South African Military History Society


Our Society Evening of the 9th May started on a light-hearted note. The curtain raiser's title was: "How to enjoy Egypt as an accidental tourist and see the pyramids for free, while being paid 2.1/2 Plaster per day'. The Chairman recounted his experiences as a POW in Egypt, where, from `45 until late `48, he followed a chequered career, which led him from El Daba, via Ma'adi (near Cairo), El Ballah (Suez Canal Zone), to Port Sa'id and into No. 156 Transit Camp at Port Fouad.

The main speaker was fellow member Henk Loots and his subject was: "Collecting and Researching Medals and Decorations". As a compulsive collector, not only of medals, orders and decorations, but also of antique clocks, disc music boxes, maps of Africa and gramophones, Henk was eminently qualified to talk about his fascinating hobby.

He showed us a great number of slides to illustrate parts of his extensive collection and at the same time gave us an insight into the detective work required in the research of identifying the person who received the decoration, his background, and the reason why he was honoured.

This is obviously a very time consuming, perhaps even tedious, research, going through libraries, paging through old books to find the elusive clue, and the members really appreciated Henk's presentation and shared his enthusiastic involvement.

The micro-photography (engravings on the edge of medals) was especially noteworthy.

Dr. Felix Machanik, also a medal collector, thanked Henk for his captivating talk.

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Forthcoming events:
9th June L. Wildenboer The Battle of Hastings
George Barrell The Bismarck

14th July Couldridge/Paterson/Ayres The Persian Invasion of Greece

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The Friends of the Museum will show a Video on 21st July, with the title: "U-505". Visitors are welcome. For more information please contact Capt.A.Speir at the Museum.

It is most important that we assist the Museum in these uncertain times to cut down on expenses, especially for overtime. Fellow members interested and willincr to act as (unpaid) volunteer guides or to serve the Museum in any other capacity during weekends or public holidays are requested to contact Louis Wildenboer at Tel. (011) 679 19 80 or the Chairman.

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Society Ties (R 35.-) and Plaques (R 65.-) are still available from the Chairman.

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CAPE TOWN The Branch Committee for 94/95 is as follows:
Chairman: A. Nathan, Hon. Treasurer: T. Fuller, Hon. Secretary; P. Lange. Col.O. Baker, D.O'Riley, Lt.Col.M.E. Rightford.

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DURBAN The Branch Committee for 94/95 is as follows:
Chairman: K. Gillings, Hon.Secretary: T.v.d.Watt (Mrs); D. Hall, S.B. Bourquin.

Warm congratulations to all committee members and best wishes for another year in office.

(011) 453 63 53

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