BOKSBURG HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION Boksburg Historical Association March by sdsdfqw21


									                      Boksburg Historical Association - March 2009 Newsletter

                                      BOKSBURG HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION

   MARCH                        The missionary, the spinster and the newspaper
    2009                On the 6th April, 1892, the Presbyterian            mining commissioner appeared. Later
                        minister in Port Elizabeth, rev. James              issues had portraits and biographies
  Number 165            MacPherson performed a marriage                     of other local personalities like George
                        ceremony in his Manse. Carrie Baldwin,              Farrar, magistrate P.G. Maré, Edward
                        a spinster aged over 21, was married to             Jones, Capt. Saner & others.
                        a missionary, Matthew Lochhead.                                                 On August
                                                Who     was    this                                     18th,    the
                                                Lochhead,     mis-                                      Herald an-
                                                sionary? Lochhead                                       nounced
                                                is an uncommon                                          they would
                        surname, mainly found in Scotland.                                              produce a
                        With the 1881 United Kingdom census,                                            Ch ristm as
1-3. Boksburg           there were only 3 Matthew Lochheads                                             Annual cost-
     Herald             listed in the U.K., all from Scotland. The                                      ing 3 shil-
                        one who appears on grounds of age                                               lings. This
                        most likely to be the Matthew Lochhead                                          was a lavish
4. A– National          who got married in 1892, was at the                                             publication,
   Liberation           time of the 1881 census residing as a                                           with many
   Route. B-            lodger in Renfrew, Lanarkshire. If this is          half-tone illustrations. It was printed
   Preservation         the same Matthew Lochhead, he would                 at The Press works in Pretoria.
   costs                have been 29 at marriage in 1892.                   On the June 8th, 1895, the Herald
                        Three years later, Matthew decided to               noted that G. H. Langler’s East Rand
                        give up preaching for publishing. He                Hotel had just opened. A month later
5. O’Neil’s Cot-        started what appears to be the first                it was reported that a veld fire had
   tage                 newspaper on the East Rand, the Boks-               caused explosives stored at the Bal-
                        burg Herald and Germiston Advertiser.               moral Mine to catch fire and explode,
6. AGM; April           Matthew had no printing press of his                killing 6-year old Sydney Turner. On
   Tour                 own at the time, and the first issue of             7th December, the paper reported
                        Saturday, May 11, 1895, was printed in              that Miss Mabel Ziervogel, principal of
                        Johannesburg. The Herald was mainly                 the local school had left, and that par-
                        filled with advertisements and was only             ents and pupils had made a presenta-
        Boksburg        four pages. At the time, newspapers had             tion to her. On 28th December, the
        Historical      very few illustrations, because photos              Herald printed their first photo; a pic-
      Association       had to be re-photographed through a                 ture of the government buildings, that
   P O Box 18242        grid onto a light-sensitive copper plate,           also appeared in the 1895 Annual.
    Sunward Park        in order to make a half-tone printing               At the start of 1896, Matthew Loch-
                        plate. But Matthew Lochhead wanted to               head was smiling. The first issue of
                        run illustrations. On 21st September                the Herald to be printed in Boksburg
                        1895, a line drawing of B. J. Kleynhans,            appeared on February 29th.
Web address:
                                                   Executive Committee 2009-2010
                       Chairman & Webmaster              Phil Beck                          011   896-3742
E-mail address:        Secretary / Correspondent         Carole Doig                        011   896-2633
                       Treasurer                         Lesley Smith                       011   892-5168
boksburghistori-       Tour Convener                     Pam Beck                           084   504-0540          Member                            David Stirling                     011   455-2048
                       Acting Editor                     Peter Wood                         011   893-1046
                         Do you have any historic old photos, or a heritage-related tale to tell ?? Please, we need them...
                        Boksburg Historical Association - March 2009 Newsletter

