• THE DATE: TUESDAY 10th JUNE 2014
  • VENUE: KwaMUHLE MUSEUM Bram Fischer Road [Ordnance Road] Durban.
  • TIME: Meeting commences at 17h30; Refreshments will be served from 16h45.
  • PARKING: Off Bram Fischer/Ordnance road [next to the Museum]; security person is
  • present
  • FEATURE: This month we will again be returning to ‘old Durban’ Our Speaker will be
  • KEVAN MARDON and his topic is TRANSPORT AND TROLLEY BUSES. Kevan Mardon has been with the Municipality – and Transport –
  • for a long time so what he shares with us will be of great interest.


Farook Khan was our speaker and he shared some of his adventures as the “The man they could not gag”. Besides the fact that Farook Khan frequently reported facts which were ‘unacceptable’ at the time, as a sports writer he also interviewed such celebrities as Muhammad Ali. “The Man They Could Not Gag” –is the title of a book he is completing; in the meantime we have been invited to the launch of his book “The Goodwill Lounge” on the 4th June at the Suncoast Cinema at 5p.m.


Prof Franco Frescura will be conducting another Durban Walkabout on 13th July–a Sunday morning

It was on June 28, 1914 that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were assassinated, on a visit Sarajevo in Bosnia. A bomb was thrown at their auto but missed nevertheless blowing up the car behind. Undaunted, the Archduke made his speech and then requested that the programme be altered so they could visit the injured; a short time later, on the way to the hospital, they were shot and killed by the last assassin. On 2nd August 1914, the day before Germany declared war on France, the German government wrote to the Belgian government demanding the right of free passage across Belgium for its troops, in order to most efficiently invade France. Belgium’s reply to what amounted to a German ultimatum was delivered on 3 August 1914. It was a clear refusal of free passage. An exposition has recently been opened in Brussels entitled “14-18, it’s our history”, organized to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War. It has been designed to raise awareness of the living conditions faced by Belgians during the country’s often brutal occupation by Germany in World War I. They have deliberately attempted to move the focus away from the bloody legacy of WWI battlefields in Flanders. While the appalling conditions of WWI trench warfare do feature in the exhibition, there is also a section dedicated to the letters of Belgians who lived through both the war and Germany’s invasion and occupation of Belgium between 1914 and 1918.

Locally and indirectly Clifton School is connected with WW1. Harry Stubbs who started the school as a boarding and day school for boys had formerly [before his retirement] been Headmaster of Durban Preparatory High School. His wife, Maggie, –known as ‘Dearie’ –was a Mother to the first small boarders. The school was first known as Stubbs’ School but a name change was required so Harry Stubbs asked his wife and daughter, Dorothy, to think about it and to ‘sleep on it’; Dorothy awoke with the thought of Henry John Newbolt’s poem about Clifton College in Bristol; a famous line being “”Play up! play up! and play the game!” Her parents thought to honour a nephew – Clifford Plimsoll – a dental surgeon who had served in France, and later in the Air Force; sadly he, his wife & baby daughter all died of ‘Spanish’ ‘flu in 1919. Combining the two thoughts the name Clifton was decided upon.

It was also the year [1914] when Jonas Salk was born in New York. On March 26, 1953, medical researcher Dr. Jonas Salk announced on a national radio show that he had successfully tested a vaccine against poliomyelitis. The Salk vaccine changed medical history, preventing many thousands of cases of crippling illness and saving thousands of lives.

The first trolleybus services in South Africa ran in Boksburg and Germiston during the First World War, but Durban’s trolleybuses were unique in being fitted with fishing rod racks at the back.
I’m sure Kevan Mardon’s talk will be most interesting…. see you on the 10th!
Naureen Craig 25 May 2014

Newsletter June 2014