Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Watermelons for Africa

A stunning Prince Albert B.E.E. Success Story

- Linda Jaquet -

Steven Conradie from Prince Albert has proved that sustainable, commercial black economic empowerment farming is not a pipe dream. In December last year Steven produced a record watermelon harvest that has astonished commercial farmers.

On one-and-a-half hectares of land on Deon Gouws’ farm, Nuweplaas, Steven has produced a crop of 13 500 watermelons. Experts at the Klein Karoo Kooperasie (KKK), say that normally, such a piece of land could be expected to produce about 6000 fruit!

To add to this achievement, Steven first targeted strategic markets from Plettenberg Bay to Mossel Bay and as far inland as Beaufort West, and ripened the melons just in time for the Christmas rush.

Lourens Conradie of the KKK was so impressed by Steven’s success and potential that the Kooperasie has offered to finance Steven’s current initiative to produce onion and pumpkin seeds for an international contract.

Steven heard about the State-sponsored project to develop vegetable farmers (PAGOP) run by Deon on Nuweplaas since 2004. Towards the end of last year he approached Deon about joining the programme, the two signed a contract and Steven’s Nag-tot-Nag Boerdery was born.

Steven chose to grow watermelons as his first crop, having seen them cultivated successfully near Gouda where he had once worked as a farm labourer. He told the Vriend that the success of the project was also due to the hard work of the fourteen men and women he hired.

Steven started from scratch on the bare, unworked piece of land in September 2006 and risked all his savings on seed, irrigation, other equipment, and wages. When problems arose, he asked experts for guidance and in his typical self-effacing manner, said that local farmers Herman Olivier, Hennie du Plessis, Deon Gouws and I D Vorster, had been very supportive. Deon Gouws said: “We believed in Steven’s commitment, his willingness to learn, management skills and his determination to succeed even in the face of adversity. He convinced us that he had the makings of a successful commercial farmer. We were right; he has been very successful without hurting my farming operations.”

Steven, who was born and educated in Prince Albert, and is married with two children, is no stranger to poverty. He has chopped wood, smuggled illicit cigarettes and alcohol and worked on building sites in the area. Steven’s immediate plans are to find more land he can lease to continue farming. He aims to own his own farm within five years and so also enable about thirty people to put food on the family table.

Steven’s advice to new farmers: “Don’t shy away from hard work and long, irregular hours”. He added: “Be prepared to take personal risks, just cope with the stress of financial insecurity and the anxieties that make up the life of every farmer.” Important, he noted, was that anyone new to farming shouldn’t be afraid to seek the advice of fellow, commercial farmers and of other experts.

Fire threatens Weltevrede Fig and Guest Farm

-Carol Campbell-

Team effort and good neighbourliness prevented hundreds of thousand rands damage to the Weltevrede Fig and Guest Farm last month when a devastating fire swept through dry bush perilously close to the orchards and guest houses.

The blaze started near farm labourers’ dwellings late on Thursday, February 8 and soon ran out of control fanned by strong wind in scorching weather. It is suspected the fire was started by children playing with matches.

Suzelle Koorts said her son-in-law, Jaco de Klerk, noticed smoke and raised the alarm.
“By this time the fire was established and moving very quickly through the dry thorn bush towards the farm buildings and the fig trees,” said Suzelle.

When the family realised they would not be able to control the blaze alone they called on their neighbours for help.

Herman Olivier, his sons Pieter and Jaco and their farm workers, Hennie du Plessis, and his farm workers, André and Jan Botes and their farm worker and Piet Swanepoel and his farm workers fought into the night to quell the flames.

The Prince Albert fire brigade was also on the scene to help. In the end it took three days to ensure the fire was out.
Damage was limited to fencing, gate posts and some grazing. Cattle and four horses (Meneertjie, Perudo, Red River and Hio) were evacuated from the camps alongside the burning thorn bush without injury.

For Red River and Hio this was the third time in a year they had been evacuated because of carelessly started fires. Twice last year out-of-control fires swept through their camp on the Weltevrede farm, Witplaat.

“We would have lost everything if this fire had spread any further,” said Suzelle, “To my neighbours and the fire brigade, from Pieter, Liezl, Jaco, Willene and myself, thank-you very much for coming to help us.”

Christian Perspective

- Keith Goudie -

One of the largest funeral services was held in Prince Albert on Saturday, 31st March. It was for Abraham Cupido, known affectionately as Oom Awie, a leading member of the Prince Albert community and a well known lay minister in St. John’s Anglican Church, as well as a member of the Anglican Men’s Society, who died recently after a serious illness.

