Fish Hoek’s early days are fondly remembered by Hillary Super who waved at the British Royal family’s visit as a child, and spent her teenage years bopping to Elvis Presley.
Although now it is a homely suburb with an ever-growing business centre, in Ms Super’s early days Fish Hoek was a holiday destination and a prime place to grow up.
She lived in 1st Crescent and her childhood was filled with ballet, netball, hockey, tennis – but not swimming, which she didn’t enjoy.
The beach held its own appeal of course, not just for suntanning (she sighs and says she is paying for that now as the girls all used fish oil as suntan lotion) but also because the beach was where the Friday night bop was held.
Wooden pallets on the beach made the dance floor, and that was where the teens would meet; at the local bop – to dance.
Ms Super’s nursery care and later her education was all catered for. “In my nursery school days I was in the crowd waving flags as the British Royal family drove past us – it was a big deal back then,” she smiles. She now has a daughter who is a medical doctor who lives in the UK, and another who lives in Canada. She says she is so proud of both her daughters, who call her daily.
Then, Ms Super was part of the first intake of high school pupils at Fish Hoek High School which she describes as being “in the sand dunes, in a pre-fab building.”
She says instead of getting lines to write out when they were naughty, the students were made to plant grass on the school’s only soccer field. Laughing, she said: “I must have planted half the grass on that field.”
She remembers being part of the school’s very first matric pupils – a class of only 13. She is no longer in touch with her old school mates: life, she says, moves one on.
Ms Super says her father owned a grocery store in Simon’s Town; but that he retired when chain stores moved into the area.
She recounts living in a Fish Hoek with no houses beyond 1st Crescent; her memories are of a smaller place, a slower time. She describes one constant amid all the change: that Fish Hoek was a proudly dry town whose one concern for its youth was their tendency towards alcohol. “A bottle store was built once but the residents refused to allow it so it was converted into something else,” she said.
Ms Super also remembers Cedryl Greenland, founder of the Fish Hoek Echo. “Ceddie had curly blonde hair and always wore very with-it clothing, and she was always walking the streets looking for a story,” she said. “How funny that now, after all these years, I am contributing to one.”