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Newspaper Cuttings from the Eastern Cape

Newspaper Cuttings from the Eastern Cape - D


EP Herald, 9 May 1980
Bid to save father from flames
Herald Correspondent

East London - A Sunnyridge woman's attempt to save her invalid father from a fiery death ended dramatically yesterday when she was dragged from his blazing bedroom seconds before the roof collapsed. Her efforts were in vain, however, as her father,
Mr. John DEETLEFS, 82 died in his bed after the bedclothes caught alight.

Mrs. Anna EBERHARDT burnt her foot while trying to save her father who was bedridden after suffering a stroke five years ago. Her life was saved by a farmhand, known only as Petrus, who pulled her away from the burning bedroom.

The owner of the farm, Mr. B. EBERHARDT, told yesterday how his wife had returned to their farm, Breezyvale, after taking their four children to school to find flames leaping through the roof. She dashed straight into the house to try an save my father-in-law. "One of the labourers rushed across from the barn and just managed to pull her away as the roof started to collapse."


Newspaper cuttings from the Eastern Cape.
EP Herald, [date unknown]
Roundabout by Keith SUTTON
Sad end for hero of Blood River

We had just come over the top of Penhoek Pass, about an hour's drive north of Queenstown, when my companion pointed out a clamp of trees out on the flats towards Sterkstroom below, "Those old ones with young trees to the left", he said. "That farm is called Hazelmere today, but in the last century it was known as Hansdonsiesfontein after it's owner, Hans Dons DE LANGE. Dons in Afrikaans is the fuzzy hair some men have on their cheek bones.

"Hans Dons was a big, red-headed man with a fiery temper, who probably trekked and hunted more than he farmed. He was a natural leader and drew extraordinary loyalty from his followers and friends. In 1836 he joined the Graaff-Reinet trek under Gerit MARITZ and moved into the Free State. Subsequently he joined MARITZ and Piet RETIEF in their trek into Natal."

"He was a superb scout, and has been rather underrated as a tactician. He was superior in this respect to Andries PRETORIUS. It was he who persuaded PRETORIUS to laager in that loop of Blood River that gave the Boers such an advantage in the subsequent battle. After that he settled in Natal and was appointed official Resident with the Zulu King, Panda. The two men came to like and respect each other. Hans Dons remained in Natal after it became a Crown Colony and settled near Ladysmith. He retained the friendship of Panda and in about 1860 the King sent him a young Zulu girl for a wife."

"This gift was something of an embarrassment, and was the direct cause of a tragedy for which Hans Dons paid with his life in shocking circumstances. Hans Dons arranged for the girl to marry one of the senior Zulus on his farm. But before this could happen, she was raped by another. Hans Dons, then in his 60s arrested him and set off to report the matter and hand over the culprit to the nearest Justice of the Peace. On the journey however, the man became truculent, arguing that there was no thing as rape. Hans Dons became incensed. The two men grappled, and during the fracas, Hans Dons' gun went off, killing the Zulu."

"Hans Dons continued his journey, but when he made his report, he omitted to mention the killing. The body of the Zulu was later found and identified. Soon Hans Dons was on trial for his life. He was found guilty by a jury and inevitably, sentenced to death. A wave of sympathy swept the Colony. Appeals were made for mercy. Hans Dons' wife made a special plea to SHEPSTONE.
Unfortunately SHEPSTONE had presided some years before in a case which Hans Dons had been charged with assaulting blacks. He may well have regarded the murder charge as the final step of a brutal man. Mrs. DE LANGE's plea failed."

"Even Hans Dons' jailers had sympathy for him. He was allowed to wander about. The door of his cell was left unlocked. Without actually saying so in as many words they made it plain that they hoped he would escape. Across the border in the Transvaal he would have been safe and free to start a new life. Stubborn old Hans Dons was too proud a man to do that. Never in his life had he run away. In desperation his wife sent a message to his old friend King Panda. She begged Panda to send an Impi to rescue her husband."

"The day of execution was set. Early that morning Hans Dons was taken to the gallows. He warned the drunken hangover, individual responsible for the hanging to be careful. He was a big man and would need a fair drop and a strong rope. The hangman said not to teach him his business. It was a horrible affair. The rope broke. A half dead Hans Dons was dragged to his feet and strung up again. This time the rope held. Panda answered Mrs. DE LANGE's plea. He sent an Impi, but the Impi arrived too late. Panda had been out on a hunting expedition when the message arrived."

"It's a sad story, and that a hero of Blood River and other encounters should have ended his life in such in such a squalid life."

A sad story indeed, and it all started by a glimpse of distant grove of trees on Hazelmere, once Hansdonsiesfontein, at the foot of the Stormberg range, north of Queenstown.


