The “Q” of South Africa

I am going to write my thoughts, the bits and bobs that I remember of how it was for me, during my almost fifty years spent in South Africa.

These are my ‘Q’ memories, opinions and views on a time during a much loved childhood and beyond!

Queenstown, Que Que, Quailfinch, Queen, Que Serra, Harlequin Quail,

 Quite a queer letter is “Q”, but lets make a quick start, and I bet it won’t take long!

Queenstown in the Eastern cape is known as the Rose capital of South Africa, because of the beauitiful gardens in the town, predominantly filled with roses. 

In 1853, it was only a settlement, built like a fort when it was named by George Cathcart after Queen Victoria.

I always thought this place we passed on our visits to Salisbury, Rhodesia had a strange sounding name, Que Que.  But when looking it up today, found that the spelling has been changed to a new name, Kwekwe; as has the name of Salsibury become Harare and Rhodesia become, Zimbabwe which I obviously knew. 

All my life I have never known anything about Que Que, except that it was halfway between Bulawayo and Salsibury.  There were no flush toilets in those years nor Wimpy burgers, and we were on the home stretch longing to see our cousins by the time we passed through; also, we would have had an overnight stop, possibly at Fort Victoria, which as children for us was very special; fish cakes with tomato sauce, followed by icecream and the dreaded Maltebella porrige in the morning,  but now…….

Que Que was a gold mining town from 1894, and in the 1950’s there was a large Jewish community living there.  The mine was called the Globe and Phoenix Gold Mine where Isaac Goldberg was chief geologist.  The local furniture shop and bicycle shop was owned by Mr Rick; and The Solomans owed a store “that sold everything if you could find it!”, called Solomans Store.  Isn’t the internet wonderful!

Now for my second to last Q. The Quail, who lives near water and woodlands, often found around farmlands.

This is a Quailfinch.

Quail eggs are considered a delicacy in some countries and in China have been used for medicinal purposes for many years.

I thought I would also include the harlequin Quail as he is an unusual looking fellow.

My mother was a huge fan of the British Royal Family.  We were led.  My older sister cried her eyes out the day that South Africa became a Republic, because the rule of Queen Elizabeth meant so much to her.  She felt that we were doomed. 

Another queen of the stage and screen was Doris Day.  What a WOW!

She sang Que Sera Sera in 1956 and won an Oscar.

The song I remember from our trips up to Rhodesia, past Que Que, was the one she made famous in 1960 “Please don’t eat the daisies”

So let’s put the feet up, act like a queen for the day and listen to

Que Sera. (click to listen)

If you would like to catch up with the A to P of South Africa please click the link below:


About liz2you

Life just happens when you plan something else. 50 years spent in Africa and relevant stories.
This entry was posted in Alphabet Thursday, Birds, Flowers, South Africa, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The “Q” of South Africa

  1. Mr Philip john Sorrell says:

    Another little gem of wisdom from my amazing little woman!

  2. Anita says:

    Love these little S. African tidbits…I’m sad to see us approaching the end of the alphabet. 😦

  3. Eveline Mc Nally says:

    Nice one Betty !But thought you would have mentioned Quail Sreet where you lived!

  4. liz2you says:

    Yes, it’s all about time to do it! I think I can go another round and still not say it all.

  5. Ah. Those roses were quite magnificent!

    Quail eggs? I’m always interested when chefs use those tiny little things!

    The harlequin quail is quite spectacular, isn’t he!

    Thanks for a fun link to the letter Q.

    Please accept my vast apologies for being so wickedly late to visit you this round!


  6. cameron & shani says:

    Not as late as me

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