Newspaper Cuttings from the Eastern Cape

Newspaper Cuttings from the Eastern Cape - S


EP Weekend Post, 28 Mar 1981
Percy SADLER dies at 92

Cradock - A former buyer for the British Wool Commission, Mr. Percy SADLER, has died in the local hospital at the age of 92 after a long illness.

Mr. SADLER was born and educated at Graaff-Reinet. He then went into the wool trade. He formerly lived at Uitenhage and in 1967 came to live in Cradock with his widowed sister, Mrs. Nelly KELLY.

He was a widower with no children. He leaves his sister.


Herald, 20 Jun 2003
Leather science pioneer dies, aged 92

Grahamstown - Astronaut Mark SHUTTLEWORTH's great-uncle, Dr. Stanley SHUTTLEWORTH, has died here at the age of 92. A world-renowned pioneer in leather chemistry, Stanley Gordon SHUTTLEWORTH was virtually the founder of Rhodes University's leather industry research institute, and was a Grahamstown city councillor during the 1970s, serving as Mayor in 1972 and 1973.

As a scientist, Dr. SHUTTLEWORTH produced 103 scientific publications and 11 books. A Rotarian, he became involved in old-age homes in Grahamstown and, following his retirement, in Kenton-on-Sea. He also founded the Bushmans-Kariega Trust conservation body.

Born in Johannesburg in 1911, Stanley SHUTTLEWORTH attained a BSc at Rhodes University, gaining a first in chemistry. His MSc in 1935 earned a prize for the best dissertation in the country that year. Prof Roux van der MERWE notes that it was not on an abstruse problem in chemistry, but on the quality of sole leather from South African tanneries.

Starting in 1936, he formed what in 1942 became Liri. He received the first PhD conferred by Rhodes, in 1937. His second PhD was from Leeds University, followed by a DSc, also from Leeds, in 1967. When he retired in 1974, Liri had produced 20 MScs, 17 PhDs, and seven professors.

His wife, Betty, died in 1996. He is survived by his daughter Anne, son John, four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.


Herald, 17 Oct 2003
Legendary naturalist a treasure trove of knowledge
by Guy ROGER's Elephant Ear

Legendary naturalist, Dr. Jack SKEAD says he began his research because he realised "how bloody ignorant" he was. Half a century later, aged 91, he is a treasure trove of knowledge. Almost certainly he knows the Eastern Cape better than anyone ever has.

There are a lot of older folk out there with information about our past in their heads, he says. His one big achievement is he got it down in writing. "I got it all out," he chuckles, tapping his head. "It's empty now."

Born in Port Elizabeth and educated at St Andrew's in Grahamstown, at the age of 10 he underwent an appendix op and his mother took him to a friend's farm in the Kariega Valley to recuperate. Away from the sterility of the city yet forced to lie still in bed for three weeks, with the sounds and scents of the country wafting through his window, a great yearning for the outdoors was born, that has been with him ever since.

Seeking to fulfil this yen, he went farming in the Grahamstown area for 16 years until, dogged by ill health, he moved to King William's Town, where he was appointed director of the Kaffrarian, now the Amatola, Museum. In the early 1960's he left to join the Eastern Cape branch of the famous bird research group, the Fitzpatrick Institute, and then, exhausted by five years of intensive field work, he returned to the museum as biologist. It was during this quieter tenure that he wrote the first of his great works, 'Historical Mammal Incidence in the Cape Province' in two volumes.

Having retired to Grahamstown, his passion for nature, coupled with a great desire to know "how things fitted together", led him to the trail journals of the first explorers. A problem he repeatedly encountered was the mention of places with no indication of where they were. Even more perplexing, African names were often spelt in several different ways. Frustrated by this vagueness he began working with a tape recorder, criss-crossing the region to talk to the people, asking again and again the question: 'Liyintoni igama lalandawo?' (what is the name of that place?).

With the help of a linguist, he transcribed the answers and then compiled an amazing card index system that helped him write 'The Algoa Gazetteer', an encyclopaedia of place names, with origins, positions and a myriad fascinating stories attached. It will be updated soon, he told me, with inserts among others like 'Vergaderingskop' -- the place where Saartjie BAARTMAN was buried near Hankey.

