Kimberley, South Africa


David, Louis & Connie (nee Bennett) and Family

David, Louis and Connie and family   
Compiled by Geraldine Auerbach MBE from information and pictures sent by grandson Rick David in San Francisco and input from all the family. 
Louis David was born in about 1900. His father was Abraham Moses David who is the one who started the well-known wholesale business in Kimberley that is named ‘A David & Co’. According to his tombstone in the Pioneers’ cemetery, Abraham died in Kimberley in July 1929 aged just 58.  He had married Esther Dixon (formerly Duksh). 

Louis had three siblings. His brother Bennie David was born about two years later in 1902. Bennie married Sadie Lincow of Kimberley (sister of Hilda Lincow who married Charlie Hotz). Bennie and Sadie had 3 sons Gerald David b c1940 Eric David b c1942 and Roger David b c1946. Bennie worked with Louis in the business in Kimberley. 
Of their two sisters: Rebecca David (Becky) married Monty Dave. They had two children Alan Dave b c1936 and Barbara Dave b c1939. Barbara was a very pretty and popular girl. She died in 2017 – see her entry on the family page Grigson (nee Dave), Barbara. Monty was also employed in the family business. Their other sister Dora David married Louis Jacobson (known as Angie) and they lived in PE. Their children were Harry Jacobson who married Naomi Wolman and Israel (Solly) Jacobson b1922, who came to Kimberley and married Julie Lurie of Kimberley. Solly became a traveller for A David & Co. (see more about Solly and Julie on their own family page Jacobson, Solly & Julie (nee Lurie).  

Louis married Connie Bennett (full name, Annette Marion Bennett). She was the sister of the famous Crime Writer, Benjamin Bennett. Connie and Benjamin were both born in Kimberley: Bennie born in 1907 died in 1985. He went to Kimberley Boys’ High School. He wrote of his experiences during the Spanish Flu Epidemic.pdf.  “Fortunately the plague passed by my home, and I remember vividly, as a little boy, cycling through Kimberley’s streets of death to collect lemons at the City Hall – they were said to be good for one’s health and somehow staved off influenza – then watching the unending funeral processions on their way to the cemeteries”. 
Benny Became a renowned journalist with the Cape Argus, Cape Town’s evening newspaper, where he worked from 1925 to 1975, as a crime reporter, and subsequently as news editor and finally editor of Argus Action. His prodigious output of books reflects a close involvement, as crime reporter, both at the crime scene and in the courtroom, where his professional life regularly took him, pen and notebook in hand. It is said that, for his insight, he was even consulted by the police for the solving of certain complex cases. He is credited with having posed the most plausible scenarios for enduring murder mysteries, such as that of Bubbles Schroeder. 
Louis and Connie lived at 75 Milner Street the corner house at the end of the crescent. They had two sons Bobby b 1928 and Aubrey b 1930. Louis David signed up for active service with the Kimberley Regiment in 1940. He was involved with major battles in North Africa and Italy where he had once to lie in a foxhole near Monte Cassino.  You can read about his activity in Italy in the article about war service Kimberley Jews. 

Louis became a squash enthusiast during his time in the army, and had a court built at 75 Milner Street after the war. Grandson Rick writes in 2020: The first court I remember had a wire-mesh roof, with lights for night play. Sometime in the mid-sixties the court was rebuilt with a roof, a spectator balcony, and new changing rooms. Louis, with typical generosity, opened the facility to friends as an informal squash club. He liked nothing better than to play a game with Ant or me, followed by a nice cold Lion Lager. He usually won against me, but he was no match for Ant, who went on to become a skilled player.

The photo above is of a group attending Aubrey’s 17th birthday party in the garden at 75 Milner Street, Grandson Rick says this is a great picture of post-WWII kids enjoying themselves, happy to have their fathers at home from the war.  We can see Louis extreme left, partly obscured by railings, and Connie seated far right with white collar. On the left below Louis are Mendel Apter and his wife to be, Winnie. Next to them on the lawn are Owen and Herbert Hendler. Bobby is further along on the lawn with black shorts with Aubrey behind him. 
Louis and Connie lived out their days in Milner Street in Kimberley and were buried in the Kimberley Cemetery.
Bobby David b 1928
The eldest son, Bobby David (Evan Robert) was born 1928 (and died in 2019 aged 90). Bobby married the beautiful Lorraine Hendler of Johannesburg in 1952. She was the daughter of Chrissie and Alec Hendler, the brother of Nate Hendler of Kimberley who married Hilda Bergman. They made a very handsome couple. 

