Muizenberg, South Africa


Pictures From The Past

The Memoirs of Frank Herbstein

With thanks to Nina Selbst for allowing us to use Frank’s memoir.


I, Frank Herzl Herbstein being of sound mind and reasonably sound body, just after passing the middle of my seventy-first year have decided to set down what I remember of a rather uneventful life, in the hope that it will interest my wife and children, perhaps my grandchildren, and even perhaps serve as one of those auxiliary social records on which historians are supposed to build their pictures of the past…….

ST JAMES and MUIZENBERG – from 1932

St James, where we rented a house named Lalisa (how does one remember these trivia), was a patrician suburb of Cape Town. ……

Lalisa was also five minutes from the Dalebrook Bathing Pool, a semi-natural pool in False Bay where the rocks and a concrete wall enclosed a small area where the sea water was constantly replenished by the waves breaking over the outer wall. Perhaps Irene, perhaps a coloured nanny, took us down most afternoons after school. The climate was such that we bathed six months of the year from September to April. I can still feel the sand grinding between my toes.

School was something else. I started in Sub A at Muizenberg School (no distinction then between the Junior and High schools), which occupied a large building on the hill (which we called Muizenberg Mountain) overlooking Muizenberg Railway Station, one stop (and one mile) down the line towards Cape Town.  This building is now the Muizenberg Police Station and the police station of my youth is a public library. …..

At the end of my first year we moved to Muizenberg and I walked to school every morning. By this time I had completed Sub A and Sub B in one year and after I had spent a year in Standard One. I skipped Standard Two, and moved into a social group a year or two older than I; scholastically I coped very well but socially it was another matter. Muizenberg, after St James, was a bit of a comedown in the social scale. But not that I realized it. For me it was an infinite improvement, with friends and company at hand after the  isolation of St James.

Muizenberg was beach -  thirty miles of white sand stretching round the gentle curve of False Bay until the beach ended after The Strand, losing itself in the Hottentots Holland Mountains. Muizenberg was sea, warm, bathable sea, heated by an offshoot of the Mozambique Current, waves for surfing,

Muizenberg was mountain. The feel of it, near at hand always open for adventures and picnics. Muizenberg was Jewzenberg, at that time premier summer holiday resort for Johannesburg Jewry, rich and poor, with an influx of desirable girls arriving in December sunning themselves in the Snake Park through February and then vanishing until next year leaving the locals to their own desserts. Growing up in Muizenberg was like growing up in Paradise, until one turned fifteen or so and began to realize how small, and dirty and limited it was. 

We first had a house, Beer Charter-in Yarmouth Road across the Vlei, (1942 ….

The Vlei was the Lakeside Vlei, into which the streams from the southern slopes of Table Mountain drained to empty into False Bay. It was a few miles long, never more than a mile wide and hardly more than six foot at its very deepest. The less said about water quality the better. The Vlei at its southern end was not more than fifty metres wide and crossed by two bridges, one for motor traffic nearer the sea and the other a foot bridge, half a mile upstream. The Vlei entered the sea at the eastern end of the Muizenberg Promenade, in summer seeping through the sand and in winter sometimes rushing out as a raging torrent. We used to fish (with bent pins and dough for bait) next to the motor bridge, as did coloured youngsters from the slums of the Cape Flats.  We swam only in the sea but, for some reason I do not recall, they sometimes swam in the foetid egress of the Vlei. Some could swim but not others, and every year there was a drowning or two and we would go and morbidly watch the police fishing the bodies out of the water. These were my first encounters with death.

Beer Charter was not much nearer Muizenberg School than Lalisa but the only way to get there was by walking, a good half an hour every morning. Usually I had company because Israel and Rae Fine lived in Axminster Road, (1942 Bongola) between the footbridge and the motor bridge, and their elder son Mishie, although eighteen months older than I, was a classmate and soon became my best friend, and has remained so over a period of sixty years and a number of continents. We had bicycles - did we ride to school? I do not remember. Walking to school meant crossing through Muizenberg and learning a lesson in sociology. Down Yarmouth Road with its mainly double-storeyed houses and across the footbridge, diagonally up Cleveland Road with its single storeyed cottages and small blocks of flats into the lower middle- class Jewish area of Hansen Road and Palmer Road with their groceries and boarding houses, into Atlantic Road. Under the railway bridge up to the Main Road traffic lights, (robots in the local idiom), passing on left and right the smarter Grand and Marine Hotels, left along the Main Road for half a mile and up School Road until the School itself.


