Victory Park Cottages

Fray Bent us cottages

Tipperary Cottages

SMC Witbank

FLR – Vice C/man – Moth Dirk Volschenk, Chairman – Moth Dion Slabbert, Ratel S/H rep, Moth Barries Barnard,SMC Manager – Mrs. Bettie Grove, Treasurer – S/H Supporter Clive Hatch, Insert :- Crater S/H rep. – Moth Gerhard Burger.

SMC Witbank Chronicles

Cottages chronicals December 2020
Cottages chronicles April 2020
Cottages chronicals June 2019
Cottages chronicles August 2018
Cottages chronicles February 2018
Cottages chronicles October 2017

News / Events



After seven weeks of the Lockdown, the residents in the single cottages woke up expecting another lonely and sad Sunday with no visitors. Nurse Elize had other ideas. Being Mother’s Day she decided to brighten up their day by giving all the ladies a snack tray with a cupcake, some sweets and a Mother’s Day blessing. In the evening there was some old music and an impromptu sing song, for about 20 minutes.


Life at the Witbank Sound Memory Cottages was turned on its head at the end of March when the Covid 19 Lockdown hit like a bolt of lightning.

Despite the fact that the maintenance and garden staff were prevented from working and the kitchen and other domestic staff had increased workloads coping with the Lockdown protocols life had to go on and the residents had to be catered for and treated as if little had changed except their freedom to leave the complex.

As usual our residents did not immediately jump in to assist us to maintain our complex in its pristine condition.


Residents started gathering in the lounge just after breakfast in anticipation of the annual Valentine’s Day morning tea where everyone would be feasted on sweets, cakes and all things nice. Of course there is always the anticipation, fear for the 11 men in a leap year, that cupid will arrive with his romantic arrow.

The weather conditions resulted in the Valentine’s Day function being held in the lounge rather than the lapa. While most enjoyable as far as I am aware cupid did not bless the function with his presence.


The Witbank Community never forget the residents at the “Moths”, as the community fondly knows our cottages complex, Christmas 2019 was no exception.


There was the usual excitement and anticipation in the lounge on Saturday 9 September when the residents gathered for the annual Christmas Party. It was once again a great success with most of the residents in attendance.

As we have come to expect no one was disappointed with the spread put on by Bettie and the staff.

After everyone had eaten their fill Deidre White had people on the dance floor until the 23:00 load shedding sent everyone scuttling off to bed happy and content having eaten, drunk and been merry.


The approach  to the Witbank Sound Memory Cottages had a waft of varied and flavoured spices floating through the air. The food stalls satisfied and enchanted everyone’s pallet from the Braai with Pap and Sous, Wors rolls, Pannekoek, Jaffels, Curry and Rice, Vetkoek and Yankee Stix. The  delicious home- made cakes, puddings, doughnuts and koeksusters were heavenly for those with a sweet tooth, many of the visitors sat in the lapa to enjoy their braai while others enjoyed their cake with a cup of tea or coffee. Many made use of the occasion to take home lunch or cake for Sunday afternoon tea.

The residents of the Cottages were enthusiastically waiting to welcome the public to enjoy the twenty seven stalls the fair which were bigger and more varied than ever before, there was something to entertain the whole family from the youngest child to the oldest granny and everyone in between. There were activities for everyone young and old, a fishing stall for the youngsters to fish for a prize, having their faces painted, for the not so young and for the young at heart there was target shooting and Dad was able to buy his “wilds vleis” to make biltong.

The mothers and many others  found a bargain to purchase an early Christmas gift at the White Elephant stall, the Arts and Crafts, the  Make Up brushes, hand bags or the bath salts stalls and many more including those selling jams and chillies. The youngsters

Even the gardener will have a variety of plants and wire ornaments to choose from, the bookworms will be able to satisfy their reading programme for months at the book stall.

There was once again a raffle of a wheelbarrow of alcohol which was won by Moth Chris Sonnekus which enabled him to stock up his bar for Christmas.

This Vintage Fair once again was a financial success raising R54 346 for the complex.


With the Vintage Fair only five days away the residents made full use of the Spring Day bring and braai to relax and recharge their batteries

The opportunity was also used to introduce District Old Bill Koos Kleinsmith the newly elected District Old Bill to the residents. The day started with the Spring Bunny delivering some gifts for the residents whose clothes best depicted the spring atmosphere that was prevailing.

As usual Bettie and the staff again ensured that everyone had sufficient pap and sous and salads.



The executive of the Sound Memory Cottages recognised 119 years of service when certificates were presented to the staff members at the cottages Christmas Party.

Of particular note was Jeneta Mahlangu and Maria Fundama who each have 30 years of service.



 As a result of load shedding and the collapse of the infrastructure an unreliable water supply from the Emalahleni Local Municipality has plagued the Witbank community. There were occasions where there was no water supply for three or four days.

This necessitated the installation of a reserve water supply system consisting of 3 tanks of 10 000 litre each at the cottages complex. Which is connected to the Cottages via pumps plus a 5000 litre tank above the kitchen gravity feeding the kitchen. There are a further 4 tanks of 2000 litre each placed around the complex for toilet water in an extreme emergency.

This upgrade is of comfort to the residents in the knowledge that there now is sufficient water available for five to six days.


Two of the new water tanks installed at the Sound Memory Cottages Witbank


 Once again the residents were well entertained and kept busy over the festive period with many activities arranged by the committee and members of the community.

