Message from the Chairman: Mike Bosazza
2022 is almost over and 2023 is just around the corner. We will soon be 30 years old, but we will be a young and vigorous thirty. This newsletter tells you of all the publications we have produced, the activities of the NHT including recording oral histories and supporting research, and the big SAS Assegaai project. I am particularly happy to see this moving ahead because I believe that the preservation of the submarine will add immeasurably to the Navy Museum, to Simon’s Town and to our naval heritage.
All of this cannot be achieved without the dedication of a remarkable team who man the NHT office, research, edit and proofread books and digests, distribute our digests and encourage the sales of the books, record and grow the oral history programme, maintain contact with existing members and bring in new ones, look after our funds and generally increase the records of our naval heritage.
We have many friends on our Facebook page, but they only enjoy a very small measure of the benefits of being a member of the NHT. I encourage everyone to help grow our membership.
The Festive Season is here. I hope it will be a great one for all but essentially a safe and happy one. Please take care of yourselves.
Recently Completed Books and Digests
SA Naval Events Day by Day is now completed and published. It covers naval events along and around the SA coast between 1488 and 2022. The book also contains many photos of the events described in the text. This A4, 264-page glossy book is available to Heritage members at R300 and retails at R350.
Naval Digest 35 by Bill Rice and Paul Daykin has been published and distributed to paid up NH members. Additional copies can be purchased by members at R50 and retails at R60.
Just Nuisance by Terence Sisson. This book had become unobtainable, and the previous publishers were not willing to print a new run. Terence Sisson’s daughters in the UK gave Naval Heritage permission to print the 12th edition of this book. The book is available to Heritage members at R80 and retails at R120
SATS General Botha, War Record 1939 – 1945 by Mac Bisset and Tony Nicholas from the SATS GB is completed and published. This book is available to Heritage members for R100 and R150 retail.
Honour and Duty stories from the SATS General Botha by Ian Manning and Peter Rogers has been completed and published. It is available at R100 for Heritage members and R150 retail.
The Prof Wessels book A CENTURY OF SOUTH AFRICAN NAVAL HISTORY. The South African Navy and its predecessors. 1922 – 2022 is still available to Naval Heritage Society members at R280 + postage. As is R Adm Allan Du Toit`s Naval Digest number 33, A Navy for the Nation at R50. These are the members prices
Books in the pipeline
SA Marines – this book is on hold until a suitable author for the project is found.
The Navy Band history. This book has stalled for this year, but it is hoped that we can get it back on track in 2023.
History of the Strike Craft. Being compiled by Chris Myers in consultation with many others. This project is just getting underway and will be on the go for at least 2 years
Naval Digests (ND) in the pipeline
The proposed digests below are in no order and will be published as and when ready:
Phoenix Flotilla … the Iron Men in Wooden Ships, by Peter Rogers. This ND is progressing well with publication in 2023
A Man for all Seasons, V Adm Johan Retief, by Arne Soderlund. This ND is presently being proofread for publication in early 2023
Voyage to the Ice – SAS Outeniqua by Marga Ley and navalised by Arne Soderlund, this Digest is complete however Heritage is awaiting approval from the original author, as her notes were used to compile the Digest. This Digest will hopefully also be published in late 2023
SAS Protea This ND is being compiled by Cdr Leon Steyn from the SA Naval Museum. This is well advanced, and it is hoped to be completed during 2023
Operations Pullen and White Dove, Drakensberg and Outeniqua visits to the Congo – Arne Soderlund. This Naval Digest is still in the process of being put together. Publication possibly 2023/24
Coastal Naval Artillery and Gun Placements around the Cape Peninsula by Chris Dooner. This ND could be in 2 volumes and is in the research stage with possible publication in 2024
Top Sports Men and Women of the SAN 1922 – 2023, By Cdr Henriette Moller. This ND is being researched and is presently 130 pages strong. Naval Heritage would very much like to hear from the NH members of any top sports person they can remember, this will greatly assist in the detailed research. This ND is being planned for a 2024 publication
SA NAVAL MUSEUM REPORT: 4 TH QUARTER 2022
The Naval Museum’s visitors’ numbers have increased steadily since the Covid restrictions were lifted at the end of 2021. Visitors’ numbers for the last quarters were; September – 1 350, October – 1 086, November 548 (down mostly due to school exams). It is anticipated that the December/January holidays will bring a large number of visitors to Simon’s Town and the Naval Museum.