I remember only passing incidents about my time at MHS (Muizenberg High School) between my first years and until I reached high school (Standard Seven) but I have vivid memories of Standards 7 to 10 (Matric). Finishing junior school meant reaching a watershed when many children left to go on to fancier schools down the suburban railway line towards Cape Town. The South African College School (SACS), then in the Gardens, was one of these, not too well thought of in those days despite an illustrious past, but - with the, big advantage of little contact between parents in Muizenberg and teachers fifteen miles away in Cape Town. Absence at a cafe-bioscope was not likely to be noticed or brought to notice.

Rondebosch Boys High School, was a much better school; my cousins Sholem and Leon Getz, who lived in the vicinity, went there. Wynberg Boys High was considered a better compromise; my cousin Denis Herbstein went there. My problem was that by this time my father had become Chairman of the Muizenberg School Committee, and it was not fitting that his eldest son should go to another school. My sister Nina was sent to Wynberg Girls High School after finishing Standard 6, the excuse (reason) being that our aunt Lilithy Herbstein was English and History teacher there. My brothers David and Manu also stayed on at MHS.  So stay I did, and in many ways I do not regret it.

Our high school class, which was constant for the four year period consisted of one girl, Miss Kotzé, and some ten young men, of whom I was the youngest. Do I remember all the names? Mishie Fine, Alfie Bass, Colin Gluckman, Roy Schapera, Palmer (who was considered the cleverest of the pupils), Paterson, John Teale, Pneumaticatos (from Fish Hoek, whose parents owned a 'Greek' shop), I seem to have lost a couple. Half were Jews. with parents from reasonably comfortable circumstances, and the other half 'Goyim' less comfortable. Miss Kortzé, who was a very prim and proper young lady, was the daughter of the Afrikaans teacher (a very Dutch-Reformed man) at Muizenberg, somewhat of a fish out of water in the semi-Jewish, completely English speaking Muizenberg environment. Miss Kotzé spent most of her time pretending not to hear the ribald talk of her classmates, and not to see the explicit drawings of sexual organs passed around by Pneumaticatos, who was a very good draftsman. Her father retired when she was halfway through but she stayed on to matriculate.

Mr Kotzé was replaced by a much younger and more modern Mr van der Merwe, who was also the rugby coach. Our English and Latin teacher was the rather dapper Mr K. M. Hillhouse, who was also the tennis coach, Mathematics was taught by 'Boytchie ' Matz, the only Jew on the staff, who was considered a holy terror not only because of the inexplicable mysteries of mathematics but, also because he had a very sharp tongue. He was part of the Muizenberg Jewish social scene and my parents, and the Fines, spent many evenings playing bridge with Boytchie and his wife. Geography and Physical Science were taught by Mr Dorer, a Cambridge graduate (not that we knew what that implied), and a wicked slow bowler who was cricket coach. Dorer was very popular, not least because a good question could always divert him from the syllabus matter in hand. Mr Dorer. why is Table Mountain like a table? Mr Dorer, why does the rain always come from the north? He always seemed to know the answers, and these are what I remember from Physical Science.

The principal was Mr W. A. Andrews, an Englishman who had fought in the South African conquest of German South West in the First World War. been shot in the mouth and had a resultant dribble which he was always wiping away with a pocket handkerchief.  Andrews had a reputation as an anti-Semite, because he was often heard criticizing the dirt in the Palmer Road shops, which were all owned and run by Jews. However, my father. who was ticklish about these matters, got on very well with him in their capacities as Principal and Chairman of the School Committee, and I believe that his reputation was undeserved. Andrews did not teach a formal subject but would occasionally come into the classroom and, give a sort of general lecture on current affairs, usually met with concealed sniggers.