The fun started on Saturday 1 December with the annual Christmas Party. As usual Bettie, Sheila, Elize and the kitchen staff provided a scrumptious buffet dinner followed by an assortment of puddings to kill for. The liquid refreshments were readily available for members to lubricate their joints.

After the meal the residents relaxed to enjoy a wide range of music presented by Stanley White, however, the good music encouraged the residents and guests to get onto the floor and dance until the late hours.

A number of other enjoyable events were organise:

  • Once again Chairmain Snyman Cornelius organised the “blessings in a bottle” where everyone received small and useful gifts in a bottle.Rev Kedibone Mntambo and the Methodist Church arranged a Carol Service and  residents. tea;
  •  Members of the Lewende Woord Kerk arranged a an afternoon of Christmas Songs and delivered little bags of blessing for the residents.
  •  Bev and Anabel once again entertained everyone to their repertoire of old songs.
  •  This year the committee arranged and attended a lunchtime Braai with all the staff as a token of appreciation for their efforts towards the smooth functioning of the cottages.

Christmas Day lunch was attended by 37 residents and their family where Elize had prepared an fantastic lunch that the residents raved about. It was with great anticipation that everyone was looking forward to the traditional New Year’s day braai only for the heavens to open up and welcome in 2019 with over 50 ml of rain



 As you walked down Rhodes Street on Saturday 8 September the aroma of meat simmering on the braai, Prega rolls, curry and rice as well as other delicious foods and goodies drifted across drifted through the air together with the strains of popular music from the mobile studio of Radio Kragbron coming from the Vintage Fair being held at the Moth Cottages.

Throughout the morning a steady stream of people strolled through the gates to support the Moths and enjoy the gastronomic delights that were available as well as all the other bargains that were available.

The visitors were also treated to the relaxing and snappy Miranda music provided by the Saint Thomas Aquinas School Miranda Band, this was followed by a display by the Kiellie Kranke drum majorettes that mesmerised their audience.

The fair was held to raise funds to assist the Moths to provide quality accommodation to their residents at an affordable cost. They currently accommodate seventy four residents in sixty three units. A number of these residents only receive government pensions. Currently the Moths are raising funds to install a backup water supply system to ensure that residents have sufficient water during the frequent interruptions that Witbank experiences in its water supply.

The complex does not receive any form of subsidy from government and is dependent on self-generated funds.

The fair convenor Clive Hatch expressed his satisfaction with the support received from the public and he  extended his thanks to everyone who supported the day with donations, hiring of stalls and purchasing of goods. He gave the undertaking that all funds will be used to improve the lives of the Moth Cottages residents.

On Monday 10 September all residents gathered on the front lawn for a thank you braai where everyone celebrated the announcement that we had reached our target and raised the amount of R57 088


1st April 2018

The residents at the MOTH Sound Memory Cottages gathered in the lounge on Easter Sunday to display their handiwork and skill in creating a colourful and stunning Easter Bonnet.

Nobody was disappointed over twenty stunning and colourful hats were on display. Because of the high standard of entrants the judges decided not to recognise a sing hat as the best hat but to rather present equal prises to the top three hats. The ‘parade’ was followed by a delicious Easter lunch.



Valentine’s Day was celebrated with a community braai at the lapa and front lawn of the cottages on Wednesday 14 February.

Many of the residents as well as the staff joined in the spirit of the occasion by wearing red and white.


The residents of the Witbank Sound Memory Cottages got together around the Lapa on the front lawn to celebrate the start of the new year.

The meat was braaied under the watchful eye of Maritz Pretorius and Wollie Badenhorst while other residents enjoyed the wonderful sunshine and sipping all forms of liquid refreshments.



Once again all the residents, staff and committee members enjoyed the annual Christmas Party on Saturday 2 December in the lounge and dining room.

Bettie and the staff ensured that a spread ‘fit for a king’ was presented for the residents, champagne and other liquid refreshments flowed freely and everyone joined in dancing to the music provided by Chris Juaan.




On Saturday 9 September 2017 the residents, staff and committee organised a Vintage Fair in order to raise funds for the complex.

On the warm spring morning the Witbank Community streamed through the gates in response to the music, laughter and odours  to discover what this fair was all about. The smell of freshly made pancakes, braaied meet and pap, jaffles, vetkoek and mince as well as curry and rice wafted through the air and the people queued up to sample these delights.

Apart from the food stalls there were stalls for young and old such as homemade jams, pickles cakes and tarts there were stalls for needlework, books, plants and some excellent paintings by local artists and many others. For the children there was a fishing stall and jumping castle, young and old enjoyed the shooting range and darts.

The Witbank Classic Car Club exhibited their classic cars to the delight of the visitors.

Very popular was the raffle of a wheelbarrow of liquor which attracted a large number of optimists hoping to stock their bars for Christmas.

As the final members of the public drifted home at about 15:00 the organisers started to clean up and count the bounty, there was a gasp and a round of applause when it was announced that R55645.90 profit was raised on the day.

 Crater Shellhole and SMC Witbank look after Graves




Jafflles for sale

Opening Plaques














The Grounds

The main entrance
Wall of Remembrance
Honey Tank



25lb Pounder
















EL ALAMEIN (Cottages)

Pietermaritzburg & District Moth Cottages

Warrior Oasis Cottages (Closed) Property Sold.

