Author Topic: Oranjemund characters  (Read 17718 times)

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Offline Bob Molloy

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Re: Oranjemund characters
« Reply #45 on: July 11, 2009, 07:15:34 AM »

DES STUMPF
 
One of Oranjemundís larger than life characters, Des was a very warm human being who accomplished much in a busy life. In his early twenties he gave up accountancy to switch to medicine and, like many students of his era, soon ran out of money. Oranjemund beckoned as a way of funding his medical studies and he spent a year on the mines, returning annually throughout his student years to renew his many friendships and keep the coffers full.
He early showed his talents as a pianist and singer, leading a group known as The Bachelors Gay (not a title that would have stood up today) and ran a series of night club evenings in the Recreation Club that always attracted a full house. His repertoire ran from the risquť and raucous that shook the building, to sentimental ballads that had late night revellers in tears. His annual Bums Convention - where heaven help you if you wore anything you hadnít found at the dump - was a rowdy Tramps Ball at which the punch was served from a series of toilet bowls and music supplied by a picaresque collection of ragged scarecrows playing everything from comb and paper to banjos, squeeze boxes, a tea chest and 44-gallon drums. Needless to say, it was always a sell-out.
Hugely charismatic, Des loved life and living, and always attracted a following. In an outstanding student career he was elected class president, chaired the Medical Students Council and was intervarsity cheerleader for two years in succession. No mean sportsman, he also represented UCT at squash. He graduated MB.Ch.B in 1966 and worked as a General Practitioner at Touwsrivier, Durbanville and Mowbray.
In later years he increasingly gave much of his time to the underprivileged. He served for 12 years as a Rotarian and was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship. Des also chaired the Tygerberg Division of the Community Chest of the Western Cape, was national chair of the Prisoners Aftercare League, a founder member and executive of the Northern Areas Drug Action Committee and an executive of the Carpenters Shop - a rehabilitation and upliftment facility for the street people of central Cape Town.
As a consultant general practitioner he gave his services freely to the Khayelitsha Town Council and held various posts at Westfleur Hospital in Atlantis. He detested charlatan faith healers and fought a successful campaign against them both in South Africa and internationally.
In 1996 he was awarded the Distinguished Family Practitioner Gold Medal for 25 years pro deo service and three years later the Melvin Jones International Fellowship Award for dedicated humanitarian service - a Lions International Foundation award.
In  the last year of his life he fought a long battle with cancer which started as a melanoma and later spread to become a brain tumour. Despite his failing strength Des continued to work a full weekly shift in his free clinic amid the squatter camps of Khayalitsha in the Western Cape. On February 1, 2002, he collapsed into a coma and died a three days later. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne, and children Rori, Heidi, Sonja and Margo.
He was indeed an outstanding Oranjemunder. For those of us privileged to have known Des Stumpf, the world is indeed the poorer for his passing.
Bob Molloy
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Offline SandyB

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Re: Oranjemund characters
« Reply #46 on: July 11, 2009, 06:29:19 PM »
Bob  what time   span was this  in ?  recall my Mom  mentioning his name ...  whether it was was with  contact  in  the 80's or earlier ...
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Offline Bob Molloy

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Re: Oranjemund characters
« Reply #47 on: July 12, 2009, 07:23:10 AM »
Hi Sandy,
               Your parents would indeed have known Des. His era in Oranjemund covered the six year period from '61-'67.
Regards,
Bob.
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Offline SandyB

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Re: Oranjemund characters
« Reply #48 on: July 12, 2009, 09:05:34 AM »
Thanks Bob all the memories glueing together  nicely .. I recalled seeing  the tea box broomstick and string  " double bass "  being played on the music stage of the  rec club hall as a child ...  one of those afternoon practice sessions .. fascinating what one could  do with it ... 

 Under the  what our parents got up to  topic page  2 ... is a pic  of  my Mom singing  albeit not  at a tramp dance  . if you have  not visited this topic there are some faces you may remember and be able to put names to ...  click on the link  below  ... enjoy ..

  http://www.oranjemundonline.com/Forum/index.php?topic=341.msg2804#msg2804   

 
« Last Edit: July 12, 2009, 09:24:45 AM by SandyB »
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Offline Bob Molloy

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Re: Oranjemund characters
« Reply #49 on: August 06, 2009, 02:06:11 AM »
In response to a request from Freddie Riley asking what happened to Karin Richter, here is a news article I wrote in late 1963 which appeared in the Windhoek Advertiser.

