P6270114 Paris is all I expected, but many times more. There really is a café on every corner. The markets are clean, inexpensive and varied, and they do have a huge variety of cheeses, patés and cold meets. Everybody really does eat baguettes for lunch. The architecture is splendid, with every building covered in the finest detail. People do take their dogs on the trains, busses and into restaurants. I have never been to a city before where it is just like the guide books and films.

The Boardsail has finally closed its doors.

Boardsail_closing_down_019Boardsail_closing_down_020 This week I experienced a wonderfully sad evening. It was wonderful because I got to spend an evening having a great dinner with some of my very close friends in one of my favourite restaurants. It was sad because it was the last time that I could have dinner there.

Boardsail_closing_down_007 The reason for this is not because I do not wish to go back, rather because I cannot go back. After being steered in very good hands by Hans and Marion for the past 16 years, The Boardsail Inn is finally closing its doors for good this week.

In its infinite wisdom, The City of Cape Town has cancelled The Boardsail’s lease. They have all sorts of reasons for this which have been discussed at length in the local newspapers, some of which are to “allow parking for council vehicles, to allow a service road, an emergency exit, for increased parking for the community”. The premises have been used for over 50 years, and it is a sad moment seeing it close for good.

Boardsail_closing_down_006 No longer will I be able to enjoy a quiet dinner in the week. I am going to miss the winter curry evenings, where Hans would serve up a batch of warming curries. And in summer, I am no longer going to be able to sit on the porch, enjoying a beer or two, watching the sun as it sets over the vlei. Most importantly, my dogs are going to miss hearing Charlie barking at them from across the vlei when they enjoy their daily walks.

Boardsail_closing_down_012_1 I am not the only person who is going to miss the Boardsail, and I think that many people will be happy to join me in raising a somewhat virtual glass to Marion and Hans while we say “thanks for all the good times – we are going to miss you”.

Complaint – Closure of Boardsail Inn

Three onions to City of Cape Town

Attention: Cape Town City Manager
Copies: False Bay Echo
Boardsail Inn
Development and Infrastructure Services

The article in the False Bay Echo, 5 May Refers (p3):

I would like to voice my concern over the potential closure of the Boardsail Inn.

Marion and Hans have been running the restaurant for over 16 years, I really feel that it is one of the hidden gems in Cape Town. My wife, myself and several of my friends are regular diners at the Boardsail, and I have had nothing but outstanding hospitality, service and food there.

There are plenty of braai spots in Lakeside, and there is no need to remove the Boardsail to make way for roads etc. I fail to see why after the premises have been used for over 50 years, 16 as the Boardsail,  the council has made this decision. Regarding using the buildings for their operational needs, yes I too would love to have an office with the view the Boardsail currently has. This smacks of council abuse. I am sure that there are other properties from which they could operate. It is shocking that the council can terminate a 16 year lease with only a few weeks notice.

The letter quotes the reasons for the lease termination as to “allow parking for council vehicles, to allow a service road, an emergency exit, for increased parking for the community.”  There is currently a large parking area behind the restaurant, which I have never seen full. The area is very readily accessibly via the current service road, and it’s a very short drive to the larger road infrastructure. Why would you destroy such a beautiful setting with such a fantastic view for a parking area? Regarding the emergency vehicles, I do agree that they should have ready access, but the currently do have access to the area. 

Job creation and entrepreneurship is being encouraged by our National Government. By terminating the lease you are going directly against this, and you are directly destroying several jobs.

Both Marion and Hans have put a lot of energy into turning the Boardsail into what it currently is, by terminating the lease, you are removing the entire future value of the business that they have created.

I strongly urge you to very seriously reconsider this decision.


Craig Strachan
Lakeside resident and ratepayer

The Last Work of His Hand

This speech was to be presented by my great grandfather on May 8, 1941. Unfortunately he passed away the day before he was to present it. It is reproduced in full below. For more information regarding the family tree, visit the Strachan family tree (this document has not been fully spell checked – I will do so when I have a moment).

P.D. Strachan
O.B.E., M.A., M.D.

A Valediction
The Last Work of His Hand.
May 7th, 1941.

