This week we are not going to look at that African continent, but
to a man whose last name was Africa.
It was on a small farm on the outskirts of Newark, Ohio that Ida
Africa gave birth to a son on Sept. 25, 1903 and she gave the tiny
infant the name of John Thomas Africa.
John had three brothers -- Charles, Philip and Robert -- and two
Helen and Louise. While in Newark, the sons and daughters helped
mom and dad tend the Africa farm.
Young John received his early education in the Newark grammar
school and would later graduate from Newark High School. Now a young
adult, John went on to further his education at Ohio Wesleyan
In 1928 John came to live in Huntington Beach at a time when the
town was booming with people trying to get rich from our black gold
in the ground.
John too, got into the oil madness and he went to work for the
Standard Oil Company.
It was not long after coming to Huntington Beach that John married
Geraldine Crum and these two young people were united in matrimony at
the Wee Kirk of the Heather in Glendale.
Gifted with a good sense of humor John became well respected in
the business community here in town. He also had a little devil in
him too and his practical jokes he played on his fellow oil men were
John became very active in the civic, social and business
activities of our town during the 1930s.
He left Standard Oil to become office manager for the M.M.
McCallen Oil Refining Co. located out on 17th Street in Huntington
Beach and he would spend 12 years at that company.
The game of golf was popularized by Bobby Jones in the 1920s and
continued to be popular form of relaxation for many in the 1930s.
John took up the game and became a very good player at the time,
although he was no Tiger Woods. He was good enough to become the
first golf pro, greens keeper and manager at the Huntington Beach
Country Club. He remained manager at the club until 1933.
John became a founding member of our elite Windsor Club that most
prominent men in Huntington Beach belonged to and he served as the
club's first president.