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Corporate Books

Engen – 100 year history

Project:  Engen 108 year history book
Project Manager: Janet Wilson, MD Citigate Natal (now Dynamo Africa).
Writer/ research: Ronnie Whitaker
Research: Colleen Moore
Artist / Design: Sue Cotton
Proofing: Kerry Strauss and Shereen Mann

Excerpt: Engen; 100 years of Success – Introduction:
The wild and beautiful South Africa of long ago drew to its shores men and women of adventure and bravery.  The early immigrants to the Cape Colony arrived with little  more than a battered suitcase, a dream, the tenacity of a bulldog and a determination to succeed. 

By  1858, when a certain German emigrant and his family disembarked at Table Bay, the pioneering spirit of the early settlers was well entrenched. Johann Gottlieb Schade had escaped a life of poverty and manual labour in a small village in Prussia to become a self made man in this distant land of opportunity and promise...”

About the Project
“Being involved in the Engen history project was fascinating. Through the archive documents; old newsletters and annual reports, we developed a personal relationship with the characters of old who helped shape the company of today. Through its long evolution, the company attracted a particular type of person. They were adventuresome, brave, committed, passionate and, above all, community minded and caring. Names, owners and stakeholders changed through the years. But the people of Engen have retained the spirit of the trailblazers.  Thank you for sharing your history, your lives and your hearts with us. It was an honour and we are very proud of this project.”
Ronnie Whitaker; Writer

Feedback:
This is the happiest and most successful project that I have ever worked on and certainly the BEST team. Please pass on sincere congratulations and thanks to all the team members - it was great working with you. May you have many more successes like this one.

Sincerely,
Barbara Manson. Engen


Engen Refinery 50 year anniversary commemorative book

Project team:
Citigate Natal (now Dynamo Africa) Ronnie Whitaker as writer

Excerpts:
The Hope of the Nation
1950 - 1964 was to be the period of the visionaries, the pioneers who faced a  tremendous challenge. The decision to build a refinery in South Africa was a brave one. For the men of the Standard-Vacuum Oil Company, this was an enormous undertaking.  It was groundbreaking and risky. With the decision to go ahead with the project, they took it upon themselves to prove the viability of a South African Petroleum Industry. It would lead to freedom and independence for a developing nation. Upon their success, others would follow, but they were the frontiersmen. They were the trailblazers who would design a blueprint for the future. There was no room for error - from selecting the perfect site, through excavations and construction of the £8 million refinery, to staff training and the setting of company ethics, safety management and mission statements. The hopes of the nation were with them.

FAILURE WAS NOT AN OPTION.

Before the establishment of its first crude oil refinery, South Africa had to import most of its petroleum requirements, at great cost to the country. In 1946, Government and industry leaders were increasingly aware of the urgency for a South African source of refined products to supply the needs of  a growing nation. The lack of oil deposits and dependence on imported fuel were serious threats to the country’s economy. After lengthy negotiations with the Government, the Standard-Vacuum Oil Company was given the go-ahead to build South Africa’s first crude oil Refinery. 

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