The Who’s Who of 1916 was published right in the middle of World War One. Sadly the Battle of Delville Wood took away the lives of 766 men, which was the biggest loss of South African soldiers at one time during this war. Search the over 2400 biographies of South African residents in this publication of well known personalities.
P.W. Botha a former Prime Minister of South Africa was born on the farm Telegraaf in Paul Roux district, Orange Free State on the 12th January and on the 5th June Horatio Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener drowns when the HMS Hampshire sinks after being hit by a German mine near the Orkney Islands. These are two of the few major events that happened during this year.
By 1915 Ken Donaldson who started Who’s Who had been requested to add a business section to the “South African Who’s Who” but also found that it was also an almost impossible task owing to the amount of additional labour required. After the issue of the last edition in July, 1913, he decided to put forward the date of publication from July to January, and thus gain the extra six months necessary to make the innovation and produce the volume in January that year.
Gordon Igesund born on 26 July 1956 can trace his ancestry as far back as 1752 in Skotset More og Ramsdal in Norway. His family arrived in South Africa as part of the Marburg Norwegian Settlers who sailed on the “Lapland” from Aalesund on July 14th 1882 and arrived on the 29th August 1882 at Marburg, Port Shepstone. Click here to see Gordon’s Family Tree
Norwegian origin surnames were given by the area they were born in. Igesund, Møre og Romsdal, Norway is a small farming community island near the large town of Alesund. Isak Igesund, his wife Dorthea and their daughter Anna were in Lot 3 of the Settlers.
Among others, he played for Durban City, Durban United, Highlands Park, Bush Bucks AmaZulu D’Alberton Callies, African Wanderers and also in Austria for Admira Wacker
Igesund is a record-breaking coach in South Africa, having become the only man to coach four different top flight teams to the Premier Soccer League Championship. He first made his name when he led unfashionable coastal team Manning Rangers to the inaugural PSL title in the 1996/97 season. He followed this up in the 2000/01 season with another title, this time at the helm of Soweto giants Orlando Pirates. Despite his success with the Buccaneers, Igesund was not popular with the Pirates faithful, who demanded a more attacking and entertaining brand of football than the efficient and controlled game that Igesund had fostered, leading to his departure. He proved his critics wrong the very next season, taking another unfashionable team, Cape Town’s Santos, to a surprise PSL title in 2001/02. But the nomadic Igesund was soon changing his allegiance again, this time moving to Ajax Cape Town , the satellite club of Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam . Igesund’s time with Ajax proved unsuccessful and he left the team at the end of the 2005/06 season. He replaced Sundowns’ former co-coaches Miguel Gamondi and Neil Tovey after the two had failed to get the Brazilians last. Igesund added to his record number of PSL titles leading Sundowns to a comfortable winners ofthe South Africa League.
A total of 229 passengers landed at Umzimkulu on 29th August, 1882.
If any of your ancestors were part of the Marburg Settler Scheme, we would love to hear from you.
Charles Du Plessis Chiappini was born in the Caledon district on 17 February 1867. He died on 3 March 1939. A businessman and trade adviser, was the son of Antonio Baldazar Melchior Casper Chiappini and his wife, Maria Margaret du Plessis, and was educated at the South African College, Cape Town.
Even at school he discovered he had a flair for business and at an early age became manager of a Klerksdorp financial concern. Having lost an arm in a hunting accident he returned to Cape Town, where with his elder brother Alexander John (26.10.1865-11.2.1939) he set up a business (1899) which concentrated on financing farming and property, and which later developed into the well-known firm Chiappini Brothers. In later years they both became very competent directors of several companies, devoting themselves especially to the insurance business. They were also interested in arranging finance for South African exports and imports, and in this sphere concentrated their efforts upon farming and agricultural products. In addition C. pioneered diamond interests in Namaqualand through the Namaqualand Diamond Company and Die Eerste Kaapse Diamantslypery.
Betekenis: Pleknaam Bamm in Havelland (Duitsland).
Stamvader: Jan (Johann) Andreas Bam, van Schwerin (Duitsland). Kom in 1725 hier aan as soldaat. Word burger in 1734 en was daarna ‘n bakker in Kaapstad; oorl. 28.11.1762. Vier kinders by Ragel (Anna Catharina) van die Kaap.
