Heraldry in South Africa
June 2006 / September 2015

Who's who in South African heraldry

THE following entries are listed in chronological, rather than alphabetical, order, to give a sense of historical context and to place contemporaries together.

J. de Mist
C.D. Bell
C. Graham Botha
C. Beyers.

Jacob Uitenhage de Mist (1749-1823) — Commissioner-general of the Batavian Republic in the Cape Colony 1803-05. He introduced municipal heraldry into South Africa by granting armorial seals to Cape Town and other local authorities in 1804. His personal arms were assigned to the district and town of Uitenhage (named after him). Several derivatives of these arms are to be found in the district.

Charles Bell (1813-82) — Scottish artist, surveyor, and heraldist, who lived in Cape Town 1830-73. His greatest work as a heraldist was the compilation of a collection of more than 300 Afrikaner family arms, which now form part of the Bell-Krynauw Collection. For this, Dr Cor Pama dubbed him "the father of South African heraldry". The city of Bellville was named after him.

Colin Graham Botha (1883-1973) — Historian, heraldist. Head of the Cape Archives 1912-44 and Chief Archivist of SA 1919-44. Assembled the Cape Archives' seal collection. Co-founder of the Heraldry Society, its first chairman 1953-54, and its president 1954-73. Designed several municipal arms.

Dr Coenraad Beyers PhD (1893-1975) — Historian, heraldist. Deputy Chief Archivist of South Africa 1934-44, Chief Archivist 1944-53. Served on the Malan Committee (1951) which recommended the formation of a heraldry division within the Archives, and on the Pelzer Committee (1956) which investigated the proposal. Headed the Department of Education Arts & Sciences' Heraldry Section 1959-63, and was the first State Herald 1963-64. He continued to work at the Bureau of Heraldry until 1971. He designed the South West Africa official arms. Author of Die Wapen van die SA Republiek (1950) and several articles.

Frederick Masey (1877-1970) — Architect, heraldist. He designed several municipal and academic coats of arms in the Orange Free State (including those of the university), and was a member of the Malan Committee (1951) which recommended the establishment of a heraldry authority.

I. Mitford-Barberton
H. de V. du Toit
F. Waller
C. Pama.

Ivan Mitford-Barberton (1896-1976) — Sculptor and heraldist. Heraldry adviser to the Cape Provincial Administration in the 1940s and '50s, and designer of many municipal coats of arms. Co-founder of the Heraldry Society of SA in 1953. Member of the Heraldry Council 1963-72. Co-author of Some Frontier Families (1968).

Lt Gen Heinrich du Toit SSA SM — Military officer, herald. First staff officer in charge of the Military Archives 1953-64, and also responsible for defence force heraldry 1954-77. Served on the Pelzer Committee (1956) which investigated the formation of a heraldry authority. Member of the Heraldry Council 1975-95 and its chairman 1984-95. Served on the Commission on National Symbols 1993-94.

Frederick 'Frank' Waller (1911-88) — Advertising executive, heraldist. Chairman of the Heraldry Society of SA 1954-57. Member of the Heraldry Council 1972-75.

Dr Cornelis Pama PhD (hc) (1916-94) — Dutch-born bookseller, publisher, heraldist and genealogist, who lived in South Africa from 1955. Arguably the dominant figure in South African heraldry in the 1960s, '70s' and '80s. Served on the Pelzer Committee (1956) which investigated the proposal to establish a heraldry authority. Chairman of the Heraldry Society of SA 1957-94. Designed the State President's official flag and sash, and new parliamentary insignia, in 1961. Member of the Heraldry Council 1963-89. Member of the Academie international d'heraldique 1965-94. Chairman of the Genealogical Society of SA 1979-? Member of the Commission on National Symbols 1993-94. Author of i.a. Heraldiek in Suid-Afrika (1956), Die Wapens van die Ou Afrikaanse Families (1959), Simbole van die Unie (1960), Lions & Virgins (1965), Heraldry of SA Families (1972), Families, Familiename en Familiewapens (co-author 1975), Die Groot Afrikaanse Familienaamboek (1983), British Families in SA (1992), numerous articles and encyclopedia entries.

S.W. Pienaar
V.G. Hiemstra
N.F. Hartman
J.H. Coetsee.

Schalk Pienaar (?1917-2008) — Bank official, heraldist. Designed many municipal coats of arms from the 1950s onwards, particularly for towns in the Transvaal and northern Cape.

Alan Woodrow (d 1978) — Architect and heraldist. Designed many municipal, academic, and other coats of arms, particularly in Natal. He founded the Order of the Knights of Da Gama and designed its arms.

Hon Victor Hiemstra QC (1914-2006) — Judge. First chairman of the Heraldry Council 1963-84.

