Jean and Laurie Jaffee

Jean and Laurie Jaffee

Laurence Jaffee, known as Laurie, was the second son of Harry and Bessie Jaffee. Born in 1922 in Yeoville, Johannesburg. After matriculating from King Edward school in Johannesburg, he joined the army. Thereafter he went into the family business, Premier Milling, while at the same time completing a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of the Witwatersrand. He was transferred to Vereeniging Consolidated Mills, a milling company in Vereeniging on the Vaal River. In 1957, Laurie was brought onto the Board of Premier Milling and from 1961- 1966 he was not only Chairman of Vereeniging Mills but also Chairman of the Association of Balanced Feed Manufacturers and a member of the Wheat Industries Control Board. Laurie married Jean Marks in 1955 in London and they had four children- Georgina, Mark, Richard and Lloyd.

Laurie recalls that milling was a tough business. Among many other interests he and Jean were well-known for playing a considerable role in building the horse-breeding and racing industry in South Africa


Jean was born in London in 1932. During the war, she was sent to boarding school in the countryside. After school, she worked at the Windmill Theatre in London doing public relations. She met Laurie in 1955 through the South African Club in London, and they were married at the West London Synagogue in 1955. There is a video of their marriage in the collection. During the early years of their marriage they lived on a farm in Rivonia named “Three Jays Estate” where Laurie farmed pigs, having imported specialist bloodlines. Jean was a very good horse rider, and loved life on the farm. She also entered horse shows on her favorite horse Flying Rose, where she won many awards. She gardened and painted, as well as volunteered on various charities, including the Society for the Blind. Once her children were older, Jean wrote stories and poetry and wrote two important books on the horseracing industry in South Africa. The first was called the History of Racing in South Africa and the second titled They Raced to Win which tells the story of their own illustrious racing career.


About Georgina, Mark, Richard and Lloyd…

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