He was well loved and respected both here and in the Province about us. His attitude right up to the end was one of helpfulness and caring.
People came from many parts of the Cape to pay their respects.

Those of us who are approaching or, like Oom Awie, have passed our three score years and ten, begin to realize that it is not sensible to go through life merely holding opinions. We need to have firm convictions that hold and that those convictions, as in Awie’s case, need to be based on God’s truth. Nothing less was good enough for him.

Prince Albert’s deepest sympathies go to his wife Christien and his family. He will be long remembered.

Festival News

The Scavenger Hunt

-Sonja McKenna-

One of the Olive Festival’s great fun events will be the Scavenger Hunt. You will be invited to go on a meander which will both delight and amaze you.

Prince Albert is a town that overflows with talent , whether it be the people themselves, the arts and crafts they have created or the collections they have assembled. All of them are completely unique to the Karoo.

Scavenger hunters are going to scavenge en route at various treasure spots, which will include two collections. Our two participating collectors, Mike Collins and Rina Gouws, both admitted that they had never intended ending up with the collections they have.

As you enter Mike’s (well-hidden) venue, a smile appears on your face. What started as a collection of Harley Davidsons, has grown into an assortment of all sorts. Be warned, it will not be a short visit! Some will be seen in the street parade on Saturday…

The same applies to Rina Gouws and her dolls. This is not just a collection, you can watch her interact with them. You may be invited to burp the baby, or listen to Sannie Weeskind entertain you on her banjo. You might just be welcome at their teaparty, and enjoy miniature koeksisters!

On the meander you will scavenge for interesting objects, some of which you might never have seen in your life before, and you will be rewarded not only with a prize but with an experience to treasure long after the festival banner has been struck.

Prince Albert gereed om die Feesvaandel te hys

-Denise Ohlson-

Op Vrydag 27 April hys Prince Albert sy feesvaandel – en stryk dit eers weer op die middaguur, Maandag 30 April.

Vir die 2007 Dorps- en Olyffees word die hoofstraat gesluit van Crosbystraat af tot by Pastoriestraat. So word daar plek gemaak vir by die honderd voortreflike stalletjies met die klem op Karoo-produkte, straatmusikante, skaakspelers, uitstallings en wynproeë. Ruk uit jou fiets, “dress” hom lekker fênsie op, en kom val in by die spesiale straatparade vol outydse fietse!

Koop kaartjies vir Antoinette Pienaar se konsert, én haar kruiepraatjie! Kom lag lekker saam vir Jamie Uys se film Lord oom Piet by die Wynkelder op Bergwater, voorafgegaan met ‘n sonsondergang-wynproe. Luister na kontreistories, pluis Gamkaskloof se raaisels uit, neem deel aan die fotokompetisie, sit jou neus op die grond vir die snuffeljag op soek na verborge skatte, ondersteun die voortreflike Jazzband, die kinderteater, uitstappies in die veld saam met argeoloog Judy Maguire en botanis Sue Milton, aanskou die sterre begelei deur kundiges, sien die wonderlikste minerale onder ultra-violetlig, besigtig oopgestelde Karoo-huise en spesiaal uitgesoekte tuine, verlustig jou aan die spookroete, kronkelstap die roete verby kuns en handwerk, proe Soetkaroo se pryswennerwyn op die tong…

Daar is Vrydagaand Skuurdans in die skoolsaal, Saterdag is propvol wonderlike keuse, maak tyd vir Sondag se feesdiens in die NG Kerk met die middag se virtuose orrelspel…

Ja, dis waarlik ‘n fees vir almal
om met oorgawe te geniet.
Sluit jou tog nie uit nie;
wees deel van die pret.
Kry jou vriendelike koerant,
dis die fees se wet.
Met die program weet jy presies
wat ons het om te bied.

Letters - Briewe

To the "Inkommers"

Shortly after moving to Prince Albert seven years ago my eldest son Stuart, who was then two, became critically ill. While it was a terrible time for us it was an opportunity for us to experience the unbelievable support of the local community in this incredible village.

It is with this in mind that I write an open letter to "inkomers" especially English-speaking foreigners who have recently moved into our community.

South Africans, black and white, English and Afrikaans have lived through humbling social change since 1994. We have learnt about equality, respect and human dignity and, for those of us who have embraced this change, it has been a time of deep personal growth.

We are proud of our country, we are proud of our different languages and most of all we are proud of our ability to live alongside each other peacefully.

