Upcoming Events

Invitation - Spanish Flu Talk

On the 4th of October 1918, Dr Galloway, a Medical Officer of Health (MOH) of the city of Port Elizabeth announced the outbreak of Spanish flu in the city. He confirmed that 6 patients carried the virus that previously was reported to have caused so much devastation in some parts of the colony (Cape Colony).

By 7th of October 1918, The Herald reported that many natives employed at the Harbour, Railway Line and Wool Stores failed to report because they were down with flu. Furthermore, it was reported that “scores of natives” in New Brighton were infected.

Consequently, city authorities prohibited large gatherings. Schools in the city, Uitenhage and surroundings were closed, churches stopped, business hours were reduced (8h00- 13h00) and the number of trains reduced. Moreover, thousands died within days of getting infected.

In mitigating the epidemic temporary hospitals were opened. The Redhouse reported that it managed to save all its patients (whites) because they gave them champagne.

Professor Howard Phillips, a medical historian from US estimates that over a half million South Africans died from the Spanish Flu.

On 4 October 2018 History Section will host a lecture to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Spanish Flu in PE.

Councillors, researchers, educators, heritage practitioners, interested residents of New Brighton and members of the public are invited to attend."