Saturday, September 29, 2007


- Linda Jaquet -

It was quite a happening when the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Sue van der Merwe, met with politicians, officials and community representatives of the Central Karoo District Municipality and the Prince Albert Local Municipality at Prince Albert Road on 13 September 2007.

Sue van der Merwe is the political champion of the Central Karoo in the National Government and came to learn for herself about the obstacles faced by communities living in Transnet-owned houses dotted along the mainline railway line throughout the region.

Just across the railway line at Prince Albert Road station is a cluster of 18 small, neat red-brick houses, many of whose inhabitants recall with affection the days when their station was busy and efficient providing them with a livelihood. Most are former employees of Transnet, who were retrenched when the company restructured in the early 1990s.

Transnet now wants to dispose of its “non-viable assets”, such as houses, and in the case of Prince Albert Road, has offered to transfer them at very low cost to the Prince Albert Municipality.

The situation is complicated: the Prince Albert Road settlement now falls within the jurisdiction of the Prince Albert Municipality but its residents continue to pay rent to Transnet and are surrounded by Transnet- and privately-owned property. Transnet provides services and infrastructure that residents say leave much to be desired: a borehole supplies household water, there is no rubbish collection and houses still have bucket toilets. While the settlement is not electrified, residents pointed out to the Friend that the local businesses and “white people’s houses” on the other side of the railway line ironically drew their electricity from the station. An elderly resident who has lived at Prince Albert Road all her life, commented tiredly: “Die treinspoor is die apartheidslyn.”

It is obvious that services and infrastructure will have to be upgraded. Mr Edwin September, Prince Albert’s Acting Municipal Manager, told us that the Municipality was cash-strapped and was adamant that Transnet should assist in financing the upgrading of the settlement. Transnet appears reluctant to do so. Angela Conway of the Southern Cape Land Committee (SCLC), a George-based NGO, told the Friend that Transnet had in no uncertain terms simply abandoned the people of Prince Albert Road and had for the last decade or so “somehow wished that they would all disappear.” Mr Hans Rossouw, a community leader, stressed that while the residents of the “Transnet huisies” had felt unsure about their futures for many years, they have no intention of disappearing or being dumped in one of the bigger, neighbouring townships, where they fear their family lives would inevitably break down. Hans commented that while both sides negotiate about houses, land and costs and take their time to do so, “they forget that there are people living in the houses. We know that once we can own our own houses, that we have electricity and have a sense of pride in ourselves again, we can sort the rest out.”

In spite of the obstacles, the community remains surprisingly positive. They have approached BADISA to assist them in setting up a day care centre for toddlers and have spruced up a room in the settlement’s old school to accommodate it. BADISA has also agreed to help residents begin a soup kitchen and there are plans afoot for skills training. Hans emphasises that: “We want to work for ourselves – it’s not about handouts.”

Deputy Minister van der Merwe told community leaders that she wished to work with all of them to overcome the blockages faced by Transnet settlements. Obviously the people of Prince Albert Road do not expect miracles, but certainly hope that her visit will speed up decisions about their future.

Photo: Deputy Minister Sue van der Merwe (left) shares a joke with Outa Lappies outside his home at PA Road

Letters - Briewe

Klaarstroom se Populierbos

Klaarstroom is ‘n klein plekkie met sy pragtige rotsrandjies rondom die wit geboue en die mooi natuurskoon.

Tot ons grootste teleurstelling is die pragtige natuurskoon in die agtergrond – die populierbome – so verwoes dat dit lyk of daar ‘n orkaan sonder naam deur die mooi-ste deel van Klaarstroom is. Die bome lê plat verwoes.

Dit is baie, baie teleurstellend om te sien hoe lelik dit lyk. Die inwoners van Klaarstroom het dit nie verwag nie. Op Maandagaand, 27 Augustus 2007, was daar ‘n gemeenskapsvergadering te Klaarstroom gehou. Die inwoners het gevra dat inwoners ‘n verduideliking moet kry hoekom die bome gesaag word. Ons het gevra dit moet gestop word want ons weet nie die hoekoms en die waaroms nie en ons het geen terugvoering gekry nie.

Die bos het ‘n doel in die gemeenskap gehad. Al die jare het die gemeenskap hout gaan haal in die bos, veral in die winter. Toe die ouer garde kinders was, is die skoolpieknieks altyd daar gehou. Ons kinders het daar geswem en die koelte geniet. Vroeg in die oggend het dit gelyk die blare blink, so pragtig was dit. ‘n Pragtige lowergroen en blink bos!

Mense, Klaarstroom lyk nou soos ‘n woestyn. Die pragtige lang, groen bome is weg – die mooiste deel teen die rivier af. Dit was die bome wat eerste raak gesien was as jy deur die Poort ry in die rigting van Klaarstroom.

(Skrywer se identiteit is aan die Vriend bekend.)

Common Sense Guidelines for Building in the Karoo

I would like to sincerely thank Mary-Anne and Debbie for reviewing my booklet in last month’s Friend. The book seems to have been well received and is selling well at the Fransie Pienaar Museum.

I have received constructive feedback from a number of people and am now gathering together material that may be included in some future re-print. There is, however, one item that I think I should share with readers now, rather than later, as in my opinion it could be a matter of life and death.

