Archiver > SOUTH-AFRICA-EASTERN-CAPE > 2004-11 > 1099693637

From: "Becky Horne" <>
Subject: Newspaper cuttings from the Eastern Cape - SHUTTLEWORTH Part I
Date: Sat, 6 Nov 2004 00:27:17 +0200

Herald, 6 May 2002
Blast-off beginnings belong to Grahamstown
by Thelma NEVILLE

Afronaut Mark SHUTTLEWORTH's space adventure has earned the respect of his fellow South Africans just as his remarkable great-grandmother once did in Grahamstown by successfully raising seven sons alone, including Mark's grandfather.

Few people know of Mark SHUTTLEWORTH family links with the Eastern Cape. It all began with Mattie - Mark's great-grandmother. Her story reveals the roots of Mark's extraordinary intelligence, courage and determination.

Mattie was a remarkable woman. Single handed and with little money, she struggled to bring up seven sons, one of whom, Dennis, is Mark's grandfather. Although they were poor, she instilled in her children the value of learning and the need to succeed. She was determined, despite financial stress, that all her sons would have a university education. She rose to the challenge with incredible energy and dedication.

Martha Katherine SHUTTLEWORTH, known as Mattie, was educated in Grahamstown at St Peters, owned by the Anglican Community of the Resurrection. She then qualified as a teacher at the Grahamstown Teachers' Training College. It was the Sisters of the Community who helped her get a post at the former Grahamstown Primary School when her husband deserted the family in 1927.

The school was situated in Cobden Street near the station. As the SHUTTLEWORTH lived in a small house in New Street, in the centre of the town, Mattie walked two miles four times a day in order to be home at lunch to feed her sons. She was an inspiring teacher, but a school inspector's nightmare as she refused to be tied down to a work schedule and would write up lessons from memory just before his visit.

This was during the great depression of the 1930s. Times were hard. In order to earn extra money Mattie worked for the Herald as their Grahamstown social columnist.

Although a strict disciplinarian she provided a loving home for her sons, supporting and encouraging them in all their activities. A devout Christian, Mattie believed in the power of prayer. All seven sons sang in the Cathedral choir.

More to follow.

Best wishes

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