Thursday, August 19, 2010


From late 1981 I was ensconced, at a very meagre salary I might add, in the Progressive Federal Party's Border regional office in East London as one of two paid organisers. This was the pre-computer era, and in order to fight elections in each of the about six constituencies we were responsible for, a full set of canvass cards for each was needed. I recall white master cards and pink canvass cards, though I vaguely also recall green cards. Anyway, in order to write all the necessary info about each voter on each card, we relied mainly on volunteers. Many who spent mornings in the office were retired folk, among them former Selborne Primary head Bunny Stevens, who was prominent as a leader of the PFP in the area in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Many had links with the Torch Commando, a liberal organisation which opposed apartheid from its inception in 1948, when the Nats defeated Jan Smuts's United Party.

One of the elderly folk who would give of their time for a cause they firmly believed in: the scrapping of apartheid.

This woman was among the many older people who dedicated hours of their lives each week to the PFP.

I remember this old guy as having been a close friend of Bunny Stevens, though I can't recall his name. Other pictures of people who worked in the office are sure to crop up as I trawl through my drawings.

Interesting, perhaps, is this notice, on the back of which I did the drawing above.

For a while we employed a very short woman as secretary. I only recall her first name: Madge. She would walk some distance from Cambridge to our Devereux Avenue office. This was a bit of fun poked at her shortness, as she battles to reach the keyboard of the typewriter, something which has disappeared from offices for good.

Another of the elderly gents who helped us, done on the back of an envelope.

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