ALBERTON – In an interview with the RECORD he recounted how the landscape in Alberton has changed through the years.
He spoke of Voortrekker Road that was the main road that went to Durban. According Mr Hains, there were seven road houses in Voortrekker Road at one stage, along with about five garages families on their way to Durban would visit before taking on the long road again.
There were also industries located on Voortrekker Road. Sam’s scrapyard was located on the corner of Voortrekker Road and Penzance Street, where the ABSA is located today. The Transvaal house was once where the Furniture City is today. The Transvaal house had departments like the fire brigade, the licencing department and the traffic department.
Charles Hains started Penzance Travel in 1970 and the business is still run by family. He has had the opportunity to travel the world, this was partly because of the travel agency he owned and because of his involvement with Skål, a professional organisation of tourism leaders around the world.
He was the president of Skål’s Johannesburg club, the national president and the international councillor for Skål throughout his career as a tourism leader.
He can recall a Skål congress in 1981 where the main functions were held in the Alberton Civic Centre.
One of his uncles was an Alberton Post Master, Mr J.H. Hains, who worked in the post office located on the corner of Van Riebeeck Avenue and Gerrit Maritz Street. This post office replaced the old post office in Alberton after it was blown up during the war.
Mr Hains and his family have been pillars of the community, and when he was asked about his travels and where he would want to live, he said with enthusiasm that Alberton is his home and this is where he would want to live.
Mr Hains is also the founder president of the Probus club, a club for retired proffesionals who meet every second Wednesday of the month at the reading Country Club. Every month they have a different speaker who comes and speaks to the club.
“Even with all Alberton’s faults it still one of the best run towns,” Mr Hains explains.
“I am blessed with my health and I am still able to travel with my caravan,” Charles explained when asked what he enjoys doing now.