Highlights of the quarter included an invitation to the Officer-in-Charge (OiC) as a session chair at the South African Museums Association (SAMA) annual conference in Stellenbosch on 7 September 2022.
The SA Naval Museum is also a member of the International Congress of Maritime Museums and received a bursary grant to attend the annual conference (a hybrid event) in Halifax, Canada over the period 13-17 September 2022. The OiC attended the conference online, from Simon’s Town. Another highlight was a OiC’s benchmark-visit to the War Museum of the Boer Republics in Bloemfontein (and other museums) on 18 and 19 October 2022.
A steady flow of donations (artefacts) came to the museum and again points to the trust that the public holds in our museum. Highlights of such donations include a mallet (small hammer) that was used to launch SAS Protea in 1972 (from the Hiemstra family), a ship model of the battleship Bismarck and more than forty (40) maritime/naval books that will go to our reference library.
Research and writing continued to focus on the 50th anniversary of the SAS Protea. Navy News magazine featured five consecutive articles over five editions about SAS Protea. Research assistance was also provided to the public and the Fleet itself. This included support to the C Navy Change-of-Command parade on 6 December and to the Military History Journal for their special SA Navy edition. Book reviews of ‘President Mandela’s Admiral’ to Scientia Militaria and ‘A century of South African naval history’ to German International Journal of Military History and Historiography are included in this.
Display work focused on the updating of the Chiefs of the Navy display, following the appointment of Vice Admiral Monde Lobese as C Navy on 1 November 2022. Other display work included the updating of the ‘Navy Today’ display at the reception, the positioning of a large ‘5 Chiefs of the Navy’ “billboard” at Lower North battery and the production of new museum sign boards at the roadside entrance of the museum.
Three museum cannon firings were successfully executed during the quarter with the Cannon Association of South Africa on Heritage Day (24 September), Armistice Day (11 Nov) and Day of Reconciliation (16 Dec).
SA NAVAL MUSEUM HOLIDAY TIMES: Open 7 days a week from 09:30 to 15:30, with the exception of 25, 26 December and 1 January. Enquiries: 021 787 4686.
The NHT office is situated in Court Road Simon`s Town below the Simon’s Town Museum and next to the Snookie Shellhole. The office is open for members to visit on Mondays and Thursdays between 0930 and 1200. If you in the area you are most welcome to pop in for a cup of tea or coffee. You will then be able to view the Heritage collection of books, paintings and Oral Histories in the Office. The office is run by Les Gale and he is happy to welcome all visitors
Getting the Naval Digests and books delivered has become a problem for those living outside the South Peninsula. The Simon`s Town, Sun Valley, Valley Land, Muizenberg and Blue Route Mall Post Offices have all closed and Heritage is now only able to use the Fish Hoek branch for postings. Over 100 NDs still had to be sent via the Post Office for the last posting. For the last Naval Digest Heritage also used POSTNET and Paxi (Pep Store) for the long-distance delivery to Pretoria, Durban and Port Elizabeth.
POSTNET is now R109 and Paxi R70 per parcel.
Heritage is trying hard not to increase the subs to cover the additional postage costs.
Tim Johnson Prints
The Trust has acquired a few sets of the Tim Johnson naval vessel prints which are available for purchase by the Society members. There are two packs,
The first being the collection of 6 vessels, Drakensberg, Outeniqua, Strike Craft, Protea, A River Class Hunter and a submarine. This set of 5 prints sells for R450.
The second set is of 4 prints depicting the 4 Valour class frigates. This set sells for R300.
Each set is sold complete and cannot be split up for single prints. These print sets can be obtained from Glen Knox or by visiting the NHT Office.
NHT Library of Collected Books
The Trust continues to build its library of Nautical Books and magazines. The Heritage book collection is now over 600 books. These are available to members for reading at the NHT Office.
