FEATURING - The Autobiography of a Counter Jumper, in two parts: England and South Africa by W. F. Fish

Posted on February 08, 2021

The Special Collections Book of the Week this week is:

The Autobiography of a Counter Jumper, in two parts: England and South Africa by W. F. Fish.

In 1890, at the age of 20, W. F. Fish left Southampton with £5, and travelled to South Africa to make his fortune. He started a cash store in Dordrecht in the Eastern Cape, lived through the Boer War, was invested as mayor of Cape Town in 1925 and was re-elected the following year.

From the introduction to his autobiography: “It is merely the plain, unvarnished story of my business and public career dating from the day I left school to make a humble start in the great commercial world, until the occasion, 43 years later, when I relinquished the Mayoral Chair […] of the City of Capetown. …[A]s far as I know, the theme—that is, the every-day life of a draper’s assistant or ‘counter-jumper’—has not, up to the present featured to any extent in literature.”

W. F. Fish is the great-grandfather of an alumni and former Associate Professor of UP, Prof Johannes Cronje, and Special Collections is thrilled to have this piece of personal history as a part of our collection!

Access: https://UnivofPretoria.on.worldcat.org/oclc/25948040

This book is available at Special Collections, housed on level 5 of the Merensky 2 Library, and is part of our Old Africana (ZA OUV) Collection.

The Special Collections unit of the Department of Library Services plays a stewardship role in the acquisition and preservation of the Library's rare and valuable information resources, making them accessible to students, staff and researchers, as well as safeguarding them for future generations.

- Author Nikki Haw

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