I refer to the fitting of security bars over windows and doors. In the course of my work I have measured over eighty existing houses for clients in Prince Albert and in many cases have been horrified to find that every window and door in the building has been fitted with security screens.

The last house I measured in Nuwestraat would have made the Department of Correctional Services proud – no one without major tools or equipment could have broken into the building. But what is even more significant to me, is that there is no way anyone could escape in the event of a fire. When questioned the occupants invariably argue that they would simply make their way to the front or back door. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way, especially at night when a person awakens to find themselves in total darkness, disorientated and unable to breathe properly due to smoke inhalation.

I urge residents to seriously consider the means of escape from their premises in the event of an emergency. It is recommended that if a person decides to install security bars they limit them to the opening portions of windows only. At lease one window in every room should be able to broken open, either by rescuers from outside or by a person trapped inside. Should an emergency occur the trapped person may be able to smash open the unprotected window using a chair or similar piece of loose furniture.

John Whitton


It is sad to witness the brutal treatment of our historic 126 year old Blue Gum trees! Planted in 1881 by the magistrate, George Rainier, they have given much needed shade in summer and character to our town all these years.

What is even sadder is that our Town Council does not adhere to its own APPROVED Tree Policy!

In October 2001 the Aesthetics Committee which had advised the Council since 1992 was disbanded. In May 2002 they appointed the Heritage Advisory Committee to advise them on ALL aspects of heritage in our town and district.

At that time we experienced some severe storms and large branches of the blue gums were ripped off and caused serious damage – in one case a whole tree was uprooted and fell on a house. It became clear that these much loved blue gums were at the end of their life and that they presented a real danger. As a result of this the Council requested the Heritage Advisory Committee to look into the matter and to come up with a Tree Policy for the town.

It was clear to us that sadly, because of their age, the blue gums had to go. We spent hours and days walking up and down Church Street, consulting with Sue Dean, other specialists, nurseries and the Council as to what the best route of action would be. Finally we came up with a Tree Policy which later formed the basis of a draft document tabled by the former Mayor, Mr Dawid Rossouw. This was approved by Council and serves as the town’s existing Tree Policy. It does not, however, include all the original recommendations, which inter alia proposed a phased-in replacing, but not full-scale removal, of the historic blue gums, as well as planting of trees on both sides of Church St.

The trimming of the blue gums is not mentioned anywhere in either Tree Policy and is a futile and very expensive exercise costing us rate payers. In ten or fifteen years time these trees will have sprouted new branches that will interfere with the electrical wires and will again have to be trimmed at great cost.

Why does the Council not remove the cause (blue gums) of the problems and implement their approved Tree Policy?

Lydia Barella

PS: I would like to appeal to all Prince Albert residents to be vigilant. Please watch all community notice boards in Prince Albert and read all notices published in the Prince Albert Friend. If anything that concerns you, make further enquiries and talk to your friends about it. The Municipality did publicly ask for tenders for the trimming of the blue gums – nobody took any notice!
(A copy of this letter was sent to the Acting Municipal Manager just before our printing deadline and too late for him to respond in this, edition should he so wish.)

Totsiens van Leeu-Gamka

Na meer as 20 jaar op Leeu-Gamka het die Here met ons ‘n nuwe pad begin loop en skuif ons nou na Sasolburg. Dit is moeilik om jou wortels op te trek en te skuif, maar ons weet dat die Here hierin is, en daarom is ons ook opgewonde oor die nuwe pad saam met die Here.

Ons wil ook graag vir die gemeenskap van Prince Albert baie dankie sê vir al u liefde, ondersteuning en gebede in hierdie jare. Die tyd wat ons by die skool, Huis Kweekvallei, die hospitaal en ook die gemeente van Prince Albert betrokke was, bly steeds vir ons kosbare herinneringe.

Ons wil ook graag vir u dankie sê vir u gesindheid oor die jare by die kerk se kwekery. U ondersteuning het gehelp dat dit vandag ‘n Artikel 21 maatskappy met ‘n eie direksie, betuurder en personeel is. Onsself was in die laaste maande feitlik glad nie meer betrokke nie, en ons glo dat hierdie projek net van krag sal gaan.

Dankie ook vir u ondersteuning by die gemeente van Leeu-Gamka se dankfeesbasaar en ander funksies. Moet asseblief nie ophou by die gemeente betrokke te wees nie – hulle sal steeds in die jare wat kom u ondersteuning en gebede baie nodig hê.

Dit is ons gebed dat die Here u sal seën.
Willem en Sanette Burger


Ons Marincowitz familie wil net dankie sê aan die gemeenskap van Prince Albert en al ons vriende en kennisse vir hulle oproepe, en besoeke en woorde van verstroosing na die afsterwe van Helena Marincowitz.

The Marincowitz Family would like to thank the Prince Albert Community, friends and acquaintances for their telephone calls, visits and support after the death of Helena Marincowitz.


Thank you for thinking of us during Jonathan’s untimely passing. Thank you for the words of comfort, all the flower arrangements that arrived at our home, (everyone remembered how Jonathan loved flowers), the lovely, delicious cakes, cheese and whole complete meals.

Your love is appreciated. We will never forget the support and consideration given to us at this time.