This property has been sold and no longer belongs to the Moth as of July 2022 . The Warrior Shellhole still exists and has a new home. They meet in Krugersdorp. For Contacts details go to their website Warrior Shellhole

25 Cottages on the Moth Warrior Shellhole property,  out in the country in Mulderdrift. The cottages belong to Warrior Shellhole and Oasis Shellholes and are managed by Warrior Oasis Cottages Management Committee  (WOCMAC).  The Cottages were initially built in the late 1950’s. On the property is the Warrior  Shellhole and the Warrior Arms Club.



The Crusader Moves to Sandy

2 October 2021. Another sad day for Moth Warrior Shellhole, but a happy day for Sandy Shellhole as they fetch their new asset – a Crusader Tank. The exercise was scheduled for 9h30 in the morning. 9h00 it was miserable, wet and the weather did not look like it would let up. Sandy Shellhole was there in force. Nervous but keen to get going. The big question was, would they be able to release the brakes so the tank would roll. The team started releasing the brakes – they had a tank tiffy who new what was required.  9h45 the huge recovery vehicle arrived and shortly after that the “flat bed truck” Now the test. Would they be able to pull the tank tuning it 30 degrees to the right and then up onto the road and then turning the tank 45 degree left, without damaging tracks or the premisses. The photos tell the story.

The Happy crew on the day.


Now we have 1 more item to move – the Bofor. This 40mm gun is off to Durban – Moth Warriors Gate our National Shrine, but not straight there. We are doing a swap with Sandy Shellhole as they have 2 identical guns. This Warrior Bofor will go to Sandy, snd they will then send their gun to Warriors gate. This will all be done at Sandy Shellholes Cost. Thanks very much.

Some Videos



The Honey Moves

The 2 September 2021 was a sad day at Warrior Shellhole as they watch one of their 2 tanks being transported to a new home at Mesca Dickie Fritz Cottages. This is all part of the preparation to sell the Warrior Property in Mulderdrift. We do thank Dickie Fritz as they take on the ownership of the Honey and add to their collection in Edenvale. Looking forward to seeing the Honey in a months time after it has had a paid Job and cleaned up.


29 August 2019

Fund raising is key to the success of this complex. The 11th Annual golf day was arranged at Glenvista to raise funds. Again a roaring success. We were able to bank almost R40000.00 which will go towards our project of ensuring the we can do the maintenance of the roof.  We had 76 players on the day (only one 4 ball not arriving). The rest of the four ball all being full. Thanks to the many sponsors who sponsored in various ways ranging from cash donation, sponsoring a watering holes, providing prizes (every player received a prize), sponsoring half way house, greens fees and dinner, or simply entering  four ball or 2. We thank you very  much.

Xon Watering Hole

19th November Parade

Oasis Shellhole held their annual Service of Remembrance at the Shrine situated in the grounds of the Oasis/Warrior cottages in Muldersdrift on 19th November 2017. The Service was attended by over 60 Moths, tenants from the cottages, family, friends and the Pipe Band.

After the Ceremony of Light, the Old Bill of the Shellhole, Moth Mike Groenewald opened proceedings by welcoming all and gave a brief history of the Shrine.

The following article appeared in the Aardvark which was the newsletter of Sandton Commando dated December 1988. Titled – Oasis Shellhole, Dedication Ceremony 27th November 1988. The ceremony was the Dedication of the Shrine and the first Remembrance Parade which has been held for the last 29 years.

“On the 27th November 1988 there was a dedication service at the Oasis Shellhole in Muldersdrift. There was a turnout of one hundred and fifty people and the event was characterized by a good spirit of comradeship.

The Shrine at the Shellhole was unveiled by Keith Ford (Oasis Old Bill), and the sermon was given by Padre W Marshall. Padre Marshall emphasized in his sermon that battlefields are Holy ground since everyone pays the supreme price. Wars are about ordinary people fighting one another. Even though enemies in war, soldiers can become close friends after the cessation of hostilities. It was ironical, the Padre remarked, that in reality, all nations crave peace. Wreaths were laid by various military officials, including Commandant Edgar, the O.C. of Sandton Commando.

After the ceremony an excellent light lunch was provided by members of the Red Cross. Sandton Commando members manned the bar and also assisted with the preparation of the venue by erecting tents”

It was also pointed out that three members of Oasis Shellhole who attended that parade were present at the service, namely Moths Robbie Dow, Mike Hart and Sean Mc Harry. Interestingly they all were Sergeant’s Major in Sandton Commando as well.

In closing Moth Mike mentioned that the bricks had been donated by Ken Faithful, a member of Sandton Commando and a Moth and the Shrine was built by Moth Alec Alexander who has a section of the cottages dedicated to him and that the 30th parade which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the cessation of hostilities will be as special as the first parade in 1988

After the Service everybody retired to the Warrior Arms Club for the toasts and light refreshments.

Picnic hosted by Oasis Shellhole  Nov 2017

On Saturday the 9th December 2017,  Oasis arranged a picnic for the residents at Warrior Oasis Cottages. They were provided with boerewors rolls and salads. Afterwards gifts and sweet hampers were given to the residents, which were prepared by Annie and Andrew. Fortunately the weather play ball and everybody enjoyed themselves.




Kimberley – Moth Evenden Flats

Estcourt Moth Cottages

Durban & District Moth Memorial Cottage Trust (Bartle Road)



Delmein Cottages Escombe

Cosy Corner Cottages (Brakpan)

Chilly Trench Moth Cottages (Roodepoort)

Better’ole Cottages Pinetown

Zululand Moth Memorial Homes

SR Cottages

SMC West Rand (Krugersdorp)

SMC Westonaria (Far West Rand)

SMC Middelburg

Sentinel Cottages

SMC Pretoria

Port Elizabeth Mesca “Winston Churchill” Cottages

Port Alfred

For a pre-application form click here


View more images here

Monte Sole

Mesca Peacehaven

Mesca East London

Garden of Remembrance.

