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Message from the Chairman: Mike Bosazza

(Written on a very quiet day in Cape Town: Mr Malema’s National Shutdown or just a school holiday in the middle of a long weekend?)

Currently there seems to be so much turmoil in the world, but our lives in South Africa are relatively calm. Yes, there is load-shedding, but South Africans have adjusted to that – as we drive around potholes and negotiate water shortages.

We don’t have a monstrous war raging, exacerbated by extreme weather. We don’t have weeks of rubbish piled up in our streets due to a garbage collectors strike.

We don’t have the extreme weather that has been pounding our northern neighbours. Our SAAF did manage to save a survivor of Cyclone Freddy, standing alone on a rock for more than 24 hours in the raging Lurio River. The skill of the helicopter pilot and crew is something of which we can all be proud.

And there is positive news.

Like the 4 students who have done so well at the Lawhill Maritime school and the NHT team that produces and sells so many books and digests.

Like the Naval Museum that welcomes so many visitors, adding to its collection and exhibits.

Like the SAS Assegaai team who are progressing on the project to move the submarine to her exhibition home.

This newsletter has a great deal of information on the NHT’s activities. I hope you feel some of the positivity that drives us to record and preserve our naval heritage.

And you are welcome to come to our office and speak to our volunteers. They would

be delighted to see you.


Mike Bosazza

Prizes to students at the Lawhill Maritime school

NHT has for the second year awarded prizes to 4 students at the Lawhill Maritime School. Each prize consists of R500 and NHT books.

 The students visited the NHT office in January to receive their prizes where they were awarded the newly printed SA Naval Day-by-Day and the General Botha book Honour and Duty.

Books on the Bay Festival

Naval Heritage was able to obtain a table to display our books and Naval Digests at this event held on 10 and 11 March.

Although not many books were sold the awareness of the Trust came to the fore with enquiries as to what we do.

Work team

 The “envelope stuffing team” was hard at work preparing ND36 for posting.

NHT Banners

The NHT has designed and had manufactured three banners that can now be used to advertise the office and book sales

Recently Completed Books and Digests

A Man for All Reasons, V Adm Johan Retief, by Arne Soderlund. This ND has been completed and will be posted out in the last week of March 2023

Books in the pipeline

The Sea was kind to me by Ronnie Erikson. NHT has been able to get permission from the authors son Steve Erikson to reprint this very interesting book on the life on board ship during WWII. This book will be printed and go on sale in October 2023

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 now completed and will be issued in July 2023.

SAS Protea This ND is being compiled by Cdr Leon Steyn from the SA Naval Museum. The Digest is well advanced and will be published in Feb 2024

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 2024.

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 2024

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.


By Cdr Leon Steyn

February 2023 = 752
Steady flow, especially overseas visitors to the museum

Collections / Donations received.
– 8 Feb 2023: Naval Marine Engineering practice book 1955
– 27 Feb 2023: Sue Labuschagne photo album, magazines and books, white ensign (HMS King George V)
– 4 March 2023: Valour class frigate model (Rudi Posthumus)

Items returned (on loan)
– Cannon returned to the Lindy Bisset family on 8 March 2023.

Research & Writing
– Article about SAS Protea published in SA Military History Journal (The museum is now the distribution hub in the southern suburbs for the journal).
– Article In the forthcoming edition of Scientia Militaria – The first Swans of the South African Navy 50 years ago
– SAMHS Zoominar The first Swans of the South African Navy 50 years ago on 9 March 2023.

Design & display
– Assistance to A/DFFP with the design of proposals for the 2nd MMIPV SAS King Shaka Zulu ship badge. Seven options submitted to FCB.

Library & Archives
– No qualified librarians left in the Fleet, therefore donated books are now taken to Fish Hook Library for numbering
– Request put forward to DFHR to demilitarize one post at the museum in order to staff a qualified librarian.

– Submarine Museum (NHT).
– Repair of clock tower roof (Cape Heritage Foundation). Awaiting a third quotation. (work on the internal mechanism continues – Harry Croome and Roy).

Cannon Firings

– Freedom Day (27 April 2023) next.

