Summer is the perfect time for walks on the beach
Monday, December 11, 2017
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Following on the post about the Cross of Prester John and the Portuguese Explorers between City Hall and the old Post Office building, I decided to post a more closeup picture of the two figures sitting inside the cross. The figures represent Prester John on the one side and a Portuguese explorer on the other side. There is a whole lot more symbolism on the cross, but I'm going to have to do a little more research before posting about that.
Monday, December 4, 2017
Wedged in between City Hall and the Old Post Office building with the Feather Market Centre on the other side of the right is the Cross of Prester John. The monument has no significant link to Port Elizabeth other than the fact that it was a stop en route to the East for Portuguese explorers who, in addition to looking for a way around Africa to the East, were also hoping to make contact with Prester John as a Christian ally. A local philanthropist paid for the monument which was unveiled by the Portuguese Ambassador to South Africa in 1986.
The story of Prester John is a mysterious one. In some circles he was believed to be a descendant of the Three Wise Men, some believed he was a crusader-era Christian king based in Ethiopia or possibly a high-born Mongol from the time of Genghis Khan. Then there were those who said that he watched over the Holy Grail, never growing old but wiser and wiser as the years went by. Whoever this mythical king-priest Prester John was, it was the quest of the Portuguese explorers not just to find a sea route around Africa to the East, but to also find and make contact with Prester John as a Christian ally.
Prester John (Latin: Presbyter Johannes) is a legendary Christian patriarch and king popular in European chronicles and tradition from the 12th through the 17th centuries. He was said to rule over a Nestorian (Church of the East) Christian nation lost amid the Muslims and pagans of the Orient, in which the Patriarch of the Saint Thomas Christians resided. The accounts are varied collections of medieval popular fantasy, depicting Prester John as a descendant of the Three Magi, ruling a kingdom full of riches, marvels, and strange creatures.
At first, Prester John was imagined to reside in India; tales of the Nestorian Christians' evangelistic success there and of Thomas the Apostle's subcontinental travels as documented in works like the Acts of Thomas probably provided the first seeds of the legend. After the coming of the Mongols to the Western world, accounts placed the king in Central Asia, and eventually Portuguese explorers convinced themselves that they had found him in Ethiopia.
You can read more about Prester John on Wikipedia where I got the above information.
Thursday, November 30, 2017
A week ago I posted a picture of the big stained glass window in the St Augustine's Cathedral. When I was doing the post I considered posted the three pictures in this post along with it, but decided that it was magnificent enough to warrant a stand-alone post. So here is stained glass post #2 featuring a 3, 2, 1 combination of stained glass windows. So...
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
One of the pre-Christmas highlights in Port Elizabeth is the Lovemore Heights Chrismas House's annual event where they turn on the lights, After skipping last year for personal reasons, the Grootendorst family and all their helpers are coming out guns (or in this case Chrismas lights) blazing this year with a full program this coming Saturday evening. The Lovemore Heights Chrismas House is located at the top of Melsetter Road and if you want to get a good spot for the evening you better make sure you come early as it looks like there's going to be a lot of people. The road is going to be closed so a good spot to park will be on the Charlo side of the water reservoir, a short walk down the hill.
Here is the programme for the evening of 2 December 2017:
18H00-19H00: The LoveMore Mascots will be out on patrol. Come take some photos with your favorite characters.
18H30 -19H15: Young singers will entertain us with Christmas songs.
19H00: Parade from upper St Clair’s Way down Edmonds Road to 24 Melsetter Road. The parade includes the Algoa Calendonian Pipe Band, Santa and Mrs Claus along with the Elves and dancing girls with ribbons. Everyone is welcome to walk down with them.
19H30: The programme starts at 24 Melsetter Road Lovemore Heights
Opening master of ceremony
Eastern Cape Junior Children Choir
Largo Vocal Ensemble preforming
Christmas carols sing along
Switching on of the lights
Natasha Tait Dance Studio
Algoa Calendonian Pipe Band
Photos can be taken with Santa
Monday, November 27, 2017
When was the last time you've walked to the bottom of Kings Beach and back? Been a while or even never? Do reward yourself with this stunning view up the beach looking at the beachfront skyline from the harbour wall.