East London District has raised the boundary wall at the MOTH Complex Garden of Remembrance.
The second phase will be converting the crosses, which are prone to sun damage, into plaques on the wall.

Phase 2

Revamped Garden of Remembrance, East London District.

Each Tin Hat on the wall remembers a MOTH who has answered the Sunset Call.

Thank you MESCA East London for the revamp and MOTH Clegg Naude for placing each Tin Hat on the wal


MESCA East London hosted its residents’ Christmas lunch on Saturday 16 November 2019 at Berea Gardens.
A special thank you to OK Foods, Cambridge, for sponsoring the Christmas hampers.



About our Cottages

MESCA Lowveld Branch is a Unit of the MOTH Lowveld District and is managed by a committee which is representative of all the Shellholes in the District.
The MESCA Lowveld cottage complex is essentially a retirement village which provides accommodation for indigent retired ex-servicemen, ex-servicewomen and/or their spouses without the full recovery of costs.
The facility consists of 18 self-contained stand-alone residential units or cottages. 7 of these are single units intended for unmarried persons and the balance of 11 are double units intended for married couples. Every unit contains its own bathroom and kitchen. The single units are approximately 35sqm in floor area while others are in the order of 48sqm.
Besides the above accommodation units, the complex also has many covered carports, storage rooms and a workshop. At this time, one of the single units is used as an office for the Administrator.
The entire complex of 4,800sqm in ground area is constructed on the property of Legogotu MOTH Shellhole located between Russell and Rothery Streets in Nelspruit and is on the South side of the Shellhole. The complex is surrounded by a steel palisade fence and is accessed through electric-motor operated sliding gates from either Russell or Rothery Streets.
The MESCA Lowveld Cottage complex provides a well-maintained, secure and affordable facility with pleasant surroundings and attractive gardens in which the elderly can live out their lives with dignity in peace and harmony.

Our Early History

Our early history has been carefully researched and collated by Moth John Taylor, a serving member of Legogotu Shellhole since July 1981 and the Scribe of the MESCA Lowveld Management Committee for some 15 years.
Our cottage scheme owes much of its existence to the efforts of a few stalwarts most notably the late Moth Bernie Friedlander and Moth Fred Naudé.
Bernie was a firm believer of the principle of getting on with the job and apologizing afterwards. Although this attitude got him into hot water on many occasions, it did serve in achieving two of his ardent wishes; to get a permanent home for Legogotu Shellhole and to create a housing complex for retired and indigent ex-servicemen. To realise these ambitions, astute and firm leadership as well as lots of money was needed. Below is a transcript of letter written by Bernie Friedlander to Provincial Old Bill Frank Bingham on 6 September 1984:

“Dear Old Bill Bingham
As promised here is a history of Legogotu Sound Memory Cottage Scheme.
In 1959 the Shellhole was penniless As the Pay Bill absconded with all the funds over a period of 3 years and the books were not audited for that period.
The auditor called in to examine what was entered in the books traced an amount of £333 but no en-tries had been made for a period of 3 years.
We wrote to the Three Arms Shellhole and they sent us a cheque for £333.
In the meantime we had collected enough money to buy an erf for £500.
Soon after this the Hervormed Kerk decided to sell their church and we decided to buy it with the erf we had plus £1,700.
We spent a lot of money improving the hall and when everything was paid up we bought the house next door for £11,000. We borrowed money from the Allied Building Society to do this.
After we had paid this house off, we looked around. Our Hall Bill was accommodated at a very low rental. He was an old sailor in his nineties and lived with his daughter.
We then bought the house behind the Hall Bill’s house, and paid back the money borrowed from Sound Memory Cottages. This house cost £17,500 and we let it out.
Once again we went into debt by buying the house behind the hall for £23,500 and duly paid it off.
We have been collecting funds since then with Film Premieres, Bowls and Golf Days and a big Food and Drink Fair sponsored by Pick ‘n Pay.
We have consolidated our four erven into 1 erf of ±6,000 sq. meters on a prime site in Nelspruit which is zoned for High Density and is very near Shopping, Churches and the new Council Complex a block or so away.
At present, we have R86,500 in the Kitty and would like to complete a complex of 5 x 1 bedroom and 5 bedsitters, which will cost us R224,000. If we can borrow the money to complete the 1st phase of the project we will be home and dry, and we are sure that as in the past we will pay back every cent.
This is an appeal for assistance as we feel if we don’t get off the ground now the public will lose interest in helping us.
Bernie Friedlander
Chairman MESCA Lowveld”

Bernie Friedlander did couch his words somewhat in his letter to the Province. In fact, the piece of land owned at that time by Legogotu Shellhole, plus an amount of £1,700, was swopped with the Hervormde Kerk who owned and occupied the singe erf on which the Shellhole now stands. This unilateral unauthorised action received a lot of criticism from Shellhole members as well the Provincial Dugout. However, as soon as it was found that it was a good idea and a sound business deal, the furore died down.
As Bernie correctly states in his letter, having acquired the first stand on which the Shellhole is sited, and flushed with the success of their venture, Bernie and his merry men went ahead with an unprecedented acquisition derby. Through blood, sweat and tears, they acquired three erven with houses adjacent to the Shellhole giving the Legogotu Shellhole ownership of four erven in total. The erven have since been consolidated into a single property of 5,949 Sqm with Legogotu Shellhole occupying one-quarter and the cottage scheme occupying three-quarters.
The early pioneers now had ground, a few ramshackle houses and a burning ambition to create a home for the elderly Moths and ex-servicemen of the Lowveld. The process had to be planned, financed and managed and to this end the first MESCA Management Committee was formed. This consisted of Bernie Friedlander, John Constancon, Fred Naudé, Peter Fouché, George Hendriks and John Taylor with Ron Louw seconded as the Architect and Dennis Quilliam as the Electrical Engineer. These were the stalwarts but many others were also involved in those halcyon days.

