I came across this article about Filipinos in Kalk Bay and St James which is very interesting. I'll contact the person who had posted the transcript.

My paternal grandmother was Francisca (or Francesca) Macranus whose family name is mentioned in this article from 1946. As I had mentioned earlier, my grandparents had married in St James Catholic Church in May 1900 by the Rev. John Duigman.Christopher Winn


Page 2 October 5, 1946 Cape Times Weekend Magazine
By Maxwell Price

This is a transcript by Mark Adams of the original Cape times weekend Magazine article Mail me at madams@home.nl


From a painting by C.E.M. St. Leger-the old Catholic
Church at St. James built for the early Filipinos of Kalk Bay in 1874 and demolished in 1900
to make way for the railway station. All that remains to-day of this old church is the stout wall which enclosed it and which can be seen at the Kalk Bay end of St. James station.



Scattered among the southern suburbs of the Cape Peninsula and along the False Bay coast, but centerd mainly about Kalk Bay, lives a community whose ties with the Philippine Islands have remained strong and unbroken for nearly 400 years .
They are the descendants of the Filipinos who can be said to have brought the fishing industry to Kalk Bay.
It was in the sixties of the
last century, when the track skirting the sea between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay and beyond was called "the friendly road" and Farmer Peckís hostelry,where the Grand hotel, Muizenberg, Now stands, advertised "beds without fleas," that the original Filipipnos came to South Africa.
Ox-wagons and Cape, carts were the order of the travel. Drivers paid their tolls at the old toll gate at Muizenberg (near the Atlantic Hotel) and the wagons of the family Auret, transport riders of Simonís Town, often became bogged in the nightmare quicksands of Fish Hoek and Gelncairn.
It was round about this period that the American Confederate raider the Alabama made a sensational appearance in cape Peninsula waters, later to be immortalised by the Cape malays in the song "Daar kom die Alabama"; The Alabama is stated to have brought to Cape Town the first Filipino, Felix Florez.
It is not clear why he left the Alabama; but Florez obviously a man of some personality settled in the Kalk Bay area.

Barques carrying sugar from the East Indies to America and ploughing their way through the perilious Roaring Forties in the teeth of fierce Atlantic gales often sought shelter and provisions at Cape Town or Simonís Town. Among their crews were men from the Philippine Islands.
Florez reported to them about the promise of Kalk Bay as a fishing settlement, It was not long before he was joined by other of his countrymen. Some of them are said to have been shipwrecked and to have walked to Kalk Bay along the beaches from Hangklip; Others migth simply have walked off their ships.

That little strip of coast between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay captivated the early Filipinos. Here there was plenty of food and promise of good living. Lime Simon van der Stel, 200 years earlier they found that the seas off Kalk Bay teemed with fish.

Journals at the Archives recording van der Stelís fishing trip, report that a lion from Kalk Bayís dense bush came down one night and carried off a sheep from the Governorís camp there.
A journal further records :
"The fish which His Honour caught were because of their rare ???? beautiful colours pa???? ??were found to be de?????? ??and in incredible numbers .It was so easy tio catch them that one could not quikly enough throw the hooks into the water in order to draw them up againÖ."
From time to time more Filipinos came and settled at Kalk Bay . They caught kabeljou, steenbras, geelbek, snoek and if a seabird was wanted for the dayís meal there was always the malmok or basiang. Food was plentiful. They were men born to the sea and they loved the live.
The community grew; for there was a big influx , after about ten years, of men who were fleeing the Philippines following the Philippine Revolt against Spain in 1872 and the execution of the three liberty- loving priest, Burgos, Gomez and Zamora. Kalk Bay be-came a refuge.
To-day there is Filipino blood among at least 80 per cent of Kalk Bayís fishing families.

They are proud of their loyalty to South Africa, America and the Philippines. Rupert Adams honorary seccretary of the Philippine Commonwealth League on his motherís side of the family Florez told me that even to-day the local Filipinos and Filipino descendants contribute to het Phillipine General Hospital in Manilla ??? this hospital ??? ???? ??????????????????????????????????"Donated by the descendants and friends of the original Filipino settlers of Kalk Bay, South Africa, in memory of the struggles for freedom."

