Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

Archive for the tag “family history”

Oviston to Clarens

Continued from Ghwarriespoort to the Gariep Dam

5-6 September 2015

We woke up at Oviston, overlooking the Gariep Dam, and watched dawn breaking over the water.

Oviston: Dawn on the Gariep Dam, 5 September 2015

Oviston: Dawn on the Gariep Dam, 5 September 2015

The place where we was staying was right next to the pumphouse where the water from the Gariep Dam is pumped out to supply Port Elizabeth, via the Orange-Fish river tunnel.

Pumphouse on the Gariep Dam to provide water for Port Elizabeth

Pumphouse on the Gariep Dam to provide water for Port Elizabeth

We left Oviston at about 7:20 and drove towards Bethulie. We crossed the Orange River again on a road/rail bridge, more or less where it enters the dam, far upstream from where we had crossed it a couple of weeks earlier at Kakamas. We stopped on the bridge to take photos and only one vehicle crossed the bridge while we were on it. It was in quite bad repair on the Free State side, with grass growing in cracks, and concrete blocks covering the pipes carried across the bridge all broken. I wondered who was responsible for its maintenance.

Bridge over the Orange River near Bethulie

Bridge over the Orange River near Bethulie, looking north to the Free state side.

We reached Bethulie and drove in to the town. There seemed to be only one garage, and we filled up with petrol. The garage attendant spoke South
Sotho, and I could thank him in that language. We looked for a place to eat breakfast, but the only one that looked open said it only started serving food at 10:00 am. I wanted to pass through Bethulie because it was associated with my great grandfather William Matthew Growden, who, when he retired from the railways in about 1908, bought a farm, Mooifonein. He was actually based at Springfontein, which was a bit west of the route we were taking, but it was in the magisterial district of Bethulie. Bethulie seemed pretty dead for a Saturday morning.

Entrance to Bethulie in the Free State

Entrance to Bethulie in the Free State

We set out for Smithfield, passing a strange, almost symmetrical conical hill on the way, and wondered if, like, the slab of butter mountain at Vanrijnsdorp, it could be disguising the nose cone of an alien spaceship.

Conical hill near Bethulie -- disguising the nose cone of an alien spaceship?

Conical hill near Bethulie — disguising the nose cone of an alien spaceship?

Smithfield turned out to be a very nice place, bigger than Bethulie, and much better maintained than many Free State towns, in contrast to Wepener, which we had passed through on our last trip to the Cape four years ago, it seemed to be the kind of town where everything worked. There was a place called Buckley’s, open for breakfast, with a very pleasant garden, a friendly waiter called Martin Booysens (he was described as a “waitron” on the cash slip, which seems to be a peculiarly South African term, and makes him sound like a robot. It had good food, which made a change from all the chain restaurants which serve the same predictable stuff.

Smithfield Town Hall, Free State

Smithfield Town Hall, Free State

We left on the road to Wepener, which was a gravel road, crossing typical highveld grassland, and like most Free State gravel roads was in fairly good repair, and there were signs that it had recently been graded. We joined the tarred road to Ladybrand a couple of kilometres north of Wepener, and it was in better repair than it had been four years ago, in that many of the potholes had been patched, but the signs warning of potholes were still up from four years ago, and were now somewhat faded. We began to see fruit trees in blossom along the side of the road, at random intervals, and concluded that they must be from cherry pips that people had thrown out of car windows. Val recalled a vegetable hawker who, many years ago, had given her aunt a sales pitch for cherries he was selling, and assured her that they came from “Ficksburg, Madam, where Jesus was born”.

There are lots of fruit trees growing alongside the road to Ladybrand in the Free State, perhaps spring from pips spat out by passing motorists.

There are lots of fruit trees growing alongside the road to Ladybrand in the Free State, perhaps spring from pips spat out by passing motorists. The picture does not do the pink blossoms justice.

We stopped for lunch in Fouriesburg, and reached Clarens at 4:15 pm, and there noticed, as we had throughout our journey through five of South Africa’s nine provinces, the inequality that still persists 21 years after the end of apartheid. Clarens is regarded as the jewel of the Free State, and middle-class people from the big cities retire there, or go to spend weekends there, but, like almost every town we have passed through, it has a shanty town where poor people live.

