Dan and Dora Charney arrived as a young married couple in Bulawayo in 1949. Dan came to start a glass business in partnership with his brother Max, from Johannesburg. The couple established roots in North End and sent their kids – Miriam, Cyril and Leonard – to Baynes Junior School. Dan was successful in everything he did. His business grew as did his involvement in the community. He was active in the shul and well as in the secular activities of the community.
The photograph opposite shows Dan and Dora elegantly dressed at a function in the community centre on the opposite side of the road to the shul.
Dan and Dora were active members of Weitzman Country Club. They played bowls each weekend while their kids swam and played with the other kids. The Charneys donated a club house for the kids so that they would have somewhere to play outside of the main club house. (click on picture below to enlarge)
Miriam Charney, the eldest daughter seen here participating in Red Cross activities. About 20% of the kids at Baines were Jewish. The Jewish kids were inscribed in the school records as “Hebrews”. They were allowed to stand outside the classrooms when the other kids did Bible classes.
(correction in above photo -……the photo of Mrs Lowenstein , Red Cross, the man is not Mr Wood he is Mr Daves)
The untimely death of Daniel in November 1954 at the young age of 39 was a shock to the community. (See story in the Rhodesian Jewish Journal on next page). The family had a greater support system in Johannesburg, so Dora decided to return south. The family left behind many dear friends, including the Keet family with whom they have retained an ongoing friendship over the years. (click on article below to enlarge)
The Bulawayo community was large, and united. There was only one shul in the early 1950s but the community was large enough to support 2 sports clubs, one in town and the other in the country.
Dan Charney will be remembered for his love of children. Each Simchat Torah he would buy sweets for every kid at the store belonging to the Margolis family. This unique picture below shows the Bulawayo Community at a Shavuot celebration in 1950. (click to enlarge). If you can recognise any faces please write to the editor.
Some names from photo above (thanks to Mickey Halperin – nee Charney)
Sitting in front is a little girl in white…..Lynette Effron….nee Glickman, above her is Rhoda and Vivian Keet and next to them is Cyril Charney. I am sitting on the floor…..the first child on the left. I can see Raymond Roth and Mrs. Pines on the right who taught Hebrew.
This picture below shows Dan with his middle child Cyril, outside the Community Centre after they had won a goat in a community raffle. (click on image to enlarge)