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PASS, AARON DE:

South-African pioneer; together with his brother Elias de Pass, he was connected with Cape Colony from the year 1846. His firm, De Pass, Spence & Co., performed conspicuous services in the development of the whaling, sealing, guano, and fishing industries of the colony. It was among the first to call the attention of the government to the necessity of providing Table Bay with suitable docks. While the government deliberated, De Pass, Spence & Co. imported a patent slip, which was laid down in Simon's Bay; and at a later date one was constructed in Table Bay also. The firm was the largest shipowner in the port and the principal leaseholder of guano islands from the government from 1849. In this year it started the fisheries at Sandwich Harbor, which were continued till 1886; it introduced machinery for the manufacture of ice; opened up the trade from Hondeklip Bay, Port Nolloth, Angra Pequena, and Walwich Bay to the interior; fitted out an expensive expedition of seven vessels for the whaling island known as Herd Island; and from time to time worked Croyette Island for fur-seals.

De Pass in his earlier days traded in Namaqualand and shipped in his own vessels cured and dried fish to Mauritius, bringing back sugar in exchange. He was the owner of Réunion, a large sugar-estate in Natal.

Bibliography:
  • Jew. Chron. April 12 and June 21, 1895.
J. G. L.
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