On a recent visit to the Resource Centre of the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation at the Holy Family College, Oxford Road, Johannesburg, a new acquisition was on display, namely a brass name plate from the architectural firm “Kallenbach, Kennedy and Furner ARIBA  Architects“. The brass plaque had been donated to JHF by Ronald Sutherland of Durban.


The topography of Johannesburg is distinctive with the rocky mountainous ridges and the line of koppies that runs from east to west. These are the quartzite ridges of the famous Witwatersrand. The geology is unique. Viljoen and Reimold (An Introduction to South Africa’s Geology and Mining Heritage) make the point that this is one of the few localities where the evolution of the granitic crust of Southern Africa has been preserved and can be viewed.

Emily Blake was an experienced, caring nurse. One evening, while tending to a sick child, he began crying for his mother, so she kissed him gently and tucked him into his bed. Soon after that, Nurse Emily contracted Bubonic Plague.  She died at the tender age of 27 years. Her grave is one of about 7000 graves of people of all creeds who were buried in the grounds of the the Rietfontein Hospital between 1895 and 1957. This hospital, known as Sizwe since 1995, still operates today.

In the article below Kathy Munro, Associate Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, unpacks the layers of the wonderful friendship between Mohandas Gandhi and Hermann Kallenbach. The piece was inspired by the unveiling of a statue of the two men in Rusne Lithuania in October 2015. Kathy also asks whether it is time for a similar statue to be created and unveiled in Johannesburg.

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