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Sally Simson

Sally Simson
1933 - 2010

Journalist and Author of books on food and drink and allied subjects

Sally was born on 9th August 1933 in Johannesburg.


She wrote the text for Chris Jansen's photo books "50 Cape Dutch Houses" in 1981
Wine of Good Hope,1982
The Cape of Good Cooks, 1994, revised edition, 2004

Dave Hugues and Sally SimsonSALLY SIMSON   9th August 1933 - 22 March 2010
It is hard to accept that someone who lived life to the full like Simmo did has actually passed on. One seems to think that people like her are invincible !! Sally was born in Johannesburg in 1933. She grew up with her parents in Waverly and lived through the Second World War in Johannesburg as a child.
As an adult Sally had an adventurous life ! While working as a Researcher at the SABC she met and married the now late Ralph Boffard at the tender age of 24. She moved to the USA where Ralph did radio work and lived in Philadelphia, Texas and Arizona where she worked in her husband's radio station. All the time doing her best to be housewife and mother to her son, Charles.
The family returned to South Africa 1967. In 1977-79 Simmo was Editor of the Mafeking Mail and was instrumental in reviving the Special Edition of the South African Journal of Africana. This was when I first got to know her. However, she parted from Ralph and the next I knew was in 1980 when she began working with Distillers Corporation doing the PR work for the Bergkelder. Her actual title was "Press Officer" and she handled all the info for the media.
She had this air of being a sweet English rose yet she got on amazingly well with the, mainly, Afrikaans wine farmers who were involved with the Bergkelder marketing scheme. This also brought her into contact with Meerlust and where she actually lived for a while. Obviously became closely associated with the Myburgh family. The late Nico Myburgh was one of her champions and it was here she also made life long friends with the Dalla Cias and, of course, with Hannes.
Then there was a time she lived on Thelema in what is now the farm manager's house. From there she bought a place at Kleingeluk where she lived until her death.
Sally was incredibly efficient in her work as a journalist and those who got to know her were often amazed at how she could party and still produce the work she did. In true journalistic style she never missed a deadline. For most of 1990's she had a column in the Sunday Argus under the banner of "Sally Forth". It had a regular wine mention but covered anything and everything. Her subject covered as wide a range for her dislike of roadside billboards to a plague of miggies during the 1994 vintage!
She also had wine columns in various publications including "Living" and "Your Family" and various travel magazines including Air Namibia's in flight magazine. Sally had a passion for frogs and had a great collection of frog related stuff including statuettes, pictures and clothing. Most in very humourous vein. People brought her frog related things from all over the world. I will never forget the great commotion of the Meerlust people getting her urgently to the farm to view a man-eating frog that had appeared on the banks of the Eerste rivier. After much performance she realized it was the Ist of April!
She also was a great cat lover and all her friends were well acquainted with Apricot, the tortoiseshell, and Manzi who was saved from a flood in the Transkei. After they both passed on she shared her later life with the adorable little and very dapper miniature daschund Odi. Odi and Sal became inseparable and he gave Sal a whole new lease on life. The pair were often to be seen walking along the banks of the Eersteriver, through De Boord shopping center and visiting all of his and Sal's many friends!
Those who knew Simmo had a great respect for her when she poured the Gin and Tonics. Her ideas of two fingers gin was to hold the two middle fingers together and measure between the little finger and index finger placed vertically. Then four fingers of tonic with the fingers horizontal to the glass!!

She was involved in the publication of a number of books and did two of her own. A first and second editions of "The Cape of Good Cooks". The first in 1994 and the second was totally rewritten and redesigned in 2004. She did the text for one of Chris Jansen's photo books "50 Cape Dutch Houses" in 1981. She produced "Wine of Good Hope" in 1982 which featured all the Bergkelder Estates and Chris did the pics.
Sally retired at age 65 and lived a full life from her Kleingeluk home.

Dave Hughes Stellenbosch Wednesday, 24th March 2010
This article appeared in Eikestadnuus on 26 March 2010.

Text by Dave Hughes, March 2004/2010  Photo: Dave Hughes and Sally Simson

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