Having moved to Port Elizabeth in 1986, one project led him to another. Eastwards to the Suurveld explored the land west of the Bushman's River and the arrival there in the 1760s of the first settlers (in fact, the Dutch trekboers, he discovered, and not the British 1820 settlers, as was thought).

Once you start this sort of work, you're always "picking up stompies", he says. "Did you know, for instance, that there's a farm near Cathcart called Ornithorhynchus anatinus, after the scientific name for the duckbilled platypus? Nobody knows why for sure - but the consensus is that the wag was probably an early Australian surveyor."

His Life History Notes on East Cape Bird Species 1940-1990 was published, as well as books on Xhosa and Khoekhoe place names. The last he views as one of the most important as the "Hottentots", as they used to be called, are South Africa's most neglected people.

There are the companion volumes to his first books, on historical incidence of plants and birds in the Province, and then his favourite, From OLDENLAND to SCHONLAND, an account of the first plant collectors, who were astounded by what they found here. One of the delightful facts that emerges here is that the drab old Uitenhage of today was the hub of this exploration.

There are books he wrote on Southern Africa's off-shore islands, two books on canaries and buntings and several more, too many to mention here. "Tackled episodically, it has all paid off", he says. Any research he needs to do now, he invariably finds among his own works on his own bookcase. The "infrastructure", as he self-deprecatingly refers to it, has also been laid for further in-depth research by others. With all the hard work now done and so many exciting trails to follow, he is, frustratingly, having to finally slow down.

Yet still, there is another project on the go, tentatively called, 'Plants, Places and People', with a fascinating bit about the Thornhill Gallows Tree and the curious etching on it thought to have been done by early elephant hunters. Who are the figures, why is someone being hanged and why was it depicted this way? The answers to these and many other questions will no doubt illuminate yet another aspect of our extraordinary province.

"We're not proud enough of the Eastern Cape", says Dr. SKEAD. "Our wildlife diversity is world renowned and our botanical richness has almost no parallel. And few other places are so "opgemix" in human terms, so truly representative of South Africa as the Rainbow Nation. We need to build up an EC ethos asking not, "what can I get out of it" but rather, "what can I do", he says.

Allied to this view, is his firm belief in the value of preserving indigenousness in our reserves. Natural value is being eroded in the Eastern Cape and elsewhere with the introduction of exotic species. So instead of showing off to tourists the uniqueness of different areas and their resident species, it's all becoming a little bit the same. Supposedly driven by the demands of the tourists, impala, Burchell's zebra, giraffe and other outsiders are finding their way into these reserves, diminishing our special lineage. These tourists would be much better served by maintaining the purity of diversity, he argues, moving them up for example through the flagship elephant reserve of Addo to see the oribi at Roundhill, the mountain zebra at Cradock and the crowned crane of Wavecrest. The foregathering of these birds on the Transkei coast is one of only two places in the world that this occurs, the other being China.

To see them perched on the villagers' roofs, swooping over the dunes and dancing in the shallows on the edge of the sea is an unparalleled wildlife experience, yet one we're not sufficiently proud of and do not make enough of. The Xhosa calls the species eMahem after its trumpeting call. Traditional respect and fear of the bird's powers has so far protected it from the kwedinis' catties but tradition is slip-sliding away and needs to be protected, which is, of course, one reason why Dr. SKEAD's work is so important.

Dr. SKEAD and his work have been honoured many times, but never by our government. It would be a gesture of great substance if Bisho or our own metro council came forward in this regard. Even better - it could be linked to a new schools' environmental education drive.


Herald, 20 Feb 2004
News from the week ending February 20, 1904.

Another one of the old settlers of Port Elizabeth has passed away in the person of Mrs. Octavia SMITH, relict of the late John Hope SMITH, at the residence of her son, Arthur SMITH, Kilcoholm, Tembuland.

She was the eighth daughter of Mr. Thomas PULLEN, who came out on the 'Nautilus' and landed March 17, 1820. She has passed away at the ripe old age of 86.


EP Herald, 16 Oct 1982
Two Eastern Cape women celebrate centenary

Cradock - One Eastern Cape woman turned 100 years old this week and another will be 100 next week. They are Mrs. Mary SOLOMON of Cradock and Mrs. Elizabeth Violet KILLHAM of East London. Mrs. SOLOMON celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday. An "at home" was arranged by the ACVV committee of the Elizabeth Jordaan Home, where she lives.