Wapen: ‘n Afstammeling was lt.-kol. sir Peter Cansius van Blommestein Stewart-Bam, lid van die Wetgewende Vergadering in Kaapstad, geb. 29.7.1869, seun van J.A. Bam en Maria Frederika van Blommestein. Trou 1910 met Erna Dingwal Tasca Stewart, dogter van Alexander George John Stewart, van Ards (Ierland) (5 kinders). In 1910 word aan hom deur die wapenherout van Ulster die volgende wapen verleen: Gevierendeel: 1 en 4 gedeel van swart en goud, gedwarsbalk van vier stukke van die een in die ander; op ‘n skildhoof van hermelyn ‘n distel met stingel en blare tussen twee dobbelstene van natuurlike kleur (Bam); 2 en 3 in goud ‘n dwarsbalk geblok van silwer en blou in twee rye, tussen twee klimmende leeus van rooi, in die punt ‘n blou wassenaar en (vir onderskeiding) ‘n kanton van rooi (Stewart). Dekklede: swart en goud.
Daar word dan twee helmtekens verleen – dié vir Bam is ‘n distel met stingel en blare van natuurlike kleur tussen twee goue volstruisvere, en dié vir Stewart ‘n rustende draak belaai met ‘n wassenaar soos in die skild en (vir onderskeiding) op die vlerk belaai met ‘n herkruiste kruisie van rooi. Motto: Metuenda corolla draconis.
Hieruit blyk dat die eerste en vierde kwartier die Bam-wapen is, met die daarby behorende helmteken, waarskynlik sonder die wapenspreuk.
William Shaw DAVIS was born at Grahamstown in the year 1832. He was the son of the late Rev. William Jefford DAVIS, one of the pioneers of our Missions in Kaffirland. He spent seven years at Woodhouse Grove School and received much spiritual good there; but he always attributed his conversion to God to a sermon preached by the Rev. Frederick MASON.
The visit of the Rev. William TAYLOR to the Clarkebury Mission was made an unspeakable blessing to him. It was at that time that he translated into Kafir the hymn called “The Eden above,” which has been the means under God of awakening and bringing thousands of the Natives to the Saviour. In after years he composed and translated a number of the hymns in the Kafir Hymn Book, which has been favourites with our people. In 1871 he became a candidate and was accepted.
His first appointment was at Shawbury, where four years of self-sacrificing labours had a marked effect on the Chief and tribe. After a year spent at Kamastone he returned to Shawbury at the request of the Home Committee. It was during this second term at Shawbury that he established the Girls’Institution which proved so great a blessing to our people. After three years spent at Etembeni. one of our most difficult Circuits, he was called to take charge of the Boys’Training Institution at Clarkebury. His perfect knowledge of the Kafir language and his sympathy with the young, coupled with his spiritual character, had a wonderful effect on the youths who came under his care. Many of them received “the grace of God,” and some have entered the ministry. He was quiet and gentle in his manners. His character was pure, his conduct exemplary.
He was an upright, kind-hearted, genuine, unassuming man, and a faithful and useful minister of Jesus Christ. The last two years of his life were spent at St. John’s, and though prostrated his weakness he did what he could, and his last effort was the erection of a beautiful sanctuary which was dedicated to the service of God just three weeks before he died. He fell asleep in Jesus on the 29th of January, 1902, in the 70th year of his age and the 31st year of his ministry.
From: Minutes of Wesleyan Methodist Conference of 1902
Thomas OLDMAN was born near Wigton, England, on January 23rd, 1864. Blessed with godly parents he was nearly converted to God. After three years at the Didsbury Theological Institution, he came to this country in 1890 and laboured with great acceptance in various circuits. At Okiep his health broke down; and though, after a long rest, he resumed work for a few months, he was compelled to become a supernumerary in 1901. During along and painful illness he was gentle, patient, un-murmuring. He retained his interest in the Church and passing events to the last. As a pastor he was diligent and faithful. As a preacher he was thoughtful and interesting, his style quiet and unassuming, his language choice and refined. He died at Middelburg on the 11th of January, 1902.
From: Minutes of Wesleyan Methodist Conferences 1902
Joseph Henry Dobson was born at Nantwich, Chester, England on the 12th October 1878 and died in Johannesburg on the 29th June 1954. He was an engineer and pioneer of South Africa’s industrial development, was the son of a railway engineer John Dobson and his wife, Sarah Jackson. Dobson had his early education at St Paul’s School and St Barnabas School. He served his apprenticeship with the London and North-Western Railway, but several scholarships enabled him to go to Victoria University, Manchester, where he graduated with the degree of M.Sc., and to Liverpool University, where he obtained the degree of Doctor of Engineering in 1926.
