The Afrikaners

By Farrell Hope

This article was originally published in Genesis,  a Genealogical magazine, in August 2013.

I am actually what is often referred to as a BoereJood, Three Litvak Jewish Grandparents, and a Boer Grandmother. My Great Grandmother was unilingual Afrikaans, I remember her well, and until she passed at 92 we had 5 generations living in direct descent. I use the word “Boer” deliberately, it is a specific group within the general Afrikaner group, and heavily interrelated. I was born in Pretoria. As well as growing up in an Afrikaner dorp upbringing in Malmesbury through my primary school life, in a one-room school house.  Most of my friends there spoke Afrikaans. I am talking about cultural and ethnic influences here, my Boer origin Grandmother did convert to Judaism.  In reading the article you will recognize I distinguish beteen being Jewish, and practicing Judaism.  In the British Empire the two are seen as the same thing; stop practicing Judaism and you are no longer a Jew, but that’s not how it is seen outside the British Empire and it’s remnants, and it is not how it is seen by me. I haven’t practiced Judaism much throughout my life since my Bar Mitzvah, and just about all of my Israeli relatives never even had a Bar Mitzvah, I’ve been an atheist all my life, but I’d like to meet the man who tries to tell me that I’m not a Jew. This article is mainly about my Afrikaner forebears, and whom the Afrikaners are, and whence they come.  I’m sure you will find some real surprises there, Afrikaners certainly aren’t just the Dutch with a group of French Huguenots thrown in.  I certainly was surprised as I researched it, and it ends with a summation comparing the heritage and origins of the Afrikaner, and their bond to the land of South Africa, with the Jews and their bond to their land of Israel. This is reflected in the title of the article  – The Afrikaners: Perhaps Africa’s Most Enigmatic Tribe.  And the parallels continue as the Afrikaners deal with their diaspora and dual allegiance.
Farrell Hope
Click on the Genesis 40 link below

Muizenberg High Matric 1961

By Farrell Hope

Our 50th Muizenberg High School  matriculation class of ’61 reunion was held in November 2011.  I compiled a booklet for the occasion, to hand out to the attendees and mail to those that could not come, containing pictures of them then and now, and a description of their memories and their lives so far in their own words.  At the time only 3 people of the 37 that matriculated had passed away, and there was 1 we could not locate.  We got input from the spouses and/or children of those that had passed on to include in the book. Unfortunately since, a fair number have gone to the big reunion in the sky.
Due to a complete surprise emergency bypass operation, I did not make it to the reunion, but my book did. I attach the general pages of the book, but only my own two personal pages.  Mervyn Rosenberg has his copy, and has confirmed to me he would share it with you if you are interested.
However, although all these people provided their information knowing it was going into a booklet to be distributed at the reunion, and with few exceptions submitted the information themselves, before distributing anything you might want to clear it with them.  Their pages contain their email numbers at the time.  I have no problem with any information regarding myself.
I also have a picture of Muizenberg High School taken in 1915, before the third story was added, but I doubt that will rekindle any memories in anyone still living, so I didn’t include it.   I also have the yearbook of 1961, in electronic form, David Lazarus and I were both on the editorial board. As well as a booklet published by Dennis Herbstein describing life in Muizenberg during the war years, specifically for children.
Anyway attached is the relevant pages of the reunion of the class of 61 booklet

Click the link below to open pdf

Eli’s visit to Muizenberg High School in 2018

Moishe Sevitz

By Farrell Hope

I remember Moishe Sevitz very well, a man who was both alone and lonely. He frequently visited my grandparents’ home, and used to sit there quietly in the midst of our family, just just enjoying being a part of a happy family gathering, but seldom talking. Perhaps he was comfortable because my Litvak Grandfather had first immigrated to England, served in the British Army in WWI in France, and been gassed in the trenches. The UK paid passage for himself and his entire family to the British colony of his choice when he could not breath with his damaged lungs in the Manchester smog. I still have a copy of the UK warrant that served as his ticket. Steerage class, £5 for the entire passage of all five; two adults and 3 children with luggage storage, food and bedding included. In addition my father and all my uncles, on both sides of the family had volunteered during WWII and served up North.  So they knew the type of world and conflict he had escaped.

The Famous Stuffed Lions

The famous stuffed lions. Lily Rosenberg (later Pool), Farrell’s mother’s sister, and Yehutka Boyd, 1930
The stuffed Lions were in a glass walled building similar to a beach hut on Balmoral beach, and were a favourite prop for photographs which were taken by the people who ran the beach photograph concession on Muizenberg beach. They were there forever, and still there in the 1960’s when I left SA. People often mention them in reminiscing, and did so a number of times on Ryan Newfield’s series of Zoom get-togethers. Lily Rosenberg was my Mother’s sister, living in Pretoria at the time, and Yehutka Boyd was a family friend who lived in Muizenberg on Yarmouth Road a few houses down from us, when I knew him in the 50’s and 60’s.
Muizenberg KehilaLink:
managed by Eli Rabinowitz