Serendipity with Bev Young
NOT as old as time, yet far enough back to either remind “old folks” here and possibly educate the younger generation, there was a remarkable family who, from granddad to grandson, repaired boats and serviced this entire area with fresh fish.
It started with Johannes Heindrich Samuel, who jumped ship in 1856, to his son Manning, to his grandson Ronnie. The Samuel’s family are the legends of the village.
Ronnie was renowned for his lifesaving achievements of ships in peril, and the family was very involved in early Port Alfred. They owned among, many buildings, the Ferryman’s as it is now, and the old Central Hotel, now demolished, and many of the boathouses in Van der Riet Street, which are no longer there.
The old photograph with this column, show Ronnie’s wooden boat, small and happily coming in through the “treacherous Kowie Mouth” after returning from a day’s fishing.
Ronnie only fished with a hand line, and his family would suffer. However, when he had a fair catch of kob, redfish, silvers, and geelbek or hake, he would say with his characteristic wry smile: “Ah, the sun always shines on the righteous!”