Clarens, an idyllic village in the mountains of the eastern Free State

Clarens, an idyllic village in the mountains of the eastern Free State

There was a pattern to development in many towns, particularly noticable in towns in the North West Province and Northern Cape, that as you left the town you passed apartheid-era matchbox houses, then the rather smaller RDP houses of the 1990s, and last of all the shanty towns, or “informal settlements” as some call them. The ones in Clarens were somewhat better than most, in that the number of shacks was proportionately smaller than in the north west, and almost every garden had one or more fruit trees in bloom, and in some places people had planted neat vegetable gardens.

Clarens in the Free State

Clarens in the Free State — the bits the tourist brochures don’t usually show.

We stayed with my cousin Peter Badcock Walters and his wife Toni. Some years ago they bought an old sheep-shearing shed, and converted it into self-catering apartments, now called The Clarens Country House.

The Clarens Country House

The Clarens Country House

Peter has also built an art gallery in the centre of Clarens, The Gallery on the Square, where he exhibits his own art work and that of other artists. He had done many book illustrations, including The Illustrated Bosman.

Peter Badcock-Walters in The Gallery on the Square

Peter Badcock-Walters in The Gallery on the Square

Also on display were drawings from an earlier book Images of War.

The Gallery on the Square, Clarens

The Gallery on the Square, Clarens

Concluded at Clarens, and home again.

Namaqualand spring: 20 Aug 2015

Continued from Going west through Bushmanland

Thursday 20 August 2015

We set out to explore some of the countryside around Kamieskroon and to look at the spring flowers. We drive about 20 km down the N7 towards Garies, and then turned off to the west towards Spoegrivier, one of the places C.J Andersson had mentioned stopping at on his cattle drive to the Cape in 1862, and as Frank Stewardson (Val\s great great great grandfather) was just ahead of him, he too must have passed through there. Actually Andersson referred to it as Spookrivier, which may have been a mishearing of the name, or perhaps the name has changed. The first part of the road was over amazingly green rounded hills, all over bushes. I could not imagine driving several thousand head of cattle over them, and so assumed that the Spoegrivier valley must have provided a more passable route.

The road to Spoegrivier, Namaqualand. 20 Aug 2015

The road to Spoegrivier, Namaqualand. 20 Aug 2015

At 9:30, after driving about 20 km from the main road, we came to the valley with a little town in it.

The village of Spoegrivier (Spit River), Namaqualand

The village of Spoegrivier (Spit River), Namaqualand

The river was dry, like Namibian ones, though perhaps there was water underground for the cattle. There was a crude handpainted sign at the entrance to the dorp, saying “Welkom in Spoegrivier”, and an Aids ribbon underneath, so we wondered if Aids was a problem there.

Welcome to Spoegrivier (Spit River), Namaqualand

Welcome to Spoegrivier (Spit River), Namaqualand

It seemed to be quite an isolated community and we wondered what people did there, and whether there was a settlement there when Stewardson & Co passed through. Perhaps in their day it was all Nama huts covered with skins, but there didn’t seem to be any trees to make the huts, just bushes.

Namaqualand daisies on the hills near Spoegrivier, 20 August 2015

Namaqualand daisies on the hills near Spoegrivier, 20 August 2015

We passed through and then followed a farm track, which the bloke at Kamieskroon had told us would eventually lead to Walleskraal. It was much roughter and narrower, and so we drove slowly up, and on the other side of the hill where we arrived about 10:05 were spectacular scenes of spring flowers such as one sees in pictures, stretching across to the horizon, mainly orange Namaqualand daisies, looking almost fluorescent, interspersed with tiny yellow ones that looked little more than small pollen balls.

More daisies near Spoegrivier

More daisies near Spoegrivier

There were also rounded bushes, covered with yellow flowers, and several other varieties.

More flowers near Spoegrivier

More flowers near Spoegrivier

We passed through several farm gates, and farms as well. and one there were several people in a farmyard, and we asked if we were on the right road to Hondeklip Bay, and they said we must go straight, and that if we had GPS, which we didn’t, we should ignore it, because it lied. There were tracks leading off in various directions, presumably to the farms, so it was quite confusing, We joined the road between Walleskraal and Soebatfontein, where a grader was going down a hill, and the road had recently been graded for most of the way to Walleskraal, which we reached at 11:15. It hardly seemed to be a settlement at all, just a couple of buildings, and no shops that we could see.