In 1904 he came to South Africa to take up the post of professor of Electrotechnics at the Transvaal Technical Institute, the predecessor of the University of the Witwatersrand. He held this chair until 1909, when he resigned his post to become town electrical engineer to the Johannesburg municipality. In the following year he was appointed general manager of the town’s gas, electricity and tramways department, a position he held for over ten years.
During the First World War (1914-18) he was officer commanding the South African Pioneer Battalion, and was mentioned in dispatches during the campaign in German East Africa. For outstanding service in this campaign he was later awarded the D.S.O. and appointed lieutenant-colonel in the Active Citizen Force.
In 1919 he acquired an interest in the engineering business of R.M. Dowson, and soon became managing director of the eminent firm of Dowson and Dobson Limited, engineers, merchants and contractors. This was the start of a career which brought great benefits to the industrial development of South Africa.
Dobson was an early and enthusiastic advocate of a steel industry in South Africa. When Iscor was founded in 1928 he became one of its first directors, and at the request of the government he withdrew from his own business to give his full attention to the problems arising when the corporation was approaching the production stage. From 1930 to 1933 he was also chairman of the Union Steel Corporation and chairman or director of several other companies. He became general works manager of Iscor in 1933 and made an immediate success of his task.
Dobson will be remembered for his outstanding service to South Africa as a pioneer in industry. He was responsible for the introduction of a number of new industries and processes, notably the rubber industry in Natal, the production of industrial oxygen, and the manufacture of hollow-drill steel and stranded copper-wire conductors. He contributed notably to the advancement of science and technology. In addition to his many noteworthy papers on mine air-conditioning, his research covered a wide field, including the generation, supply and distribution of electricity and the problems of industrialisation.
He was president of the South African Institution of Engineers; the Chemical Metallurgical and Mining Society; the Association of Municipal Engineering, South Africa, and the Associated Scientific and Technical Societies. He was twice awarded the gold medal of the South African Institution of Engineers and in 1938 was given the Moulton Gold Medal of the Institute of Chemical Engineers, London. His paper on the improvements of temperature and humidity conditions of the atmosphere of mines of great depth won him the J. Bernard Hall Prize in 1938 from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa and in 1947 the University of the Witwatersrand conferred upon him the honorary D.Sc. degree in Engineering.
In his spare-time interests included the National Veld Trust, of which he was honorary life vice-chairman. Long before the introduction of decimal coinage he was a keen advocate of this system for South Africa and also supported the reform of the world calendar. He was married to Kathleen Florence and had two daughters.
John Enoch PARSONSON, was born at Pietermaritzburg, in the year 1849.
When nine years of age he went to England with his parents, and was educated at Woodhouse Grove. He was some years in business, and in the year 1871 he was accepted for the Ministry and sent to Richmond College. He remained there for three years, profiting greatly, especially under the tuition of the late Dr. MOULTON, for whom he always retained a reverent affection.
In 1874 he was appointed to South Africa, where he laboured diligently and faithfully for twenty-five years. He rendered most excellent service not only in Circuit work, but in connection with the Conference for many years as Secretary of the Board of Examiners, and of the Conference. In 1882 he was appointed to Queenstown to establish the Grammar School. For ten years he successfully discharged the duties of Governor and Head Master, and as such spared neither time nor labour to advance the interests of the School.
He secured in an eminent degree the confidence and affection of the pupils, especially of the Boarders, over many of whom his influence for good will be life-long in its effects.
His last Circuit was Cradock, from which he proceeded in July to England on a year’s furlough. The sermons and missionary addresses which he had the opportunity of delivering in England were greatly appreciated. The information which he was able to impart on the present state of affairs in South Africa being most valuable. Mr. PARSONSON was a man of boundless energy, an untiring worker, and throughout his life a diligent student. His scholastic attainments were considerable, and he had a wide acquaintance with general literature. His conversational powers were exceptional, and he was exceedingly popular with young men.
As a preacher he was fluent, interesting, and often very impressive. He had a remarkable gift in prayer, and his pastoral visits to the sick and troubled were rich in sympathy. He died suddenly at Saltcoats, Scotland, on the 14th March, 1900, in the fifty-first year of his age and twenty-seventh year of his ministry.
