The Van Riebeeck Society for the Publication of

Southern African Historical Documents


Newsletter 48, December 2015


2015 AGM and launches of 2015 volume

As Boris Gorelik, the editor of our 2015 volume, An Entirely Different World: Russian Visitors to the Cape 1797-1870 can be in Cape Town only in January 2016, we would like to hold our 2015 AGM then, to coincide with the launch of the volume. The details of our AGM and launch are therefore as follows: The AGM will be held at 5.30 p.m. on Thursday 28 January 2016 at Ravenswood House, 10 Hatfield Street, Gardens (see attached map A). Parking is available in and around Hatfield Street. The AGM will be followed at 6.45 p.m. by the launch of the volume, at which Boris Gorelik will be the main speaker. If you are unable to attend this launch, please join us at a public launch of the volume on Friday 29 January 2016 during the UCT Summer School at 1 p.m. in the cafeteria area in Leslie Social Sciences Building on UCT’s Upper Campus (see map B below).

Please RSVP by 18 January 2016, indicating which launch(es) you will attend.


MAP A: Ravenswood House, 10 Hatfield Street, Gardens (venue for AGM and book launch at 5.30 p.m. on 28 January 2016).


Directions: from Southern Suburbs take M3 (De Waal Drive) to traffic lights a little before the entrance to the Mount Nelson Hotel. At the traffic lights (where there is an Engen garage), turn right into Hatfield Street. Ravenswood House is about 100 metres down the road on the left.

Directions from central city: drive up Plein Street towards the mountain, cross Roeland Street (where Plain Street becomes St John’s Street), pass St Mary’s Cathedral on your left and then (about 400 metres further on) the Jewish Museum and the Great Synagogue are on your right. At this point St John’s Street becomes Hatfield Street. Continue towards the mountain to near the top of Hatfield Street; Ravenswood House is on your right).


MAP B: Leslie Social Sciences Building Cafeteria on UCT’s Upper Campus (venue for book launch at 1 p.m. on 29 January 2016).

See map at

Cafeteria is at C3 on this map. Park at Parking Area P11, P12 or P14.



We have had to change our office hours – as we notified you in October. In future, the VRS office at the Centre for the Book, 62 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens, will be open on Mondays from 9.30 to 1.30 and on Wednesdays from 9.30 to 12.30. Emails and phone numbers will stay as they are at present. Also, we would like to introduce a new staff member, Jackie Loos, who will be in the office on Wednesdays. Some of you may know her from the column she writes for the Cape Argus: “The Way We Were”. We are happy to have her and her wide historical knowledge, on board!


Position Vacant

As our longstanding administrative assistant, Cora Ovens, plans to retire at the end of January 2016, we invite applications to fill this position from 1 February 2016. Skills required include computer literacy (including website maintenance and Facebook updates), minute-taking, administrative and financial knowhow, newsletter compilation, liaison with members, printers, bookshops and editors, organization and joint operation of stalls at conferences and book fairs and supervision of volunteer and casual staff.

The position requires at least 8 hours of office work per week, primarily in the VRS Office in Queen Victoria Street in central Cape Town. Parking on site is provided.

Further details about the post are available at

Applications (which should include a brief CV) must be submitted to: The Chair, Van Riebeeck Society, P.O. Box 15151, Vlaeberg 8018 OR c/o Centre for the Book, 62 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8001 OR to: by no later than 6 January 2016.


Increase of subscriptions

With great reluctance Council has decided that the annual subscription will have to be raised to R230 p.a. in 2016 to cover increased postal, administrative and printing costs. We regret this unavoidable step.


