ELIZABETH RUSSELL CAMERON:
AN EIGHTY YEAR OLD
by Win de Vos
Mrs. Cameron, with her two daughters, lives in her own home near the new Dutch Reformed Church. She spends most of her time now, as she is not so strong lately, on her sunny, back stoep which faces north. Although her physical strength is on the wane, her mind is as active as ever, and she continues to take the keenest interest in current events.
A friend who drops in to have morning or afternoon tea with her is sure to be greeted with something like this: "Don't you think it scandalous the way things have been going on in the Central Prison at Pretoria? Have you seen the account in this morning's paper?" or: "That do you think of the strike in China? I consider the Chinese tramway-men were exceedingly ingenious in their novel method of conducting a strike, don't you? Have you read the report in "The Star?" or yet again: "What do you think of the Municipality borrowing all that money for a new power-station? I hold that is quite unnecessary extravagance and that they have not the right to saddle future generations with such debt. Now T really approve of the Municipality enlarging our water-scheme, but I do not hold with the meters they have installed. Water is a necessity of life, and I contend that it should be free and that the poor should be allowed to use as much as they like. It encourages cleanliness and after all 'Cleanliness is next to godliness.' It also encourages them to make gardens and so beautify their homes and incidentally their village. We have sufficient other taxes to pay for the water-scheme without a tax being levied on the water itself."
She will then go on to discuss many other matters, expressing such opinions as: "I think the eight-hour working-day an excellent institution provided that no employee is allowed to work overtime. If there is overtime work to be done, it should be given to those who are without means of making a living so as to give them a chance to earn something too, while there is so much unemployment.
In my opinion the Government should economise by cutting down the number of Members of Parliament as there are far too many of them. I consider a best-man Parliament would serve the country very much better than the present form of representation we have."
Such are the interests of Mrs. Cameron, who, at the age of eighty, leads a quiet life with occasional visits to the sea-side and Swaziland.
Mrs. Cameron passed away on the 13th of May, 1931, after a long and painful illness which she bore with the same grit and courage with which she met all hardships in life.
Copyright Win de Vos.
Put onto the web by Joan Marsh(2002) a great-grand-daughter of ERCameron