And then came 1985 – the first three cottages were built and ready for occupation and understandably, amidst much pomp and ceremony. An extract from the newspaper “The Lowvelder” of Friday 14 June 1985 tells the story:



Since it humble beginnings, MESCA Lowveld has grown from the initial single “bedsitters” to what we have today. Along this development road, the three houses which were on the three properties bought by Legogotu Shellhole, were demolished to make way for the expansion. One of the double cottages now bears the name of Peter Cruze, a local businessman who paid for its construction. Another cottage commemorates Andrew Cresswell (Snr) who, on behalf of the Red Cross, paid for another double cottage.
Another significant contributor to our cottage development was Moth Fred Naudé who, feeling that the time had come for him to take up residence in the complex, paid for a large double cottage to be erected for himself and his wide Daphne. Despite being paid for by Fred, he still pays rent for the cottage and it will remain the property of the MESCA Cottage Scheme.
For many years, one of the original buildings on the property was used by the Moths of Legogotu as their Shellhole. Eventually, in 2016, the Moths moved to new premises next to the Shellhole hall and the vacated building was converted into two single cottages.
MESCA Lowveld sits on prime business development land and so it is not surprising that some years ago a very serious bid was made by a group of local businessmen to purchase the complex and in so doing, move the residents to an area on the outskirts of Nelspruit. Amidst strong opposition from the MOTH, the move come to nought.
One can only marvel at the tenacity, dedication and the energy of our Moths of those early years, who, faced with the challenges of their times, still forged ahead undaunted to establish what we today simply have to manage and maintain. However, therein lies our challenge today. We are facing dwindling numbers in our Order and fewer people to do the work. Funds are not as available as they may have been in the past and as our assets age, so the need for maintenance increases very much out of pro-portion to our income.
The Order is founded on the ideals of True Comradeship, Mutual Help and Sound Memory but our greatest achievement and visible expression of our ideals, are our Cottage Schemes. No matter what the future may hold for us, the MOTH, we must ensure that our Cottage Schemes are “ring-fenced” so that they will survive to continue the invaluable public benefit which they provide to the aged even if most them are not Moths.


In the News

Sunday 22 April 2018, our MESCA Lowveld AGM was held at Legogotu Shellhole. This occasion marked the end of the term of office of four of our stalwarts on the Management Committee and the installation of some new blood.
The MESCA Lowveld Management Committee has always been representative of the four Shellholes in the Lowveld District and this tradition remains.
With the retirement of Moth John Calmeyer, who was also the chairman, representing Jock Shellhole, we now have Moth Arthur Knoesen. Moth Deon Höll of Lone Tree Shellhole is replaced by Moth Andrew Diedericks. Moth JC Coetsee of Legogotu Shellhole has now been appointed as the District Old Bill and so is replaced by Moth Corrie Janse van Rensburg. Finally, Ben Engelbrecht from Mpumalanga Shellhole has been replaced by Moth Gerrie Scheurkogel.

With Pinky Calmeyer also retiring as the Administrator and Treasurer, the post has been filled by Moth Pauline Greyling as the Administrator and Carol Duke as the Treasurer.

And so we move forward into another year in the life of MESCA Lowveld.


Garden Route

Mesca Dickie Fritz Cottages

Entrance to Dickie Fritz Sanctuary, hall and pub area.
The SA “Troepie”

Events and News


Moth Cottesloe Homes

Cotties Corner – opens every Friday from 15h30 to 20h00 – All Moths, Veterans and friends of Cottesloe are welcome to come and have a chat and few drinks in a casual atmosphere.

Aerial view



Secure comfortable accommodation is available in a “Visitors Cottage”. This is for friends and family of residents who need to overnight. The accommodation is also available for Moths / Mothwa looking for accommodation for a few nights. Accommodation consists of a bedroom and a shower, but no meal facilities. For further details contact the Custodian Alwyn Harding on [email protected].









About the Cottages

Moth Cottesloe Homes, a branch of Moth Ex-Servicemans Cottage Association (MESCA) were initially built in 1934 in Cottesloe, next to the Gas works, Auckland Park. As a result of the Johannesburg City Council planning to build a road through the middle of the complex, we were offered a long term lease where the cottages currently stand in Fairlands.  The complex was build in phases, firstly 18 double cottages to move the persons from the old site. 5 years latter, 12 single cottages were built as a result of the demand for single accommodation.  This demand continues today, and have since built another 4 single cottages, being a total of 16 single cottages.  All Cottages were built to accommodate persons in wheel chairs. We also made sure the complex is low maintenance, i.e. outside walls all face brick, no gutters etc.

We house 56 Moths and ex-servicemen and their spouses. (Military service is a prerequisite)  We offer residents, whom are predominately Moths, safe, affordable housing. Residents have to be able to look after themselves, as we have no medical facilities. We do not offer transport to the shops, hospital etc. We are very concerned about the safety of our residents and therefor make sure we have done all that is possible to make sure the complex is safe, eg Electric fence all around the complex, linked to armed response Beagle Watch, all doors have security gate and windows have burglar bars.