Fondest love,
Joy, Trish & Zara Rolfe

Brett the Vet - Awe and Grace

Last week I was presented with two working dogs which were both caught in leg traps, undiscovered for five days on a farm near Prince Albert. One had died and the other is being treated for severe paw injuries. This shocking scenario illustrates firstly, that leg hold traps (slagysters) are in general use when humane methods of predator control are readily available. Secondly, traps are being used irresponsibly, left unchecked for too long, demonstrating disregard for ANY trapped animal left panic stricken, and enduring unimaginable pain. Inappropriate ‘control measures’ can cause unnecessary pain and suffering to target species, and sometimes ‘innocent’ species are killed or maimed due to careless management. It is virtually impossible to police illegal activities on farms and that is why everyone needs to develop a sense of awe and respect for all life forms, and the strength to demonstrate compassion to all living creatures.
The biodiversity of animal life has developed in a way to accommodate all species. Deviations from natural balance and harmony are inevitably created by man who still has much to learn about the implicit order. Our need to survive, protect ourselves and control the world around us means different species have been adapted for our benefit, while others have been eliminated or reduced. Some species are admired as good, strong, beautiful, fascinating or useful, while others have been labelled bad, dangerous, ugly or irrelevant. Deep ecology recognises the unique inherent value of every species. It may seem obvious to state that every animal can only be true to itself and behave in a way that is natural for the species. For example snakes are often considered to be the embodiment of evil. They can be deadly to man but are not usually a threat if left alone to fulfil their role in the ecosystem reducing rodent or bird populations.

Of the animals perceived to be ‘bad’ are predators and vermin which may or may not be a real threat to livestock or the livelihood of farmers. These include such exquisite creatures as lynx, jackal, eagle, and leopard; and also the no less beautiful and sensitive rats and mice. Understandably farmers need to protect their animals and limit losses and there are even humane ways both lethal and non-lethal to achieve this. Undesirable animals should never be ‘punished’ for behaving the only way they know. Individuality exists also in the animal world, even in a flock of sheep, and once understood, invokes wonder.

There is more information currently available and accessible to everyone via the internet through organisations like ‘Animal Damage Control Institute’ which helps to put things into perspective through research and practical guidance. There are also other more extreme views ranging from no kill life preservation policies to the total destruction of certain life forms. These opinions are all important for reaching a sensible ‘voice of moderation’. New concepts which embrace the fullness of life and open our minds to possibilities based on knowledge and understanding need to be considered in context so that we may evolve towards equilibrium similar to the way nature intended.

Starry Splendour over Prince Albert

- Hans Daehne -

In October of this year like in every year it will be the ideal time to admire our Spring Constellation, the huge Pegasus, the flying horse of Greek mythology that gave poets the possibility for their flight of thoughts.

The Square of Pegasus, also known as the Spring Rectangle analogue to the Summer Triangle and Winter Triangle, can hardly be missed as it culminates over our Meridian. That means you have to look in a northerly direction parallel with Church Street and like the constellations of Orion or Scorpius Pegasus can be recognized right away because it is in an upright position for us in the southern hemisphere.

At the lower right corner of the square of Pegasus there is a string of four stars, the hind legs of Pegasus so to speak, but they belong to Andromeda already and it is under the middle of this line that you will find the Andromeda Nebula with the naked eye but a pair of binoculars will help. Also known as M31 this is the closest spiral galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy in other words our neighbour galaxy at a distance of two and a half million light years and its size is one and a half times that of our home galaxy. It is the furthest celestial object that can be seen with the unaided eye but there is good news for the short-sighted because it coming closer to us at a tremendous speed to reach us in three billion years when the two galaxies will merge.

The Moon will be new on the 11th of October and full on the 26th when it will be at perigee, the right combination for a higher possibility of rain in the Western Cape. This favourable requirement for rain in the Cape will occur every month until December – let’s hold thumbs!

Mercury is an evening object for the first half of the month and thereafter the speedy planet will show itself in the morning again. To observe the tiny planet a trip up Gordon’s koppie will be necessary.

Venus is very bright early in the morning also for the first half of the month.

Mars although already visible in the evening will only become a bright object in December around Christmas.

Jupiter at a magnitude of -2.0 (brighter than any star) will be visible during the first half of the night untill the end of the month.

It was with great relief that we learned of the safe return of space shuttle Endeavour which had delivered a new set of solar panels to the International Space Station.

With them installed the ISS has grown to a huge dimension and should become quite a sight when next seen as a satellite in the early evening.

To obtain information when a visible pass of the ISS will occur at a favourable time over Prince Albert visit the web site, feed in Prince Albert as your observation site and it will supply the time and direction of visible passes for ten days in advance.

Building on the ISS must be completed by 2010 (in time for the Soccer World Cup in South Africa) when the space shuttles will be scrapped to make way for more advanced space vehicles.

All very exciting matter and the best of it all is that the space shuttle will capture the Hubble Space Telescope, fit it with a new set of optics and other equipment and set it free again, all in 2008.

Keep the stars, ISS and HST in your eyes!

Prince Albert Groundwater Status

- Dr Ricky Murray, Groundwater Africa -

Exactly a year ago, I was appointed by the Municipality to get groundwater management going. Mr Edwin September from the Municipality assisted in raising funds from the Department of Water Affairs & Forestry’s (DWAF) Masibambane Programme, and the Municipality contributed by buying and installing the necessary monitoring equipment. This followed on from the project that I was already doing for DWAF on artificial recharge where Prince Albert was selected as a pilot study site.

