Newspaper Cuttings from the Eastern Cape

Newspaper Cuttings from the Eastern Cape - L


EP Herald, 9 Feb 1984
Dr. LEITH followed father's footsteps
Herald Reporter

Dr. William Francis LEITH of Walmer, who died on Sunday at the age of 65, was the second in his family to practise medicine in Port Elizabeth.

He was the son of Dr. R. McW LEITH, who was Port Elizabeth's first ear, nose and throat specialist and who owned the first car in Port Elizabeth. The family home was 26 Bird Street. His grandfather, Mr. Francis OATES, was chairman of De Beers from 1905 to 1918.

Bill LEITH was educated at St. Andrew's and did a year at Rhodes before going up to Corpus Christie College, Cambridge, and thence to London Hospital. As soon as he qualified during the Second World War, he joined the RNVR, [Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve], and served in the North Atlantic in ships on convoy escort duty.

He practised as a GP in Port Elizabeth until the early 1950s when he returned to Britain to specialise. He practised in Maritzburg from 1958 to 1965 when he returned to Port Elizabeth. For the last 10 years of his career he was Head of Ear, Nose and Throat Department at Livingstone Hospital.

He became ill four years ago, and though he recovered sufficiently to continue in practice and play bowls, a deterioration occurred about 18 months ago. He leaves his wife Shelia, whom he first met as a student in London, and two sons, Andrew, 24 and Robert, 21.

Classified Column
Death Notices

LEITH - W. F. [Bill], husband of Shelia and father to Andrew and Robert passed away on Sunday, February 5.

LEITH - William passed away on Sunday, February 5, at the age of 65 years. Remembered by his wife and children. Service at Victoria Park Crematorium on Thursday, February 9, at 11 am.
No flowers by request. Donations in lieu of floral tributes may be sent to National Cancer Association.
Funeral Undertakers - Jones, Rice and Alexander Brothers.


EP Herald, 14 Jul 1982
Man born in gold rush camp is 95

A man born in Ferreira's Town camp, now Johannesburg, during the Witwatersrand gold rush, Mr. Johannes (John) LESSING, celebrated hi 95th birthday in West Wing of Grahamstown's Settlers' Hospital yesterday.

One member of his immediate family, a daughter-in-law, Mrs. Margaret LESSING, was with him. Mr. John LESSING also has a daughter, Mrs. Rachel OLIVIER in Johannesburg, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Margaret LESSING is a member of the President's Council, Director of the Women's Bureau and a former public relations officer. But Margaret was not his only visitor.

Mr. LESSING is a devout Christian and several members of the Baptist Church congregation were present at the birthday celebrations.

Mr. LESSING was the youngest of seven children sons born of a family who hailed from Middelburg in the Eastern Cape. They trekked to the Reef by ox-wagon, tried their hand at farming, but returned to the Cape, again by ox-wagon, when John was six years old. But they continued moving, spending some time on the Barberton gold fields.

When the Anglo-Boer War broke out, they were in Belfast, Transvaal. Mr. LESSING was too young to take part in the war. but his elder brothers joined Boer commandos. He and his parents were interned in a concentration camp where his father died of pneumonia.

Mr. LESSING later became an apprentice printer in Pretoria on 'Die Volkstem'. When he retired, he became a Baptist missionary in Lesotho. "In Grahamstown he built the black Baptist Church. And I mean built it,because he was involved physically in the building." said Mrs. Margaret LESSING.

When a black Baptist minister was appointed, he ministered to the coloured community until he was 9


Herald, 18 Jul 2003
Death of remarkable Maisie, 108
by Helga van STAADEN

Lovable matriarch Maisie LEWIS of Heatherbank, Port Elizabeth, died on Tuesday at the age of 108 - a lifespan that touched three centuries. Her daughter and only child is Enid LOVEMORE, by whom Mrs. LEWIS had five grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, with another on its way.

Yesterday, Mrs LOVEMORE remembered her mother as a "unique" person with a "zest for life. There were no frills about my mother. She was an individual who had a great sense of humour. "She used to love walking. She had no time for illnesses. And she was a true Scot," Mrs. LOVEMORE said.

