A Short Biography of Louisa Prince (1915-1967) and a brief history of Ennerdale.
Louisa Prince (nee Smith), was born on the 24th October 1915 in Parktown North. She was the eldest of seven children born to Mr. Freddie and Elsie Smith, who were the first family to take up residence in Ennerdale. Louisa started her education in Alexandra Township Primary School and then on to ETC ( Eurafrican Training College) in Vrededorp where she passed her Standard 9.
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The family moved to Mid-Ennerdale in 1942, where her father built their first home in the area. Apparently a tepee shaped zinc structure. “Aunt Toy” as she was commonly known was a garment worker, who married Mr. Edward Prince. They had three children; Freda, David and Pauline.
Although not qualified, Louisa, with her sister Anne (Strachan), started teaching the local children in 1944/5, on the stoep of Mr.D.J. “Dak” Smith,the second family to reside here. Strangely, it was “Oom Dak’s” house that became the first brick structure in “Grassie”. The Classes were then moved to a building, made available by Mr.C.Wade.Remains of this actual building could still be seen,
( as in the recent picture) lower down from the Catholic Church in First Avenue..
These initiatives paved the way for a proper school to be established under Mr. J.M. Diedricks, who was appointed as the first qualified Principal in Ennerdale in 1946, until he left Ennerdale in 1968. The school catered for Grade 1 to Grade 8, and boasted a contingent of highly qualified teachers from all parts of the country.
The first churches in Ennerdale, like the Methodist, Ebenezar, Apostolic, Catholic and a few others etc. All started off in homes. Louisa was a member, and prime negotiator of the Vigilance Committee that later became the Mid-Ennerdale Ratepayers’ Association in the late 1940’s/1950’s. Other members at that time, were Mr. W.S. Paul, Mr.J.M. Diedricks, Mr.F. Sonickson, Mr.& Mrs.C. Dickson, Mr.& Mrs.H.W. Harris and a few others. They were later joined by Mr. Fred Norman, Mr. N. Cryer and Mrs.K. Mulligan. Thereafer, the Coloured Representaive Council, augmented by a new set of members took over making gigantic strides to Ennerdale’s progress. However, it was Louisa Prince, and her team, who initiated the first bus and railway services to Mid-Ennerdale, negotiated its future developments ,and realized the water system that replaced the many wells that supplied water in the area.
Mrs. Prince was also involved in many other community projects such as sewing and cooking classes etc. For a few years a branch of the Grasmere Post Office, operated from the home of Mr.& Mrs. Prince, in 3rd Avenue, Mid Enneradale,(which is found just above the Felix residence where Ursula’s Hair Salon currently operates from).Ennerdale’s first barber shop was located here aswell, managed by Mr.Eddie Prince. Dry cleaners was also collected here, which is where the present Day’s Dry Cleaners, situated opposite the Ext 1 Civic, originates from. In addition to all her community work in Mid-Ennerdale, Mrs. Prince also became the first district President of the Transvaal Woman’s Association social clubs and activities. In May 1967, at the age of 52, Louisa Prince was murdered, robbing Ennerdale of one of her most prized pioneers.
Researched by Herbie Blackfoot Harris and members of pioneering families: Mr. Alec Katts, Mr. G..Marais, Mr.Dolphie Pitt, Mr. “Ouboet” Minnaar, Mrs. Caroline Petersen, and many others, appreciated, but not mentioned. Amongst the deceased; Mr.Jan Smith, Mr. Wesley & Priscilla Smith, Mr. Peter Bimray, Mr. John & Mrs. Elizabeth Botha,Mr.Andrew Haine, Mr.F.Sonickson, Pastor Jesse Thompson & Mr. Simon Matthews. Also assisted by articles from “Ennerdale Mirror.”,and an anonymous Afrikaans two pager :“Mid-Ennerdale”.