Thursday, November 23, 2017
St Augustine's Cathedral has some stunning and striking stained glass windows. Dating back to September 1875, the windows are part of the original design and are from F. Barnett of Leith.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Imagine my surprise when I found an Afrikaans inscription on a plaque behind the baptismal font in the St Augustine's Catholic Cathedral. Very unusual.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
I got to see the inside of St Augustine's Cathedral for the first time a few weeks ago while on a tour of Route 67. The church isn't generally open like St Mary's on the other side of the Public Library, so if you want to see it you need to make special arrangements or alternatively just attend a service.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
When the first Catholic priest, Father George Corcoran, set foot in Port Elizabeth in 1840 it wasn't just a case of getting off the boat and taking up his position. No, he was shipwrecked in Cape St Francis and had to travel the last 100km to town on horseback. Once he arrived here he found that there were only 42 Catholics in the town. But the show had to go on and in the ensuing years the Catholic community in Port Elizabeth started to flourish. It meant that the congregation needed a church and Father Corcoran obtained a plot for a church on Prospect Hill / Castle Hill in 1844. By 1847 a new two-storey building was erected on the site on which the MacSherry hall stands today.
In 1847 Dr Devereux who was based in Cape Town at the time was appointed as the First Bishop of the newly formed Vicariate of the Eastern Cape. Father Corcoran died of yellow fever in South America in 1852 and Dr Devereux transferred Father Thomas Murphy from Grahamstown to Port Elizabeth. Father Murphy was responsible for the building of the church as it is today although he first extended the then existing building which became known as St. Augustine’s Hall. This served as school, church and hall.
The design of the church was apparently based upon the style of a church in Selbridge near Dublin, Ireland with the plans being formulated by a Mr McCarthy but executed by the local architect and first Town Engineer of Port Elizabeth, Robert Archibald. The Foundation Stone was laid in December 1861 and construction took place under the watchful eye of Father Murphy. Five years later on the 25th April 1866, with the steeple almost completed, St.Augustine’s was opened and solemnly consecrated by Bishop Patrick Moran. It's very interesting to mention that this magnificent building was built as a parish church, not a cathedral. Apon his death Father Murphy was buried beneath the high altar in the cathedral.
The bronze statue of Christ the King which can be seen above the door was donated by the Frost family in 1931.
The parish church of St Augustine's became the bishop’s church and cathedral some 54 years later but was only formally declared and consecrated as a cathedral in 1939.
Information courtesy of http://staugustinespe.co.za/history/
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Port Elizabeth has two cathedrals, both located in the city centre. St Mary's Anglican Cathedral, where the foundation stone was laid in 1825, and St. Augustine's Catholic Cathedral where the first stone was laid in 1861. Standing in front of St Mary's and looking up at the tower, I was wondering if it is referred to as a church tower or a cathedral tower.
Friday, November 10, 2017
A month or two ago I was down in the city centre on a Sunday morning to take some photos and I noticed a guy with a funny thing on his back come walking up the road towards me. As I passed I realised that it was the Google Street View camera. Cool! There may be photos of me taking photos of the Street View Guy on the net soon.
Fast forward to last week and Google launched 170 trails, all 19 National Parks and 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites throughout South Africa available on the Google Street View platform. You can now literally follow a whole trail 360 degrees from the comfort of your chair and check it out before taking it on yourself.
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Today is the 10th birthday of Port Elizabeth Daily Photo. Yes, exactly 10 years ago to the day PE Daily Photo was started by SAM (Sue and Max Hoppe) with a post featuring some generic facts about Nelson Mandela Bay. Two days later they were off and running, doing 500 posts before passing the baton on to me. I did my first post on the 15th of March 2009 which means I have been at it for about 8 1/2 years now and this is the blog's 3555th post. Although I don't post every day anymore due to time restraints, I do try to post as often as possible and it's still a great pleasure sharing this beautiful city I live, work and play in and it's surroundings with you all on a regular basis, busting the myth that there is nothing to see or do in Port Elizabeth. Happy birthday PEDP!
There was also a post on the worldwide City Daily Photo blog last week about PEDP turning 10, if you are interested in having a look.
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Friday, November 3, 2017
It seems somewhere I've lost a whole week of posts. No, not in lost, but in just so busy that I haven't even been able to think about blogging. I need days to be extended by 3 or 4 hours so that I can have some extra time to just sit back, relax and, most importantly, switch off a bit. My mind is going at 1000 miles an hour and is all over the show, very much like the wiggles in the sand at Kings Beach I snapped a photo of two weeks ago. Flip, is it two weeks already?
