Prince Albert Friend – Vriend

De Prince Albert Vriend/Prince Albert Friend was first published as a weekly newspaper in Dutch and English on 4 October 1912. Its purpose being to keep folk in touch with each other on outlying farms, and give visitors something local to read while waiting at the staging-post for the mule-train trip over the Swartberg. It carried local, national as well as international news.

 

Over 100 years later the tradition continues … relentlessly local, its 44-pages are packed with local news, articles of general and historical appeal and items of interest to tourists.

 

Buy your copy of our bilingual (English/Afrikaans) newspaper from various outlets throughout town including the Library, Tourism Bureau, SPAR, restaurants and Gay’s Guernsey Dairy.

More than 100 years of local news

The Prince Albert Friend celebrates 100 years.

On 4th October 1912 the first issue of a weekly newspaper, De Prince Albert Vriend/ Prince Albert Friend was published in Dutch and English. Information about those early days is limited but we know that it was printed and published in various buildings in the village, including the cottage behind Onse Rus and also in what is now Seven Arches.

The earliest editions we have in the Museum date from the 1930’s and typically the entire front page was given over to advertisements. The August 1 1934 issue, published by FA Jansen & Co of Church Street, Prince Albert, Cape Province, included local adverts for each of JC Forsyth, B Buch and AP de Wit Algemene Handelaars, the National Hotel and IF van Eik’s Dames en Here Kleremaker and some from further afield. GEARINGS BKT of Cape Town had taken out a large advertisement for their self-oiling wind pumps and Keatings Powder was advertised to “verdelg miere, vlooie, motte, vliee, kakkerlakke, weeluise – alle insekte”. The nasty little devil holding a can of this poisonous powder looks capable of wiping out just about anything!

In those days De Prince Albert Vriend carried world news, so local residents could read articles such as “Cold Blooded Murder” reporting the death of Austrian Chancellor Dr Dolfuss, which expressed concerns about another war; “John Dillinger” provided a brief account of the shooting down of this desperado in front of a Chicago cinema and “Krokodil Van Oor die 100 Jaar” reported on a fourteen foot crocodile found in the Sabi river and sent to the Rhodesian Museum in Bulawayo. These articles were printed in both English and Dutch.

Local news was of equal, or greater importance: “Mev. SP Luttig het laaste Vrijdag teruggekeer van haar rit na Rhodesie om by haar dogter (Betty Weatherhead) te kuier.” Mrs P Koort, Principal of the Weltevreden farm school had been forced by the School Board to take sick leave for another three months and Mr Pieter Botes had been appointed as substitute in her place.

Sport featured too: in the column Local and General we read that “a school team of Oudtshoorn footballers came over in the rain last Saturday to play a friendly match here and notwithstanding the muddy state of the field went home victorious by 16-3.”

The rain was most welcome since it had “considerably augmented the irrigation furrow… 0.18 inches will at least revive the condition of the veld… In the Tierberg and Argentine direction fairly good showers were also welcomed by farmers.”

One had to be wary of traffic cops, even in 1934: “No Lights. At the Police Court Frederick J Snyman and Johannes G Schoeman stood charged, the first with having no lights to his bicycle and the second with having no tail light to his motor car, and were fined 2s 6d each. The first accused lives at Koolhoogte, the second at Bloemendal.”

The newspaper was published regularly but sadly it eventually disappeared from Prince Albert’s streets. In 1994 a small group of locals: Johan “Spar” Mulder, Ronel van der Spuy and Virna Gouws brought it back to life as a monthly publication. Johan made a computer available and Ronel and Virna did the typing and layout. “Deadline Day” each month would see them phoning round telling friends to “get some news.” Virna would often work until eleven at night before putting both the newspaper and herself to bed.

Under the umbrella of the Tourism Association Die PA Vriend went from strength to strength and by 1997 Inge Mynhardt was tapping the keys. Russell Brownlee, Susan Perold, Denise Ohlson and Helena Marincowitz were regular contributors, local sports clubs submitted their reports and businesses their adverts. Ailsa Tudhope took over the reins for three years and settled the concern that “‘n Engelse dame” was at the helm by printing alternate English and Afrikaans front cover stories. Ladies from Huis Kweekvallei would regularly help fold the newspaper around one of their large dining room tables. Jill Reid and Sharlton Groenewald followed as editors.

In 2002 Kerneels Mulder took over the layout and production, a role he still admirably fulfils and the Prince Albert Writers’ Guild became involved in providing articles and proofreading.

Since its rebirth in 1994 the production of the Prince Albert Friend has been a community effort. Local news is gathered by numerous individuals each month. The Tourism Association continues to provide support and Zelia has recently taken over the bookkeeping from much missed Cornie Koen.

A special word of tribute must be expressed to Linda Jaquet, who has nurtured the newspaper to a highly professional level, a truly worthy successor to De Prince Albert Vriend of a hundred years ago.

Happy 100th Birthday Prince Albert Friend – may you still be on the streets in 2112.

 

(Written on the occasion of the 100 year celebrations of Prince Albert Vriend / Friend in 2012 by Ailsa Tudhope)

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Get a copy of the Prince Albert Friend in the mail every month

Just R280 for 11 issues annually

Postage and packaging included

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Articles, letters and photographs are always welcome

Send yours via email to the editor at princealbertfriend@gmail.com or drop off at the Library or the Prince Albert Tourism office

Deadline – 15th of preceding month

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Premium pages 3, 5 and back page half page only R 210

Other pages – full page R 380, half page R 210, quarter page R 110

R 5,90 per cm/column, R 3,30 per line for small ads

Terms & Conditions Apply
Deadline – 15th of preceding month

Editor – Barbara Castle

Email – princealbertfriend@gmail.com

Phone – 023 5411 336

Fax – 023 5411 788

Head office – Hoofkantoor  –

Prince Albert Tourism / Toerisme, Church street / Kerkstraat, Prince Albert

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