In Piam Memoriam
Medici illins Dilecti
P.D. Strachan
Oh. Non. Mai.
Fort Hare.


It was a beauteous passing, O my Friend.
You fell on sleep as tho’ in Summer shade
You had sought repose a moment, unafraid,
Beneath a hawthorn where the shepherds tend
Their sheep. What joyous ways you gaily wend
In realms of knowledge now I cannot tell;
Perchance you listen for the deep cries’ swell
On shy Basuto hills; and with it blend
The thunders of the Hebridean isles
Calling you back to that storm-smitten strand.
Grateful hearts have bid you welcome there
And eyes have lighted with receptive smiles;
And there to greet you in their glory stand
The Angels of Compassion kind and fair.

Fort Hare.
May, 1941.

VALEDICTION Spoken by the Principal (Dr. A. kerr) at the Funeral Service in the College Union Hall on May 8th, 1941.

Some men bear about with them an air of happy gaiety which not only attracts others to them but diffuses confidence and inspires with a sense of mastery over the common recurring events of daily life. To know them is to re-experience the sensation of buoyancy, so exhilarating when captured, but withal so elusive and transitory. Such men seem so to have mastered the art of living that we have no doubt of their competence in any situation in which they may find themselves. What is difficult for us, is easy for them. With astonishing versatility they turn from one achievement to another in quite a different category of activities and are equally at home in the most diverse occupations. Consider briefly the career of our colleague and teacher so suddenly taken from us. Born in the Hebrides of song and story, and growing up in the cultivated manse set in a little Highland clachan where English was undoubtedly used but where the common speech of the people was a Celtic tongue, Dr. Strachan was from infancy played upon by the forces of a rude and boisterous Nature, surrounded by all the lore of the Gael, and influenced by all the weird legends of a people in whose ears were continually sounding the moaning of the wind and the surge of the Atlantic. There cannot have been wealth in that country manse or even what we should now call a competence; but we know there was learning and literature, music and laughter. There was no secondary education in those days as we now understand it, but the father saw to it that his boys were brought up to the standard where they could enter the University and this was the goal set before young Strachan. It was intended that he should follow in his father’s footsteps and enter the Church and so he took an Arts Course at Glasgow University and read Greek and Latin, French, Philosophy and Mathematics. The lad’s inclination, however, was to medicine and so it happened that when he entered the Medical Course at Glasgow he did so with a vastly superior education to that of the ordinary medical student of those days. After a short term of private practice in Scotland we begin to see the golden thread of idealism and humanitarian purpose that ran through all the life whose passing we mourn to-day. He came out to South Africa at the time of the Anglo-Boer war, but it was to a concentration camp at Springfontein that he came. Again he had a spell of private practice in the Free State, but when the Great War broke out he returned to Scotland to share in the struggle, and though not accepted for military service himself, he was able to release a near relative, also a doctor, for that duty. In 1921 he returned to South Africa and entered the Imperial Service as Medical Officer at Serowe. Two years later he began, as Medical Superintendent of Botsabelo Leper Asylum near Maseru, a period of service that lasted till his retirement in 1937,in what I must think is the most Christ-like work that falls to human lot—the care of the unfortunates afflicted with this most dread -disease. After only three or four months’ rest, he accepted an appointment at this College and so began, as he often assured us, one of the happiest periods of his life—an Indian summer of service such as few men who have had such a full and varied life enjoy. An inveterate student himself, he was never happier than when he was teaching others ; there was nothing mediaeval about Dr. Strachan, but of him it might be most truly said, as Chaucer says of the Clerk of Oxenford: "And gladly world he lerne, and gladly teche. "Dr. Strachan stood high in his profession. He was the first man to isolate the disease called Malta Fever in South Africa, and for his Thesis on this subject he had conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Medicine by his Alma Mater and was awarded two gold medals. In .1934 also, for his services to the care and cure of leprosy His Majesty the King made him an Officer of the British Empire. But Dr. Strachan was much more than a professional man. He had accomplishments of the most varied kind, and his interest in things of the mind was encyclopaedic. He was fastidious about language and grammar, and gently but firmly in8icated to transgressors in this respect the error of their ways. I have heard him occupy a whole evening with a fellow Highlander from a different part of the same island discussing the differences of their Celtic speech and the derivations and affinities of Gaelic words. This flair for language passed over into Afrikaans and Sotho. But he was equally interested in Mathematics and liked nothing better than to discuss problems of number with others competent to do so. He has lectured to us from this platform upon the art of navigation. You might catch him in his off-periods plotting a survey of this district from the window of his laboratory. His skill with wind instruments and his love of music is known to us all. Of him we might truly say that he was not only musical himself but the cause of music in others, and one of his last thoughts was of arrangements for the little orchestra he was directing.