General comments:

  1. Support from Base Facilities has improved three PSAP cleaners assigned to the museum twice a week.
  2. New building manager (CPO Olivier) follows up on job cards that have been submitted. (the slowly-collapsing wall above the museum is one of these on the list).

NHT Office

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.

Please note the NHT office will be moving before June 2023 as NHT has been given notice as the room is required to be turned into a sewing room, one of the projects of the host museum. The new premises for the NHT office have as yet not been confirmed.


Getting the Naval Digests and books delivered continues to be 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.

Naval Digests returned by the Post Office as undelivered are not reposted until the members have confirmed his /her new postal address.

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.

Heritage is always 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 first quarter of 2023. There are now 255 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 Capt Shawn Wright and AB Bill Small (WWII)

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, 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 e mail

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

The new members for January to March 2023 are:

D Christian                  D Louw

KM Patrick                  E Van Lille                   A Rice                         Dr Gerrit Rademeyer

DM Dyer                     TV Mahlangu              T Fincham                   F Gouws

T Cowley                     K Borglin                     L Hallgren                    J vd Westhuizen

P McNaughton            S Defty                        ? Burchell                    A Langlais

Prof D Attwell

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 270. Society members who do not respond to emails and are non-paying for 6 months after renewal date 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



Naval Heritage Website

The Naval Heritage web page 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  

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 36 available to members at just R1400. Normal retail price R3240 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.

To obtain this Heritage book bargain contact Glen Knox

SA Naval Heritage Society Facebook Site

This site continues to grow each month and has become extremely popular with 6936 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 presently being well paid up. Andre Wessels our Membership Sec sends 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.

Please ensure you do not fall behind in your subs. The yearly subscription 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 code 051001

Account number 072 102 276

Assegaai Submarine Project

SUBMARINE MUSEUM NEWS: 16 March 2023: Released by R Adm (Ret) Hanno Teuteberg, Chairman ASSEGAAI Submarine Museum Sub-Committee


The SA Navy Submarine Museum project continues to make progress as seen on several Facebook pages.  For those of you not following, the Assegaai has been transferred to the SA Navy Museum and Naval Heritage Society has been given approval to run with the project of establishing a Submarine Museum on the Western edge of the Cole Point parking area.

The designated area has been cleared and the construction of foundations for the future exhibition was completed towards the end of 2022.  These foundations will match the chocks to be welded onto the pressure hull.  We are looking forward to taking ownership of the buildings on site to prepare for the shore exhibitions (periscope, sonar consoles, associated operations room equipment).

On the other side of the Dockyard much action has taken place to prepare the submarine for the future move.  Dockyard has serviced the submarine cradle and we will now be able to move it on greased bearings.  Damen Shipyard Cape Town (headed by an ex-submarine Captain) has been extremely helpful with their support in terms of the manufacture and delivery of the chock frame required for the move.  Their apprentices have spent days welding the various frames and the vertical support struts together in the Dockyard Welding shop (the shop has probably not been that busy since the SAS TAFELBERG conversion!).

Next step was for the frames to be laid in position under the boat after which the transport Chocks could be aligned with the hull. Ready for final “scribbing” and welding to the hull.  It must be emphasized that none of the designs and actual work could have taken place without the assistance and oversight of R Adm (JG) Kevin Watson – give that man a Bells!

Dockyard is currently getting rid of other vessels that will impede the submarine’s move to N3 from where it must then be moved to the exhibition site.  This is progressing well.  The next phase would be to move the submarine.  Lifting and moving the submarine has been quoted (updated quote) at RM1,725.  This is the critical phase as the repair of the boat’s exterior can then take place over time and using the expertise of our volunteers.  We have been able to raise approximately 30% of the move fund required and will continue with our fund-raising efforts.  What we desperately need is a corporate sponsor.  Be aware that we will not abandon the project but may have to press the “Pause” button until such time that we have the funding for the move.

We will push on and will get the job done – with your assistance.

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                             

Web Master
Nicholas Dunn

Volunteer staff
WO1 Les Gale
WO1 Harry Croome

Next newsletter – June 2023


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