YOUNG COUPLE TO TRAVEL THROUGH AFRICA

Two Oranjemund residents, Dr Vittorio Lombardozzi and Sister Karin Richter plan to travel by car from Cape Town to Cairo, then on to Europe through Turkey, Greece and Yugoslavia.
Dr Lombardozzi is an Italian geologist who has been in Africa for three three years, first working for Anglo American in Tanganyika and currently in South West Africa for the Consolidated Diamond Mines (CDM) Ltd.
Sister Richter came to South West Africa from Germany 11 years ago and then trained in Pretoria as a nursing sister, later qualifying in midwifery in Cape Town. In 1960 she returned to Germany for a holiday but the following year accepted a post at the CDM private hospital in Oranjemund.
The couple met here about six months ago and became engaged on August 1. They plan to be married in December in Gottingen, Germany, which is Karin's home town.
During their overland travel they will camp along the route and are taking all the necessary equipment. They leave Cape Town on August 3 where the car will be overhauled for the 17,000 mile trip.
From Cape Town they will travel along the Garden Route to Johannesburg and Pretoria where they will spend a few days. The next leg of the trip will take them through Southern and Northern Rhodesia visiting places of interest such as the Kariba Dam and the Victoria Falls.
They expect to spend some time in Tanganyika where Dr Lombardozzi worked for several years and then travel on to Kenya. In Nairobi they will investigate possible routes open to Cairo.
They hope to motor to Juba and from there go by rail and river steamer to Khartoum. The trip from Khartoum to Port Sudan will be done by car. At Port Sudan they plan to board a ship for Suez.
However, because of the rising waters of the Aswan Dam they may not be able to go via Khartoum. In which case they will go direct from Nairobi to Mombasa from where they will take ship to Suez or Alexandria.
Some time will be spent sightseeing in Egypt thereafter the route lies by road through Turkey, Greece and Yugoslavia. Dr Lombardozzi will part from Karin in Gottingen and then go on visit his family in Rome.
The journey will end when Dr Lombardozzi returns to Gottingen for the wedding in December, 1964.

Regards,
Bob.
Bob Molloy

Offline john wilson

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Re: Oranjemund characters
« Reply #50 on: August 29, 2009, 03:18:55 PM »
Hello Bob ,Here is a wee story you might find amusing.When I worked at North Construction was assigned to Beauvalon farm for a series of electrical repairs and for some reason or another Mr Pollard and I hit if off and insisted I do all his work (dont know if that was good or bad) anyway he was developing a new area at Daberas back then and wanted a small power plant there to pump water from the river for irrigation,all that was their was a concrete pad ,and would build the building around it when finished. During the installation I got heat exhaustion and thanks to my Ovambo helpers saved the day. When Polly found out he told me he had a trailer down on the river bank I could use ,so every day I used that facility.He also had a small fridge there and when I opened it there was a bottle of Johnny Walker and cold water so the temptation was too much so had one. The next day when travelling to Daberas I could see Polly coming at least a mile away ,he travelled alone with at least six dogs in his truck. He flagged me down and we discussed the job for at least 30 min but as he was pulling away shouted, buy your own bloody whiskey and sped off.

Offline Michael Alexander

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Re: Oranjemund characters
« Reply #51 on: August 29, 2009, 03:51:57 PM »
John, spot on... those are the wee tales we want to remember.... great story....
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Offline Bob Molloy

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Re: Oranjemund characters
« Reply #52 on: September 02, 2009, 01:25:35 AM »
Hi John,
             Yes, Polly was quite a character. He figured large in the early Fifties when Oranjemund gardens were under development. Those were the days when fertiliser, whether artificial, in manure form or as guano was in great demand.
For a couple of bottles of Mellowood Polly would deliver a truckload of what he charmingly called "pigshit" (or by request horse or cow manure) right to your front door. The pigshit was the most potent though most people avoided it because of the smell. It all came from Beauvallon. How he managed to get it across the bridge and through security checks only God - and perhaps the extra bottle of Mellowood - knows.
Without that vital annual input your garden went nowhere. Guano was another source, and here the Sparkies had easy access. If you look at the base of any power pole in the mining area you'll find bird droppings, most of it from seagull carrying a large quantity of small fish bone. It was powerful stuff and could be used in small quantities to grow the most incredibly healthy roses.
Whale vertebrae, found in large quantities on the beach, were also prized. After drying in the sun the bone could be crushed and applied to the soil, adding all sort of useful minerals and other goodies.
Back to Polly, you probably know that in later years he was famed for his training of the mules, and Ovambo jockeys, for the Mule Derby. Every year he would pitch up with his team of willing mule riders, each dressed in jockey colours, and a selection of eager mules. The Derby was held on some cleared space to the east of what was then 13th Avenue.
It was grew larger over the years and eventually looked more like a circus than a race meeting, complete with clowns, face painting, tents, train rides for the kids, food stalls, trampolines, bouncy castle, gymnastic displays, song contests, arm wrestling and - the attraction which always had a large queue of guys eager to try their strength - the Sledgehammer. This was a test of who could ring the bell at the top of a tower with one blow of a sledgehammer on a seesaw that sent a bolt shooting up the tower. I once saw Polly do it one-handed. I never achieved it, even with both hands and two feet off the ground.
I comforted myself with the thought that as he built the damn thing he had all year to practise his swing.
Bob Molloy

Offline Michael Alexander

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Re: Oranjemund characters
« Reply #53 on: September 03, 2009, 06:37:20 PM »
Bob, I had this picture on my PC, on the original, it stated, building the pipeline..... now, do you know if this was the Tankfarm Pipeline that they refer to?
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Offline Bob Molloy

