Message from the Chairman: Mike Bosazza
It is rather alarming to think that the end of the year is approaching very fast. And with that comes the hope that we can move SAS Assegaai to her place in Submarine Park in a couple of months. But we still need the funds to do so. If you know of any willing funders, please pass their names on to us.
And speaking of funds we have had to look very hard at our membership fees. We have tried to contain our expenses and to swallow all the increases that we face in printing costs, bank charges and professional fees but we are forced to ask our members to contribute a bit more. We believe that what the NHT offers our members is value for money.
An important point to remember is that not only do you benefit from our publications, but you are also contributing to the preservation of South Africa’s naval heritage. It is a heritage of which we are proud and of which we want a full and accurate record.
Congratulations to the winners of the NHT Awards. They have shown enthusiasm and interest in maritime subjects and their interest has extended to development and trends in the industry.
As we prepare to go into 2024, I wish you and your families a very happy and safe Festive Season and a prosperous and healthy New Year.
Recently Completed Books and Digests
The Sea Was Kind To Me by Ronnie Erikson. This very interesting book on the life in the small ships in WWII has been published and is available at R70 to members and then retails for R100 to the public.
Naval Digest 37
All paid up members should have received this copy by now. There were however 20, ND37`s returned undelivered. These returned publications will be posted with the next ND in April if new addresses have been forwarded.
Due to the sharp increase in purchasing these diaries it has been decided by the Trustees that NHT will not be offering them for sale this year. The price would have been in excess of R140 before postage where a similar diary can be purchased at a supermarket for between R90 to R110.
Naval Digests (ND) in the pipeline
Naval Heritage attempts to have a minimum of two Naval Digest published each year. There are number of Naval Digests being worked on by the Trustees and other writers and will be published as they are completed. The proposed digests below are an indication of what is being planned for the future.
SAS Protea This ND is being compiled by Cdr Leon Steyn from the SA Naval Museum. After a bit of a holdup this Digest is now due to be published in Apr 2024.
Top Sportsmen and Women of the SAN 1922 – 2023, By Cdr Henriette Moller, Capt Knox and SWO Dave Harrison. 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 could be the second ND for 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 could be published in either 2024/25
Operations Pullen and White Dove, Drakensberg and Outeniqua visits to the Congo – Arne Soderlund. This Naval Digest is progressing slowly and could be published in 2025.
SA Naval Events Day-by-Day 1488-2023 – CHRISTMAS PRESENTS
Are you still looking for a good naval Christmas present for someone? How about presenting them with this wonderful book of SA Naval Events. The 264-page book with both colour and BW photos is R300 + R60 for Paxi Post. Get your order in by 10 December and you should have the book in time for a Christmas day reading session. Check the Heritage web page for any other books you may desire for the festive season. Payment to the NHT account and message Glen on requirements. Books will be posted on 11 December.
There are many more books that can be used as Christmas or birthday gifts. Please check out the NHT Webpage for all the books on offer.
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 or Chris on 0845130617.
NHT Subs 2024
There has been no increase in the NHT subs for 5 years. Unfortunately, the cost of printing Naval Digests and books continues to increase as does the cost of postage.
The Post Office has become extremely difficult to use as many posted ND`s get returned undelivered with the comment address does not exist and Post Box closed.
Also posted items go missing and another ND needs to be sent which doubles our costs.
The Trustees have tried hard to keep these costs down without increasing the yearly subs. Besides the ND`s and book projects the Trust is also involved in Oral History recordings, assistance to the Naval Museum and the Submarine Museum project. All these events cost, and funds need to be carefully allocated to ensure the Trust can meet its Heritage goals.
From 1 January 2024 the new subs for all members will have to unfortunately be increased. There will however be a saving for those wanting the electronic copy of a Naval Digest. Published Books will still need to be hard copies.
New Subs will be as follows.
- Electronic copy only, subs R180 (no hard copy posted)
- Hard copy, subs R280. This will include the cost of the Paxi Post with Pep Stores. Hand delivered publications in the Cape Town area will also fall into this category as the Trustees will be required to travel around their allocated areas delivering the publications personally. Each Trustee will then be given a small travel allowance for this duty.
- Overseas delivery, subs R380 this will include the standard overseas postage with the Post Office (appears to be working better than local postal services)
- Corporate membership will also be R280.
Any other postage will be on an individual basis through the Paxi system.
All members are now required to let the Trust know,
- Which option they are choosing Electronic (via email) or Hard Copy,
- Which Pep Store is their desired delivery point and their correct cell number. Paxi Post will have the packages delivered within 7 days of posting. Their system is well controlled and packages are tracked constantly.