What followed has been remarkable. Prince Albert has moved from having unreliable groundwater resources to having a good picture of the available resource and how to manage it.

Virtually every borehole was being pumped at too high a rate, and this led to dramatic declines in borehole water levels. Data loggers have now been installed for measuring water levels, flow meters are regularly read to establish the volumes pumped, and other key information such as rainfall and water quality is gathered.

Some of the key developments are:Borehole monitoring equipment has been installed in Prince Albert, Klaarstroom and Leeu-Gamka.

  • Each borehole has been analysed and optimum pumping rates have been set.
  • A pumping schedule has been developed to cater for both summer and winter requirements. This stipulates when and for how long each borehole should be pumped.
  • A groundwater monitoring and management system has been developed. It describes everything that needs to be done. Unfortunately the training given to Brian Hitchcock was lost with his resignation from the Municipality. A new person will need to be trained.
  • An assessment of the artificial recharge potential has been done. Testing was not carried out because the aquifer was full at the time of the planned tests, but the potential is very good.
  • An environmental study was done by Prof Sue Milton.
  • 9 environmental monitoring boreholes were drilled and tested (paid for by DWAF), and a number of other boreholes have been equipped with monitoring equipment.
  • An estimate of the losses from the furrow was made, but this needs to be scientifically done before we can be certain what the water savings would be if the pipeline was installed in the furrow. This estimate was made to assess the amount of water available for artificial recharge.
  • DWAF is now planning on installing two rainfall stations south of town.
  • At the time of writing this, we are busy drafting a comprehensive report that describes all the above points. This should be complete by the end of September.

The approach thus far has been to get the necessary data so that the groundwater resource can be understood. The monitoring equipment is in place, and we now have a good idea of “how things work”. But this followed on from one of the wettest years in recorded history, so the newly set pumping rates will need to be closely monitored over the next few years and modified as we get a better understanding of how the aquifers respond to both wet and dry periods.

One of the environmental monitoring boreholes is located above (south) of all the municipal production boreholes, at the base of the Swartberg Pass. Water level monitoring over the past year shows that groundwater abstraction has had no effect at all on this borehole even though the nearest production borehole was pumped virtually non-stop throughout the year. It does not seem like you have to worry about “dewatering the Swartberg” (See PA Friend, Jan 2007).

This does not mean that you can abstract groundwater in an uncontrolled manner. Prince Albert has good groundwater reserves and if managed properly, will provide the town (together with water from the irrigation furrow) with a reliable supply throughout the year.

In summer time, you will need to use it wisely and not waste it; and in times of drought you will have to be extra careful and conserve it. But at this stage, you don’t need a dam or any other major infrastructure - you need to optimise existing water resources and minimise wastage.

The key challenge now regarding water resource management (as opposed to supply management) is to further develop our understanding of the water resources (and we now have all monitoring systems in place), and to develop local skills in understanding and managing the water resources. It would also be nice to “up” the public’s awareness on water issues.

I’ll be presenting the report to the public later in the year. Please attend. Thanks to the Municipality for supporting this project and for taking groundwater seriously; and to Johann Rissik for installing and reading loggers, and generally doing most of the on-the-ground work.

An interesting fact to end off on: During the last summer (Nov 06 to Apr 07), groundwater supplied 86% of the town’s Municipal water; the remaining 14% came from the irrigation furrow.

Sonder Nonsens Vreetsaam-Toer kom weer PA toe

Hoe bederf ‘n man sy tweede vrou? Deur haar vir ‘n on-vergeetlike wegbreekweek te neem na onbekende bestemmings! Dit is presies wat die manne met die karre jaarliks doen.

Die “Sonder Nonsens Vreetsaam-Toer” is daardie geleentheid van die jaar waar die tweede vrou …party is regte ou ladies… uit die kas gehaal, afgestof,opgedollie en skaamteloos mee gespog word! En party manne vat sowaar die regte vrou ook saam. Sommige gaan saam om ‘n ogie oor die man en sy tweede vrou te hou.

Ander gaan saam om haar te help om darem soggens styf-styf van die nag se koue aan die gang te kom en weer te purr soos in haar jongdae, maar meeste gaan saam omdat dit heerlik gemoedelik is om weer op die hakke te loop op paaie waarvoor die ou ladies gemaak is …stof en al.

O ja, en natuurlik moet vanity cases met tools saamgaan, dis deel van die pret, die soggens se vroegopstanery en regmakery. ‘n Ou kar breek mos staan-staan! Behalwe party…hulle battery verloor sommer in die ry!

Vanjaar begin die toer op 1 Oktober met ‘n geselskap van 22 motors vervaardig voor 1945 en 42 persone (meeste in dieselfde kategorie). Die rit begin in die Paarl by die Strooidakkerk en reis dan oor Ceres na Touwsrivier, Sutherland (O, die bitterheid van koue sonder ruite en aircons) om die nag van die 3de Oktober in Prins Albert by die Zwartberg Hotel te oornag. Die toer sluit af, na heelwat ompaaie, op Plettenbergbaai.