Heritage held a book sale on 3 December to move many of the duplicate and surplus books along. R1125 was raised at this book sale
Heritage is still on the lookout for Nautical themed books and in particular those with a South African maritime theme which can be added to the Heritage reference library.
Oral History Program
Every day of your life is a page of your history
The Trusts Oral History program has continued slowly during the third quarter. There are now 253 completed Oral Histories in the Naval Heritage archives. Heritage Society members are welcome to visit the office and read any of the Oral Histories on file.
One-on-One recordings continue with both Glen and Eddie attempting to inroads into the considerable backlog. Numerous Mini Oral Histories with the info being obtained from family members, old Navy News articles and other documents continue.
Oral Histories completed during the last quarter include Reg Cawcutt, Cecil Leisegang, Jakes Jacobson and Basil Harding`s Oral History has been updated with photos
Those still outstanding and busy with proof reading and additions, include:
WO1 Roy Marks, Lt Cdr van Blerck (Being completed by his son Johann) and Capt Preston Barnard having section 2 typed up. WO1 Mark Tomlinson, Cdr Hanlu van der Poel, Capt Shawn Wright, Cdr Peter Louwrens have all completed their recordings and are busy with proof readings.
Own writing has also caught on with, Gerrit Rademeyer, Nigel Peddie, Johan Swiegers and Chris Dooner who are all busy with their own writing projects. A third party is attempting to complete the late Tony Randal`s Oral History
We would encourage Society members to start writing their own Oral Histories, an hour or two each week is all it takes. However, if you would prefer a recording to be conducted as part of this Heritage project, please get in contact with Glen Knox on his email firstname.lastname@example.org or through WhatsApp on 084 686 1384
New members to the NHT Society are warmly welcomed and we trust you will all enjoy the publications produced and interacting with the Trust and Society members
We would like to encourage all Society members to recruit amongst their own friends and other retired Naval and Defence personnel who are not yet members to join up if they are interested in SA Navy and SA Naval Heritage. The Application form is on the SA Naval Heritage fb site and on the Heritage web page.
The paid-up membership for the Naval Heritage Society now stands at 223. This number has remained the same over the past few months as there have unfortunately been deaths amongst the members. Other members who do not respond to emails and are non-paying for two years are removed from the Heritage data base.
If you are moving home or changing your email addresses, kindly update your new addresses with Andre Wessels. Confirmation of your E Mail, postal address and cell numbers may be sent to the membership secretary at email@example.com
A Corporate Membership for the three Sea Cadets of SA has now been finalised with all three units having received their copies of the set of Naval Digests. The three units are TS Woltemade in Lakeside, TS Knysna and TS Lanherne in Port Elizabeth.
Corporate Membership has been accepted by the Simon`s Town Heritage Society. All paid up members are now entitled to purchase any of the books and Naval Digests published at the members discounted prices from the Heritage office
Naval Heritage Website
The Naval Heritage web page is looking very good and continues to be maintained by the Web Master, Nicholas Dunn.
We encourage all our Society members to log on and see the additional items on display. The link for the site is navalheritagetrust.co.za
Typing in SA Naval Heritage Trust will also link you to the page.
Additional Books and Naval Digests can also be ordered through the web site.
Where can you purchase Naval Heritage books and Digests?
All our published Naval Digests and books are available at the NHT Office in Simon`s Town or through the Naval Heritage web page. Remember paid up members get a big discount on all purchases.
Other stockists include Enkosi Africa gift and souvenir shop in Simon`s Town. This shop only holds a selection of the inventory and sells the publications at the full price.
Special deals on Naval Digests
The Trust has made the full set of the Naval Digests number 1 to 35 available to members at just R1100. Normal price R2100 for this set. Postage of R109 with POSTNET will need to be added in unless collected in person from the NHT office Simon’s Town or in Muizenberg
SA Naval Heritage Society Facebook Site
This site continues to grow each month and has become extremely popular with 6915 members having joined the fb site since it commissioned in 2009. There have been many positive interactions on the site which have highlighted new and interesting items on the SAN. The daily Shipwreck Heritage Report is also included, this makes for fascinating reading each day.
Are you a member of this Facebook site yet? If not click on it and join in the daily discussions.