From 1960 to 1972, Bobby and Lorraine David came to live in Kimberley where Bobby worked with his father in the firm A David & Co.  Lorraine became well-known for her roles acting in plays at the Kimberley Theatre.  She was also active in the Union of Jewish Women in Kimberley. 
In the picture below, from 1964, we see Lorraine David (née Hendler) centre flanked by Mrs Basil (Shirley) Benjamin (left) and Mrs SJ Smo. They were responsible for the annual UJW ball which was deemed a masterpiece, specially for the hall and table décor.  

Bob and Lorraine had 4 sons: 
Anthony b 1953, who sadly died of cancer in 2000 at the age of 47, Ricky b 1955, Neal b 1961, and Cristopher b 1968. 
The two older boys went to CBC in Kimberley and the two younger boys who were born in Kimberley had their early schooling in Spain, where in the early 70s, Bob and Lorraine had a sojourn when Bob worked with his brother Aubrey.  
They then went to Johannesburg where Bob went into business with Lorraine’s cousin Benny Friedlander. The younger boys attended and matriculated at King David Jewish High School in Joburg. 
In this picture below taken in about 1964 in the back yard of their home at 65 Carrington Road, Kimberley, we see Chrissie Hendler (Lorraine’s mother, back left) with Louis and Connie David at the back. Anthony and Ricky are in the middle and Neal who must have been about three is in front with Bob and Lorraine. Ricky (now called Rick – or Richard) says the pool in the background is the site of the famous Lorraine David Swimming School where not a few Kimberley kids learned aquatic skills in the 1960s  

Here we see the family ‘grown up’ in Cape Town with Anthony as an inset.  
Bob passed away in 2019 aged 90. Lorraine still lives in Cape Town, in a retirement village in Rondebosch, nearby Neal and his family. She has an active social life, including regular bridge games, attending symphony concerts, performances at the Baxter Theater where she was once on stage, and summer school at UCT. 
Anthony’s widow Justine (nee Sacks), and his two married children Nicky and Michael, live in Los Angeles with their spouses; each has a son, Liam and Antoni, Ant’s grandchildren. 
Rick is in San Francisco, a lawyer and real estate developer, married to Lauren Fein of Johannesburg. They have 3 children, Olivia, and twins Nicholas and Julian. 
Neal is a doctor in Cape Town, married to Marion Swartz, with three sons, Tom, Jamie, and Paul. 
Cris graduated from UC Berkeley and went on to do an MBA at UCT, married Sue Osher of Johannesburg; they live in Toronto with their three children, Danny, Jake, and Ella.
Listen to a short interview Bobbie David gave to the BBC West Central regarding his student trip to Britain and Europe in the Late 40’s.

