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Commander John Robert Francis (Frank) Wild was born in Yorkshire on 10 April 1873 who made no less than five expeditions to the Antarctica, including two under Sir Ernest Schackleton, on the second of which he acted as second-in-command to Shackleton, taking over and completing the expedition when Shackleton died before it was over.
In 1900 he joined the Royal Navy.
His first voyage to the Antarctic was under Robert Falcon Scott on the “Discovery” in 1901.
He joined the Nimrod Expedition in 1908-1909, crossed Ross Barrier and Beardmore Glacier.
In 1911 he joined Douglas Mawson's “Aurora” and took charge of the base on the Shackleton Ice Shelf.
In 1914 he served on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-1916).
In 1921 he served as Shackleton's second-in-command until Shackleton died of a heart-attack. Wild then led the expedition to a successful conclusion. He was known as Shackleton's “right-hand-man” and “Loyal Lieutenant”. He called Shackleton “Boss”.
He was awarded a CBE, the Polar Medal with four bars and a variety of other decorations, including a the Patron's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society and being mad a Freeman of the City of London. Cape Wild on Elephant Island is named after him, as is Mount Wild and Point Wild in other parts of the Antarctic.
After he served in the Great War, he eventually came to South Africa where tried various things without much success, got divorced and developed a drinking problem. He died in Klerksdorp on 19 August 1939. He was cremated in the Braamfontein Crematorium. His remains were discovered in or about October 2011 in an urn at the Braamfontein Cemetery by Alan Buff. They will be moved to a final resting place at Grytviken, South Georgia, where they will be interred adjacent to the body of Shackleton, his commander.
Angie Butler, a South African author has recently published a book “The Quest for Frank Wild” (published by Jackleberry Press) which includes his original memoirs and details of her seven year search for his ashes. The BBC is now working on a feature film on Frank Wild.
Written Nov 22, 2011
Maryvale is a Catholic enclave just north of Orange Grove off Louis Botha Avenue. I
t is best to approach this from the northern side of town, although if one does not have transport, there are a plethora of mini-bus taxis which go right up Louis Botha Avenue - but not the safest of travel modes, as I'm sure all the locals will tell you. Having said that I am happy to use the taxis when I need to, but then I don't look like a tourist in Johannesburg, mainly because I am not.
I visited this church for the first time in September 2011 and was blown away by how lovely it is. The priest informed me that it is over 100 years old, which represents a huge chunk of Johannesburg's history.
I found the people reasonably friendly, although for the most part they left me alone, especially when it was apparent that I was familiar with the liturgy.
After World War II the Orange Grove area was popular with former Italian prisoners of war who had been incarcerated in South Africa and who now bought their families to South Africa, together with their skills, culture and religion. Without a guide I was uncertain what art in the church belonged to which period, and I would have found it fascinating to make further discoveries about this beautiful church and its art.
Written Oct 7, 2011
Phone: 011 640 3154
Mozart was born on 27 January so every year Johannesburg celebrates this for about two weeks in late January and early February with a classical music festival presented by Richard Cock (South African music maestro) with Florian Uhlig (German pianist) as artistic director. In 2010 there were sixteen concerts.
The programme varies from year to year but patrons can expect symphony, chamber music and choral concerts as well as various recitals. These take place at various venues around Johannesburg, most symphonic events happen at the Linder Auditorium on the Education Campus of the University of the Witwatersrand. The chamber concerts and recitals usually take place at Northwards House, an historic Herbert Baker house on the Parktown Ridge.
Some names from the 2010 programme that classical music lovers may recognise are Richard Dickins (conductor), Mike Brewer (choir director), Thomas Sanderling (conductor), Lidia Baich (violin), Matthias Fletzberger (piano), Elizabeth Fransen (South African mezzo-soprano), Dietrich Henschel (baritone), Lone Madsen (clarinet), Luis Magalhaes and Nina Schumann (piano duo), Malcolm Nay (South African pianist), Marcelo Nisinman (bandoneon), Florian Uhlig (piano).
A special feature of the festival is the “Outreach and Development” events which take place in the townships. There are both concerts for music lovers and workshops for musicians.
Annual events will always include some content by South African composers and musicians.
Concerts are priced at about R160 each which makes them very reasonable by international standards.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Guess what? I happen to have an opportunity to go to the famous township Soweto.
Well what can I say? The taxi drivers seems to be worse in Soweto , the place is not very clean and people can be seen all over in street.
I think places like Hector Peterson Memorial and the house of Nelson Mandela is worth seeing and the new bungee site at Orlando Towers but I would go here in a tour group then rent a car and risk the possibilities of getting lost in Soweto.
