DISCLAIMER: This article has been written from my memories of S.Africa from 48 years ago, and if
A Shul, or Hotel, or a Club is not mentioned, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t exist, it means, simply,
that I don’t remember them. I can’t add them in, either, because then the article would not be
“My Memories” any more.
MEMORIES OF JOHANNESBURG, CITY OF GOLD
Written and Compiled By
© ANNE LAPEDUS BREST
4th February 2009.
Morningside, Sandton, S.Africa.
On the 4th February 1961, when I was 14 years old, and my brother Robert was 11, our family came to live in Jhb.
We had left Ireland, land of our birth, leaving behind our beloved Grandparents, family, friends, and a very special
and never-to-be-forgotten little furry friend, to start a new life in South Africa, land of Sunshine and Golden
opportunity…………… The Goldeneh Medina……
We came out on the “Edinburgh Castle”, arriving Cape Town 2nd Feb 1961. We did a day tour of Chapmans Peak
Drive, Muizenberg, went to somewhere called the “Red Sails” and visited our Sakinofsky/Yodaiken family in
We arrived at Park Station (4th Feb 1961), Jhb, hot and disheveled after a nightmarish train ride, breaking down in
De Aar and dying of heat.
We lived in Becker Street, Yeoville, Robert went to K.E.S and I went to Barnato Park (aka Johannesburg Girls’
High) in Berea. Robert was in Cadets , I played hockey, and bunked school (with Gilda Goldblatt!!)
Our next door neighbours were Michael and Sandra Golding, Zena and Teddy Cohen lived in Becker Street also
and Ronnie and Nigel Baskin lived in Yeo Street near the Richters – Selma and Charles Richter,.
Girls at Barnato Park lived in mainly Hillbrow, Berea, Yeoville, Bellevue, Houghton, Orchards, Melrose
and Dunkeld. After school, many of us would catch the 19 bus from Tudhope Avenue Berea to Raleigh Street,
Yeoville, but many girls were collected by beautifully coiffed and bee-hived mothers with long painted nails, arriving
to collect them in huge fancy Chevrolets, with big cats’ eye tail-lights.
ONLY IN SOUTH AFRICA …………………………….
Oi, but I had to get used to so many new expressions ……..
“ See you this arvy, Hey? “ and “See you just now, Annie” (I learnt the hard way that “Just Now” didn’t
“There’s the new girl in Form 3, …….. Shame!!” “My sister’s baby is so cute, …… Shame!
People would give me directions and tell me to turn at the robot.
Can I Lend your book?
Whatever I said, the girls would answer “Is it” ?
The shul is full of KUGELS……………….
Why did the bus-conductor call us all “Donkey” when he collected our tickets???? “Thank you,… Donkey” and
the Klippies would say it in a high-pitched voice. “Thank you, donkeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyy”
You MUST come visit this arvy, see? You MUST go and see Cliff Richard at the Collosseum. You MUST buy
the latest Elvis Presley record. MUST, MUST, MUST (only in South Africa! Say that “MUST” to people
overseas, they think you are a control-freak). (took me a while to get used to it!!)
Girls would talk about great talent at a party, and they talked about Chracks , boys talked about “good stock” .
It’s a blerry gemors!! Stoep. Goeie Môre , Lekker Bly,
My skat. Klop Dissel Boom gaan! Klappies. Lappies.
Wag ‘n bietjie. I’m Gatvol !!!! Deurmekaar.
Yislaaik! Herrrrrrre ! (Yurrah) Magtig!! …..Maggggggtigggggg !!! Vragtig!
Where’s the jol tonight, hey? Do youse know?
Don’t tune me kak, hey? Ag! Yes no fine. Stovies. He’s fab – such a doll !!!, He thinks he’s
such a big Bok. It’s not so lekker.
Howzzit, my China. I smaak you.
Don’t chaaf my cherry, hey! Don’t grip my cherry…
Who do you think you’re looking at, China?
Don’t tune me grief, ek sê. Voetsak! Sies! Ag! Siestog, Jong!
My bike is buggered.
Bugger off !
He donnered her.
She Bliksemed him
Sommer so …………………..
Don’t talk to them, they are all such Rubbishes.
Well, yes , no fine, Those were the days my friend we thought they’d never end ……
In those days a majority of the Jewish community seemed to be living in Hillbrow, Berea, Bellevue, Yeoville
Cyrildene, Observatory, Dewetshof, Judith’s Paarl, Highlands North, Houghton, Dunkeld, Melrose, Hyde Park.
Suburbs where a lot of Jews also lived were Kensington, Emmarentia, Greenside, Doornfontein, Mayfair.
Remember Fordsburg (Fitas). Also a Jewish area once upon a time.
Robert and I went to Yeoville Chader (The Bernard Patley), – Mr. SHATCHAN was the headmaster, and teachers
I remember were Miss AARONS (Bella Golubchick) , Mr. Solly GOLDBERG, Rev. HIMMELSTEIN, and the
Shammas was a Mr. CHAZEN (His daughters, Gertie and Hannah both went to Barnato park) and Mrs. MAGID
Chader Children I can remember the names of some of the “ Chader children”. Colin Koransky, Dorian Hersch
(Shear), Terroll Hersch (Z”l), Gilda Goldblatt (Galvad), Brenda Goldblatt (Spitz) (O”h) Frances Taylor,
and her older sister, Sharon (now in Israel), Carmella Shapiro, Marsha Furman, Gerald Pokroy, Philip
Eliason, Harry Sacks, Alan Kaye, Susan Kaye, Dorothy Lewis, Harry Sacks, Philip Sacks, Ada
Freedman, Ilanah Himmelstein, Julian (Julie) Kaplan, Meyer Kaplan, Brian (now in Oz) and his sister
Jewel Rosenthal, Eugene Klatzko, Martin Chaitowitz, Hymie Symanowitz(Z”l), Ruth Seeff,
Sandra Katzen (Pokroy) Robert Hershfield, Mervyn Gerszt, Bernard Kromelick, Derek
Hammerschlag (I think that was his name) Wolfie Tepper, Marlene Tepper, Stanley Chitiz, Manny
Magid, Melanie & Beverley Segal.
I must have been a real “chrack” in those days, coming from Ireland, funny clothes, and even funnier out-ofcontrol curly hair, and an accent nobody could understand. I found it hard to make friends, but I eventually palled
up with Gilda Goldblatt (now Galvad) , (daughter of Leslie (Z”l) and Mona Voloshen Goldblatt (O”h), from Webb
Street. Leslie (Z”l) was a Choirester in Wolmarans Street Shul) and Gilda and I have remained friends to this day.
