Southern Africa Jewish Genealogy SA-SIG
Southern African Jewish Communities
Editor: Dr Saul Issroff
Copyright © 2003-2005 Saul Issroff, Mike Getz, SAfrica SIG
and Jewishgen Inc.
Updated: 17 April 2005
In October 2003, Manfred Schwartz wrote about Bulawayo in the 1950's:
When the layout of Bulawayo was being decided on, Cecil Rhodes insisted that the streets be wide enough to allow a wagon and full span of oxen to turn around. Another suggestion was that the streets as well as the avenues had names and numbers. Thus if the address would be 123 First Street an added instruction was given such as, between 7th and 8th Avenues this pin pointed the building precisely.
Harry Shur as an early resident of Southern Rhodesia naturally was friendly with Meikle (string of shops and hotels) who stipulated in his will that Shur enjoy at any and all his hotels free accommodation for life.
Harry Shur stored his hides etc. at his large site out at the industrial sites, (the boundary fences was composed of hessian woven cloth, nothing was ever stolen from his yard) where he stored bones and horns, the pile had accumulated over scores of years. Eventually in about 1950 some Rumanian industrialists interested in glue factories bought the mountain paying at that time the unheard of figure of ￡25,000.
Issy Haimowitz in his early days was employed by Harry as his bookkeeper, who would go through his cheque book stubs and tell Issy what he paid and all the particulars of each and every deal from memory. Paragha, his Matabele chauffeur, driver and traveling companion was his righthand man and manager. After so many scores of years of working together they had built up an unique relationship. It is not known if Paragha could speak English but they certainly conversed in Matabele, which is virtually Zulu. As Harry could not read or write English he was said to be ignorant and illiterate. Quite the contrary for he had been a Yeshiva Bocher in the Old Country and was well versed in both Hebrew and Yiddish which he could read and write. He never married and his large estate was left to many charities.
In those years every general dealer would have men working at sewing machines making khaki shorts and other clothing items either in the shop itself or on the verandahs in good weather. Another particular aspect was that in clothing factories all the machinists would be young men, unlike in South Africa where women did this type of work. The majority of the clothing as well as the textile factories were owned by Jews. In the years just after WW-II import permits were required for American and other dollar-sourced goods. Funds on the other hand were available for any products provided from Sterling areas, Before the war many German and other Jews seeking asylum from the Nazis were able to enter South Africa and Southern Rhodesia. However when the low quotas set for these Immigrants were reached no more were allowed in. Fortunately the British Protectorates, e.g. Swaziland, Bechuanaland and Northern Rhodesia allowed a small number to enter and settle. There were a number from the Baltic States who went to Livingstone near the Victoria Falls, and Lusaka and Ndola.
Bulawayo Shul - 100 years of Jewish history goes up in smoke
A graphic description of the tragedy by fire which befell the Bulawayo Hebrew Congregation
and their synagogue on 4th October 2003 is in our Synagogues section.
A list of names compiled by Manfred Schwartz
This list covers the period April 1949 to December 1956.
Arcade Outfitters: Kaplan and his brother
Barnet and Harris Furniture Dealers
Economy Stores: P Eagle, manager
Major Harold Ellenbogen: Furniture
Fredman Bros Wholesalers
Grahame Kadey Pharmacist
Bennie Lobel and Brothers: Biscuit Factory
Lobel Bros Bakeries
Essanel Chocolate & Sweet Factory, S? and Lepar
S. Rabinowitz and son, Clem, Bulawayo Clothing
S. Rabinowitz Manufacturers Agents
M. & E. Solomon Clothing
Phil Taub / Modern Motors (General Motors distributors)
A. Zipper Clothing
Harry Shur (well known skin and hide dealer from early days )and
friend of Meikle (string of shops and hotels) who stipulated in his will that
H. Shur should enjoy at any and all his hotels free accommodation for life.
He had a large site out at the industrial sites, (the boundary fence was composed
of hessian woven cloth, nothing was ever stolen from his yard) where he stored
bones and horns, the pile had accumulated over scores of years. Eventually in about 1950 some Rumanian industrialists interested in glue factories bought the mountain paying at that time the unheard of figure of £25,000.00 stg.