Mary Anne Cosgrave (Mother Patrick)

Mary Anne Cosgrave

(1863 – 1900)

Mary Anne Cosgrave [spelled Cosgrove in some accounts], pioneer nurse in Rhodesia and Dominican Sisters Prioress, was born May 1863 in Summerhill, County Meath, Ireland.  She was the second youngest of four children.  Both her parents died of tuberculosis when she was young.  She was then raised by her father’s cousin, John Cosgrave, in County Wexford.  She attended the Loreto Convent Secondary School in Enniscorthy until age 15.  When only 17 years old, she responded to a call for postulants and traveled to South Africa to join the Dominican Sisters Convent in King William’s Town. She celebrated her final profession as a nun in 1882, taking the name Mary Patrick.  Sister Patrick would spend the next nine years as a teacher in and around King Williams Town.

In 1889, Sister Patrick and a party of four other Dominican Sisters volunteered to provide nursing services in support of the “Pioneer Column” then being assembled by the British South Africa Company for the occupation of Mashonaland. Sister Patrick was appointed Mother Superior in charge.  The sisters traveled separately from the main column, spending time at the hospitals in Mafeking and Macloutsie, Bechuanaland, before reaching Salisbury in July 1891, ten months after the Pioneer Column first arrived. At Salisbury, the sisters took charge of the rudimentary hospital that had been set up. In October 1892, Mother Patrick opened the Salisbury Convent, the first school in Salisbury and one of the first schools in Rhodesia.  Mother Patrick and the Dominican Sisters were called upon again to provide nursing care when, in 1896, Southern Rhodesia was engulfed in the uprisings of both the Ndebele and Shona.

Two years later, the Rhodesian Dominicans were separated from the house at King Williams’s Town to form their own independent community, now known as the Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Although in ill health, Mother Patrick was unanimously elected Prioress of the new community in 1899.  Her health continued to deteriorate, and she died of tuberculosis in July 1900 at the age of 37.  Mother Patrick was highly revered.  She was awarded the Order of the Royal Red Cross by Queen Victoria and her funeral, the largest held in the territory up until that time, was personally attended by Cecil Rhodes. In November 1970, Rhodesia issued a stamp in her honor, No. 4 in the Famous Figures Series.

Stamps Issues

References

Contributors
  • James Gavin

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Ernest Lawrence Sells

Ernest Lawrence Sells

1899–1972

Ernest Lawrence Sells was born April 1899 in Leistville, Ohio. He attended Asbury College, Drew Theological Seminary in Madison, New Jersey and Cornell University. Prior going to Africa as a missionary with the Methodist Episcopal Church, Reverend Sells was pastor at Methodist churches at Earlton and Verbank, New York.

Rev. Sells and his wife Dorothy arrived in Southern Rhodesia in 1927 and he would go on to serve for over 35 years. During that time, he served as superintendent at Mrewa (1929-33) and Mutambara Missions (1938); for a total of 22 years, he was superintendent of the Umtali District and pastor of St Andrews Methodist Church in Umtali; and beginning in 1956, he served as pastor and school principal back Mrewa Mission (Mrewa Methodist Center) where he over saw over 1000 students.

He also served on the central advisory board of the Rhodesian Government’s Department of African Education, as secretary of the Rhodesia Annual Conference of the Methodist! Church; and director of the Central Africa Christian Film Library.

Rev. Sells retired in 1964 and returned to the United States. He died September 1972 in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.

References

Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

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Louis Pedrotti

Louis Pedrotti

1863-1932

Louis Pedrotti was born in England in 1863. He was married to Annie Pedrotti (1880-1936). He was a photographer living in Bulawayo in the Williams Buildings.

In 1902 his photos appeared in Ancient Monuments of Rhodesia. He also took a number of photos from the funeral of Cecil J Rhodes of which twelve plates appeared in The Late Right Honourable Cecil John Rhodes: A Chronicle of the Funeral Ceremonies from Muizenberg to the Matopos (Cape Times, 1905) and also The Graphic (1902). Further photos appeared in publications by John Muir, naturalist and champion of preserving the wilderness, around 1904.

In 1905 his photographs of Victoria Falls were featured in the Royal Geographical Society of London’s The Physical History of the Victoria Falls. Nine photographs were on display at the Society’s office in London between January-June 1905, presented by A J C Molyneux, a geologist with the British South Africa Company that visited Rhodesia between 1894-1900.

In the same year the photos also appear in the National Geographic. Philpott & Collins, either as sellers or publishers, a selection of postcards featuring these images. He also self-published his own albums. In 1914 his photos were published in Guide to Rhodesia: For the Use of Tourists & Settlers.

He died 18 September 1932 of liver cancer, his wife dying of breast cancer in 25 February 1936.

