Michael's Top Matches
About Michael Stuart Latham
Mike was born in Johannesburg (Hollowdene) on the 9th July 1934.
Mike grew up almost as an only child as his brothers, Peter and David, were a good bit older than him and spend most of their upbringing at boarding school. His Governess was Mavis who later married his Uncle, Ian Taylor-Smith.
At the young age of 6, his father Jack was killed in action in Cairo, Egypt (1941). After his fathers death, his mother Margaret "did not do very well". The house in Hollowdene had been donated for use to the Red Cross and Margaret and her youngest son Michael moved to an apartment "across from the Country Club in Johannesburg". Her son's Peter and David were still at Hilton College.
After a year or two, Margaret and Mike moved to Durban where he enrolled at Clifton Preparatory School in Lambert Rd. During this time, Margaret resided at the Marine Hotel (Esplanade- I think) where she met and married a British Naval Office (described as "a skunk looking for money" by David Latham- her son). The marriage only lasted a few months.
Mike later enrolled at Hilton College and Margaret moved back to Hollowdene "to contend with brokers/banks for screwing up" her husband's investments. Finally Hollowdene was sold to Carl Rolfs "one of her boy friends" and Margaret moved to Jan Smuts Avenue.
Mike attended Natal University where he studied and excelled at Architecture. He compleded his degree at London University. He married Rozenn L'Heveder at Wandsworth Registry Office, London in 1959. He had met her in Cherbourg, Brittany.
On weekends he and his friends would catch the train to Southhampton where his 4 ton sloop "Sunburst" was moored and they would sail across to France. According to Anne-Ivonne Escoubet (his sister in law), he met Rozenn, his first wife, at the "yatch club" in Cherbourg. It was 1958 and Mike had arrived in La Rochelle in the Bay of Biscay via the rivers and canals from St Malo. Mike's story was a little different. He said he first noticed her walking along the quay with her mum while he was busy doing DIY on his yatch. He then saw them again in the Post Office whilst posting a letter. He had plucked up the courage to ask them to dine on board his yatch, however Mme L'Heveder had thought it more suitable that he come to the L'Heveder home for dinner.
Anne-Ivonne went on... "your father crossed the Channel "in his ship (sail maker)" with a friend. He saw your beautiful mother and mabey it was coup de fourde, nobody knows. Your mother came to see the ships and I suppose she was sad her life had failed, it is unknown for her. I think your father was the hope, the future, a new life for her. Your father went back to London and sometime later she went to find him. She was poor and she borrowed my Chanel (dress) for her wedding. Your aunt (Armelle) thinks she knew she was going to marry him."
After the wedding at Wandsworth Registry Office in 1959, Mike found employment as a resident architect in Sheffield (iron works). Their son Christoper was born there in 1961.
In 1963, Mike's mother Margaret Ivy passed away in Johannesburg and the family sailed back to Durban via the Suez Canal. After the funeral, Mike and Rozenn decided to settle down in Athlone Park, south of Durban (1 Hudd Rd) The second son, Alain was born (Mothers Hospital next to Greyville Racecourse) and taken to Hudd Rd. A year or two later, they moved to 21 Dick King Rd.
Why Mike chose to settle in Athlone Park is best explained by virtue of the fond memories he had for this part of the Natal coast of the various family holidays (caravaning) with his parents and brothers all the way from Johannesburg. Mike had also lived a fair while in Durban attending Clifton Preparatory School in Lambert Rd. His mother Margaret was resident at the Marine Hotel on the Esplanade in Durban.
In 1969, his seemingly happy marriage to Rozenn ended after she decided to leave the family (after a row) on Christmas day and moved in with her friends, a Belgian couple, in Marriott Rd. She initially took her sons Christopher and Alain, however, once school began, Mike persuaded her to let them reside with him in Dick King Rd (for reasons of practicality).
Mike later won custody of Chris and Alain and they continued to reside with him in Athlone Park.
A year or so after his separation with Rozenn, Mike met Janetta Cazelet. He was 35 and she was 21. Janetta was on a working holiday to Durban from her home in Jersey, Channel Islands. She was living in Moore Rd, Durban in a "digs" with other English girls. The girls had heard about a party going down at 21 Dick King Rd which had become famous for it's cosmopolitan parties hosting ex patriots from many different European countries such as Germany, Belgium, France, Mauritius, Seychelles and the UK in classic 70's "playboy mansions" style.
To cut a long story short, Janetta fell in the pool and Mike gallantly offered to help her find some dry clothes to wear and, well, the rest is up to the imagination.
His relationship with a Janetta grew in time and he eventually they married on the 30th of March 1973.
Michael Latham's Timeline
July 9, 1934
Johannesburg, GP, South Africa
March 8, 1961
Wandsworth, Greater London, UK
March 30, 1973
Durban, KZN, South Africa
Durban, KZN, South Africa
Durban, KZN, South Africa