Chamber Connects with Dr Dean Allen: Empire, War and Cricket in South Africa

Events > 2016 > February > Chamber Connects with Dr Dean Allen: Empire, War and Cricket in South Africa

About this event:

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VENUE: Deloitte - 2 New Street Square

A native of Somerset in the West Country of England, Dr Dean Allen’s long association with South Africa began in the mid-1990s when he began his studies at Stellenbosch University. Until recently a lecturer at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, in June 2015 Dean was appointed as a Senior Lecturer at Bournemouth University in the UK. Over the past decade Dean has taught at Universities in South Africa, Australia, Northern Ireland and England and is widely published in the areas of sports history and sociology. It was during research for his Masters Degree (that focused on Sport during the Anglo-Boer War) that Dean first visited Matjiesfontein and a fascination for the history of cricket and this region led to a PhD that was completed in 2008. His exciting new book Empire, War and Cricket in South Africa: Logan of Matjiesfontein is published by Penguin Random House (Zebra Press) and signed copies will be available for sale at his talk.

Cecil Rhodes is on record as saying he had only met two creators in South Africa, one being himself and the other James Douglas Logan. Born in Reston, Scotland in 1857, Logan immigrated to South Africa at the age of nineteen. Based upon years of research in South Africa and the United Kingdom, and using original archive material (including many unseen photographs), Dr Allen’s fascinating talk is based upon his new book and explores how James Logan made his fortune in late nineteenth century South Africa through business, politics and a high profile association with the British Empire’s favourite sport – cricket.

James Logan became known as the ‘Laird of Matjiesfontein’ after the Karoo town he had developed. This famous town is today a national heritage site and a popular tourist destination for South African and international visitors. This talk will explore how
Matjiesfontein was created and how James Logan developed this little town in the Karoo into a renowned health resort attracting the rich and famous of the late nineteenth century.

The talk will also explain how James Logan was instrumental in developing the game of cricket in South Africa and examine the controversial but little-known 1901 South African cricket tour to England – a venture funded by Logan himself in the midst of the Anglo-Boer War. Matjiesfontein’s pivotal role in the war is explored alongside James Logan’s exploits during this time. It is a truly amazing story that has had many British and South African audiences enthralled.