Border was a small province sandwiched between the Transkei and Eastern Province. As the name suggests, it is a frontier region located between the Indian Ocean shores and the rugged escarpment mountains in the north.
Before the arrival of the British the area was largely populated by (white) Afrikaans/Dutch speaking farmers, although that changed after the Groot Trek of 1836 the towns - and schools - became more English.It was to be populated by British soldiers and many of the 1820 Settlers who were settled there to stop further westward movement by Xhosas and to provide a buffer between the Xhosa of the Transkei and the white farmers west of the Kei River.
The British established East London at the Buffalo River mouth in 1836. Nearby King William's Town was founded at about the same time. It was the capital of British Kaffraria from its creation in 1847 to its incorporation in 1865 with the Cape Colony.
Many of the colonists in the neighbouring districts are descendants of emigrant soldiers from the British German Legion. They came to the Cape Colony in 1856; hence such names as Berlin, Braunschweig, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Potsdam and Stutterheim given to settlements in this part of the country. An earlier seperate group of German peasant settlers came to Natal in March 1848.
Designed in 1853 as a military outpost, it is the commercial centre of a rather prosperous farming community. Known as the Town of Roses, for its large homes and beautiful gardens, it is also home to Queen's College and Hoërskool Hangklip.
There are numerous smaller towns in the Border region that continue to thrive in the new South Africa. Unlike the rest of the country, few new private schools have been established in the region. Most municipal swimming pools are now derelict.
The original Nahoon Beach lifesaver shack and shark tower, circa 1964.