Naval Heritage Yearly Subs
Naval Heritage Subs are often slow in coming in even with Andre Wessels our Membership Sec sending out an email when your subs are due. To all those who have submitted their subs, Many Thanks, these subs ensure we can get at least two Naval Digests out to you all each year. This year Heritage published 3 ND`s. Your yearly subs
Please ensure you do not fall behind in your subs. The yearly cost is still R150 and will hopefully not be increased this year even though the cost of publications and postage has put a considerable strain on the available funds.
Naval Heritage Trust Banking details
Naval Heritage Trust
Standard Bank Fish Hoek
Account number 072 102 276
Assegaai Submarine Project
SUBMARINE MUSEUM NEWS: 5 December 2022: Released by R Adm (Ret) Hanno Teuteberg, Chairman ASSEGAAI Submarine Museum Sub-Committee
ASGCOM FEEDBACK: 5 DEC 22
- The Submarine Museum initiative has been very busy since our last feedback. We are slowly getting there although we would appreciate all the assistance, we can get to realise our dream.
- The Submarine Museum Management Board (SMMB) met on 17 November, ironing out the SAN and Dockyard support requested to get the project (and the submarine!) moving in the right direction. Dockyard has undertaken to service the docking cradle and support preparations for the move of the submarine (some vessels must be moved, and others scrapped to open the path to the N3 Synchro Lift position). Dockyard will also assist with the fitting of transport cradles. The SAN will clear the path for the move of the boat and vacate the two office buildings and garages on the site. Meetings were held with Damen Shipyard who have graciously donated the transport frames and offered to alter and fit them as required. The welding of the frames to the submarine hull is now planned for January 2023. Funds allowing, we would like to be ready to move the boat by end February 2023. Damen has also arranged with International Paints for the donation of paint.
- The construction of the future submarine foundation was commenced with on 01 November and is now being completed. Some unexpected surprises along the way (like a huge wall running through the area below ground level!). Huge assistance from John Lamont and his volunteers for “hands on” management!
- The area surrounding the buildings has been cleared of rocks and unwanted vegetation. We have a plan in place to make the entrance area attractive. The pressure hull cutting can be placed on the cement structure with some tables and chairs around the area for those waiting to enter the museum. Obviously, the place could use some irrigation!
- Spare operations room equipment has been located and will be installed in the office space as additional exhibitions. In addition, it was decided that maritime related companies will be allowed display space (maritime technology driven exhibits) in exchange for suitable support to the project. The ex-project engineer for Project NICKLES (Carel van der Merwe) has come onboard with a great donation and full support that will include the fitting of a working sonar transducer plus associated gear for the exhibition area. This will allow us to broadcast live underwater noise into the area. We may also be able to fit the periscope software.
- We are currently expending the available funds to complete the foundations and preparations for the future support of the submarine, once in position. Damen Shipyard, International Paints and IQS Consulting have pledged much support and the external renovation plan is taking shape. We have also applied for a grant from a skills development agency which, if granted, will certainly make a great difference to our progress.
- However, the funding for the move remains the critical path. The project has been provided with much publicity on radio and electronic media. Funding obtained via the crowd funding initiative (Link provided at the bottom of the article) will currently cover about 25% of the requirement with approximately 59 donors. Much vocal support from project fans but times are tough, and wallets remain in pockets. We will continue our efforts in this regard and still have hopes for one or more major sponsors to come through for us. If you are able to assist, please do so. Any amount will help us get to the finish line!
Account: The Naval Heritage Trust
Universal Branch Code: 051001
Account No: 07 210 2276
Swift Code: SBZAZAJJ
All payment should be referenced as ‘ASG + donor initial and name’.
Naval Heritage Trust Board
Chairman: Mike Bosazza
Vice Chairman: Capt Glen Knox
Secretary: Capt Trunell Morom
Treasurer: Mrs Glynnis Hellemann
Trustee: RAdm (JG) Arne Soderlund
Member: Capt Chris Dooner
Trustee: Cdr Eddie Wesselo
Trustee: Cdr Mac Bisset
Member: WO1 David Harrison
Trustee: WO1 Andre Wessels
WO1 Les Gale
WO1 Harry Croome