New arrivals in our country appear to love this hard won freedom, but unfortunately, not all leave their archaic ideas about class and race in the old country when settling among us.

It is for this reason that I appeal to new people settling in Prince Albert, especially those from overseas, to treat the locals with respect. You might have been Lord and Lady back home but here you are just another pair of strange faces. Try to be less pumped up with your own ego in dealing with the existing inhabitants. We might not all be Oxford educated but our economy was doing fine before you bought property in our town.

Instead of strutting the streets with chest puffed out why not keep quiet for a little while, get to know who we are and what we are about. Maybe, if you are lucky, you'll learn humility before you return to your cold, dark winters when the heat and drought here become too much.

Carol Campbell

Die "Taalkwessie"

Toe ek in 1994 die eerste en 1995 die tweede keer na Prince Albert gekom het, het almal in Prince Albert net Afrikaans gepraat. Daar was niemand of een of twee miskien wat net Engels gepraat het nie. So was dit vir my natuurlik, om Afrikaans te leer. As ek op die 6. 4. 97 na Suid Afrika immigreer het, het ek reeds die eerste woorde van die taal van Prince Albert gepraat.

As ek nou die "Karoo Mermaids" in SABC 2 gekyk het, het alle Prince Alberters Engels gepraat. Binne tien jaar het die dorp hulle eie taal verloor. So iets kan tog nie waar wees nie en as dit waar is, is dit baie seer vir die mense.

Ek ken Afrikaners in ons dorp, wat glad geen Engels kan verstaan nie en ek ken Engels sprekende mense in ons dorp, wat Afrikaans nie wil en/of nie kan verstaan nie.

Hoekom word in die Prince Albert Vriend nie elke berig in bede twee tale geskryf nie? Gee asb. tog elkeen in ons dorp die kans, om ons klein mooi koerant te lees.

Aan die verkope kan vasgestel word, hoe suksesvol die PA vriend is. Laat tog asb. alle lesers weet: Hoe was die verkope van ons koerant in die laaste 10 jaar? Hoeveel koerante word in elke jaar verkoop? Die inwoners van Prince Albert het toegeneem. Het die verkoop van die PA vriend ook toegeneem? Indien nie, hoekom nie?

Bodo G. Toelstede

Die Skending van ou Bome

Dit gee my groot tevredenheid om ook my stem te voeg by die persone wat daarteen is dat die pragtige ou bome van hul natuurlike prag ontneem word.

Ek is beslis daarteen en wens dat Mnr Forbes liewer ander stompe vir hom sal gaan kry om op te kerf.

Die toegewing wat Mnr John Whitton maak is nie nodig nie, daardie pragtige ou stam het vele herinneringe vir die baie mense van die dorp.

Vriendelike Groete
Mnr C.J Jooste

Editorial Comment - Redaksionele Kommentaar

Hierdie maand publiseer ons verkorte weergawes van twee briewe waarin die skrywers hul kommer en ontevredenheid uitspreek oor ‘n aantal aan-geleenthede.

Ons wil ons lesers graag inlig:

· Ons publiseer artikels in die taal waarin ons dit ontvang. Ons het nie die manne-krag, die spasie of die geld om elke artikel te vertaal nie. Ons onderneem om die voorbladartikel voortaan afwisselend in Afrikaans en Engels te publiseer, sowel as die redaksionele kommentaar.
· Ons sirkulasiesyfer wissel van maand tot maand, maar het verseker gestyg die afgelope twee jaar. Sedert die heruitgawe van die Vriend en vir die daaropvolgende paar jaar, is dit gratis uitgedeel, maar dit is nou net nie meer moontlik nie. Om die oplaag toe en nou te vergelyk, sal dus geen doel dien nie.
· Tans is ons maandelkse oplaag 600 – en as die neiging tot vehoogde verkope bly styg, sal ons die oplaag moet verhoog. Die Vriend word gelees deur die gemeenskap wat ons dien, intekenaars, en plaaslike en oorsese besoekers.
· Die Vriend word hoofsaaklik behartig deur vrywilligers, wat almal elke maand baie hard en nog langer ure werk om ‘n professionele produk op straat te kry.
· Ons hoop om in ons blad ‘n lewendige, gesonde debat te voer - wat verskillende gesigspunte sal uitlig en lei tot insig aan beide kante van die spektrum. Ons gaan nie plek afstaan aan afbrekende, verdelende en kwetsende briewe of artikels nie.
· Lesers is, in hierdie gees van opbouende kritiek, welkom om hul opinies te lug (in die taal van hul voorkeur) betreffende die gepubliseerde briewe en enige ander saak wat hulle na aan die hart lê. Terselfdertyd wil ons ons lesers se aandag vestig op die redaksionele riglyne wat op ons Briewe bladsy verskyn.

