Bennie Gelfand (1915 - 1991)

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Birthplace: Wynberg
Death: Died in South Africa
Managed by: David Joel Gelfand
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Bennie Gelfand

Bennie Gelfand was born on 15 June 1915, in Wynberg, in the Province of the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Town. He diedin Kenilworth, Cape Town on 25 July 1991.

His parents were Lewis and Ethel Gelfand. He was their thirdson.

Bennie studied Accountancy and became articled to a firm of Accountants by name of Alex Thal and Company in 1933. He left Cape Town in 1938 to join Northern Caterers in Northern Rhodesia, owned by the Kollenberg family. (Bennie's brother Michael married Esther Kollenberg). Head office was in Kitwe with Branches in Luanshya, Nkana, Nchanga and Mufulira.

While in Cape Town Bennie played First Team Rugby for UCT in 1937.

WW11 broke out on 3 September 1939 while Bennie was working in Northern Rhodesia, and he returned to South Africa in early 1940 to volunteer. He became a member of the 2 Ack Ack Regiment and was sent up north to fight with British Forces in East and North Africa.

At the fall of Tobruk, Bennie was taken prisoner and there started the long march from North Africa into Italy and then into Germany itself. Because Bennie was a Jew he was sent to work in the Salt Mines and eventually taken to STALAG V111C where he remained until liberation in 1945. Bennie and his fellow prisoners were force marched 300 miles to the West by the Germans trying to escape from the Russians. The prisoners were rescued by the Allied forces, however Bennie suffered greatly and was hospitalised from fatigue. After the end of war Bennie returned to Cape Town and was officially discharged.

Bennie resumed his Rugby playing career and after completing his Board exam in Accountancy, left UCT.

He married Marigold Singer (known as Bubbles) on 29 June 1947.

Children:

  • b1 David Joel 7.11.1948
  • b2 Ruth Arleen 20.6.1951
  • b 3 Jillian 13.1.1955
  • b 4 Tessa 16.8.1956

In 1953 Julius Levinkind joined Bennie to open a successful and flourishing Accounting Practice. Rhodesia's seeking independence from Britain proved to be a threat to Bennie and Bubbles wanting to leave the country and live in London where David was at boarding school. Income from Rhodesia would be blocked and would make it difficult for the Gelfands to live in the UK. They left Rhodesia in 1976 to go back to Cape Town where they had both been brought up as children.

Bennie Gelfand's awards in business

  • South African Institute of Chartered Accountants - 1947
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales - Fellowship Certificate awarded 2 November 1966
  • Director of a few Public Companies in Rhodesia, amongst which were Maceys, Morewear Industries, Zimbabwe Furnishers and J.H. Minet Blackmore.
  • Director of Striling Trust and Gelfand's Trust

Source

http://www.zjc.org.il/showpage.php?pageid=327 Excerpts from article submitted by David Gelfand

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Bennie Gelfand's Timeline

1915
May 16, 1915
Wynberg
May 16, 1915
Wynberg, Cape Town, South Africa
1947
June 29, 1947
Age 32
South Africa
1991
July 21, 1991
Age 76
South Africa
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