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
On Saturday morning we went for a walk along Kings Beach to enjoy the beautiful weather we had over the weekend. Miggie was feeling a little under the weather and not her normal bubbly self so strolled along by herself to the one side. Of cause dad always has his camera...
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
I think I'm going to take a little break from Campanile posts before people get tired of it. I have a few more but will keep it back for a week or two. Route 67 literally has 67 art pieces scattered along the way between the Donkin Reserve and Campanile. Next to the bus station at the bottom of the steps down from Market Square, you will find the Walk of Words. The pavement contains a whole host of words in different languages to represent the new South Africa and its prosperity as a democratic nation. As trying to decide which ones to photograph and this was the shot. PEACE and BLESSING.
Monday, October 23, 2017
Friday, October 20, 2017
Yesterday I posted a picture of the view looking north from the Campanile observation floor. It means I have three more directions and what's the use of showing you only one? So here is the view to the west. The Settlers Freeway is at the bottom and slightly to the left of the centre of the picture is Market Square and the historic Public Library in the city centre. Above on the hill is the Donkin Reserve, lighthouse and pyramid with the Great Flag (65m high pole and 15m x 10m flag) next to it.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
There are four viewing windows at the top of the Campanile. The new full-length viewing window looks out to the east over the Port Elizabeth Harbour. The view south is towards the beachfront, west across the city centre towards the Donkin Reserve and then north along the Settlers Freeway. Looking at the picture the Settlers Freeway (M4) is on the left and the railway lines on the right. The roof at the bottom of the picture is the Port Elizabeth Station building. Into the distance Algoa Bay is on the right-hand side and the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is the white building roughly in the middle of the picture while the mountains on the horizon are the mountains beyond Uitenhage.
Monday, October 16, 2017
One of the new features of the recently refurbished Campanile is a full-length viewing window on the harbour side of the tower. The window has caused some ruptions with historic purists but personally I think its a great addition. The window really gives the best view of the adjacent Port Elizabeth Harbour and all its activities.
Friday, October 13, 2017
It's very easy to do a self-guided walk around Route 67 but if you really want to get the just of it then you have to do it on a guided tour. There are a number of guides who do the walk and more information is available from the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism info centre at the Donkin Lighthouse building. When I visited the Campanile the other day there was a guide and intern based at the entrance who were available to guide visitors for free up the tower and tell them more about the history and recently completed renovations. I'm not sure how long the guides would be available to do these free tours, but while they are there I would highly recommend making use of them.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
The Campanile is actually seen as the starting point of Route 67 going up the hill and ending at the Donkin Reserve. With the refurbishment and re-opening of the Campanile recently, it is now fully part of Route 67 and one of the novel bits that was added to the Campanile was marking step number 67 as you climb up the tower's 204 steps.
Just for those unfamiliar with what Route 67 is, it consists of 67 public art pieces symbolising Nelson Mandela's 67 years of work dedicated to the Freedom of South Africa. The artworks were all designed by local artists from the Eastern Cape and the route is a proud celebration of our city's heritage and history.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Have you been to visit the newly renovated Campanile yet? After extensive renovations which included the removal, renovation and return of the bells, total overhaul of the bell structure, installation of a lift (if only they can get it to work properly), the installation of a big full length viewing window on the harbourside, a viewing hatch to see the bells and a number of new smaller features, the Campanile - originally opened in 1923 - reopened to the public about six weeks ago. Since reopenening I have been up three times already and I really want to urge everybody to go and do it. Parking is at the PE Station, there is security around and, most importantly, there is no entrance fee. There is so much I want to show you about the Campanile so stayed tuned.
Monday, October 9, 2017
When I started blogging in 2008 I didn't do it because I wanted to be a blogger. I did it because I enjoyed traveling (even if it was just around my own city) and taking photos, and wanted to share everything I got to see with others. Over the years I've done over 3000 posts on Port Elizabeth Daily Photo and close to 1800 on Firefly the Travel Guy, shared pictures and information of many places and things, discovered so much more than I ever realised I would, made numerous friends and followers, built up a brand and changed my blogging style yet kept to being myself. There have also been struggles blogging burnout turned out to be the biggest one of them.
