Isipingo Beach. (1963)

This page covers the period from my arrival back in South Africa until my family's moved to our own house in Athlone Park.

We left the Netherlands from Rotterdam and aboard the ship the Jagersfontein. and steamed off south.
The voyage took 6 week. Life on board was good and we were kept entertained

Crossing the equator was a grand occasion and everyone would meet on upper deck and passenger were dunked in the ship's pool on crossing. This was probably the first incident I can actually remember
My second memory was throwing round rubber discs overboard to watch them floating off in the distance. This was probably my first experiment in the sciences a subject that has always fascinated me.
My third memory is when I asked my mother for some money to buy some cards at the ship's shop. On my return from the shop she was surprised that I had bought playing cards and not postcards as she had thought.
Arriving in Durban on the 1st March 1963 we were met by a delegation from the refinery and our family filmed as we descended the gangplank. For many years all new recruits to the refinery was shown a film of our family disembarking.
We temporally stayed at the Isipingo Beach Island Hotel while we looked for a new home.


Our family was blessed with a rented house in Ravine Road.

As we only spoke Dutch a family friend suggested we go to an Afrikaans school in Durban as the languages are similar My parents bought school uniforms and put us on a Railway bus to Port Natal primary. As Dutch still has many different words to Afrikaans Corien and I were teased and mocked to such an extent that we left this school after only 3 days and went to the Isipingo primary school at which most the pupils spoke only English. as the school year in South Africa begins in January, both my sister and I had to restart the year we had already started in the Netherlands as they felt it was also a new language for us. This was Corien's and my first academic challenge, to learn English rapidly and to pass our exams at the end of the year.

To help me I was put next to a Penny Clark who knew a little broken Afrikaans and she was instrumental in teaching me my first English words and so by the end of the year passed all my exams and was promoted to the next year.

One particular day I was sent to the headmaster office as I was deemed to have done something wrong. The head master who asked me pick up a little trap door in the floor and the next thing I felt stinging pain on my rear. This was something new to me as no caning get given out in the Netherlands. I wondered how doing something that felt so right was actually so wrong.
My mother started helping with the 1st Isipingo cub pack and soon I too was encouraged to join.


Although I had had several formal swimming lessons in the Netherlands I was not at all confident but still determined to learn I went to the Tiger Rocks pool and by running along it length and jumping in just before I got to the end, swimming a few strokes and climbing out again. Then to run along the next side and so on. I soon became a powerful and excellent swimmer. Later on I was to gain my mile swim badge in the Boy Scouts which I had to swim in one session. as the swim was in a dam I couldn't even touch the ground once.


Due to the Group Areas act we had to leave Isipingo Beach as Isipingo was now designated as an Indian area so my father purchased land in the nearby designated White area of Athlone Park and a builder, Mr. Mitchell started to build our new home.
Our brand new house was soon finished so were on the move again. To the next chapter of my life: