FFH and CMH
a résumé revised in August 2013
As from 1st January, 1970, Henri and family lived in their home at 39, Loch Avenue, Parktown West, Johannesburg. Henri-Paul was born on 17th January, 1970, at the Florence Nightingale Nursing Home in Berea, Johannesburg.
At the end of January, 1970, Caroline stopped work at the Stocking Shop as she had pregnancy problems and had to spend 3 months in bed in which time she played scrabble with her neighbour, Chris Robinson who lived on the top floor in our building with her husband, well-known photographer Mike Robinson. After this, Caroline stayed at home, making in her small test kiln which she kept on the balcony, ceramic jewellery, miniature pigs and mice. These were sold to a small shop in Hillbrow or left on consignment – she never got paid for everything.
On 3rd March, 1970, Gallery 101 opened the Hyde Park Branch.
In April, 1970, John Cullum Construction drew plans (Stage I.) to my specifications for our new home to be built at 11, Louie Avenue, Northcliff (Stand 228, Northcliff, 1 acre in extent).
On 21st May, 1970, Gallery 101 opened the Hollard Street Branch.
On 6th May, 1970, my Father's pass was extended in Johannesburg for another year. He went to Kinshasa on 3rd June, returning to Johannesburg on 12th June, 1970. Heineken had referred a project to build a brewery for a black financier, Mr. Ngunza, B.P. 716, Kinshasa, to Father who stayed at the Hotel Bonanza, Avenue de l'École, Kinshasa. Mr Ngunza had made his money building roads around the country. However, all projects were stopped later, as finances ran out - Father was not paid most of his fees. At that time, Father was also expecting proposals from Pepsi Cola/Canada Dry in Lourenço Marques (Montemor).
The Consulate General of Switzerland in Johannesburg, based on feed-back from the Police Dept. of the Federal Dept. of Justice and Police, Berne, confirmed on 16th June, 1970 that renewal of Swiss passes for Father could continue to be issued in the name of “Haenggi” (as was already the case with his pass issued in Athens on 25th January, 1954).
Françoise was born by natural birth, at Marymount on 28th June, 1970, at 10 p.m., weighing 5lbs 5oz. The doctor attending was Dr Ivor Safro. I drove Caroline to Marymount and was there for the birth. Caroline spent a week in hospital; all babies slept in a nursery and were brought to their mother at set hours for breast feeding. At the same time and place, Judith Mason gave birth to her first child, Tammy. My Father brought Caroline a bunch of flowers to the hospital! My mother bought Françoise 50 De Beers Centenary linked units as a start-up capital! In addition, Caroline chose a pendant and bracelet from Margaret Richardson to match a ring she already had (the ring was unfortunately stolen some years later). Paul Poppe, at that time Manager of our Gallery 101 branch in Hyde Park, ordered from the Hyde Park florist a bouquet of daisies in the shape of a stork and had it sent to the Marymount.
Elizabeth who cleaned the flat two days a week, sometimes baby sat Françoise. Caroline visited her mother taking the train to Theunissen when Fafa was 6 weeks old; her father collected them both by car. The journey to Flora was on gravel roads and Caroline thought the dust on the road would choke Françoise. When Françoise was 3 months old, Caroline flew with her to Cape Town and stayed for 3 weeks with Janet and David.
Sometimes, we went out in the evening, such as to the Pancake Bar, or the Milky Lane, both in Hillbrow, later we went to restaurants to the North of Johannesburg, taking Françoise in a carry cot. We often went to drive-ins. There were lots of parties at the homes of various friends, so it was easy to take Françoise who slept in one of the rooms. One week-end, we also called at the home of Judith and Revil Mason then living NW of Johannesburg, at 465 Felstead Road, Honeydew.
Françoise was breast-fed for a year; she then went onto solids and bottle.
On 10th August, 1970, Caroline with Françoise and Dad Nicholson went to visit Joe and Trudi Finch at Teyateyaneng (TY) via Ficksburg, looking at the pieces to be exhibited on 17th August, 1970, at Gallery 101 in Rand Central, Johannesburg centre. After the opening night, we had Joe and Trudi Finch, Sammy and Mary Lieberman, Tim and Marlene Morris for supper at our flat in Blaauwberg – a potters’ party.
On 1st September, 1970, we visited Daphne's parents, the Lance's, at their Parkmore home.
Roland Nicholson came to stay for a week in our flat. Caroline and Roland went shopping to get clothes as he was leaving for Australia on a one-way ticket sponsored by his parents (he arrived in Australia on 1st October, 1970). Roly gave Caroline “Snoopy” as a thank you.
In October, 1970, Françoise was christened at St. George’s in Parktown, Tony Ross was Godfather, Sue McLeod and Daphne Nicholson were Godmothers, but Daphne was not present at the Christening, as in Australia with Ava. During the baptism on an overcast day, the priest, Fr. Moore, put Françoise on the altar, the sun suddenly shun through the stained glass, throwing a light shaft right on Françoise – a good omen! The Christening party that followed was held at the home of Anno and Derek Warren, in Bramley.
On 18th October, 1970, Caroline and baby Fafa flew to Cape Town for two weeks; she stayed with Janet and David (on the 24th October, she had a delicious birthday cake at their home).
Gallery 101 had organised a big show of works by Gordon Vorster in Cape Town, at the Saambou Gallery at the cor. of Saambou and Burg Street, which opened on about 21st October, 1970. I had driven with Green down to Cape Town, bringing all the works, and my Mother went straight to Cape Town, staying at the Elizabeth Hotel in Sea Point (she had her bag stolen while walking). Caroline took Françoise in a pram to the opening! The well-known art dealer and collector, Dr Helmut Silberberg, was also at the opening, Caroline remembers how he enjoyed Françoise, the youngest visitor present!
During that time, we also visited Jan Dingemans in his Somerset West home.
On a Saturday during November, we went to the newly opened ten-pin bowling alley in the centre of Vanderbijlpark, together with Philip and Karin, Mike Rawstron and Maggy, Toni and Joan Ross.
During the year, we also had for supper Wolfgang and Gudrun Weinek.
My Father's pass was extended on 26th November for another 5 years.
We spent the April Easter holidays at the home of uncle Hugh and aunt Joyce Nicholson at Skyline, St Michael's on Sea, while they were away. Our meals were brought in to the main house by the local hotel staff who served us in white gloves! We stayed in a bungalow below the main house near-by, next to a big open round water tank reputed to have a lot of snakes in its vicinity! Our Hillbrow maid, Paulene Maduna, looked after Françoise. We swam at Uvongo Beach.
On 30th May, 1971, we left our flat in Hillbrow and moved to our new house in Northcliff, Paulene left our employment then.
I was working full-time at Gallery 101, Rand Central, looking after the 3 branches (Mondays to Saturdays 10 am until 8 pm or later, on Saturday and Sunday afternoons usually visiting artists), whilst Caroline was busy sorting out the new home and working part-time at the Hollard Street branch of Gallery 101, looking after customers, in support of branch manageress Sheila Baxter, taking Françoise with her.
Schachat & Cullum were still putting on finishing touches and landscaping the garden such as planting huge aloes. Alice Maleleka from Mazenod, Lesotho, our live-in maid, cleaned the house which at that time did not include the large studio on the west side. She always had problems with her boy friend beating her.
Françoise’s first birthday party in June was held at our Northcliff home. It so happened that on that day the Automobile Association of SA had organised a competition for a car, which required people to also have to count the beams on our house! They ran around our house, and Tony Ross had to play policeman to try and stop the mayhem! Françoise was walking by then.
On 5th October, 1971, the Consulate General of Switzerland in Johannesburg requested an abridged birth certificate for Françoise so that they could prove registration as a Swiss; the Registrar of Births in Pretoria could not trace a full birth certificate in their registers!
As at 10th November, 1971, my Mother had taken a second bond on her property at 4 Plantation Road, Gardens, of R7000, to cover alterations over the past years, held in my name as her nominee.
Though we had a decorated Christmas tree in Northcliff, we had Christmas dinner with Omama and Opapa on 23rd December and went to Flora on the 24th to celebrate Christmas there and open presents, staying for a few days. I barely survived their terrible tradition of charades!
As at 31st January, 1972, The Northcliff property including building cost R27,500, financed by a UBS bond for R21000. Sometimes during the year, I acquired in Trafalgar Beach Township, Natal South Coast, the adjoining Ptn. 268 and 269 from the Estate of the former owner of Ptn. 270 (which I had acquired in 1968), meas. 0.88 acres in total, for cash.
We spent Easter (April) 1972 at the bungalow of our friends, the Pawinski's, in Oslo Beach, Natal South Coast. driving in our Valiant SW and camping in our large tent which had been all over Africa with the artist Marcel Pire and his family.
We made a day trip with Françoise and Anya Pawinski to view our property at Trafalgar Beach, and returned via Marina Beach. On the way back to Johannesburg with the Valiant S/Wagon, we stopped at a well-known roadside Zulu craft market. Below Majuba Hill, we took a closer look at O'Neil's Cottage - in front of it was a grave marker stating "In memory of King's Royal Rifles 1881" (This is the place where the peace was negotiated after the Transvaal burghers’ successful War of Independence against the British in 1880/1).
I worked full-time at the 3 branches of Gallery 101 Johannesburg until end of July, 1972, and Caroline worked part-time at Gallery 101's city branches until the same time.
Due to increasing untenable and nasty public disputes at Gallery 101’s main branch between myself and Omama which had steadily been building up since 1971, as a result of differing views on how the business had to be conducted in difficult times, or how works had to be presented, or how private purchases had to be dealt with, the auditors were requested by me to make an investigation and to submit their recommendations. As a result, I called for a shareholder’s special meeting and submitted my proposals, which in effect meant that either Omama had to leave the business, or I had to. Mr Rex B Grey, the main outside minority shareholder opted to back Omama, as a result of which I made a settlement, in effect taking over the Hyde Park branch for my own account, without any assets or liabilities, thus starting again from scratch, and Rex B. Grey taking over my shares in Gallery 101 per 19th July, 1972. It also meant that we could not use Gallery 101's faithful Valiant S/Wagon any longer!
As from 1st August, 1972, I was full-time at Gallery 21, Hyde Park Corner Shopping Centre, and Caroline assisted part-time at the same place, as I had no staff then. She took Françoise with her and put her in the back part of the gallery!
Caroline fell pregnant again.
Françoise at that time was clinging onto me, she rebelled with her mother. One day, we couldn’t find her – looking from the top of our garden, I saw her walking down the hill with our dog Sheba - she had already reached the former film studios on the N-side of Northcliff. A woman in a red Volkswagen picked them both up and dropped them at the front of our house, asking if that was our child! Françoise often cried or felt insecure at night, and for a while we brought her bed into our bedroom and she felt better next to us.
At about that time, we attended Liz Raymond and Martin Rowan's wedding reception, attended also by Hugh Tracey.
Hugh Tracey, 1972
In September, 1972, architect JP van Bruggen submitted plans for extensions to the Northcliff property (Studio and new outbuildings), it was the intention to finance this through an increased bond.
Again we had a decorated Christmas tree in Northcliff, however we had Christmas dinner with Omama and Opapa on 23rd December and on 24th we went to Flora to celebrate Christmas there and open presents, staying for a few days.
Our good friend Peter German separated from Anya sometimes during the year, their son Stuart was born the previous year.
Oil embargo and international oil crisis followed by inflationary recession
For my birthday on Sunday, 28th January, 1973, we had Henri and Janey for morning tea and other friends came during the day.
At the beginning of the year, Caroline stopped work at Gallery 21 Hyde Park, as pregnancy time was uncomfortable. The doctors only discovered she was having twins in February.
On Sunday evening, the 11th March, Caroline started to have pains and tried to get hold of me - I had arranged a musical soirée at the gallery in Hyde Park, organised by and for the benefit of the Waldorf School, but the telephone had been taken down! So one of our neighbours, Dr Neville Howes and his wife Bodel, took Caroline to hospital.
I finally arrived at the Park Lane Clinic in Parktown as Caroline was about to give birth, I had to put on a nose and mouth mask and a hair cap to watch the birth, but I promptly fainted from the smell of ether from the epidural injection. I had to be helped out into the waiting room until I recovered. Later I told Granny Nicholson that Caroline had had a Caesarean birth – I was obviously totally “deurmekaar” and under shock!
Thus the twins were born on the 11th March. The doctors attending, besides Dr Neville Howes and his wife Bodel, were Drs Ivor Safro and Monty Shnier. Henriette Louise weighed 4lbs 2ozs. Caroline stayed in hospital for a week, during which time Margaret Oswald from Flora babysat Françoise.
Hen was put straight away in the incubator as she was one month premature. During the first 6 days, Caroline, still in hospital, had a premonition that something was wrong, she went to see her in the incubator, Hen was blue; she phoned me at the office and I phoned Dr Shnier who contacted the nurses – Hen was saved. She came out from the incubator after 4 weeks, hence she did not have much close mother touch at that time or any breast feeding. Caroline wanted to at least give mother’s milk and pumped herself by hand until one of the African nurses organised a pump for her; the other nurses wanted her to change to bottle feeding - she eventually gave in.
The Sandton Chronicle in their end March, 1973, edition, mentioned their arrival to the proud parents, adding "eventually to be exhibited - not hung - at the Haenggi's well-known art Gallery 21 at Hyde Park Corner"!
After Hen had come out of hospital, Granny and Pippa came up for two weeks; later a 24hr trained African nurse recommended by the Clinic came for two months, as she was sickly and on a 24hr care programme; she slept with the youngest in their room. The nurse and Caroline took it in turns to take care of them being fed on S26. A free nappy service had been provided.
Hen suffered from lung related disease, i.e. colds, difficulty with breathing and in about July both spent two weeks on oxygen at the Rosebank Clinic, with double pneumonia. She had problems with her hips, Caroline had to regularly massage them and move them up and down.
Between 7th May and 1st June, 1973, Caroline and all children stayed at Flora; I joined them between 31st May and 1st June.
On 8th June, 1973, my Mother sold her property in The Gardens to Mrs. M.R. Levine for the sum of R29,500 and gave me a letter of indemnity and requested me to sign the Deed of Sale on her behalf.
Mid-June, Gladys came as a nanny for the kids; she was very motherly, shy, a Zimbabwean. She was always with the youngest, and always went with all the children to Flora.
On 17th June, 1973, Gordon and Betty Nicholson left Flora for Rio de Janeiro.
On 10th July, 1973, we contacted the Michael Mount Waldorf School to register all our children for nursery school right through to High School; nothing came of it as they had closed the branch near us and only operated from the North of Johannesburg, too far for us.
On 27th July, 1973, we had supper at the Schimmel's home - the food was doctored, and I was very sick for the next few days. On the same day, 27th July, 1973, Caroline sold Stand 100, Ext 9, Rivonia, to Antony James King, for R11,000 less outstanding balance, cashing in about R5500 which funds were only received six months later, on 9th January 1974!
During 1973 and the following year, Caroline played bowls with Joan and Tony Ross at the Jewish Club in Rivonia.
We participated at the NICRO Art Dealers Fair at the Rembrandt Pavillion in Milner Park; a cocktail was held at the University on 7th August with many artists attending.
A wall around part of the property and a large studio were added onto our Northcliff house, built by an independent African builder and his staff. This was in part made possible by a donation of R5000 from Omama; she had also given a similar amount to my brother Henri at that time to get him out of his own problems.
At about this time, our house appeared in "Johannesburg" from the "Pride of South Africa" book series (no. 7), published by Purnell, Cape Town, written by A.P. Cartwright, the images being taken by Melvyn Penn.
click on image for better view!
During September, 1973, my Father helped Oumama out at Gallery 101, Rand Central, doing artists' statements, such as for Errol Boyley (as recorded in the gallery's archives). At around that time, he was also acting as a "commission basis" only agent for the SA agents of Gebr. Bühler, Uzwil, viz. Zakrzewski & Co. (or similar name) - he had to travel a bit in South Africa in this matter. They were planning and building silos. Father never made a penny out of it and soon gave up.
We spent the first September week-end at Flora.
On 8th September, 1973, I left Johannesburg for Barcelona, changing plane in Madrid, then on 11th September called on Juan Gaspar of Sala Gaspar (by introduction from Harold Jeppe), committing myself to acquiring the latest graphics by Joan Miró and some lithos by Antoní Clavé (the Troubadours portfolio) for a December show at our gallery in Hyde Park. Juan Gaspar took me out for lunch, much enjoyable as he was a lifelong friend of Picasso, Miró, Dali, Clavé and others and had lots to tell me. I also visited the Picasso Museum in the old city and looked around the old Barcelona. On 12th September I reached London (I was then already considering to open a branch in Europe), staying at the Hotel Russell on Russell Square, seeing inter alia Berrell Jensen over the week-end. I left London on 20th September, returning via Zurich to Jan Smuts Airport on 28th September. As a result of the Barcelona trip, exhibitions of works by Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso where shown at Gallery 21 as early as from December 1973 onwards.
On 26th September, 1973, my Mother was paid out R18,372.57 as net proceeds from the sale of her property, by cheque. She soon moved to a rented house at 134 Cedar Street, Corriemore below Northcliff, together with my Father.
Around this time, Caroline's sister Henrietta spent 3 months at our home sleeping in Françoise’s room, as she was doing a typing course in Johannesburg city, Françoise slept in the other children's room.
In October, 1973, the International Oil crisis and the Yom Kippur War began which would have tremendous effects on the oil price movements and the economies in Europe (serious international stock market crash lasting to December, 1974) and ultimately affect me in my gallery operations over the next few years.
At about this time, my cousin Paul Gmür visited South Africa, together with his wife Mariekathrin. They stayed at The Balalaika, Rudd Road, Illovo. Father would drive them around in his car. We saw them only briefly at the Balalaika.
On 14th November, 1973, Father got a cheque for R5000 from Mother, most likely to finance part of his forthcoming trip to visit Maurice van Essche and settle any purchases.
On 12th December, 1973, Caroline purchased Erven 3163 and 3164, Mountain Road, Kommetjie (each meas. 498m2), for R10500 in total, obtaining a bond of R6000 from the SA Permanent Building Society at 9% p.a., paying the balance off at R66.50 p.m. The stands faced due North, were very near to the Kommetjie Chapel and offered magnificent views towards Long Beach and the Atlantic Ocean, and abutted a rural zone on the mountain side.
During December, 1973, my Father travelled by Boeing 747 via Nairobi to Zurich, arriving on 24th December, from where he wrote a letter to Oumama, dated the 27th December. On 25th December, he was with cousin Helen and her children, the next day in Geneva, and on 27th he called unannounced on Maurice van Essche at Marin near Thonon-les-Bains on the South side of Lake Geneva, on behalf of Oumama, to try and get an agreement of exclusivity in collaboration with her new gallery (Madame Haenggi Gallery at Hollard Street, Johannesburg) and her client Jack Galasko. Maurice could only see my Father for half an hour, as he was off to France for a few days! Our Father intended travelling from Zurich to Madrid on 29th December, staying over a few days, and returning by SAA to Johannesburg, to arrive on 3rd January, 1974.
Though we had a decorated Christmas tree in Northcliff, we went to Flora on the 24th December to celebrate Christmas there and to open presents. We stayed for a few days - between Christmas and New Year, on Wednesday 27th December, Hen was baptised by Fr. Hemsley at St. Francis-on-the-Hill, Flora.
Henriette's god-parents were David Christie, Henrietta Edwards, Georgie Robins. Of the godparents, only David Christie attended the Christening, as held at Flora, plus other family members.
Françoise started mornings only at Roosevelt Nursery School, with Mrs Swaine; Henriette was with the nanny during that time.
In January, Caroline took her to Illovo for baby swimming – she hated it as the method was that one had to swim in the water with a strange woman; mothers did not go into the pool with their kids. By the 3rd week, they stopped going.
Early February, Caroline and I went with our red Datsun for a 2 weeks’ holiday to the Cape. We left Johannesburg on Wednesday 6th February 1974, staying in Kuruman that evening; next day we stopped over in Upington; on Friday 8th we travelled via the Augrabies Falls and Carnavon to Lambert's Bay, staying two nights. Petrol stations were closed on Sunday, so we had to get spare petrol from canisters, worrying if we would ever reach Cape Town, free-wheeling whenever possible! There we stayed at the President Hotel in Sea Point (Sunday night 10th February for 3 nights), then back to Johannesburg via Betty's Bay and Arniston (staying overnight), then Swellendam, George and over the Montagu Pass to Uniondale and Willowmore, our last stop-over en route.
I acquired two small holdings, being Portions 125 and 126 of the Farm Hangklip 559 (near Palmiet River) in the Division of Caledon near Betty’s Bay (meas. 55 morgen together, i.e. 47 ha), from DMW and BA Wallers of Wallers' Estate Agency, on a Deed of Sale dated 15th February, 1974, for a total of R19000, paying R3000 as a deposit and R300 p.m. as instalments, interest being 8½% p.a. (In December 1986, this area became part of the Rooi-Els/Kleinmond Nature Reserve).
Trudy Raymond babysat all the children in Northcliff during that time, supported by Gladys.
On 27th and 28th February, 1974, I stayed in Barcelona at the Hotel Royal, having travelled via Madrid, and called on Juan Gaspar from the famous Sala Gaspar; then I was off to London, calling on Petersburg Press (organising a show of American artists which opened in the Hyde Park gallery in May). I returned via Zurich, had discussions with Mr Ottiker, owner of an existing Gallery 21 at Neumarkt 21, Zurich, and also with Ingvild Goetz, a woman from Munich who owned “Art in Progress”, one of the top galleries in Claridenstrasse Zurich at that time and who wanted a year's rent in advance (she eventually had to leave Switzerland as she was a foreigner). I had been considering taking over the premises to run a branch gallery, but nothing came out of both discussions, so London would be the next project.
Over Easter 1974 (April) Caroline went with the three children and their nanny Gladys Ndlovu (a Zimbabwean) to Tegwan's Nest in Greylingstad, with Peter German and Stuart. Peter's horse was called "Winston" and Stuart's pony was called "Whisky".
As at 30th April, 1974, the following balances were due on Deeds of Sale: Riverside Estate: R9,000 - Trafalgar: nil - Hangklip: R16,000. The outstanding first bond on Northcliff in favour of the United Building Society was then R21,000.
From mid-June to mid-July, the three children stayed at Flora with their nanny Gladys, as Caroline accompanied me to Switzerland, England and Spain. The youngest started walking after that.
On 12th June, I visited Esias Bosch in White River, leaving at 6.30 a.m.
Having landed in Zurich we went to Basel straight away, on 13th June, 1974, as we had to get our stand 15.175 readied for the Art Fair. Unfortunately, our box with all the art works sent from Johannesburg landed in Italy by error, and it took time to trace and have it forwarded urgently to Basel. We used our free time to show Armando Baldinelli and Zoltan Borbereki around the old city of Basel. They were staying at our hotel, Hotel Central at Falknerstrasse 3.
click on image for better view!
From 19th to 24th June, Caroline and I looked after our stand at the ART 5’74 BASEL, where we exhibited South African and international artists. Numerous SA artists and clients visited us during this time, including Juan Gaspar sen. from Barcelona.
We then proceeded to London on 27th June to finalise discussions for possible gallery premises and for its construction, as well as a furnished apartment in Chelsea; we first stayed at the Russell Hotel which Walter Battiss always used and recommended. We also saw Georgie and Chris at their home, and we had lunch at Peggy and Archie's flat. We also saw the film "La Grande Bouffe", a.k.a. "Blow-Out" with Armando Baldinelli who was staying with his friends Rosa + S. Lipworth on his return from the Art Fair in Basel. We also saw the rock musical "Hair" with a few of our ex South African friends.
We left London on 10th July for Nice in Southern France and visited the Maeght Foundation in St Paul de Vence, and left Nice on 11th July for Barcelona.
click on image for better view!
A taxi took us to the Hotel Regina in the city centre, but I forgot that my briefcase with all the important documents from London including the lease had been packed at the back of the taxi! The local radio station was contacted; an appeal to all taxi drivers was made on the 6 o’clock news, and we soon were reunited with our briefcase. We could now have a happy dinner with Juan Gaspar and his wife. After sight-seeing around the old city of Barcelona, we left the next evening for Johannesburg.
During this year I published a book on Armando Baldinelli, jointly with the artist, which entailed a lot of preliminary work assembling the data, proof-reading the book and marketing it (launched in August). Parallel to this, I also published 78 original graphics by 9 South African artists under the "EDITIONS 21" seal which entailed a lot of detailed work with the artists and supervising the printing at Bruce Attwood’s Pentalith Studio (shown at the gallery in August).
Sometimes during August, 1974, we took our children to the Johannesburg Zoo where they enjoyed in particular the farm animals.
Next to our gallery in Hyde Park was the famous Plaka Restaurant owned by John Nalbantis and his wife Gaye from Australia. We sometimes ate out there or entertained people for coffee.
I again left Johannesburg on 11th September, stopping over one day in Zurich, getting to London on the 12th September; I stayed in David Krut’s flat in Chelsea and met his friend David Morgan; I called on Barcelona on 18th September, returned to London and left for South Africa on 23rd September. The purpose of this trip was to check on the plans for the building alterations attended to by David Morgan and his crew, to interview staff and to attend to incidental matters in collaboration with our accountant David Krut, as well as to organise shows from Sala Gaspar in Barcelona for the London gallery (at one of the parties organised by David Morgan in his flat in W1, I met Barbro Lembke who would remain a family friend for a very long time).
In October 1974, Gladys left as she had become pregnant. She organised that her friend Joyce, also a Zimbabwean, came to stay with us in Northcliff. We had as gardener a Rhodesian named Newton.
Entries in my passport show further pass controls in London on 8th October, 12th October, returning to SA on 21st October, then again out from Jan Smuts on 28th October (attending the opening of Gallery 21 London on the 31st October, 1974) and leaving London again on 3rd November to return to SA.
As from November, 1974, Henri lived with his family at "Steepways", Linksfield Ridge, Johannesburg. Our Mother and Father who until then had lived at 134 Cedar Street, Corriemore, also joined them some time later.
At the beginning of November, 1974, I rushed out of the travel agent's shop on the ground floor of Hyde Park having just bought a ticket and I walked straight into a glass pane of the Shopping Centre instead of using the adjoining glass door - I managed to shatter the glass pane and was left with a big piece of glass sticking out above my lungs! Mr Smith, the pharmacist, told me not to move and called the ambulance, and I was taken to the hospital's emergency section, Caroline getting with me into the ambulance. The doctors removed the large splinter, stitched me up and put my arm in a sling and told me to take a rest for a few days. Two days later, on the 8th November, with arm in sling, I travelled to London and went straight from Heathrow to our London gallery to work! I returned to Johannesburg on 15th December, without a sling.
Caroline and I were both directors of the London Gallery from incept, David Krut (Mr 10% we called him) was director until 24th January,1976.
As every year, we had Christmas Eve in Northcliff and went to Flora on Christmas Day staying for a few days.
Caroline worked part-time at Gallery 21 Hyde Park, in the morning, and after after the opening of Gallery 21, London on 31st October, 1974, she worked full-time, supported by 3 staff members, while I was abroad.
FRELIMO wins Moçambique independence, after 500 years of colonial rule.
Françoise was still at the Roosevelt Nursery School with Mrs Swaine who tested her for her suitability to go to Franklin D Roosevelt Junior School in 1976, but she was found not ready as a day dreamer. So Caroline registered her for Grade O at Auckland Park to start in 1976. The other children were with their nanny in the mornings.
Caroline worked at Gallery 21 in Hyde Park in the morning, with staff, unless she was abroad.
On 3rd February I was off to London, staying in a rented furnished flat in Chelsea (Draycott Place). A large exhibition of African artists was being assembled during that time, opening on 19th February. Caroline went to Flora for the Hen's birthday, together with the other children and Joyce. She left them there for about 2 months and flew to London to join me.
We both went from London to Zurich over the Easter week-end (Easter was on 30th March) as I had a meeting with the owner of the local Gallery 21 Zurich on that Saturday. During the remainder of the time in Zurich, we did some shopping at Grieder’s in Bahnhofstrasse … Caroline went back to London and was met by Peter German and dropped at our flat. I returned directly to Johannesburg.
There were staff problems in London, so Caroline had to help for a while to look after the gallery; there she worked each day from 10h to 18h. The South African artist Anton Uys took Caroline to an artists’ party at Cyril Fradan. Caroline’s sister Henrietta stayed with her at our London flat. During that time, Caroline took Henrietta to see a film on David Hockney called "A bigger Splash", and she went with Peter German to see the play "Bus Stop".
Caroline returned to Johannesburg and picked up the kids from Flora. Joyce left soon thereafter (Caroline had difficulties finding a new maid, as she was looking for someone earthy; ultimately she found young Julia through Flora, Anya's maid).
Sometimes at the beginning of the year, the Haenggi's in Johannesburg got together at my brother's home at Steepways in Linksfield Ridge which was recorded with one of the rare family group photographs (MMPA, HWH, FEH, HRH, HPH, FMLH, SH, FCH, FFH, HLH, x, CMH).
While we were living in Northcliff, we did a lot of entertaining, often having dinner parties. Soon after arriving back from London, we had a braai at our home in Northcliff, John Nicholson prepared the lamb which came from Flora, Granny had made the sosaties; the party was attended by Armando Baldinelli, the Meerkotters, Zoltan Borbereki, the Jaroszynskis – I was going to show slides from the 1974 Art show, but I had forgotten them in the gallery, so I had to go to town to collect them.
On 3rd March, 1975, I approached Rand Bank to investigate the possibility of consolidating my financial commitments, the result of which was that certain loan facilities were granted by Rand Bank, Brick & Potteries Co. and David A. Rubenstein.
On 24th April, 1975, I was welcome by the Simon van der Stel Foundation, Pretoria, as a life member (No. L6913). The director was W.J. Punt, I knew him from the early Gallery 101 days.
On 12th June, 1975, I wrote Caroline a card from Basel, mentioning that I had landed in Zurich with Eric Estorick who would be coming to Basel later, and that I had met Alan Christea busy arranging the British entry. The same day, I wrote Caroline another postcard from Basel, reporting on the setting up of our exhibition stand at the ART 6'75 Basel Fair - joinery work and electrical work being attended to - mentioning also that Zoltan Borbereki, Dudu and Karin Jaroszynski were arriving next day, Saturday, and Priska Aves on Monday. Daniel Kovacs and his mother Elizabeth Sebök had also come to the Art Fair according to a card sent on 16th June, 1975.
On 18th June, I attended the ART 6’75 Basel Art Fair, showing various SA and international art. Caroline did not attend, but I was assisted by Priska Aves, manageress of our London gallery, who had come directly from London. Displayed on the press wall was a picture of Caroline in her Marimeko dress, taken the year before! I managed to find out who the photographer was and got a copy – so though not at the Fair in person, she was there anyhow! I proceeded to London, did a one-day business trip to Paris with Dion Friedland (first plane/last plane), and returned to Johannesburg on 7th August.
As I was often in London (January, February/March, June/August, September and November), Caroline worked full-time in the Hyde Park Gallery (unless she was in London). Until she found a maid, the children went from about June to September to a day crèche in Linden – the Kinder Hotel – from 10h to 18h, Mondays to Fridays. Henriette did not like this crèche, she hated being without her mother, she always clung to her at home. It was not an easy period, Françoise did not mind, she was easy going.
On 6th August, 1975, I sent Caroline a postcard from Zurich, stating that I was about to leave for Paris, and that unofficially I was to take over Gallery 21, Zurich, belonging to Mr Ottiker, as from 1st October. As he had an accident and was in hospital, nothing could yet be finalised.
In about September, Caroline eventually found a young Tswana maid, very sweet but very strict. She worked to pay for her brother’s schooling. She was too young, exhausted and couldn’t cope with her first job, so she beat the children regularly. Caroline had to help her to regulate her day looking after household and kids.
For over a year another huge project was getting ready, the “Umabatha” portfolio of 15 woodcuts by Lucky Sibiya in an edition of 225, entailing a lot of preparatory work, printing, putting together and marketing the portfolio; it was finally launched on the 18th September. It meant that I put in a lot of extra hours.
On one occasion, we had Rex and Angela van Schalkwyk, together with Benjamin Pogrund and his wife Anne Sassoon for dinner – for the whole of the evening, a car was parked outside our house in Northcliff, leaving as soon as our guests had left; we assumed the Special Branch listened in – Pogrund was the night editor of the Rand Daily Mail and he was on a special security list – he left the country later on.
We also had for dinner Norman Catherine and Janet, with Louis le Sueur and Marijka, they did not get on at all. Another time it was Revel and Judith Mason (they heard our owl; it reminded them of their courting days on the hill when the owl was also there). Tim and Marlene Morris came for dinner, too – Tim came to check Caroline’s kiln. There were other friends, too – we entertained a lot. The children kept their routine, had their supper with their nanny and went to bed.
One day, our maid left the top of the rubbish bin on the hot plate, it melted and blackened the kitchen walls – Françoise was told to go and wake up the children from their afternoon sleep, instead she ran out of the house and went to the neighbour to call for help; however she was so frightened that she just stood outside their house until she was asked what was wrong!
During the year, all children had scarlet fever and infectious chicken pox. Newton, our gardener, started to work with my Mother as she paid him more.
On my return from London, via Switzerland, I visited the Art Cologne Köln 1975 which was held from 6th to 10th November, as one of our artists was represented by another gallery showing in Cologne.
However, towards the end of November, 1975, it became clear that the London gallery could not be kept any longer, as the financial backers of the Johannesburg operation were going bust one after the other (David Rubenstein’s Glen Anil as well as the original Rand Bank which did not renew a large trade bill) and Brick & Potteries who caused problems or other backers who stopped giving support (Dion Friedland). So I stopped going to London after that.
On 3rd December, 1975, there was a Christmas party held by the Roosevelt Park Nursery School, which the youngest also attended.
Christmas was again spent at Flora.
Soweto riots on 16th June, 1976 - Black Consciousness movement becomes increasingly influential - TV is first broadcast in SA;
Economic news - The Star on 18.11.1976 reports: "Depressed economic conditions during the past year which have been responsible for considerable gloom among art dealers and art galleries, are beginning to take their toll…."
The youngest were at home with the nanny, and Françoise started at Auckland Park Junior School – Grade 0. Fafa as she was then called spent most afternoons at the home of her school friend Debbie Richardson, an only child.
The year started off really badly financially. On 23rd January, 1976, I gave my London staff notice, requesting that the gallery be closed before the next rent was due in March. By 23rd March, the London gallery was closed and our participation at the forthcoming June art fair in Basel was cancelled at the last minute – only the catalogue entries remained. In a matter of 1½ years, I had managed to loose R150,000 between my London gallery and the South African operations, the bulk in London! I had arranged that Priska Aves, our London manageress, could have as a thank-you a free trip to South Africa to see our South African set-up, which she did during the year.
On 29th January, 1976, I got a "Greetings Telegram" from my Father, for my birthday the previous day - the only cable I remember ever getting from him.
During March, 1976, we went to Bloemfontein to see John and Leechie Nicholson off to Brazil, staying overnight in one of the hotels. They were calling on Anne Baker in Rio de Janeiro.
On 16th March, 1976, I asked Wallers' Estate Agency in Betty's Bay to sell our two properties simultaneously, as times were pretty bad in Johannesburg in my line of business. As at 29th February, 1976, I still owed R10,755 on the property, after paying R2554 interest since purchase. They reported that the property market was everywhere still very depressed.
During the Easter holidays from 30th March, Caroline and the children with their nanny, went on a 3 weeks’ holiday to Oslo Beach, Natal South Coast, to stay at Pam and Sylvester Pawinsky’s holiday cottage for free. I came to pick them up - lots of special shells were picked up at Oslo Beach!
On 19th April, 1976, Henrietta married Robert Edwards at St Francis on the Hill, Flora. Caroline and our kids were there, I brought them back from Flora.
I could not come on holidays, as I had to look after the gallery, and as there was a huge exhibition of works by Karin and Dudu Jaroszynski at the University of the Witwatersrand on the go which opened on 25th April; this had required a lot of preparatory work, such as assembling, cataloguing and printing preparations and hanging the works.
Caroline was working at Gallery 21 Hyde Park part-time and on an irregular basis. She also worked at the Tim Morris workshop from January to March (she had been invited by Tim; she earned very little, enough to cover costs, and received commission on sale of own works). She also worked at Camberg's, a small family owned Jewellery shop near the GPO (end of April/May; full-time), and at another jewellery shop (Charles Greig) in Commissioner Street for better pay (from July; full-time).
My Father left Johannesburg again on 14th April, 1976, returning on 7th May, 1976.
In April, Caroline organised an exhibition of original Disney cels in the foyer of the Hyde Park Corner Shopping Centre, around the Villa sculpture (I was against this). On Saturday afternoon, they were taken down and stacked against the walls of the gallery. Linda Goodman visited the centre and asked Françoise then present to show her which one she liked most, and Linda promptly bought it – Françoise became a dealer at the tender age of 6!
Property Investment: as at 30th May, 1976, the following liabilities are recorded:
|Riverside Estate 60||42.2 morgen||1st bond in favour of original seller L. van Aswegen||R 5500|
|Riverside Estate 60||2nd bond in favour of Rand Bank, repayable by 30th Sept., 1976||R30000|
|Riverside Estate 61||45.9 morgen||1st bond in favour of Brick & Potteries||R30000|
|Trafalgar 268/69/70||1st bond in favour of Barclays Bank||R15000|
|Hangklip 125/126||55 morgen||Balance due on deed of sale||R11000|
|Northcliff Stand 228||with house||1st and 2nd bond in favour of the United Building Society||R25000|
On 1st July, 1976, the gallery in Hyde Park reduced its size by one third (taken over by Jean Barnard Weavers), all the staff was dismissed except for a book-keeper and Steven Ditshilwane who worked for a reduced or no salary during the next few months.
On 4th July, 1976, a renewable bill of R60000 drawn by the then Rand Bank Ltd on our business in Hyde Park was not renewed (it was secured by a 2nd bond on Riverside 60 for R30000 and a personal surety from David A. Rubenstein, also for R30000).
On 7th July, 1976, I deposited the original Deed of Purchase of the Hangklip property with Brick & Potteries Johannesburg (Derek Greenberg) as further security, in addition to other pledges.
During all of this, all our children spent school holidays at Flora with their nanny.
On 13th July, 1976, Caroline became a member of the Montagu Country Club, Johannesburg (single club and bowls membership).
At the end of July, the gallery reduced its size by another third (taken over by Nedbank) - its size had come down from originally 2600 square feet to 600 square feet!
I had to cancel my booking of 10th September, 1976, of two stands at the Art Washington '77, managed by The Felluss Gallery, Washington - we could not take this commitment any longer!
During October, 1976, we saw a cabaret featuring Juliet Prowse, including dance and singing, held at the Film Trust Arena in Bedfordview Johannesburg.
As at 30th October, 1976, my mother closed her gallery at Hollard Street in the city centre (Madame Haenggi Gallery) the premises being now shared and run by partner Chris Crake under the name of "Chris Crake Madame Haenggi Gallery" (until April 1977).
By 2nd November, 1976, a 3rd bond for R12000 had been registered in favour of Brick & Potteries; in addition, I was personally responsible for the balance of the rental due by Gallery 21 London to the landlord in London (Centrovincial Estates Mayfair) who had sued me for payment (luckily the 20-year lease was taken over by a new tenant)!
On 14th November, there was another huge prestige exhibition shown at the University of the Witwatersrand, the Retrospective by Zoltan Borbereki. This also required a lot of preparatory work, such as assembling, cataloguing and returning the works to owners.
In order to ensure an orderly distribution of any assets to all my personal creditors and all creditors of Gallery 21 (Hyde Park) (Pty) Ltd., we agreed for Caroline to sue me for repayment of loans she had made (R3156). This was done on the basis of an affidavit given to the Supreme Court of South Africa (Witwatersrand Local Division), Case 13123/1976 (PH 109), signed by Caroline on 19th November, 1976. The affidavit also showed that my personal liabilities exceeded assets by R31,000, and that I was in fact insolvent.
On 30th November, 1976, my personal estate was placed under provisional sequestration (Justice Curlewis) (this meant I no longer had the authority to act in my own right, I could not sign documents, take commitments, until either an offer was made by an outsider to all creditors, accepted by the Supreme Court - so many cents in the Rand - or I had to wait 5 years before applying for rehabilitation).
On 30th November, Gallery 21 (Hyde Park) (Pty) Ltd. was placed in provisional liquidation - Master's Ref. T 1766/76 - the gallery thus closed for good – we were bust but we could live in our house for another few months.
Oliver Tambo in exile officially becomes President of the ANC, after having become its acting president in 1967 due to the imprisonment of Mandela in 1964.
Economic news: The Star reported on 28.2.1977: Squeeze hits the 101: one of Johannesburg’s biggest and oldest art galleries, the 101, is closing because of the economic squeeze … (this was our original gallery in town).
On 11th January, 1977, I made arrangements in writing with a number of my or the gallery's creditors to accept unframed graphics published under the "Editions 21" seal or books by Armando Baldinelli we had published, in full settlement of their claims - these agreements were submitted to my liquidators on 25th May and accepted.
On 11th January, 1977, Mr Justice A.J. Vermooten extended the Rule Nisi to 1st March, 1977.
On 31st January, 1977, Leslie Cohen from Western Trust, Johannesburg, advised all creditors that he had been appointed Provisional Trustee of my insolvent estate and submitted an approximate statement of my financial affairs per 30th November, 1976.
On 1st February, 1977, I received copy of a valuation of our house in Northcliff, made by Alaric T. Willys on behalf of Western Trust, detailing the property.
During January and February, 1977, I operated from and used a section of Omama’s former gallery at Hollard Street (Madame Haenggi / Chris Crake Gallery)until new premises were found nearby (Galrand Holdings (Pty) Ltd - a dormant company from the Gallery 101 Group - opened its doors at Equity House, Fox Street, on 21st March, trading as Gallery 21; Caroline was its sole shareholder and director for the next 5 years; I was technically employed by the Gallery on a commission basis).
On 12th February, 1977, The Collectors Gallery in Rosebank, Johannesburg, auctioned many of the international art works which had belonged to us and meanwhile had been ceded by Gallery 21 to Minerva Leasing.
On the evening of 20th March, 1977, our two cars - the red Datsun and the green Toyota Hi-Ace, were collected from our home in Northcliff by a representative of Lease Plan International who arrived with two drivers; we had to hand over our car keys. The next morning, I and Caroline went to town in a taxi, Caroline was dropped at the office of the leasing company, where she stayed until late in the evening, waiting to be handed back the keys to the Datsun. On condition that she brought in the sum of R800 (R100 owing on the lease, R700 as sale value) by next morning, she got the keys, was brought to the compound, from there she drove to Northcliff to fetch me, then we went straight to my brother Henri to ask him to help out, as we had no spare cash. Henri refused, but luckily Janey's mother was there, and Caroline, totally upset, got the advance from Janey. The next morning, Caroline paid the sum over to Lease Plan International, Henri having prepared an agreement of cancellation of the lease with Lease Plan International - the Toyota was lost, as we still owed a larger amount on the lease.
From 31st March till 25th April, 1977, Anne Baker visited South Africa together with David and Gordon. She stayed with us at Louie Avenue and had a party there for all her friends, Caroline catered for her with home-made breads and cheese - that's all we could offer. Mum and Dad came over Easter to fetch them and to take them to Flora. On 13th April, 1977, Fafa sent us a card from Flora, where she had spent a few days with her brother and sister, Anne, David and Gordon Baker.
Caroline still worked full-time at the jewellers Greig until about July, 1977. During that time, the younger kids were at home with their nanny, all day.
Françoise now in Grade 1 started ballet at Auckland Park (I took her every morning to school), she spent the afternoons at her friend Debbie on Northcliff, until Caroline left for Buckland early August. She then started spending afternoons at Omama (Steven fetching and dropping her daily) who was then staying on the property of Henri and Janey at Steepways in Linksfield. She often spent weekends at the Haenggi family there and started taking piano lessons with Mr Lomm, as her three cousins Fernand, Sandra and Henri were also going there, all at the same time.
I took Fafa to the Roosevelt Recreation Centre to try to get her into gym, but we were told one had to choose between ballet and gym – both would not be possible.
On 14th June, 1977, Gallery 21 (Hyde Park) (Pty) Ltd. was put under final winding-up order by the Supreme Court of SA (Witwatersrand Local Division) - Case 13124/76 PH 109.
On 3rd July, 1977, I approached my brother Henri presently in Switzerland to find out if his offer he had made concerning Northcliff still stood, but if his situation had changed, I would understand. I also gave him some leads to Iran and the Middle East as he was intending to do business there. He replied on 1st August from Zurich that he was still tied up with business affairs for another few weeks, involved in establishing a new venture in Switzerland and Saudi Arabia. He also could not see how he could help me in saving our house in Northcliff.
On 3rd July, 1977, I also wrote to my father-in-law, Gordon Nicholson at Flora, to find out if he could bid for our house on behalf of a children's trust to be formed. He replied on 7th July that he could only bid on behalf of an established entity and stated "I fear under present conditions I am unable to assist with any cash advances".
On 8th July, 1977, Caroline approached the liquidators of my estate to release her personal assets, being Kommetjie and the shares in Galrand Holdings (Pty) Ltd. she had acquired on 17th November 1976 for a nominal R2. The liquidators stated on 19th August that they first had to refer the matter to the major creditor (Rand Bank).
On 11th July, 1977, we delivered 401 unframed graphics from the Editions 21 to Trakman, for account of the insolvent gallery in Hyde Park, to be auctioned.
On 12th July, 1977, I indicated to Rivella International that I wished to resign as director of Rivella Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd (the latter company, dormant since 1968, was deleted from the Companies Registration Office, Pretoria, per 21st April, 1980). I had been a director of Rivella Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd. since 1960.
The liquidator's report to the second meeting of my personal creditors to be held on 27th July, 1977, stated inter alia that my insolvency was caused as a result of my inability to meet my obligations in respect of a suretyship given on behalf of the company "Gallery 21 (Hyde Park) (Pty) Ltd", now in liquidation. My fixed property was shown as R89000 and movables as R1000, whilst my secured creditors were listed as R98000, preferent creditors as R2000 and concurrent creditors as R55000.
On 1st August, 1977, our house in Northcliff was sold by Trakman's by public auction to Schachat & Cullum Johannesburg, together with many other properties and items from my estate. We could stay at 11 Louie Avenue, Northcliff, until 4th August, 1977.
On 1st August, 1977, the auctioneers Trakman's in Johannesburg sold:
Property 228, Northcliff (our house) for ZAR21,000 to Schachat's on behalf of the United Building Society,
3 stands in Trafalgar, Natal South Coast, for ZAR500 each,
Property Riverside 60 for ZAR10'000 to Rand Bank of SA,
160 Baldinelli books to our friend Sylvester Pawinski at 20c each,
401 "Editions 21" graphics at 25c each to New Moon Prints, Johannesburg.
I had just arrived too late to bid indirectly for the graphics, it took me ¾ hour to find my way to Trakman's - the story of my life, so said Caroline!
My Father gave me a letter dated 1st August, 1977, to hand over to Caroline when in Buckland, giving news about Steepways and enclosing some cigarettes.
From Friday 5th August, 1977, Caroline and the younger children lived at Buckland Flora for about 6 months and I and Françoise moved to a flat at 2102 High Point, Pretoria St., Hillbrow, Johannesburg. Caroline had organised transport from Northcliff to Buckland - the owner had a large open van on which he had tied all our goods under a big canvas - luckily nothing fell off, except for one long mirror which broke, so Caroline deducted the cost of it from the already cheap transport cost (the owner had just started up; needing money he gave a very low quote and he was not insured). Steven had gone down with the transport van, while Caroline, the children and I preceded the van in our own car to lead the way over the bumpy path through the fields from Flora to Buckland. The owner mentioned he would never again do long-distance trips again! After that, I and Françoise used to drive to Buckland almost every week-end.
Fafa struggled at school, she couldn’t read. As there was no money nor any shops around Buckland, Caroline depended on a vegetable garden. She did two hours of home schooling activities with the younger lot in the morning; they had a picnic lunch on the many rocks around the house, and then worked in the vegetable garden in the afternoon. It was a difficult time, but also good time as the they were so close and Caroline had a very intensive relationship with them. Omama gave us some money to buy a fridge for Buckland; we also got a tricycle from her for them.
Fafa and Sandra came down during the September school holidays.
During October, Caroline had come up from Buckland to have an operation which was done on a Friday - the two kids were left in the care of Granny. The following Sunday, we attended the confirmation of Fernand Edmund at St Charles Catholic Church in Victory Park, performed by Archbishop J. Fitzgerald; we then proceeded to Steepways, Linksfield.
BJ Vorster stepped down as Prime Minister due to a scandal involving misappropriation of Government funds, but was elected President - Pieter Botha became Prime Minister
On 23rd January, 1978, The Haenggi Foundation Inc. was duly incorporated as an Association not for Gain, the first trustees being Lucas Sithole, Tim Morris, Philip Clarke, John Nicholson, Gordon Nicholson, Lynette Nicholson, FML Haenggi and the first Honorary Secretary being FF Haenggi – the whole concept I already conceived during 1977 (more on this in the records of the Foundation). I could not be a trustee or in any position other than in an honorary position, due to my insolvency.
Fafa was now at Roosevelt, Grade 2, still playing piano, doing ballet, staying during the afternoons with Oumama and the Haenggi’s at Linksfield.
Caroline and the younger ones lived at Buckland until 28th January, 1978. From 28th January, they lived at Cottage no. 1, Green Giant Farm. Françoise and I still lived at 2102 High Point, Pretoria St., Hillbrow, until mid-July 1978.
On Saturday 28th January, 1978, Four Winds Transport moved the furniture from Buckland to Cottage no. 1, Green Giant Farm (Trollip’s farm), at a cost of R350. On the lorry were Caroline and the yoounger kids illegally. The van got bogged down due to heavy rains. I met the van in Germiston at a pre-arranged spot and picked up my family at 11 o'clock at night; they slept at my flat in High Point, and the next day I went with them to meet the truck at Green Giant’s Farm.
On 14th February, 1978, I got a negative reply from The Western Australian Art Gallery, Perth WA, in connection with my application for the position of Director of the Gallery.
On 11th April, 1978, I got a negative reply from the City of Launceston, Tasmania, regarding my application for the position of Director of the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Launceston, as there had been a number of outstanding applicants. My original application to the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, Hobart, was referred by them to Launceston.
On 26th April, 1978, Sotheby’s sold the balance of the international art ex Gallery 21 which now belonged to Minerva Leasing owned by David Rubenstein and David Ellman, mostly at a fraction of the original retail price. I looked at the auction from far behind but did not stay on - it was all too sad.
Around April, the youngsters went to Flora. Caroline was now alone during the week, Fafa still living with me in Hillbrow, spending the afternoons with Omama. I phoned Caroline as usual during the afternoon; one day she sounded strange, Caroline admitted she had drunk a bottle of Dyant, I gave her hell and went straight to see her, telling Omama I would be late. Luckily Caroline who had tried to commit suicide, had not drunk the whole bottle. I took her to the emergency hospital where she was kept overnight for observation.
Granny and Grampie Nicholson immediately brought the kids back, bringing Betty with from Flora to make sure Caroline would never be alone again. Betty stayed in the servants' room at the back of the garage. Grampie Nicholson took Caroline to Germiston and Krugersdorp and bought her clay so she could do something from home.
As a consequence, I decided to give up the flat in Hillbrow and returned with Fafa to Green Giant Farm during mid-July. This meant that I had to bring Fafa every morning early to school, on the way to the gallery, and Steven picked her up from there and brought her to Oumama at Linksfield; I would then collect her after work and return to the farm.
In the morning, Caroline took the younger kids to see the farm and all the activities, ride wagons, see the silos, swing in the big mulberry tree. They walked a lot and did gardening. Soon, Caroline needing income decided to work in the afternoon for Jan van den Berg at his new antique shop, The Mixer in Northcliff, going directly back home to the kids who had been looked after by Betty after their afternoon nap. This was from about mid to end of 1978.
Françoise remembers Mr Trollip’s horrible dog!
Once there was a luncheon party under the mulberry tree, attended by Joan and Tony Ross, Karin and Philip Clarke and all their children, as well as Mr Trollip. Caroline had made the biggest pile of pancakes; there were pancakes with tuna fish as a main meal, followed by pancakes with cinnamon as desert! Then all walked through the mealie field down to the valley, picking up some very dry mealies on the way. Soon after that, Philip gave Karin money to go to Pick 'n Pay and bring us a huge selection of essential food!
Our red Datsun was stolen one night, we did not know about it. As the petrol run out, it got stuck near Lanseria airport. I drove to work in my second car and saw our Datsun without realising it was ours, and only after Caroline phoned me at work that she herself could not go to work, did we click it was the same car. I phoned the police who found the Datsun, filled it up and brought it back to Caroline, so she got to work late that day!Fafa gave up her piano lessons, as too classical; she also refused to practise. She got over her learning problems, started reading, enjoying school. When Fafa moved to Green Giant Farm, she got her first bicycle.
Meanwhile, I carried on working full-time at the gallery in town, assisted by Steven.
During June, 1978, my parents moved from Linksfield to 10, Escombe Ave., Parktown. Just a that time, our son who was with Caroline and Henriette at Green Giant's Farm, got very sick after eating a carrot from the garden (the vegetable garden was right against the main road, behind some trees, and was getting all the lead from passing cars, as lying below street level; the veggies were certainly unhealthy); he had chronic diarrhoea and was very dehydrated - I went to Green Giant Farm to be with the family in order to be able to take him and Caroline to Dr. Ali Bacher in Rosebank Mews early next morning, as an emergency case. Dr Bacher prescribed emergency medication to counter-act dehydration. Then Steven picked them up and dropped them at Escombe Ave., but the house was locked, so they waited in Oupapa's adjoining cottage which had not been locked. Unfortunately, I was held back helping my parents with their final move from Linksfield Ridge, and Caroline had to wait till very late in the night until I brought them back to Green Giant's Farm.
There were a number of Court cases against Henri and his family as is publicly recorded in the SA National Archives.
On 11th September, 1978, Henri and Janey's Linksfield property was a Show House, offered by Cattaneo Real Estate.
From October, 1978, my brother Henri and his family lived in Geroldswil, Switzerland.
On 27th October, 1978, Caroline was advised by my liquidators, Western Trust, that all assets alleged to be her property in terms of her affidavit of 4th August, 1977, had been released to her in terms of Sect. 21 of the Insolvency Act.
On two occasions, we went with Karin Clarke to the Transvaal Yacht Club in Schoemansville. She was a member and took us on her own a boat.
It was President BJ Vorster’s last year as President.
The whole family lived at Green Giant Farm, Lanseria until 31st January, 1979. From 1st February, we lived at 6 Finsbury Road, Auckland Park, in a house Caroline had rented from Mrs AS Cramer, at a monthly rental of R270, for 2 years.
Caroline worked at The Mixer Northcliff until 28th February; from 1st March till 31st December,1979, she worked at The Mixer in Melville as the Northcliff shop had closed (5 days/week, mornings only).
Betty stayed with the family at Auckland Park; however she had to return to Flora as she had been checked by the Johannesburg police and had no valid work permit, Caroline was given a fine, protested and had to go to Court and was told never to do it again, so Betty left for good. Betty had taught the children Negro spirituals.
Then Gertrude joined us part-time, she worked 3 days a week and used to have an afternoon nap in the backroom.
Fafa was now at Roosevelt, Standard 1. Henriette started school at Melville Primary School, Grade 1. Hen was too protective, helping her brother too much. She excelled at that school. They went to their school by bus or with Caroline as she worked part-time at the Mixer in Melville. I had been hoping to go to the Art Fair in Basel this year, but we did not have sufficient funds, so I'd have to wait another year. I also mentioned that our Father had decided to stay in South Africa, due to the climatic conditions and because his AHV was far too little to live in Switzerland or Italy.
On 23rd March, 1979, my brother Henri wrote from Geroldswil, reporting on the financial possibilities and conditions in Switzerland, should we consider to leave South Africa. He also gave us interesting news on his children (see extract of letter).
Over the Easter holidays, Ava and Daphne Nicholson took our youngsters by car to Kokstad, Caroline went with Fafa when the private school holidays started – on Good Friday they went by train to Pietermaritzburg, then with a PUTCO bus used mainly by Blacks to Kokstad.
On 26th May, 1979, I wrote to my brother Henri and Janey, mentioning that business had improved considerably since last October, compared to previous years, thanks to the frequent business visitors from Europe and particularly the USA.
During the winter holidays, our two youngsters went on a train to Theunissen; they were picked up by Caroline’s Dad and brought to Flora. Grampy Nicholson had told the kids they should just come when they felt like it; they kept on asking their mother until she gave in. On the trip down there were no problems, but on the trip back someone made advances on Hen, so big brother locked the door of the cabin; both were terrified when Caroline picked them up, but they said that nothing had happened. It was to be the last time Caroline tried this experiment.
During August, 1979, Françoise was in Switzerland on a trip organised by Pro Juventute, the airticket being subsidised by half; in addition we had to pay nominally for her sojourn. She stayed with a family in Rossinière VD for 3 weeks, Mme. Berdot who wrote us a letter on 22nd November, 1979, stating that she was happy that Françoise had enjoyed the stay with them, as she was always worried Françoise would be bored, that she was a wonderful girl, always very active and in spite of the language problem, had well integrated with them and always had a good contact with them.
On 22nd August, 1979, we had Anya for supper and, just back from Europe, her son Stuart. As I mentioned to Peter German in England in my letter of 23rd August, income I derived from the art market was lousy, and I was in the market for an administrative or export job that would pay enough to carry me so that I could keep running the gallery as a hobby!
On 6th January, 1980, our former house in Northcliff was a show house, offered by Currie’s - L.K. Jacobs at R44000 (“majestically Moroccan”) on behalf of first purchaser, after we had lost it in 1976. One of the sons of the SA artist Nico van Rensburg acquired it.
I left Johannesburg on 16th January, 1980, for Zurich, then I travelled by train to Bonn / St. Augustin (calling on the Konrad Adenauer Foundation), returning to Zurich, staying with my brother at Geroldswil (I remember the children having to walk to school through the deep snow!). On 27th January, Henri and family took me by car to Heiligenschwendi to show his intended property with magnificent views over Lake of Thune. That day we had lunch at the Hotel Waldpark in Goldiwil.
I then carried on via Bern to Geneva where I stayed one night in a crummy hotel near the station. In Geneva I acquired from the Librairie Payot a number of books in French for Françoise which I had posted to Johannesburg. I also visited Ludovic van Essche - Maurice van Essche's son - and his mother who were living on the French side of Lake Geneva, to discuss a possible exhibition at the end of the year (it did not materialise in the end).
On 30th January I flew by Swissair from Geneva to Paris, where I saw inter alia the Pompidou Centre, the streets of Montmartre and on the 1st February the Church of the Sacré-Coeur. Amongst the galleries, I called on Galerie Romanet who were handling the works of Karin and Dudu Jaroszynski.
Henri started his new job at K+W, Thun, as from 1st February, 1980, residing at Obere Hauptgasse 38, Thun. His family was to follow in a few months' time.
On 3rd February, 1980, travelling by train between Paris to Mons and Bruxelles, my until then unknown co-traveller from Quévrain took a photo of me which she posted to Johannesburg, at my request.
I stopped over in Brussels, then flew to London (staying with Peter German), then by TWA to New York JFK airport (on 6th February).
In New York, I called on Fundraiser C.W. Shaver and the Ford Foundation as well as the Rockefeller Foundation. I visited about 35 galleries on 7th February and various museums including the MOMA and the Guggenheim Museum on 10th February. I was also taken to a restaurant at the top of one of the former World Trade Center Towers with magnificent views below.
On 15th February, 1980, I travelled to Washington DC by early train and back to New York the same day in the late evening (calling on Nyoka Hahn ex US Embassy in Pretoria, now at I.C.A., International Communication Agency, Washington DC); I also visited the Hirshhorn Museum and the African Arts Museum. On 20th February I left New York for Amsterdam and Zurich. I spent a few days with Henri and Janey and family at Geroldswil (Janey had baked a lovely cake for my birthday just gone by) and returned to Johannesburg on 25th February, 1980. During this trip, I was in two minds whether I should carry on art dealing, and whether I should stay in South Africa or leave South Africa for good.
On my return was a letter from my brother sent from Geroldswil on 28th January, 1980, explaining his views of the events that lead him to loose Steepways and start a new life in Switzerland!
During my absence in January and February Caroline worked at the gallery full-time.
Fafa was at Roosevelt, Standard 2. She still did ballet. She was struggling with maths. I was trying, Fafa lying on the bed looking at the ceiling, to teach her to visualise maths so she didn’t have to use fingers. The younger ones missed the beginning of school as they had mumps. Henriette was in Grade 2, doing well at school.
A school friend of Françoise and neighbour, Susie Cowan – a Jewish girl – took her to the Anglican Sunday school at St. Peter’s. That is how we started attending church on a regular basis.
Gertrude was now staying permanently in a back-room at 6 Finsbury Ave, except over weekends.
Henriette went for swimming lessons at Melville Swimming pool with her class. The teacher allowed Caroline to come during lessons, as she was too scared. The children did not learn to swim without a board.
Eddie Schönenberger and his daughter stayed with us sometimes during the year, then carried on to Flora. Eddy used to ride horses bare-back, with no saddle!
On 5th March, 1980, a Salon Concert was given at the home of Nicky and Strilli Oppenheimer, at Little Brenthurst, in the evening at 8.15 p.m., which I attended with Caroline and my Mother. On this occasion, Gerard Korsten (the son of the well-known singer Gé Korsten) was playing his violin, accompanied by Hennie Joubert on the piano. Gerard Korsten, then 19 years old, had been a pupil of Prof. Alan Solomon for nine years.
On 7th April, 1980, I mentioned to Henri in Geroldswil that Caroline and the children were at that time staying with her brother Ava in Kokstad. I also mentioned that I expected 1980 to be a boom year and that Françoise would not go to Switzerland, rather we were planning to go to the Cape for holidays. I also thanked Henri for the lovely time I had had in January in Switzerland, I had been treated like a prince, with all the raclettes, chocolates and photos.
With Caroline and the children being away over Easter, I spent the 6th April at Tessa and Michael Fleischer who had invited 50 people for a braai, though 85 attended.
On 22nd April, 1980, there appeared another letter from my Father in the Tagesanzeiger, Zurich, in connection with the spy affair Williamson as seen from the SA point of view ("Spionageaffäre Williamson aus südafrikanischer Sicht") - I think this is the last "letter to the editor" Father sent out or had published.
During June, Michael and Anne Baker and their 3 children stayed with us – Michael fixed the glass of our anthracite heater in the lounge, so that we could be warm. After that, the Bakers went to Flora for the winter holidays, together with Caroline and our three children. At Flora, Caroline made a birthday cake for Fafa – a pink ballet shoe; however the icing was bitter and not edible. Gordon also had his birthday then.
On 30th June, 1980, I mentioned to Henri that their former house in Loch Avenue, where the Barsotti family was now living, was to be put up for sale shortly, and that the house next door belonging to the Themelis, where our parents were living, would also soon be sold by the owner.
From 1st July, Caroline worked at night at the Exclusive Bookshop in Hillbrow, between 18h and 22h (flexi-night). This lasted till the end of the year. From 1st September till 31st October, she also worked 5 full days/week at the Bambi Cane Studio in Braamfontein.
On 4th September, 1980, I contacted Mr G.W. Lampert who was trustee in the Insolvent Estate H.R. Haenggi, requesting that any public advertisement of the proposed public auction of the properties belonging to the Estates of my brother, Janey and their children's trusts, clearly reflected "the correct names of the Estates, with proper initial, and country of residence, for I and my family have suffered considerable loss of face, income and prestige in recent months due to misleading previous advertisements". Mr Lampert replied on 8th September that he would accordingly instruct the auctioneers who were about to sell the two properties, as he appreciated the position of the members of my family.
On 8th October, 1980, our parents were gagged by 3 black gangsters in their home at 10 Escombe Avenue, Parktown West - this was even mentioned in the press. By chance, Françoise phoned us and wanted to visit her grand-parents that very day, so our driver Stephen Ditshilwane took her, and they found them tied up in the bathroom, lemon stuck in mouth, hands tied up, door locked and key thrown out.
On 22nd December, 1980, Henri, Janey and family sent us some news from Thun, their new home town.
At Christmas we had a house-swapping holiday: while Janet and David were in Johannesburg over Christmas, we could use their house at Claremont in the Cape. Caroline, our three kids travelled down by train, nearly missing it. I joined on the 24th December for a week, after selling a sculpture to pay for the trip. Henriette got a “love” doll for Christmas – Caroline had bought a Christmas tree, and Janet’s maid Lala helped to prepare the Xmas turkey. Philippa had her 21st birthday party (orange juice/champagne breakfast) in the morning. Everyone made good use of Janet and David's pool, our son learned how to dive and do press-ups!
On Saturday 27th December 1980, we went to "Peter Pan on Ice" at the Foreshore which Gordon Nicholson had given to our family as a Christmas present. We did a few trips around the Cape, including one to Gordon's Bay and Kommetjie.
On 15th February, 1981, as a member of the Selection Committee of the Watercolour Society of South Africa, I had to choose entries submitted, together with other members of the Selection Committee - I remember that some of the members were not happy with my harsh critical approach, and kept on calling certain works back for reconsideration, to no avail. I refused their cheque of R20 for the work done, and got a letter of thanks the next day. I was never again asked to be part of their Selection Committee!
Caroline stopped working at the Exclusive Bookshop in Hillbrow on Sunday nights per end of February, 1981; however she started full-time work at "Oh Yes" in Rosebank from 1st January, owned by Mr Shepherdson, leaving them on 18th April, 1981.
On 21st April, 1981, I asked Mr C. Lampon from Oliewenhout Estates in Honeydew to contact the owner of Ptn. 90/91 Schuurveberg No. 488-JQ for details as I was considering this site totalling 50 morgen to be suitable for the purposes of our PELMAMA Project. We drove up a few times in our beige Datsun on a very rough track, and on the ridge through the high grass, trying to avoid rocks and boulders on the way. The trouble was that there was a very high noise-level from the nearby main road going North to the Hartebeespoortdam, and on the South, we were too near to the Pelindaba Atomic Research Centre which might have become a problem in due course. In the end, nothing came out of this project, except for some nice pictures, a presentation folder and happy memories.
Fafa was at Auckland Park, Standard 3; she started drama and played chess. Henriette was in Std I, she was in a play at Melville. Sunday school at St. Peter’s was still being attended.
On 28th June, 1981, we celebrated Françoise's 11th birthday party at our home in Auckland Park, attended by my Parents, the Joan and Tony Ross family and Jean Cowan with her two daughters. This was followed by ice-skating at the Carlton Centre.
My Mother travelled to Switzerland on 5th September, 1981.
On 15th September, 1981, I asked Michael Judin to apply on my behalf for the rehabilitation of my estate; on 5th October I submitted required information about our current situation. This stated inter alia that our family outgoings at that time were R900 p.m., our joint family income was R600 p.m., and support from in-laws both sides in cash or kind another R300 p.m. On 22nd October, Michael Judin advised that the legal costs in applying to the Court would be R1000, which I paid off at R250 p.m., the 4th instalment being due in March, 1982.
On 1st October, 1981, we got a lovely card from Grindelwald, signed by everyone - this trip had been a birthday treat for Omama; she returned to Johannesburg on 26th October. We had a belated birthday party at 11 Loch Avenue.
Caroline did not work externally, she had to act as taxi driver to the children, with all the extra murals and music.
Fafa was at Auckland Park, Standard 4; she did ballet, drama, chess and netball. Henriette was in Std. II. She played netball. Sunday school at St. Peter’s was still being attended.
Our younger kids had a "mask" birthday party, they had invited most of their class. There was a big bowl of Mars bars, as one of the them was in the Mars House at school, the other was in the Jupiter or Saturn House.
On 22nd January, 1982, I wrote to Martin Farmer from the Oxford Road Gallery in Illovo who was about to auction the contents of my Mother's home in Parktown West, requesting that the wording of the advertisements should in no way refer to myself, my family or my activities which had nothing to do with either my Mother or my brother Henri now in Switzerland, as I had suffered from previous advertisements he had placed.
On 2nd March, 1982, Fernand sent a welcoming card to Opapa, and my brother Henri added some notes about the loss of their dog and lama.
On 21st March, 1982, the family watched the blast down of the J.C.I. block around Equity House, it took 3’ and was the first of its kind in South Africa.
On 2nd April, 1982, The Divisional Council of the Cape refused our request to close off a portion of the road adjoining plot 3164, Kommetjie, which we wanted to purchase and use for gardening purpose, as this would have restricted public access to the mountain. I had already made preliminary sketches about how our retirement/holiday home could look like (three levels, Moorish style).
On 21st April, 1982, my Father, at the tender age of 85 years, got an international driving permit through the AA, stating his residence to be 10, Escombe Ave., Parktown West, Johannesburg! A few days later, on 24th April, 1982, my parents emigrated from South Africa, leaving Johannesburg by Swissair, arriving at Hasli in Riggisberg BE the next day. We inherited their TV and Mimi, the cat. The two pieces of luggage they had handed in to Kühne & Nagel in Johannesburg on 19th April did not arrive in Zurich on their plane, so they incurred extra costs which Father tried to claim from K&N!
On 27th April, 1982, my Estate was rehabilitated by Order of the Supreme Court of South Africa, Witwatersrand Local Division, Case No. 5418/82, PH 109 - this meant that I could now lead a full business life as before the 1st November, 1976, and that I did not have to rely on Caroline to stand or sign in my stead. I was advised of this by Michael Judin of Goldman Judin & Werner, on 4th May, 1982 - at the same time, Michael Judin let me off paying the balance of his fees.
Caroline took the 3 children to a music teacher in Northcliff who tested them and found that our son was the most talented. So I took them to Alan Weinberg in Bramley - Fafa played the recorder, Henriette took to the guitar – a little hand-made guitar which she broke at the end of the lesson. She then changed to recorder. We had a piano in the narrow passage to the kitchen, to practise on.
On 17th May, 1982, I got a letter from the Friends of the SA National Gallery, welcoming me as a Life Member of their Friends.
In June, Hen passed Std 1 in Classical Ballet.Fafa organised plays at home with at most 3 participants, inspired by “Little Women”. Her parents were the audience.
Money was a major issue in 1982; we couldn’t buy any clothes or extras (Garlick and Pick 'n Pay Northcliff episodes: Caroline's credit cards had no funds!) On 5th July, 1982, I mentioned in a letter to John le Sueur in Cape Town that South Africa was heading into a strong recession until the end of 1983.
Fafa went on her first school camp.
On 27th June, 1982, Françoise accompanied me to a celebrity concert at the Pace School Theatre, Soweto. The American soprano Martina Arroyo, accompanied by Sini van den Brom on the piano, gave an impressive recital, the concert proceeds being donated for music promotion in Soweto. This had been organised by Pieter Serfontein, then involved with culture in Soweto, who knew Martina Arroyo when in Italy. On Monday 5th July, 1982, Caroline went with Pieter Serfontein to the Civic Theatre in Pretoria to attend an afternoon rehearsal, Martina Arroyo singing the title role in "Aïda"; after the rehearsal, Martina came to talk to the children present.
On 21st September, 1982, my Father asked me to deregister him at the Swiss Consulate in Johannesburg, so that his AHV would be in order. As far as the SA authorities were concerned, he was still a permanent resident in South Africa, at least until his re-entry visa was expiring in April, 1983. He also wrote that he was going to visit Helen on Sunday next, the 26th September, as they were celebrating Karli's 60th birthday there, whose Godfather he was, and then he would stay another two days in Zurich. He also thanked Caroline and the children for their news and good wishes.
On 6th October, 1982, Omama sent our son a card hoping to see him one day during his holidays, in Switzerland.
On 28th October, 1982, I thanked my Father for his postcard from Zurich and the Blausee (where he had been with the family on 11th October). I also mentioned that we had a few problems in Johannesburg: Caroline had been operated on on 26th October, in a Provincial Hospital (removal of 2 non-malignant lumps in her left breast), and was now recuperating rapidly at home. In addition, her Father, Gordon Nicholson, left hospital in Bloemfontein on 28th October, he had had two successive heart attacks, had been for three weeks in the intensive care unit, and had to now move about the farm in a wheelchair, always with oxygen by his side. In addition, we had been given notice by the owner of our present rented premises, per 31st January, 1983, and that we were looking for a house in Greymont, Albertsville, Westdene or Melville, but everything had become incredibly expenses, at min. R45,000, and we still needed to find a deposit of R10,000 which amount we did not have as yet.
On 4th November, 1982, my brother Henri referred in a letter to the Court case initiated by our Mother in 1978.
On 6th December, 1982, Caroline purchased the Greymont house – 59 2nd Street, Lot 572, Greymont, for R45000, from C. Hawla. The bond in favour of the Allied Building Society was for R35000. Our monthly bond repayments were R457.
On 17th December, 1982, my Father wrote again, mentioning that time was flying by very fast. Cost of living at Riggisberg was for him about the same as in Johannesburg, but his eye specialist cost at least three times more than in South Africa. His glaucoma was well under control, but his sight ability had diminished and he had to swallow expensive medication! He apologised for his bad writing and blamed the very weak light!
Christmas was spent at Flora, with Caroline and all our children. Granny and Grampie Nicholson taught them tennis at some stage.During the year, there was the wedding of Pippa.
We lived at 6 Finsbury Ave., Auckland Park, till 31st January, 1983, our monthly rent then being R270. We had to vacate the premises as the owner's son needed the property for himself. As from 1st February, 1983, we lived at our own house in Greymont.
While I worked full-time at Gallery 21 in town, with Steven, Caroline started to bake cakes at "Dial-a-Cake" in Westdene, 5 mornings a week for 6 months - I remember in particular the delicious carrot cakes!
On 3rd January, 1983, our friend Philip Clarke advanced us the sum of R12000 to pay for the deposit and incidentals for our new house! We had no surplus funds of our own.
The children were zoned to an awful school beyond Triomf. It was our luck that Roosevelt School had an English head mistress who sent Caroline a letter adressed to the Educational Department requesting the permission for our youngest children to attend Roosevelt as we lived closer to the Roosevelt School than to the other school. Henriette went into Std III. The teacher asked Caroline if one of them had been in an Aid class. She said it had been an excellent training and there would be no trouble to cope with the school.
Fafa was at Roosevelt, Standard 5; she was Head Girl during the 3rd term. She did ballet, drama and hockey at school and played the recorder with Alan Weinberg. During the year, she went on a bush trail.
Caroline took Fafa to the Johannesburg Main Library to participate in a literary quiz. Because of that, Auckland Park selected her to take part in an interschool general knowledge competition, but Fafa was hopeless!
On 8th April, 1983, I wrote to Father, mentioning that these were lousy times for my art business. January had been the worst month since 1976, I had only sold for R600, not enough to pay Steven his wages, never mind the rent. Business however had improved somewhat since the beginning of March, and soon I would be able to carry on with the monthly transfers to Omama. I also mentioned that we had stayed in Greymont over Easter, and that the children could search early in the morning for their Easter eggs which were hidden in our small garden. The whole of South Africa was suffering from a drought, we were only allowed to water our garden on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the afternoon, by hand, and most dams were virtually empty. This was the worst drought in 100 years, the production of electricity from coal was endangered, and the Government had to take emergency measures to redirect water from the Vaal river, at the cost of millions, so that electricity could still be produced, Cabora Bassa not delivering any more. I also mentioned that in general, an improvement in the economy was expected towards the end of the year, with boom times in 1984. I also mentioned that we had put our two properties in Kommetjie on the market, in view of a strong increase in property prices in general, due also to the influx of Whites from South West Africa, and also to be able to repay the loan from our friend Philip. The Morris was still running very well, needing very little petrol, and Caroline was using it almost daily.
On 16th April, 1983, Adek Auctioneers sold the property at 10, Escombe Avenue, Parktown, which belonged to Mr Themelis and where my parents had lived for a while until they returned to Switzerland in 1982. My parents had been offered the house by Mr Themelis but they could not afford it.
On 18th April, 1983, my Father mentioned that his re-entry visa for South Africa had expired on 4th April, and that he had notified the SA Immigration office in Pretoria about his new residence in Switzerland. He also mentioned that Mother was very happy at Hasli, and provided it was not raining, she was in the garden the whole day, planting flowers and bushes till there was no more space available!
On 9th May, 1983, I placed an advertisement in The Star, Johannesburg (Land for Sale), offering the Kommetjie plots for sale - Plot 3163 at R22,000 and Plot 3164 at R25,000, prices increasing at 1.5% per month from 1st June, 1983.
On 19th May, 1983, my Father asked me to make contact with his Johannesburg optician he had been with since 1974, Dr. Kaye, and to send his file to Switzerland (he suffered badly from chronic wide angle glaucoma in his left eye).
In June, Françoise was Wendy (Peter Pan) in a school play.
A young admirer took Hen for a walk down to the river below Greymont, he tried to kiss her, which was the last time she let him near our house!
On 11th October, 1983, we sold Kommetjie 3163 for R25000 to P.A.B. Smuts, we only got the net proceeds early 1984 which were R17500 which helped to pay back Philip’s loan plus interest. In my files were the original sketch designs I made – another dream unfulfilled!
Sunday school at St. Peter’s – Françoise was confirmed there in November, 1983. Granny and Grampy Nicholson and Daphne attended the ceremony, also Sue McLeod and Tony Ross. Daphne gave Françoise as a present a clock made by Ava, in yellow wood with a cross made out of stinkwood, with the initials FH (the original hands of the clock were made out of metal, years later exchanged).
Fafa took her winter holidays at Flora, with Susie - David and Gordon were there, too.
Christmas at Flora: the Kokstad Nicholsons were there, too. Fafa then went to spend a week alone with Daphne, riding horses – Judy and company had to return to school.
We moved the gallery from Equity House to Victory House at the end of December, 1983. Steven and I carried everything by hand or on a trolley – further details can be seen on http://www.pelmama.org/Johannesburg_artscene_Gallery21_JHB_1977-1993.htm.
On 13th January and 19th December, 1983, my Father got two cards from his niece Helen Schneider-Gmür, giving news about her family and commenting on his health (these cards he had kept in his personal papers - he was very fond of Helen).
Change of South Africa’s legislation - Pieter Botha made First State President - Desmond Tutu became first black Bishop of Johannesburg, awarded Nobel Peace Prize as promoter of peaceful negotiations between black and white people.
Caroline worked during the mornings in the gallery, during the afternoon she was taxi driving the children.
Françoise was at Roosevelt High, Std. VI. (doing hockey, volleyball, ballet, recorder, girl guides). At about this time she attended a JCE Gifted Children's programme.
Henriette was in Std IV., at Roosevelt Primary. She participated in school athletics. Fafa and Henriette started ballet with Josie in Linden (we still have Fafa’s music tape). Hen gave up after the Christmas show. Hen also joined the brownies.
Hen started with extra courses at the Extra-Curricular Centre for Highly Giften Children, which carried on until 1990.
Sunday school at St. Peter’s was still on.
On 21st February, 1984, our Father/Oupapa died at Hasli by his own hands.
On 28th February, 1984, Dr. Helen Schneider-Gmür then living at Ottenbach, wrote a letter to my Mother concerning the recent death of Oupapa - Uncle Walter - whose only niece Helen was, and mentioned a few memories about the times she had spent with my parents in Basel, in her younger days (of which I did not remember anything).
On 22nd March, 1984, I paid back R9000 to Philip Clarke in respect of his loan from January 1983. I still owed him R3000 plus interest at 18% p.a. (!).
On 6th April, 1984, Mother was paid out the life insurance policy on my Father, taken out in June 1928 with the Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Soc. Ltd., Melbourne - the sum paid out was £5966.25 (premiums had been paid throughout the 56 years!).
During the July holidays, we acted as tourists in town, visiting the Boxing Museum, the Barclays Museum, the Jewish Museum and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, as well as the Oppenheimer Gardens behind the old Rissik Street Post Office. We also attended an unforgettable performance of the Swiss mime artists "Mummenschanz" at the Civic, during July.
Henri started a new job in Basel as from 1st September, 1984, taking a flat at Sternengasse, Basel - the family and our parents staying in Hasli.
On 24th December, 1984, there was a Nativity Play at St. Peter's Anglican Church in Auckland Park - Henriette was Gabriel and Françoise was the Narrator!
On 26th December, 1984, I left Johannesburg for Europe. I called on various people in Zurich, then took the train to Thun via Berne, and was picked up by my brother Henri who took me to their home at Hasli. During that time, Caroline and children had gone to Flora for a few days.
Caroline worked during the mornings in the gallery, during the afternoon she was taxi driving the children.
Since the birth of Françoise in 1970, then with the younger ones, we went regularly to the drive-in, about once a month until middle of 1985. This stopped after I had been told by a fortune-teller in Switzerland, a friend of Janey at Hasli, that I would soon die from a gun-shot. As a result, bullet-proof security glass was installed in our bedroom which was right on the street-side at Greymont, and we stopped going to the drive-in cinemas, particularly as on the last time, a Coloured person in another car and I had an argument while waiting to get into the drive-in.
Françoise was in Std. VII (Volleyball, hockey, ballet, drama, guides). She often baked cakes on weekends. Henriette was in Std V. - she gave up ballet, played volleyball. Pets we had at that time were Blacky and Heidi and a hamster called Ralfine.
Henriette had been attending Gifted Children courses at JCE. Steven gave Hen a lift to the JCE; he apparently was too friendly with her, she refused to go with him in the car again. This was the last time that Caroline let the children go alone in the car with Steven again; Hen cried and cried, but she said he had only put his hand on her knee.
My brother Henri started his new job in Basel to-day, the 3rd January, 1985.
On 5th January, 1985, I had a second meeting with Werner Schindler in Bern. At Hasli, the temperature fell to -21°C that night, in La Brévine to -40°C!
On 6th January, 1985, I travelled by train from Berne to Geneva Airport, going on to Paris by Swissair, staying at the Hotel Ascot-Opera, very near to the Opera House in Paris. On 7th January, 1985, I had a meeting with Salvador Dali's Private Secretary in Paris, saw a superb exhibition of Kandinsky at the Centre Pompidou. On the 8th January, 1985, I met Guy Weelen at home to discuss a possible show of Vieira da Silva, but was referred to the artist's exclusive dealer, Galerie Jeanne Bucher.
On 9th January, I travelled from Paris to Bruxelles by train arriving with a four hour delay; I stayed for 2 nights at the Hôtel Métropole in the centre of Bruxelles. I had a meeting in Bruxelles the next day with Berrocal's agent, B. Hamburski; on the 11th January I proceeded to Berlin being the only passenger on a small airplane (piloted by its owner plus navigator), meeting Mrs Seitz of Galerie Brusberg in the afternoon to discuss a possible show of works by Horst Antes in South Africa. That evening, I met Dr. Uwe Runge and his charming wife at their home, for supper.
