Into a world 1960’s

Svein & Solveig Mathisen

Svein & Solveig Mathisen

Svein Åge Mathisen
Larvik  20/11/1960

Solveig Mathisen
Cape Town 20/10/1961




Åge Mathisen

Åge Oskar Mathisen.
Norwegian seaman. Twice married and divorced, five children,  his life ended alone in Spain some years ago. Never got to know him, spent a week together on the ship. That was when he came to get me in South Africa at the age of nineteen. He never showed any interest in his family, must have gone wrong somewhere in his life to be like that. Sorry I never got to tell him about Jesus before he passed away. He left three sons in Larvik, my half brothers. Reidar, Oskar and Vidar.


Francine Veale

Francine Veale

Francine Luff, Mathisen, Leans,Veale.
British citizen,  living in Cornwall England. Married two or three times and total seven kids. With her are my half brothers and sister. Shaun, Grant, Tracy and Brendan. She now lives alone with her dogs, and keeps her children close at hand.

I believe she is a restless soul, always on the move, running away from someone or something. Grew up a Roman Catholic, rebelled against it, but always relied on the churches to help her in times of need. Remember her as a wild drunk sneaking through the bedroom window and fighting with her parents. Flower power was the thing, not her children. Remember once she told us that our father was dead, just an excuse for not facing the truth. Relationship problems with her parents.

Stayed with her a while, and was ver proud of having such a cool easy living mom. Young at heart and a peoples person.

Heard from our latest addition to the family, our brother Paul whom we were never told of until 2014. Paul was borne a few years before me, but taken from her at birth. Always thought I was the firstborn, he found out about some of her life and told us. Our mom has had a full life with a lot of pain and suffering, but at the same time very strong. She never gave inn, a fighter with her own story worth telling.


Jimmy and Peggy Luff

Jimmy and Peggy Luff

Jimmy and Peggy Luff. My mothers parents. They were from England; granddad was a musician and had his own band. They played on the big passenger ships, and were very popular in their day. They were fortune seekers and settled in South Africa. Good people, hard workers that did their best. They had two children, my mom and her brother. Unfortunately there was never any love among them, for reasons that I know nothing about. Not a very happy family!
They never found real peace, and after their own children had left home they found themselves having responsibility for their grandchildren(Svein Åge and Solveig Mathisen). They were not wealthy, struggled to make ends meet. But it was important that they seemed wealthy to everyone else. They did the best they could with us and I am very grateful today. They were good parents for us, they did their best.

Borne in Larvik Norway 20 november 1960, at only a few months of age left for South Africa with my mom. She was now pregnant with my sister ‘Solveig’.  I’ve only lately heard from others that I was born no two, she still holds the truth from us. Heard that we have an older brother somewhere. The strange thing is that even growing up with my mothers parents, they never even mentioned him. Well! we were also abandoned by our parents after Solveig was borne. Left at an orphanage, don’t know how long we were there until our grandparents took us in. Why? Guilt, responsibility or love.

Dad drew back to Norway working on the ships, mom ran off, had enough with her own life. Those days living with grandparents that had to work hard to survive in a foreign country. During those days we had maids (servants) to look after us, and left alone in the house they could do what they wanted. Unfortunately they never lasted long, because they stole what they needed and had no responsibility. I mean why should they care, they were oppressed by the whites under the apartheid regime.

Many a day was spent ( +- 10 hours) strapped into a baby chair, soiled and hungry. I can even remember us been abused sexually at the age of about four or five by one couple. Our food was given to their own kids, what could you expect from a poor and underpaid people, they took what they could.

Meaningless  life
Many times I tried to take my own life, remember trying to jump off the cupboard onto a pair of scissors on the bed. Other times I ran away from home and was found ridding my bicycle(with support wheels) along the motorway at night time, this was before school age. I just had to get out and away. Life seemed so unfair and terrible.

Why school?
Hated school from the very first day, ran away many times. Was a mobbed from day one, a boy with freckles and a foreign name (couldn’t pronounce my own name), and from a divorced family which was not very common in those days. With no ability to read or write, under stimulated because of neglect. Mobbed because of second-hand school uniforms and lived with very old parents.

Never understood the point of education!
Just wanted to be free and play, was that such a crime?
YES! at our school it was, even the first year at school I was sent to to the principles office to get cuts (caning), that was only the beginning, got cuts on a regular basis throughout my school years.

Ended up failing the first year and had to do it over again,that was so humiliating for a seven year old kid. Felt the teachers didn’t like me, and my parents never had time to get involved i the school.

I couldn’t even follow with the others education after the first year. A terrible thing to be left behind and knowing your next class were babies, even my own little sister was now in the same level.

Remember was taken to hospital that year to get all my teeth removed, grandparents could not afford to spend nights awake with my toothache, they had to work. Toothless was another reason to be picked on at school, and on top of that I was court out for stealing pens and sharpeners  from the other children in class. The teachers came to our house to reclaim all that was stolen, hidden on top of my wardrobe in my room.

At eleven I had to do that year over again, second time in primary school. Just could not understand what was going on in classes, dyslectic and lack of interest. Now I was two years older than the rest of the class, how embarrassing. Those who were my age were now in high school.

Remember fighting with some high school boys while I was still in primary school because they laughed at me for been a failure. Remember those days we used school uniforms, high school boys wore long pants and I was still in shorts. was terrible coming home again with torne uniforme. Reason for a new fight with my grandmother.