This month we print a shortened versions of two letters in which the writers express their concern and dissatisfaction on a number of issues.

We would like our readers to know that:

· We print articles in the language used by the writer. We do not have the manpower, space or the resources to translate every article. We undertake that the front page article, as well as the editorial comment, will be published alternatively in Afrikaans and English each month.
· Our circulation varies from month to month but has definitely increased in the last two years. When the Vriend was relaunched and for a number of years thereafter, it was distributed for free and even if we had the time and inclination to do so, any comparison would be meaningless.
· We currently have a print run of 600, and if the trend of better sales continues, we will have to increase that. The paper is read by the community we serve, subscribers and South African and international visitors.
· The Vriend is run largely by volunteers, who work hard and very long hours to deliver a professional product.
· We aim to foster healthy, constructive and vigorous debate on various issues that lead to better understanding of different points of view. We will not provide space for divisive or destructive invective and personal attacks.
· In that spirit, we invite our readers to send us their opinions (in the language of their choice) on the substance of the letters printed this month or any other matter that concerns them. In doing so, we remind readers of the editorial guidelines that appear on the Letters page.

Brett The Vet


The sounds animals make offer essential clues to their state of health. Barking, mewing, bleeting, mooing, neighing, and grunting are some of our rather simplified terms describing the language of our domestic animals. Vocalisation in times of need, distress, alarm, enjoyment, contentment, and illness is often directed at humans.

Why do dogs bark? There are circumstances when canine communication is clearly understood. If a dog is pierced by a thorn or a bee sting it will probably yelp in a pain response, much like a human would. A request to be let outside or back indoors is conveyed by a whine. An alarm call is characterized by deep, resonant, often persistent barking. The intention in these cases is usually clear. Dogs are social, pack animals: they need company, and dialogue. Perceived problems with barking arise when dogs are left alone for extended periods. Continuous yapping is invariably a form of attention seeking - encouraged by shouting, placated by conversation and inclusion. When a dog endures chronic pain it will usually suffer in silence.

Cats are probably the most emotional of our domestic species. They’ll display the full range of mewing intonations from gentle greetings and pleading for food or affection, to sweet talking, calling, yelling and screaming - and cats will scream in anger, pain, fear or frustration. The message is usually apparent. Then there is also the enigma of purring, which all feline species can perform, and nobody really knows how. It conveys a sensation of comfort whether the cat is happy, or nervous, or experiencing extreme pain (injured cats will often purr). When the sounds emanating from a cat are unfamiliar or disturbed, it may be an indication to seek advice.

Content cows have a warm and mellow moo. This changes to a disturbing and sustained bellow when they’re distressed over a calf forcibly removed, falling on deaf ears as we justify the need for fresh milk.

An alert shepherd will recognise the voice of a lost lamb, but so will a jackal: to one ear an appeal, to another, a meal.

When we tune in to the sounds of the animal world and try to understand them, the more subtle modulations start to become apparent. Sitting among a group of hens for a few hours becomes an enlightening experience as they chat among themselves using at least 32 different sounds (that we know of) to communicate. It is to our great shame that these highly evolved, sentient birds are treated so badly. In SA alone more than 18 million hens are kept in battery cages to produce eggs. They are debeaked and declawed to stop them injuring one another. They are unable to perform natural behaviour like perching, dust bathing, scratching in the sand, or preening. Their calls are deranged and pitiful. But luckily we never have to hear them.

Strangely enough most of the communication between animals occurs without sound as can be witnessed, for example, in a flock of sheep that react together synchronised by simultaneous responses known as allelomimetic behaviour. Elephants have been known to convey information over distances exceeding 70 kms. There is evidence that animals communicate telepathically, even between species. Humans also possess this ability, but are seldom able to access it. When we take the time to truly notice and increase our awareness of animal talk, our experience of life on earth is immeasurably enriched.

Die Padmaker van Gamkaskloof

-Denise Ohlson-

Aan die einde van 1959 was Jacobus Hendrikus van Zyl 23 jaar oud. Hy is in diens van die Afdelingsraad van Prince Albert en kry die opdrag om ’n pad na Gamkaskloof man alleen te bou. Met energieke entoesiasme begin hy met die taak, wat hom en sy Allis Chalmers kruiptrekker twee en ‘n half jaar lank besig gehou het.