East Cape lucerne pioneer dies
Special Correspondent
Herald 16 Aug 1979

Cradock - One of the pioneers in lucerne farming in the Fish River Valley died aged 83. He was Mr. Graham DISTIN who farmed at Baroda for 40 years till he retired and moved to Port Alfred in 1967.

Mr. DISTIN was born in the Hanover district in 1895 and later moved to the Middelburg district with his parents who were farmers.
In 1927 he came to the farm Hopefield, Baroda. This was just after the completion of the Grassridge irrigation dam in 1925.
He was considered a progressive farmer, especially as a lucerne producer. He also introduced the breeding of crossbred lambs in this area.

He is survived by his wife, Lorna, two sons, Mr. Neville DISTIN of Port Elizabeth, Mr. Harry DISTIN of Baroda and one daughter, Mrs. Maureen COPEMAN.

The funeral service was held in St. Peter's Anglican Church.


EP Herald, 1978
More about the Dolds.
From "Settler Descendant"
Port Elizabeth

Many of us members of old East Cape families are grateful for the articles you are publishing about them. Being connected to the DOLD family I am sure your reporter went to a great deal of trouble,
particularly about the branch descended from, 1820 Settler Matthew DOLD's son, John Matthew, for most of his article (February 17) was about members of this branch.

It is understandable that either because of the incompleteness of his research or perhaps lack of space, he was not able to record more about the descendants of the other son, William Andrew, except a very brief reference, to his son, Reuben.

As I am sure there will be a number of your readers who would be interested, may I ask you to add to the record that Reuben had two sons and two daughters. One son, Cedric DOLD, was a doctor in the Royal Army Medical Corps in the First World War and was killed In France within a fortnight of the armistice in November. 1918. The other, Ayliff, was a mining engineer and died in retirement at Hermanus a few years ago. He had a daughter and four sons. None of these lived in the Eastern

Reuben's daughter, Vera, married Mr. Vincent HARTLEY, whose name is closely associated with the establishing of a prominent building society with headquarters in Kimberley. Vera died in 1917.

Reuben's other daughter, Ella, who went to the. old Wesleyan High School in Grahamstown before the South African War and was a girl in the siege of Kimberley, married a Methodist minister, the Rev. L. S. H. WILKINSON, in that city in 1909. They had four children, two sons and twin daughters, before she died of enteric fever in 1916 in Durban. The daughters and their families live in Pretoria and Swaziland. One son is a retired bank manager in Salisbury, Rhodesia, and the other is the Rev. C. E. WILKINSON, superintendent of the Port Elizabeth circuit, chairman of the
Grahamstown district and twice past president of the Methodist Church of South Africa.

In recent years the two branches of the original settler DOLD family have been drawn together on the Kingswood College Council where Messrs Douglass and Tony DOLD and Dr. WILKINSON served for several years under the chairmanship of Mr. Melville DOLD.

Unknown source 1973

A feature of the DOLD family of the Albany district, is their prominent sporting background. Several DOLDs excelled in cricket and tennis and perhaps the most famous sportsman of the family was the late Jack DOLD, a Springbok rugby player on the 1931-1932 tour of Britain.

The DOLDs were 1820 Settlers and established themselves in public life in Grahamstown, and also in the farming community of nearby Bathurst. There are few younger DOLDs living in Grahamstown today, but four great-grandsons of one of the original 1820 Settlers still survive. One
of these is Mr. Douglas DOLD of Bathurst.

He farms at Trappes Valley with his son, Mr. Brian DOLD and they are the only branch of the family in the Eastern Cape to have concentrated on farming. Other DOLDs owned farms at different times, but all have now been sold. The Grahamstown DOLDs became auctioneers and attorneys, and
also took an interest in education.

In High Street, Grahamstown, two old firms are Stanley J. DOLD, Auctioneers & Appraisers and DOLD & STONE, Solicitors and Notaries. The Albany DOLDs are all descended from John Matthew DOLD, elder son of the 1820 Settler Matthew DOLD of London. Matthew DOLD was 50 when he brought his family to the Eastern Cape. They sailed aboard the 'Belle Alliance'.

The men of the family - there were two sons and two daughters - were each given 40 hectares of land in the Bathurst district. Before the DOLDs left Algoa Bay, the marriage of Jane DOLD to fellow settler, John AYLIFF provided an historic occasion. Because there was no legal marriage officer on land, it became necessary for the couple to be rowed out to the ship 'Menai', where they were legally married by the master, Captain Fairfax MORESBY, on June 25, 1820.

This marriage is believed to be the first to take place between Settlers in Algoa Bay. John AYLIFF entered the ministry and as a member of the Methodist Church became famous throughout the country as a missionary and head of the well known AYLIFF family.