Dié wat hou van hierdie ou motors kan gerus vanaf die laatmiddag op die uitkyk wees vir hierdie garde in Prins Albert op 3 Oktober. Dis darem een ding wat die babyboomers nagelaat het…’n passie vir die goeie ou dinge!!!!

Gawie Breytenbach


Soms, net soms, laat my werk by die museum my soos ‘n eilandbewoner voel, alleen en afgesluit van die buitewêreld en van Prince Albert se mense. Dis sulke tye dat ‘n mens jouself afvra: “Wat doen ek hier? Wat wil ek bereik met ou goedjies rondskuif, herrangskik, nommers opsit, uitpak, regpak, inligting stoor. Vir wie doen ek dit?”

Op 21 Augustus stap twee dames van Museumdienste, Linda Labuschagne en Ré le Roux, op uitnodiging, by die museum in. Albei dames is geestes-wetenskaplikes, en kundiges in hul onderskeie vakgebiede. Ons begin deur die vertrekke stap, en terwyl hulle die uitstallings met ‘n fynkam deurkyk, wens ek dat ek ons museum deur húlle oë kan sien.

Linda en Ré het nie kom kritiseer nie! Hulle het hulp en advies kom aanbied sodat ons ons baie spesiale museum nóg interessanter kan maak en die artefakte langer kan bewaar. Van die voorstelle wat geopper is:

Die korrekte beligting in elke vertrek, want té veel of verkeerde lig beskadig die artefakte. Plaas UV op die vensters wat nog nie behandel is nie.
Byskrifte kan vergroot word en ons moet poog om so ver moontlik die inligting in Afrikaans en Engels beskikbaar te stel.
Binne-vensters kan toegemaak word met “soft board” vir meer uitstalruimte.
“Silica Gel” kan in uitstalkaste geplaas word om vog vry te stel, of te verminder, afhangende van die voggehalte in die lug.Ons het nou die name en nommers van verskeie kontakpersone wat bereid is om ons met raad en daad by te staan.

Prince Albert is ryklik geseën met talentvolle mense wat groot bydraes lewer met die bemarking en verfraaiing van ons dorp, dus kan ons meer muurspasie aan huldeblyke afstaan. Sekere areas sal met toue beveilig moet word, en van die oop rakke moet verkieslik glas voor kry. Ons sal egter poog om nie die huislike atmosfeer van die museum te bederf nie.

Die museum is nie ‘n koue, donker gebou vol stowwerige meubels, waar almal moet fluister en kinders verbode is nie. Al die kinders van Prince Albert is welkom in die museum, want dit behoort aan ons almal! Tannie Fransie Pienaar het vir Prince Albert en sy mense ‘n kosbare erfenis nagelaat waarop ons baie trots kan wees en wat ons almal moet help bewaar vir die toekoms. Kinders, kom kuier gerus, en bring sommer vir Pa en Ma saam. Glo my, hulle sal aangenaam verras wees as hulle ‘n slag kom inloer.

Na die besoek van Museumdienste, voel ek nie meer soos ‘n eilandbewoner nie! Linda en Ré kon nie uitgepraat raak oor hoe besonders, netjies, warm en huislik die Fransie Pienaar Museum vertoon nie. Die personeel is nou weer begeesterd en sien daarna uit om die voorstelle wat die dames gemaak het, te beproef en te implimenteer - alles vir ‘n beter museum, een van ons dorp se beste uitvoerprodukte.

Debbie Badenhorst

Prince Albert’s Main Street Sentinels

- Derek Thomas -

Our town’s impressive main road, Church Street, is lined with Eucalyptus gum trees, proud sentinels with their silver-grey trunks, firm and resolved against the onslaught of both time and man. They are the familiar sight welcoming the Prince Alberter home after a journey away. With their close ranking and wide girths they provide welcome shade to the townsfolk and buildings. They are a reminder of the generations which have gone before.

One illustrious resident, George Garrett Rainier, planted these warriors around the 1880s, which means that their age is in the order of 120 years or more. His legacy includes persuading the local member of parliament at the time, Jan Luttig, that a pass should be constructed over the Swartberg.

Other trees in the town are of significant heritage importance and should be protected - the rows of cypresses which are striking landmarks, each a unique sight achieved only through the passage of time and through the grace of God.

He that planteth a tree is a servant of God, he provideth a kindness for many generations, and faces that he hath not seen shall bless him. -Henry Van Dyke-

Unfortunate though it may be, aging gumtrees are notoriously dangerous unless their growth is kept in check. They are once again being lopped mainly to protect property and the powerlines of the main street. In the recent past more than one property has borne the brunt of a fallen tree or branch. The sight of tree-felling always rouses mixed feelings in the community, no less with the current lopping programme.

Five years ago a Tree Policy (boombeleid) was prepared by the Heritage Advisory Committee which recommended the phased replacement of the gumtrees with other suitable street trees which, given time, would become established to adorn the main street. However, a great deal of sentiment is bound up in these gumtrees, cultural icons of yesteryear, and the proposed strategy did not receive support from the local Council.

Prince Alberters should use this opportunity to make their voices heard. Write to the Editor and put your point of view about the future of the gumtrees – should they remain until they die of old age, or should there be a phased programme of replacement?

