Story of the Hasson Family

This rather cryptic text is compiled from interview by Aliza Hatchuel – can any of the Hasson Family offer to re-write it ?

B.D. Almehe’s wife was Isaacs sister. Isaac Hasson arrived 1/1/1914 – came from Rhodes with brother Raphael and B.D* Almeleh and Pinkas on same boat. Hasson’s brothers were here – seeking fortune here. Rhodes was under Turks (then Italians occupied Rhodes). All started shops in Penhalonga, Umtali.
(Sam Pollack’s father had a wholesale in Urntall where Raphael and Isaac came with him at age of 12). Education before he came – L’alliance Isralite. Here went to school for 1 year in Penhalonga had Barmitzvah there, then 1915 – came to Salisbury as boarder – “The Salisbury Boy High School – (Prince Edward) – four years till 1919 after matrlc. Worked in various places in shops – Mr. Turiel in Glendale. 1918 brother Rahamin who was in Partnership with Pollack in Manica/Moffat St.  Rahamin died 1918. He left capital to Raphael.

Isaac von Belt scholarship in 1916 (scholarship granted to 1st 20 best pupils of  Rhodesia) for all St. 7 students. (Senior school started 6) had to be under 15 to take  Belt exam. But L.J. Grant (Headmaster) was interested in languages and admired  knowledge of language. In St.V started at the bottom of the class because he had no

 English end of year came top of class. Mr. Grant asked Isaac (correction required…………..).  take Belt exam. Isaac called French Professor who were of age at this class took the exam and all got scholarships (Benjamin Goldberg from Umtali was as well).

Jewish Education jn Rhodesia

Rev. Rosin came for scripture lessons at school for hour a week. Very interesting lessons. Attend synagogue on festivals (adult services) and worked for brother on Sat. checking invoices for pocket  money. Social dances at school – girls from Girl’s High arranged by matron at boarding. No anti semitism. All seniors came to Isaac for help in French when he was in St.V. Principal called on Isaac to translate from Greek to English when a new parent “brought child to school.

When letters written in Hebrew to family in Rhodes – caused interest by pupils. The story about the principal discovering that Isaac read French.   A French teacher got in touch – was most impressed. Rev. Rosin entertained students at his home from time to time. Also invited to meals at non-Jewish families. As a 16 year old became friendly with non Jewish Cyril Peake from Umvukwes. Spent school holidays on their farm and Ethel (Peake’s daughter) mine – asbestos During holidays Cyril and Isaac helped develop the mine – mine later sold to company.

Mr. Peake had cattle ranch – was hilly place with thousands of head of cattle. Mr. Peake discovered chrome in his hills. Chrome discovered in the hills of Mr. Peake’s ranch. Mr. Arnold a Jew, an agent showed Peake some crumbly rocks – and Peake realised what wealth he was sitting on. Isaac helped peg chrome claims. Years later Arnold managed to get a company to take over the claims and dig out the Chrome. Cyril and Isaac spent about a week in tents to re-claim and re-register claims that had expired.

Incidents during the farming after finishing- school.  Isaac invited to work on Peake’s farm for a year. – Tobacco, mealies. First night they arrived there (was an established farm) the following morning a boy came in and reported a cow killed by a lion and had dragged it over a fence over to tobacco seed bed (which was near a spirit water). Decided to catch the lion. Built a gun trap (grass over loaded gun as carcass was still full of meat) – when lion would come to feed he would set off the gun. That night they went and saw the lion with lights of sports car – Ford. Lion about 50 feet away was prancing back and forth. Couldn’t reverse with the car. Did not shoot. The gun trap did not work.

Next morning poisoned the carcass. Lion had another feed that night. Following morning saw that lion had another feed and a drink. Checked other side of      for tracks. Went along with the dogs.  Also saw vomit of lion. Our dogs started eating the vomit and died more or less immediately. Lion never found.

Back to “beginning

Did one year of medicine at Wits but had no money to continue at school cadet drill as during 1st world war. Cadet camps in Gwelo for camps – week to 10 days from all schools – competitions etc.  Isaac a prefect for 3 years.

The Bicycle story

1921 returned from Johannesburg. That’s when he went farming with Peakas for 3-4 years. Plenty malaria at the time. Recession in Tobacco market – therefore left farm to Bindura, Gatooma – mostly doing books and helping in shops – worked for B.S. Leon,  Gallintes, Jacob Alhadeff (Alphi’s parents) Leons, Trevis, Tarica (farming there),
Sam Hasson, Chimovitzs – Had a shul in the old biscope on Festivals. The bioscope belonged to D. Burke’s father (Joe), can’t remember who conducted services but it was someone brought by car from Salisbury (1928-50). They were all like one big family, met mainly at the Leon Ferera*s house. All Jews came from the whole surrounding  every Sunday. Isaac traveled a lot to do books all over.

Alegra came here to stay with sickly sister in 1951. Maurice Mlizrahi’s mother is Alegra’s sister.

Isaac left Gatooma to Mazoe in 1954 opened “business African store. Three shops bought from a chap in Bindura (a Greek fellow).

 text ends here