This year has been a busy one both personally and at work and I started running out of pictures, especially for the Port Elizabeth Daily Photo blog. I felt pressured by myself to keep producing posts and started to lose my blogging mojo. One morning I got up and felt like I just lost interest. After chatting to a good friend about it his advise to just make a clean break and take some time off. Which I did. It's been 6 weeks and the main thing I have realised is that I should dictate to my blog and not allow the blog and other people to dictate to me. So here I am and I'm back, but under my own terms without making myself feel guilty if I don't blog every day. I know this blog is called PE Daily Photo, but rather than change the brand I decided to keep it as is for now, even if I only end up doing four or five posts a week depending on how much material I have.
Before I end off I just want to thank those people who emailed and messaged me to find out why I suddenly stopped posting and if anything was wrong. I really appreciate your support and I'm really sorry if your daily Friendly City fix suddenly disappeared. I am back again and I hope you continue to enjoy everything I share with you.
My comeback picture is a selfie reflection taken on the observation level of the newly refurbed Campanile looking through the see-through trapdoor at the bells above. Lots of Campanile photos and info to come in the next few weeks.
Love you all!
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Monday, August 28, 2017
One of Port Elizabeth's little gems that very few people seem to know of is Rheta's Trail in Schoenmakerskop. Rheta's Trail stretches behind the houses (from #24 to #40) in Schoenies on Marine Drive between and can be accessed between numbers 22 and 24. The trail is always open and was created by local resident Retha Taylor along with a couple of workers. The trail starts by the labyrinth on the eastern side and is more about what you'll find along the way than the trail itself as it's not really a hiking trail in the sense of the word due to its length. Or in this case "shortness". Along the way there are literally hundreds of items that act as conversation pieces, some representing something significant in people's lives and others just because. Or as we say in Afrikaans, "Sommer maar net." Next time you're in the area do drop by as I promise you you will love it.
Friday, August 25, 2017
The past two weeks have been hectic. I've been to the SATSA conference in Stellenbosch and a Karoo Heartland meeting in Jansenville, spent way too much time catching up (and I'm not even there yet) and in the process of all of this missed a few posts in the last week. I even thought about just taking a break for a few weeks but then realised that somewhere I'll have to catch up again. Anyhow, it's Video Friday and today's video is a time lapse by Chris Wright of the beachfront starting on New Yaer's eve 31 December 2014 and ending on 2 January 2015. I just loved the whole scene passing by.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Last week I did a post about the Uitenhage Concentration Camp Memorial and this week I just want to share another of the pictures I took. This one just a bit closer. The back wall is divided up into nine sections, each representing one of the 9 people who died in the concentration camp.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
A few weeks ago we took part in the NG Kerk Uitenhage Oos' Amazing Race around Uitenhage. One of the clues sent us to a picture of a statue which I didn't recognise. After asking a few people we ended up at the Market Square in front of the Uitenhage Townhall at the statue which turned out to be that of anti-apartheid activist Zola Nqini.
Nqini was the former supreme commander of Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), the then armed wing of the ANC. He was detained a few times and also spent some time on Robben Island. Although Nqini was from Uitenhage, he was banished to the outskirts of Queenstown when he was released from prison. He was later killed by SA Defence Force special forces operatives during an attack on ANC houses in Maseru, Lesotho along with 29 South Africans and 12 Lesotho nationals. The statue was unveiled in December 2015, on the 33rd anniversary of his death.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
One of the things I discovered while in North End Cemetery is a Defense Force Memorial remembering soldiers who died in service of their country during the first and second World Wars. According to the main plaque the memorial stones commemorate soldiers that were buried elsewhere but who's glory won't be forgotten.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
One of the things that really interested me when I visited the North End Cemetery the other day was the walled off Jewish Cemetery. I didn't get to explore it though as the sign by the entrance says, "Code of Conduct. Please note that all visitors to the cemetery must wear appropriate dress. Men and women must cover their heads". Turned out I didn't even have a cap in my car so I went no further than the door. I did do a bit of a search on the net for more info and found some interesting info.
The first interesting tidbit I discovered was that the cemetery was referred to as the Creek Jewish Cemetery. Looking at an early layout diagram of the cemetery the creek next to it is quite prominently indicated. Now I'm wondering, was the North End Cemetery not perhaps referred to as the Creek Cemetery in the early days? Something to look into a bit more.