In sy 69ste jaar publiseer hy ‘n boekie in rymvorm onder die titlel: Uit: Die Pen van die Padmaker, vol interessante feite,met sestien baie insiggewende foto’s. In ‘n afdruk van ‘n pragtige artikel deur Rykie van Reenen word vertel van die 21 saluutskote en die gul ontvangs die dag toe dr Otto du Plessis Gamkaskloof op Willie Rossouw se witperd Venus binne gery het om ondersoek in te stel na hul versoekskrif, aan die Provinsiale Administrasie, vir ‘n pad dorp toe. Die administrateur het ná hierdie tog besef hoe moeilik die Kloof se mense kry om veral hul bone, droëvrugte en uiesaad met donkies te vervoer. Sy aankondiging dat ₤5,000 aan die Afdelingsraad toegeken gaan word, vir die bou van die pad, het die hele Gamkaskloof laat juig.

Die pad na Gamkaskloof word gebou
Oor rante en klowe, plek-plek baie nou.
Kosie van Zyl is sommer ‘n bog snuiter.
Maar hy ry daardie ysterperd soos ‘n ware ruiter.
Eers word daar geloop om die roete sorgvuldig uit te pen,
Dat die masjien en sy drywer hul draaie kan ken.
Die kruiptrekker beur met klip en grond voor die lem
En so word Gamkaskloof se kranse en steiltes getem.

Oor sy prestasie is Koos Pad baie beskeie. Hy sê in sy voorwoord: “U kan self daar gaan ry, en dan uself afvra of dit ‘n mens alleen was, wat hierdie pad gebou het. Ek glo nie. Dit was net die Here wat hom veilig deur Elandspas gedra het. Sonder sy Maker, was dit onmoontlik.”

Ongelukkig kon die Vriend hierdie boorling van Prince Albert nie verder uitvra nie. Hy is in Januarie oorlede, maar hy het sy lewensdroom vervul en sy eenmalige storie oor Gamkaskloof en sy inwoners is met wonderlike humor en groot patos opgeteken vir die nageslag…

Oom Piet Mostert en Vaal Johans was eie bloedbroers.
Op mekaar se erf grondjies was hulle maar taamlik jaloers.
Al die jare het hulle maar knor-knor geboer,
Tot die hael en die wolkbreuk Bo-plaas het in sy moer.

Die boekie is te sien by die Fransie Pienaar Museum en te koop by Sampies teen R45.

Christopher Langley at the Gallery

- Brent Phillips-White -

For the last two months Prince Albert has been home to Christopher Langley, a British-trained artist, who has exhibited widely in the United Kingdom, as well as the USA and South Africa.

Christopher has been quietly working away on a group of paintings inspired largely by our very special corner of the Great Karoo.

In his own words: “My fondness for landscape drew me to the Karoo and the forms of the Swartberg and the geological folds of Meiringspoort have informed a number of my recent paintings.

I use my interest in nature and pattern-making to explore relationships between characters; evoke moods and investigate ways of harmonising the often fragmentary and layered nature of this perception.”

Langley goes on to describe his technique as such: “I explore the different ways oil, acrylic and enamel paints react to light through tone, opacity, translucency, gloss and matt especially when playing with depth.

Some of my paintings almost require the viewer to walk around to view them adequately and the paintings themselves seem to change character as the light in the room changes throughout the day.”

The Prince Albert Gallery has been fortunate to obtain ten of these special works.

Starry Splendour over Prince Albert

-Hans Daehne-

The lunar eclipse came and went without much fuss because of the exceptional cloud cover over the whole country but even through the gaps in the clouds the different stages of the covered moon looked quite beautiful but I must admit you had to be a fanatical night owl to sacrifice sleep for that observation.

What we experienced as fascinating was the eerie shadows that the clouds projected on the Swartberg and the valley below... ... the moon even illuminated some rocks into spooky appearances which you can only observe at full moon rising.

In April the three brightest planets will be visible in the evening sky.
Venus is climbing higher and higher and is very bright after sunset . The best spot to observe it is on Gordonskoppie .
Saturn is the bright object a little in front of the alpha star(Regulus) of Leo and was well defined through the telescope the other night.
Jupiter is increasing its brightness during April to magnitude -2.6 compared to the brightest star Sirius at mag. -1.5.

New Moon is on the 17th of April.
The April Lyrid Meteor shower is also active during the month and its peak is in the second part of the night of the 22nd when the viewing should be favourable especially for night owls because it will happen from 02h00 - 05h00 .

