Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fifties Photos: Die Brandwag & My Brother


While I'm trying to force myself to write about books I've read (an embarrassingly large number), here's something to look at. This is my brother Tim, age 6, on the cover of Die Brandwag for 6 January 1956. Die Brandwag means The Sentinal. The caption can be translated as "I am ready for you". (source comment by Markia) "Google translates "Yankees, ek is reg vir julle!" as "Yankees, I am right for you!". I have a feeling that reg must have a colloquial meaning other than right since it isn't the word we would use in that context in English. "Yankees, I am your equal!" perhaps?

I believe my father took the photograph but I don't have the rest of the magazine to verify that. The photograph was taken by Louis Nel to illustrate the article written by Robert van Wyk. (source Dept. of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation)

Why is my brother in a baseball uniform on the cover of an Afrikaans magazine? According to Josh Chetwynd's A History of South African Baseball, an American baseball team toured South Africa for three and a half months beginning in 1955. I believe my father knew a journalist and this photograph was taken for an article about an upcoming game between American and South African teams.

The Dept. of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation can provide a copy of the article and I'll order a copy as soon as I can figure out how to pay them for the service.

I haven't been able to find out if Die Brandwag (1937–1965) has been archived or digitized so if anyone knows where I can get a copy of the article or can verify the photo credit, leave a comment or email me.


  1. "ek is reg vir julle" - I am ready or prepared for you would be a translation, within the context of a baseball game it would say that I have practised and will face the game.

    Perhaps NALN (Afrikaans Literary Museum) will have the Brandwag. The National Library for South Africa ought to have a copy, but I don't know if they would send you a digital copy. You could probably email them.

  2. Thanks Marike. Now that you say it, my father did tell us that it translated as "I am ready for you". I should have gone with my memory instead of over-thinking it..

    I had tried the National Library of South Africa but their website is broken. I sent an email to their info desk but that has disappeared into the aether. I hadn't run across NALN and will check them out today.