Mrs. SOLOMON is in good health and has a remarkable memory. She was the eldest child of Alfred and Eleanor METCALF and was born in Grahamstown on October 11, 1882. Her father, who was an attorney, came from Caledon to Cradock to take over the legal practice of Sir Thomas SCANLAN, who later became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony. She met her future husband, Mr. Will SOLOMON, a member of a law firm in Johannesburg, when he came to Cradock to buy a farm. His father bought 'River Glen' from Mr. Alfred METCALF for him.

After their marriage, they settled on the farm and moved to town in 1962. Mr. Will SOLOMON died at the age of 92 years in 1964. Mrs. SOLOMON has three grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.


EP Herald, 26 Sep 1983
Descendant of first East Cape attorney dies

A descendant of the first attorney in the Eastern Cape, Mr. Kyle STONE of Grahamstown died in Port Elizabeth on Saturday after a short illness.

Mr. STONE, 80, was chairman of the Grahamstown Building Society - a position he held since 1944, nine years after becoming a director of the company. He was also chairman of the EP Guardian Loan and Investment Company from 1955 to 1973 - a company which has since been taken over by Syfrets.

Mr. STONE's father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all attorneys, with the great-grandfather, the first attorney in the Eastern Cape, being admitted to the Bar in 1841 when he was 21 years old.

Since then there has always been a STONE practising law in Grahamstown, and Mr. STONE's son, Mr. Chris STONE, is currently an attorney there.

Mr Kyle STONE was president of the Grahamstown Bowling Club four times and also an Eastern Province tennis selector during the 1950s.

Mr. STONE and his wife, Ruth, celebrated their golden wedding in May this year.

He leaves two children and nine grandchildren. The funeral will be held in Grahamstown today at 4 pm.


EP Herald
11 Dec 1980

Mrs. Gladys SUTTON's funeral today
Herald Reporter

A funeral service for Mrs. Gladys Lombard SUTTON, 92, will be held at 2.30 pm today in the Red Cross Chapel, Walmer.
Mrs. SUTTON, the widow of Dr. W. H. R. SUTTON of Fort Beaufort, died last Friday at Laubscher Park Red Cross Home, where she had been living since 1972.

Mrs. SUTTON née MARSHALL was born in East London. She and her sister, Nora, married two brothers, Dr. SUTTON and the Rev. Frank SUTTON, headmaster of Dale College at a double wedding on September 27, 1913. The other three members of the foursome predeceased her.

Mrs. SUTTON was one of the first girls in East London to qualify as a shorthand typist. This training - taken so that she could assist her father, a lawyer, in his office - was put to good use later, enabling her to help her husband in his practice.

Mrs. SUTTON is survived by a son, Mr. George SUTTON of Cape Town, a daughter, Mrs. Ruth FULFORD in Canada, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.


Herald, 22 July 2005
100 Years Ago
by Ivor Markman.

A very serious accident occurred at the South End on Saturday morning as a result of which a Municipal employee named Miles SWANN is in hospital in a critical condition.

SWANN, who is a mason, was engaged laying kerb stones in Walmer Road, and while so employed desired to procure material from a steam wagon. This particular wagon was standing on the tram rails, and in order to empty it, SWANN got between it and another vehicle. While in this position the driver of the wagon stationed on the rails moved his vehicle to one side, with the result that the unfortunate man was severely jammed, two of his ribs being broken, in addition to sustaining severe internal injuries.


EP Herald, 10 Apr 1984
Oudtshoorn Gran is 100
Herald Correspondent

Mrs. M.M. SWART of Oudtshoorn celebrated her 100th birthday here yesterday.

Eight of her 11 children are still alive and most of them were there to wish her well. The Mayor, Mr. Arnold DE JAGER, presented her with a fruit basket.

Born in Calitzdorp, Mrs. SWART married Mr. Dirk JORDAAN in 1906. They had 10 sons and one daughter. Her husband died in 1937 and in 1939 she married Mr. Johannes SWART who died in 1942.

Mrs. SWART has eight surviving sons, 27 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren.

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