In addition the complex has free Wifi for its residents. We have a laundry with Speed Queen washer and dryer. The complex also has Tony Marsh Hall for entertainment which doubles up as a Moth Dugout and a licenced pub – Cotties Corner. Currently we have West Rand District and  2 shellholes that meet monthly in the hall, being Last Post shellhole and Oasis shellhole. In addition Moth WestRand District, and the Royal Navy association, have their  meetings at Moth Cottesloe Homes. Our facilities are also used by other organisations as well.

The residents are very active in the complex, and on a regular basis, arrange functions in the Tony Marsh hall for entertainment. These vary from Bingo, Video evening, prayer groups, dances, or just a quiet drink and braai at the Cotties Corner bar with friends on a Friday evening.

Moth Cottesloe Homes Management Team over the Years

Cottage Applications:

We have 18 double cottages (Lounge, 1 Bedroom, Kitchen & Bathroom with Bath and Shower) and 16 singles (Bed sitters with shower, walk in cupboard and kitchen of the living room / bedroom) The scheme has a long waiting list, particularly for single cottages. Our preference when allocating Cottages is to look at needy persons, who have been Moths for 3 – 5 years or longer.  We will there after look at Ex-servicemen and woman. Health is critical so only applicants whose health state is good / excellent will be considered. To obtain an application form, email  Patrick Alfonso who looks after applications [email protected] or Adrian Eagar  the secretary [email protected]. Once filled in and returned, with your application fee of R100,  your name be added to the waiting list. Note rental is based on a means test, i.e. you pay according to the income you declare annually.Electricity and Water are pre-paid.  Regretfully, NO PETS.

News and Functions.

Len Rudman awarded the Certificate of Comradeship

Moth Len Rudman,an Oasis Shellhole Member, and a Tenant at Moth Cottesloe Homes, was awarded a certificate of Comradeship, by Old Bill. of the Order Richard Wilson. Old Bill Richard is also the Chairman of Moth Cottesloe Homes. This certificate was awarded for the tireless handyman work that he does at Moth Cottesloe Homes. He has revamped Cottages, Carports, fixed plumbing issues and can often be seen doing routing maintenance on our garden equipment. This is not a comprehensive list, but an indication of the service Moth Len offers to Moth Cottesloe Homes with a smile. We thank his wife Janet, for allowing him to spend the hours that he does working for Cottesloe.

Audrey celebrates 90 years of age.


Audrey celebrated a 90th birthday tea and eats with family and friends today in the hall. Her birthday is on 30 March. 1 third of her life she has spent at Moth Cottesloe Homes. The 1st year at the old cottages, while the current were being built, and 29 years at the current complex. Congratulations Audrey.


Cottesloe had a very successful visit from the Fairylands SAPS Station Commander, the Captain and their staff. Tea and cake was served and enjoyed by all. We look forward to more such visits.

Lunch at Silver Star Casino – 11th January 2024

Silver Star Casino sponsored Cottesloe Homes  Residents a lunch and movies at the  Casino. Residents that attended arrived at the Casino at 12h00 and were well looked after by the Casino staff. A huge thank you to Ryan Nicholas, Director of Operations and  General Manager of Silver Star Casino, who arranged this function. It is appreciated.

MOTH Cottesloe Homes Year End Function – 2023

On the 16th of December the Moth Cottesloe Homes Management Committee had their annual luncheon for the residents. Co-ordination was done by Alwyn and Kim Harding our Custodians. Our Guests included

Beverley Jacobs – City of Johannesburg Ward 98 Counsellor
James Lorimer – Gauteng Member of Parliament
Moth David Gush, Chairman of PMC
Moth Jimmy Frieslaar – Old Bill of Platinum Province
Moth Mike Groenewald – Old Bill of West Rand district and a committee Member
Moth Des Elliott – Old Bill Last Post Shellhole and his wife Dawn.
Moth Len Wynne – Old Bill of Oasis
Matt Stern – Singer & Actor
Anneke Liebenberg – AVBOB Representative
Leon van Zyl – Beagle Watch Representative and his wife Nicolene van Zyl

Entertainment provided by Matt Stern was enjoyed by all. A great lunch which was enjoyed by all,  was prepared by Eileen Cronje, one of the residents.  Definitely no shortage of food, including Roast Pork, Beef, Lamb and Chicken, with Veggies to go with. This all followed by great puddings.

Moth Andy Boden, the Treasurer of Moth Cottesloe Homes, then awarded Helen de Sousa a Certificate of Good Comradeship, for the great work she does in the back ground. She looks after the Cottages Library.

Cottesloe Bowlers take 1st Prize

Cottesloe Homes residents entered a team into the Moth Dickie Fritz annual fun Bowls day on the 10th September at Edenvale Bowling Club.  Well done to the team. You made us proud, taking 1st prize

L- R Esme, Mark, Jeff and Alwyn

Diggers U14 entertain Residents


SNOW GLOBES 18 October 2022

Ladies at Cottesloe get together and learn the art of making Snow Globes. Looks like fun was had by all. Thanks Tanya



OPENING OF THE COTTESLOE PUB – Friday 16th September 2022

After years of trying to get a liquor licence and then been struck by covid, the Moth Cottesloe Bar never had a name and was never officially opened.  A small team of residents decided to prepare for the opening namely Laurie, Marc, Glan, Len, Mary-Anne, Kim and Alwyn.  What a great job they did, spring cleaning and tidying up days before the 16th September.

