrich Olaf to Henry Oliver. As Geoff explained later that at the time the Nazi’s were trying to coerce prisoners with a German ancestry to work for them and to spy on fellow POWs. To protect himself he amended his father’s name so that the Gestapo would see that the family was long since been Angelised.

Postcard from Nazi Germany 1942 delivered to 68 Park Drive Port Elizabeth with Hitler’s face on the stamp. Matopos


Derek Friedlinghaus

Hills Covered with Cottages: Port Elizabeth’s Lost Streetscapes by Margaret Harradine (2010, Express Copy & Print, Port Elizabeth)

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