Updated Aug 18, 2010
If I look out at the vista from my west facing balcony on Menton Road I can see the trees in the Johannesbug Country Club (Auckland Park) garden. Because The Country Club is a well-known landmark in the city, it is easy for me to direct people to my home which is one block away. Other frequently visited sites in the area are the University of Johannesburg, the South African Broadcasting Corporation and the trendy restaurant rich area of Melville with its attendant nightlife.
The Country Club has been a feature of the life of moneyed socialites since 1906. It is synonymous with grand social events and it simply oozes the elegance of a bygone era. As a child I lived to the west of the golf course, now sold off to purchase a new premises at Woodmead in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg and I used to collect pinecones there (the Auckland Park golf course) in bags. My father dipped the pinecones in chemicals which made them burn with vividly coloured flames. We never ventured too close to the clubhouse because we instinctively knew that little vagabonds from the area were not going to go down well with staff trained to provide a peaceful and excellent service to their guests. Campus Square and Media 24 and all the businesses between are situated on what was once The Country Club Golf Course.
In adulthood I have attended a few glittering social functions and weddings there as well as their glorious fireworks (which they no longer host due to the local outcry about how the bangs frighten the animals – my one cat is terrified of them while the other wants to go out and beat the noisy things up). I have experienced for myself the excellent service. I haven’t always been terribly impressed with their buffet meals, but I was present at one function where they served the most marvellous “Great South African Dessert Platter” which consisted of individual servings of traditional South African desserts. One got a miniature milk tart, a “malva” pudding with custard, a “koeksuster” and something else which currently escapes my memory. This is the stuff of great memories. To be honest I have stolen this idea for my own dinner parties with great success.
It is, as its name suggests, an exclusive private club, and one cannot simply drop in for tea. One has to be invited by a member. However, if one finds oneself in the area, and drops in to ask a question in the gorgeous flower bedecked reception, be sure to use the “Ladies’ facilities” (or the “Mens’” where the other choice is inappropriate) where one can be sure to absorb enough of the general atmosphere to allow one to realise that one is in a very superior establishment indeed.
Updated Feb 2, 2010
Phone: 011 710 6400
The Jo’burg obsession with security reaches some shrilling high note. The height of the brick fences is usually higher than a body and a half. This solid barrier is topped with barbed wire and reinforced with electric wiring. To finish it off in a concentration camp style there is the 75 degree incline towards the exterior. Hence every single house has been turned into a miniature prison with the luxury of leaving it when going to the mall or making money in order to maintain this particular lifestyle which demands high level of security. I wonder what passes through the minds of Mandela and his fellow freedom fighters. I have no impression of South Africa of the apartheid era but if my logic is right it seems that all the wiring from the townships has been torn down and recycled to keep the whites safe into their houses.
Written Aug 12, 2009
SOuth WEstern TOwnship... a sprawling just outside of Johannesburg.
Much of what occurred in South Africa's political history dealing with Apartheid took place here which has over 3,000,000 inhabitants.
There are still squatter homes, which are basically corrugated tin dwellings. No windows. Roofs have heavy rocks to keep it on when the wind blows.
There is electricity and fresh water now available to the community. Long overdue but there now thankfully.
There is still much to do, millions of people needing aid takes a while, but I think the government has, since 1994, made huge strides in helping the people’s lifestyles here.
There are also very nice looking homes in Soweto. You get the poorest of the poor living here, as well as some very wealthy people in other areas within Soweto.
Definately worth a day visit, you can stay overnight here too (in an organised tour group... I wouldnt just drive here and look out for B&B signs..)
My Soweto page has more information
Updated Jul 1, 2007
There generally are Hot Air Balloon excursions available over most of South Africa and I hope to be able to do many more. This being my first was a fantastic experience. We went ballooning about 45 minutes out of Johannesburg and when up high we were even able to see Hartbeespoortdam. I imagine doing this over the Kruger National Park or even the Winelands to be equally fantastic. If you can do this while visiting SA - I would reccomend it highly (though pricey!!)
Written Dec 18, 2006
Johannesburg is reputed to have more trees than any other city in the world (10 million trees, twice the human population). Surprising huh!!! Joburg has quite a few parks and gardens that are worth a visit if you feel like relaxing. My advice would be to go to Zoo Lake (great Moyo restaurant there), also Emmerentia Dam - Shakespears garden is lovely and very interesting over Sundays (A lot of Ethiopean and Nigerian wedding processions passing through). The Wilds and the Roodepoort Botanical gardens are also great spots to relax!!
Written Aug 16, 2006
Well if you in Sandton , you can go pass the JSE as its situated opposite the Village Walk Shopping Centre. Its surrounded by all these huge corporate companies and banks. Its situated in Maude street just a block away from Sandton City.
Written Jun 20, 2006
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