Girls at Barnato Park whom I remember offhand, Pam Ginsberg (Melzter) Pam Gladstone (Nathan),
Denise Seeff, Ruth Seeff, Susan Simon, Molly Robinson, Rhona Shroder (aka Rhondie Shrondie)
(Ullman), Phyliss Goldblatt (Rubin), Geraldine Blumberg, Debbie Rabinowitz, Jacqui Hotz, Sharon
Rafel (Rubin), Leah Smith, Ann Kaiser, Ann Moscow, Barbara Diane Levy, Barbara Levy, Lynette and
Jennifer Margolis, Carol and Margaret Kowarsky , Gloria (Gola) Levine (Ash), Gilda and Brenda Goldblatt,
Eugene Klatzko, , René Mazelle, Jill Gonski, Felicity Nathanson, Avril Kaye, Jackie Susman (Woolf) (her
sisters Helen and Andy went to Athlone) . Pam Kohn, Lydia Burstein, Ada Folb, Sharon Cooperman
(Fehrer) Beryl Andrews, Heather Round (Levy), Joan Gracie, Merriel Pratt, Hilda and Charlotte Brinkman, Ann
3Mullins, Susan Simon, Doreen Simon, Marilyn Silansky, Carole Silansky (Sands) Verite Hirshowitz, Ruth
Samuel (Segal), Vivien Alexander, Renée Kunz, Lorraine Goldberg, Marilyn Silansky and her sister
Carol Silansky, , Yvonne Shochet, Janet King, Pam Kewley, Adah Ben Yehuda, Roslyn Abramovitz,
Joan Cooper, Bernice Frid (Vunck), Suzanne Lutrin (Resnick) (O”h), Helen Rothschild, Joyce Tischauer,
Helen Leftin, Maureen Nagel (Ruskin), Gabriella Albrecht, Sharon Smith (Munitz), Pam Levy, DeborahAnn Fanaroff, Jacky Centner (Cannon), Lydia Burstein, Ronelle Shepherd, Cynthia Muller, Marsha
Sosnovick, (Jansen) Karen Israelsohn, Joan David (Elkon), Sheina & BatSheva Romm, Lorraine
Nussbaum (Silver), Susan Hommell, Diane Levy, Diane B. Levy Kela Saltzer , Barbara Beira, Shoshanna
Kaplan (Kaplan) , Myrna Katz, Isobel Strasbourg (Mehl) , Isobel Thomson, Vivienne Lee, Meryl
Michaelmore, Vivienne Fritz, (Head Girl) Patsy Coetzee, (Vice Head Girl) Philla Moller, Gillian Coleman,
Sheena Haarhof, Glen Marshall, Naomi Tabachowich, Adah Ben Yehuda, Ailsa Bowley, Sheena
Hayworth, And some girls from Mrs. Oppenheimers extra Afrikaans lessons class were, Vasiliky someone from
Greece, Daria someone from Italy, Jean Smith (?) from Rhodesia, Jacqueline someone from England, Marilyn
Patricia Myers from England, and teachers, Miss Todd, Roberta Evans, Miss Cohen (later Mrs.
Gevisser), Miss Miles with DOG – George, Miss Langley (head), Miss Rosewarne, Miss Walmsely ,
Miss Hodkin, Miss Jones (Vice Head), Miss Horn, Miss Dankwerths, Miss Martin, (later Mrs. Gold),
Mrs Morrison, and one or two Barnato Park Dogs, who came along to school with teachers. I think
Miss Evans had a little Muttie trouping along next to her?
SCHOOLS: Athlone Girls , Athlone Boys, Waverly girls, Highland’s North, Parktown Girls and
Parktown Boys, Northview, Greenside High, King David Linksfield (King David Victory Park was to
follow later on) Yeshiva College, Rodean, Brescia House, St. Vincents (for the hard of hearing).
Helpmekaar, Damelin College, Yale College (Marcus (Marky) Luntz) , Regis College, Princeton
College. Yeoville Boys, Observatory Girls, , Hyde Park, The Tech. K.E.S (King Edward School),
St. Johns, Redhill, St. Stithians, Marist brothers, Yeoville Convent, Hirsch Lyons, Yiddish
folk, Jeppe Boys, Jeppe Girls. HA Jack, Jewish Government.
SCHOOL UNIFORMS: Mc Cullogh @ Bothwell.
Remember Yeoville? The Yeoville Post Office in Raleigh Street, C.N.A, the Picadilly Bioscope the Bug
House (Oi) next door to Yeoville Home Industries (owned by Simon and Leah Kaufman), Kenmere
Pharmacy (owned by the Marams) (next to the fruit shop in Kenmere Rd) and Yeoville Pharmacy (owned by
the Joffes) (diagonally opposite the Yeoville Baths in Raleigh St.,) Yeoville Fruit and Flowers (Jorge aka
George), Hill Fisheries, Crystals, Yeoville Baths, (and a swimming coach there called Bernard Green)
and the Apollo Café across the road where they played pinball and the ducktails always hung around there with
their chains, and motor bikes, all the Brekers. Theo Hommel (fabrics), Fitz Bakery where the OK Bazaars
in Yeoville built their new shop, corner Raleigh and Bedford, diagonally opposite the Yeoville Library. And opposite
where the 19 bus went into Berea and town), Hub Stores, Emdins – Haberdashery – (one or two shops
down from the Apollo Café,) Denbo Jewish Bookstore, Scotch Corner! Billy’s Hairdresser in Rockey
Street (near Raymond St) Faigels and the Dae-nite Pharmacy Rockey Street, cor. Bezuidenhout, Squires
(clothing, school uniforms/shoes)
Portuguese Fish and Chip shop in Rockey Street, all the Tailor shops going down into Rockey Street, and
Jekisons Tailors, and a guy called Bokkie Jekison who was the Tailor there (great looking bloke, with a great
looking brother, both so easy on the eye!). Bokkie recently told someone that on the 7th April he will have been at
the shop for 55 years California Tailors, and the Yeoville Recreation Center in Raleigh St, where Sandra Stein
won the “Miss Yeoville” competition in about 1962. (Bokkie Jekison died before the 7th April, suddenly, whilst out
on a walk)
Water Polo at the Yeoville Baths. Richard LEE was a water-polo player, he lived in Yeo Street, Yeoville, I
think. Had a brother Eric LEE. They were Highlands North school boys. Lionel GILINSKY, another water-polo
And does anyone remember the Purdy Boys, Neville and Leonard?
Some MORE of the YEOVILLE, CYRILDENE, OBSERVATORY people …… Jeff Wittles , Linda Shapiro,
Rex Schwartz, Sharon Schwartz , Ivan Sabbath, Arnold Messias, Ivan Sandler, Louise
Lazersohn , Barry Sacks, Barry Bloch, Barry Black, Michael Walldorf (Vorsie), Sonia Barsol,
Gerald (Jake) Fox (Z”l) Jonny Grossmark, Vivian Stillerman, Charmian Clayton, Max Gur,
Ruth Margolis, Elaine Margolis, Heather Garrun, Yvette, Esther & Naomi Sofer. Sharna & Nadja
Isaacs (aka Lerman), Colin Opwald, Frances Siegenberg, Nicky & Costa Kapitanopoulos, Alfie
Wood and his sister Margie Wood (now Horn), Locky Lockstone, Shirley Shtub (probably Sztab),
Reuel Kaplan, Geoff (Geoffrey) Landsman (Z”l) , Reina Cohen (O’h), Sandra Stein (Ezra) , Nola
Stein (Fox), Charmion Clayton, Ivor Cohen, Sandra Deitz , Spencer Hodgson, Heather Garrun,
Linda Chitiz or Chitters , Marlene Teper, Leonard Kahn & his sister Maureen Kahn. (now Puterman)
Maureen and her husband were one of the first people to move into a new block of flats called “La Contessa”, in
Yeo & Bedford St. Yeoville) Arnie (?) Jones, Jennifer Jones, Bernard James, Abel de Freitas,
Sandra Tucker. The Griffith Girls (Virg, Bernice (Bunny) and Diane –still great friends of mine) and their
brother Cedric) The Matthews Girls Hazel, and Norma, there were more sisters but I can’t remember the
GREENSIDE/EMMARENTIA People, – Clifford Price, Howard Price, Brian Ruskin, and I think Barry
Pillemar , Gaby Henshal, (de Groen), June and Yalta Gervis, Suzanne & Linda Myers, Aubrey Gamsu
Ada Gamsu, Maurice Hockman,
HOUGHTON people. Michael, Brian & Jennifer Lever, Molly Robinson, Harry & Philip Sacks, Sharon
HIGHLANDS NORTH People. – Brian, Stanley & Karen Feinstein (Joseph), Max Schiff (Z’l)
WHO REMEMBERS – Hymie Brest, (Mayfair/ Kensington) and his friend (to this day) Alec Ross (Bez
Valley). Certainly part of the “Main Manne” crowd.
ONLY IN SOUTH AFRICA …………………………………
Where’re you okes jolling to? Jollers. Lekker Jol.
Where are your folks tonight.