Walleskraal, Namaqualand, 20 August 2015

Walleskraal, Namaqualand, 20 August 2015 – not snowdrifts, but flowers

There were also plenty of flowers there, lots of white ones interspersed with orange ones, and the white ones looked like snowdrifts, and in a river bed they looked like rivers of blood through the snow. Some of the white ones were vygies, but I think most were daisies. There seemed to be relatively few of the magenta vygies.

Orange and white flowers near Walleskraal, Namaqualand

Orange and white flowers near Walleskraal, Namaqualand

From there we went over more gently undulating country, with fewer flowers, for about half an hour, until we saw hills that looked like mine dumps, and it seemed that that is what they were, and there were signs saying that there was a rehabilitation project to try to regrow vegetation on them. It seemed that they were diamond mines, and I was rather surprised, as I thought that most of the diamond mines were further north, between Port Nolloth and Alexander Bay. We reached Hondeklip Bay at 11:47, and it was as unprepossessing as I had expected it would be, a kind of Henties Bay south of the border. a resort for weekend fishermen, with the coastal fog visible from some way inland.

The west coast town of Hondeklip Bay

The west coast town of Hondeklip Bay

We looked for a shop where we could buy biscuits and cold drinks, but there was only a drankwinkel, and Sam’s Restaurant. Val got a couple of Coke light, the only diet drinks they sold. The harbour was grey and looked dirty, with a dredger and a small boat, perhaps a fishing boat, bobbing in the swell. A little further out was what looked like a wreck.

Hondeklip Bay -- the port

Hondeklip Bay — the port

We left and drove north along the road to Koiingnaas, but before we reached it turned off to the north-east along a road that led to Springbok, which had boneshaking corrugations like those on the road to Odibo. Along the way there were several more strips of white flowers that looked like snowdrifts, but most of them were on the other side of the valley of the Swartlintjies river we were travelling up, and quite far away. The coastal plain was about 20-30 km wide, and then it became apparent why the cattle drivers from Damaraland must have followed the route along the coastal plain, perhaps quite close to the mountains. There was more vegetation, and probably water, there, and more grazing.

Fields of flowers along the Swartlintjies River, on the road between Hondekip Bay and Springbok

Fields of flowers along the Swartlintjies River, on the road between Hondekip Bay and Springbok, again, not snowdrifts, but daisies

At 1:15 pm we reached a crossroads, with the road from Koiingnaas to Springbok crossing one from Komaggas to Soebatsfontein. We had travelled 147.7 km from Kamieskroon. Andersson had been camped at Kommagas when he rode to Hondeklip Bay to fetch his letters, and it had taken him two days. It must have been heavy going riding a horse through the bushes. We turned south towards Soebatsfontein, and about 10 km down the road stopped for lunch, amid fields of white flowers, near Wildeperdehoek.

Daisies on the road from Wildperdehoek (Wild Horse Corner) to Soebatsfontein

Daisies on the road from Wildperdehoek (Wild Horse Corner) to Soebatsfontein, where we stopped for lunch

Val had made us egg rolls for lunch, and we drank the Cokes we had bought in Hondeklip Bay. We drove on from there, towards Soebatsfontein, and we stopped to take photos of gazanias growing at the side of the road, with dark orange-brown flowers, like the ones we had had in our garden a few years ago.

Picnic among the flowers

Picnic among the flowers

We didn’t see any shops in Soebatsfontein, apart from the inevitable drankwinkel, so just stopped to take a couple of photos and drove on.

Gazanias

Gazanias

We took photos of what we thought may have been the Grootberg, also mentioned in Andersson’s diary, and turned back along the road to Kamieskroon.

Possibly the Grootberg mentioned in Andersson's diary

Possibly the Grootberg mentioned in Andersson’s diary

which crossed a couple of steep passes, and more fields of orange daisies on a farm, and got back to Kamieskroon at 4:00 pm, having covered 215 km on our round trip.

Kamieskroon, Namaqualand

Kamieskroon, Namaqualand

We bought a newspaper at the shop on our return to Kamieskroon, mainly to use as kindling for the fire, as the previous night had been quite cold. It was the previous day’s Die Burger, and had an article on the spring flowers of Namaqualand, and mentioned many of the places we had visited — Walleskraal, Soebatsfontein and Wildeperdehoek, and the author said the flowers were the best he had ever seen them.