                            The first East Rand Newspaper


Lochhead had an office near the post office, and     tal shooting, while serving with the Boer forces near
used fancy two-colour letterheads. In July 1896, he  Ladysmith. W. A. Jordaan, first head of the Boksburg
opened a branch office in Germiston. The paper ex-   Police, lies buried at Pietershill, Natal.
panded in size and ran more news items and adver-    The     picture     (r)
tisements of local interest. On the 26th September   shows 4 members
1896, an advertisement appeared for alterations      of the Boksburg po-
and additions to the Government School. In October,  lice when W. A. Jor-
the paper was upset with the local police, especiallydaan was still a ser-
their head, W. A Jordaan, who was said to be “drunk  geant. (Bad luck
and incapable”. On 7th November, matters had pro-    continued to dog
gressed so far that Lt. Jordaan was forced to take   the Jordaan family:
out an advertisement in 3 copies of the Herald:      Another      member,
                                                     W. H. Jordaan, was
                                                     killed while serving
                                                     as a special consta-
                                                     ble    at     Brakpan
                                                     Mines during the
                                                     1922 Strike.)
                                                     In November 1896, the Herald reported that Carl
                                                     Frederick Ziervogel, the owner of Leeupoort farm
                                                     and father of Thomas Ziervogel, a future mayor of
                                                     Boksburg, had died. The death occurred in Pretoria
                                                     at his residence “Arcadia” at 8.30 p.m. on Thursday
                                                     the 5th. C. F. Ziervogel, formerly of Platfontein, Som-
                                                     erset East, was 72 years old when he died.
                                                     Late in 1896, Matthew Lochhead appears to have re-
                                                     covered some of his missionary zeal. He took up the
                                                     cudgels for ill-treated mine workers from the Springs
                                                     Colliery. According to Lochhead’s report, the man-
                                                     ager of the colliery did not provide enough food for
                                                     workers from Mozambique, and forced them to work
                                                     even when they were sick. The Herald reported that
                                                     3 workers had died of starvation, and published a
                                                     photo of some of the starved workers. As a result,
                                                     the manager of the colliery, Munscheid and the hos-
                                                     tel manager, Alexander Murphy were arrested and
   One can’t help feeling sorry for W. A. Jordaan. charged in the Boksburg magistrate’s court.
Apart from being libelled in the Herald and having Murphy claimed that the workers spent two months
to apologise to Public Prosecutor De Villiers, less walking to the mines, and were starved on arrival.
than 5 years later Jordaan was to die in an acciden- The court case dragged on for months, and was re-

                        Boksburg Historical Association - March 2009 Newsletter

                                The first East Rand Newspaper
activated in 1897 at the insistence of the State At-     the Assembly Hall, to petition government for help.
torney. The Netherlands South African Railways           Attorney Beyers addressed the meeting in Dutch,
Company (NZASM) were in overall charge of the            and was followed by Lochhead who spoke English.
Springs Colliery. On June 12th a Commission of En-       If the government did not adopt the Industrial Re-
quiry travelled by train to the Colliery to inspect      port proposed by Schalk Burger, speakers said,
matters. On board the luxury NZASM coach were            ruin lay ahead. And ruin soon followed. Just after
Mr. Middelburg, managing director of the company,        the mass meeting, the Herald ceased publication.
one of the other directors, Mr. De Wildt, Boksburg       In the following year, 1898, a new newspaper,
magistrate Maré, the district surgeon Dr. Ziervogel      George Constable’s East Rand Express appeared.
and police officials.                                                             The Express was printed
Conditions at the colliery quarters were found to be                              regularly until September
fully as bad as had been reported in the Herald.                                  1899, when the Anglo Boer
The floors were of raw earth, 30 centimetres lower                                war broke out. In January
than ground level, and it was barely possible to                                  1899, the Boksburg Herald
stand upright. No bunks were provided, and miners                                 appeared on the streets
had to sleep on the ground. The district surgeon, Dr                              again, and for a time the
Ziervogel, pointed out that it was impossible for                                 public had a choice between
workers to stay healthy in such damp living quar-                                 two local newspapers. Mat-
ters. As a result of this visit, the colliery managers                            thew Lochhead had 8 em-
were ordered to improve living conditions.                                        ployees, and at the start of
                                                                                  1899 the outlook was rosy.
Matthew Lochhead was a public-spirited man who           But in August 1899, Lochhead’s world fell apart. On
actively took part in many sporting and cultural         18th August, the deputy sheriff of Boksburg gold-
events. There was no Public Library in Boksburg in       fields, Vivian Otto, called at Lochhead’s printing of-
1897; only a bookseller who charged people for bor-      fice, asking immediate payment of £125, on de-
rowing books. Birkby & Scott ran a circulating li-       mand of George Constable. Lochhead couldn’t pay.
brary from their shop near the post office; they         He owed £350 to George Constable, £376 to How-
charged a half crown for the first book borrowed,        ard Farrar & Co, and £889 to R. Dobson. In addi-
then on its return, they charged 6 pence for the         tion, August wages of £60 were due. Lochhead’s
loan of each successive book.                            liabilities exceeded his assets by over £770.
Lochhead was determined to change this. At a pub-        On 1st September 1899, the Boksburg Printing &
lic meeting, Lochhead, attorney Beyers and other         Publishing Company and Matthew Lochhead in his
prominent citizens pledged to petition the govern-       personal capacity were sequestrated in the Pretoria
ment to grant a stand for erecting a public library.     Supreme Court. Shortly after
Eventually the government decided to donate a site       this, war broke out.
where a library could be built.                          After the war, it appears that
                                                         Matthew Lochhead never re-
1897 saw the celebration of Queen Victoria’s Re-         turned to the East Rand.
cord Reign. Matthew Lochhead was elected chair-          There is no estate file for him, so we don’t know
man of the local entertainments committee, organ-        when or where he died, or under what circum-
                          ised to celebrate the an-      stances. But it seems that he still had a love of pub-
                          niversary. A concert was       lishing. In 1913, a Pretoria Directory appeared -
                          organised for 15th June        Lochhead’s Guide and Handbook. This Directory
                          in the newly opened As-        was more than just a list of names. It was a fasci-
                          sembly      Hall.   Dunbar     nating account of the early history of Pretoria, with
                          Brothers      published   a    many photos and stories. At the time, Lochhead
                          book with photographs of       was Secretary of the Pretoria Agricultural Society,
                          local scenes and person-       and was living in Brooklyn.
                          alities. It is in this book    One last record of Matthew Lochhead comes from
                          that the only known            May 1924, when an insolvent divorce case was
                          photo of Matthew Loch-         heard in Johannesburg. It seems that Matthew’s
                          head appears.                  wife Carrie, nee Baldwin, had deserted him. In the
But the tide was running against Lochhead and the        divorce settlement, Matthew undertook to pay Car-
Boksburg Herald.                                         rie £12 10 shillings per month until her death.
                                                         From the incomplete evidence available, it looks
Economic depression hit the Transvaal in 1897. In        like Matthew Lochhead ended his days alone and
September that year a mass meeting was held in           broke - a sad end for a public-spirited pioneer.

