Stanley - Thursday
On this day in 1652, Johan Anthonizoorn van Riebeeck, known as Jan, arrived in what became known as Table Bay on the ship Dromedaris. He was accompanied by two other ships, the Reijger and the Goede Hoop.
|Landing at the Cape|
He came as an employee of the Vereenigde Oost-Insische Compagnie (VOC). In English it is known as the Dutch East India Company. Throughout the regions in which the company did business, you can see the letters VOC on buildings it built.
|Logo of the VOC|
The reason Van Riebeeck came to the Cape was to create a vegetable garden to provision VOC ships sailing between The Netherlands and the outposts in what is now know as Indonesia, Malaysia, Indochina, and even Japan. This long voyage was brutal and many lives were usually lost, many of which were through scurvy. Having fresh vegetables halfway on the trip was helpful both for physical and mental health.
The vegetable garden changed southern Africa for ever, not only for having the first white people living there, but also for the new plants that arrived – grapes, potatoes, apples, citrus, various ground nuts, and cereals. Today, South Africa is a major producer of grapes and wine, and an exporter of a variety of fruits and grains. Apparently Van Riebeeck learned a lot from the local Khoi-San peoples, who had lived in the area for a long time.
|Vineyard with Cape Dutch style buildings in the background|
The Afrikaner has long regarded Van Riebeeck as the founder of South Africa (despite the fact that other peoples already lived there), and his name appears as a street name in many towns. Two towns are named after him, and his image adorned the South African currency. (Actually the image used that was supposed to be that of Van Riebeeck was actually of another man!). Of course, there is a statue of him in Cape Town.
He and other VOC officials of the time were remarkable in that they undertook long voyages in extremely trying and dangerous conditions and established outposts and colonies over vast stretches of the planet. Of course, the motive was always profit, and anything that impeded its accumulation was dealt with very strongly, and usually not very nicely.
Back to Cape Town.
Happy birthday, mother city of South Africa, you are one of the planets most beautiful. And it is in you that one can see why the country is known as the rainbow nation – people of all colours and religions coexisting peacefully, living between the mountains and the sea, surrounded by beautiful flora.
Murder Is Everywhere
Author Recognitions and Events
Panel: The British Empire
(FYI- Sujata and I will be on the same panel!!!)
Janet Rudolph Literary Salon:
"The History of Hot Places: Clashes between Colonialism and Local Cultures”
Joint appearance with Michael Cooper
Sounds of the Paramus Library
Panel: How to Write (and Read) Mystery
Signing at the MWA-NY Booth
Deadly Ink Conference
Hilton Garden Inn
Rockaway, New Jersey
Murder in Saint Germain, Aimée Leduc’s next investigation, comes out June 6, 2017.
Paper back of Rat Run published 28th March.
"The Olive Growers,” appears in BOUND BY MYSTERY, an anthology edited by Diane DiBiasi celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Poisoned Pen Press, out in March.
Dying to Live (Kubu #6) to be released in May in UK & South Africa and in October in USA
Franschhoek Literary Festival (Michael)
Panel :One Voice, Two Authors with Alex Latimer and Diane Awerbuck 11:30 - 12:30
Panel: The Author as Chemist with Joanne Harris and Ekow Duker 11:30 - 12:30