Volkspeeler. The Sakkie sakkie
I’m only chaafing, man? Sweet Obeet.!! Lekker soos ‘n krekker (cracker)
Wat ‘s goedkoop is duur koop. Stille water – Diepe grond,
Eina! Skyfies. Veldskoene. Breekers.
Don’t tune me Chandies
Check that little lightie, he’s two bricks and a tickey high
Ever since Pa fell off the bus.
Give me a bell, hey? Bell me. Love you stax. I’ll fetch you just now
African women sitting on the street corners calling out HEY Mielieeeeee – Tickey Mielieeeeeeeee.
Vat hom Fluffy.
I’ve got Sut.
They’re so larnie!
My ou’ man is giving me uphill
I feel up to Paw-Paw. I feel up to Maggots.
‘Strue’s Bob…?? No….. You LIE !!!
SHOT !!!!!!!! (SHOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT)
Skit ‘n donner (donder) (the movies)
And Observatory café where boys played pinball and they had ‘Pennyline Sweets’ where you could buy 2 for a
penny and cafés had Jukeboxes . Remember the old 78 records (those were in the fifties though) and then the
LPs – wow, and when those came out we thought we’d died and gone to Heaven, and the 45 speed records.
Cassettes, and tape recorders, reel-to-reel tape-recorders (I still have one).
Boys had a way of walking, hands in pockets, only the thumbs visable and rolled from side to side with a sort of
rolling gait, and the more they rolled as they walked, the more macho they felt!
Who remembers ????…… Debras (Schmaltz), and when a tub of Yoghurt cost 8c, and an Appleltizer cost
the same, a bar of Cadburys chocolate cost 5c and there was a chocolate bar called “Honeycrisp” also for
5c, and you could get a Toasted Cheese for 15c. Stamps cost 2½ cents . If you left the envelope open, it
was cheaper… Airletter forms in green, airmail writing paper, airmail envelopes and Basildon
Bond writing paper.
STREETS in Yeoville/ Bellevue, – Raleigh, Rockey St, Bezuidenhout St , Isipingo St., Raymond St ,
Hopkins St, Yeo St, Kenmere Rd, Fortèsque Rd, Becker St, Cavendish, Bedford Rd, Webb
St, Natal St, Isipingo, St. Georges Rd, Ellis St.,
YEOVILLE BOXING CLUB – Sammy Samson and his son Cedric who sang as a child, and he had a group at
some stage called “the FireFlies” I think Alan Goldstein who was also a child singer may well have been part
of that band ( later known as Alan Gold) .
How many people remember……. The Black Steer in Yeoville – fab apple crumble and double thick cream and
in the 1960s the price of a Steerburger, with Pickled Cucumber, fried onions and salad was 45c ……….but at the
Golden Spur, the Burger would cost you 50c and the Yeoville crowd felt that was too expensive!)
Norman’s Grill (for Prawns!) in the Jeppe Hotel. East Africa Pavilion (well known for it’s curries, where the
waiters wore a red “fez”, The 252 Tavern. His Majesty’s Cellars, 69 Grill.
and Kosher – Connoisseur Hotel,(Gloria Rootshtain)
And remember- The Rosenkowitz 6 from Cape Town, first surviving Sextuplets in the World
And when Arcadia (Jewish Orphanage and Home for Jewish children) was in Forestown
DAENITE Pharmacy, Orange Grove. Owned by Chookie BRENNER . and the okes that worked there,
Mervin Rappoport, Issy Peimer, Cecil Chweidan (O”h), Ivan Dorff, Solly Branstein, and a girl called
Lola but I can’t remember her surname.
And Dr. Chris Barnard, (Heart Transplants Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town)
And the …… the motor racing at Kyalami Race Track
And the Motor Rallys?. Anyone remember Lionel Gilinsky? He raced something called “Production cars” in
“Endurance Races” at Old Grand Central Circuit ( Halfway House, now called Midrand) in the late 60’s and 70’s –
and later “Historic” Cars at Kyalami Race Track. He was known to be amongst South Africa’s Top 3 Racing and
Motor rally drivers in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Not bad for a boy from Welkom!!
Attorneys. – Moss Morris & Ettlinger, (Lennie Ettlinger, Max Levenberg, Selwyn Cohen, Hilliard Gordon,
articled clerks then – Rodney Berman and John Gilbert, Also a Selwyn someone articled clerk). Routlege
Douglas Wilson Auret & Wimble, Wides , Chain & Berman (Cyril Wides, Inky (Ian) Chain and
Rodney Berman), Edward Nathan. Israel, During & Kossuth
Tour Operators – Springbok (Atlas) Safaris, (Julie Lapedus).
Accountants. Sussman and Lange (Trevor Sussman and David Lange) (cousin of Myron Lange, the
Surgeon) later known as Sussman Goddard.
HILLBROW. We always went to The Curzon and Clarendon for 7/6- , ( later 75c,) and then a Bioscope called
the International (owned by Herman and Maxwell Youngelson) was opened at the top of Pretoria Street and
there it would cost you between 90c and R1.00, but the seats were so comfy and the whole bioscope was so
plush, that the Yeovillites felt it was well worth the extra.
Anyone remember The French Hairdressing Saloon (a Mrs. Sher was the manageress) and the OK
Bazaars and Carnival Novelty.
ONLY IN SOUTH AFRICA ………………………….
I’m going for a goof this arvy. ‘Scopes, Flicks, Flik, What’s the “Aggie”?
Hy het haar uitgeskop, verstaan jy my?
Check my new jammy!
We going to Durbs with the car, probably see lots of ‘Vaalies there, all the ou toppies, tannies and ooms,
nie waar nie?
My ol’ lady! My ol’ man.
My broer ! My sussie. My Ouma, My Oupa
It’s so hot, I’m vrekking off here.
D’is Baie Mooi
He lives in the Gramadoelas….
She lives in the Bundu…
I was with Ruth, Heather and them
Drink your SUP !! there’s a plate on the Zinc
Let’s make a plan…..
Cows give us MULK!
My one aunt My one leg, My one arm, My one finger My one toe
The word “THE. ” I learned in school that before a consonant we say “THE” . “THE” bed, “THE” table, “THE”
book. And before a vowel the have to prounce the “the” as “THEE”……………. “THEE” Apple, “THEE”
elephant, “THEE” egg.
So why then, do we hear (only in South Africa) people saying “THUH” apple, “THUH” Elephant, “THUH” egg.
Please hold for “THUH” Operator. And why do some of us say “the PHOTA” when it is clearly “PHOTO”.
FOLKSINGING Era . Who remembers the Nite beat, run by Abe (who ran the tuck shop at the Yeoville
Swimming Pool), and the folk-singers Ian & Ritchie ( Ian Lawrence and Ritchie Morris), Des and Dawn
(Lindberg)(“And the Seagull’s name was Nelson”) (Dawn wore her hair in two pigtails then) Colin Shamley,
Dave Marks (“Mountains of Men” and “Master Jack”) Cornelia, And The Troubador, The College Set –
Andy Levy, Hugh Solomon, Norman Cohen) Keith Blundell and the Baladeers, Aubrey and Beryl
Ellis. Mervyn and Jocelyn Miller (from Potch). Mel, Mel and Julian (Mel Miller, Mel Green, and Julian
BIKERS and the Hell’s Angels, wearing black leather jackets, chains and the peace sign often around their necks,
roaring down Pretoria St and Kotze St on Harley Davidsons making a helluva racket, some of the more
nervous Biker girls precariously hanging onto their boyfriend’s backs, but “the in girls” didn’t hold on, they
somehow balanced themselves by placing their hands nonchelantly behind the seat, looking around, throwing
their hair back, with a “don’t- sig–with- me” look, lazer- beam- eyes, -looking–out- through- thick- black- fringes,
and a tattoo here and there.
And nobody did “sig” with them, either.
The FLYING SAUCER is where they all met. Pretoria Street, Hillbrow.
