Lack of Self Control


All our house masters were Afrikaans except one, the English Gym teacher. If I had one really bad failing as a child, it was the inability to shut my mouth when some bully espoused some stupid comment about me being English.

The Afrikaans students in the hostel far outnumbered the English ones, the reason being that their fathers tended to be farmers and the farms were out of town. The townies tended to be English and their fathers owned most of the stores or businesses in the town of Barberton and lived within the town limits, so most of the English speaking students just walked to school.

We borders also walked to school as the hostel was about two kilometres from that sanctity of learning. The Afrikaans hated the English, still do I suppose, due to the concentration camps during the Anglo-Boer war where some twenty-eight thousand Afrikaans speaking people had died, of which more than twenty-two thousand were children under the age of sixteen. Understandably  they had their reasons to hate the British, but to them all English speakers where British, which of course was not exactly correct.

I was of German extraction, my mother was brought up by my Granny who was Swedish, and I had no ties to the British. My father had decided to bring us up as English speaking as it was the only international language taught in South African schools. Shamefully whenever one of these ignorant oafs started with me, instead of agreeing with them, which would have been the safest thing to do, I proceeded to give them a piece of my mind and to remind them that they were a bunch of mongrels made up of Dutch, French, German and anything else that happened to be passing through South Africa at the time. To say that I was beaten on a regular basis would be like commenting that the sun rose every morning in the East, or that the Pope was catholic. So I had plenty of time to enjoy the bucket parade.

Lots of Hugs and more,



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