Norden Hartman (1921-89) — Historian, herald. Senior Professional Officer at the Bureau of Heraldry 1963-64. State Herald 1964-82.

John Bodel (1934-92) — Senior Professional Officer at the Bureau of Heraldry in the 1960s and '70s. Published several articles on the Bureau and on South African heraldry.

Johan Coetsee (1939-92) — Principal artist at the Bureau of Heraldry 1969-92. He developed the Bureau's distinctive artistic style.

Wilhelm Wijenburg (1916-2005) — Chief draughtsman at the Department of Bantu Administration. Headed the design team which devised the official coats of arms of Bophuthatswana, Ciskei, Transkei, Venda, and other homelands 1970-72, and helped to bring African symbolism into greater prominence in heraldry.

Priscilla Broberg — Heraldic artist at the SA Defence Force Heraldry Section and later at the Bureau of Heraldry. Designed many military unit arms and military medals. Member of the Heraldry Council 1998- .

H.H. Smith
F.G. Brownell
D.P. de Waal
R.A. Laing.

Prof Hugh Smith (1921-2001) — Economist, heraldist, vexillologist. Member of the Heraldry Council 1975-84. Author of Badges of the Ships of the SA Navy (1980), Army, Air Force and Naval Colours and Flags in SA (1980), Flags of the UDF and of the SADF 1912-93 (1993), SA Military Colours 1664-26.04.1994 (1998, 1999, 2005).

Dr Frederick Brownell OMSS SM MMM JCD — Herald, vexillologist. Assistant State Herald 1977-82. State Herald 1982-2002. He served on the Commission for National Symbols 1993-94 and designed the current SA flag. Chairman of the SA Vexillological Association 1992-94 and 1998-2000. Herald to the SA Priory of the Order of St John 1993-2013. Chairman of the Heraldry Society of SA 2002- . Author of Some Southern African Flags 1940-1991 (1992), National & Provincial Symbols (1993), The Union Jack over South and Central Africa 1795-1994 (1994), National Symbols of the Republic of SA (1995), Heraldry in the Church of the Province of SA (2002), Convergence and Unification (2015), many articles and congress papers.

Daniel de Waal — Archivist, herald, vexillologist. Assistant State Herald 1983-95. Served on the Commission for National Symbols 1993-94.

Capt Allan Jones PMM — Staff officer in charge of the SA Defence Force heraldry office in the early 1980s.

WO 1 Clive Kingston — Staff officer in charge of the SA Defence Force heraldry office 1984-2000.

Robert Laing (1948-2007) — Computer scientist, heraldist, genealogist. Member of the Heraldry Council 1984-96. Chairman of the Genealogical Society of SA 1988-92. Chairman of the Heraldry Society of SA 1997-2002. Author of Het Behoorlijk Zegel (2006), many articles and congress papers.

D.F.S. Fourie
C.T. Msimang
M.C. van Rossum
E.J. Watson.

Prof (Brig Gen) Deon Fourie SD SM MMM JCD — Lawyer, academic, military officer. Member of the Heraldry Council 1989-97, 2003-08 and 2011- , and its chairman 1995-97. Herald to the SA Priory of the Order of St John 2005- .

Prof Themba Msimang — Poet, dramatist, heraldist. Member of the Heraldry Council 1993-2008 and its chairman 1998-2008. Member of the Commission on National Symbols 1993-94. Ex officio member of the National Heritage Commission 2005-08.

Gavin Schlemmer — Principal artist at the Bureau of Heraldry since the early 1990s.

Marcel van Rossum OMBB — Assistant State Herald / Deputy National Herald 1996- .

Joan Merrington — Heraldic artist. Member of the Zimbabwe National Heraldry Committee 1981. Served on the Namibia National Symbols Committee 1990. Member of the Heraldry Council 1998-2003.

Lt Col Edward Watson — Staff officer in charge of the SA National Defence Force heraldry office since 2000. Chairman of the SA Vexillological Association.

Thembinkosi Mabaso — State / National Herald 2002- . Formerly director of the Johannesburg Art Museum. Member of the committee on the new parliamentary emblem 2007.

Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa — Academic. Chairperson of the Heraldry Council and ex officio member of the National Heritage Commission 2010- .

References :
  • Brooke Simons, P.; The Life and Work of Charles Davidson Bell (1998).
  • Bureau of Heraldry; Annual Report of the State Herald (1982- ).
  • Bureau of Heraldry Database.
  • SAVA Newsletter 11/94 (December 1994) and 18/97 (May 1997).

This website has been created for interest and entertainment. It is unofficial and not connected with, or endorsed by, any authority or organisation. It is the product of the webmaster's research, and the content is his copyright. So are the illustrations on this page, unless stated otherwise. Additional information, and correction of errors, will be welcome.
 
© Arthur Radburn
 
Website hosted by Web Hosting