In my Matric year we occupied a classroom on the upper floor of the school; with a magnificent view of the beach. And it became more and more difficult to concentrate as September grew into October, the swimming season was starting and one could see friends and acquaintances swinging in on their surfboards as we were parsing irregular Latin verbs. Our Latin text was Caesar's Gallic Wars, and I found it very boring

Perhaps my most traumatic moment at School was in September of my Matric year. At that time Mishie Fine and I were both convinced that we had the makings of brilliant table tennis players and we took every opportunity to practice, generally playing against one another in the Talmud Torah Hall. This was the period of the mock-Matric examinations, three hours each morning writing an exam on a different subject, and then back at School, by Andrews' blunt instruction, for a two hour afternoon session where there was nothing to do. Most days Mishie and I took off to play ping-pong and, as luck would have it, Andrews made a spot check one afternoon and further enquiries showed that we had not come back any afternoon. He was incensed, he had given clear orders, these were flouted in the most blatant manner, and so on.  The result was three of the best on the buttocks for each of us. It would not be true to say that the shame hurt more than the cuts. This was the only time I suffered corporal punishment at School; some, of my classmates were regulars - neglecting homework, copying homework or in exam, smoking in breaks, going up the mountain with girls during breaks ... (He does not mention that he was Head Boy in 1941 HID)


South Africans are known to be sports-mad and South African Jews have quickly assimilated this way of life, not only as spectators but also as active participants. Springbok rugby teams usually had one Jew out of fifteen, and this was supposed to help convince the Lord which way the wind should blow. For a long period after the Second World War a Jew was captain of the Springbok cricket team but of course it was more difficult to achieve a I: 11 than a 1: I5 ratio. I played rugby and cricket at school and Saturday mornings were always devoted to one or other sport. But I was not much good at either, and my rugby career came to an end at the age of twelve when I broke my fibula.

The school did not have proper playing fields and we had our midweek practices either on the beach or on a dried-up part of Lakeside Vlei. This was a pretty rough and uneven ground and I probably twisted my foot in a pothole. I couldn't move, was carried off the field, the game continued and, at the end, the master in charge took me home to Talyllyn  (1942 – Vlei Road) and I laid myself down on a sofa and waited. No one was at home, I was in shock, getting colder and colder, and eventually I phoned Barney Krikler, our doctor and a friend of the family and explained my problem. He came at once, set the leg in plaster and I hobbled around for the next six weeks, enjoying the signatures and sketches of my friends on the plaster and being driven mad by the itching. After six, weeks the plaster was replaced by Elastoplast and this had to come off a couple of weeks later. Dr Krikler asked me if I was a hero or a coward: if a hero, he would remove the Elastoplast in five minutes, otherwise I could remove it myself in my bath. I chose the coward's way out and spent the next few weeks removing a few inches at a time cutting my sprouting hairs with a razor blade.


There were two major influences on the Jewish youth of Muizenberg. One must remember that in those days, and for our age group, Muizenberg was pretty isolated from Cape Town, fifteen miles away, one car in some families and none in others. The only simple connection was the suburban train and I still remember the names of most of the stations. It goes like a litany-Simonstown, [Sunny Cove], Glencairn, Fish Hoek, Clovelly, Kalk Bay, St James, Muizenberg, [False Bay], Lakeside, Retreat, [Diep River], Plumstead, Wynberg; Claremont, Rondebosch, Newlands, Observatory, Salt River, Woodstock, Cape Town-what have I forgotten?  (the square brackets show what I had forgotten). Each station had a meaning of its own and its own well defined community structure, its own place within the social ladder. There was also a Cape Flats line, but that served the mixed white and coloured areas of the Cape Flats and we hardly ever went there. Those names I do not know. So we were an isolated community and after School ended at about three every afternoon we had to make our own lives.

The earlier of the two influences was the Boy Scouts specifically the 2nd Muizenberg (Jewish) Boy Scout Troop. We started early; I was first a Wolf Cub, from age about six, and our Den Mother (whatever the title was) was Akela, Mrs Bertie Stern, daughter of Max Sonnenberg, a director of Woolworths and sometime United Party M.P for South Peninsula. Sonnenberg seldom spoke in the House but exerted his influence in favour of the Jewish and commercial communities, and presumably gave his party sound business advice.

