Kimberley, South Africa


Diamond Family

Diamond Family

Sonia, Ray, Saul (Solly), Barney, Aaron (Beady) and Ivan

Compiled by Geraldine Auerbach MBE from information from Shirley Talerman (nee Silkiner, Sonia née Diamond’s daughter) and David Diamond (Beady’s son)

Posted October 2019

Shirley Talerman’s parents lived in Johannesburg. Her father Woolf Silkiner married Sonia Diamond, while still in Lithuania. Sonia was very close to her sister Ray Diamond and her four brothers: Saul (known as Solly), Barney, Aaron (known as Beady) and Ivan Diamond who all had settled in Kimberley.

Ray, who had been married and then divorced, went to Kimberley to keep house for her four brothers. Shirley’s eldest sister Hilda (who had been born in Kimberley by c-section in June 1931) was invited to stay with Ray and Kimberley family when Shirley was expected (also) by c-section in Johannesburg, to give her mother time to recover.

Shirley writes: After I was born, in October 1935, my mother went to Kimberley to recuperate, After a few months she was to go back to Johannesburg, but as Hilda had started school by then, they decided she should stay until my mother had fully recovered, She stayed with my aunt Ray and four uncles at 26 Milner Street right up until she matriculated. We saw Hilda 4 times per year. Her best friends were Daphne Toube (now Gillis) Rina Cvy and Joy Goldman (sadly both now deceased). Shirley and her mother used to go to Kimberley every year for Pesach and Rosh Hashanah.

At the end of 1948, Hilda went back to Johannesburg. She went on to Wits University to do a BA. She became a librarian at Wits’. Hilda married Israel Movsas, a Radiologist from Brakpan, and now lives in Jerusalem. Shirley became a Librarian at Wits Medical School. She married Dr Harold Talerman who sadly died a few years ago. Shirley who lives in London has 4 children – one in Highgate, one in Bethnal Green, one in Boston and one in New York. 

Shirley says: Uncle Solly Diamond (Saul) was a livestock dealer, He supplied the police in South Africa and Rhodesia with horses. In 1947, he supplied the horses for the Royal family’s visit to. South Africa. His business was called ‘Saul Diamond Kimberley Ltd’ and was on the Market Square. He died young on 11th June 1948.

My uncles, Beady (Aaron) Diamond and his brother Ivan had a well-known business in leather-goods, particularly to do with horses and farming. It was called Kimberley Saddlery and situated at number 9 Jones Street. It was sold to Douglas Pope in 1963.

Beady and his wife Flo lived at 52 Milner Street. They had 3 children David b 1942 who lives in Cape Town, Hazel b c1943, who was a lovely ballet dancer as a child, now lives in Johannesburg and Sandra b April 1947, who emigrated with her family to Melbourne in 2010. Sadly, Sandra died in November 2018 after an illness. Flo and Beady are buried in Johannesburg.

Beady and Flo’s eldest son (Sandra’s brother) David Diamond (Cape Town) and her Husband Peter Finkelstein (Melbourne Australia) have written this short tribute to their sister and wife as follows:

Sandra Finkelstein (nee Diamond)

Sandra Avril Diamond was born to Flo and Aaron (known as Bede) Diamond on 4 April 1947. She went to Kimberley Girls High School and left Kimberley in 1963, aged 16 to go to Johannesburg. She married Peter Finkelstein in 1968. They had 2 daughters Lindi and Candi and 2 grandchildren Kelly and Jarren. The family emigrated to Melbourne Australia in 2010 for Peter to take up a post at Melbourne University. Sandy (as she was known) was the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Melbourne South Eastern Suburbs ladies golf champion and also in her last year became the South Eastern Melbourne Bridge Player of the year.

She passed away on the 20th November 2018 after illness.

She will be remembered with love as a wonderful sister, wife, mother and grandmother.


David Diamond has sent these additions

1.Induction of Rabbi Werner in Kimberley by the Chief Rabbi Louis Rabinowitz 1957/8

2.Deady’s business Kimberley Saddlery changes hands 1964

David Diamond found this picture of his father Beady Diamond (back row extreme left) taken at the time when Beady served on the synagogue committee in the late 1950s.

David did not remember the occasion or the date or recognise the people in the picture. However, from posting it on the shul Facebook pages, with combined wisdom from Delia Benn, Leon Chonin, Sharon Seidle Adker have together deduced it was taken at Rabbi Werner’s induction in 1957 – Werner was our Rabbi from 1957 – 1970).

From left to right we see David’s father, Beady Diamond, Saul Ginsberg, Jack Maresky, Dr Leon Maresky, the tallest in the back-row middle, and next to him on his right Yankel Pick. Then we see Harry Stein, Aubrey Sacks and Dr Hymie Tockar in the back-row extreme right. In front are Rabbi Oscar Werner and Chief Rabbi Louis Rabinowitz who must have come down specially for the occasion. Then we don’t know who that is – but as Dr Harry Wolfsohn was President of the Congregation at the time (1954 – 61) I am surmising that it is he, next to Hilda Hotz. (Leon Chonin does not think so and surmises it may have been a visitor from Johannesburg). Hilda was for many years, (after Sam Levine) the Synagogue Secretary. (Must have been a very dreary event, judging by the look on their faces.)

Old-established city business changes hands 1964

David also found a picture from the DFA of February 1964 of the iconic horse what stood at the Kimberley Saddlery – Beady’s business in Jones Street. The picture was taken and article written when he sold the business in

Well-groomed Horse

The caption for this picture reads

Looking as well-groomed as a Durban “July” candidate, this “horse” has stood in the Kimberley Saddlery Co for no fewer than 40 years and was in existence as a trademark of Sanderson’s from which the company took over in 1924. Seen with “Dobbin” is Mr B Diamond, one of the owners. The business changes hands at the end of the month.

And the accompanying article reads

Old-established city business changes hands

A business which began its life in Jones Street before the turn of the century when Kimberley was a sprawling diamond village, is to change hands.

The Kimberley Saddlery Co., originally Sanderson’s where Cecil Rhodes and Barney Barnato might have bought saddles and bridles is to be taken over by Douglas Pope Co, sports outfitters from March 1.

The sports company has entered into a five-year lease of the business which adjoins its premises in Jones Street and has an option to buy for R95,000 at the end of that time.

The proprietor of Douglas Pope Co, Mr R Klemp, said yesterday that the Saddlery would retain its character and it was intended to sell the same lines of leather and sporting goods as in the past. By taking up the option when the lease expires, the company will be able to further expand its premises and the building housing the Saddlery provides for the erection of another two stories. At present the is only a ground floor. Sanderson’s became the Kimberley Saddlery in 1924.