Postcards

References

  • Geographical Journal, Vol 18, 1901
  • Geographical Journal, Vol 25, 1905
  • National Geographic, No.16, 1905

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Dwight Lamar Sherertz

Dwight Lamar Sherertz

(1893 -1970)

Dwight Lamar Sherertz, a Methodist Episcopal Church missionary to China and Southern Rhodesia, was born March 1893 in East Radford, Virginia. He received a B.A. from Roanoke College, an M.A. from Princeton University, and a honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Roanoke in 1945. He married Margarita Mary Sherertz (1889-1973) in October 1919, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. William Hector Park and a niece of Bishop Walter R. Lambuth.

In 1918 he began teaching English and religion at the junior and senior high schools in Soochow, China, a position he held until World War II when he was interned and then evacuated. Sherertz returned to China in 1945 and served as a liaison officer between Chinese and American troops. He continued to teach at Soochow University from 1946 until the Communist takeover in China in 1950.

Forced to leave China, Rev. Sherertz and his wife went to Southern Rhodesia in 1952 to work at the teacher training school and as an assistant minister at Old Umtali Mission until his retirement in 1957.  Rev. Sherertz died January 1970 in Silver Spring, Maryland. His wife died three years later in 1973.

References

Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

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Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell

 

Dr Margaret Mitchell started her career as a doctor in the casualty department at Coventry and Warwickshire hospital and became a renowned specialist in the treatment of eye diseases.

Dr Mitchell’s interesting life started at the age of 22 when she was awarded the Croix de Guerre for her services as a volunteer with the Red Cross in France in the World War 1. In the 1920’s she answered a call for medical missionaries in India and took up a post in the Himalayan Kingdom of Kashmir when it was under British Crown.

Before the start of World War 2, she went to Persia to take charge of a mission hospital. She returned to Allesley and established a first aid post in the village. As President of the Women’s British Legion she organised the local Poppy Appeal for more than 40 years. She took a particular interest in the Christian Medical Hospital at Vellore in Southern India and for years helped raise funds to support it.

References

Contributors
  • James Gavin

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Frances Persons (nee Jessop)

Frances Persons (nee Jessop)

1913-2004

Frances “Lois” Jessop was born in Chadwell, England March 1913.  She came to the United States in 1929. After graduating from the Chicago Evangelistic Institute she enrolled at Asbury College, but interrupted her studies to service as a missionary with the Methodist Episcopal Church’s Old Umtali Mission in Southern Rhodesia beginning 1937. There she taught in the Bible Institute, edited a journal for the mission and assisted the mission director. After three years she returned to Asbury to finish her degree.

In 1941, she married Maurice E. Persons whom she had met as a fellow student at Chicago Evangelistic Institute and who had also been in Southern Rhodesia.  A year later, the Persons returned to Africa as Methodist missionaries where Mr. Persons served in a number of capacities between 1947 and 1968 in Liberia and the Congo.

Mrs. Person served as a high school teacher, conducted classes for the development of African women and taught Swahili to new missionaries.  They return returned to the Congo in 1977 where they served until retirement in Phoenix, Arizona in 1980. Mrs. Person died June 2003.  Mr. Persons died 2004.

Reference

Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

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James Hay Upcher

James Hay Upcher

1854-1931

James Hay Upcher (7 January 1854 – 17 March 1931) was Archdeacon of Mashonaland from 1925 until his death.

Upcher was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge was ordained deacon in 1877 and Priest in 1878. After curacies in Halesworth, Sudbourne, Barnham Broom and Bury St Edmunds he held incumbencies at Sprowston, and Sculthorpe. In July 1892, Upcher arrived in Pretoria with Alfred Dykes Sylvester and travelled up to Rhodesia. Sylvester went to Fort Victoria while Upcher travelled to Salisbury, arriving in September the same year.

In Salisbury, the diocese of Mashonaland was in disarray. Upon Upcher’s arrival, he established a site for a new church and organised for the erection of a brick building, the Church of All Saints, dedicated in January 1893. Upcher was well received in Salisbury and congregations to services grew. He also began a service for the Mashona. He and his assistant, N.C. Panilod, started the first school in Salisbury in 1894.

In the same year he started the first school, Salisbury needed a new Bishop. Upcher was offered the position but wanted to focus on Missionary work. He was a missionary at St Bernard’s Mission, Selukwe from 1923 to 1925; and Priest in charge of St Mary, Huyani from 1927 until his death.

Real Photo Cards

References

  • Church and Settler in Colonial Zimbabwe – Pamela Welch
  • Rhodes and Rhodesia: The White Conquest of Zimbabwe 1884-1902 – Arthur Keppel-Jones

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Edmund Henry Allott

Edmund Henry Allott

(1881-1964)

Edmund Henry Allott was born 15 October 1881 in Walton, Warwickshire the son of Henry Hepworth Allott, a Curate with the Church of England and his wife Alicia Georgina.

