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A million Arcadia memories





Pictured :Jacques Simmons (Chev CFO); Lionel Slier; Myra Durbach; Michael Sieff (Chev CEO); Jules Gordon; Saul Tomson (Chev CRO); Corene Breedt (Chev COO); and Beryl Snoyman.


When a delegation of the Old Arcs committee visited the Chev in May to present a cheque for the R5 000 that would finally fulfil their goal of reaching R1m, it was a nostalgic and heart-warming experience.

Jules Gordon, Myra Durbach, Beryl Snoyman and Lionel Slie, represented the committee. Missing were Esther Durbach, Helen Sheer and the man responsible for initiating and driving the entire project, David Solly Sandle, whose passion and determination made it all happen.

It began in 2000 when David, a former Arcadian who has lived in Australia for the past 30 years, visited South Africa and rekindled his close relationships with many of his Arcadia “brothers” and “sisters”. 

It brought back so many memories for him that he was inspired to collect the stories of all the former Arcadians he could reach while it was still possible. 

With the help of his committee and some ingenious networking, the memories and photographs came pouring in and David worked relentlessly to achieve the publication of five books:


  • Arc – 100 years of Memories; More Arc Memories; The Ochberg Orphans; The Pinsker Orphans; This was a Man – by Bertha Epstein – about her father Isaac Ochberg.


Unable to make the trip from Perth to celebrate the successful culmination of his ambitious project, David sent a communication thanking everyone involved: “…all the Old Arcs and Ochberg Orphans and their descendants who opened their hearts and shared their sensitive and private stories”, and all who contributed to financing, storing and selling the books in South Africa, the UK, US and Israel.   

“Arcadia’s R1 million are net proceeds – exclusive of all costs of publication, printing, shipping and storage – a remarkable achievement,” said Chev CEO Michael Sieff.

“Our memories of being children in Arcadia are mostly very happy ones” said Jules Gordon. “The relationships we built will last a lifetime. We all have David to thank for bringing us back together.” 

Arcadia, too, is grateful to everyone involved, but the one name that truly stands out is that of the visionary, author, dedicated compiler and generous donor, David Solly Sandler himself.  

For information on books contact David Solly Sandler

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