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Post Card Transvaal, written at Winkelhaak Bethal

Postcard half penny Transvaal, sent from Winkelhaak Bethal, post office canceled STANDERTON 4 DEC 1903 via Durban to Verulam arrival 5 DE 03.

Postcard written November 30, 1903 most likely on the farm Winkelhaak near Bethal. Why the postcard was not posted in Bethal is unclear. There was a post office in Bethal, open from 1886 until the Boer War, then reopened on 15.6.1902, and still open today. This town was proclaimed on December 12, 1880 after some residents of Standerton bought the Bleskopspruit farm.

Now my question to you, the adress: was this a girls' school on the Oakfarm farm in the Verulam Natal area., and Post Card written on November 30, 1903 Winkelhaak( farm ?? )  Bethal.  Who has more information, about Winkelhaak Bethal, and the Young Girls school near Verulam.

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Perhaps Mr Lombard was away from home - the address at the top of the message may not have been where he was, but where he wanted the reply sent to.  (It's also worth comment that three days elapsed between writing and posting.)



I agree with Bas.

It is likely that Mr (Initials unclear) Lombard most probably wrote and posted the postcard in Standerton in expectation of the requested prospectus and reply being sent to Winkelhoek, Bethal, presumably where he lived or worked.

I found this card quite fascinating. Thanks, Albert! Here is a long digression.

'Lombard' as a surname
It is a relatively common Afrikaans surname with an interesting history. Generally, it is found in both France and Britain as an ethnic name for someone whose ancestors came from Lombardy in northern Italy. The name derives from the ancient Germanic tribe which overran  northern Italy in the 6th century. After European banking was started in northen Italy in the 13th c., Italian moneylenders were generally referred to as "Lombards", as were people who migrated from Lombardy to northern Europe. Many of the Lombards who went to the Cape came from the Flanders area of Belgium, once a part of France. Many also migrated to Britain from Flanders where they were called Flemings or Lombards.  In London, Italian merchants lived on Lombard Street. A quick google suggests that many Lombards have lived in Standerton since its founding, to the extent that it also includes a Lombard Street today. Lombards have also lived in Bethal which is just 66 km away from Standerton. South Africa is a nation of migrants, black and white.

The postcard is addressed to the Reverend Mother Prioress at Oakford  (not 'Oak farm') Priory. This is a strongly Anglo-Saxon name. Are there oak trees in Natal? Surely not. It's too warm. The Priory included a boarding school run by nuns of the Dominican order. Some ten years ago there was a dispute over access to the site, the run-down property apparently having been 'liberated' by the ANC Youth League who wanted to prevent the buildings which had been sold by the Roman Catholic church to a property developer from being turned into a hotel.

Parents and pupils of the Sacred Heart Secondary School demonstrate against the sale of the hostel to a property developer whom they have no hesitation in pejoratively calling a 'Boer' (Afr. farmer).

As a Capey, not a Banana Boy / Durbanite, I have never spent a night in Natal. The place is a mystery to me! As a result of Apartheid's sinister influences, I have always thought that the name 'Verulam' was of Indian origin. However, I now know that the town was founded in 1850 by a party of 400 Methodists who named it "after the Earl of Verulam", the patron of the British settlers. (At the time it was the third settlement founded in Natal by Europeans after Durban and Pietermaritzburg.) The 'Earl of Verulam' was created as a Peerage in the House of Commons in 1815. It was named after the Roman town of Verulamium (St Albans) which was destroyed by the Saxons in the 7th c. So, its name was not Indian in origin but comes from Italy courtesy of north European migrations. In 1964, Verulam was zoned as an Indian area under Apartheid's Group Areas Act. Today it is densely inhabited by some 63,000 people, mainly of Indian descent. There are several primary and secondary schools catering for all races and all areas of the town.

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Hello Steve, thanks for explanation and description

My pleasure, Albert. Keep sending your finds and queries. It is good to get input from you. Hopefully my long and unnecessary explanations won't put you off continuing to do so in future!