• He was in every sense a whole man, upright and honourable in all his dealings, sympathetic to all human striving and weakness, and though his duty carried him at times into the heart of desperate human suffering, he retained in his own heart the conviction that life was good and that man was made in the image of God. So he set his course and was true to it and in the end sailed into harbour with all his flags flying and trailing all the romance of the Hebrides and of far-off southern lands in his wake. To Mrs. Strachan, to the three sons who are all on active service, and to the other relatives, we tender heartfelt sympathy.
This Address was prepared for Fort Hare mid-week College Assembly by PETER DONALD STRACHAN, O.B.E., M.A, M.D., (Glas.) and was to have been read by him on the day following that on which he died. It was read by D. J. Darlow, on the15th May, 1941.
In December, 1939, I read a book called Union Now by Mr. Clarence K. Streit, an American obviously of German extraction. The book was written a few months before the outbreak of the present war. The name of the author, which in German means "strife," seems paradoxical; for Mr. Streit is a man of peace, and this book was written in order to show how war might be prevented and banned for all time by a powerful federation of all peace-loving nations. The word "now" in the title of the book, although it represents a vain hope, is highly significant. Mr. Streit saw that the policy of the dictators, which, in spite of the League of Nations, had already led to two wars, one in Abyssinia and one in China, had made another world war in the near future inevitable if things were allowed to drift. The word ”now," was therefore meant to signify the urgency of the matter, vain hope as it was. However, the present is always with us: there is always a "now." When this war is over, victoriously for the democratic nations, as we hope, we can still make "Union Now" our policy. Streit’s book led to the formation of a Society called “Federal Union" with branches in Great Britain and her Dominions, the United States of America, and other democratic countries. Towards the end of last November I received from London some tracts or pamphlets on Federal Union with an invitation to become a member of the Society, and a request that I should work for its objects by forming a group or in some other way. I filled up the membership form and sent the humble subscription of is. plus a donation of £l, offering at the same time to distribute pamphlets among the members of the Staffs of Lovedale and Fort Hare, should the secretary be good enough to send me two dozen copies of each pamphlet. It was not until the middle of March that I received a reply. It appeared from the letter of the Foreign Secretary, Miss Christian Dawson, that the Society was financially in very low water at the time when my letter was received, but since then it has been put on a sound footing! It occurred to me that, to begin wit
h, I could not do better work for the Society than by addressing this august and youthful assembly of intellectuals, when it became my turn to do so, on the subject of Federal Union in order to show what evils Federal Union is meant to prevent begin by quoting from the foreword of a book, The Case for Federal Union by W. B. Curry: Dear John or Fritz or Alphonse (these are typical English, German and French names). At any moment you and your wife and family may be blown to smithereens or asphyxiated, or scalded, or burnt to death, or otherwise brought to an unseemly and painful end. In order to prevent this incredible state of affairs we have all lived for years under a crushing burden of taxation, and a steadily increasing degree of interference with the normal liberties and routine of our daily lives. Whenever we have stopped to think, we have realised that it was all crazy and unnecessary, and that instead of preparing for mutual slaughter we might begin to realize that we hold within our grasp greater possibilities of human happiness and development than mankind has ever had before.” If you are between twenty-five and forty years of age this is the second war in your own life-time, and the whole of your life, as long as you can remember, has been overshadowed and burdened by war and the threat of war, the preparation for war and the talk of war. Have you never, as you enjoyed the peace of lovely landscape on a warm summer day, had that peace disturbed and shattered by the thought of all the loveliness that was being destroyed in other similar country-sides? I cannot believe that you have never asked yourself, as I have asked myself over and over again, ‘Why the devil do we put up with it?’