History of the False Bay Echo

Your newspaper can trace its roots back to the early 1950s, when Pops Francis, a retired Manchester Guardian journalist, began the Fish Hoek News. Mr Francis used the pen name “Porpoise”.

The local Chamber of Commerce appropriated the publication, and established it as their monthly mouthpiece, calling it “The Fish Hoek Echo”.

Mr Francis stayed on as editor. He died in 1963.

His assistant, Cedryl “Ceddie” Greenland, or “Dolphin”, took over then as editor and owner.

From that point, the Echo grew into a publication which often had 50 pages, with a circulation of 3 500.

In June 1978, Joe Frylinck and his wife, Lyn, bought Fish Hoek Printing and managed the Echo, turning it into a fortnightly newspaper. “Dolphin” was still on board. In 1979, the Echo moved into Somerset House, at the corner of Main and Recreation roads, Fish Hoek, where it remains today.

Fish Hoek-based estate agent and businessman Stoffel Lotz, and his son, Barry, bought the Echo from Mr Frylink in 1984, and it was later merged with the Argus Group’s False Bay News, serving Muizenberg, Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town. Barry Lotz, a local church minister, became the editor.

Ms Greenland died in 1986, Stoffel Lotz died on September 3 2013, and Barry Lotz, an Oxford University graduate, is now a church minister in England.

In 1987 the Echo was given a new logo, which included a depiction of the southern right whale, and, in 1989, the Echo went weekly and was distributed throughout the far south.

Phillipa Taylor, of Clovelly, succeeded Barry Lotz as editor. Ms Taylor now lives in Australia.

When the Echo finally joined other community newspaper titles under the banner of Independent Newspapers, the system of a local editor was abolished, and group editor Chantel Erfort, a former Echo reporter, today edits all 15 community newspapers in the stable.

In 2007, she succeeded group editor David Hill, a former Marina da Gama resident.

The Faslse Echo today distributes over 30 000 free copies to residents throughout the far south, from Lakeside to Cape Point, from Cape Point to Kommetjie and Ocean View, Masiphumelele and Noordhoek.