Click on image below 


Rick sent the recording of Bobby David’s BBC interview when he was on a Student tour of Europe shortly after the war. Rick says: I still find it amazing that a small-town boy, born and raised in Kimberley, spoke what sounds to me like the King’s English. My dad was like that all his life, a proponent and practitioner of proper diction and good grammar. My brothers and I had this exchange on the subject: (Link to be inserted when the file is up)
Rick: Is it a post-war colonial UCT accent and delivery?
Neal: Yep. Agreed, post-war UCT accent. The thing is that they conceptualized the Oxbridge male as the apex life form and emulated that as closely as they could. Clearly it started way back in the British colonial era and evolved into the SA form with a bit of vowel-flattening that makes us who we are.
And as my brother Cris added: You know, for all his King’s English and Oxford diction, Dad never came across as pompous or self-important. No one would have said he was putting on airs.
There was no affectation in Bob; he was authentic, genuine, unassuming, a great and good man. We try to follow his example, although none of us has quite succeeded in emulating his accent! There is an element in this of l’dor va dor. Bob’s famous words about his father at Monte Cassino have been passed on by us to our children, and I suspect (or hope) will be passed on by them to theirs. 
Nicky and Michael, our late brother Anthony’s children, now have kids of their own: Liam (7), born to Nicky and her husband Eric, and baby Antoni (1 1/2), born to Mike and his wife Katie. They are wonderful, happy, loving little boys; I know that Ant would have been so proud of them, and pleased to have them learn of their South African roots. 
Rick from San Francisco wrote in March 2020
Greetings from the US west coast. My sister-in-law Justine David, who lives in LA and was married to my late brother Anthony, sent me a copy of your latest newsletter. I have been keeping a sort of journal for myself during these pandemic days. You are right, we are living through a time that is worth documenting. I have found in writing my journal or diary of current events, that the writing gives rise to memories, and I inevitably veer off into the past. Reading your letter has revived lots of old memories of Kimberley; I will try to write them up in the coming days, and send them to you. 
Here are a few notes to myself, written in the early hours this morning:
Connie / Louis 
75 Milner Street
Lorraine / Bob – our house 65 Carrington Road
Carrington Road Jews: Benny and Sadie David, Noel and Beryl Kretzmar, Ron and Rhona Amoils, Harold and Marion Lusman children Jules and Michael, Shim Klein, Harry and Lila Klein, Natie and Fay Cohen, Bob and Lorraine David, Buchman.
I remember the photo of the party at Connie & Louis’ house circa 1948 Kimberley Regiment / MOTHS Aubrey David, Mendel Apter, Hendler brothers (Herbert & Owen) A David & Co Bennetts, Friedlanders, Hendlers, Daves, Jacobsons, Benjamin Brothers, Dave Apter, Robin Apter, Trevor and Ivan Tocker, Jeff Katz, David and Philip Kretzmar, Sidney Sacks, Barney Horwitz, Goldie / Judith Mehl, Gus Haberfeld, Cecil Sussman, (Kimberley Jewish Mayors) Louis and Harold Levinsohn, Klein, Seidel, Pony Club 
Bob and Lorraine - 11 grandchildren Bob’s BBC interview - Monte Cassino “.....where my father had once to lie in a foxhole.”
Ant & Justine, children Mike & Nicky
Classixx is the name of my nephew Michael David’s successful music group. My brother Anthony was an accomplished, largely self-taught, musician. 
Mike’s success in music was inspired by his dad Anthony. 
On the Friday night eve of my bar mitzvah, I remember being called to recite the kiddush. Thanks to private lessons from Rabbi Werner, I had learned the prayers and my portions well, so I was quite confident as I stood on the bimah for the first time. I looked up and saw Gus Haberfeld, turned around as he stood in his place of honour in front of bimah, looking at me over his reading glasses. I felt he was sizing me up - the Davids were not known to be strictly observant - and I got through it without a mistake. I imagined I saw him smile slightly when I finished.
I will see if I can put a story together on some of the above, and I am thinking of a particular photo I want to include, and a digital audio recording. The audio recording is of my late dad Bob, who passed away last year at the age of 90, interviewed at BBC Studios London, as spokesman for his fellow South African university students on a NUSAS tour of the UK and Europe. We made a digital version of it from two vinyl records, about 70 years old. He talks about Kimberley, and his father Louis’ war service. I think you will find it interesting.
Congratulations to you for what you have accomplished in your work with Jewish music, and thank you for the care and diligence you have dedicated to the history of the Kimberley Jewish community. I once wrote to my dad’s best friend Dan Jacobson that I was trying to get away from it; he replied that it was always with him.
Kind regards,
Rick David, son of Bob and Lorraine

From: Justine David  Sent: 29 March 2020 00:06
Hi Geraldine,
I found your article on my face book feed. I just sent the article, to my late husband's brothers: Rick who lives in San Francisco, Neal a Dr lives in Cape Town and Cris lives with his family in Toronto. I was married to Anthony and we lived in Los Angeles. He was the oldest brother. He passed away at 47 from cancer and I have two children who both have their families here in LA .We left South Africa in 1980.
I remember going with Anthony to Muizenberg and visiting Benjamin Bennett.
Lorraine, who lives in Cape Town was married to Bob David, Connie David was Bob's mother. Bob passed away in Cape Town recently he was 90 years old.
Please send me any more info you might have on the David Family. My son Michael who is 35 years old, is very interested in learning all about his family history. I hope you hear from one of the brothers but I cant say for sure. I am very happy to have read the article and passed it on to my son.
Thank you, stay safe! -Justine David

Aubrey David b 1930
Louis and Connie David’s second son Aubrey Marcus David, became an architect. He married ballet dancer Muriel Jones. They went to live on the Costa Del Sol in the mid-50s. Aubrey was a pioneer, designing and building the first exquisite tourist and ex-pat homes in Malaga and other seaside towns of Southern Spain. 

Aubrey passed away in 2016; he is still a ‘brand name’ and his innovative cluster housing projects are recognizable in those areas. The villas he designed and built are still referred as classics and command a high premium. See this sale notice for a house in Bahia - and some villas he is said to have built as his own home that are now up for holiday rentals.