. Wells’s Outline of History ends with a plain statement of the lesson of all recent developments: “There can be no peace in all the World now but a common peace, no prosperity but a common prosperity.” To quote again from Curry’s foreword, "You appear to prefer the clap-trap of Nationalism, your separatisms, your petty jealousies and your patriotic vanities, to that creative life of peace and happiness and plenty that there is within our grasp if only we would unite with our fellowmen throughout the World. We cannot get it by standing alone. We can get it only by Union." To put our motives at their lowest, we forget that any policy which tends to impoverish our neighbours or those that trade with us will, in spite of a temporary advantage, in the long run impoverish ourselves. The great trade depression which followed the year 1929 was chiefly due to the fact that America by putting up high tariff walls demanded nothing but money in the form of gold in exchange for her goods, and when all gold had been squeezed out of other countries American export trade came perforce to an end. The present wars are due to the fact that Germany, Italy and Japan could carry on no longer as they were. What they failed to obtain by policies of national self-sufficiency, they attempt to gain by force of arms. Many who preach the doctrine of Jesus Christ, "Those that would be last shall be first," apply it to individuals only, and forget that it is applicable to nations also. In the evolution of Law and Order in Human Society there are several stages:—the first and most primitive is "every man for himself." At a religious service in the Basutoland Leper Asylum I once heard the Rev. Mr. Casilis, who had just come from the Belgian Congo, giving an account of conditions there, instead of preaching a sermon. At the end of his discourse one of the patients asked him, "Have the Natives there got Chiefs?" "Eena ea nang le matla ho feta ba bang bohie, ke eena morena oa-bona." "He that has strength to surpass all the others; he is their Chief.” The next stage is the formation of groups in the form of tribes or clans, perpetually at war with on~ another, but preserving some degree of law and order within each group. That was the 8condition of Great Britain and Ireland before the arrival of the more homogeneous Anglo-Saxons, but even they were at one time divided into as many as seven Kingdoms in England and the South of Scotland. Often within the tribe order was preserved only by the method of "stop thief" or "hue and cry," there being no police force, the public opinion of the well-disposed and their occasional action being the only deterrent to evildoers. A trace of that system is to be found in the stoning of evildoers taken in the act by the Israelites. The last stage in the evolution of law and order is that which has been reached by all the democratic nations there are law courts and a police force to preserve order and arrest transgressors. No citizen is allowed to take the law into his own hands except when called upon to assist the police. In the British Common-wealth as well as in some of the other democracies there are two sure evidences of good government, viz., the policeman is well liked by the public, and the police do not require to be armed with lethal weapons. The dictator countries still pay lip service to this final stage, but they have vitiated the whole system by the institution of secret police, arrest without warrant, and punishment without trial. What stage have the various sovereign states reached in their relations to one another? Before the formation of the League of Nations it was pure anarchy, the primitive stage of “everyone for himself." There were also alliances between nations, ostensibly for defensive purposes, but often even frankly called offensive as well, the word offensive coming first. The League of Nations, at least so far as the settling of international disputes went, was no better than the “hue and cry "stage. There was no police force. That optimist, Lord Hugh Cecil, said that such a force was unnecessary because public opinion, i.e. the “hue and cry," would deter an aggressor. Its principles were further vitiated by the facts that its members were appointed by the heads of the various States, not by the people directly, and that it was required that all its decisions must be by unanimous vote. Even the "hue and cry" does not require to be unanimous. Each member, appointed by the Government in power in his own country, felt it to be his duty to work for the interests of his own nation only. 9L 7W The Germans, with good reason believing that France was making use of the League to prevent revision of the Treaty of Versailles, left the League after a few years of membership. The result was that Germany by unilateral action first threw off some of the harsher provisions of the Treaty, which ought to have been mitigated by decision of the League; for as long as France~ -remained obdurate, a unanimous decision in favour of revision could not be obtained. According to Gunther, whom I take to be a German-American, with one exception, the Tyrol, which was given to Italy, no fairer division of Europe into states could have been made than that which was made at Versailles. Nevertheless, it was an easy step for the Germans, after Hitler’s success in removing injustices, to proceed by threats of armed force and unopposed invasion to annex the territories of their neighbours on the flimsy excuse that they contained ill-treated German minorities. The ire of the Germans .was aroused by Hitler’s parading of the so-called guilt lie. Even had the word guilt been used it would not have been a lie. In the English and the French texts the same word "responsibility" for damage done was used. The Germans deliberately translated this as schuld, i.e. guilt" instead of the literal translation vera, Stwortlichkeit. You all know how the League failed in connection with the aggression of Japan and Italy against China and Abyssinia. Indeed, Italy committed a warlike act against Greece by bombarding Corfu less than two years after the formation of the League. Dynastic considerations and religion, which played so large apart in wars of the past, have ceased to be causes of wars. The desire of our populated countries~ to obtain more