Bertie Stern a lawyer and pillar of the community, was both a power in the Boy Scout movement and a founder of South African Habonim. I imagine that our Jewish Boy Scout Troop was a result of a compromise between these two interests. At about eight one graduated out of the Wolf Cubs into the Boy Scouts, and now life began in earnest.   We had a rather rundown clubhouse with a tennis court and a boathouse just across the footbridge across Lakeside Vlei and thus five minutes from Talyllyn. The caretaker was an old Ukrainian immigrant who lived with his wife on the premises. We made his life a bit of a misery but he was glad to have someone to listen to his stories told in impenetrable English with his false teeth popping out every now and again when he got excited - Mr, always Mister, Kohler, with his walrus moustache. Our almost forty  strong troop was divided into four or five very competitive patrols, each with its patrol-leader and second, under the, overall command of a scoutmaster.

The ideology was a mixture of Victorian imperialism and infantry tactics put together by that remarkable and peculiar man Major-General Baden- Powell (Indian Army, retired). We camped and hiked, learnt how to tie knots and played Kim's Game. Kim, for those who have never read Rudyard Kipling (who was a local favourite because of the sentiments of "If" and his favourable mention of "the white sands of Muizenberg" in one of his poems) was a young British spy in India and part of his training consisted of a three minute look at a table top covered with 24 disparate objects and he was then given another three minutes to recall what he had seen. 16 was the passing mark. Another of B-P's dictums was that one should always take careful note of one's surroundings. That Man opposite you in the train with the scuffed boots could be an escaped murderer, and one should always know the names of streets and their location so as to be able to help passers-by. This was more likely to be useful than the better known injunction to help old ladies across the street. One may snigger, but it kept us out of mischief.

Scout troops in the Western Province had an annual competition called the Gordon 's Shield, which we took very seriously in Muizenberg. The competition was between patrols of seven (or thereabouts) and there was keen competition within our Troop to be chosen for the Gordon's Shield Patrol; once chosen the patrol trained for the competition by practicing scout craft and rehearsing a short skit or play to be performed at the Campfire. During my time, we won twice and I was both times in the winning team. Up to age about fifteen we took the. Ethics of scouting very seriously; there were ten commandments, of which I only remember the last (A scout is clean in thought, word and deed) because, as we grew deeper into our adolescence, the presence of these disturbing creatures, girls, made this commandment more and more difficult to respect.

I was fifteen in July 1941; we were deep into the War, and the Good Guys were not doing so well. Not that we had any doubts about the ultimate outcome (God would certainly save the King), but it forced one to think and not all the Edwardian clichés that surrounded us remained automatically acceptable. Looking back, scouting was a marvellous activity: it consolidated us into a group, we accepted discipline in the framework of group activities, we made friends who lasted for a lifetime, we trained ourselves to do our best at whatever tasks were set before us, we were patriotic and collected old newspapers and empty bottles for the War Effort, most of all we were introduced to the pleasures of the out-of-doors in (the wonderful climate and surroundings of the Cape Peninsula).

And yet, it stunted our development us young adolescents, intellectually, politically and sexually; compared to our contemporaries in that super-intellectual parallel youth group Hashomer Hatzair. We had no idea who Karl Marx was, dialectical materialism was a closed book, nor did we have any acquaintance with Sigmund Freud or the Organic Box. It took me years, if at all, to get rid of all those ideas of positive behaviour inculcated by the Boy Scout Movement, as poor a preparation as any for the Modern World based on completely opposite practices.


The other major influence was the Muizenberg Jewish community, numbering probably two or three hundred permanent families, in other words those who lived in Muizenberg somewhat of a fish out of water in the semi-Jewish, completely English speaking Muizenberg environment. Muizenberg all year round as opposed to the thousands of visitors (then almost entirely Jewish) who streamed in during December, January and February. The Community operated around the Synagogue, located opposite the Muizenberg Sports Club originally pure WASP until my father, Uncle Philip (Herbstein) and some others broke the barrier by learning to play bowls.

We were not a religious family and the house was not kosher nor were those of my two sets of grandparents. But we stayed away from school on Jewish holidays, much to the chagrin of Mr W. A. Andrews. the MHS principal, and most of the Jewish-owned shops, the grocery and the pharmacy and so on, also closed on Jewish holidays. We, the children but not my parents, fasted on Yom Kippur and we usually went to Friday night and Saturday morning services. So something of the Shtetl atmosphere remained, but in highly diluted form. I still have a sentimental attachment to the Synagogue of my youth, and have developed in concert with this a strong repugnance to the clericalism and politicization of current Jewish' religious, life .