Tourism News

- Zelia Mullins -

The new Executive Committee (EXCO) of the Prince Albert Tourism Association held its first meeting on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 and is pleased to announce that the following positions have been filled:

Chairperson - Bokkie Botha
Vice Chairperson - Charles Roux
Head of Marketing - Charles Roux
Head of Development - Lisa Smith
Head of Finances - Mark Steyn

Other EXCO members are Di Steyn, Mariette van Schalkwyk and Michael Upton. There is a good mix of both "old" and new members on the new committee. Some of the "old" members have served on the EXCO before and therefore know the ropes while the new members will bring fresh ideas to the table.

The EXCO would like to thank the outgoing EXCO for all that they did and achieved during the past year especially in securing funding from the Prince Albert Local Municipality and also for the establishment of good relationships with Central Karoo District Municipality.

An important decision already taken by the EXCO will be to review the Constitution and to encourage total member support for the adoption of a new constitution. It is also their intention to do the best for all the Association’s membership and also to recruit new members. They would like to emphasise that this will be a member focused organisation and that they will not take a legalistic point of view.

Some of the objectives set by the EXCO at their first meeting will be to gain the confidence and support of all members; to develop a marketing plan; to develop sustainable tourism ventures in all sectors of the community and to ensure the financial viability of the tourism office.

The new EXCO Chairperson, Bokkie Botha, told the Friend that he felt that “We should still be aiming to attract more visitors to Prince Albert for longer periods of time.

We need to promote our wide open spaces, our remarkable town characters, and the unique events like the Matriek Afskeid, the Agricultural Show, the Fees, as examples.”

He suggested that Prince Albert’s unusual venues such as Gay’s Barn, Bergwater Cellars, and the church halls, could potentially host additional events and also believed that activities, which are becoming more popular in society generally - e.g. bird watching, rock climbing, chess, winter training activities, such as art courses and cookery courses – could provide niche tourism possibilities for our town.

Bokkie commented that he and his fellow EXCO members looked forward to the challenges ahead and were determined to work hard and also have fun!

Frederick Oosthuizen - die man wat die Zeekoegat Kerkie 100 jaar gelede gebou het

- Lydia Barella -

Toe die Zwartberg NG Kerk gemeente in 1842 op die plaas Kweekvallei ge-stig is (ook die stigtingsdatum van die dorp Prince Albert) was dit 'n gemeente wat oor 'n geweldige groot gebied gestrek het - tot by Rietbron in die Weste. Boere moes baie ver ry met kar en perde om kerk- dienste op Prince Albert by te woon en so het Frederick Simon Oosthuizen, 'n welgestelde boer in die distrik, vroeg in die 1900's besluit om 'n kerkie vir die wyk wat toe bekend was as die Traka-wyk op een van sy plase, Zeekoegat, te bou. Grondpad langs is Zeekoegat 65 km van Prince Albert af geleë. In daardie tyd was daar ongeveer 'n 100 gemeentelede in hierdie wyk.

Zeekoegat het 'n bloeitydperk beleef nadat die pad in 1858 deur Meiringspoort oopgestel is en met die ontdekking van goud in 1891 in die omgewing het daar baie mense na die gebied gestroom. Daar was 'n hotel, kroeg, winkel, slaghuis en poskantoor op Zeekoegat.

Maar wie was hierdie man wat die kerk na die mense wou bring? F S (Frikkie) Oosthuizen se familie het 'n lewenslange verbintenis met Prince Albert. Sy oupa, Ockert Almero Oosthuizen, was met die stigting van die gemeente in 1842 'n diaken. Hy was een van die persone wat die kooptransaksie van die kerkgrond behartig het en vyf erwe van die eerste eienaars van die plaas Kweekvallei aangekoop het. Sy seun, Jacobus Oosthuizen, het ook op die kerkraad gedien en in 1860 was hy lid van die boukommisie van die huidige kerk gebou. Jacobus se seun, Frede-rick Simon Oosthuizen, word in 1889 gekies as diaken en in 1906 as ouderling.

F S Oostuizen is in 1856 gebore en in 1936 oorlede. Hy het op die plaas, Zwartkraal, gewoon. Hy was 'n vermoënde man, maar iemand met 'n hart vir die evangelie en in 1906 laat hy die kerkie op Zeekoegat op eie koste oprig. Die kerkie is in Februarie 1907 ingewy en in 1983 as Nasionale Gedenkwaardigheid verklaar. Sou hy ooit kon droom dat hy nie net 'n pragtige aanbiddingsplekkie in die stowwerige wêreld gegee het nie, maar 'n stukkie kultuurbesit aan die nageslag? In 1929 het hy ook die kerksaaltjie langs die kerkie laat bou en in 1936 het hy die grond en die geboue aan die N G Gemeente Prince Albert geskenk. Hy was baie lief vir kinders en het jaarliks 'n groot vrugtefees in die bos op Zeekoegat aangebied waarheen al die kinders van die omgewing uitgenooi is. In 1933, toe die Bybel in Afrikaans verskyn, het hy 300 Bybels aan die kinders van die gemeente geskenk.

Sy liefdadigheid het nie daar opgehou nie. In 1885 toe ds Adriaan Hofmeyer 'n beroep op gemeentelede gedoen het vir fondse om 'n orrel aan te koop vir die kerk op Prince Albert het Frikkie 150 pond geskenk. Hy het 'n sendingstasie in Masjonaland help onderhou. Verder het hy ook die sendingkerk op Zeekoegat laat bou en die grond en gebou aan die NG Sendingkerk geskenk. Later het die kerk 'n skool en koshuis op die grond gebou. So het baie mense in sy voorspoed gedeel.

