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    Family Biographies

    Story of the Leon Mayo

    Introduction  - by Benny Leon

     This is the story of Leon Mayo, who was the Gabbai or Chazan of the Sephardi Hebrew Congregation, Harare from 1993 to 2003.

    Regrettably Leon Mayo left for South Africa in June 2003, his story in 16 episodes is by no means complete.  After his service in the Jewish Brigade in the British Army he tried to settle in Palestine, but because he did not speak Yiddish he was not regarded as Jewish by the authorities.  He spoke Italian, English and Ladino the medieval language of his forefathers who were expelled from Spain in 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition.

    In 1947, he arrived in the then Southern Rhodesia where all his brothers and sisters had emigrated from Rhodes Island and settled in Salisbury.  His family comprised of four brothers and four sisters.  Now at 82 he is the sole survivor of his family.

    In 1949, he married Sarah Cohen  In 1999 they celebrated their Golden Annivesary in Johannesburg with their two sons.

    The episodes which can be viewed below are as they appeared in the Sephardi News published in Harare. Unfortunately  we end off at episode 16 which is not the complete story.

    To open the 24-page Word format of the document - click here.

     


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