Genealogy: PMB resident awarded fellowship

2013-03-21 00:00

“OVERWHELMED” is how Pietermaritzburg resident Eckhard von Fintel feels on being named a fellow of the Genealogical Society of South Africa (GSSA).

Von Fintel received the honour at the society’s annual general meeting and awards ceremony held in Krugersdorp last weekend. He was awarded the fellowship in recognition of his research and many publications on the history and genealogy of the German community of KwaZulu-Natal.

The fellowship is the highest honour the soceity can bestow, according to John Deare, chairperson of its Pietermaritzburg branch and the Family History Society. It reflected Von Fintel’s service to the genealogical community and the GSSA in particular “with outstanding zeal and commitment over an extended period of time”.

Deare said this was only the fifth time the society had made the award in nearly 40 years and the second time it had been awarded to a Maritzburger. The other local GSSA fellow is historian Shelagh Spencer.

The fellowship follows Von Fintel’s 2009 award of excellence from the GSSA and another from the Natal Inland Family History Society. Last year, he received an Amafa heritage award.

Von Fintel says such awards had positive benefits. “In the past, people have contacted me and supplied me with family histories, photos and related stories following articles about the awards. That could have been lost for future generations.”

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