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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.
The Buluwayo Board of Executors & Trust Co Ltd was one of the oldest businesses in Rhodesia, being established c.1894.
The African Guarantee and Indemnity Corporation was established by Isidore Williem Schlesinger in 1911 to provide all types of insurance.
The African Life Assurance Society Ltd was established by Isidore Williem Schlesinger at the end of 1904 with the £20,000 he had earned from the development of the suburb of Parkhurst, Gauteng, South Africa. During its first year in business, the company sold 2,274 policies worth £1 million, a record for a new business in the industry at the time.
In 1905, he bought the financially struggling Robinson South African Bank (founded by J.B. Robinson) and converted it into the Colonial Banking and Trust Company, which specialised in small business loans. In 1911, he founded the African Guarantee and Indemnity Corporation to provide all types of insurance.
The company had branches and agencies in the Union as well as in Khartoum, Assouan, Syria, Cairo and Alexandria. In 1912 it expanded its operations to Natal and amazement was expressed at the large volumes of new business that it generated. By 1925, the business was one of the four dominant insurance companies in South Africa.
African Life is now part of the SANLAM group.
The Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Trust en Assuransie Maatskappij Beperk (South African National Trust and Assurance Company Limited), Santam, was registered on 28 March 1918.
It was then decided to convert the life assurance department into a separate company, and the Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Lewens Assuransie Maatskappij Beperk (South African National Life Assurance Company Limited), Sanlam, was registered on 8 June 1918.
Sanlam, the subsidiary, later became the spearhead of the operation, while Santam remained focused on short-term insurance. Santam remained the controlling shareholder until 1954 when Sanlam became an independent mutual life assurance company, as well as the largest single shareholder in Santam.
Sanlam Group has developed over time into a diversified financial services business. Through its business clusters – Sanlam Personal Finance, Sanlam Emerging Markets, Sanlam Investments, Sanlam Corporate and Santam.
The group’s areas of expertise include insurance, financial planning, retirement annuities, trusts, wills, short-term insurance, asset management, risk management and capital market activities, investment and wealth. The group operates in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique, India, Malaysia and the UK and has business interests in the US, Australia and the Philippines. It has a stake in micro-insurance specialists, UK-based Micro-Ensure Holdings Limited, which has a footprint across Africa and India servicing more than 10 million enrolled clients.
20 December, 1935
Birchenough Bridge is the name for both a bridge across the Save River and a village next to the bridge. Birchenough Bridge is named after Sir Henry Birchenough.
The bridge was funded at a cost of £145 000.00 and planned by the Beit Trust, a foundation chaired at the time by Sir Henry Birchenough whose ashes are buried beneath the structure of the bridge. Ralph Freeman, the bridge’s designer, was also the structural designer on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and consequently the two bridges bear a close resemblance, although Birchenough is only two-thirds as long as the Australian bridge.
It was built by Dorman Long and was officially opened on 20 December, 1935 by the Governor of Southern Rhodesia, Sir H J Stanley. At a length of 1,080 feet (329 m) it was the third longest single-arch suspension bridge in the world at the time.
In the 1970’s a 40-tonne load limit was imposed on the bridge but in 1984 the bridge was widened (roadway: 7.2 m to 10 m wide) and strengthened as part of the World Bank’s Highway Project One. The village which sprang up next to the bridge has become the centre of a small-scale farming area.
The Universal Postal Union (UPU) is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN), established in 1947, that regulates international mail services with its headquarters at Bern, Switzerland.
Established in 1875 following adoption of the Universal Postal Convention, it is one of the oldest extant international governmental organisations. The Universal Postal Congress, the governing body, usually meets every four years to discuss and adopt a world postal strategy and consider the activities of the executive council, whose 40 members are elected on a geographical basis and meet yearly.
The UPU consists of:
Countries that belong to the union form a unified postal territory with easy international exchange of mail. The union also provides technical assistance and advice in attempts to improve postal service, especially in developing countries. It facilitates the development of the contemporary postal network which, in addition to the traditional delivery of mail, also includes electronic and financial services. The UPU has 192 member nations.
The Department of Internal Affairs was originally managed under the Ministry of Native Affairs. It was established in 1894 by Order in Council, primarily to administer Matabeleland, and later, Mashonaland.
The department managed the affairs of the European population and worked in conjunction with the Department of Native Affairs which managed the affairs of the African population.
In 1962 both departments were renamed as the Ministry of Internal Affairs.