Trevor Vaughn Jones

I began collecting minerals as a schoolboy, when I was given a piece of “copper pyrites”, and even earned by Boy Scout’s Naturalist Badge with a shoebox full of rocks. But my more serious collecting began in my late twenties, when Cape Town had a number of curio shops, all selling Tsumeb and Namibian minerals. They were common – but much harder to find then were South African minerals. I still have two of my earliest: a rhodochrosite and a manganite. I can remember visiting a mineral show, held by our Club, at Cavendish Square, but I didn’t join the club until some years later in 1991 after attending the 1990 National Mineral Show, held at Claremont Civic centre. I was very proud to be a member. In those days the club seemed full of brainy types, like Tony Garman, Ruth Smart, Duncan Miller and Ted Immelman. So as a former high school dropout, I learned everything I could about minerals, so as not to be taken for a fool. I even learned a bit of basic crystallography. It was as a club member that I first learned of Namaqualand minerals, which I have collected ever since. The late Larry Introna, a member who had a mineral business in Franschhoek, was an early source of Kalahari Manganese Field minerals, and started me collecting them. Malcolm Jackson, who had brought back a specimen of ephesite from a Gemboree, opened my eyes to the Postmasburg Manganese Field, and so most of my collecting consists of minerals from the Northern Cape, though I am also interested in good specimens from elsewhere. My hero and role model is the late Sir Arthur Russell, a British collector who only collected British minerals, and who is aid to have visited every mine in the UK. Taking a leaf out of his book, I try to collect South African minerals only, but it is hard when Tsumeb and Namibia, and elsewhere, have tempting minerals on offer. One of the great things about my early days in our club was the sales days. These were held at the old stables at Montebello, at the back of SACS school in Newlands. We only had one dealer in those days (who is still a club member), and for R20 one could buy one or two good specimens – a couple of those old time purchases are among my most treasured minerals today. Besides minerals I also have a collection of over 120 SA Lapidary Magazines, going back to 1967. Another “collection” is my name tags from the Gemborees I have attended. These are restricted to those hosted by our own club and go back to my first at Springbok in 1991. Looking back over the years I have seen many changes, the biggest being our move to the present clubhouse at Bothasig. But some things never change, and one of these is that the club is still the friendly meeting place for enthusiastic hobbyists that it was when I first joined – and long may it stay that way. I sometimes wonder what became of my boyhood specimen of “copper pyrites”? I can only hope it now belongs to another boy somewhere, and that he too will become a more serious collector when he grows older.  TV