Monday, July 31, 2006

OK or Greatermans?

Update: I bow to the seeminlgy better memory of people who have posted comments here: maybe it was the head quarters of Greatermans after all... I have changed the title and text accordingly.
I am still convinced I recall seeing OK Bazaars signs there when I used to drive past in the early 1980s. If anyone can shed any further light on this, I would appreciate it!
Old post text: If anyone oculdA comment posted here has said that the building which I have identified as the former OK Bazaars head office, is in fact the ex-head office of Greatermans.
I am almost 99% sure I remember it as a OK Bazaars office, which I used to drive past every day to work in Commissioner Street, but I will of course be happy to change it to Greatermans if anyone can help me right here. Please drop me an email if you can help.
Even if it is Greatermans, the pics will still stay on this page, because a Jewish family also owned Greatermans, by the way. I wonder what happened to the shops? Anyone know?

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greatermans and Stuttafords merged into Stuttafords-Greatermans and eventually became just Stuttafords

9:01 AM  
Blogger The Real Realist said...

Ah thanks.

And the building?

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there...

this was the headquarters of Greatermans/Checkers - I used to do some consulting in that building. The ground floor was in fact a parking floor behind the translucent plate glass.

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 1971 I was 19 when I got off a
freighter (from America) in Capetown and after a few months of drinking in Sea Point and Clifton my money ran short and came to Jo'burg to find work.

I ended up living in Hillbrow and Joubert Park in fine old residential hotels...the Sands and the Mariston are two that I remember...Joubert Park and the giant chess set were the settings to my nascient photo hobby. Downtown Jo'burg was alive with creativity and commerce. I stayed nearly two years before moving to Rhodesia and never was robbed..threatened..spit upon..put upon or hassled ....it was modern urban living at its finest really..not elegant where I lived but sustainable and enjoyable.

I left South Africa in 1988 and it pains me to no end to see its total destruction,,,,the writing is certainly on the wall for whites.....thanks for this fascinating look at downtown Jo'burg...

PS During my first week in Johannesburg several friends and I
walked from Joubert Park to Orange Grove to see a film (to the bioscope!! LOL).. we walked back
at 1 AM or so....4 girls and 2 guys
all about 20 years old..perfectly safe and offered lifts by the patrolling SAP...

2:44 AM  
Anonymous A.S. said...

Greatermans and O.K Bazaars.
You are all wrong.

O.K.'s Flag Shop was in Ellof Street.
Started by, Sam Cohen.

Greatermans was at the corner of President and Joubert,I have this on good authority,from the son of one of the men who started the company.
A Mr.Ackerman(his son stated Pick 'n Pay) a Mr.Franks and one other whose name escapes me.
The plate glass on the ground floor did not cover a parking lot.
They housed wonderful displays. Front door was the entry to cosmetics, hosiery, haberdashery etc.I remember the wonderful weekly lunchtime fashion shows.
Bring your own food.Always a gift at the end.
PLEASE show me Orange Grove,Louis Botha Ave, Gallaghers Corner,The Dolls House,Radium Beer Hall,9th. Street Cafe.
Need I go on?
Nostalgia YES but certainly no regrets, not even when the snow is 15" in Toronto.
Why the destruction?
I will never understand the destruction of livable homes.
A.S.

9:22 PM  
Blogger The Real Realist said...

A.S. said...
Greatermans and O.K Bazaars.
You are all wrong.

O.K.'s Flag Shop was in Ellof Street.
Started by, Sam Cohen.

Greatermans was at the corner of President and Joubert,I have this on good authority,from the son of one of the men who started the company.
A Mr.Ackerman(his son stated Pick 'n Pay) a Mr.Franks and one other whose name escapes me.


Nah, you got the wrong end of the stick there as well!

We are talking about their HEAD OFFICES, not their major JHB stores. I too remember the OK Bazaars in Eloff Street, but we are not talking about the shops themselves, rather the adminstrative headquarters for the chains.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked at OK Bazaars Head office from 1983 to 1987. Head office was 29 Eloff street - levels 4 to 9. The grand old flagship store was underneath - grocery in basement, ground floor sweets/cosmetics, film and soft goods. 1st floor was clothing and haberdashery and toys. 2nd floor funiture and Bj's panty. 3rd floor admin and offices and then up to head office. We used to park in the Carlton and walk up - until the muggers moved in and we found parking close by. I remember the bomb blast in 1987 - blew a hole in the marble floor and we had a smike damage sale the next day! I'm stunned by these pictures. We live in New Zealand now and I had no idea it was so bad.
Good Luck.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked for The Hyperama, owned by OK Bazaars from 1980 -1984. I worked in the advertising division and our offices were on the corner of Pritchard and Rissik St but the rest of the administration were housed above the OK flagship store on Eloff St.

6:49 PM  

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