                        Boksburg Historical Association - March 2009 Newsletter

                                    Diary of EVENTS
                                 DIARY OF Events
            A) Heritage rising: National Liberation Route B) Preservation costs

opened last 5 years, the National
For the in 1897, at the request of the State Attorney,    and lay people, because they do not comprehend
Heritage Council, NHC has ex-
Jan Smuts.                                                the factors involved. A steel structure such as a
isted together public library in Boksburg in the early
There was no with the South Afri-                         railway bridge or a headgear will quite simply rust
can Heritage Resources Agency,Scott near the post
days - the booksellers Birkby &                           away, if it is not regularly inspected and re-
SAHRA. SAHRA is the successor                             furbished. The predecessor of Transnet Freight
office ran a circulating library. They charged a half
crown previous National first book, then 6 pence
to the for the loan of the Monu-                          Rail, South African Railways, had a regular main-
ments Commission, and exchanged book. Mathhew
each for each subsequent is the                           tenance schedule for all railway bridges. Every 10
body concerned with heritage site
L                                                         years, each bridge was inspected; areas of rust
preservation. The Chief Executive                         were blast-cleaned down to bare metal, and the
Officer of NHC, advocate Son-                             whole bridge was then re-painted, first with pro-
wabile Mancotywa, is determined                           tective primer, then afterwards with special
to transform South African heritage by researching and    weather-resistant paint. As a result of the SAR
commemorating the deeds of indigenous people who          maintenance program, some steel railway bridges
were not documented in archives. A major new project      still consist of the original steel girders made in
of Mancotywa is create a National Liberation Heritage     England, Germany or Holland over 100 years ago.
Route, and to have this route recognised as a World       Right now, bridges are in danger, though, be-
Heritage Route, as first proposed by UNESCO in 2005.      cause Transnet cut maintenance.
                                                          A regular main-
                       The proposed National Liberation
                                                          tenance       pr o-
                       Route will incorporate legacy
                                                          gramme        does
                       sites that already exist, such as
                                                          not cost pea-
                       Robben Island, the Apartheid Mu-
                                                          nuts. In the case
                       seum and Soweto sites such as
                                                          of structures like
                       the Hector Petersen museum,
                                                          mine headgears,
                       R egina Mundi church and
                                                          where machines
                       Vilakazi street - where two Nobel
                                                          and      moving
                       Peace Prize winners used to live.
                                                          parts are in-
                       Other legacy sites related to peo-
                                                          volved, maintenance costs even more than for
                       ple like Mahatma Ghandi & Oliver
                                                          bridges. The hoisting ropes for mineshafts have to
Tambo will also be incorporated in the new route.
                                                          be regularly lubricated, and have to be inspected
Visitors to Cape Town and Johannesburg already tour regularly by competent people, to ensure that
some of the existing sites, especially Robben Island they are not corroding and still have the required
and Soweto. But NHC wants the Liberation Route to ex- strength. Similarly, compressors and boilers have
tend to other areas that are at present little known and to be regularly tested to ensure they can handle
not regularly visited, such as the Eastern Cape. NHC the pressures involved. Imagine the costs!.
initiated a Liberation Route pilot project in the Eastern When it comes to buildings over 100 years old, it
Cape, where Chris Hani, Oliver Tambo and Nelson Man- is probable that construction was not up to mod-
dela were born. NHC wants to record oral history while ern building regulations. Roof trusses may be in-
people still have memories of events.                     adequate; foundations may be missing or poor,
                                                          certainly there will be no damp course. Floors and
                                                          timber may be infested with termites and walls &
                                                          plaster could be subject to rising damp. The cute
                                                          little “golden oldie” house you see in a Karoo
                                                          dorp, if in really bad condition, can easily cost
                                                          you more to properly restore, than it would cost
                                                          to build a brand new structure. And then there
                                                          are the ongoing maintenance costs: wood has to
                                                          be regularly treated to minimise damage from
                                                          sunlight, weathering and micro-organism attack.
                                                          So a very careful decision needs to be taken, be-
                                                          fore deciding to restore any heritage site. You
                                                          don’t only have to consider the initial restoration
                                                          costs. What is important, is to have a business
                                                          plan to ensure that sufficient funds are generated
                                                          regularly to pay for ongoing maintenance and pro-
                   Preservation Costs.                    tection costs, plus the costs for curatorial and se-
The costs of preserving and maintaining heritage sites curity staff. If you can’t generate enough income,
are often severely underestimated by both historians tragedy lies ahead - as the next story will tell.