The 16th arrived and checking to see all was sorted.

People from all over started arriving from around 15h00, including Old Bill Jimmy Frieslaar of Platinum,  Andre Churr – Platinum property liaison Officer, Old Bill Mike Groenewald of West Rand District,  members from the Cottesloe Management team Richard, Andy Adrian and Mike to mention a few. We cannot forget Adrian and Kat Wilson who designed and made the the new sign to be unveiled and donated to the complex.  It was great to see most of our residents attend the opening.

Double click on Pics to enlarge

Then at last the speeches and unveiling.

All that was left now was to enjoy the party for the rest of the evening.


Cottesloe would also like to acknowledge the following persons who donated good to Cotties Corner

  • Steak and rolls supplied by Anton Grobler and Team Amigo’s.
  • Louis from Amigo’s donated a round table.
  • Grant Mcleary and Kenny Swartz for memorabilia.
  • Marc Hayley for Ops frame and chips.
  • Laurie Claase for paper plates and serviettes.
  • Kat and Adrian Wilson for the Cotties Corner Sign

Who named the Bar. A completion was held at the end of 2017 beginning of 2018, where all residents and friends who frequented the the Tony Marsh Hall on a Friday evening where to submit ideas. The Management committee then selected the name Cotties Corner suggested by Laurie Claase. Thanks Laurie. Unfortunately the official opening and unveiling was delayed because of delays with the licence and covid-19 lock downs.


22 July 2022 – John Dory’s Cresta treats our residents

Lunch time own the 22nd July saw John Dory’s arrive at Cottesloe Homes to treat our residents for a brilliant sit down lunch. This is part of their community work that they do a weekly basis in the local area. The spread was brilliant and was enjoyed by all.

Thanks very much Ruvan and your Jon Dory’s team.


16 December 2021

Annual Christmas Braai at Cottesloe – another great success. A lamb on the spit proved to be a great success. The Spit was arranged by Bob Cowell (known by all as Bob the Builder). Salads and decorations were arranged by Mary-Anne and her “Team of Elves” that get stuck in every year.

Numbers were less this year, as we limited the number of quests attending, as a result of covid. Most of the attendees were able to sit outside, which obviously assists with Covit protocols that were adhered to.

We were grateful to have the Provincial Old Bill Dave Berry and his wife Liz join us for the day.

28 June 2021

It is with regret that we have to announce that we have lost 3 of our tenants over the last week. Our condolences, prayers. and thoughts go to the families and friends of Ron Paulsa (85) Theresa von Schlehenreid (75) and Brian Baker (89)

We Will Remember Them

If this is not bad enough, we also have 6 residents who have test positive with Covid. Regretfully we have had to put the entire complex into lock down in accordance with government regulations. Although it is not nice to do, it is for the safety of all our residents. We thank the family and friends for assisting us with this task, as we impose no visitors to the cottages, unless to assist with necessities. We hope this will not last more than 14 days, but safety comes first. Our Chairman Richard Wilson and Vice Chairman Patrick Alfonso, have also tested positive, so this last week is a scary week fo run all.



Covid-19 has resulted in lock down for South Africa. At the Cottages we are concerned about the welfare of all, and lock down is part of our residents life. The Lock Down has resulted in us not having gardeners, who have their work cut out, especially with all the rain we have had during the Month of April. The residents have stepped up to the plate. The younger members took  the lawn mowers and got stuck in. Other have help with refuse, weeding and cleaning of flower beds. I believe this is the spirit and we thank our residents one and all.


Christmas Lunch 16 December 2019

Once again the Management committee arranged a lunch for the residents of Moth Cottesloe Homes. A very big thank you from the management committee to Mary Anne and her little elves who sorted decorated, arranged sponsorship, cooked the vegetables and generally made sure the day was a great success. All a big thank you to all the residents  who had a part to play on the day. The meat for the day was a spit braai with 14 kgs of Beef and 14 kgs of Pork which was brilliant.

Thanks to the Chairman of Property Management Committee (PMC) David Gush and the Provincial Old Bill Dave Berry and good wife who also attended our day. We thank them for there support over the past year.

Pictures of the Braai.

Adding Plaques to thew Wall of Remembrance 16 Dec 2019.


Before the Braai, we remembered this who had answered the Sunset call and whose plaques needed to bw added to the wall of remembrance.


Prepaid Electricity

In November 2019 Moth Cottesloe took the decision to migrate all cottages to Prepaid Electricity. The reasons behind going this route is:

  1. The residents now have full control over the electricity spend
  2. No cross subsidisation, resulting in the expense being fair to all.
  3. Give the Management committee better control recovering their cost.

The exercised has proved to be well accepted by the residents in the complex. We thank “The Meter Man” for their assistance in ensuring this project went ahead seamlessly. We are now investigating doing the same with water in the next 6 months. We have a pilot running with 6 meters

FETE June 2019

Moth Cottesloe annual Fete and Jannie Smuts Parade takes palace at the cottages.Looking for a Stall – contact Lenard Wynne  [email protected]  or  0822986976 Fete starts at 9h00Parade : 11h00 – 11h30All Military Veteran Associations are Welcome and may carry their Standards.Only one Wreath will be laid.



