Eve Clark-Brown was born to Hector and Amy Dalloway Deary, who raised a loving and dynamic family of six. Eve adored her inspiring, loving parents, and as a young, spirited girl, with Eastern Cape tennis colours, she was one of the first women to enrol for the new, teacher’s degree at UCT.
At 21 she fell in love and married Basil Clark-Brown, a skinny and bright-eyed visitor to the Deary’s Sunday table. He was then completing an architecture degree. After their marriage and travels, they settled in Rosebank to raise a family of seven. It was soon evident that the two were an incredible match. Eve’s attention to detail, ability to ‘make a plan’ – thinking; combined with Basil’s ambition and forward vision (all cemented with hard work, frugalness and shared love for their religion) shone warmly on to their growing children. The couple’s big break happened unexpectedly from Eve’s paying a deposit for a plot in Onrus (from the proceeds of meticulously hand-folding a truck load of paper lampshades for Binnehuis).
After the couple built a house in Onrus, Basil was soon drawn to Hermanus. At this time, it was a Sleeping Beauty of eight months’ dead-sleepy season and four months golden season that saw an annual boom, and bust, of local hotels. At this stage he converted The Esplanade into workable self-catering units, as well as finally purchasing the Windsor that continued as a working hotel. This formula worked well for the couple, and Eve’s career as mother of seven changed, literally, overnight to running the family-styled Windsor and Esplanade establishments with over 70 staff – and included serving three meals a day.
More than running the hotel, Eve and Basil spent much attention to the social and financial upliftment of their staff and community. Much energy was put into the staff becoming financially better off through building their own homes and seeking higher education. Many new projects that helped put Hermanus on the travel map in the challenging 80s originated from this incredible and loving duo of Basil and Eve, who greatly loved God, family, humanity and Hermanus.
Born, East London 1933: Passed on, Hermanus 2019