During the Prince Albert Olive Festival we (Astro Tours) will host two star-gazing events :

Friday 27th April:
"Star talk and amazing star-gazing" at Swartberg Hotel and
Saturday 28th April :
"Star walk and star-hopping" on Gordonkoppie.

For more information contact the Tourism Bureau on 023 5411 366.

Keep the stars in your eyes !

Awie Cupido – 28 Februarie 1932 – 16 Februarie 2007

-Matulda Mooneys-

Abraham Johannes Cupido was, net soos die Bybelse Abraham, ‘n godvresende en gelowige man wat sy lewe lank in diens gestaan het van die Here.

Hy was ‘n leier, nie net vir die gemeente van St John the Babtist nie, maar vir die hele gemeenskap van Prince Albert. Vir elkeen wat swaar gekry het, kon hy ‘n woord van troos of bemoediging spreek.

Kort voor sy heengaan was hy ‘n ledeprediker in die Anglikaanse Kerk waar hy menige begrafnisdienste waargeneem het. Hy was lid van die CMS, plaaslik sowel as bisdomlik, en hy was ook deel van ‘n interkerklike groep wat jaarliks ‘n Week van Gebed gereël het. Op sy dag was hy lid van die destydse skoolkomitee.

Hy was ‘n prominente figuur. ‘n Voorloper en rolmodel. Sy begrafnis was ‘n grootse, aandoenlike gebeurtenis. Die stoet, bestaande uit motors en voetgangers, het van sy huis af deur die hoofstraat beweeg tot by St John’s Kerk.

Die Saterdagoggendverkeer het die gepaste eerbied betoon. Die blaas-orkes op die hoek by die kerk het pragtig gespeel as ‘n laaste eerbetoon aan ‘n man wat sy lewensverhaal in sy eie handskrif voor sy dood, opgeteken het .

Oom Awie word oorleef deur sy vrou Christien, met wie hy op 4 Oktober 1953 getrou het. Uit die huwelik is nege kinders gebore, sewe seuns en twee dogters.

Hulle het hul swaarkrydae gehad, maar soos oom Awie self skryf: “Ons het by die Here gebly en ons het nooit ons huissake vir ander vertel nie. Ons het alles vir die Here gegee sodat die Here die sake kon regmaak.”

Almal wat hierdie groot man geken het, eer sy nagedagtenis.

Leeu-Gamka Nuus

- Charlotte Bothma -

Tukkies voorlegging

Op Dinsdag 13 Maart het ‘n verteenwoordiger van die studente van Tukkies ‘n voorlegging van hulle planne vir Leeu-Gamka in die Gemeenskapsaal kom doen. Dit was beslis die lang wagperiode werd. Die planne en voorstelle lyk pragtig. Die volgende stap is om ‘n werkswinkel te hou, waarin daar bespreek kan word hoe hierdie planne tot uitvoer gebring kan word. Baie dankie aan John Peska, die studente afgevaardigde wat die voorlegging kom doen het en Dr Frans Jordaan en Liza Pretorius van die Departement Omgewingsake en Toerisme. Hulle betrokkenheid by ons klein gemeenskappie is van onskatbare waarde.

Die planne en voorstelle sal by die Kwekery en Padstal uitgestal word.

Leeu-Gamka kom fees toe

Leeu-Gamka gaan hierdie jaar ‘n stalletjie by die Prince Albert Fees hê. Dit sal Leeu-Gamka se eerste bemarkingsgeleentheid wees waarin die gemeenskap van Leeu-Gamka betrek sal word. Kom loer gerus in by ons stalletjie vir die volgende produkte en items: vetplante, olyfbome, handgemaakte klei potte deur Lidi, Filomon se draadkarre, die naaldwerk projek se handgemaakte items en nog vele meer.

Klaarstroom’s only horse gets her first shoes

- Jeremy Witts-Hewinson -

Klaarstroom nowadays is known as a sleepy little village tucked away behind the koppies a stone’s throw from Meiringspoort. In the 19th century, and indeed up to the 1920’s, Klaarstroom was a popular stopover for travellers who over-nighted in one of the various ‘hotels’ that the village offered.

Some old-timers relate vivid accounts of Klaarstroom as a popular venue for wild parties to which revellers flocked from as far afield as Oudtshoorn. Time, and the 20th century, overtook Klaarstroom and soon much was gone. Eventually the only Smithy closed as the last horse to be shod was made obsolete by the motorcar.

A visitor to the Guest House was heard to exclaim, “Klaarstroom is so quiet, it’s not even a one horse town!” Not so any more! Last year Francisca Gavin, daughter of the local General Dealer, acquired a horse - and Klaarstroom was, officially, a one-horse town!