Continued at Namaqualand Spring: Lily Fountain and more flowers

Reviving an old family history blog

I recently decided to revive a family history blog that I had abandoned a couple of years ago. Google were busy revamping their Blogger software, and were taking a long time about it. Every week some or other feature didn’t work because they had decided to replace it, but the old one stopped working before the replacement was ready, and after a few months of this flocks of bloggers migrated from Blogger to WordPress.

I joined the flock, moved my family history blog to WordPress, and put the old Blogger one on ice, with a note saying where it had been moved to.

But eventually the improvements were made, the missing features returned, well sort of, and Blogger grew more stable. So I decided to revive my family history blog on Blogger. But there wouldn’t be much point in having two blogs to do the same things, so I’m giving them a different emphasis. The WordPress one will concentrate on our own family history, and family news. That’s because WordPress handles things like photos better.

The Blogger one I will use for more general things — discussion of research techniques, general history, links to resources, discussion of the use of computers for genealogy, discussion of software and the like. Historiography, method, technique and theory will go in there.

That’s because of the things that Blogger is good at — grabbing things off the web, making links, displaying widgets and the like.

One of the things you can see is the widgets that display recent visitors from MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog. Blogger displays them OK, but half the time WordPress displays the wrong pictures.

Some people might wonder what the point of such a thing is, and that was the subject of my very first post :Hayes & Greene family history: Why a family history journal?.

So if you’re interested in family and local history, and related topics, have a look.

US President Barack Obama related to all US presidents but one

7th-Grader: Obama, Most US Presidents Related – Central Coast News Story – KSBW The Central Coast:

SALINAS, Calif. — A seventh-grader and her 80-year-old grandfather are allegedly the first people to discover that President Barack Obama is related to all other U.S. presidents except one.

BridgeAnne d’Avignon, who attends Monte Vista Christian School in Watsonville, traced that Obama, and all other U.S. presidents except Martin Van Buren, are related to John ‘Lackland’ Plantagenet, a king of England and signer of the Magna Carta.

Hat-tip to Father Milovan.

One month to pumpkin day

One month from today Yahoo!’s magic Geocities coach will turn into a pumpkin, and many terabyes of information on the web will be lost forever.

It’s about 10 years since Yahoo! took over Geocities, one of the first social networking sites on the Internet. After destroying the social networking aspect of it (which is was one of the things that gave it its initial appeal) they will be closing it forever on 26 October.

Millions of people have created web pages on Geocities. Some of what they have posted there is good, some bad, some mediocre, and some is irreplaceable. Even if the information is moved to new sites, billions of links to it will be broken.

Some of the sites that will disappear have information on genealogy and family history. I’ve listed a few of them here, and anyone who wants to add more links to the list may do so, so that people can find them in the short time remaining.

But that is only a fraction of the information that will be lost.

Three years ago some of us had a synchroblog (the very first synchroblog ever), and my contribution was a journal article I wrote and posted on Geocities. Even if the article is moved to a new location, all the links in those synchroblog posts will be broken.

One of the other victims of this kind of Yahoo! destruction was WebRing. To quote them

It was 15 years ago that Ashland, Oregon, high school student Sage Weil created the piece of script that could link different sites into one ring, into one Web Ring.

Not long after sharing the technology, Sage formed WebRing and witnessed a meteoric rise in popularity. So popular, in fact, that WebRing soon came to be owned by GeoCities.

WebRing too was a form of social networking on the Web, and Yahoo! bought it and destroyed it. Fortunately there was enough of the community spirit left that some people took it back and tried to revive it, and now they are offering to rescue Geocities sites by offering them an alternative hosting site, and an opportunity to try to rebuild the communities that Yahoo! shattered.

Well it’s one way of saving the pages, and I hope they have the capacity to do so, but unless they take over the domain, there’s little chance of saving the links.

I suspect that many of the people who lost interest in Geocities when the social networking and community aspect was destroyed have now established themselves in alternative places like Facebook, MySpace and Orkut, and won’t be bothered to go back.

Search engines for genealogy and family history research

Over the last ten years or so Google has become the most popular web search engine — to much so that “to google” has become synonymous with searching the web. It’s become a generic term.

When Jackie Seaman announced her Growden reunion, I thought I’d do a web search for Growden, and started with Google because Firefox puts it so conveniently in the toolbar. Growden (or Growdon) is one of the less common surnames I’m researching, and we have a web page just for Growdon family researchers. But Google didn’t find it — at least not in the first 17 mages of results.

I tried another search engine, Altavista, and our Growdon page came up on the first page of results.