Land for the North End Cemetery was set aside in 1861 and the cemetery was laid out in 1863. As early as 31 July 1861 the Council received a letter of application for a piece of land in the newly granted North End Cemetery. At that stage the Jewish community had to go to great expense to convey bodies to Grahamstown for burial in the Jewish Cemetery there.
A report in the "Eastern Province Herald" dated 31 July 1863 states: "The Jewish Burial Ground at Creek has been used for the first time on the occasion of the burial of the child of Mr. E.H. Solomon on Wednesday, 29 July 1863." The grave of this child, Aaron Solomon aged 8 years, is to be found in Row 4 of Section A. The other graves in that row cover the period up to 1871 and include one for 1903. This indicates that burials did not take place in a specific order and that they seem to have worked from the "center" out which is usual for all cemeteries of that period.
Monday, August 14, 2017
Standing at the rock below Something Good (the one with the hole through which the waves crash) and looking back towards Hobie Beach, Bird Rock is quite a prominent landmark in front of you. This photo was taken on a rough day with waves smashing over Bird Rock on the right.
Sunday, August 13, 2017
A few weeks ago we took part in an Amazing Race in and around Uitenhage, organised by one of the local churches as a fundraiser. The race started at the old festival grounds on the outskirts of town. While waiting for everybody to arrive I took a walk over to the Concentration Camp Memorial with my camera.
Not a lot of people know that Uitenhage had a concentration camp right on their doorstep during the Anglo-Boer War between 1899 and 1902. The concentration camp used to be situated on 10 hectares of land on the outskirts of town where the festival grounds can be found. During the war a large number of women and children were dying in a Bloemfontein camp because of extreme temperatures. It was decided to establish a new camp which had to be somewhere near water and a train line. Uitenhage was ideal for that and a camp was built for 2000 people, although only 1800 stayed there. At first the residents looked down on the people in the camp but then realised that they were their own people. The locals started to go to the camp to talk to those held there and even played records for the women and children. All the houses were built of zinc and wood as opposed to the tents of the other camps. Today, only the house that is believed to have been the commander’s stand on the site. The rest of the houses were broken down and rebuilt in Port Elizabeth’s Red Location. In front of the house visitors will find a memorial statue as well as a monument made out of high cement walls and pillars in memory of the eight adults and children who died in the camp.
Friday, August 11, 2017
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Over the years my interest in cemeteries has taken me to most of the cemeteries around town with the notable exception being the North End Cemetery. Not because I didn't want to but rather a case of never really being in that part of town with time to go. A week or two ago I found myself there though in search of information I needed as part of a Geocache multi cache put together by Commaille. I was really surprised at how well maintained and neat the cemetery is plus I didn't feel unsafe at all. My quest for the necessary information took me, among others, to the pauper section of the cemetery. A section that stands in stark contrast to the rest of the cemetery.
I found the following about the history of the cemetery. With the exception of the individually walled and accessed Jewish and Muslim sections at North End, only interior carriageways separated the various Christian denominations. Subsequent extensions to the North End Cemetery made provision for the members of the Dutch Reformed Church and the Chinese community in the early twentieth century, as members of the two groups migrated to the town. The arrival of the Indian community, late in the nineteenth century, necessitated comparatively little adjustment, as the majority were Hindus. A crematorium for their use was duly built at North End on the seashore. The unused Moslem section of the cemetery was then adopted as the site for scattering ashes. Indian members of the Christian and Moslem faiths joined their co-religionists in death. A special isolation cemetery was laid out at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in the 1890s and named after the bubonic plague outbreak of 1901. These days the crematorium is no more with only foundations and a concrete slab remaining.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
A couple of weeks ago the sea was slightly angry one morning and as I was driving down Marine Drive I noticed that the waves out Pollok Beach way looking quite impressive. Grabbed my camera and headed over to Lovers' Lane, snapping the waves smashing right over Bird Rock.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Monday, August 7, 2017
Friday, August 4, 2017
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Addo Elephant National Park, as with all National Parks, has a policy to only have animals that occurred there naturally. Giraffes didn't thus you won't find them in the park. The best place to see them though is at the Kragga Kamma Game Park just outside Port Elizabeth.