                        Boksburg Historical Association - March 2009 Newsletter

                                                           As government property and a former National

   Heritage Fading: O’Neil’s Cottage
Majuba Hill in Natal has a heritage remarkably similar
to sites of the proposed National Liberation Route,
but 100 years further removed in time. Following the
annexation of the Transvaal or Zuid-Afrikaansche Re-
publiek (Z.A.R.) by Sir Theopolis Shepstone in 1877,
Boer resistance to the British occupation built up,
leading to skirmishes first at Potchefstroom and
Bronkhorstspruit. In early 1881, 3 further skirmishes
took place in Natal; at Laingsnek, Ingogo and Majuba.
In the biggest action on 27th February 1881, British
General Sir George Pomeroy Colley and 100 British
troops were killed on Majuba hill.
Peace negotiations followed at a stone cottage that
belonged to a local farmer, Richard Charles O’Neil.        As a former National Monument, O’Neil’s cottage
One of the earliest surviving news photographs taken       is the responsibility of the South African Heritage
in South Africa shows British and Boer delegates           Resources Agency, SAHRA. But SAHRA does not
gathered on 23 March 1881 in front of the veranda of       have the funds to preserve all heritage sites, and
O’Neil’s cottage.                                          does not seem particularly interested in some
                                                           sites anyway. The question can be asked, of
                                                           what relevance is O’Neil’s Cottage today? After
                                                           1881, there was a public holiday - Majuba Day -
                                                           celebrated in the Z.A.R. Today, Boer independ-
                                                           ence is ancient history and flavour of the month
                                                           is the National Liberation Route.
                                                           Do sites that date from colonial times still have
                                                           relevance, as South Africa seeks to find a new
                                                           national identity? One factor to remember is that
                                                           there is still deep
                                                           interest in the
                                                           events of this 130
                                                           years distant con-
The group above included General P.J. Joubert,             flict, even from
Marthinus Wessels Pretorius, Paul Kruger, President        history       buffs
Brand of the Free State and General Sir Evelyn Wood -      abroad. In the
truly a remarkable photo.                                  September 2008
                                                           issue of the Brit-
On an East Rand note, the Boksburg Goldfields spe-         ish    “Skirmish”
cial magistrate P. G. Maré served under General Eve-       magazine, a pic-
lyn Wood during the 1879 Anglo-Zulu war. Maré was          ture of Petrus
one of the Utrecht Burgers who volunteered together        Uys, killed at Hlo-
with Petrus Lafras Uys, to help the British after their    bane Mountain so
defeat at the hands of the Zulus at Isandlwana on          many years ago,
22nd January 1879. Petrus Uys was killed in action         was printed on
on March 28th, 1879, but his comrade P. G. Maré            page 12. People will always be interested in tales
survived, to later become an East Rand pioneer.            of valour, of Boer versus Brit, of Zulu resistance
During a recent visit by Phil Beck to O’Neil’s cottage,    to colonial expansion.
the site was found heavily vandalised. The front door      What South Africa needs is an effort to honour
of the cottage has been stolen together with the con-      all relevant history, not just parts currently in po-
tents of the museum that was formerly maintained           litical flavour. Past efforts to glorify the experi-
there. Windows are broken, wallpaper is stripped.          ences of one section above another promoted
Weeds grow next to the marker for the King’s Royal         hatred and intolerance. The parallels between
Rifles. In the O’Neil family graveyard, Richard O’Neil’s   Boer and Black liberation history to my mind are
marker still stands, but other stones lie broken.          sufficiently close to be used as a unifying theme.