Baie gepas is Frederick Simon Oosthuizen langs die kerkie begrawe. Sy vrou, Martha Maria Susanna en 'n seun-tjie, Hendrik, se grafte is ook daar.

Op Sondag 2 Desember 2007 word die honderdjarige bestaan van die Zeekoegat kerkie gevier. Die kleinseun van F S Oosthuizen, ds Freddie S Marincowitz, sal om 10:00 die diens waarneem waarna tee en verversings geniet kan word. Alle belangstellendes is baie welkom om die verrigtinge by te woon.

Kontak Lydia Swanepoel vir verdere inligting by tel 023 5411 942.

Kieliebeentjies Tour Namibia

- Zelia Mullins -

Prince Albert’s own Kieliebeentjies have been invited to perform during festivities taking place in Namibia during October 2007. This tour will see the release of a brand new musical programme that Mr Bodo Toelstede has put together for this year’s Oktoberfest. The programme comprises popular German folk songs as well as Afrikaans folk songs and hits.

The tour kicks off with performances in Keetmanshoop at the Schützenhaus on 5 and 6 October in honour of their centenary celebrations. On 10 October the Kieliebeentjies will wow audiences at the Mariental Agricultural School and last but not least, the musicians move on to Lüderitz for the Rotary Club’s 75th birthday celebrations. Well done Prince Albert Kieliebeentjies, do us proud in Namibia and we look forward to seeing you at the Oktoberfest!

Tons of prizes to be won at this year’s Oktoberfest

- Bodo Toelstede -

This year sees a range of wonderful raffle prizes to be won at the 6th German Oktoberfest taking place at Hoërskool Zwartberg on the evening of 27 October. All proceeds will go to the school. Make sure you get your tickets in plenty of time and stand in line to win any of the following treasures:

A carpet from the Prince Albert Wolskuur Wewery, worth R 650. Donated by Rudolph Colyn, Cape Town and Annegret Engsterhold, Recklinghausen, Germany.
Meal voucher worth R 100 donated by The Lazy Lizard, Prince Albert; two meal vouchers at the German Restaurant "Amberg", near Paarl, donated by Elisabeth Dominka and a R 200 voucher for meat from Faan de Wit, Prince Albert. Donated by Lynne Botha, Cape Town.
1 night’s accommodation for 2 including breakfast at De Bergkant Lodge, Prince Albert, donated by Charles Roux of De Bergkant Lodge, ( and an all inclusive dinner at 'Alt Hamburg', 33 Schoeman St (N12), De Rust, donated by Kerstin and Frank Seydel, De Rust.
A 1 year subscription to the magazine 'Taalgenot', donated by ATKV and a book, donated by LAPA Uitgewers.
A water colour painting by the famous European Artist Kristine Gaster, Italy. Kristine has visited Prince Albert several times and has donated paintings to the Wildekanisland Nursery School and Hoërskool Zwartberg.
A barbecue and skewer set and a picnic carrier with freezer compartment and a two piece set of cutlery donated by Bodo & Gudrun Toelstede
One night’s accommodation, including breakfast at each of the following: 'Ingrid's Inn', Plettenberg Bay, donated by Ingrid Botoulas, Johannesburg (, and 'Moontide, Wilderness, donated by Maureen Mansfield (
2 nights’ accommodation at 'Abrahamskraal' farm, self catering, donated by Hestie and Johan Fourie of Prince Albert (
3 months free gym training at "Lazy Lizard Training Studio" in Prince Albert.
2 nights’ accommodation for 2 incl. breakfast at Savanna Guest Farm, Namibia, donated by Zelda van Schauroth; ( and 2 nights’ accommodation for 2 incl. breakfast at 'Schützenhaus' in Keetmanshoop, Namibia, donated by Erika Glück,

"Lucky Draw" and "Miss Octoberfest" will get a voucher for a Jumbo "Valley Classic" Wood fired Pizza at Hops Valley Farm Stall, N 12, Waboomskraal, George.

And, to keep up the tradition, the 3 most enthusiastic dancers on the dance floor will each receive a R100 voucher for meat and sausage at Faan de Wit, Prince Albert. Donated by Lynne Botha, Cape Town.
Don’t miss the festival! 27th October!

North End Garden Competition 2007

- Linda Jaquet -

This is well-deserved recognition for your hard work and all that you have achieved under tough circumstances. I hope that you are as proud of yourselves as I am of you,” Councillor Gay van Hasselt told the winners of this year’s North End Garden Competition at the prize-giving hosted by the Prince Albert Garden Club on Thursday, 13 September 2007, at the Bejaardesorg Sentrum.

A team of judges had spent a long day judging the residents of North End’s gardens the week before and then had the daunting task of deciding on the winners of the different categories. At times, only one point separated first and second places! However, there was never any doubt about the Overall Winner: Maggie Jafta, who has over the years won several prizes for her remarkable garden. Maggie was not the only one to shed a few tears when she received her award, and a bear hug, from Garden Club Chair, Liz Erasmus.