Before the fishermenís houses at Kalk bay were rebuilt the fishermen there for the most part lived in neat little homes ,but the place became overcrowded and to-day quite a few have moved to Heathfield or Wijnberg.
They are all Roman Catholics and it is significant that those forced to move have moved to places where there is a Roman Catholic church.
Their staple diet has always been fish. It has given them a livelihood, too health and, in many cases, the fishermen say, long live . It was no hard task for a mother to rear her many children. As long as they were able to prepare the traditional fish dishes the childern remained strong. As can be expected the housewives of this community can do almost anything with sea foods. These are some of their dishes: Fish soup, fish curry,fish frikkadel, porpoise steak,whale steak, octopus stew,periwinkle soup, mussel stew, mussel soup,malmouk curry basiang stew, seaweed jelly.

Some of the early Filipinos were more Spanish than Filipino. Many of those who were Filipino had aquired Spanish names. The Latin cast of feature is still evident in spite of intermarriage, among the men and women descended from the early pioneers. Many of the women with their dark eyes and trim figures are attractive in appearance.
To read through the names of the early Filipinos who came to the Kalk Bay is almost like reading through a Madrid directory .

The early ones were Felix Florez and the brothers Torrez, Pasqual de Marcio, de la Varcia, de la Cruz, Pedro Hermeningildo, Angelo Gella, Jose Citto, Pasqual Dolmazio
A?????? Estoquir, ?atano, Francisco Eduard? Aguilan?,Lucas Macranus, Juan Granz. Juan Manuel, Francisco Santiago and Heronomina Fernandez.
These were the originals.

R. L. Stevenson, in his "Amateur Emigrant" became lyrical over the beautifull nomenclature of American rivers, towns and states. He might have done the same had he mingled in his travels with the early Filipinos at Kalk Bay.

Following the 1872 Philippines Revolt there came to Kalk Bay Filipinos with names : Aborsto Eripe, Savor Pastor,Bartholomew Menor,Blacido Quimpo, Frederico Padua, Pedro Croza, Vincente Teyarda, Estaban Almazan.Benito Almano, Jose Pasqual, Estaccue Franco, Tobrucio Almote. Juan



This is what Kalk Bay looked like 66 years ago. At this time there were mmore than a score of Filipino families settled there. The picture picture was probably taken from a point roughly opposite the present site of the New Kingís Hotel and looking towards Simonís Town . There was no railway, protecting wall or pier.

(Continued on page 3)


The Men Who Founded Kalk Bayís Fishing Industry


Maria Francis Florez ,daughter of
Felix Florez , and one of the first children born to a Filipino settler at Kalk Bay. The picture was taken in 1900

Rupert Adams
, honorary secretary of the Philippines Commonwealth League, descende from one of the original Filipino settlers,
Felix Florez.


The Rev. Father Duignam, Catholic priest at St. James, Who was looked upon by the Filipinos of Kalk Bay as the un-crowned king of the False Bay coast. The picture was taken when he had completed 50 years of unselfish toil among them. He was responsible for the building of the Roman Catholic Church and Covent at St. James.

(Continued from page 2)

Clemente , Lucio Garcia, Pedro Bonaventura,Paconicio Palma ,Donato Villa Neuva, Hilario Griego,Simeon BulibarÖand others with the musical quality in their names not lacking.

The original Filipino settlement at Kalk Bay , It is estimated began with 68 families. There were many death during the smallpox epidemic of 1882.

The settlement grew with a predominantly Latin atmosphere. The Lingua Franca was either Spanish or Tagalog.
The attempts of the ealrly Filipinos to speak Afrikaans were amusing. Legendarystories still exeist at Kalk Bay of how the early Filipinos spoke Afrikaans. Their Afrikaans was often filled with amusing and
embarrassing blunders.

