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    Family Biographies

    Solly and Stella Alhadeff

    (from original hand-written and unfinished interview by Aliza Hatchuel )

    See also a page scanned from the anniversary magazine of the Sephardi Hebrew Congregation by Solly

    Solly Alhadeff

     Born 1919.

    Father Marco came in 1905 first time up to Penhalonga with intention to go to the Witwatersrand – gold attracted him. A the age of 23 alone. In Penhalonga were two Jewish people Sam Pollack’s father and a Hasson (Alex grandfather). Through them managed to get a permit to enter officially but returned to Rhodes and put the see of the idea of coming to develop a new country with opportunities. Most encouraged by the two in Penhalonga. Returned in March 1907 to Penhalonga but immediately move to the capital city Salisbury (British Charter land). Mrandellas district was known as Gazaland. Walked most of the way to Salisbury. (Trains used to be very slow stopping for hours here and there – no time table).

    Eventually was fluent in Shona and was called by the natives Kisinamunda – the smiling gardener man.

     J C Benatar came a few months before Marco and was coach build on railway in Penhalonga –  (spirit of adventure existed). Moussa Benatar and Garbiel Benatar came in 1895 here then left to the Congo.

    Marco was the first Sephardi Jew to establish himself in Salisbury. Other came but established themselves in outlying districts . Opened a tin shack shop in Salisbury St  (near Queens Hotel) on 3 stands.  Turnover was approx Stg 100 per month selling ploughshears etc.. did very well. English was poor. Marco loaned money to many people for passage to come. When going on holiday to Rhodes to encourage more his community to come – 1912 –1914 . On such occasions the tin shack was just closed (vacation 3 months).  He was the prime move in revitalizing enthusiasm amongs the Jews of Rhodes to settle.

    Stella Alhadeff

    Father Jacque Nissim (J N ) Alhadeff

    Married Bechora Tamara Leon  cousin to B.S. Leon

    Father came 1913 heard about Rhodesia from Marco, B.S. Leon

    He was very poor as his father had died when he was 5 years old.

    Nick’s father – Shaul Nissim

    Benji’s father – Avraham Nissim Alhadeff (Nissim was their grandfather).

    Yehiel Nissim

    Matilda Alhadeff

     (The story of how J.N. got the money to come to this country – the ugly girl who was wealthy and looking for a husband).

    Arrived in Gatooma area – worked for B.S. Leon. Every night used to put a blanket on the counter and go to sleep. Worked well and was appreciated by B.S..

    B.S. Leon went back to Rhodes and returned with a photo of the beautiful, talented

    Mandalene player Bechora Leon. Showed it to Jacque who immediately proclaimed that he would marry her. Wroter her a letter and with B.S.’s help Bechora came in 1922 – aged 25/26. J .N used to earn Stg 5.00 per month and send 3 home.

    Landed in Gatooma in the middle of the night- on the platform to meet her B.S. and J.N who was very think and tall. Never an African in her life. Was not impressed with

    J.N nor the gloomy place. Was influenced to stay overnight with the Ferreras – wanted to go straight back but eventually agreed to stay. Decided to wed – no Rabbi went to Byo – Rabbi Cohen married them. No English was laughed at once and then became determined to learn and spoke extremely well.


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