Dr Dean Allen to speak at U3A

Dr Dean Allen will present a talk on James Douglas Logan, at the Helderberg U3A’s meeting on Wednesday July 6, at Strand Town Hall, at 10am.

Born in Reston, Scotland in 1857, James Logan immigrated to South Africa at the age of 19.

Based upon years of research in both South Africa and the United Kingdom, and using original archive material, Dr Allen’s talk will be based on his book Empire, War and Cricket in South Africa: Logan of Matjiesfontein.

Dr Allen will explore how James Logan made his fortune in the 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.

Dr Allen’s 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.

It 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 story that has had many British and South African audiences enthralled.

A native of Somerset in the West Country of England, Dr Allen’s long association with South Africa began in the mid 1990s when he began his studies at Stellenbosch University.

He went on to lecture at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and in June 2015, was appointed as a senior lecturer at Bournemouth University in the UK.

Over the past decade he 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 (which focused on Sport during the Anglo-Boer War) that Dr Allen first visited Matjiesfontein and a fascination for the history of cricket and this region led him to complete a PhD in 2008.

Doors will open at 9.30am, when tea and coffee will be available. Guests are welcome to attend at R20 each. Booking is not necessary.

For information call Brodwyn Wilson on 083 604 0784.