I tried another search engine, Dogpile, which is an aggregator of results from several different search engines, and our Growdon page was also on the first page of results, but further down.

It seems that Google is definitely not the best search engine for genealogical and family history research. Altavista (www.altavista.com) was better by a long way, and its first page of results was far more relevant to genealogy researchers.

The first page of results on Google produced a bunch of generic surname search sites, many of them commercial. This means that they show up on search results for anyone looking for any surname at all. If you try some of them you might find they have no information at all on Growdon (or whatever surname you are looking for), but then invite you to look for other surnames. And quite often, if they do have information, they ask you to pay upfront before you can see it.

Dogpile also came up with quite few of those generic surname sites, but did have more relevant sites on the first page of search results as well.

But Altavista came up with “real” Growdon/Growden sites first — people who were actually interested in Growden family history, and had information or were looking for information, rather than generic surname search sites.

So if you are looking for family history information on the web, don’t just “google” for it — try other search engines as well. You may be pleasantly surprised.

(Originally posted in my family history blog, but copied here as it may be of wider interest).

Embryos created with DNA from 3 people – Yahoo! News

If this goes much further it could, among other things, require a complete redesign of genealogy software.

Embryos created with DNA from 3 people – Yahoo! News

British scientists say they have created human embryos containing DNA from two women and a man in a procedure that researchers hope might be used one day to produce embryos free of inherited diseases.

Though the preliminary research has raised concerns about the possibility of genetically modified babies, the scientists say that the embryos are still only primarily the product of one man and one woman.

askSam 6.1

I’ve been using the askSam database software for 17 years, and this year my wife bought me an upgrade to the latest version for Christmas, and I’ve been playing with some of the new features.

If you are doing any kind of research, askSam is one of the best tools for keeping your notes and documents in order. It’s a freeform text database that lets you find anything you put into it, and also allows you to have fixed fields for sorting.

I started using it when I persuaded the university departments I was working in to use it for journal abstracts and a terminology database. I’d read reviews of it in computer magazines, and it sounded as though it would be one of the best tools for the job. It was.

Back then it was the DOS version.

It was easy to get started using it — you simply tossed information in and it would fish it out again. But to get the best out of it required quite a lot of learning, and to learn to use it I tried it out on different kinds of applications — making notes from books, genealogical research, keeping track of correspondence, keeping a log of various activities. For all of these things, it worked very well.

Back then we also used the XyWrite word processor, and XyWrite’s formatting was done using codes similar to HTML markup, so it was easy to produce askSam reports that were fully-formatted XyWrite documents. Reports could be imported into e-mail for sharing information. It worked just as well for exporting data to web pages.

For a long time I resisted the Windows version, but the new version has several features that older ones did not. One of them is the ability to import, link to and attach documents. So you can use it to keep track of word processor documents, PDF files and the like. It handles MS Word documents, pdf files (text only) and RTF files as well. It is somewhat limited in not handling Open Office files, for example, though those can be exported to rtf of pdf format.

If you do any kind of research, especially in the humanities, and want to keep your research notes in order, I definitely recommend askSam. I’ve found it useful for genealogy research, theological research and articles (keeping notes for my MTh dissertation and DTh thesis) and much more.

If this sounds like the sort of program you could use, you can read more about it (and download a 30-day trial version) at the askSam web site.

Computer illiteracy rife among British civil servants

Over the last few months British news media have been reporting that government agencies have been losing computer data regularly.

The mind boggles at such a level of computer illiteracy — have the civil servants in so many different government departments and agencies not learned of the need to make backups of important data?

clipped from news.sky.com

Thousands of confidential records belonging to NHS patients have gone missing in the latest data scandal to hit the Government.

Breaches in nine NHS trusts

Breaches in nine NHS trusts

Nine NHS trusts are now known to have lost data that was stored on either CDs or memory sticks.

Notes about 160,000 children were reportedly lost by London’s City Hackney Primary Care Trust after a computer disc failed to arrive at its destination.

The losses were disclosed as police continued to hunt for two HM Revenue & Customs computer discs containing the details of 25m child benefit claimants.

blog it

I remarked on this in some genealogy newsgroups, expressing concern about various records used by genealogists and family historians, and the danger of their being lost as well. Some said that the records were not actually lost, but that it was just copies of the records that had been mislaid. But if that is so, it is the British news media that are being irresponsible, in deliberately trying to create the wrong impression. Journalists have been using computers to file stories for the last 30-40 years. I cannot believe that there is any journalist in Britain working for a major newspaper or broadcaster who does not know what “lost data” means.

