An Adventure Abroad – More Historic Trivia and a Reunion

It may be cold and rainy here in England but the light – oh my, the late light!  How disorientating it is – at 9 o’clock it was broad daylight and I thought it was still late afternoon!    That is why I am only now getting down to doing my blog!

This morning Nicholas complained that I had not put nearly enough information about his mini-museum and took me on another expertly guided tour and filled my head with loads of detail about his favourite pieces.   I am now way better informed about our family history, have been down the memory lane of our childhood and ventured into the traditional past of the Royal Family.

My Flag-mad brother has the old SA flag above his bed

My Flag-mad brother has the old SA flag above his bed

He had this reproduction of the first S.A. Union Flag of 1910-1928 custom made

He had this reproduction of the first S.A. Union Flag of 1910-1928 custom made

Favourite Flag - I forget which  one it is but I am sure he will inform me when he reads this blog!

Favourite Flag – The White Ensign – Special to him as he was once a Royal Navy Chaplin

Nicholas is also a boff on the two World Wars and has researched information on our Great Uncles Mark and William Kenney who died serving in the First World War. We also have a third cousin – Cuthbert who died in Egypt in 1918.  Nicholas was unable to source a photograph of his brother William who died in May 1917

Mark Clarence Kenney with his family.   He died in battle in in October 1918

Mark Clarence Kenney with his family. He died in battle in in October 1918

Each of soldier has a memorial scroll such as this one for Mark Kenney.

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The Governor General Flag Union Of South Africa 1931 to 1961

The Governor General Flag Union Of South Africa 1931 to 1961

Earl of Athlone - Governor General 1924 to 1931

Earl of Athlone (husband of Princess Alice) was Governor General of the Union 1924 to 1931

Governor General Flag Union of South Africa 1910 to 1931

Governor General Flag Union of South Africa 1910 to 1931

Our great grandmother had a boarding house in Kimberley.  Cecil John Rhodes was one of her guests.   The story goes that he used to light his cigars with a ten pound note!

Great Granny Kenney received a medal because she was resident in Kimberley when it was under siege.

Kimberley Siege Medal

Kimberley Siege Medal – 1900

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Queen Victoria sent chocolates to soldiers who served in the Boer War – These were presented to Great Grandpa Kenney in 1900.

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Believe it or not they were never eaten – these are the originals – what a waste of good chocolate!

Here follows some photographs of some of Nicholas’s Royal Memorabilia.

Commemoration Plate -Royal Visit to South Africa -1947

Commemoration Plate -Royal Visit to South Africa -1947

Map of the Royal Visit

Map of the Royal Visit

Coronation Cup presented to the People of Port Elizabeth

Coronation Cup presented to the People of Port Elizabeth

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Coronation Stool - for special guest at Elizabeth II coronation 1953

Coronation Stool – for special guest at Elizabeth II coronation 1953

Imagine sitting on this stool for the entire coronation service!

Binoculars dating back to 1900 - as a bird watcher these really fascinate me - they still work

Binoculars dating back to 1900 – as a bird watcher these really fascinate me – they still work

Great Granny Kenney's wick scissors

Great Granny Kenney’s wick scissors

Nicholas and Granny Chimato nee Kenney on the occasion of his baptism 13 March 1960

Nicholas and Granny Chimato nee Kenney on the occasion of his baptism 13 March 1960

Nicholas and Mom when he took her to the Royal Air Force ball - 2005

Nicholas and Mom when he took her to the Royal Air Force Officers’ Ball – 2004

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Gift from a friend when Nicholas was ordained

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Another gift - miniature  designs of South African heritage - African huts, arum lilies, the flag etc.  Has to be seen to be appreciated

Another gift – miniature designs of South African heritage – African huts, arum lilies, the flag etc. Has to be seen to be appreciated

Although it is summer here in the Northern Hemisphere the weather in London was once again the same as it is in Wintery Cape Town so my summer dresses remained packed and I donned jeans and t-shirt and Nicholas drove me to my oldest friend Jenny in Bedfordshire.  

Jen and I have been friends since we were seven years old.   The friendship has survived in spite of the fact that for most of our lives we have lived miles away from each other.  She moved away from Cape Town when her father was transferred to George and she was only 11 years old.   Letters in our childish scrawl were erratically written, a few holiday spent together until we were sixteen and then a a brief loss of contact until I discovered where she was through a girl I met at college in Grahamstown.  What a happy reunion when her parents drove her the 80 miles from Port Elizabeth to visit me and thereafter I spent the odd weekend with them when I could get an off weekend from TC.

I then returned to Cape Town and she moved to Johannesburg.   An erratic correspondence continued until she came to study at UCT for a year just as I was on the brink of divorce from my first husband.  How amazing it was to have her to support me through that!   For one brief term we taught together at Witebome school for the deaf and then she married and was whisked away back to Joburg.   Joy of joys when a few years and two kids later they relocated to Cape Town, stayed ever so briefly and then emigrated to England!  By this time there was email – and so the correspondence became easier and of course we see each other whenever possible and oh boy how Skype has changed our lives!  When somebody is real friend, time and distance have no effect and we just pick up from where we left off as if it were only yesterday that we were together.  Jen and I have supported each other in all our ups and downs through life -and we always will – BFF is not so corny. We are soul mates.  She will be my best friend forever!

Jen is not well and is going in for surgery on Tuesday - but she still look gorgeous

Jen is not well and is going in for surgery on Tuesday – but she still look gorgeous

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4 thoughts on “An Adventure Abroad – More Historic Trivia and a Reunion

  1. Fantastic blog Helen, I know when Brucie met Nicholas in England he was gobsmacked at all the memorobilia and books and Nick knew just where to find a quote from his hundreds of books when Brucie asked about anything. Lovely having a best friend and soul mate isn’t it, just like me and Rose we always pick up where we left off when we meet. Lots of love, enjoy, Aunt.

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  2. What an amazing collection of memorabilia Nic has!
    It’s fantastic having you here to stay with me – and such fun catching up on all our childhood memories……rolls back the years like nothing else. xx

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  3. love your blog, Nicholas has some wonderful mementos. The weather is supposed to get warmer over the next few days !!!

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