JAN VAN RIEBEECK - Father of the Nation PDF Print E-mail

JohaPicture1n Anthoniszoon van Riebeeck was born 21 April 1619, in Culemborg, on the River Le, East of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. He was the son of a surgeon. At age 16, he had already accompanied his father to Greenland and Brazil. Jan van Riebeeck grew up in Schiedam where he married 19-year old Maria de la Quellerie, 28 March 1649. Jan and Maria van Riebeeck had 8 children. One of their sons, Abraham van Riebeeck, who was born in Cape Town, later became Governor General of the Dutch East Indies.


VOC Surgeon

At age 20, Jan van Riebeeck joined the Vereenigde Oost–Indische Compajnie (VOC). He served as a surgeon in Batavia in the East Indies. He was also the head of the VOC Trading Post in Tonkin, of what is today Viet Nam. In 1643, he served at De Jime in Japan.

The Christmas Truce - 100 Years Ago PDF Print E-mail

dailymirror-christmastruceOn Christmas Eve 1914, a spontaneous cease-fire was observed across the whole of the Western Front. The Christmas Truce of the First World War, a singular event unprecedented in the history of warfare, initially received widespread media coverage in the New York Times of 31 December 1914, followed by British newspapers, such as the Mirror, The Illustrated London News and the Times, which printed front page photographs of British and German troops mingling and singing Christmas carols.

Undermining Propaganda

The French government was the first to severely censor any reports on what they called "fraternisation with the enemy." Political pressure was brought to bear to censor all reports of the event from mainstream history books for decades. For years the extraordinary event was known only by word of mouth from participants. The damage caused by the Christmas Truce to propaganda campaigns to
demonise the enemy, was regarded as a serious threat to the war. It has taken decades to unearth the details of the fascinating events surrounding Christmas 1914.

Knox 500 PDF Print E-mail

This year, 2014, marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of Scottish Reformer, John Knox.


To view this presentation on Reformer John Knox and the Reformation in Scotland, click here.

Reformation in Scotland

As the books of Martin Luther and Tyndale's translation of the New Testament entered Scotland, they were received with great interest. Students at St. Andrews University began to take their faith seriously. Patrick Hamilton, a student at St. Andrews, wrote a book that was condemned as heretical.  He fled to Germany, met with Luther and soon returned to Scotland. Hamilton began preaching the Protestant Faith with great boldness.

The Betrayal of Patrick Hamilton

By an act of Parliament, 17 July 1525, the importation of Luther's books into Scotland was prohibited. In 1528, the Archbishop of St. Andrews summoned Hamilton for "a debate." However, he had no intention of debating Hamilton; it was a trap. Before any of his friends could come to Hamilton’s defence, a church court hurriedly found him guilty of "heresy". 

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