Monday, November 30, 2009

Museum News

Look here, that’s what I always have in my bag,” Katie, 5, said at the market the other day. “A lipstick, a hair brush and money.” I personally have never owned lipstick but I’d agree on the hairbrush and money bit, especially when I’m travelling. When Mrs Catherine Alice Honeyborne (née Goulding) travelled in the 1800s she took her travelling case along.

The case is made of black leather lined with green satin. It is divided into a lower and an upper compartment by a hinged partition which has 6 satin divisions housing 2 brushes and 4 glass containers with engraved pewter tops. Included is a mirror in which Mrs Honeyborne could check her appearance before climbing into a horse-drawn carriage or a steam train. Amongst the things ladies took with them in those days were Epsom-, Glauber- and smelling salts, castor oil, methylated spirits and Conde’s Crystals for sterilizing; face powder, tongs for curling eyelashes and all sorts of toiletries.

When you go to the Museum and look at the case you’ll see a manicure set and several button hooks, used for buttoning up shoes and spats. There is a prayer book and a hymn book, both written in High Dutch; they belonged to Petronella Jacoba Honeyborne (née Gouws, 1872-1968).

Mrs Catherine Alice Honeyborne was married to Bolton Blackwell, who changed his name by deed poll to Bolton Stretch Honeyborne. He was born in Ireland in 1823 and arrived in the Cape Colony in 1849.

He filled various posts in Cape Town, Fraserburg and Beaufort West and finally made his home in Prince Albert. He owned the building that houses Pep Stores today until 1861 and sold groceries, clothes and hardware to the inhabitants of the dorp and the district. He was an agent and auctioneer for 30 years. He was also a member of the Prince Albert Divisional Council and did a lot to get the Swartberg Pass project started. He was involved in the Anglican Church and was generous to the poor. He died in 1891 and is buried in the Anglican Cemetery in Prince Albert.

We don’t have many records of Mrs Catherine Alice Honeyborne and we don’t know if she had one favourite thing without which she would never travel. Present day Prince Alberters being asked what they would take had the following to say: my “knipmes”; my leatherman; cable ties; my headlamp; my lighter; my camera; my notebook; and Ohropax (a superior brand of earplugs).

What is the one thing YOU would take along on a trip into the blue?

Museum greetings
Gunda Hardegen-Brunner

Is hereby given that the Official Opening Ceremony of the Zwartberg Pass will take place on Tuesday, the 10th January 1888, on the summit of the Mountain.
The Public of the Division are requested to attend.
By order of the Board.
B.S. Honeyborne. Secretary.
Div. Council Office, Prince Albert. 27th Dec., 1887.

Geschiedt by beze, dat die Oficieele Openings Plechtigheid der Zwartberg Pas zal plaats vinden op den 10den January, 1888, op den top van den Berg. De Boerenvrienden en heg algemeen Publiek dezer Afdeeling wordt verzocht by die gelegenheid tegenwoordig te zyn.
Op last van den Raad.
B.S. Honeeyborne, Secretaris.
Kantoor van den Afdeelingsraad. Prince Albert, Dec. 27th. 1887.

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