Tuesday, 11 June 2019

General Botha’s family donates book to CPUT

DONATION: The niece of philanthropist TB Davis, Evelyn Stevens, recently donated the book, A Name Among Seafaring Men, to the Department of Maritime Studies. DONATION: The niece of philanthropist TB Davis, Evelyn Stevens, recently donated the book, A Name Among Seafaring Men, to the Department of Maritime Studies.

CPUT Libraries recently received a book donation from General Louis Botha’s family which they dedicated to Maritime students.

The book, A Name Among Seafaring Men, records the evolution of maritime education from the sea establishment of the SA Training Ship General Botha to its successor shore establishments at Red Hill in Simon’s Town, Gordon’s Bay and, eventually, Granger Bay, where its legacy continues in the CPUT Maritime Studies Department.

Botha was the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, the precursor of the modern republic.

In 1919, the Cape Town Naval Cadet Corps lost their home base and an emergency committee set about searching for a training ship to be stationed in Table Bay. TB Davis offered the committee ‘a ship for a home’ as a full-time institution for sea training.

Davis bought and fitted out the HMS Thames, a retired Royal Navy River Class battle cruiser, which he donated in memory of his son Howard Davis (who was killed at the Battle of the Somme) and it was renamed the SA Training Ship General Botha, in memory of General Louis Botha, after the ship’s arrival on 26 March 1921. 

Exactly 100 years since the birth of maritime education and training in South Africa, the niece of philanthropist TB Davis, Evelyn Stevens, recently donated a signed copy of the book to the CPUT Department of Maritime Studies.

The donation was received on behalf of the Library by Regina Sikhosana, Library Faculty Manager: Engineering and Theresa Willams, Acting HOD: Maritime Studies & Survival Centre.

Sikhosana said the Library is honoured to receive this special donation and was considering opening a special collection dedicated to the General Botha family to continue the family’s legacy in the history of CPUT Libraries for more generations to come.

Written by Kwanele Butana

Email: butanak@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Business and Management Sciences and Education Faculties, Student Affairs Department and Cape Town and Mowbray Campuses.