Matthew DOLD died in 1825 and his lonely tombstone can now be seen near Bathurst caravan park. John Matthew DOLD had four children, and of his three sons, only John II had male descendents. He had six sons. The three best known in Grahamstown, and Albany were Lorimer, an attorney and Horace and Stanley both auctioneers.

Lorimer became interested in education and helped found Kingswood College. He was also a member of the first Rhodes University College Council. His son, Mr. Melville DOLD, still living today, followed his father's interests in education and was a member of the Kingswood College Council for 51 years, all but 12 as chairman. He retired recently.

Horace was the father of Jack DOLD. Stanley played cricket for Transvaal against the first English team to play in South Africa in 1889. Lorimer DOLD's other son, Douglas was possibly the best all-round sportsman of the family, excelling at all sports he participated in and getting provincial honours in most of them. Douglas played for Eastern Province against F.T.MANN's 1922-23 MCC team which toured South Africa and made top score. For a number of years he was also captain of the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club - the 13th hole is named after him and played to a handicap of two. Douglas and his brother, Melville an outstanding tennis player, won the Grahamstown men's doubles title several times.

Soon after the outbreak of the 1914-15 War Douglas DOLD was one of five Kingswood boys who left school to go to the Royal Sandhurst Military College. While there, Douglas was chosen to lead the "King's Ride" before King George V, becoming the first colonial to achieve this honour. Douglas served with the Sixth Dorset Regiment before being badly wounded at Cambraai during the final big push by the Germans. He then held the rank of captain.

The following generations carried on the activities of the family, Douglas's son, Brian was a brilliant sportsman at Kingswood. An injury spoilt his sporting career. Mr. Tony DOLD, Melville's son is now an attorney in Port Elizabeth and currently the vice-president of the Port Elizabeth Side Bar Association.

He was commanding officer of the First City Regiment in 1952 at a time when steps were being taken to join the First City and the Kaffrarian Rifles. Mr. Tony DOLD served in the South African Air Force during WWII and spent two years as a prisoner-of-war after being shot down in North
Africa . He rejoined the First City Regiment after the war.

He strongly opposed the amalgamation of the two well known Eastern Cape regiments but without success initially. He was appointed Officer Commanding both units. However, Commandant DOLD still battled for a return to separate units and eventually the two regiments were allowed to reassume their identities.

The other branch of the DOLD family descended from William Andrew DOLD, younger brother of John Matthew, has settled in Kimberley, although originally being in Somerset East. One of William's sons was Reuben DOLD, who owned a huge farm near Kimberley. On his death in 1927 the farm was bought by De Beers Consolidated Mines, which later allowed it to be proclaimed a private alluvial diamond digging. Part of the farm near the original homestead has also been declared a national monument.


EP Herald, 29 Mar 1981
Family gathers
You & I by Elizabeth FOSTER

Tomorrow, Mr. Joel DOUBELL and his wife Joey will be surrounded by their family when they celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in the Adcockvale house they share with their elder daughter Essie and her husband, Mr. Ron JAMES.

With them will be a son, William and his wife Helen, another daughter, Cloenie and her husband, Mr. Jack STEGMANN and a son, Kristo and his wife Sandra. All are coming from the Transvaal with their children. Another son, Deon, will be the only one of their children absent, but he and his wife Pat will be here next week with their three children. They, too, live in the Transvaal. The celebration coincides with several family birthdays. Mr. & Mrs. JAMES' wedding anniversary was yesterday, so the buffet lunch for about 18 people promises to be a lively occasion.

Graaff-Reinet born Mrs. DOUBELL trained as a teacher, and she was teaching in Uitenhage when she and Mr. DOUBELL first met, both aged 22. In those days street lights went out on the stroke of midnight. It was at this very moment that a train with both of them aboard pulled into the station. Young Joel, having previously spotted pretty Joey, offered to walk her home.

Mr. DOUBELL, born in Jansenville, was a clerk with the South African Railways. He and his teacher bride were married in Graaff-Reinet on March 28, 1921.

Subsequently they lived in Pretoria, where Mr. DOUBELL became a councillor and Mayor of Hercules, now part of greater Pretoria. Their first three children were born in the Transvaal and the two younger ones in Uitenhage where the DOUBELLs lived in the mid-1930s before moving to Maritzburg.

Mr. DOUBELL served in North Africa during the Second World War in the SA Medical Corps. After the war he returned to the South African Railways and was chief clerk at Germiston at the time of his retirement. He then served for five years on the Germiston City Council.

Mr. & Mrs. DOUBELL joined their daughter and son-in-law in Port Elizabeth 16 years ago. Until about four years ago, Mr. DOUBELL was the Moth District Old Bill, but he has given up all outside activities to care for his wife, who is now an invalid.

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