Hillbrow’s Eateries and Coffee Bars Doney’s coffee bar for the best cappuccino in town (who remembers
Jeftah and George, the Duke) Café Wien (later on), with the most comfortable seats, it was like sitting in
your own lounge, Café Krantzler, Dunk-a-donut, The Milky Lane, the Florian (where the bus turned to
go down Twist street to Town). Mi Vami, Lucky Luke (Steak House in the 70s), Fontana, open 24 hours
a day, (famous for their chickens roasted on a spit,) Pikin-a-chicken, Porter House (Frulatto and the best
Pink Sauce in town) not to mention the steaks (not that I ate them being one of the Kosher Kids, but I was sorely
tempted, HA HA HA) and the German Beer Keller, The Hamburger Hut, Golden Egg, Bella Napoli.
The CHEZA in Jeppe Street. Famous for Muesli.
HAIR STYLES and fashion. We dyed our hair black with Palette where you dropped a white tablet into some
black gunky muck and we all had pitch black hair. The Blacker your hair, the more “sharp” you were. We teased
it and wore it in Wings, and the bigger the Wings were, the more “with it” you were. And remember the stiff
petticoats under your many Flared skirts, and cat-eye glasses? Helanca stove-pipes, in all colours.
Studded Belts, Box Pleated skirts, and ID Bracelets (with your boyfriend’s name engraved on the inside),
Plaid pinafores came later on, and a ridiculous little narrow velvet bow on a clip or hairgrip which we found a
space for in the teased bird’s nest, usually just to the back of the fringe. And also a thin chiffon scarf tied
around the hair. White high-heeled shoes (I wouldn’t be seen dead in half the things we wore then)
My Mom always said that my hair was like a Bird’s Nest at the back, but then I didn’t have eyes at the back of my
head, (just as well). Boys wore their hair sleeked back with Brylcream and Vitalis and all bought their t-shirts
from the Skipper Bar. (Arnie, Mervyn, Earle and Barry Sacks) Black t-shirts with thin white and red stripes around
the neck. And a corresponding white tee-shirt, with black and red stripes. If you didn’t have one of those, you
were not one of the “in” boys!!!!
And then girls started to iron their hair. I remember my Mother used to plonk my head onto the ironing board, and
put a brown paper bag on top of it, and iron away until I had sleek straight hair, but then the minute it rained, I
looked at though someone has plugged me into an electric socket…. Durbs did the same to all those who had
out-of-control hair – Frizzed them out in 2 mns flat, in fact as soon as you got to Van Reenen’s Pass into
Natal, you knew you were there because your hair suddenly was on its own mission……..
and who Whirled their hair????? Oi, a bittereh gelechter….. We whirled it One way, then the other way, and you
had dead straight hair (until you hit the 505 Club and the first thing you’d notice is that your fringe was just “not
there” anymore) and the rest of your poor hair style was all moving in different directions. If it was raining, and
you opened your front door, bang went the straight hair.
Remember those little DOEKs we wore on our head when we went to Durbs. I have a photo of myself wearing
COME ON GIRLS – who used to sleep with curlers/rollers in their hair!! and who remembers using the inside of a
TOILET ROLL as an emergency roller??????? And all this lot would be covered over by a hairnet. Of course
morning brought a splitter- of- a- headache from the curlers digging into your head. Anyone remember? Bet you
I DO!! There you are, the big ADMIT………. What on EARTH did we look like? I don’t even want to think
about it …………………
I always say that if I have to come back in another life, I want to come back as ME but with dead straight hair.
Second choice, I wouldn’t mind coming back as one of my spoilt-out-of-control Dachshunds either (but the
straight haired type, not the wiry haired) (ha ha)
GYM: Bodybuilders, weight-lifters and wannabes came strutting out of Gyms such as Sam Busa and Monte
Osher all fit and glistening, with huge shoulder muscles, and killer smiles – carrying black gym bags. And Reg
Park’s Gym, ALSO somewhere in Hillbrow.
YOGA: Mannie and Alan FINGER, Nina OBEL
MODEL AGENCIES: . Stella Grove and Gianna Pizanello
DANCING STUDIOS and DANCERS: Natalie Stern the late Mercedes Molina, Jeffrey Nieman
(Enrique Segovia) & Rhoda Rifkin, Bernice Hotz , Gitanella (Spanish, Ballet,) Shirley Klitzner (O”h)
(later in the 70s Hilary Etkind – taught with Rhoda and Jeffrey)
(anyone who ever loved Spanish dancing, will remember Mercedes Molina/ Jeffrey Nieman as a brilliant dance
duo) (and will remember the very sad passing away of Shirley Klitzner (O”h) when she was barely into her
PHOTOGRAPHERS. Maurice, Kurt Slesinger, Karklin, when it was fashionable to stand your wedding photo
on an small easel on the floor. Either carpet or parquet flooring. Stella Nova .
RUGBY. Alan MENTER Springbok Flyhalf, and Sid NOMIS Springbok – Center, and later Wing), Alan
is married to Pam (ex Pretoria) and his Brothers are Brian, Robert (Robbie) and Mandy (Malcolm
(Z”l)) Menter. Their Mom Esme (O”h) grew up with mine, in Dublin. Syd is married to Ann.
CRICKET. Dr. Ali BACHER former South African cricket captain and one of the greastest cricketers in South
Africa. Ali BACHER received South Africa’s Sports Merit Award, the country’s HIGHEST athletics honour. Ali is
married to Shira (I am friendly with Shira’s sister Marsha KARKLIN,) and I remember their daughter Ann being a
Tennis champion when she was just a little kid of 11 in the days of the “Jewish Guild” Other well known South
African Jewish cricketers came later on, Mandy YACHAD , and later Adam BACHER, nephew of Dr. Ali Bacher
TYPEWRITERS. My first memory of a type writer was that old black thing with with a keyboard with round circular
lettering and a typewriter ribbon. My Mom used one in Dublin, Then I remember the Olivetti and also a swiss
typewriter, but the ones where you would have to bash a silver thing on the upper right to go to a new line. I
remember electric typewriters, and using a white powdery Tippex thing for covering up mistakes, except that
they never quite covered them up, particularly on the carbon copies. And remember the carbon copies.. HA HA,
and when I worked for lawyers, they didn’t allow those tippex rub-outs, so one little mistake and you had to start
all over again. Remember STENCILS and Roneo-ing various blurb. I can remember using a bright shocking
pink liquid with the stencils, I think.
We wrote to “Messers. So and so”, and we’d end off with “ I remain, Yours Faithfully”
WEDDINGS and when the Bride/Kallah would change into her “going away outfit” and the blissful couple would
leave the wedding to go off on their honeymoon. When Bride’s kept their vails on the entire night. When there
were only 4 pole-holders and the Bride’s parents paid for the entire wedding, and the Groom/Chossen’s parents
would pay for the booze, the photographer and the flowers.
THE CIRCUS Boswell-Wilkie. I hated the circus, terrified of the animals and sorry for them at the same time, a
hypnotized crocodile once got out- of- control and started climbing out of the ring into the screaming audience.
Clowns clowning around were never my scene, and when the trapeze artists or the tight-rope walkers did their
act, my heart was always in my mouth, terrified they would fall or something. One did once, I can never get that
memory out of my mind.
ONLY IN SOUTH AFRICA ……………………………………
I dopped my exams and my folks are having a cadenza – *Snot ’n trana all round ….. (*Yiddish Equivalent is
Vainin ‘n Kloggin, well, that is the Yiddish we used in Ireland).
Chips, here comes the Teacher.
I’ll have a dop of brandy.
Ops me a pencil.
Baie Dankie…….. hoor! Aseblieftog!
Safe my mate !!!! (and the hand movement – very important) – forefinger/little finger pointed up while thumb
was holding middle/ ring finger down) – done with a wag-type-movement, like fast- mode windscreen wipers.