I then went to Stockholm, back to Zurich (luggage lost), then stayed at Hasli and returned to Johannesburg end of January, 1985.
On 11th February, 1985, my Mother wrote from Hasli, referring to my recent visit, and also stated "Henri only comes on weekends. Having so many debts, we live without money from him yet, but do not miss him, having peace".
On 29th March, 1985, I asked a good friend for bridging finance of R6000, but he turned my request down. I mentioned that Nedbank had turned down the gallery's request for an increase in the overdraft to R25000, in fact insisting on our reducing it to R10000. Turnover had gone up by 35% to R117400, with considerable increase in exports; we also had to carry the Foundation to the extent of our business' overdraft, and we were 4 months in arrears with bond repayments on our own house in Greymont!
During March and April, 1985, we were considering to take on additional floor space of 111m2 at Victory House in order to run a "Realistic Fine Arts Gallery" in that section, to make it more exciting for gallery visitors to come to our building; we approached two or three friends to be 50% partners, but they were not interested.
On 21st April, 1985, our white and deaf short haired cat with one yellow and one green eye, 9 years old, named "Kikki" which we got from Oumama, disappeared from our home in Greymont. I put up a few notices around the neighbourhood "het U ons wit kat gesien", but we never got the cat back.
Within a month, on 20th May, 1985 Caroline sold the Greymont house (59 2nd Street, Lot 572, Greymont) for R64000, to a teacher. The resulting net cash flow was R15900, of which R15000 went straight to Nedbank to reduce the gallery’s overdraft - they had been pestering us to reduce our overdraft! We left the house on 15th July, 1985, moving to 101 Anton van Wouw St., (Erf 206), Roosevelt Park, in a house rented by Caroline from David P Malan, Pretoria at an initial monthly rental of R600, increasing yearly.
Winter holidays: spent in our new home, getting settled. Fafa was at guide camp.
On 29th September, 1985, Françoise got a cheque from the SABC amounting to R180 net after deduction for PAYE, for her part as a Dodo and a dormouse in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", directed by Michael McCabe as a TV production called "An introduction to Lewis Carroll". She had been to the studios on 13th May and 22nd June. The drama teacher from Auckland Park Preparatory School, Mrs. McCabe, offered her a part-time job at the SABC on the children's programme! This was her first salary as a professional; she missed school for the shootings.
On Wednesday, 23rd October, 1985, Henriette was confirmed and had her Confirmation and First Communion at St. Peter's Church (The Right Rev. Bishop G.W. Ashby). The Nicholson grand-parents from Flora attended.
My mother visited us in Johannesburg from 9th November, 1985.
For the 27th November, 1985, we had been invited for cocktails by The Ambassador of Switzerland and Mrs. J.O. Quinche in Pretoria, but we sent our regrets.
On 17th December, 1985, I applied to the Australian Embassy, Pretoria, for a visa to emigrate and to open a business in Australia.
During the Christmas holidays, we took a stall at the Melville Flea market, selling hand-made Christmas decorations out of straw, bundles of oats and wheat and Christmas wreaths out of wheat, all decorated. Fafa was again at a guide camp.
My mother returned to Switzerland on 18th January, 1986, a few days earlier than her scheduled return date - we had lots of disputes about her behaviour.
Françoise was in Std. VIII (did volleyball, hockey; stopped ballet as pointed shoes (did modern ballet for a year). She joined Northcliff Union Youth Group through Jacqui, attended Veldschool; she cycled to Durban (750 km). Henriette joined Françoise at Roosevelt High, Henriette was in Std VI, she played tennis and hockey, did Girl Guides, took recorder lessons, had computer lessons and did gifted children schooling.
Caroline got Fafa and Hen to do the laundry. She told them they would do enough cleaning later on in life, so they didn’t have to help much else in the house, except to tidy their own bedrooms at the latest by Friday which was pocket money day. All kids helped with washing and drying dishes after supper.
At Easter time one of our younger children got from school one of the many rabbits given away, he was named "Graphite" and would be with us until he died in 1992. During the Easter holidays, all children were at Flora, with the Nicholson cousins.
On 30th April, 1986, after various unpleasant threats from Philip (he would send people to clean our house!), I repaid him by cheque the outstanding capital amount of R3000 plus R4500 (!) accumulated interest of 18% p.a.! He graciously gave Caroline in turn R100 in cash, as a present.
Françoise turned 16 this year - we took her out to Golden Reef City as a treat.
On 10th July, 1986, I wrote to my Mother, mentioning that people seemed to have decided to spend their money on anything, the gallery had been very busy compared to the previous year, inflation had been running at about 18% p.a., but I had to carry people much longer than in the past. As the bad overseas TV coverage from the previous year had diminished, tourists had started to come again during the first four months (I had none in 1985), however in the meantime, a national state of emergency had been declared, affecting tourism, so we were still struggling. I expected that the art market would not be good for a few years, more and more people were packing their bags or considering to do so, the property market was down a lot, and business confidence was at a very low ebb. Even the Amoils family (who owned Victory House and many other old buildings in the city centre) were splitting up, the younger members wanting to leave and getting their money out. I had, after discussion with the family, decided to go to Australia for 2-3 months next year on a reconnaissance trip, concentrating on Perth, Melbourne or Tasmania, find some sort of occupation, and meanwhile get our permanent visas in order (nothing came of this idea). I also mentioned that Henriette had to do a project for her Latin class - she spent a whole week doing the Colosseum in scale form out of cut paper, made statuettes in paper-maché to go into the arches, and painted it all. This effort was seen by the teacher for a whole few seconds, and top marks were awarded accordingly!
As from 10th July, 1986, Caroline and all children spent a week with Pippa at the River Farm in Bergville, learning to ride horses with Piet. One fell off a horse, Caroline thought our child was dead. They also visited the Royal National Park with Pippa. They then spent a week at Flora.
Caroline spent the afternoons with Paul Albrecht and one of them helping them with their homework. She was shocked that in the book it was mentioned that Bushmen had peppercorn hair!
My mother appears to have remained in contact with Violet Mabuza / Anna V. Mabuza from Linksfield times, for I found two cleared cheques of R50 each she had sent them on 9th March and 8th August, 1986, drawn on Barclays Leisk House.
On 23rd September, 1986, I wrote to my Mother mentioning that Françoise who at the beginning of the year had joined the school's athletic group was the third fastest in the 1500m out of all students at her school! She was still doing drama with Bess Finney, extra courses at the College of Education and girl-guides as well. I also mentioned that Henriette was doing extremely well, her extra murals included another Youth Group and extra courses at the College of Education.
Now and then, Françoise was reading a lesson from the testament at St. Peter's Church, which she enjoyed.
Caroline was working at the gallery three times weekly, the other time she was busy taxiing here and there.
For the 15th January, 1987, we had once more been invited for cocktails by The Ambassador of Switzerland and Mrs. J.O. Quinche in Pretoria, but we sent our regrets.
Anna Mabuza visited us on 12th February at Gallery 21 - we never saw her again after that.
On 2nd March, 1987, the remaining property Kommetjie 3164 was sold for R24000 to Noel J. Downes, proceeds of R22000 were paid into the account of our company Galrand Holdings (Pty) Ltd.
Françoise was in Std. IX (best Director Junior Play; she participated in athletics, rangers, volleyball, hockey). During June she did a school cycle trip to Durban which was reported in the local newspapers, cuttings of which I sent to my Mother on 10th September, 1987 (I mentioned in that letter a.o. that inflation in SA was currently running at 17.5% p.a.).
Henriette was in Std VII (activities included drama, public speaking, inter-house plays, volleyball, hockey, netball; gifted children classes; guides, computer club, Youth at Methodist Church on Friday nights; acted in a winning play which was directed by Françoise).
I gave Caroline for her 41st birthday a lovely sculpture by Lucas Sithole, called "They must be here, somewhere!" - LS8712.
On 11th November, 1987, I wrote to my Mother mentioning inter alia that the stock market had collapsed by 40% in 4 weeks, that this had affected our sales of works by Lucas SITHOLE on his recent exhibition (which opened on 13th October). I also mentioned that our 3 children were all going to Flora for two weeks during the December holidays.
On 14th December, 1987, I mentioned to my Mother that we were collecting them from Flora the next Wednesday, a public holiday, and that we would be spending holiday together at home. I also mentioned that Françoise was writing her matric next year, and that Henriette got A or A+ in all but one subject, which was amazing. Our motto for Christmas this year was "no gifts which have to be bought" - even the Christmas cards sent were done individually.
Henriette Std VIII – guides, hockey, cooking and cake icing at Roosevelt Recreation, badminton club at Roosevelt Recreation, gifted children classes (drama, art), computer club, Youth at Methodist Church on Friday nights; Hen was unhappy at school, introvert, but outside of school she was the opposite, particularly at Youth Group.
Caroline and our children did an illegal midnight stint driving through Roosevelt up to Melville stealing political posters from the AWB to the ANC (voting about future direction of SA politics).
On 20th January, 1988, Caroline and I spent a lovely evening at home, our children having laid out the table beautifully, and we had a delicious supper for our 20th anniversary!
Caroline knitted a grey Fair Isle with reindeer and snowflakes for Françoise’s 18th birthday. Fafa then also got the Mini Morris.
On 23rd June, 1988, I wrote a letter to Marie-Louis Wirth, Martins-Mühle, CH-8181 Hochfelden, referring to a recent meeting I had with her about a possible collaboration in Switzerland and Frankfurt a.M. At that time, I was first trying to place our large collection of SA art through Sotheby's Zurich, and if successful, would be able to consider moving to and operating in Switzerland. I also took a larger work by Lucas Sithole with me on the plane - LS8801 - which I left with her, later to be collected by Mrs S. Bilar in Baar who acted as agents for us in respect of Lucas.
On 23rd July, 1988, our former house in Northcliff was again advertised as a show house in the Sunday Star, priced at R175000, offered by Megaland.
Fafa did not spend Christmas with us, she was in Plettenberg Bay on a Beach Mission - the rest of the family spent a peaceful Christmas at home.
Pres. Botha suffers heart attack - F.W. de Klerk was inaugurated as State President September 1989 - New era of reform begins - release of political prisoners from prison, lifting of State of Emergency, repealing the principal Apartheid laws, begin of constitutional talks.
Henriette Std IX – gifted children classes (communication, drama), extra English, visited Grahamstown Arts Festival, played hockey. Youth group.
Fafa gave her brother her Mini Morris.
On 18th February, 1989, Françoise and I flew by Swissair to Zurich. In the plane we sat next to an elderly person who recommended that Fafa should visit JMEM (YWAM) at Lyss. After calling on my school friend Sonja Schoch and her husband Paco at the Zurich Zoo, where she had been Personal Secretary to the Director for many years, we went to Bern and Hasli. Soon thereafter, we travelled to Lyss and saw the set-up at JMEM. As a result Françoise joined them and worked there as house help for 3 months, cleaning and peeling veggies. She then joined Kings Kids Switzerland for 2 months.
I called on the Australian Embassy in Berne, asking how long it would take as a Swiss to get an emigration permit for Australia. The Indian-looking staff member at the Australian Embassy asked to see my pass, noticed that it had been issued in Johannesburg, and promptly blurted out that as I was living in South Africa, it would take 2-3 years longer than he had just mentioned before knowing my residence! He was very rude about South Africa and my living there, and I got very cross about this. I returned to Johannesburg on 5th March, 1989.
For the Henriette's 16th birthday in March we went to see a film on Pavarotti in Orange Grove, it was not appreciated by all! This was followed by dinner at a neighbouring Chinese Restaurant, we even had bow-tie biscuits for desert!
Fafa informed the family she was not coming back, so I left Jan Smuts on 12th August to discuss matters with her, but to no avail - I was back in Johannesburg on 23rd August. I was very cross, and in Fafa's words at the time, she said she had been disowned by her father. At that time, Caroline had a major operation and was in hospital.
Hen was reconfirmed at the Trinity Methodist Church near us; she held a speech which Mum only attended, in which she publicly stated that she was unhappy with her confirmation at St. Peter's in 1985!
The rest of the family had Christmas at Roosevelt Park - it was a disaster, the children boycotted it and sulked!
Mandela was let out of prison on 11th February, 1990
Caroline worked in the mornings at Gallery 21, during the afternoon she was taxi driver for the family.
We had an old red car, a Datsun, with a tear in front and the street showing through the floor, the children refused to be dropped in front of the school, we had to stop around the corner. We also had a beige Datsun which had belonged to my Mother, in addition to the Morris 1100 which had belonged to my Father.
Hen did art and matric outreach at Gifted Children Centre.
Caroline had problems with Hen and some of her friends. Hen worked as cashier at Spar near us for pocket money.
For the 17th birthday in March, 1990, we went to R.A.U to listen to some musicians and performers from South America - one remembered the one Banjo player, also that Caroline wore a stunning long dress.
It took 4½ years for the Australian Embassy in Pretoria to advise me on 5th June, 1990, that my application of 17th December, 1985, for migrant entry to Australia under the concessional family category had been unsuccessful, so Switzerland was the next aim! I needed 80 points to get in, but got only 0 for age, 20 for skills, 15 for education, 20 for employability and 15 as concessional points!
On 21st June, 1990, we were guests at a dinner party held by Alphons Frey, Consul General of Switzerland in Johannesburg, at his home, 56 Westcliff Drive, Westcliff.
We got an invitation from Paul and Mariekathrin Gmür to attend a family gathering at their home at Via Valmara 9, Brissago, on 30th June, 1990, which we had to turn down.
Caroline went on holiday to Durban in July with one or two of her kids, they shared a flat with Ava and Daphne for a week.
On 5th September, 1990, Mariekathrin Gmür-Henggeler, aged 71, died in Zurich from a heart failure.
Françoise was registered at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg i.Br. from 1st October, 1990 (WS 90/91) to 30th September, 1991 (SS 91), commuting between Basel and Freiburg i.Br.
In October, 1990, Caroline got a red Fiat UNO PCK 289 T for her 44th birthday, paid for in cash!
