Emmarentia Residents Association info@era.org.za (000) 111-1111

Remembering early Emmarentia

I bet you didn’t know that long-time Emmarentia resident, Brian le Gassick, once adorned many teenagers’ walls in the 1970s.

He was the founder and leader of the Staccatos, a rock band that he set up whilst at Damelin College. In 1969 they released the song, Cry to Me, which stayed for 38 weeks on the hit parade and was awarded four gold discs; the first SA artistes ever to achieve this.

He moved to Emmarentia as a young boy with his parents to a newly-built house just below the dam in July 1950.

Brian paddling on Emmarentia dam as a boy

He attended Greenside Primary (then called Greenside Extension School) and Roosevelt High (neither Greenside High nor Emmarentia      Primary existed then).

Saturday afternoons you’d find him and his mates at The Rex—a ‘bioscope’ in Greenside. (Where the Carlton hair place is now).

“It was a real bug-house,” says Brian. We used to go to the matinee and it was cowboy movies all the way. And we’d swop our comics there.”

It was a time when you could see vultures (aasvoëls) on Northcliff Hill from Emmarentia.

“The Council would take all the carcasses and anything that had died and dump them on the top of Aasvoëlkop. It was a helleva long way out of town then.”

ERA continues to interview long-time residents and newer residents of the suburb. If you’d like to share your stories and/or your photos or help us gather those stories, please contact us on  info@era.org.za