territory, lebensraum or living room, has been a cause of war in alleges. This reason for aggression is still frankly acknowledged in Hitler’s book Mein Kampf, but where neighbouring countries are already thickly populated this object can be attained only by exterminating or enslaving a conquered people, methods which are revolting to every truly civilized nation. A thickly populated nation can still have a high standard of living by importing raw material and exporting manufactured goods. Great Britain led the way in this method. Hence, access to raw material and to external markets is to-day the most fruitful cause of the international jealousies which breed wars. Lastly, these jealousies lead to fears and suspicions and a desire to obtain strategic outposts for military and naval purposes in case of war. There is no nation to-day which has so many of these strategic outposts as the British Commonwealth and they are all needed because the British Commonwealth is not one but many nations. Hitler believed that German colonial expansion before 1914 was a mistake and a source of weakness, and he was right. The imports of raw materials from her colonies to Germany and her exports to these did not form as much as 3% of her whole external trade; as strategic outposts such colonies are of no value to a nation which does not possess overwhelming sea power; but for a short time after the beginning of a war they might be useful as submarine bases—witness the fate of the Italian ports in the Red Sea. No, the cry about the robbery of the German colonies has nothing behind it except loss of prestige. There is a far greater amount of raw material exported by the self-governing nations of North and South America and the British Dominion’s than by all the colonies put together. Germany and Italy are more covetous of the valuable colonies of Holland, Belgium and Portugal than they have ever been of those of Britain and France. It galls the Germans that such weak nations should have colonies at all, their doctrine being that might is right, and that the weak have no rights. What are the conditions which permit these international jealousies and disputes to blossom into wars? They are the very same as those which would allow the individuals to settle their disputes by violence ~n a large or small scale, viz, the absence of law ~and of means to enforce law. So-called inter-national law, was never so little observed as it has been since the beginning of this century. To-day a powerful nation will break any and every international law to escape defeat, and there is no international force to impose peace. The immediate causes of war today are disputes about territory or trade. What are the root causes? These are three: the existence of national Sovereignty, the claiming of belligerent rights and the claiming of the right to be neutral. National Sovereignty, of which we have heard so much in recent years in the British Commonwealth and elsewhere, should exist only within a nation’s own borders, and not even there when it violates the constitution of any larger federation of which the nation is a member. National sovereignty over external relations is quite a different thing, and, as a fruitful cause of war, should not he allowed to exist. There should be no such thing as belligerent rights; for the waging of war, except in defence, should be regarded as a crime which has no rights. Similarly in a federation conducting a defensive war against aggression there should be no such thing as the right of neutrality, just as in a well-governed country an individual is bound to assist the police when called upon to do so, and he who makes no effort to prevent the commission of an offence or fails to give information about a crime which he has witnessed may be tried as an accessory. To quote Mr. H. Wickham Steed :—" Personal or local loyalties may be strong in a national community, but obedience to the common law over-rides them "—" Unless loyalty to a Federal community of nations thus over-ride or extend, without extinguishing the narrower national loyalties which have hither-to been merged in the conception of patriotism, I should think Federation meaningless. By "war" I mean international violence deliberately employed to further the alleged interests or to satisfy the ambition of individual nations or their rulers either singly or in alliance. Such war I look upon as aggressive and incompatible with the essential requirements of free civilization. War in resistance to aggression stands in my eyes on a different plane, even if defence ends by taking the tactical or strategical form of a military offensive. Aggressive war is war as an instrument of national policy or war conceived as the continuation of policy by other means. Armed resistance to such war is not war as an instrument of national policy: it is militant self-defence. To condemn both kinds of fighting as equally responsible is to put the maintenance of Law and Order on the same moral level as armed robbery or gangsterism, and to see no difference between the burglar and the constable, or between a band of marauders and a sheriff’s posse." The conclusion come to by Wickham Steed is :—" That neutrality is the foe of peace and the parent of war; that war will never be overcome or peace created until either a federal community of nations or one supremely powerful nation treats war as a crime ; and that to be indifferent or neutral towards this crime is to aid and abet it." So long as any nation which has recourse to war as a " continuation of national policy by other means is allowed to claim belligerent rights, while other nations that may not be directly attacked demand and obtain respect for their neutral rights, it will be futile to make leagues for