Residents were delighted to note that on the recent television feature, “Searching for Mermaids in the Karoo”, Klaarstroom was noted publicly as “an official one-horse town”.

Tara is her name and she can be seen cantering about her paddock next to the General Dealer or taking a gentle stroll down the road under Francisca loving guidance. Now Tara walks down the tar road with the same distinct clatter-ty-clop made by the horses of London or Cape Town’s Metropolitan police! The reason for this is that Tara has acquired her first pair of shoes!

The farrier, who introduced himself only as Piesang-from-Beaufort-West, was charged with the task of shodding her. He explained that he is kept pretty busy shoeing horses all over the district, but this is the first horse he’s shod in Klaarstroom and it’s agreed she’s probably the first in Klaarstroom in a long, long time!

Images of Piesang the farrier clanging away in the early hours of the morning against an anvil with the bellows wheezing at a pile of white hot coals in his Smithy back in Beaufort West were soon dispelled as he explained that he simply purchases the shoes at the Co-Op!

In six months, Tara will require another set of shoes and Piesang will once again be helping Klaarstroom take another precious piece of our past into the future.

When next you visit Klaarstroom, stop for a moment - soak up the tranquility and have a chat with Tara over the fence. It will probably be the most therapeutic thing you will have done in ages!

A Silver Ghost spends a night in Klaarstroom

-Jeremy Witts-Hewinson -

Her name is Lady Moonpenny and her “master” arrived in Klaarstroom exclaiming, “Heavens! Where can one get a Gin and Tonic?” The “Moon” in her name derives from the fact the she shines…she really does. The “penny” part is because she cost a pretty penny and offers exceeding R 1 500 000 to own her have been politely declined! Mystified? It’s all very simple. Lady Moonpenny is a 1920’s Rolls Royce Silver Ghost.

Her owner Stewart Halsall and his wife drove her ALL the way from Cape Town (that’s where the Gin and Tonic part fits in!) to Klaarstroom earlier in February to spend the night with over twenty other vintage and classic cars together with their devoted owners. The majority of the cars were Model T Fords – and yes - they mostly came in any colour as long as you wanted black!

That evening over 60 vintage car enthusiasts from all over the country and overseas gathered for a braai at Klaarstroom Guest House. Everything in Klaarstroom and its immediate vicinity that vaguely resembled a sleeping place was occupied that night. Had unsuspecting visitors wandered into the village and not seen the few modern cars and trailers on which a few of the more fragile models were transported, they could have been forgiven for thinking they’d walked into an Edwardian time warp!
The following morning more classic cars arrived, led by Brian Zechlin from Beaufort West, to assemble in the now very crowded village. Together they set off in an impressive cavalcade en route to George via the Robertson’s Pass. There they joined over 700 more classic and vintage cars of every marque or description – even vintage tractors – at the annual Southern Cape Old Car Club Classic Car Show. The organiser of this grand procession, Philip Kuschke, was pleased to report that all arrived safely.

Philip explained that the centenary commemorating the production of the first Model T Ford will be celebrated in 2008 and that the Southern Cape Old Car Club has been asked to co-ordinate the official South African centenary celebration.

The proliferation of Model Ts in Klaar-stroom is only a foretaste of the invasion we can expect into the district in September next year. Philip feels that any vintage car tour around the Southern Cape would be incomplete without a drive through Meiringspoort. Tea in Klaarstroom on that day has been booked. For that occasion they can expect nothing less than a Model Tea!

And what of Lady Moonpenny? Should you chance along the main street of Klaarstroom on a moonlit night you may just feel compelled to glance back and see a gracious lady, dressed all in white, standing regally awaiting her companions in the Guest House precincts.

Lazy Lizard to change its Name?

- Jack Botha -

As some of our readers will know, I spend some time every day watching the passing scene and drinking good coffee at the Lazy Lizard. Activities now taking place in a renovated building behind the shop seem to make it inevitable that the owners, Juan and Caryn Pastrana will have to consider a new name for their Internet café and curio shop. Recently I followed the grunting sounds and the smell of sweat, to find a brand new gym.

Caryn’s sister, Alex Barnato, who has been a strong helping hand at the Lizard, has taken over the equipment left behind when Valerie and Tommy Prins left town in January for new careers up north. Alex now does personal fitness training and even gives gentle stretching classes for the old toppies. (I am too young for the stretching classes). At the same time she is studying towards a fitness training diploma.