We’re Chommies !
There’s a Miggie in my room.
Kyk daai (Daardie) Goggoh (as in insect, not as in “GOGO” – Zulu for Granny)
Boeremeisie. Mevrou, Mejuffrou/Juffrou, Meneer
Kyk na daardie lelike ding………………
Waneer u die syn hoor, is dit agtien uur, twee en vyftig minute en dertig sekondes…………..
Around 1964 came the Beatles, (“8 days a week”, “Love Love me do” and later, “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s club
Band” “Hey Jude”) The Rolling Stones, (Angie) the Mini Skirt era and Mary Quant and the birth of the
Discothèque . Op Art earrings in gaudy colours and the skirts continued to get shorter. Girls wore double
breasted Pin stripe suits which made a come back. The Boutiques were born. I remember the BENATER family
had a great boutique “Carnabies”, at the top of Rissik Street, or near there. It was, I think, the first shop of it’s
kind. Very modern, trendy and for the young (20s and 30s). And the Pink Panther was in Hillbrow – Also very
Remember Twiggy?………. She was on every Magazine cover, often holding her Teddy Bear, feet pigeon-toed,
with beautiful big brown eyes, and a body so thin, she could fit through a crack in the wall. She started a trend,
her, and “the Shrimp” – (Jean Shrimpton), and Mary Quant.
AND Op Art Earrings in strange shapes and gaudy colours, shorter skirts, and flattie shoes.
The First Disco was at the Summit Club, Marrakech, (around 1966) with Go-Go dancers Dixie, Felicity Fouché,
and Christine all dancing away in the micro-est of Mini-Skirts. Johnny Martin (previously known as Martin Raff)
was the owner, and I heard he also owned a club called 007.
Someone called Neville Peacock was the Marrakech DJ and there were psychodelic and ultra violet lights and if
you stood under the latter, all your “klein-goed” shone like a beacon for all to see.
And the 505 also in Hillbrow. Eddie Eckstein and Paul Ditchfield – The Bats played there on a Sunday ), and
the Diamonds and Gene Rockwell (Heart!”) as did the Basemen (Ronnie Cline on Keyboard, Ralph
Simon – Singer, Rodney Caines – Bass Guitar, Leon Bilewitz – drummer and Irwin Kalis – Lead Guitar) and
Clive Calder, (Les Markowitz on drums) also played at “Club-a-go-go” and also they toured around the
countryside and played at various venues.
Also Johnny Congos (“Sealed with a Kiss”), Johnny and the G-Men, and Johnny Sharp, 4 Jacks and a
Jill. The Staccatos. Did I mention Manfred Mann? (“pretty Flamingo”)
MORE CLUBS – TJ’s (town) and The Yellow Submarine (Hillbrow) (owned by Martin HART) and the Boat
(Buccleuch) were in the latter part of the sixties and the Downstairs later called The Purple Marmalade
somewhere in Hillbrow. Another Disco was owned by George McCauley, brother of Ray, opposite Joubert Park
(Club-A-Go-Go), His Granny worked in the tuck-shop and was always so nice to everyone. The Band there was
the “Falling Leaves” and George was in the Band. The Electric Circus, And Raffles , a very fancy
disco/restaurant but that was in the late 70s. Owned by Dave Kerney. (I think). The Stable in Jan Smuts
Avenue. The Out of Town Club
And who remembers the other Bioscopes – The Colosseum with the twinkling lights, Cliff Richard sang
there once, and a few girls from Barnato Park were expelled for bunking school and going to his concerts. His
Majestys, Monte Carlo (French Movies), The Empire, 20th Cen. Fox – Pritchard Street, Cinerama (Claim
and Noord) In those days there was an interval after the News and the Cartoons, and Usherettes would be
standing at each exit with a tray with all the Munchies and Chocolates, cold-drinks, etc. The Apollo in
Doornfontein. I’ve already mentioned the Yeoville Bioscopes earlier on. Who remembers the “Midnight Shows”
the Astra and the Victory in Orange Grove, The Rex in Greenside. The Plaza, the Bijou in town and some fleabitten run down Café Bio which no decent self-respecting girl would touch with a barge-pole, but I can’t remember
it. A lot of the Yale College boys went there. But not the girls!!!!
People smoked in the bioscopes (“scopes”) then and when you looked up, you saw it all swirling around in smoke
from the projector. Nice and healthy!! but nobody ever noticed it. It was just a part of life in the sixties.
REMEMBER WHEN ………. we went to Bioscope on a Saturday night, dressed up in your A-line dress, or a Box-Pleated skirt, or tiny hound’s-tooth straight skirt in black/white and your black patent high-heeled
shoes, with a Black Patent leather bag to match, and your gloves (which you carried in your hand). And
later you wore your Dress with the shorter hemline, Mini-Skirts, and your “A-line evening coat” (Jackie
Kennedy), just on the knee, and your flattie shoes, the hair teased up to the high heavens and lacquered so
heavily that if it rained, you looked like glue. (Boys hated teased and lacquered hair)
And the boys wore jarmins and Elvis Presley hair-styles with thin ties made of nylon or similar in a machine-crochet style. (Later when the Beatles came in, boys’ hairstyles changed forever, and no boy would be seen
dead with Bryl cream or Vitalis plastered on his head). Boys would never previously been seen in pastel colours,
but the Beatles changed all those dark shirts for pink, mauve and lemon, with a pin collar near the tie.
Boys would buy you a 75c box of Black Magic chocolate at Interval. If you put it into your black patent leather
handbag and never offered him one, then your name was mud, and girls judged boys by whether they opened the
car door for you …. or not!
AND SOME OF THE MOVIE STARS …., Natalie Wood, Kathryn Hepburn, Rock Hudson, Doris Day,
Steve McQueen, Sohia Loren, Alain Delon (the heart-throb of the 60’s) (who remembers him in “Purple
noon”) Gina Lollobridgida, Raquel Welsh, Bridgitte Bardot, Ursula Andress, Warren Beatty,
Jack Nicholson (One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Shirley McLaine, Julie Christie, Michael Caine,
Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Paul Newman, Sal Mineo, Suzanne Pleshette, Richard
Burton, Sean Connery, Omar Sharif, Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck (to die for?) James Dean
Popular Movies and Musicals. West side story, King Kong, Gone with the Wind, Exodus, Dr. No,
*From Russia with Love, * (Remember in that movie, the Russian woman (was her name someone
KREBBS?) who had a knife come out of her boot and it shot straight into poor Sean Connery’s shin bone. EINA!
Just thinking about it, hurts me) Bridge on the River Kwai, Dr. Zhivago, Goldfinger, (it had a great
theme song in it by I think Shirley Bassey) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Annie Get your Gun,
And the DRIVE INs Old Pretoria Road – Jhb Drive in, The 5-Star (Eloff St. Ext), The Velskoen (If a girl was
seen at the drive in with a boy, she got a “bad name” and the same for the Café Bio’s. It was just not for a nice
REMEMBER WHEN ….. there was NO Bioscope on Sunday nights
THEATRES. Alhambra (Doornfontein) , Brian Brooke (Braamfontein), Market Theatre ( Newtown),
Alexander theater , Jacques Brel, Apollo (Doornfontein).
Remember the Adverts for all the Cigarettes, Players, Craven “A”, Dunhill (remember the maroon Rolls
Royce?) Benson & Hedges (Gold) , Lexington (That’s the one!), Gunston (remember him on a raft, all
macho,manly, unshaven and rough and ready tumbling through impossible rivers?) Horseshoe Tobacco,
Gold Dollar, Texan, (which the boys would hold between their thumb and middle finger) Lucky Strike,
Gauloise and Peter Stuyvesant (for the fun lovers, remember the wonderful places they went to and the great
clothes they wore, swimming in glorious lagoons, skiing down snow-capped mountains, all the beautiful people, all
having wonderful fun?) I never smoked,(well, I have to say that, in case my family read this article, ha ha) but
after I watched the Peter Stuyvesant adverts, I really felt like buying a packet , so that I too, could go to all
those magical places, and I’d look glamorous too, HA HA – (the power of advertising!) (A Bittereh Gelechter!!)
