John Day TEALL
John Day TEALL was a kind man who was born in Jamaica in 1859, the son of William TEALL and Hannah EASTOE. His father had gone to Jamaica in 1843 from England to work as a Baptist missionary. John's mother was orphaned when her parents and six younger siblings died of cholera in Canada. John was one of thirteen children, but only seven survived infancy.
In the 1871 Census John Day was attending the Missionary School in West Keal, Kent, England. In the 1881 Census he was living in London, out of employment as a warehouseman. In 1891 he was living in London and working as a warehouseman, probably in a drapery warehouse based on notes on the census form.
John Day TEALL became a lifelong friend and confidant of his later employer, William (Bill) Fletcher for whom he worked as a bookkeeper, at Fletcher and Cartwright, drapers, the firm that William (Bill) Fletcher took over from his father.
In 1887, John was presented with a gift of a small religious booklet called "Heavenward", by William Henry Fletcher's daughter, Ethel. The booklet contains 31 stanzas for each day of the month and is beautifully illustrated with lovely coloured pictures. In the booklet there is an inscription by Ethel Fletcher "J D Teall from E.M.F. - May 1st 1887".
The next signature in the booklet (undated) is that of Johanna Hendrina Geldenhuys (15/10/1908 - 16/06/1996) with her address as 69 Kloof Street Cape Town, which at the time was Saasveld Training College where she studied as a school teacher. It appears that Johanna acquired the booklet shortly after the death of John Teall.
John moved to South Africa in the 1890s, initially to Cape Town where he worked as a bookkeeper for William Fletcher. William Fletcher was a millionaire. He owned the Cape Town department store Fletcher and Cartwright on the corner of Adderley and Darling streets, retailing men's clothes and materials imported directly from Britain.
William Fletcher purchased Ratelrivier
, a historic farm property near Bredasdorp, Cape of Good Hope in 1898. When William Fletcher bought Ratelrivier, the estate stretched from Hagelkraal (Pearly Beach) to and including Brandfontein, a total of 20806 ha with 22.6 km of coast. Here the Fletchers continued their gracious lifestyle. William Fletcher imported stock and bred race horses and built a large stable complex on the farm, with individual Oregon pine stalls for the stallions.
John Day Teall was instrumental in the purchase of Ratelrivier for the Fletchers. When the Fletchers moved to the farm, he moved to Bredasdorp, traveling between his home, the farm and the business in Cape Town on their behalf.
Adrian Louw Ackerman, from Sedgefield South Africa, has provided a story of the kindness of John Day Teall. Mr Teall to all intents and purposes was a kindly and quiet sort of gentleman and a mentor to my mother ((Johanna Hendrina Geldenhuys). Because her parents were very poor, Mr Teall helped to pay for my mother's education at Saasveld Training College in Cape Town, as well as for her brother who also studied to be a teacher. For this she was ever grateful and always spoke of affection about Mr Teall.
John Day Teall never married. He died on 28 April 1929. The grave stone for John Day Teall was erected by Ellen (Nellie) Fletcher, widow of William Fletcher. It reads: IN AFFECTIONAL MEMORY OF JOHN DAY TEALL WHO DIED 28 APRIL 1929 AGED 70 YEARS. AT REST. Acknowledgement
- Adrian Louw Ackerman.