the prevention of War. The idea of the prevention of War by means of one supremely powerful nation acting as policeman over all the rest may be dismissed at once: it is Hitler’s idea. Such a nation could not fail to adopt a selfish policy towards all the others, and would incur the envy and hatred of the rest of the world. In the February number of The Reader’s Digest a writer advocates a Union of the United States of America and the British Commonwealth for the purpose of keeping the peace, or at least for mutual defence, leaving the continent of Europe to stew in its own juice. Such a combination for such a purpose would lead to the very same evils as domination by one supremely powerful nation. A few years after the war which ended in 1918 France began to complain of the domination by the so-called Anglo-Saxon peoples, simply because they were trying to curb French harsh-ness towards defeated Germany, a very laudable object, and one more likely to insure future peace than the "umbrella" appeasements which followed much later when they were too late. Nothing else remains to save civilization except a federal Union of all the peace-loving democracies. The policy advocated by Streit is a federation much on the same lines as that of the United States of America :—No state to have a national fighting force stronger than what would be required to police its own territory; no longer a British army or navy, but one supremely strong federal defence force, to which each state would contribute according to its means; a federal government elected directly by the people, not by the rulers of each state, imposing a uniform scale of taxation on individuals for defence and other federal purposes ; inter-state trade and currency matters to be regulated by the federal government, by gradually breaking down trade barriers with a view to ultimate universal free trade within the federation; the pooling of all resources of raw material in the states and their colonies ; the admission to the federation of all nations adopting a genuinely democratic constitution. I would suggest that the last clause is perhaps too drastic. Provided that all the peoples in the federation were democratic in their relation to the federation, i.e. elected their federal members by secret ballot on a wide franchise, and contributed the bu
lk of their armed force to that of the federation, having no private army and navy for external use, I would let them have any internal government they chose, even if it were a dictatorship, provided it were a democratic dictatorship, not one in which a minority by seizing power by force places a dictator over the majority. By a democratic dictatorship I mean one in which, because of an emergency, or because a people is not yet ripe for a parliamentary government, a dictator is elected by a majority to carryon for a term of years. It is generally admitted that both Hitler and Mussolini rescued their countries from chaos, and governed well until they began to persecute their own citizens on grounds of race and religion, and to attack neighbouring states. As members of such a federation as is desired by “Federal Union" they would not have been allowed to run amuck as they have done either within or without their territories. Before the federation of the American States there was no prosperity: various states were on the point of going to war with one another over questions of trade and tariffs. Under federation, with its universal free trade and a common defence force, prosperity increased by leaps and bounds, and it became impossible for any state to attack its neighbour. The civil war put an end for all time to the claim of a right to secede made by any group of states. Streit’s proposal was a federation of fifteen peace-loving democratic states to begin with, i.e. The United States of 14 ~"America, The British Commonwealth, France and all the smaller democracies of Europe. A federal government could not function properly without a common language. There is a profound truth in the Bible myth of the Tower of Babel. If at any time a combination of mankind were directed towards evil ends, God could not have hit upon a better way of thwarting them than by making nations speak different languages. I have long been of the opinion that language is far more important than blood. The great strength and unity of the U.S.A. is primarily due to the fact that they insisted on one language from the outset of their existence. It is curious that most of the advocates of Federal Union pass over this important matter. One of them goes so far as to say that it is of no importance, and one of the pamphlets in my possession contains an advertisement for the teaching of Esperanto, which, it is suggested, shall be the language of Federal Union. Few people will take the trouble to learn artificial languages, like Volapuk and Esperanto: they have no literature, no idiom and no soul. I trust that I speak with some detachment when I advocate that English should be the language of the Federal Union. I am not an Englishman except for one-eighth of my blood, having had an English great-grandmother, if one can be said to have had any-thing before one was born. My ancestors on the mother’s side were Gaelic-speaking. My father, born on the East Coast of Scotland, was English-speaking, and acquired scholarship in Gaelic. He used to say that Gaelic is a more expressive language than English; only a half-truth. The meaning expressed by an idiom in one language can seldom be so well-expressed in another. When an Irishman says, " I cannot pay my rent because my pig died on me last summer," or a Hebridean says, " I must get a wife