To add even more value, a running club has been established at the gym. This is good news for Prince Albert because some of South Africa’s outstanding distance runners started their training in Prince Albert but had to go for classes to other towns to prepare for serious races. Our roads up and round the mountains, are perfect for this kind of training.

I was impressed by the range of activities: Hans and Tilanie Daehne, biokineticists come to the gym on Saturdays to give expert advice on specific personal training and weight loss programmes, Tracy Swanepoel runs daily yoga classes and Marelize Vorster conducts aerobic training four mornings a week.

Move over Virgin Active: here comes the Lazy Lizard!

Sport News

Marquin Fredericks - Prince Albert se Trots

- Hekkie Piedt –

Prince Albert is die afgelope jaar amper elke dag in die media veral in Die Son wat veral die negatiewe kant van die pragdorp uitbring. Daarteen kan ons spog met talentvolle jongmanne op sportgebied sowel as akademies.
Marquin Fredericks is so ‘n jongman. Hy is huidiglik ‘n Graad 11 leerder by Zwartberg Hoërskool. Hy het onlangs met die skool se jaarlikse atletiekbyeenkoms die rekord gebreek in hoogspring vir seuns o/19 jaar. Hy was ook aangewys as die beste presteerder vir senior seuns en as die senior seun met die beste enkel prestasies. Marquin het ook tydens die OUDUSSA Hoërskole Atletiek getoon dat hy vir niemand terugstaan nie. Hy het uitgeblink in die hoogspring ( 1ste plek ), verspring en die naellope.

Marquin is ook ‘n kranige vlugbalspeler. Hy het die SWD Vlugbalspan vir die afgelope drie jaar al behaal. Hy is ook die kaptein van FC United Sokkerklub in Prince Albert en was by die prysuitdeling van die Klub aangewys as die Mees Waardevolle Speler van die Jaar (Most Valuable Player of the Year) – 2006.

Ons wil vir Marquin alle sterkte toewens met sy studies, die atletiek, vlugbal en sokker vir die jaar 2007.

Leeu-Gamka se o/13 sokkerspan blink uit

- I.A. Sabbart -

Die o/13 seuns sokkerspan van die Leeu-Gamka Primêr Skool is onoorwonne in die Beaufort-Wes streek.

Dit is bewys tydens ‘n interskole toernooi wat op 3 Maart in Beaufort-Wes plaas gevind het, waar sewe laerskole uit die omgewing deelgeneem het. Hierdie toernooi is aangebied deur Siyadiala School Mass Participation Program. Hulle is genooi om aan die Zonal toernooi in Kaapstad op 30 en 31 Maart deel te neem. Ons wens hulle alle voor-spoed toe. Baie dankie aan Mnr. S. Constable en Mnr. I.A. Sabbart, Sport Assistent by die Siyadalia Program, vir hul opofferings en geduld met die span.

“A Child in sport is a child out of court”

Hoërskool Zwartberg - Kleuresport

Saterdag die 27 Januarie het die Goue “Egiptenare” en Die “Red Bulls” in ‘n kleurryke optog om die baan by die skool opgedaag. Weereens het Merweville ook deelgeneem- en hulle het ook feestelik en energiek vertoon in die optog met al die 4x4 motorfietse.
Dit was ‘n dag vol opwinding en die atlete het werklik hul bes gedoen en pragtige prestasies gelewer.

Die gouespan het ook die geesdrifbeker ontvang – sowel as die beker vir die meeste punte.

Saterdag 3 Februarie het ‘n groep van 41 atlete aan die SOK byeenkoms op Kareedouw gaan deelneem. Ons het reeds die Vrydag vertrek-aangesien dit ver is en ons atlete lekker kon uitrus voor hul deelname.

Ons skool het baie goed presteer en pragtige prestasies behaal. Die beste 0/9 dogter en seun van die dag was atlete van Hoërskool Zwartberg nl.Rochelle Adolf en Gabriël Breytenbach. Christene Grove was ook die beste 0/19 dogtersatleet- Die skool is met reg baie trots op julle!!!

Die vlg. atlete het almal eerste plekke behaal:
Gabriël Breytenbach - VS
Rochelle Adolf - 80m
Martin Koorts - 80m H en GS
Delia Stalmeester -1500m en 800m
Christine Grove - VS
Andrea Gouws - SG
Yvonne Freysen - DG en GS
Deodett Philander - 60m
Marsunet Breytenbach - 150m

Voorspoed vir elke atleet se deelname die res van die kwartaal—mag dit net baie goed gaan!!!