Our speaker on 12 March 2015 was Dr Dean Allen, whose topic was the role that Matjiesfontein and its famous (or is it notorious) 'Laird', James Logan, played in the South African War of 1899-1902. Dr Allen previously addressed this meeting on a slightly similar subject, but within the broader context which included much detail on the political interaction between Logan and the elite of the Cape Colony, as well as using sport - especially cricket - to open doors and create business and social opportunities for himself. He indeed was the epitome of the "self-made man."
Co-incidentally, Dr Dean Allen's book, Empire, War and Cricket in South Africa: Logan of Matjiesfontein, which formed the basis of his two lectures, was launched locally in the past month, to great acclaim and with some excellent reviews in the local press. He is taking up an appointment as a Senior Lecturer at Bournemouth University in the UK at the beginning of June and we want to wish him well in his new career and with his writing endeavours. He has indicated that he still have strong links with South Africa and will be visiting South Africa - and more importantly, Cape Town - on a regular basis.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the notes on the lecture were not available in time to meet the deadline for the newsletter, and will therefore be included together with next month's newsletter. We apologise for any inconvenience thus caused.
The 8th of May 2005 marked the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War (1939-1945) of the twentieth century. We commemorate both the living and the dead of this great conflict.
The outgoing executive committee of the Cape Town Branch was re-elected en bloc by the members at the meeting, with the exception of Mr Robert Adams, who did not stand for re-election.
The committee for 2015/2016 is:
14 MAY 2015: THE BATTLE OF SALDANHA BAY, 1781 by Rear-Admiral (JG) André Rudman
The Battle of Saldanha Bay (21 July 1781) took place against the broader canvas of the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War (1780-1784) during which the Netherlands became involved in the American War of Independence by joining France and Spain in declaring war on England. A planned invasion and capture of the Cape of Good Hope by a British naval force under commodore George Johnstone, was thwarted when a French naval force under Adm the Bailli de Suffren, en route to the Indian Ocean, managed to reach the Dutch settlement first to give timeous warning for its occupants to take adequate defensive measures to discourage a British occupation. In an effort to safeguard their westbound merchant fleet, laden with goods, the governor at the Cape, Baron Joachim van Plettenberg, directed the East Indiamen to anchor in Saldanha Bay where they would be concealed from the preying eyes of the British fleet. This proved not to be the case, as the presenter will explain in his lecture. He will also elaborate on the British interest in the Cape, as well as on the inconclusive clash between Johnstone and Suffren's fleets at Porto Playa in the Cape Verde Islands on the 16th of April 1781, as a lead-up to the turn of events of the 21st of July, 1781.
11 June 2015: THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO & ITS IMPACT ON EUROPEAN HISTORY by Capt Brian Hoffmann (SAN)(Ret)
Capt. Hoffman's lecture will describe as well as analyse the epoch-making Battle of Waterloo which took place on June 18th, 1815. He will not only deal with the battle itself, but also within the wider context, discuss the origins of the battle, as well as the consequences and the impact it had on Europe - as well as globally - after the fall of Napoleon. The lecture will be illustrated.
BOB BUSER: Treasurer/Asst. Scribe
Phone: 021-689-1639 (Home)
RAY HATTINGH: Secretary
Phone: 021-592-1279 (Office)