before winter, because my horse is after dying on me, and I have nobody to carry home the peats," they both try, by literally translating an idiom, to express a meaning which seems to make nonsense in English. The "on" is here the equivalent of the Latin dative signifying disadvantage. English is spoken over a larger part of the world and by greater numbers of people than any other language. Foreigners tell us that it is an easy language to speak and understand. Its vocabulary is made up of both Teutonic and Latin words. A little reform in the spelling of its Anglo-Saxon vocabulary is required to make the reading and writing of English easy. Where a people has become English-speaking, attempts to revive or rebuild older languages which have degenerated are doomed to failure. In the latest number of English there is an article on “Irish and English in Ireland“ by H. R. Chillingworth. He shows how little else than political animus there is in De Valera’s attempt to substitute Gaelic for English, and points out that English has been the language of the bulk of Irish people for centuries, Gaelic the language of only a few peasants. At an earlier period Norse, and after that Norman-French, was the language of the ruling classes in Ireland. In one of R. L. Stevenson’s books on the Pacific Islands he tells how French teachers in the French-administered islands complained of the difficulty of teaching French to the Natives, while they seemed to pick up English on the streets. When a Native woman was being charged with infanticide, a French lady defending her said, “I would take her as a nurse for my own children." Someone asked, "What? Take such a savage who does not know any European language?" The lady replied, "Mais ils apprennent 1′ Anglais si vite" (But they learn English so quickly). I must apologise for devoting so much space to the language aspect of Federal Union. My excuse is that other writers on the subject seem to have neglected that aspect. In a Federal Union every nation would use its own language in its local government, but all fitted to become elected members of the Federal parliament would know English, and, indeed, it would be well if English were made a second language for the whole population, so that all might read the proceedings of the Federal Government. Loyalty to the Federal Community must override without extinguishing the narrower national loyalties; otherwise Federation is meaningless. The rejection of the most suitable language on account of national jealousy would be a violation of the whole spirit of the Federation. For a long time French has been the international language of diplomacy, and even of Science; the proceedings of international conferences on leprosy are written in French only. An easy language to read, French is a very difficult language to speak correctly. Even Spanish is more widely distributed and far easier to speak. Spain has had her day and France too, I fear. Since the fall of the Roman Empire Italy has never had a day. Germany and Italy will have their days when they join the Federal Union: not before then. The late Lord Lothian was a strong supporter of Federal Union, and regarded it as by far the most important question of modern times. Recently in this Hall we received an admirable address from the Right Reverend Bishop Gwyer of George. He began with a reference to Federal Union, and I feared he was about to steal my thunder; far from that! It would be an exaggeration to say that he damned Federal Union with faint praise; but he did say that it touched only the fringe of the matter, as if he believed that it was a striving after peace merely for the sake of material prosperity, like Russian Communism, leaving God out of account. My youthful professor of Greek, Gilbert Murray, only twenty-four years old when he came as a professor to Glasgow, says about Federal Union "What’s in a name ? " and seems to advocate a reformed League of Nations instead. I hope I have shown that Federal Union means a far closer Union than the League of Nations, and breathes the spirit of brotherhood in away in which the League never could. In this case there is much in the name: the two terms are by no means synonymous, if, indeed, there are such things as real synonyms in any language. In answer to the Bishop’s remarks on Federal Union I would say: you all know the first and second commandments given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. Admitted that the first is the higher, we must learn the lower before the higher: that is the rule of all learning. During my life I have known many people who professed to love the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their strength and with all their mind, but who showed little lo
ve for their neighbours, back-biting their neighbours and imputing to them as sin such innocent worldly16 17 F pleasures as theatre-going, dancing and the playing of musical instruments. The whole idea of Federal Union is that brotherhood of man taught by Jesus Christ and by all great religious teachers before and after him; firstly the brother-hood of man, secondly and thirdly as consequences, peace and material prosperity. Who can say, therefore, that Federal Union is a mere greedy striving after material prosperity? It is the case of “Seek ye the kingdom of righteousness first, and all these things shall be added unto you. "I am convinced that Federal Union, if it can be brought about, will be the biggest step yet taken towards that state in which man to man the world o’er, shall brothers be for a’ that," and towards the coming of that kingdom of God upon Earth for which we are always praying.
The Lovedale Press