Well the fete was a roaring success with probably our best attendance and a lot of new faces. This fete is arranged by the residents of Cottesloe Homes, and  and they put a lot of hard work into arranging and making sure all goes well. A big thanks to all who attended and to all our sponsors. Without you the day would not have been a success.  At the end of the day we made just over R40000 which will be put to good use my the management committee.

Valentines Day

Christmas lunch 16 December 2018

The management committee of Moth Cottesloe Homes, hosted it annual Christmas Lunch at Cottesloe with a spit braai, which has become a tradition over the years. There were over 90 persons who attended, the majority being our residents. Also in attendance were members form Oasis Shellhole and some senior dignitaries from district, Province and the National Executive. A big thank has to go to Mary Ann and Richard for the organising that took place. The hall looked stunning, and for this we need to thank Joyce Watkins, Sharon Rabe and the Grandsons.  Thanks to the ladies that assisted with catering. Last but not least, thanks to the management who arranged and did the spit braai and carving.

Moth Cottesloe Homes gets Wifi

Cottesloe Homes has recently provided Wifi internet connectivity to all its cottages and the recreational area. The purpose of the Wifi is to provide a free basic service to the tenants allowing them to have basic connectivity for whatsapp, mail, and general internet. This now gives our tenants that could not afford expensive data bundles to enjoy the internet, and those who did buy data from time to time to use the money for something more essential.

This has all been possible due to the support that we received from Qkon, and engineering company  that designed our network, arrange excellent quality equipment, ensuring the service was affordable to us. They then did the install at their cost. Our aim was to install a fibre link, but when we ran into difficulties. Qkon then arranged a satellite installation for us, a new product called Twoobii which was launched the end of last year.  The service has been live since Mid December and the tenants are very appreciative of this new offering.

Fibre went live in February 2019, making more bandwidth available to our residents. A first for Moth Cottages, thanks to the support of the Qkon team and Twoobii.


Sunset Call – Moth Reg Lotter

It is with regret that we advise that Moth Reg Lotter, the Secretary of Moth Cottesloe Homes has answered the Sun Set Call at the age of 77 years young. His dedication, commitment and love for Moth Cottesloe Homes will be always be remembered. He was a very devoted Moth, who  gave all his time to the the Moth when he retired from Beagle Watch, a security company that today still looks after Moth Cottesloe Homes in a very special way. Val – Our thoughts are with you at this Time – Moth Cottesloe Team  and residents.


1941-03-14 to 2018-09-18    (77)



Police raid Cottesloe on Mandela day.

The Fairlands area was ablaze with lots of blue flashing lights when about six police vehicles entered the gates of Cottesloe Cottages on Wednesday 18th July 2018

The residents came out in their droves to see all this unusual activity in their complex.

The residents were accustomed to seeing ambulances in their streets but not police vehicles.

The new custodians, Richard Sewell and his wife Mary-Anne were quick to quell any negative perceptions.

Yes, the police were there but for a positive reason, they came to celebrate Mandela day with the residents and brought many gifts, blankets, food, winter coats and for the drinks residents.

Two DA ward councillors were also present, Amelia Bester from the Weltervreden Park area and Beverley Weweje from the Fairlands ward, they made sure all the proceedings went well for the Fairlands branch of the South African Police Services and their supporters, which included, AfriSam, Spar, Pick n Pay and a host of unnamed sponsors.

The residents of Cottesloe were treated to a wonderful day of fun, food, gifts and interacting with the people who protect and work for them around a braai organised by the men and women in blue. Everyone received a boerewors roll to warm up the cold weather.

This is an event many will cherish in their hearts for a long time to come.

Thank you SAPS and all your supporters for a great day.

Cottesloe residents have celebrity status

Cottesloe has celebrities living in their cottages.

Late last year, according to former custodian,

Morgan Hunter and his wife, Barbara were watching the news on TV when they saw a resident of Cottesloe on the small screen.

“I could not believe it when I saw Rod Knight on the sport segment of the news. He was sitting next to a very pretty woman. I hope his wife, Gisela did not get jealous,” quipped Barbara.

When questioned if this was true, Rod said he was at a press conference to announce the Athletix track and field series, which Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, came to promote when he was in South Africa.

The other celebrity is Marc Haley, president of Linden Bowling Club.

He was on the front page of the local newspaper, Northcliff Melville Times.

He was complaining about the pollution behind the bowling club’s property.

Marc invited the local press to come visit the heritage site, next door to the bowling club, which has become a dumping site.

Emma Park is divided into two parks, one used mainly by children and the other a nature reserve heritage site. Home to the Johanna van der Merwe monument in the area.

Haley explained that he reached out to City Parks as well as the area councillor.

“It’s gotten to a point where clean ups of the site just don’t work, because the recycle people just come back and dump and burn rubbish again”.

The one suggestion was that the area be fenced off, just like the Melville Koppies, gated and preserved.

Haley’s wife, Esme is the national singles bowls champion and plays from Linden Bowling Club.

Jan Smuts Tree planting Parade and Fete 2 June 2018

A very successful day at Cottesloe Homes. The Residents at Cottesloe Homes put in  a great effort with the fete and were well supported by moths from surrounding districts. The Jannie Smuts Parade conducts by Moths Wilson and Gradige was expertly done and certainly attracts person to the function. Thanks to all the sponsors and supporters. An amount of just under R30000 was raised for the Cottesloe Cottages, one of the flag Ships in the MOTH.

Annual 16th December 2017 residents braai.

Click on photo to enlarge

For more pics courtesy of Gary Bantich – Click Here


Spring Dance – September 2017


Cape Western

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