- Hand deliveries will need correct street address, not a P.O. Box
Hand delivered publications in the Cape Town area can only be delivered to actual addresses no longer P.O. Boxes.
Notification of Pep Store delivery point or actual home address as applicable and correct Cell phone numbers should be sent to Andre Wessels at email@example.com by 31 December 2023
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 during 2023. There are now 286 completed Oral Histories with 23 in the completion process. There are unfortunately 14 Oral Histories incomplete due to the video`s they were recorded on being very poor quality. 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.
After a very successful trip to Pretoria, Glen managed to get in 13 Oral History recordings with 26-hours for typing up.
The oral histories presently being proofread include Capt Peter De Beer Strydom, Capt Chris Dooner, Capt Richard Loydell, Capt Rob Thomson, Cdr Basie Broekman, AB Nigel Nagel, RAdm Evert Groenewald, Cdr Clyde Stirling, Capt Graham Davies, WO Mark Tomlinson, Capt Peter Louwrens
Oral histories in for typing include Capt Jock Deacon, VAdm M. Hlongwane, Capt Sonica Schulenberg, RAdm Theo Butler, RAdm Derek Christian, RAdm Steve du Toit and RAdm Dunstan Smart
Those busy with Own Writing includes Gerrit Rademeyer, Johan Swiegers and Glen Knox. A third party is still attempting to complete the late Tony Randal`s Oral History.
WO1 Roy Marks is completing his book based on his initial recording. Lt Cdr van Blerk`s OH is being worked on by his son Johan van Blerk based on an initial recorded memories.
A trip to the Durban area for a recording session is still on the cards, however the retired Durbanite`s are being very slow in volunteering their time for recording important memories. We need to confirm at least 10 candidates to make this trip worth the costs.
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 important 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.
The new members for April to September 2023 are:
C Masurik, Sonica Schulenberg, Joe Sinovich, Brenda Brits, Theo Stokes.
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 267.
Society members who do not respond to renewal emails and are non-paying for 6 months after renewal date are unfortunately removed from the Heritage data base.
If you are moving home or changing your email addresses, kindly update any new addresses with Andre Wessels. Confirmation of your Email, 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.
The NHT web page has had 11568 Hits, Naval Digests and Books have received 858 and 961 visits respectively. Naval Tube 215 visits and the Assegaai project 1440 visits.
Have you visited the Naval Heritage webpage yet?
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 bought at the office or online.
Other stockists include Enkosi Africa gift and souvenir shop in Simon`s Town and the SA Naval Museum. Both these venues only hold a selection of the inventory and sells the publications at the full retail 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 R1700. Normal retail price R3330 to non-members for this set. Postage of R150 with POSTNET and R100 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 R1700 a set
To obtain this Heritage book bargain contact Glen Knox
Individual Naval Digests sell for R70 to members and R90 retail.
SA Naval Heritage Society Facebook Site
This site continues to grow each month and has become extremely popular with 6966 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 Trust Banking details
Naval Heritage Trust Standard Bank code 051001
Account number 072 102 276
Visit by AB Bill Small
By Chris Dooner
586474 Able Seaman (AB) William “Bill” Paterson Small is a member of the Boot and Saddle MOTH Shellhole in Underberg, KZN. Another member is Peter Whittaker, with whom I went to school and who, coincidentally, was called up for and served in the SAN. The City of Cape Town arranged for three veterans from the Second World War to attend Cape Town’s 2022 Remembrance Day Service, at which they laid wreaths and were billed as the only surviving WW2 veterans that the City could locate. I already knew about Bill from Peter Whittaker and when the opportunity presented itself, I told the Executive Mayor that the City had missed a veteran who had served in the SAN Forces in Cape Town. The Mayor asked me to pass Bill’s details on to his office. The upshot was Bill’s invitation and visit to Cape Town, courtesy of the Mayor and his PA, Bronwyn Fisher.
Bill laid a wreath at the Service. He was the last to leave the venue as he was greeted, congratulated, interviewed and asked to join selfies after the service. There is more on that on page 5 of Die Burger of 13 November 2023, the only media to report on Bill. Bill was accompanied by his daughter Helen Lewis and Donald Guy. He was assisted to lay the wreath by the Executive Mayor and Moths Les Gale and Simon Ainsworth-Taylor of the MOTH Snoekie Shellhole in Simons Town (Smst).
