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Pilgrim's and Sabie News
Pilgrim's Rest, Mpumalanga

Date:pre 1900


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24°54'35.43" S 30°45'27.89" E Alt: 1269m

The first newspaper published on the Pilgrim's Rest goldfields was the Gold News (1874-75). The Gold News was replaced by the Gold fields Mercury, which was published from 1875 to 1879. For a number of years no newspaper was printed, but in 1910 John McNally started the Pilgrim's & Sabie News newspaper at Pilgrim's Rest. The printing works of this paper was first housed in a stone building directly to the north of the present building. In 1918 the stone building was severely damaged by fire and the printing works moved to the present building. This building was erected before 1900 and the first lessee that was noted was Johannes Maboompi de Beer. De Beer rented the Company's house on this stand and as he was expected to spend at least £120 on the renovations of this "old building." The TGME [Transvaal Gold Mining Estates] did not charge him any rent for the first year and for three years only £5 per year. In 1911 the lease for this stand was transferred into the name of Dr. Walter Ball. In December 1911 the lease was registered in the name of A. W. Frost and in December 1912 the house was occupied by a Company employee named Lionel Hunter. Between 1914 and 1919 E. D. Wardrop occupied this building. In 1919 the Pilgrim's & Sabie News printing works relocated to this building and the lease was transferred into the name of John James McNally. McNally owned the newspaper until his death in 1928. His death was reported in The Daily Representative as follows: "Mr John McNALLY, whose death at the age of 74 is reported from Pilgrim's Rest, Transvaal was the owner of the local newspaper there, the 'Pilgrim and Sabie News.' Mr McNALLY was well known in Aliwal North where he resided for many years and where he owned and edited a now defunct paper, the 'Northern Echo.' Mr McNALLY, a South African of Irish decent, was a man of forceful personality who soon became a factor above the ordinary in whatever community he settled." After McNally's death the newspaper business was run by his son-in-law Mr. I. Huddle. Paul P. Ahlers rented the property from the TGME from 1928 until 1948. From 1948 to 1962 the property was leased by Bernice Florence Irene Winn, then owner of the Pilgrim's Hotel, to be used as storage. In 1962 the lease was transferred into the name of Walter John Lewis Guest. In 1972 Ms H. M. Vos rented this building from the Company to be used as a residence at a monthly rent of R25.00. In 1973 the lease was transferred into the name of Sheila MacFarlane, owner of Mrs Mac's Shop.

(Rene Reinders. 2016:Item 18. Submitted by Annelise Lange)

Books that reference Pilgrim's and Sabie News

Reinders, René . 2016. Pilgrim's Rest Buildings and Historic Sites. Place of publication not identified: René Reinders. pg Item 18