Nelson Mandela Bay loses much-loved historian Margaret Harradine

Well-known Bay historian Margaret Harradine has died
FONT OF KNOWLEDGE: Well-known Bay historian Margaret Harradine has died

Kind, patient and the go-to person for the history of Port Elizabeth and surrounds, Nelson Mandela Bay suffered a big loss when historian Margaret Harradine died suddenly on Christmas Day.

Considered a fine English lady who would speak about local historical figures as if they were family members, tour operator and Harradine’s former secretary at the Historical Society of Port Elizabeth Lyn Haller said her death was a real loss.

“You just don’t find people like [Harradine] any more.

“She was always the same, patient and kind to everyone and never spoke ill of anyone,” Haller said.

Having worked with Harradine since 2004, Haller said it came as a big shock when her fellow trustee of the Mandela Bay Heritage Trust died aged 78.

“[Harradine] was not only a historian but also an ambassador to the city.

“Her death was quick and sudden but at least she did not suffer,” Haller said.

According to Haller, she and a few colleagues had noticed that Harradine was not herself in the months before her death but she never complained that she was in any pain.

“You could see [Harradine] didn’t look well and that is when we contacted her sons,” Haller said.

Harradine died shortly after she was taken to a hospital in Pretoria after consulting with a doctor in Port Elizabeth.

“We were shocked. [Harradine] never said she was in any pain and her mind was still there,” Haller said.

Early in November, Harradine had attended a presentation during a meeting with the Mandela Bay Heritage Trust at which she pointed out to the presenter that he had misspelled a word in his presentation, Haller said.

“So many people learnt so much from [Harradine]. It is a big loss for the city,” Haller said.

Mandela Bay Heritage Trust chair Grizel Hart said Harradine was an incredibly gracious and gentle  person who always wanted to help.

“If [Harradine] didn’t know the answers immediately she would follow up and get back to a person.

“[Harradine] added value to heritage trust meetings with her knowledge,” Hart said.

According to Hart, Harradine was an avid horse rider who would help handicapped children with the assistance of horses.

“For most of her life [Harradine] would walk to the main library and walk with her dogs in [St George’s Park].

“She was an incredible asset to [the Mandela Bay Heritage Trust],” Hart said.

Harradine is survived by her two sons Rory and Guy.


Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.