The Chief of Fleet Staff (CFS) Rear Admiral (Junior Grade) Lisa Hendricks laid a wreath on behalf of the SAN and met and congratulated Bill at the Service. The Curator/Officer-in-Charge of the SAN Museum in Smst, Commander Leon Steyn, arranged for Bill to visit the SAN Museum and be driven around the old section of the SAN’s Smst harbour on Wednesday 15 November. R Adm Hendricks reported back to her commander Flag Officer Fleet (FOF), Rear Adm Nkomonde, who then said that he would like to meet Bill. FOF and CFS subsequently met Bill at the SAN Museum when he visited the museum. Cdr Steyn has written a good article on Bill meeting FOF and CFS and his visit to the museum. Cdr Steyn also organised for a copy of Bill’s WW2 personal file to be made – Cdr Steyn presented this to BIll (Full [15M] and abridged [1M] copies are attached.)(Cdr Steyn’s Email address is at Cc.)
Bill was then taken for a drive around that part of the naval harbour that existed during WW2. On their own initiative, the Protection Force members on duty at the gates paid him the same respects that they would for an officer when they were told who Bill was. Bill visited but never served out of Simon’s Town. Bill joined the SANF in February 1944, underwent Basic training at Pollsmoor, followed by a stint on Minesweepers out of Cape Town and then Harbour Defence Launches and Anti-submarine/escorts out of Durban. He was demobbed in November 1945. The Minesweepers and Anti-submarine vessels were trawlers and whalers taken up from the trade and converted accordingly.
From the harbour Bill went to the Snoekie Shellhole and thereafter up to Just Nuisance’s grave at Klaver. Bill recalled Just Nuisance taking up the seat next to him on a train trip.
My thoughts on Bill’s visit. That he took the time to visit was much appreciated, more so that he was able and willing to do so. Bill surprised a number of us with his stamina. He was generally quiet and confirmed to me that he was absorbing and remembering.
9 Inch gun firing Middle North
A regular occurrence on important event days in Simon`s Town brings the 9inch gun at Middle North to life.
11 November was such a day with the team under WO Croome and Venter (both retired) prepared the gun for firing. On this occasion Les Gale was giving the opportunity to fire the gun at 1100 after the 2-minute silence.
NHT Lawhill Awards
Each year the NHT awards 4 prizes to students at the Lawhill Maritime School. The students are chosen by the school for maritime work achieved during the year. This year the awards went to Amanda Blose, Misokuhle Langa, Simzukise Mafolwane and Nomathamsanqa Mlada. The students were each presented with two books and a monetary prize.
SAS ASSEGAAI SUBMARINE MUSEUM UPDATE
Progress on the Submarine Museum has been slow but steady. The ARMSCOR Dockyard has progressed well with the refurbishment of the bogies which must be completed before she can be moved to the position on the hardstanding area alongside the SynchroliftÒ from where she can be transferred to mobile hydraulic platforms for her move to her final resting place. The planned completion date for the refurbishing of the bogies is set for the end of January 2024.
There has unfortunately not been any progress on clearing the scrap out of the pathway along which the submarine will be moved to the final resting place. This is presently not considered critical to the move because if push comes to shove the pathway can be cleared merely by bulldozing (shoving) the scrap to one side. A photographic audit has been done of the scrap that must be moved and this will be translated into a detailed section by section listing of the scrap that can be found in each section.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence (PSCD) paid a visit to the SAS ASSEGAAI during a recent visit to the Fleet Command and was briefed by both C Navy and The Executive Manager of the ARMSCOR Dockyard on the intention to get the submarine museum up and running again and this was positively encouraged by the PSCD.
Admiral Watson with assistance from some of the project team members and the use of a cherry picker supplied by the Armscor Dockyard has cut the openings into the outer ballast and fuel tank spaces for the entry (fore) and exit (aft) accesses to the submarine. On two occasions teams have been inboard to clear away the area on the inside of these openings before cutting can commence on the pressure hull itself. The entry and exit portals, with lockable doors have been designed and the Project is in the process of procuring the steel to make up the portals. The portals will be made up and welded into place before the openings are cut into the pressure hull. The design for the landings which will be secured to the lifting frames that have already been welded onto the submarine is also complete and the Project will soon start the procurement and manufacture of the landings.
Funding the move of the museum is the next major hurdle. Some quotes for this have been sourced and at this stage the project is still short of about RK900 to fund the move. We have however received some very generous donations and are slowly moving closer to the target required to move the submarine. The Project Team is looking at innovative ways to source the funding for the shortfall of the move but is willing to listen to any good ideas and will obviously still welcome all donations to make the move of the submarine, by the end of Feb 2024, possible.
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 – March 2024
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