But it just looked so “in” to see people smoking, and girls would hold the cigarettes at the tips of their fingers, and
waved their hands for effect as they spoke, shaking their fringes out of their eyes. People who didn’t smoke,
I remember Celeste GREENBLATT, (later Berks) and Nola STEIN (later Fox), taught me how to apply black pencil
inside my eyelids, and ‘base” onto my face and to wear white lipstick and I taught Sandra STEIN (later Ezra) to
dye her hair black, and the blacker the better, (her Mother had a FIT) – Golda (née Kaufman) (O”h)
whom I saw yearly in LA and she never failed to remind me !
FLORA and FAUNA in South Africa. I remember once being enthralled by the most magnificent yellow creeper we
had growing on the fence in Becker Street. I took photos of it, and sent it to my friends in Dublin to show the
exotic flora and fauna is this beautiful sunny South Africa, until Michael GOLDING next door, laughed his head off
and said “but that’s only Canary Creeper, it’s not much better than a common garden weed”!! African
Violets, Jasmin, Golden Shower, Begonia Sherer, Bougainvillea, Poinsettia, Birds of Paradise,
Cycads?. Maybe they do grow overseas too.
PARTIES in Observatory, Cyrildene and Dewetshof. We rock ‘n rolled to Elvis Presley’s “Jail house
rock” & “Don’t step on my blue suede shoes”, “Rock around the Clock” in our flared skirts with stiff
petticoats underneath, the more the better, and huge belts around our waists, and we wore flat shoes (75c at
Maram’s chemist, and 95c for the leopard skin ones). And later we twisted with Chubby Checker (Let’s Twist
again, like we did last summer ………….) We also did a dance called the Shake – anyone remember the
song “I’ll do the Shake, the hippy- hippy shake” and also a dance called the Madison.
The Bez Valley Ou’s, on a Sat night Jol, and the Lebs would sometimes gatecrash. Usually a Scuffle and the girl’s
father would have to ask them to leave. Sometimes, in stubborn cases the police would have to be called in to
skop them all out. And then the party continued on, Little Richard, Cliff Richard, – sometimes a few of
the kids would have a bit of “dagga”, (a zol), on the stoep or in the back garden when they thought nobody
was looking, and the only way anyone kopped on was because they would come back to the party with a manic
laugh, and red eyes. (and of course the smell, but if you admitted to knowing the smell, then it meant you were a
dagga smoker yourself!) Trini Lopez. “If I had a hammer”
SOCIALS at Oxford Shul, The Vrede Hall, Yeoville Recreation Center, Temple Shalom, and Bands
like “Dinkie and the Deans” – Jake (Gerald) Fox (Z”l) (rhythm Guitar), Barry Sacks (Lead Guitar),
Spencer Hodgson (Bass guitar) and Errol Sack on the drums, would play, they also played at the Club 505 in
“the Brow”. Peter Lotus well known Johannesburg Disc Jockey, I think he sang as well. Lots of singers used to go to
Margo’s on a Sunday Afternoon, and the crowd would all hot-foot it out there after them to hear music. I think it
was Bapsfontein, or near there). There was little else to do on a Sunday, so many places were closed. Just
remembered another band, Dave Levine and the Swinging Angels. Les Gutfreund was one of the band
and made a name for himself as Les Goode. “Dickie Loader and the Blue Jeans” Gene Rockwell – Heart.
NIGHT CLUBS and Bands. Bennie Michaels, Archie Silansky and his daughter Carole Sands The
Coconut Grove at the Orange Grove Hotel, Dan Hill (Ichilchik), The Colony at the Hyde Park Hotel,
Sardi’s, The Mediteranean (I Cinque di Roma), Diamond Horseshoe, The Greek Taverna, Ciro’s
STORES. John Orrs, The Belfast, Greatermans, ABC Shoes, Dodo’s, Barnes Shoes, Ackermans,
Anstey’s, later Garlics, Katz & Lourie, Mr. Man, Man about Town, Stuttafords, Woolworths,
Deans Mans’ shop, Skipper Bar, O.K Bazaars, Cuthberts, Markhams, Millews, K.
Marks ( curtains), Juta’s, Bothner & Polliack (records, Henri Lidji Gallery, Derbers Furs, FDF
(Fruit & Dried Fruits) Vanité (Ladies clothes) Bradlows, Geen & Richards, Shepherd & Barker
(Furniture), CAN, Jaffs (Fabrics), Mosenthals, Dicks (Sweets) – Rissik Street, and later on Morkels,
your two year guarantee store! Putzys, McCullogh & Bothwell (School Uniforms).
REMEMBER WHEN we would get all dressed up to go to town, to have tea at Anstey’s sitting alongside Ladies in
beautiful outfits, white gloves, smart, elegant, men in suits, with white shirts and ties
MUSIC Soul music was popular in the 60s, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Carla Thomas, Otis Redding
(“sitting on the Dock of the Bay”), Percy Sledge (“ Midnight Hour”, and Music from Brasil, Sérgio Mendes,
Herb Alpert and the Tijuana brass.
And of course, Johnny Mathis, Charles Aznavour, Simon and Garfunkel, José Feliciano
And …. REMEMBER WHEN , our Mothers would ring a little bell at suppertime, and the “servant” (oi, how COULD
we have??) would come in with the next course. And when your “boy” did the garden and the “girl” cooked.
SHULS Lions Shul (Doornfontein), Wolmarans Street ( Rabbi Rabinowitz 50’s and 60’s, then Chief Rabbi
Casper) Yeoville Shul (Rabbi Lapin), Adas Yeshuran (Yeoville), The Bnei Akiva Shul (Raleigh Street),
Greenside Shul, Emmerentia, Fordsburg, Sydenham Highlands North, Mayfair (Rabbi Zagenov) ,
Kensington Shul (Rabbi Rabinowitz), The Curve (Observatory), Berea Shul (Rabbi Bender and Rabbi
Aloy), Oxford Shul (Rabbi Bernhard), Chassidic Shul (Rabbi Lipskar) Cyrildene, Temple Emanuel (?
and Rabbi Assabi), Temple Israel (Rabbi Super), Temple Shalom, Temple Beth-El (Rabbi Ben Isaacson)
Sandton Shul (BHH) Rabbi ZS Suchard (but that was in the 70’s) Yeo Street Shul.
Reverend Symanovitz from Yeoville Beth Din.
The Beth Din was in Raleigh Street then.
CHAZONIM. Chazen Hass, Chazen Bagley, Chazen Dudu Fisher (1970s early 80’s), Chazen Johnny Glück
(Wolmarans) in the eighties (Choirmaster Prof. David Cohen). Chazen Hasdan, (Warmbaths) Chazen Badash,
(Yeoville, Choirmaster *Malovany) Chazan Mandel (Berea Shul) – Gus Levy choirmaster. (* a world
reknowned Chazen – I did attend a concert of his here in Jhb a number of years ago), Chazen Berele Chagy
Yeoville Shul Choir, Lionel Levin, Kenny and Colin Koransky and their father, Natie Koransky, Martin
Harris, Len Bobroff, Stanley Feinstein, Brian Feinstein, Robert Lapedus, David Shapiro. The
Choirmaster was Mr. Himmelstein, I think his son Lior, was in the Choir too. Colin Opwald. Benny Lipchick
KIDS at the Yeoville Shul…. Percy Suntup, Fivie (Phillip) and Hymie (Z”l) Symanowitz, Olga Berelowitz,
Joan Morris, Karen Feinstein, Linda and Stanley Chitiz, Wolfie and Marlene Teper, me and my Boet,
Robert Lapedus, Gillian Erster and her brother Moishe Erster, Naomi Shapiro, Marilyn & Sheila Atkins,
David Shapiro, Rhoda Shapiro, Jenny Winnick, Alan Kaye, Philip Eliason, Sheila Hahn and Irma Keifer.