Auxiliary to the Synagogue was the Talmud Torah Hall some two miles away Wherry Road, seating a couple of hundred with a stage and central to the ceremonies, parties and meetings of the community. There were four classrooms attached and here the Jewish youth was educated in Jewish matters. My first memory of the Talmud Torah Hall is of being thrown off the stage by Mr Goldwasser, probably sometime around 1935. (Only engaged 1937 HID) Mr Goldwasser was a Polish Jew,  recently immigrated to South Africa with his family, with a golden voice and very little English.   Goldwasser was Cantor of the Muizenberg Synagogue and, as such, responsible for organizing the Choir which accompanied the Friday night and Saturday morning services. Membership of the Choir was much desired by my contemporaries (and myself) because it was rewarded by allocation of free bioscope tickets (but never on Saturdays). Despite the fact that my mother had Music for one of her university majors, musical ability has been totally lacking in the Herbstein family; undoubtedly my father was to blame. Mr Goldwasser, setting the scales on the piano on the stage, was so incensed at my wasting his time that he literally pushed me off the stage.

It was a blow to my pride and my psyche from which I have never really recovered. How I envy people who can sing in tune, march in step, dance in time to music and enjoy the orchestra. My Hebrew lessons started off with Mr Frank who was Mohel, Shochet, Baal Teflllah and Hebrew teacher all in one. When I started Cheder at age eight or nine, the syllabus consisted of learning the Friday evening and Saturday morning prayers and thanks to Mr Frank I can still find my way around the Prayer Book. But one can hardly expect children of that age to remain glued to their Prayer Books and virtually every lesson degenerated into Mr Frank chasing one or other pupil around the quite large hall and dragging him back by the ear to the lesson’s table. 'Him' here is literally correct because girls were not then considered worthy of education.

This situation changed in the late 1930s due to the arrival of Mr (later Dr) Moshe Natas. Natas (we called him 'wet bum' behind his back, the pun requiring elementary knowledge of Afrikaans) was a modern Jewish and Hebrew scholar. A small, thin man with a very Semitic nose and face and a wife like a Chinese doll, he was imbued with the need for teaching Jewish youngsters more than the Prayer Book. His first heresy was to insist on teaching Hebrew with a Sephardic accent, as it was spoken in the nascent Yishuv, and different from the Ashkenazi accent of eastern Europe. The older members of the community were scandalized and Natas would not have lasted long but for the efforts of my father and a few like-minded members of the community, none of them scholars but all firm Zionists and believers that Palestinian Jews could do no wrong.

Natas's second heresy was to teach Jewish history in the context of the developments of European history. All this required much more effort than was customary at that time and we would have hour-long Hebrew lessons (language and culture) four times a week. Natas did a doctorate in Jewish studies at the University of Cape Town. When war broke out in 1939, he volunteered for the Jewish Chaplaincy leaving behind a wife and two young children, and became Captain Reverend Moshe Natas, carrying out also those religious duties in which he so little believed. How this gentle man survived the rigours of Army life and the buffeting of friend and foe is quite beyond me, but he served in South Africa, North Africa and Italy and had an excellent reputation. Visits to Palestine were, among the high points of his service. He came back to Muizenberg only briefly as he was soon appointed Cultural Officer to the South African Zionist Federation and moved to Johannesburg. He became a very popular lecturer on Jewish affairs and Biblical subjects to both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences and developed some close links with the Nationalist Afrikaner community. He retired from active work only in his middle eighties. For my age group he was a crucial influence. A sensible, modern man who treated his pupils as adults and equals, who was prepared to listen as much as he taught.

The intellectual influence at this period came from friends in Hashomer Hatzair. My sister Nina was a member but I never accepted the faith that Karl Marx was God and Engels his prophet. Not that many members of the Movement (always' with a capital 'M') had read Marx, (but some had!)  The free and easy life style, the first glimpses of the sexual revolution, and the adventurousness implicit in the commitment to go on Aliyah and join a Kibbutz were more attractive to many. Although many found the realities of Palestine, Israel and the Kibbutz very different from the theories and ideological debates of the South African Movement. It seems to me that Hashomer Hatzair, like the Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church, were diseases of youth from which their erstwhile adherents never really recovered. I teamed about feudalism and its transition to capitalism, the Industrial Revolution, religion as the opium of the masses and the growth of socialism and the inevitability of progress. It was all very different from the sort of history we were taught at school with its emphasis on dates and wars and the names of kings and in the South Africa of that time how the whites brought Christian civilization to the savage and ungrateful blacks, and we were taught about the interminable struggle between Boer and Brit.