New members

Nell Kruger from Prince Albert (gift sub from her brother, J P Grobbelaar); Aletta de Jager from Prieska; Chris Job from Waterkloof Ridge; Andre Eva Bosch from Fish Hoek; John Spyker of East London; Jannie Mouton from Stellenbosch; David Fleminger from Highlands North, Jo’burg; Lovell Fernandez of Vredehoek; Anton Nel from Matieland, Stellenbosch; Mathys van Vuuren of Tableview; Danie van der Merwe of Langebaan; Martin Williams of Port Elizabeth; Dr Carla Tsampiras from Sea Point; Dr Kent Fedorowich from Bristol, UK; Wynand van der Walt of Grahamstown; Michael Wensley from New Germany; Elizabeth Lombard from Paarl; Marmaduke Louw from Ladysmith; Hendrik Jacobus Cloete from Onrus River; Mr Al-Ameen Kafaar of Sybrand Park; John Giles of Muizenberg; Anthony Holness of Ramsgate; Stephan Aldrich of Hermanus; Michael Jones of Johannesburg; Dean Dart of Kuilsriver; Warren Du Plessis of Klawer; Tim Dunne of Cape Town; John Logan of Cape Town; Betty Gillespie of Cape Town; Christo Pretorius of Arcadia; Robert de Beer from Newlands, Cape Town and François Jordaan from Vermont, Cape.




In memoriam

Dr Johannes de Villers Graaff (a life member); Mr D V Larsen; Mrs J E van Schalkwyk; Mrs S L Mitchell; Mr William Katz; Mr P W van Schalkwyk; Mr J H Adendorff (a life member); Dr Auriol Batten; Mr B F Lutz.


Nameless subs!

I should like again to plead with those of you who pay your subs via Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) to make sure that you put your name in the Beneficiary field. It is really difficult for me to receive a payment from “membership 2015” or “2015 ledegeld” etc – it means I have to phone the bank, log a query which can often take days, to find your name and/or phone number and pay over R20 for it!



Our reprint for 2016 will be a continuation of the 2015 reprint, viz. volume II of Isaac Nathaniel’s Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa, volume 2, Reprint series I, vol 17). We shall be sending out order forms for this reprint together with our annual subscription invoices early next year.


Books by members

Batrice Law has published Building the Mother City: Cape Town 1880-1930. In the Steps of A.B. Reid Master Builder and City Councillor”. The price direct is R250 plus postage if that is necessary. Contact the author direct: e-mail address:, phone number: 021 795 0052


Ralph Goldswain has produced a new edition, The Chronicle of Jeremiah Goldswain: 1820 Settler. He has presented Jeremiah’s journal word-for-word but modernised the text by putting it into conventional current English. The book is available from the publishers, 30 Degrees South ( and all online booksellers. It can also be ordered from your local bookshop.


Members might also like to know of the recent publication of a book on the War of the Axe in 1846, which features an essay by the editor of our 2013 volume, Dr Jeff Peires: M Godby: Battleground - Charles Bell's Drawings of the War of the Axe, 1846, with an essay by Jeff Peires. It is published by Primavera Publishing and is available at local bookshops or from Primavera Publishing (


The following publications are offered to members of the VRS at 20% discount:

Hermann Giliomee comp. : Buhr van die Bokveld: ‘ ’n Sprankelende intelligensie’. 176p. (An anthology of the work of a brilliant Afrikaans journalist, who lived from 1900-1940). R180 + R20 postage.

Luc Panhuysen: Ontdekkingsreisiger of soldaat?  Die verkenningstogte van Robert Jacob Gordon (1743-1795) in Suider-Afrika. 189p. + 38 pages in colour.  (A lively description of Gordon’s four exploratory journeys, made on behalf of the VOC). R225 + R20 postage.

Ione Rudner: Ten paces behind: a family saga. (364p.). (The story of Jalmar and Ione Rudner, amateur archaeologists). R200 + R20 postage.

Orders/Enquiries: Africana Publishers, 190 Pinewood Village, Pinelands 7405. Tel 021 532 7590; 083 415 7678 .




Compiled by Cora Ovens & Howard Phillips. Afrikaans by Chris van der Merwe.

Van Riebeeck Society, P O Box 15151, VLAEBERG, 8018, South Africa.

Centre for the Book, 62 Queen Victoria Street, CAPE TOWN, 8000, South Africa.

Nonprofit Organization Registration Number 094-832-NPO

Tel: +27 (0)21 423-8424 Fax: 086 670 9828

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