One of her grandsons, Christopher, yesterday described her as a "remarkable, fun-loving person with a great sense of humour''. "I think that is one of the reasons she was so greatly loved by people," he said. "She faced her old age with a lot of courage. The last thing she said to me was: 'It was jolly fun', referring to her life. "We are all sad, but relieved that she passed away peacefully."

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1894, Mrs. LEWIS moved to South Africa in 1927 after she married her husband, Albert.
Mr. LEWIS was a soldier in the King's Own Scottish Borderers. The couple saw a magazine advertisement and moved to South Africa under the auspices of the 1820 Settlers Association. They settled in Greenbushes before relocating to Addo. Later they retired to Knysna. Mrs. LEWIS moved back to Port Elizabeth after her husband died.

A highlight in Mrs. LEWIS' life came soon after her 100th birthday when she was invited to tea by the Queen at the Port Elizabeth Club. A picture of the two of them together appeared on the front page of the Herald next day.

Yesterday, Mrs. LEWIS' nursing sister, Heleen CROCKER, described her as "the most remarkable person" she had ever met. She said Mrs. LEWIS was not just her patient, but her friend as well. "Everything to Maisie was a pleasure. She was the most thankful and positive person I have nursed in my 38-year career," Mrs. CROCKER said.

Mrs. LEWIS will have a private cremation service tomorrow.
There will be a memorial service on August 8 at St Cuthbert's, Westbourne Road, Central.


EP Herald, 2 Oct 1981
63 descendants join PE woman.
by Noreen Sutcliffe

A relation by marriage to the legendary South African historical figure Dick KING celebrated her 90th birthday in Port Elizabeth this week. Mrs. Violet Rose LISHER was joined by 63 of her 112 living descendants on the big day, and was showered with gifts and flowers.

In 1910 she married the late Mr. Albert Thomas LISHER, who was a great-nephew of Dick KING. She has lived in and around Port Elizabeth for more than 66 years and the story is still told of how, in 1922 she was alone and living "way out between New Brighton and Zwartkops". Speaking fluent Xhosa still today, Mrs. LISHER was instrumental in the arrest of a man who had been stealing money from another man who lived in a tin hut beside the road. When she saw the thief at work, undaunted Mrs. LISHER picked up her husband's empty double-barrelled shotgun and held the man up. She appealed for help to a farmer, the late Mr. Oscar PEARSON, who happened to be passing in his horse and cart at the time. The thief's action literally landed him in the cart because he was bundled into Mr. PEARSON's cart and handed over to the police. For her action in apprehending the man, Mrs. LISHER was called into town to the police commissioner's office where she was feted and given a citation which set out her brave deed and offered a reward. She had the option of a woman's wristwatch or £5 and the story goes she opted for the watch.

There were nine children from the marriage, one of whom has since died. The other eight, Mrs. Joyce SCALLAN, Mrs. Sylvia VAN DEN BERG, Mr. Arthur George LISHER of Port Elizabeth. Mrs. Lily DE KLERK, Mrs. Phyllis CAMERON and Mrs. Sherline SIMMS of Vanderbijl Park, and Mrs. Gladys MAASDORP of Zimbabwe, were at the party in the Calvary Baptist Church hall, in Mount Pleasant, Port Elizabeth.

A family tree was compiled for the occasion with details of all 112 descendants and these were sold for church funds. Mrs. LISHER's direct descendants include 29 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren, and when taking into account their partners, it totals 112. Mrs. LISHER is still healthy. Only last year she had a cataract operation and despite a somewhat fading memory, she is still bright and chirpy, and loves a good joke. Her mind is still as quick as ever. When told by her daughter, Mrs. SCALLAN, who arranged the party, that she had difficulty finding 90 candles, the old lady replied in a flash: "Why worry, just buy one box and cut the candles in half!"

She attributes her long life to "faith in God and making the best use of time which brings contentment in life and sobriety". To coincide with her name, her granddaughter, Mrs. Colleen REID, made a special corsage of violets and roses for Mrs. LISHER and a spray of these also decorated the cake, made by another granddaughter in Pretoria.

Mrs. LISHER, till a few years ago, lived alone in her house in Mount Pleasant, but has since moved to the Red Cross Home, Walmer.

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