Friday, September 2, 2011

Quote of the Day

They wanted to know - why Johannesburg? Who was Johannes? But Dr. Eliot said that that had never been quite decided! "Before it was built," he said, "and there were only several mining camps full of men digging for gold along the Reef, the Government in Pretoria sent two commissioners to choose a site for a new town. Their names were Johannes Rissik and Christian Johannes Joubert-"
"Goodness," said Belinda, "Rissik Street and Joubert Street must have been called after them!"
"Yes," said Dr. Eliot, "and the Town of Johannesburg was probably called after one of them, or both; although some people think it was after Johannes Meyer, after whom one of the camps was named and who was the first mining commissioner. I like the old name better - Witwatersrand."
"The University is called the University of Witwatersrand," said Mike.
"It's pronounced Vitvatersrant," said Dr. Eliot, "and it means the Ridge of the White Waters."
"Oh," said Jennifer.

From VENTURE TO SOUTH AFRICA, Chapter 6, The Golden City.