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.
Recently Completed Books and Digests
ND 37 Phoenix Flotilla … the Iron Men in Wooden Ships, by Peter Rogers. Has been published and issued to all paid up members.
Books in the pipeline
The Sea was kind to me by Ronnie Erikson. This very interesting book on the life in the small ships in WWII has been completed and goes to print on 18 September 2023. The book will be on sale during October 23.
Naval Digests (ND) in the pipeline
The proposed digests below are in no order and will be published as and when ready:
SAS Protea This ND is being compiled by Cdr Leon Steyn from the SA Naval Museum. The Digest is well advanced and is due to be published in Feb 2024.
Top Sportsmen 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.
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 2024/5
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 2024/5
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 2025.
The NHT office has successfully moved to the new premise and is now situated in the SA Naval Museum Submarine Park on the side of Cole Point Parking area. The office is open for members to visit on Mondays and Thursdays between 0930 and 1200. If you are in the area you are most welcome to pop for a chat and even 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. If you would like to confirm a visit, please message Glen on 0846861384.
Getting the Naval Digests and books delivered continues to be a problem for those living outside the South Peninsula. For a safer delivery NHT is now also using POSTNET and Paxi (Pep Stores) 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 their new postal address. 15 ND 37 were returned due to addresses being changed or Post Boxes closed. Even a pack posted via PAXI was returned after being paid for by the member due to non-collection.
POSTNET is now R109 and Paxi R60 per parcel.
Heritage is trying hard not to increase the subs to cover the additional postage costs, however there could well be unavoidable subs increase in 2024 to cover the escalation in 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 Heritage Trusts Oral History program has continued slowly during 2023. There are now 258 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 make inroads into the considerable backlog. Numerous Mini Oral Histories with the info being obtained from family members, old Navy News articles and other documents continues.
Oral Histories completed this year include Capt Shawn Wright and AB Bill Small (WWII), Cdr Hanlu van der Poel and Cdr Nigel Peddie.
Nigel Peddie completed his own Oral History and published it in book form, and it makes fascinating reading. This book can be purchased from NHT at R350 or directly from Nigel Peddie.
The oral histories presently being typed include Capt Peter De Beer Strydom and Capt Chris Dooner.
Those still outstanding and busy with proof reading and additions, include WO1 Roy Marks, Lt Cdr van Blerck (Being completed by his son Johann). Capt Preston Barnard, WO1 Mark Tomlinson, Capt Peter Louwrens, Capt Richard Loydell have all completed their recordings and are busy with proof readings.
Those busy with Own Writing includes Gerrit Rademeyer and Johan Swiegers and Glen Knox. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or through WhatsApp on 084 686 1384.
Glen will be visiting Pretoria between 5 and 15 October for OH recordings. If you are not on the recording list as yet please get in touch and be ready for recording your story during the visit.
Chris Dooner is also planning on being in the Durban area in November for OH recordings if sufficient candidates can be mustered for the visit.
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 April to September 2023 are:
D Le Roux W De Klerk J Day B Edwards
A Zerwick D Visser J Rabe D Mhkonto
K Barrow H Volschenk F Holmes G Withers
A Bury C Burchell-Burger J Meyer J Picco
G Marlow D Meyer K Graham J Cloete
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 email@example.com
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 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 37 available to members at just R1600. Normal retail price R3330 to non-members for this set. Postage of R109 with POSTNET and R60 with PAXI will need to be added in unless collected in person from the NHT office Simon’s Town or in Muizenberg.
Naval Digest numbers 1-37 at R1600 a set
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 6952 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 but may need to be increased in 2024 due to the cost of postage and publications these costs have placed 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
Presentation to C Navy
After the Damen submarine presentation at the Synchrolift a function was held at 7 Seas where C Navy, V Adm Lobese was presented with the Naval Heritage Day by Day by Arne Söderlund.
Assegaai Submarine Project
SUBMARINE MUSEUM NEWS: 15 September 2023: Released by R Adm (Ret) Hanno Teuteberg, Chairman ASSEGAAI Submarine Museum Sub-Committee
The SA Navy Submarine Museum project has made great strides during the past few months with assistance from Damen Shipyards, the SA Navy itself and the members of the project team.
At the future exhibition site on the Western side of the Cole Point parking area, the allocated buildings are slowly being converted for their intended use. The NHT has established their office there and an area is allocated for the static displays such as periscopes, sonars and operations room equipment. It is expected that the remaining SA Navy sections will move out of the area within the next weeks.
During a ceremony at Naval Base Simon’s Town on 14 August 2023, Damen handed over two 7 tonne support cradles that will be used to support the submarine at its new location. The cradles were built using steel salvaged from old Damen ship transport cradles. Work began on the cradles in November 2022. The cradles, each 3.6 metres long and 9.1 metres wide, were constructed both in the Damen yard in the Port of Table Bay and on location in Simon’s Town.
During the past weeks, R Adm (JG) Kevin Watson (Ret) and a few assistants have been cutting the ballast tanks where the future entry and exit points will be. A clear indication of the way in which we would like to present the submarine.
With the foundations and the submarine itself ready for the move, now is the time to achieve the financial target to enable the team to contract for the move of the boat. Much has been achieved in this regard but it is clear that we still need in the region of RK500 depending on the final quotes of the moving companies. This may sound expensive but keep in mind that we (with the generous assistance of Damen Shipyards and other sponsors / contributors) have spent four times more in preparing for the move.
We would like to integrate the move with other business that will be conducted by the moving company in the Cape during that time, thus reducing the costs. This should happen in February 2024 and all effort will be required to have the funds available before this crucial period.
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 Harry Croome
Next newsletter – December 2023
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