TOPIC: The  Forgotten Highway
SPEAKER: Nigel Amschwand 
DATE: Tuesday, 20 September 2011
TIME: 20h00
VENUE: The Athenaeum, Boundary Terraces, Newlands

Intrepid VASSA member Nigel Amschwand, professionally is an engineer by day, but in his spare time he has traversed many less travelled routes and vertiginous mountain passes with a fearless spirit and an investigative eye.

His talk will be about the old routes to the Roggeveld and the areas beyond, opened up in the 18th century. A few of the alternative ways that were used to get to Karoopoort (a tea stop on the weekend excursion ) will be described.
From there on, the route to the Roggeveld escarpment will be shown using modern maps and overlays of early farm diagrams.
The talk will include some early sketches by William Burchell and narratives from other early travellers.
Some historical facts and stories about some of the places will be given.

Will be a weekend excursion to Sutherland (on 7- 10 OCTOBER)


A founder member who served on the committee, Micky contributed largely with her constant, lively interest in the world.
A graduate of Michaelis School of Fine Art, we knew her as a talented artist. She designed and supervised the building of a house in the garden of her old 19th century house in Rouwkoop village to meet the needs of her husband Hugh, sadly confined to a wheelchair.

As Mary Floyd commented in 2005 in a VASSA Journal edition that honoured its Octogenarian Vernackers:
”We remember this gallant woman as Cape Town’s top photographic model. Glamorous long legs, sophisticated and beautiful on the page of every Saturday’s Cape Times magazine – and other publications. She probably had a dry sense of humour even then”.

THE GLOBAL CAPE – Breaking the Boundaries of the Early Cape Colony by Nigel Worden – an inaugural lecture.

Nigel Worden first encountered African history as an undergraduate at Cambridge and came to South Africa in 1979 to spend six months in the Cape archives researching for his doctorate. Apart from a brief period teaching at the University of Edinburgh, he has been here ever since.

His earliest research focussed on slavery in the Dutch Cape Colony and this led to a growing interest in Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian history. In the 1990s he co-authored a pioneering two volume social history of Cape Town and more recently he has explored the ways in which sailors, artisans and slaves from across the world created new lives for themselves in the early colonial settlement. His current project explores concepts of honour and shame in the early modern Indian Ocean world.

His previous training as an actor might explain why he is a passionate lecturer and teacher and he was one of the earliest winners of a UCT Distinguished Teacher award. He also has degrees in linguistics and in art history which, coupled with his obsession with travel and with learning languages, means his students have encountered topics ranging from Argentinean tango and Flemish paintings to Australian folk ballads and Malaysian heritage sites.

He has also published a widely-used general history of South Africa, has appeared in several recent television documentaries and is a member of the triumvirate that wrote the influential In Search of History senior school textbook series.
He became a full professor in 1997, was recently a Deputy Dean of the Humanities Faculty and is currently head of the Historical Studies Department. This is his inauguration into the King George V Chair of History to which he was appointed in 2009.
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 at 17h30
Lecture Theatre 1, Kramer Law Building
Middle Campus, University of Cape Town
Admission: Free: RSVP by 14 September 2011 for catering purposes to: Michelle Moses Tel: 021 650 4870 * Fax: 021 650 5628 * Email:

It has been suggested to us that what would make your life much easier would be to be receive an invoice each year, which we will think is a very good idea, and will be sending out from 2012 onwards.