Our family fisheries background as per my father, Petrus Johannes Fredericks Junior:
My grandfather, Micheal Samuels, was a fisherman. He was living with his family in the Kleinmond Visbaai. My mother, most of her sisters and brother were born in the Visbaai (Kleinmond Harbour), where they grew up.
Later on my grandfather moved to a new bigger house in up in the street (11 Harbour Road). My mother, Dolfina Samuels, in the meantime was married to Petrus Johannes Fredericks Senior. During the fifties he applied a couple of times to hire a section of the old Fish House (Vishuis) in the Kleinmond harbour. During the late fifties (±1957) and early sixties he was successful in his application. It is minuted in the Overstrand Municipality – Kleinmond (Local Government) archives. He held the lease until the Vishuis was abolished during the forced removals. All the houses were also abolished.
During these years my father had his own fishing boat and a crew. He was also a builder and subcontractor. He taught many people the art of building; skills transfer. Today these people – or their siblings – are still in the building industry as carpenters, bricklayers etc.
In the early sixties a new trade started in our fishing village: it was abalone diving and seaweed harvesting. My father bought three boats and started abalone diving in Kleinmond. The first “coloured” divers in our village were the Swartz brothers, namely Abraham, Michael and Nolan. They began their diving career in partnership with my father. Later Abraham (Ivan) Oncker and Daniel Arendse were diving in partnership with him. He was the reason commercial diving started to take place. They were paid 20 cents per abalone those years.
Snoek and other fish species were also caught by him and fishermen to provide for the Kleinmond community and surrounding towns, as this was the sole meal for most families.
PJ Fredericks senior was the first PDI to have his own boats. He had two trawlers during the 1960’s: Sea Star and Al Kant Kop Kant. He had a vessel, Pauly, for Seaweed harvesting and abalone vessels, Julinda, Dolphina and Denise. Attachment 2003, affidavit Nolan P Swartz.
The divers, after a couple of years, bought their own equipment and left my father to dive for themselves. All of them or their siblings still hold fishing rights today. The last diver to work for him was Daniel Arendse, who died of a heart attack in 1984.
During all these years my father also used his boats to catch fish, when they did not dive. He was the sole person in this industry and trained many in the small fishing community. From this Kleinmond became a commercial fishing village. The skills he taught are already into the fifth generation.
Indirectly the current commercial and traditional fishermen have a fishing background due to my father’s role in the fishing industry.