                          Boksburg Historical Association - March 2009 Newsletter

           Annual General Meeting                                Next Tour Saturday April 4th
At the Annual General Meeting on 7th March 2009,             Pam plans to get a bus to visit heritage sites in
Phil Beck was elected Chairman. Other surviving mem-         the North Eastern Free State - the “Riemland”.
bers from the 2008/2009 committee were re-elected            The area is rich in material from the early colonial
and David Stirling was selected as a new member.             period, when settlers from the Cape Colony were
The treasurer reported than annual membership fees           moving northwards and came into sometimes vio-
would be kept the same as in the previous year, at           lent contact with earlier inhabitants. At Vegkop
R100. Although the Boksburg Historical Association           one day in October 1836 (no-one knows the date
had reasonable funds on deposit, funds are required                             for sure), Trekkers under possi-
for such items as cupboards to store the archives ma-                           bly Sarel Cilliers, or maybe un-
terial and books, if a permanent home can be found.                             der both Sarel Cilliers and
At present, Mr. & Mrs. Beck have loaned cupboards                               Hendrik Potgieter clashed with
and shelves for storing items. Consideration is also be-                        Ndebele warriors. There is
ing given to acquiring a microphone and amplifier and                           doubt about who was in charge
loudspeakers for use at meetings and on tours.                                  during the skirmish, but after-
An appeal was made to members who have an email                                 wards the Trekkers were left
address to please supply this, as the increasing costs       stranded, with no oxen to pull wagons. Wesleyan
of postage, paper and printer cartridges make it ex-         missionary James Archbell and the Rolong chief
pensive to physically print and post newsletters.            Maroka had to come to their assistance.
Pam Beck reported that she has several ideas for fu-
ture speakers and tours. Due to the cost of tours and
visits, it was planned to decrease the frequency of
tours to a tour or visit once in 3 months, rather than
once in two months, as in the past. Pam is also work-
ing at arranging events several months in advance;
such planning will help members with their diaries.
A newsletter editor is still required. The speaker at the
February meeting, James Smith, was friendly enough
to type up the entire content of his talk, and to supply
this in electronic form. This made it very easy to in-
clude the story of the Boksburg trolley buses in the
last newsletter. Unfortunately, unlike James, many
speakers do have either the ability or the desire to re-
cord anything in writing. Peter Wood said that if mem-
bers and speakers cannot provide material for a news-
letter, it will not be possible to issue a newsletter on a   There are also several sites from Anglo-Boer war
monthly basis. The time required to find material and        times, including British Concentration camps and
to assemble it is just too onerous. Future newsletters       battle sites. It was in this region that General
will therefore appear only as and when material is           Christiaan De Wet attacked a British supply depot,
available; in other months, all that members will re-        and captured more goods than his band could
ceive is notification of the next meeting or tour.           carry off. Some early Rand pioneers, serving with
Phil Beck showed slides from 2008/2009 meetings              the Railway Pioneer Regiment were killed during
and tours. Visitors and new members were particularly        the action and lie buried next to the Railway line.
interested in the photos.                                    The Boer prisoners-of-war who were involved in
The advertised speaker for the meeting could not make        the fascinating escape recorded as the Five Swim-
it. As a replacement, Carole Doig gave a presentation        mers came from this area. Here you can also see
on Boksburg heritage sites and personalities, showing        that the British did not discriminate when they in-
several photographs. Carole is developing this material      terned people; one of the victims at Heilbron
with the idea of taking local learners to the sites. Any     “Refugee” Camp came from Australia.
photos or information that members may have will be                                   Due to the distance, a
                                  appreciated.                                        very early start is essen-
                                                                                      tial. Estimated cost will
                                L: Mabel Ziervogel’s                                  be about R200 per per-
                                school in Boksburg,                                   son for members, higher
                                around 1895                                           for     non-members.
                                                                                      (Subject to confirmation)
                                                                                      To book or for details,
                                                                                      call Pam on 084-504-
                                                                                      0540 or (011) 896-3742.


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