Burmeisters: About Us
Welcome to Burmeisters, your one stop shop for all things Building and D.I.Y. We’re dedicated to providing you the very best products, with an emphasis on building, fencing, garden, hardware, homecare, paint, plumbing, hand and power tools.
Founded in 1895 by Paul Frenz Diedrich Burmeister, Burmeisters has come a long way from its beginnings in Johannesburg. When Paul Burmeister first started out, his passion for business drove him to start up “Tobacco Merchants & Commission Agents” which dealt in riems, sjamboks, whips, curios, horns, leather, karosses, etc. with speciality “Transvaal Tobacco Real Magaliesberg”. Read more about our history
1895 to 2020 – Our 125th year.
Burmeisters started as a partnership and with the advent of the Companies Act in South Africa, formed a company “Burmeister & Company Proprietary Limited. Over the years other companies were formed and added to “the group”. Since November 2003, the business is once again trading as a partnership with certain group operating private companies as the partners.
BURMEISTERS BEACON BAY OPENED
A second branch for Burmeisters commenced trading in September 2005. A new 3,500m2 building was built on the 11,000m2 site situated on the corner of Bonza Bay Road and Old Traskei Road in Beacon Bay, East London.
Architects: Messrs Smale & Partners
Consulting Engineers: Messrs CBM Africa CC
Builder: Messrs Lewcon Enterprises CC
A further 700 square metres of bulk storage is being added
Extract of e-mail from Lesley George 12 August 1998. (Lesley is the daughter of Burmeister’s oldest son – Mr PJJ Burmeister)
“……… there is one point I’d like to make which I am sure you will want to know about – your reference to the reminiscences of Olga Lombard and Esme Schultz. The men housed in the buildings opposite Burmeisters in Fleet Street were not Italian students but Vichy French prisoners of war who were interned in East London. Vichy France was on the side of Germany – hence their internment. I remember them too – mainly because they used to cause quite a stir on the Orient beach in their makeshift bathing briefs! There’s an amusing reference to them in Iris Vaughan’s book “Last of the Sunlit Years” (she was a Mrs Niland who used to own a cottage at Gonubie next to the Georges’) – she wrote (and I’ll put in only the relevant bits): “It was only after we had been back at the cottage for a few weeks that I discovered there were more internees close at hand. They were French prisoners of war interned in East London. I made this discovery only by accident when….suddenly I was assailed by loud voices, whistles and catcalls, all coming from a ragged group of men lounging and filling the sidewalk beside the fire station, or hanging out of the windows of the small cottage adjacent to it. Spitting and smoking, with berets on their heads, fishermen’s caps dangling with untidy bobbles, dirty bare feet….they followed me with calls in a language I did not know, which might be, and certainly sounded, lewd and insulting…….I asked an elderly woman what they were. “They,” she said scornfully,” arrived four weeks ago, the Vichy French POWs..” “They call that cottage the Vichy Hotel.” …..”They are allowed to go down to Shelley Beach…and fish…They have guards..” And Iris Vaughan goes on to describe how the Buffalo Harbour had become, in those years, a Corvette Repair Base.”
July 1997: Manufacture of chainlink and barbed wire ceases