But there were also reports that officials were calling on those who had applied for driving tests to contact the officials concerned to remake their appointments — why would they be asked to do that if the data concerning their appointments had not indeed been lost?

So is it the civil servants who are computer illiterate, or the journalists, or both?

10-20-30

I’ve been tagged for the 10-20-30 meme by Matt Stone. It has to do with what you were doing 10, 20, and 30 years ago. My story?

10 years ago

Sunday, 26 October 1997

We went to Divine Liturgy at the Church of the Annunciation. They had moved back into the church, and the new ikons by Maria Manetta were beautiful. They seemed to glow with a light of their own.

That was from my journal. The Church of the Annunciation in Pretoria is the biggest Orthodox temple in the Southern Hemisphere, and Maria Manetta was an ikonographer from Greece who had just finished installing new ikons in the dome, and while the church was filled with scaffolding services were held in the hall (hence “moved back into the church”.

I was working at the Editorial Department of the University of South Africa, and was also working on my doctorate in Missiology. Our daughter Bridget had just gone to study theology in Greece (10 years later she’s still there, working on her masters).

20 years ago

Monday, 26 October 1987
I went to work by car, and read Orthodoxy and the religion of the future, which seemed to regard the charismatic movement as demonic and pagan, as Ann d’Amico does. In the afternoon I left work early and went past Bishop’s House, and lent Rich Kraft some of my Foghorn magazines, about Osborne computers. He said Pete & Isobel Beukes were staying with them, and were thinking of coming to work in Pretoria. I went to Makro, where I hoped to be able to buy a cheap microwave oven, but they were all sold out. I bought some envelopes and a tin of coffee instead. We had letters from Theophilus Ngubane and Nora Pearson. Theophilus said that several clergy were leaving Zululand diocese, including the new dean, Father Kow. It sounded quite sad. In the evening I took Bridget to the junior school choir at DSG.

That was my journal entry. Rich Kraft was the Anglican bishop of Pretoria, whom I had known for many years, since he had been university chaplain when I was a student. Pete Beukes was an Anglican priest from Zululand as was Theophilus Ngubane, and Pete’s wife Isobel had been a fellow-student with me at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg. DSG was St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls in Pretoria, where our daughter Bridget was in Standard III (Grade 5).

I was working in the Editorial Department at the University of South Africa, and we were about to be received into the Orthodox Church (on 8 November).

30 years ago

Wednesday 26 October 1977

Someone phoned from the Archbishop’s office in Bishopscourt, saying that Cathy Thomas, of the Daily News, was asking what was happening with the SB and the church in Utrecht. I explained that the papers had published half the story, in relation to the opening of my letter to Lawrence Wood by the Department of the Interior, and so I thought they should have the full story, at least as far as I knew it, to keep the record straight. I also had a letter today from the Secretary for the Interior, saying that my application for the renewal of my passport had not been successful. The letter was dated 7 October, and thus after my letter to Lawrence Wood had been opened by the Department of the Interior, so I can only conclude that if one wants a passport, one does not write to opposition members of parliament. I sent a photostat of the letter from the Secretary for the Interior to Lawrence Wood for his information, but felt that he would not do much, as there is to be a general election at the end of November, and he will not be standing, but will be stepping down for his son Nigel, who will stand for the New Republic Party in his place. I don’t think the New Republic Party stands much of a chance in the election. They are too new as a party, and will not have had time to get themselves organised. Wynand Rautenbach is the local leader in Melmoth, and Doris Leitch is also involved, but they did not seem to be at all well organised, and the announcement of the general election had obviously caught them on the wrong foot.

I had recently moved from Utrecht to Melmoth in Zululand, where I was Rector of All Saints Anglican Church, and Director of Training for Ministry in the Anglican Diocese of Zululand. What had happened in Utrecht was that one of our churches had been closed at gunpoint my a Mr Klingenberg of Commondale, who owned the land on which the church stood, apparently at the behest of the Security Police, who had also hired a Mocambiquan refugee to spy on us. Lawrence Wood was an opposition MP for Berea, formerly of the United Party, which had just become the New Republic Party, and was virtually wiped out in the elections, and it disappeared from the political scene soon afterwards.

I tag Dion, David and the Young Fogey.

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