I found a file today containing some of the amazing documents related to Mike’s Dad. They tell a story. The story of an honest man of the highest integrity.
Mike’s Dad who we called Grandpa was born 2nd March 1921. In 1943, at the age of 22 he joined the South African forces to go and fight in the final years of WWII. He was a signal man, operating the radios, transmitting information in Morse code. He spent time in both Italy and Egypt.
This is in Italy on Lake Maggiore…
When Mike’s Dad returned from the War, his parents had met and they married in December 1946. Mike’s sister Monica was born in 1948 and Mike followed on 28th February 1951. The first 5 years of Mike’s life were spent in Lusikisiki where Mike’s Dad was involved with the VMB – the Village Management Board. In 1957, Mike’s Dad found a new job at Gatley Engineering in East London and the family moved from the little village to the big city. Here are some of the letters related to this move…
He rose through the ranks at Gately…
When the company was taken over, it was a hugely stressful time for Grandpa and he ended up having a massive heart attack which very nearly ended his life. He was 55 years old at the time and never worked full time again.
By God’s grace, he recovered well enough to live a full life until his death on 22nd May 1998. In the last few months of his life, he started getting more and more severe angina. The doctors at the main East London hospital scheduled him for an angiogram at the state hospital in Port Elizabeth. Before the date arrived, he had a severe angina attack and was immediately taken through to PE from East London where an urgent angiogram was scheduled for the next day. He made Mike’s Mom promise not to drive to PE alone, so she waited until the next day and had a friend accompany her. When they arrived at the hospital, they were intercepted by a nursing sister who told Mike’s Mom the doctor wanted to see her. The dreadful news was broken that Grandpa had died on the operating table. It was such a shock for Granny. She was naturally devastated. After 52 years of marriage, she had lost her help meet. In the years that followed, Mike and I had a small 53 square metre cottage built in our back garden and in 2002, Granny moved from East London and moved into her cottage.
- Mike’s grandfather Johannes Adolf van Niekerk was born 5-March-1893
- Mike’s father Pieter Johannes van Niekerk was born 2-March-1921
- Mike was born 28-February-1951
- David was born 1-March-1991
I’m so grateful to be able to preserve these documents.
Wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short.
These are the days.
Keep the smile going.
God bless you.
In His Grip,
Helga xx 🙂