Our AGM will be held at 17h30 on Wednesday 27 November 2019 at Ravenswood House, 110 Hatfield Street, Gardens, Cape Town. Directions and a map are provided below. For the use of this elegant venue we are once again indebted to the generosity of its owner and HiPSA member, Patrick Esnouf. At this AGM an election will be held for a new Council to serve for the period 2019-2022. Nominations to serve on this Council by a proposer and a seconder (including acceptance by the person nominated) must reach our office by noon on 22 November 2019. For catering purposes please RSVP by 20 November.

The AGM will be followed by the launch of our 2019 volume, Indoda Ebisithanda (‘The Man Who Loved Us’): The Reverend James Laing Among the amaXhosa, 1831-1836, edited by Dr Sandy Shell. Your copy will be mailed to you about a week before the AGM, unless you indicated earlier this year that you would like to collect your copy from our office, have it sent by courier or via PostNet, in which case you will be contacted about doing so.




Directions from Southern Suburbs: take the M3 onto Philip Kgosana Drive (the old De Waal Drive) to the traffic lights a little before the entrance to the Mount Nelson Hotel. At the traffic lights (where there is an Engen garage) turn right into Hatfield Street. Ravenswood House is about 100 metres down the road on the left.


Directions from central city: drive up Plein Street towards the mountain, cross Roeland Street (where Plein Street becomes St. John’s Street), pass St. Mary’s Cathedral on the left and then (about 400 metres further on) the Jewish Museum and the Great Synagogue on the right. At this point St. John’s Street becomes Hatfield Street. Continue towards the mountain to near the top of Hatfield Street; Ravenswood House is on the right. Parking is available in and around Hatfield Street, and also on the grounds of Cape Town High School which is next door to Ravenswood House. The gate at the school grounds will be open at 16h00 on the day.


 To coincide with the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the British settlers of 1820, early in 2020 we will be reprinting both volumes of Jeremiah Goldswain’s Chronicle, which detail his experiences in the Albany district of the Eastern Cape from 1819 to 1858.  A sawyer from Buckinghamshire, Goldswain migrated to the Eastern Cape in 1820. Written phonetically in his mid-English dialect, the first volume describes the early difficulties of the settlers on the frontier. In the second volume he described the increasing tension between black and white in the region, his experiences as a trader, and his relations with his own family, including their medical treatment. His journal is most attractive for its naïve frankness. For more information go to  To order a copy, please go to or email or phone the office at 021 423-8424.


We have a number of second-hand volumes in good condition for sale. For the list of these go to or contact our office on 021 423-8424. Doing the former will also introduce you to our imaginatively designed new website. Although the Afrikaans version is still under construction, we welcome any comments or suggestions about how to improve the website and make it even more appealing.


 Our Centenary Fund now stands at R577 500, still short of our original target of R600 000. If you missed the opportunity to add your name to the Centenary Fund Donors’ List on our website last year, it is still possible to do so before the end of 2019. To make a once-in-a-century donation, please email or phone 021 423-8424.


 We regret to report the passing of the following members:

Mr S Absolom, Mr N Martinson, Mr Arne Schaefer, Mr N Schaefer.

At the same time, we are delighted to welcome the following new members who have joined in the last three months:

Adv S Burger (Cape Town)

Mr J Butler (Cape Town)

Dr C Fransch (Stellenbosch)

Mr D Guy (Swellendam)

Mr P Kalsbeek (Netherlands)

Adv R Kotze (Cape Town)

Mr G Luxton (Swellendam)

Ms B Neethling (Cape Town)

Adv T D Potgieter (Cape Town)

Mr S Sephton (Cape Town)

Mr A Viljoen (Ceres)

Prof T Waetjen (Johannesburg)

Ms N Warner (Cape Town)


If you can help us add to this list by recruiting one new member each before the end of this year to a society which offers the best new book deal in town, that will help us reach our target of enrolling 101 new members in our 101st year. Any new member thus recruited will be able to choose to receive one of our back volumes free of charge in addition to our 2019 volume.


By courtesy of the War Museum of the Boer Republics in Bloemfontein, all existing members are eligible to receive free of charge a digital copy of Kopje, Kraal & Laager, Volume 2, the journal published by that Museum.   It includes the lively, previously unpublished diary of Elsa Leviseur, a patriotic young Boer Jewish girl in Bloemfontein, and a recently discovered diary of the Siege of Mafeking. If you would like us to send you a copy, please submit an e-mail request to:


 As part of our wish to publicise our latest volumes, Professor Chris van der Merwe, translator of our 2017 volume, Selections from the Letters of President M.T. Steyn, 1904-1910, spoke about this volume to the Worcester Museum in September. He writes that although the audience was relatively small, the talk raised considerable interest in the Steyn volume and for the society.

The editors of last year’s and this year’s volumes, Howard Phillips and Sandy Shell, are also willing to speak on their respective publications (viz. In a Time of Plague: Memories of the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918 in South Africa and Indoda Ebisithanda (‘The Man Who Loved Us’): The Reverend James Laing among the amaXhosa, 1831-1836). If you know of any local society or group that would be interested in a talk on either of these topics, please let the office know and we will make the necessary arrangements.