At the the age of 19, Edmund was employed as a Land Agent’s Assistant. On 25 June 1901 Edmund Henry Allott joined the Boer War an was appointed as a Second Lieutenant with the 3rd Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment. For his efforts he was awarded the Queens Medal with clasps Cape Colony and South Africa 1902.

Having returned to England on 12 September 1902 after the cessation of hostilities, Allott continued on in the Volunteer force being Gazetted a full Lieutenant with effect from August 1902. He commenced studying and undertook a voyage to the United States from London in 1904, with his final destination Kamloop in British Columbia (Canada). When he returned to England, he devoted his energies to farming for his own account and the next event of any import in his life was on 25 January 1907 when he resigned his commission and was made an Honorary Lieutenant. 

When the Great War erupted in 1914 Allott put his hand up for the war effort and was appointed into the 19th Divisional Supply Company of the Army Service Corps. But before he was to see any military action, he married Miss Olive Millicent Brooks. He was posted to France on 14 July 1915 where he was deployed to a variety of front line positions and was promoted to Captain.

Post-war, he tried to settle down as a Farmer, however the venture wasn’t a long lasting one and he began to turn his attention towards Africa. On 21 February 1929 he departed from London aboard the “Dunluce Castle” bound for Cape Town and eventually Melsetter, Southern Rhodesia (on advice of his cousin Bill Hanmer).

The Allott’s lived for 6 months at Fairview in an enormous rondavel which served as bedroom, living room and kitchen, and when the Hanmer’s went away the Allott’s were entrusted with the care of the farm and the job of making a new road to Heathfield. After leaving Fairview the Allott’s camped on Welgelegen, a farm they were tempted to buy, but settled in the end for Belmont and Belmont Valley where they went raised horses and cattle. By 1934 Allott had turned his hand to growing coffee achieving 100% success with seedbeds of Caffea Arabica planting over 1000 trees.

In 1932 Allott bought the Melsetter Hotel, hoping to provide more attractive accommodation for tourists, boost the district, and provide an outlet for the fresh produce from his farm Belmont. In 1935 Allott decided to run the hotel himself, despite having had no experience “he won a good reputation”, installing electricity and erecting 10 prefab bedrooms to which a swimming pool was added in 1938. With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 Allott and his wife were left to try and carry on with the hotel as best they could with a drastically depleted staff and very little business. They both volunteered for service but were turned down, the hotel was deemed to be an essential business and had to be carried on. Local Air Force chaps were the only visitors and they were put up for free.

Emerging relatively unscathed from the war Allott continued on with the hotel until he reached the age where he couldn’t carry on. He passed away at the age of 83 at his farm, Belmont Valley in Melsetter on 12 November 1964 and was survived by his wife and daughters Rosemary Joan Owen and Olivia Josephine Webb.

References

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The Smart Set Entertainers

The Smart Set Entertainers

The Smart Set Entertainers started in 1892. Previously known as the Light Opera Singers and The Follies, Walter George brought the Smart Set Entertainers to Australia via South Africa and America in 1912.

The 10-member troupe disbanded in 1915 when he and partner Georgie Martin joined Edward Branscombe’s Dandies.  They reformed the Smart Set in 1917, touring Australia and New Zealand through until 1920, at which time George and Martin established the Sunshine Players.

The original line-up included Emily Kroll, Edward Elliot, Sunshine James, Mona Thomas, Tristram Greene and Edgar Holland (piano).

References

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John Mitchell Watt

John Mitchell Watt

1892-1980

 

Prof John Mitchell Watt was a 20th-century South African physician and pharmacologist. He served in both World Wars and made extensive catalogues of traditional African medicines.

He was born in Port Elizabeth in South Africa on 1 December 1892 and was educated at the Grey Institute High School in Port Elizabeth. His family moved to Scotland and he completed his education at Stirling High School. He studied Medicine at Edinburgh University graduating in 1916. He then joined the Royal Army Medical Corps.

In 1921 he became Professor of Pharmacology at University College, Johannesburg. In 1933 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In the Second World War he was in charge of medical supplies for the South African Defence Headquarters for the entire war. In 1957 he joined the South African Institute for Medical Research.

In 1965 he moved back to Britain to teach at the Plymouth College of Technology before moving into semi-retirement in 1965, also locating to Australia where he was a part-time Demonstrator in Physiology at the University of Queensland.

In 1972 the Rand Afrikaans University awarded him an honorary doctorate (LLD) for his academic writing

He died in Brisbane on 23 April 1980.

References

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