Michaela’s Restaurant – The Restaurant in the Sky

The restaurant is well signposted from the main road (all 50m and three shops of it). We followed the signs to the restaurant, and arrived at a parking lot. Climbing out of the car, we couldn’t see any signs of the restaurant, which was really puzzling. Looking around, we saw a path wondering into the trees. With a sense of excitement, and a great deal of trepidation, we walked down the path. Very soon, we arrived in a small clearing in the trees. Two steps led up to a wooden platform which blended into the trees.

El2 Leading off the platform were dark, varnished wooden steps, climbing their way in large zigzags up into the trees, getting smaller and smaller as they disappeared in the distance.

Looking to the left, we saw something that looked out of place, a wooden frame with glass doors, and a single button.

El1_1 Deciding to continue on this adventure, I pressed the button. I heard a click, followed a brief second later buy the noise of an electric motor, slowly getting louder. Looking up towards my right, I saw a glass vanicular slowly coming down through the trees. Slowly it arrived and gently docked. The glass doors opened and in we climbed. A panel on the side revealed two buttons, up and down. Since we couldn’t go any lower, I pressed the up button. We heard a click and with a gentle jolt, we were on our way, going higher and higher.

Presently, the vanicular slowed to a stop and the doors opened, revealing a wooden platform, and an entrance door on the left. On the right, we could see the top of the stairs we had observed from the bottom. We entered into the room, and found ourselves in the most charming restaurant – the restaurant in the sky.

El3Michaela’s is a split level restaurant, with a bar and seating on both levels. The top level has a deck area with magnificent views of the sea, the trees (below you), and the hills of the Eastern Cape. Since we didn’t go to the bottom level, I can’t comment on it.

El5While not cheap, the meal was certainly not expensive (a characteristic we found throughout the East London area). I ordered sole, with a salmon, shrimp and mushroo m dressing (R74). The sole was large, there was plenty of salmon in the dressing, and it was very, very tasty.  Lois had the soup of the day, which came with a few pieces of melba toast (R24). Her bowl was large, and also very good. The salad was fresh and crisp, with plenty of veges in it.

The staff is unassuming and friendly. They have the rare ability to be there when you need the assistance, but to not be in the way the rest of the time. We were there for lunch on a Friday, and there were quite a few busy tables. I got the impression that many people are regulars.

El4 We had drinks the next evening, and even though there were getting ready for a wedding party downstairs, we were welcome to have drinks upstairs. The wedding party all arrived while we were having drinks, and although we were tempted to gatecrash the wedding (a wedding being our original reason for the trip), we managed to resist the urge. I do however get the sneaking suspicion that we would have been welcome to join in the festivities had we done so.

written by Craig

Michaela’s Restaurant – 043-738-5139