The following letter dated 1 September 2006 was received by the JHC from the grandson of the JHC's first chairman. Please check out the archive and more photos.
The 1st Chairman and founder of the JHC; Dr Maximilien Joseph Auguste des Ligneris; was my grandfather. Max’s son, Charles Robert des Ligneris (my father) was encouraged to become interested in hiking by his father, but the bug never bit and Rob decided his interests were in the Sports Club arena and he played cricket and social tennis into middle age and then bowls in his latter years.
Maximilien died in 1952, aged 70 years, having retired to the farm at Rustenburg. Rob died in 1997, aged 78 years, at his retirement house at St Francis Bay, E.C. My present age is 60 years, and my family and I live in Port Elizabeth, E.C. [Michael Robert des Ligneris]
I have identified even more strongly with my grandfather after looking through all the old photos. I share his love of the great outdoors, and we always holiday in remote places, admitting at the same time that I rely more on the internal combustion engine than donning hiking boots to get me to the great places, although I am no stranger to the odd hike!
I hope some of you identify relatives and friends of your parents and grandparents in the photos, as it became clear to me that Max was intent on capturing the good times and pleasure he derived from hiking; for himself and for posterity.
If any of you would like a close-up scan of any particular section of any of the photographs, contact me and give the number of the photograph and describe the position by writing, e.g. “fifth from the left; back row”. I will then send that close-up to you via e-mail. E-address:- [email protected]