I had a dream last night, sharing a happier moment in the dream with Jacqueline Hurwitz, who died in the Westdene Bus Accident. I was in standard 8 that year and Jacqueline was in standard 6. We just started a relationship and I still remember very clearly the very nervous moment I asked her to be mine on Valentines day just shortly before the accident. I loved Jacqueline the first day she joined our school that year. We used to have a shared music class across from Mrs Bishoff’s (Purple Rain) English classroom on the ground floor next to the boy’s bathrooms, and I remember nervously sitting behind Jackie, unable to breathe, and totally taken in by her presence. I loved that girl, and never really loved like that again.
I’m often shoved back into that memory/reality with dreams that crop up from time to time. Somehow over the years I’ve learned to embrace the heartache and pain of that year as a precious and intense emotional momento of a short time in my life when I intensely loved and “felt” – that unique and special experience where you “connect” with a sole mate, even at such a tender age.
A change in my routine that day saved my life. A change in my routine that day still plagues me that I could not again sit next to her on the bus like in the days before and nervously hold her hand and shyly talk about nothing that is important . . . but just talk. And yet today, her shy smile and voice, soft as whisper, still lingers . . . . hauntingly precious . . . .
I met her family for the first time next to her grave with the mass funeral that was held, and went to visit her mother and sister in their apartment a few weeks after the funeral.
I stayed on at Vorentoe Hoerskool and matriculated there, but did not maintain contact with her family. I was for most part dysfunctional at high school, a loner that used to stare at the memorial under the tree next to the school library, introverted within my own sense of loss and pain.
I am plagued by a question since the accident. A question I never had the confidence to ask her mother. It is time. I would like to make contact with her mother or sister and close this query that is on my heart. I was wondering if anyone would have their contact details or know where they can be found.
I know they lived in the flats/apartments off Edward/Gibson Streets in Sophiatown nearby Melville Koppies. I can’t imagine them still being there, but was hoping someone would know how I can get in contact with them.
I’ve since moved with my family to the UK, have completed doctorates in criminology and political sciences, have a family of my own and have not been back to South Africa now for close to 11 years. Last night’s dream was a reminder to me that I still have unfinished business there, and still have a desire to be and remain in contact with my roots. Your help in getting me in contact with Mrs Hurwitz would be greatly appreciated.
Do we have a club/association/memorial-remembrance society?
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Dr Damion Duvahldohr (aka Johann Smit)