In November, Hen wrote matric with distinction in maths and history, she was a Prefect and went to Natal with her 4 friends as an after matric holiday. The Extra-Curricular Centre for Highly Gifted Pupils did a career test and recommended architecture to Henriette which thrilled her (see list of all the courses Henriette had attended between 1984 and 1990). She then did a one-week stint with one of the top architectural firms in Rosebank – François Pienaar of Meyer, Pienaar, Smith, Moren Inc.
At Christmas, the children went on Christian camps.
We had a few burglaries over time, so decided to install burglar proofing on windows and doors - the last attempt of a burglary failed somehow, as the burglar/s left a pile - cameras, TV and the like - near the door to the living room, being somehow disturbed in his/their action.
We were still living at 101 Anton van Wouw Street in Roosevelt Park, Johannesburg - our rent had gone up to R966 p.m.
On 16hth January, 1991, Karl Ulrich Gmür died in Zurich aged 69, after a severe sickness.
Hen completed a elementary typing course with "Norite" in February, 1991.
Caroline knitted a black jersey for our son's 18th birthday and a long cardigan for Hen’s 18th birthday.
Both children did a beginners German course with a German teacher in Melville.
I made a very big sale at the gallery and took it as a sign from above giving a blessing on Hen’s trip. A welcome tantième was given to St. Peter’s who had been praying for money to fix their roof or get them a computer. My condition was it could not be used for a computer or such equipment, only for the building.
On 4th March, 1991, we sold Françoise's holdings in De Beers (which she got in 1970) through Martin & Co. for R3378 net which she reinvested into a sculpture by Lucas Sithole on my recommendations.
On 18th March, 1991, I and Henriette left Jan Smuts for Zurich, staying the Hotel Bristol for 2 nights, on 21st we were at Hasli, then over the weekend we were going via Basel to Freiburg im Breisgau. Henriette had had an interview with the Registrar at the ETH and was told she would first have to learn German at the University in Freiburg i.B. where Fafa had studied full-time (she was told to only have German speaking boyfriends, it would make it easier for her!), then she would have to get a Swiss matriculation exemption certificate, before she could study architecture at the ETH. I remember that Fafa, Hen and I walked for hours through fields and rivers to view a potential accommodation (no bus transport from there to Freiburg except once a day!). Hen later found her own accommodation – it was not an easy time for her!
On 2nd April, 1991, Henriette duly registered at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg i.Br., as a "Gasthörer" during the summer semester, in order to "broaden her knowledge of the German language".
I returned to Johannesburg alone on 15th April, 1991.
On 28th June, 1991, as a follow-up on our telephonic conversation in mid-March, I wrote to Dennis Vennos from the Private School Dr. V. Junod, Mühlegasse 14, Zurich, to send Henriette in Basel the necessary documentation so that she could do a preparatory course (Winter 91/92) to enable her to pass the reduced entry examination for architecture at the ETH (this course would begin on 8th October, 1991, and last till 28th February, 1992, the examination by the ETH would take place between 2nd and 12th March, 1992). The course cost CHF4800, payable in six monthly instalments, part of which we paid from SA, part from my account in Zurich. Henriette was going to stay at Paul Gmür's house at Susenbergstrasse 103, in their visitor's room which used to be Regula's room originally, as from September, 1991.
During August, 1991, having left Freiburg i.Br. and before starting at Junod, Henriette went on an extended bicycle trip all across Germany to the North Sea, in order to learn German on the spot!
The times were again very bad, there was no money.
On 8th October, 1991, we arranged a solo show by Lucas SITHOLE, the first in two years. Lucas had not been to Johannesburg for the past 12 months, preferring to be far away from the trouble spots. They were very powerful works, lost in South Africa. We sent 3000 invitations out, only 48 people came to the opening, there were 3 sales, of which two had been concluded some time before the opening, and were intended for a collector in Europe. It was not surprising that with all these troubles, Lucas left the very same opening night to travel 7.5 hours from Johannesburg to his home near Pongola!
On 30th October, 1991, I wrote to my Mother stating inter alia: "Here, it is not funny. The economy, politics, the art scene - everything is in disarray. There is no money left, every week one can see marches in front of our building, this way, that way. Nothing can be sold any more, the tourists are now young people with their rucksack on their back, not our former clientele. Every day, there are approximately 40 attacks in Johannesburg alone. I have to reduce the size of the gallery, the overheads, insurances in order to survive till next year, and probably give notice to Steven."
On 18th November, 1991, Françoise registered with the University of Basel in order to study for a Phil. I. degree.
On 27th November, 1991, the Citizen from Johannesburg reported "Mr Average is now worse off than in 1975".
We got an invitation to a Dinner and Dance on the 30th November, 1991, on the occasion of the opening of the NFO XI Home Ground and Pavilion at Randjesfontein, as well as to attend the cricket games that week-end with the family. Caroline Lorentz Albu phoned me specially about this, but I had to regret much to her disappointment. I had absolutely no clue about cricket, nor did I feel inclined to mix with people at this time of my life, in view of the general problems I had to face at present.
On 9th December, I wrote to my Mother about my forthcoming trip. Caroline was then going to make a trip to Flora and Bergville and bring back Granny Nicholson from Bergville to stay with her over the holidays, in addition to Ava and Daphne living not far from our home.
On 10th December, 1991, I sold all the units in the Standard Bank Gold Fund held by Henriette jointly.
I left Johannesburg on 21st December, 1991 going to Hasli then Basel.......
Fafa and Fernand got engaged on Christmas Eve in 1991.
We were still living at 101 Anton van Wouw Street in Roosevelt Park, Johannesburg - our rent had gone up to R1062 p.m.
I returned from Switzerland on 11th January, 1992.
My cousin, Paul Gmür from Zurich, contacted me telephonically on the 3rd March, 1992, as he was concerned about my Mother who had problems at Hasli (and who must have contacted him directly). I replied in writing, setting out the situation as I saw it from my side, mentioning inter alia that Hasli had been on the market for some time, also reporting on the current security situation in Johannesburg.
On 4th April, 1992, my brother Henri wrote about his desperate financial situation in Hasli and mentioned that Henri-Paul and Omama would be moving to smaller places shortly.
On 30th June, 1992, I mentioned in a letter from Johannesburg to my Mother that "the situation here is getting desperate, no sales during December to March, and if I could have gone bust a second time in my life, that was it at the end of March. So I decided to get rid of everything at throw-away prices, and that has saved us from another disaster, at the least for the time being, but I still have a long way to go to be flush like at the beginning of 1991." I also mentioned that I hoped that by the middle of next year, lots would have changed with us, what it was exactly, I did not know, but I was getting sick of South Africa. I also mentioned that our cat Mimi was no more, nor Purr, we only had Heidi aged about 14 years, and our rabbit, Graphite.
On 21st July, 1992, the Basler Zeitung in Switzerland reported "In Südafrika nimmt die längste Wirtschaftsrezession seit dem 2. Weltkrieg kein Ende".
On 20th August, 1992, I wrote to my Mother stating "No week goes by without the Blacks marching up and down town, passing in front of our building (Victory House). No wonder people don't come, and though we had a few clients from overseas during the past two months, they are the smaller buyers, not the big business people like in the past. To-day, over lunch-time, we had about 10'000 workers passing by, demanding higher wages etc.; this follows on the 2-day stay-away recently and additional strikes". I concluded "Anyway, I trust the Lord that we shall be guided to do the right thing at the right time".
On 26th August, 1992, the Star from Johannesburg reported "Poor whites return to haunt South Africa's Paradise lost!".
In September, 1992, Bishop Frederick Amoore from Bloemfontein had supper with us.
We were in our minds getting ready to leave Johannesburg.
On 20th September, 1992, Henriette came out from Switzerland to visit us (she had been staying for a few months in a room at the home of my cousin Paul Gmür); she and Caroline travelled to the Free State and Natal to see the family. Henriette then visited her best friend in Grahamstown for a few days, and returned to Europe on 23rd October via Luxembourg.
On 15th October, 1992, I sent Hen her share of proceeds from the sale of Standard Bank Fund units.
Henriette having successfully passed her entrance exams (68.1%) in October, 1992, registered as a student in the Department of Architecture of the ETH on 26th of October, 1992. She got a bursary from Solothurn for the next few years, until she had finished her studies at the ETH.
On 19th October, 1992, I wrote to my friend S.S. in Zurich: "Geschäftlich war's in 31 Jahren noch nie so schlecht. Die geldkräftigen Sammler sind nach Europe, Australien oder Kanada ausgereist, die übrigen Sammler kaufen keine Kunst mehr, und unsere alten Kunden von Europa und den V.S.A kommen auch nicht mehr."
On 29th November, 1992, the Sunday Times, Johannesburg, reported "Sorry plight of million Whites hit by recession - almost one million White South Africans are living below the breadline".
We spent Christmas 1992 at home.
de Klerk and Mandela receive Nobel Peace Prize
Between 1988 and 1993 we employed Elizabeth from Soweto who worked for about 3 hours on Saturdays only; she got R16 and was given food and bunches of flowers from our garden to take home; she only polished our wooden floors and wooden furniture as Caroline was allergic to the Cobra wax polish. With problems in Soweto, domestic workers were not allowed to go to work. In about 1989, Elizabeth arrived once in her night clothes and apologised as she had to pretend she was visiting someone in Soweto! She really needed that extra income for her family.
At the same time, we had a Rhodesian gardener on Mondays who got paid R30 for the day, plus food.
On 24th November, 1993, we gave short notice to the owner of 101 Anton van Wouw Street, Mr Jacques Malan, per 31st December, 1993; we had found a new tenant.
My tax assessment for 1993 reflected an assessed income of R15600, on which I had paid R295 to the Johannesburg tax office.
Due to the ever increasing violence and disastrous political and economic situation in South Africa since the unbanning of the various black groupings, with weekly if not daily marches by thousands of mainly Blacks waving red flags down Harrison Street in front of Gallery 21 (COSATU, ANC, Communist Party) or Fox Street (Inkatha), my specialised art business collapsed totally as clients were no longer coming to the city centre. We were forced to either emigrate to Australia (which was turned down, as we were not meeting the points requirements), or to go north to the Foundation’s land or to return to Switzerland, as the outlook for a peaceful or an economically prosperous South Africa which is a pre-requisite for the art business, was not likely to materialise for the next 5-10 years.
In the process and as a result, I sold by silent auction to various SA public institutions part of my private art collection held through The Haenggi Foundation Inc. until I had recouped the estimated capital invested in the whole collection. This was followed by a general free donation of the bulk of the remaining works to those same institutions, retaining but a few major pieces which were LOANED through the Foundation to various public institutions until 2008, as documented elsewhere. This process started with the sale in August, 1990 and extended well into 1993, and again in 2006 and 2008. By 2009, everything still on loan to museums in South Africa had been donated outright to them.
Until I had terminated our fund-raising campaigns for the PELMAMA ACADEMY in Soweto and attended in April / May 1995 to the disposal of the Estate of Lucas Sithole and the closing of our remaining offices in Johannesburg, I still commuted between Switzerland and South Africa:
26.07.94 SR284 Zurich - Johannesburg; 03.09.94 SR287 Johannesburg - Zurich - see letter from Johannesburg August 1994;
23.04.95 SR286 Zurich - Johannesburg - see letter from Johannesburg April-June 1995
Exchange rates over the years:
In 1966, the exchange rate was CHF6.06 for ZAR1.00 (R2'500 then = Fr.15'150), it gradually got disastrous as this table shows:
When we emigrated end of December, 1993, the exchange rate was CHF0.45 for ZAR1.00 (our life insurances which were initiated as early as 1982 were then considered as "blocked assets"), by 1st July, 2008, the Rand had collapsed to CHF0.13 for ZAR1.00, the insurance policies still being considered as "blocked assets" by the SA Reserve Bank!
See the history of the ZAR since 1961 on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_rand!
See also this comparative graph from NZZ - five years to May 2009!
1993 - 1997
The first period of my return to Switzerland was most stressful; due to my age there was no chance of finding any work. Thus from May 1993 till February, 1995, I was registered as "jobless"; from then until June, 1996, I was "booked out", meaning I had to live off our accumulated capital and Caroline's income. I then got into a limited-time employment program ("Beschäftigungsprogramm") through NBB Bern (I had to travel 2 hours either way from home to the workplace in Brienz). From January 1997 until August, 1997 I was again stamping at RAV as "jobless". With the financial support of my family, and thanks to convincing RAV in Basel, I could carry on being registered as 50% employed, whilst having a 50% job on a commission basis as MD of Artimex Fine Arts AG in Spalenvorstadt 29, Basel, a company we set up for this purpose.
The ARTIMEX BASEL Gallery Project was a financial disaster, as the enclosed review of events shows, covering the period 1st May,1997 to 31st December, 1998!
When I moved the hundreds of books collected over the past few years from the gallery (Artimex Fine Arts in Basel) to our flat, I had to get numerous bookshelves. Yet, in spite of this, I needed to make a strict selection of what I still wanted to keep, and dispose of the remaining books. There were over 30 large boxes available for redistribution, all books in perfect condition, dealing mainly with the Fine Arts and Art History and fine crafts from all over the world.
I offered them gratis to the Kunstmuseum Basel, the Öffentliche Fachbibliothek der Schule für Gestaltung, Basel, the Basler Universitätsbibliothek and the Basler Mission. The KM never replied, the SfG were passing the message on, the UB would contact us later.
The Basler Mission stated “wir sind keine Entsorgungsstation, wir haben jetzt sowieso keine Zeit” - I got so angry, as this was the third time the Basler Mission had thrown my offers overboard, so they promised to phone me early 1999 - alas to no avail, they never contacted us - they were obviously not short of funds.
A personal diary about family events between June 1997 and December 2000
Note about this webpage
At the intense request of one of our children, this period was rewritten in August, 2013, and thus does not embrace all of them - for a passionate historian quite a problem! Particularly when one finds some information on the social media and other sites which I cannot refer to in my private diary!
In 2014, I wrote my autobiography covering the 40 years I spent in Africa.