William F. EDWARDS, who was born at Stellenbosch, Cape Colony, April 13th, 1839.He received a sound education in the Public School of that town, and under the gracious influence of his home grew up in the knowledge and fear of God. He became a Local Preacher in early youth, and rendered valuable assistance to his father, the late Rev. Edward EDWARDS.
He was accepted as a Probationer in the year 1865, and commenced his ministry in his native town. With the exception of two years spent in the Colesberg Circuit, his ministerial life was devoted to the Dutch-speaking coloured people of the Western Province of the Cape Colony. He laboured in the Cape Town Dutch Circuit three years, in the Robertson Dutch Circuit twenty-two years, and in the Stellenbosch Dutch Circuit seventeen years. He was greatly revered and beloved, not only by the people of his congregation, but by English and Dutch residence of the localities in which he laboured. He had unique qualifications for the work unto which he was called, and had a thorough knowledge of the language, character and habits of the people.
He was a man of sound judgement and of deep piety, who adorned the doctrine of our Saviour by integrity of life and conduct. He was a great reader, a diligent student, especially of theology, and as a preacher he excelled in exposition and application of the truth. His preaching was eloquent and powerful, and was often accompanied by the rich unction of the Spirit. As a pastor he was indeffatigable and self-sacrificing, and as a social worker he earned the gratitude of the community for his unwearied efforts in the cause of temperance and purity. A brief visit to England in 1875 resulted in partial relief from a distressing malady, but from that date he had frequently been prostrated with intense agony, which he bore with exemplary fortitude. He took an active part in the proceedings of the Synod in the month of February, and returned to his home full of enthusiasm and hope. Soon after he reached home he was laid aside by severe illness, and after eighteen days of acute suffering he entered into rest in the room in which he was born, and finished his life and ministry on the 3rd of March, 1901.
From: Minutes of Wesleyan Methodist Conference 1901
James THOMPSON,M.A., born in Ireland, December 16th, 1843. He decided for Christ before he was sixteen years of age, and immediately commenced working for God as a Sunday School Teacher, being soon after appointed as Class Leader, and accepted as a Local Preacher.
In 1865 he entered the Ministry and laboured for seventeen years in his own country, and among his own people. At the Dublin University he took the Degree of Bachelor of Arts, with honours, gaining a Moderatorship in Literature and Philosophy. Subsequently he took the Degree of Master of Arts in the same University. He came to South Africa in 1882. With unusual power and acceptance he fulfilled the duties of his Ministry in the Queenstown, Capetown and Kimberley Circuits. He was a refined, eloquent speaker, and possessed very markedly the pen of a ready-writer. For five years in Ireland he was Editor of the “Christian Advocate,” and his contributions to current literature were extensive and valuable. As a man he was affable, winsome and affectionate, attracting to himself a large circle of friends who were charmed and benefitted by their intercourse with him; as a preacher he was clear, chaste and instructive; as a Superintendent he was diligent, capable and faithful; as a pastor he was kind and sympathetic; and as a colleague and brother Minister he was beloved and trusted.
He held a prominent position in the South African Church, serving the Conference for several years as one of its Secretaries, and his wisdom, experience, and counsels were exceedingly valuable. He compiled at the request of the Conference a Manual of the Laws and Discipline of the Church, a publication which reflected his accuracy in and wonderful capacity for work. He was twice President of the Conference, fulfilling the duties of the office with rare ability and success, while as Chairman of the Cape of Good Hope and Kimberley Districts he displayed to advantage those remarkable gifts of administration which he possessed. At the Yearly Conference of 1892 he ably represented the South African Conference. He took an interest, and exercised an influence in public matters, and especially in educational affairs. He was from the year 1891 a member of the Council of the Cape University, and served with great usefulness and efficiency on the Kimberley School Board.
The hand of God was laid upon him in affliction early in the year 1898. He was able to continue his work at intervals until March, 1899, and became a Supernumerary at the last Conference. He continued in weariness and suffering until the end came. During his illness he manifested beautiful Christian patience and was kept in quietness and peace, sustained and comforted by the abiding grace of God. He entered into rest at Kimberley, November 13th, 1899, in the fifty-seventh year of his age and the thirty-fifth year of his ministry.
Source: Minutes of Wesleyan Methodist Conference of 1900