As children our years had a fixed pattern. Summer, from December to the end of January was the period of the influx of visitors from the North (i.e. Johannesburg and the Reef, sunbathing on the magnificent  Muizenberg beach and body-surfing in the warm waters of False Ray. Back to school in February with the second half of the cricket season, punctuated in March or April by the Pesach Seders, and followed by the beginning of the rugby season.

The first half of the school year ended towards the end of June, when the whole family went away on holiday. ………..


In July 1939 I turned thirteen and had my Bar Mitzvah in the Muizenberg Synagogue, where my father was a dues-paying but non-attending member. However, he was a well known member of the Jewish community because of his Zionist activities. My problem was that I could not sing and that it was soon found that it was impossible to leach me, to sing. I was in an unprecedented situation. All the other boys had sung their portions without difficulty. Finally, after thorough examination it was agreed that I was a lost case and I was allowed to recite the Blessings on the Law and the portion from the Prophets (the Haftorah). I still remember that my portion was from Isaiah XL ‘Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people. .." In fact this was my introduction to the Higher Criticism because these verses are now attributed, following textual analysis, to Deutero-Isaiah or the Unknown Prophet.


War was declared at the beginning of September, 1939 and split white South Africa into two camps. English-speaking South Africans, and about 40% of the Afrikaners, supported General Smuts and the Allies. The rest of the Afrikaners were anti-British by custom and long history and many were pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic, There is no doubt that they would have been enthusiastic partners of Hitler if the Germans had won the War. The fall of Poland within a few weeks was a momentous event, especially for the Jewish community and more particularly for the first-generation immigrant part of the community, with their roots in Eastern Europe. Perhaps the shock was lessened for our family, one and two generations removed from the Shtetl, and with our roots in Lithuania and Latvia, rather than Poland. But our turn was not to be long delayed. …

My first encounter with the War and its by-products came when I was still thirteen in April 1940. One of the wealthier Jews in Muizenberg, and one of the more assimilated, was Edgar Jacobs, Managing Director of Monsanto Shirts. (1942 Monat & Co. Ltd. Shirts and pyjamas, Wynberg??HID) Bobby Jacobs was a contemporary of mine but his older brother Kenny, was some years older, old enough to get married just after he had got his wings in one of the first pilot training groups started by the South African Air Force just after the War started in September. 1939. Kenny was initially stationed with this squadron at Young's Field, in the centre of the Cape Peninsula, but the squadron was soon due to be sent Up North which in those days meant Kenya for the impending attack on the Italian forces occupying Abyssinia. There was a grand fly-past of the planes of the squadron (I do not remember what they were), with all the assembled brass and the Jacobs family, including the new wife on the viewing platform at the airfield when, suddenly, horror-of-horrors, the plane with Jacobs on board plunged into the ground and all were killed.

Frank Herbstein

Frank Herzl Herbstein was born in Cape Town on 3 July 1926, and lived his early years in Muizenberg, where he went to school. He was the eldest son of Judge Joseph Herbstein

After obtaining his BSc degree from the University of Cape Town, he went to Israel in 1948, where he received a PhD from the Hebrew University.  In 1950 he went to MIT on a post-doctorate, and later received a DSc from the University of Cape Town.

In 1965 he returned permanently to Israel in 1965 as a Professor of Chemistry at the Haifa Technion, after having been invited to add an X-ray diffraction facility to the Department of Chemistry at the Technion.    Frank held many important positions in the academic administration of the Technion, among them Dean of the Department of Chemistry, Dean of the Graduate School, and a Vice President for Development.

He acquired an international reputation for his work on cystalline molecular complexes and compounds, and was the author of several books and papers on the subject.  In 1992 he was honoured by election as a Foreign Associate of the Royal Society of South Africa, and in 2007 by being chosen to receive the Fankuchen Award of the American Crystallographic Association.

Frank was a dear person, honest, gentle, kind and was always interested in listening to younger research scientists. He was a man of work and continued his involvement in crystallographic research for more than 16 years after his retirement.

He passed away in March 2011.