HARARE TALL, SLIM and
gentlemanly Hymie Cohen
- he and his late wife, Hilda
(Lezard) from Oudtshoorn, were
tango ballroom champions in their
time - died last week at Bulawayos
Savyon Lodge at the age of
a past president of the Harare
Hilda, who for many years
lived in Duthie Avenue in Harare
- it was the city’s Jewish Quarter
in the nineties. Their neigh-bours were Barney and Anita Price,
Issie and Freda Bernstein, Aron
King and down the road, Al Nairn,
a leading Sephardi and his wife,
Babs Nairn, who at 91 is the community’s
For Zimbabwes sadly dwindling Jewish community - from its peak of 7 000 in the sixties to its present 270 souls - the death of Hymie, who was buried next to Hilda in Harares Warren Hills cemetery on Monday, would seem to be the end of an era.
The country has descended form its regional bread-basket heyday, with enormous potential, to the present failed state with an economy in
father, David, in 1897 came
from what was then Palestine, with his wife. Jenny, and worked at
the Penhalonga gold mine in the
eastern region. Travelling to (then) Salisbury,
the Rhodesian capital, took
a week by ox-wagon. Jenny
would journey to nearby Umtali
(now Mutare) carried on a machila,
a hammock suspended on the
shoulders of two bearers who walked
along paths. It was 26 kilometres and took may hours.
In 1921, the Cohens moved to Salisbury and Hymie had lessons from Rabbi Joseph Rosin, and his was one of the first barmitzvahs in the new shul which served the community from 1918 to 1973.
the ministry of posts and
was there for 33 years, becoming
superintendent of telegraphs.
Wingate clubs ladies tennis
Rabbi Nathan Asmoucha
conducted Mondays levoya
and among the mourners was
Hymie’s son, Dr Brian Cohen,
a New York gynaecologist. He leaves another son, Alan,’ who lives in Israel.