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Re: Oranjemund characters
« Reply #54 on: September 07, 2009, 04:52:15 AM »
Hi Michael,
                   I have no recall of that picture and think it unlikely to have been taken during construction of the tank farm pipeline. My reasons are that the tank farm pipeline was 36 inches (almost a metre) in diameter and 800 yards or just short of a kilometre long. It was built in sections on rails, each section carried on bogies and welded to the next so that when complete it was one continuous length.
It was built in this manner so that when ready it could be pulled into the sea by an offshore tug. To ensure it could be pulled offshore in one ongoing operation it was essential to have the rails on a flat surface at right angles to the selected entry point to the sea. Once started, it took forty hours of continuous pulling to complete the job.
For that reason I very much doubt that the picture shows the construction of the tank farm pipeline. The background terrain in the picture doesn't look at all likely and there is no sign of 36 inch diameter pipes or rail line. Also, the picture shows an exposed rocky seabed which was not a feature of any portion of the tank farm pipeline construction work.
The picture could well have been of the later version of the sewage pipeline which originally discharged straight onto the beach just north of the old Central Fields workshops. As such it was an ill-considered abomination, a knee-jerk response to the failure of a few of the town's septic tanks and a major environmental hazard that fuelled the crayfish industry and contaminated beaches for kilometres to the north.
Regards,
Bob.
Bob Molloy

Offline Bob Molloy

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Re: Oranjemund characters
« Reply #55 on: September 07, 2009, 05:41:46 AM »
Further to the last post, I had another look at the pic and can make the following comments. The background shows a collection of buildings which is not Oranjemund, and even if it were it would be a further pointer to the unlikelihood of the tank farm pipeline as it wasn't possible to see Oranjemund from Central Fields construction site.
Also, in the far background is a ridge line which could be a mine dump apparently either parallel to the sea or heading away from it. The only such dump which answers that description which could have a collection of buildings in front of it was the old HMS dump. The power line in the foreground is a low voltage line i.e. no high tension insulators so most likely a 500 volt line which fed the just visible transformer sitting at the base of the end pole. It ends at the work site and hence was possibly a temporary supply erected for just that purpose.
Putting all this together and adding a few guesses, I'd say the site was most likely just to the west of the old North Compound and showed the construction of the Compound sewage pipeline, again an abomination which discharged into an excavated dam site located in the desert where it was safely out of sight of passing visitors.   
However, negating all this is the fact that the shadows show it is just past noon. The sun would be slightly north of zenith which means that the shadow points south. That means the background lies to the east and the foreground to the west, an unlikely situation if the pic was indeed taken at the North Compound site.
The age of the pic is also suggested by the WW2 long shorts worn by the bloke bent over the pipe, not to be confused with today's baggies.
It could also be a section of the orginal Oranjemund freshwater pipeline from Swartkops, but then why the elaborate concrete works and why excavate down to bedrock?
We need to pick more brains here. Would anyone like to add their ideas?
Regards,
Bob.
Bob Molloy

Offline Gordon Brown

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Re: Oranjemund characters
« Reply #56 on: September 07, 2009, 02:26:53 PM »
Hi Bob
Looks to me it could be either the construction or dismantling of a screening plant water hole pump station. At 68G plant we had a similar type operation. The 38RBD (Rusten Bucyrus Diesel) dragling was used to clean the water hole which of course was used as a source of water for the wet screening operations at the plant. Initially when the plant was built, the water hole would be kept water free with pumps whilst the bedrock and any gravels found in the hole were excavated and treated for diamonds. Thereafter the hole was allowed to fill with seawater which seeped in through the seaward side. These water holes silted up periodically and the dragline was brought back to clear it. The concrete structure in the picture suggests this may be a dismantling operation. Regards Gordon

Offline John Haycox

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Re: Oranjemund characters
« Reply #57 on: September 07, 2009, 06:45:58 PM »
Hi Guys,

Missed a few. Was away from computers for a while  rooster

The Polly you guys are talking about, would that be the bloke that used to drive the bus to Luderitz, wasn't he a DDD?
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Greetings,
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Offline Bob Molloy

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Re: Oranjemund characters
« Reply #58 on: September 08, 2009, 06:03:56 AM »
Hi John,
            There might well have been a bus driver named Polly, but the one I had in mind was Polly Pollard who for years was the manager of Beavallon Farm in the days when it was run as the company farm and major provider of fresh meat, fruit and veggies to Oranjemund.
Regards,
Bob. 
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Offline Gordon Brown

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Re: Oranjemund characters
« Reply #59 on: September 08, 2009, 03:00:24 PM »
Remember Polly's wife was the General Manager's secretary for many years until Polly's retirement. Along with Steph Olivier (Ginger's wife) one of the most competent and efficient secretaries at that time. Dot Eyre at Geology and Dorothy McBride(Jack's good wife) in Personnel were in the same super-secretary league.