I remember David and Daniel Lapin, (Rabbi Lapin’s sons) being at the Shul .
Beni Akiva and Habonim Camps. Betar. Hashomer Ha’tza-ir (spelling, whoops!!)
AND REMEMBER WHEN the only children at a barmitzvah function were the Barmitzvah boy and his
siblings, who were allowed to stay up for the night. The entire Simcha was for adults and the only time you
heard the Barmi boy, was when he made his speech. Robert’s Barmitzvah was a Kiddush at home after Shul,
and a “tea” that evening for a few friends of my Parents. Many kids had that kind of Barmi.
Who knew then from Theme Barmitzvahs.
And …..When Children were children, and played snakes and ladders, and ludo, dominoes, monopoly, yo-yo’s, and
they read out of the Local Libraries and they played Cowboys and Indians, ( just entertained themselves. No
Video games, computers, cell phones, I-pods, Electronic everything… and No TV then either.
BANKS and Building Societies. Barclays, Volkskas Bank, Allied Building Society, SA Perm(anent), The
UBS (United Building Society) SA Perm, NBS (Natal Building Society) Trust Bank
ONLY IN SOUTH AFRICA ……………………………….
Ag Shame, man, were you home stokkies aleen??
Wikkel. Sikkel. I’ve got no tom, hey?
Koeksusters. Konfyt. Biltong. Vet-koek. Braaivleis.
Boerevors en Pap. Poitjiekos. Mielie. Rooibos Tea.
Ouma se Rusks. Fanny Farmers
The Tokoloshe is coming… Dorp ! Pandotjie!
He rocked up in an old Skedonk.
Question. Hallo Meneer………. Hoe Gaan Dit met jou vandag?.
Answer. Ag , No….. Fine ….Jaaaaa,………. Kan nie Klaar Nie !
My Oom se Bakkie
My Gran did the “Charleston”, but that was back in Nineteen voetsak
Why are you still Gaan-ing on? you Poepal !! (Spelling?)
He is so Grotty….. A real Dweet …….A Drip.
It’s …Kwaai. It’s …. Skarm.
HOTELS: The Carlton (original Carlton) , Moulin Rouge, The Chelsea Hotel (Hillbrow) (I think this is where
the Jacques BREL theatre was) Casa Mia, Langham , Gresham, the Jeppe Hotel (Norman’s Grill)
Victoria ( Plein Street near Station), Criterion , Landrost hotel (Anabelles nightclub). Tollman Towers –
(next to Jeppe Street Post Office), The President Hotel (Eloff Street), Anlar Hotel (Hillbrow), Courtleigh
Hotel (Berea), Jocelyn Residential Hotel (Claim Street Joubert Park), the Quirinal, Waldorf , and
Balalaika which was then way out in the “country” – Sandown, which is today, a hub of activity. The Skyline,
The Capri and The Park Royal
SQUAD CARS. HOT RODS and the name Buddy Fuller comes into my head for some reason.
MOTORTOWN. Remember when all the motor dealerships were in Eloff Street, Ext. Motortown. And names like
Rillstone Motors (Agents for the Simca), Lawson Motors, (Agents for Volvo), Lucy’s Motors (Katz)
(Agents for Fiat), Curries Motors, Grosvenor Motors ( Agents for Ford), Sydney Clow (Agents for
Peugeot), and a dealeship in Anderson Street called T.A.K. Motors, (Agents for Lancia and Ferrari), Ronnie
and then Main Street became the used car center for Jhb. Austin, Chevrolet, Mercury, Buick,
Dodge, Morris Minor, Mini Minor, Hillman Minx, Ford Fairlane, Vauxhall Victor, Ford
Cortina, (Ford) Zeyphyr, Sunbeam.
Killarney Toyota. Lionel Gilinsky (Pilot, Motor Rally Driver/Racer)
Brenner Toyota in Braamfontein – Chookie Brenner.
PETROL Shell, BP, Mobil (Engen), Sasol, Trek, Caltex, Total.
REMEMBER WHEN Milk was delivered to the house????, in proper Milk bottles with red tinfoil caps, and the cream
would be all at the top of the bottle? And Nel’s Rust Dairy in Victory Park.
DOORNFONTEIN. – Apollo Cinema near Crystals, Crystals, Beit Street (who later moved to Yeoville)
Wachenheimers, Goldenbergs, and Nussbaums, all in Beit Street, and Dairy Alhambra (Zama Levine) –
opposite the Alhambra Theatre in Beit Street. Zama Levine had the shop for about 40 years (according to his
daughter Gloria Levine Ash). Gloria’s mom was from the ICHILCHIK family (Dan Hill and Gloria’s Mom, Emma
Ichilchik Levine (a cellist) were siblings. Dembo’s in Beit Street. The famous sculptor Anton Von Wouw lived
next door to the Alhambra and opposite Gloria Levine’s (Ash) Grandfather, Mr. I Chilchik in Doornfontein.
American Café for ice-cream, Sour Kraut, Hot Dogs, Millers Antiques on Simert Road. Campbells. Cohen’s
Café. And Ellis Park.
Doornfontein Streets Beit Street, Siemert Road, Siveright Avenue.
And Segall’s Sausages (Alf Segall) (spelling?), Kerk Street, York House.
ROADHOUSES. Dolls House (Highlands North), Casablanca (Nugget Hill) Dakota (Crown Mines), and Uncle
Ice CREAM. Papagallo.
WITS RAG Down Eloff Street, with the floats, remember? and the Rag Queens and Princesses. I remember
one particular Jewish Rag Princess of 1971, and still a beautiful girl to this day – Blond hair, gorgeous and looks
like she just stepped out of vogue magazine – June Gervis ( – two sons, Grant and Richard Reichlin, both of
whom were at school with my children, Angela and Gregory Brest)
ONLY IN SOUTH AFRICA ………………………………..
“She took me around” Around where?
And what about “See that ou?? – he threw me with (wif) a stone”
The Spanspek is Vrot!
Ag Dame! …………………..
Listen, Lady ………………
And how many South.Africans when they first arrived in America, England, Australia, Israel etc talked about taking
their “costume” or “Cozzie” to the Beach.
She’s the most prettiest girl.
My ou’ man caught me smoking dagga, hey, and I got such a SKRIK.
I bumped her on the corner of Cavendish and Becker Streets.
I didn’t scale anything
*Spek and Eiers ( *Just because I know the name, doesn’t mean I’ve eaten it, see !)
Ek is a Ware Suid Afrikaaner.
Melktert! Guavas, Grenadilsh!! Marmite, Anchovette Paste, Jungle Oats.
Comment – That bike is Kwaai, so lekker…. Answering comment – MOH-SELFFFFFFF
YIDDISH/Jewish sayings – In alle Schvartze Yohren, He lives in Alle Drerderin, Meerskeit,
Fahrpackt, Fahrkakte, Fahrkrimpt, Fahrbrempt, Fahrshtunkender, Farrible (Litvak word, in other
countries they talk about a “Broigas”) He’s a Shlemazzel, He’s a Hundt, He’s a Chaleria, He’s a
Peruvian, He’s a Shlemiel, … a Chazzer …. a Mamzer, She’s a plapper…. a Yenta, Gei n Drerd,
Vos Macht Tzu?, Shreklich, Chader (not the Chader where we learned Hebrew or Barmitzvahs) , Kitke,
Lax (lox in the USA) I need that aggravation like a loch in kop? I’m chalishing for some Petzah (In
Dublin, we called it “Calves Foot Jelly”) Alter Kakkers , Bobbe Meises, Ebberbottled. She’s such a
Question – How are you today Bobba ‘Chuma ???
Bobba’s answer – Nu, does it do any good to complain???
RADIO. LM Radio who remembers the signature, “Aqui Portugal Moçambique, fala-voz do Radio club em
Lourenço Marques, transmitindo ondas curtas e médias
(This is (here is) Portugal, Moçambique, the voice of the Radio club in Lourenço Marques, transmitting in
short and medium wave) with Evelyn Martin (Martins) . David Davies and the LM Hit Parade and was it a
little prayer ending off at midnight ? With a sort of mournful depressing music to accompany it. Peter de
Nobrega… not sure which station..
Bob Courtney Eric Egen Springbok Radio , Paddy O’Byrne, David Gresham (Gruesome Gresh) and Clark
MacKay (Clackie MacKay) and Esmé Euverard (not sure if she was Springbok Radio or what) Charles Fortune
(Cricket commentator) Programs like “Pets’ Parade”, and “the Creaking Door” –skriklig !!!!
David Gresham – Gruesome Gresh – (keep your feet on the ground ,and reach for the Stars)
Everyone remembers “JOHN BERKS” !! – “Long John Berks” – I always listened to the Talk shows and one
show in particular has stayed in my mind. The Jhb Station Master, complete with an Afrikaans accent, (guess
who) called a Yiddishe guy living somewhere in Killarney, to tell him that his consignment of chickens were on
their way over. You could hear what sounded like a few thousand chickens all clucking their heads off and
the poor fellow was protesting, saying that it was the wrong number, it wasn’t him, some mistake and
besides, he had a small balcony, and he didn’t have room for crates of chickens, but The “Station Master”.
kept on saying that he has nowhere for them either, the fellows’ name and address were on the crates and the
chickens were going to be on their way, shortly. What a “lag” that was.
Although this article is about the 60s, I can’t help but mention my fellow countryman, John Robbie, and John, if you
ever get to read this “Go mbeanna Dia Duit” and enjoy Lá na Pádraig.
AND the Requests – I think It might have been Esmé Euverard who ran a program, was it called “Forces
Favourites”? with Messages from girlfriends to their ou’s in the army, with requests like this
“ Poppie, het jy ‘n boodskap”??? Poppy, are you there? Speak up Poppie……., Poppie??
Hallo, crackle crackle ……….. Hallo, ja, D’is Poppie wat praat, Ag, man, I’d like to send a
message to my boyfriend at Voortrekker Hoogte?????? Daw-ling, I love you Verrry
much???????? , ek het jou lief, my skat??? I hope you are orite and I cawnt wait til you are
home again awready, Vasbyt en Baie Liefde, van Poppie, hoor? En Frikkie says howwzit.
LOURENÇO MARQUES. Polana Hotel, Avenida 24 Julho (July), o Zambi, o Cisno Negro (Black
Swan), Xai Xai, S. Martinho de Bilene (aka San Martino) wonderful beaches, prawns to die for
(*just because I said that, doesn’t mean I ate them!!!) “Cerveja” at sidewalk cafés, Caldo Verde
(soup), wonderful buildings, Pregos.
BUILDINGS such as Palace Buildings, Rand Club, Old Arcade, Markhams Technical College,
Manners Mansions. Broadcast House, Essanby House, Ponte – Harrow Road, Rissik Street Post
Office, Union Grounds – Twist and Claim, Joubert Park. The City Hall – Rissik Street. And in Jeppe
Street the Medical buildings … Jenner Chambers , Lister Buildings, * Drs. Jacobson, Broer and
Smith, later “and Barnard”, and later still, “and Kaplan”, Pasteur Chambers, Medical Centre,
* Archie Jacobson, Ivor Broer, Mervyn Smith. Michael Barnard and Neville Kaplan (not all at the
HOSPITALS: the Lady Dudley, Florence Nightingale, Princess, Marymount, Franklin, Queen
Victoria, Garden City Clinic Parklane Clinic. Fever Hospital, Jhb Gen. (General Hospital)
The Childrens’ Hospital, Baragwanath. The Frangwyn –(Maternity )
ARMY. The Drill Hall in Joubert Park! Voortrekker Hoogte (Pretoria) The first 3 months you were a rookie,
and after you got out 9 months down the drag, you went to Camps for about 3 weeks a few years later. Boys
went meshugah when their hair was cut so short.
And Polio – two major epidemics in 1947 and 1954/55, when schools were closed, and public swimming pools
too, children in iron lungs and leg braces. Infantile Paralysis, they called it. (I wasn’t here then but I know about
Around the late fifties, a movie came out with Danny KAYE and Barbara Bel GEDDES (Miss Ellie in Dallas), called
the “FIVE PENNIES”. Story of Red Nichols, and his young daughter (played by both Susan Gordon and Tuesday
Weld) who contracted polio.
And “Interrupted Melody” Another polio movie about the Opera singer, Eleanor PARKER. Terrible epidemic, wiped
out today, as far as I know . And then they found an immunization against Polio.
WHO REMEMBERS …… Gilooly’s Farm, Boksburg Lake, Zoo Lake, Florida Lake, Wemmer Pan –
Wembly stadium Ice rink , The Wilds, The Snake Park, Melville swimming Pool, Hillbrow
Indoor Pool (at the Summit Club), and the Squash courts there, Brixton Swimming Pool, Rand
Show/Skou, Milner Park, Tower of Life.
THE ELLERINE brothers, Sidney (O”h) and Eric
RESORTS. Lover’s Rock in the Magaliesberg, Little Roseneath (Ndaba, Fourways). Margo’s (where the
bands all played on a Sunday afternoon. I think it was near Bapsfontein). And lazy days sitting on top of the
Wilds, admiring the Flora and Fauna and watching the world go by (not today!) Linksfield Ridge.
ADVERTS.. Mac Phails – Mac won’t phail you
NAMES CHANGES Jan Smuts Airport – O.R Tambo , Halfway House – Midrand, Verwoerdburg –
Centurion,. Hendrik Verwoerd Drive – Bram Fischer Drive, Hans Strydom Drive Malibongwe, DF Malan –
Beyers Naudé, Harrow Rd – Joe Slovo Drive – , Sandown Square – Nelson Mandela Square. Transvaal –
Gauteng, Eastern Transvaal – Mapumelanga. Warmbaths – Bela Bela, Pietersburg – Polakwane
NEWSPAPERS/magazines Rand Daily Mail. Die Vaderland, Die Beeld, The Star (still going strong)
Sunday Express, Sunday Times AND Back Page of the Sunday Times… Scope Magazine
I thought I’d end off with a little song ………………….. anyone want to sing along? You all know Sarie Marais?
Here we go. Een, twee, drie……..
My Sarie Marais is so ver van my hart,
Maar’k hoop om haar weer te sien,
Sy het in die wyk die Mooirivier gewoon,
Nog voor die oorlog het begin.
O bring my t’rug na die ou Transvaal,
daar waar my Sarie woon
daar onder in die mielies by die groen doringboom
Daar woon my Sarie Marais.
Lekker Bly Skatties, and Alles van die Beste.
Anne Lapedus (Brest). one of the “SIXTIES ROCKERS” … still ROCKING ON !!!!
Uitlander, no more!!!!
© Anne Lapedus Brest, (Ex Dublin, Ireland) Sandton, South Africa.
PS. Any mistakes I have made, I will amend IF YOU NOTIFY ME at my contact details below. I have only written
about places I remember, so if anyone had to add in, or take out, my article would not be authentic, so I would
be really, really happy to hear from everyone with corrections rather than for anyone to change it themselves.
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
082.452.7166 and 011.783.2237.
DISCLAIMER. This article has been written from my memories of So. Africa from 48 years ago, and if a
Shul, or Hotel, or a Club is not mentioned, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t exist, it means, simply,
that I don’t remember them. I can’t add them in, either, because then the article would not be “My
Memories” any more.