To add to the latin nature of the Kalk Bay colony, the Filipinos there were joined later by Italian and Portuguese fishermen.

Felix Florez was more or less the headmen of the community. He had a shop and supplied his countrymen when they arrived , with fishing gear and with quarters. He came from the island of Panay. His father was a Spaniard and his mother was Filipina. He married a miss Maria Chapman.

The Filipinos as most of their descendants are to-day, were devout Catholics. At first they sailed by boat for Simonís Town to attend services at St. James.
When a member of their community died a fishing boat was converted into a hearse and the body was taken to Simonís Town for burial. Tey sailed to Simonís Town , too for christenings and marriages.

Later Father Rooney held services for them at a place called the Hermitage on the main road at Kalk Bay.Father Rooney subsequently became Bishop Rooney.

The had language difficulties until a much loved Catholic father named Duignam, Fleunt in many languages, was sent in june 1874 to Kalk Bay "to relieve for six months" His love for the Filipinos was such that he stayed on until he retired in December 1925 at an advanced age. He welded them into a strong and happy community.

He was a great disciplinarian, and insisted on 100 per cent . attendances at Mass. He carried a sjambok named "nagslang: and stragglers were quik to learn the penalty for dawdling or lazinnessÖ so much so, that they often came to Mass at St. James at a double trot.

From The Mother Prioress and Priest at St. James I learned about Father Duignam. He appears to have been a dynamic character. As far as the Filipinos were concerned he was the uncrowned king of the False bay Coast. Stories About him have become legendary.

When he arrived at Kalk Bay in 1874 the railway ran only as far Wijnberg. The Small chapel at Kalk Bay did not satisfy Father Duignam. He looked around for a suitable site where he could build a bigger chapel. Three morgen of ground were bought at St. James for £ 1,200 where in time a covent and presbytery were built . Changes had to be made when the railway was extended.

Father Duignam, a man of many parts, took entire charge of the building. He blasted out rocks with gunpowder and dynamite. The rock and stone he did not require at St. James he sent on to Woodstock, where it was used for building the church, convent and school. He personally collected most of the money for the work. At that time there were only nine houses in the two miles stretch from Farmer Peckís to the St. James Church.

Father Duignam was born in March 1846, At Mullingar, Ireland and was ordained a priest in the Basillica of St. John Lateran, Rome in 1873. For six years previously he had studied at the Propaganda College in Rome. Almost immediately after his ordination Father Duignam was sent out to South Africa.

He died at the Sieni Convent Bonnievale, where he had gone to live after his retirement, early in 1931 at the age of 84.

To the descendants of the Filipinos he was more than a noble priest. Even to-day at meetings of the Phillippine Commonwealth League, his name is ever recalled. At a special service three years ago at St. James Monsignor J. Colgan said that the name of Father Duignam was synonymous with the Filipinos of Kalk Bay, who had helped him build the fine stone church there.

He named it after Saint James of Campostella, the patron saint of Spain which country had brought Roman Catholiscism to the Philippines.
Father Duignam was able to minister to the Filipinos in a language they understood Spanish. The old songs of the Filipinos, some persist to-day were songs of old Spain.
Burial services in the old days were
important occasions to the Filipino community. With the arrival of Father Duignam they were allotted a burial ground on a site behind the present Sea-Hurst Hotel.

They attended funerals in black suits, silk top hats, starched shirts and white gloves.

The procession was always in double line with the coffin bearers in front. The Entire community attended and many of the older people at Kalk Bay and St. James will tell you that it was a most impressive sight to see 200 people walking solemn dignity, like a patriach of old Father Duignam leading his beloved charge to eternal rest.

To-day the descendants of the early Filipinos are of the third and fourth generation. There are several hundred of them in the Cape peninsula. Mostly, of course, they are fishermen, carrying on the traditional calling at Kalk Bay. They cast their own sinkers and make their own nets and other fishing gear.

Quite a number, however, have taken up trades and other occupations. Two of their women are Dominican sisters working in the Cape Peninsula.