Cynthia Corey, a long-time supporter of the annual Competition, handed over the prizes to the other winners and runners-up in the Competition:
Old Houses
1st Marie April
2nd Lena Ontong
3rd Karolien Rawman
Highly commended: Andrew Mopilie

Blue Houses
1st Maggie Jafta
2nd Amy Wanie
3rd Calvin Lukas

1st Jannie Wiliams
2nd Koos Jakobs
3rd P R Pieterse
Highly commended (Water-wise):
Isak Williams

Tortelduif St – “Sink Huise”
1st Klara Afrika
2nd Katrien Alexander

The Garden Club would like to thank all the local businesses that very generously provided prizes this year: Home Hardware, Karoo Slaghuis, Lewis Stores, National Garage, Ortons, P.A. Vis en Chips, Prince of Africa, Prins-Kem, Spar, Super Spaar and Swartberg Slaghuis. The Club was particularly appreciative of the support received from the Municipality: their sponsorship ensured that the winners of the five categories were rewarded appropriately for their efforts, skill and enthusiasm.

A Night at the Theatre

Op 31 Augustus 2007 het Hoërskool Zwartberg met “A night at the theatre” weereens bewys dat sy leerders op kultuurgebied ook uitblink.

‘n Interessante seleksie van liedere uit verskeie Musiekblyspele, van oral oor, het die gehoor betower.

Me Jennifer Munro, Chrisna Smit, Tracy Swanepoel en mnr Shaun van der Walt het aan die stuur gestaan van dié produksie.

Ons eie soprane Therene Fourie and Lodé Mooneys het die gehor na hul asems laat snak met hul weergawe van die Andrew Lloyd Webber duet, “I know him so well”.

Die Patchwork Theatre se weergawe van “My Fair Lady”, met Eloise Gouws as Eliza Doolittle en Caleb Swanepoel as Henry Higgins, het die gehoor laat skater van die lag. Hul aanbieding van die welbekende “Greased Lightnin’” uit die blyspel “Grease” het die gehoor teruggeneem na hul jonger dae.

Die kontinuïteit van die hele produksie is verkry deur twee “skoonmakers”, Martin Koorts en Darius Fourie, wat hul lot teenoor die gehoor bekla en sodoende elke volgende item aangekondig het, menige keer met die tong in die kies.

Uittreksels uit “The Sound of Music”, “Pirates of Penzance”, “Oliver”, “Phantom of the Opera” en “Mary Poppins” het ook die gehoor vermaak.

‘n Heerlike aandete in die goeie geselskap van Hoërskool Zwartberg het weereens gesorg vir ‘n onvergeetlike ervaring.

Willing Hearts SWD Karoostreek – Kampioene 2007

- T Hendriks -

Saterdag 18 Augustus 2007 het Willing Hearts van Prince Albert op sy tuisveld geskiedenis gemaak toe hy Harlequins van Oudtshoorn in die eindstryd van die SWD Karoostreek verslaan het met 21 – 15. Die rustyd telling was 10 – 10 elk.

Die wedstryd het teen `n baie hoë tempo begin maar op die ou einde was dit Willing Hearts se fiksheid en dissipline wat die wa deur die drif getrek het. James Dido (losskakel) van Harlequins het in die eerste helfte geslaag met `n strafdoel en doelskop terwyl hulle linkervleuel gedruk het. Jaco Hendriks (skrumskakel) van Willing Hearts het teruggeslaan met `n drie wat hy verdoel het asook met `n skepdoel. Rustyd was die telling 10 elk.

In die tweede helfte het Hendriks weer geslaag met twee strafdoele terwyl Jonel Eksteen (flank) die wendrie gedruk het. Harlequins se stut het hul span se enigste drie gedruk in die tweede helfte. Uitblinkers vir die wenspan was voorlangs Randall Wagenaar (stut), Lonton Philander (slot), Jonel Eksteen (flank) en Wilfred Masoes (flank). Agterlangs was Jaco Hendriks (skrumskakel), Graham Hendriks (losskakel), Klaas Masoes (senter) en Johannes Masoes (senter) altyd gevaarlik op die aanval en verdediging.

Willing Hearts skuif met die oorwinning op na die SWD Presidentsliga. Twee van sy spelers, Graham Hendriks (losskakel) en Jaco Hendriks (skrumskakel), is in die SWD O/21 oefengroep opgeneem. Hierdie twee spelers het vanjaar `n groot bydrae gemaak tot Willing Hearts se sukses die jaar.

Baie geluk aan die spelers.

ESKOM Science Expo

- Compiled by: Zwartberg Science Club members -

The Zwartberg Science Club, which also includes all the members of Albert College, took part in the ESKOM Science Expo in Stellenbosch during August. We loaded up our school bus with everything necessary for over-nighting as well as our precious projects. There was lots of discussion on the journey because we knew we would be interviewed about our projects and we wanted to practise what we were going to say to the judges.

Once we got to Stellenbosch we had to make enquiries about how to find the Neelsie Student Centre where our projects were going to be displayed. When we set up our displays we discovered, to our dismay, that our posters were way too small compared to other entrants’.

We stayed in some chalets and enjoyed a muddy game of touch rugby and supper before going to bed. It was a strange night with a crowd of noisy students arriving and walking into our chalet, so we didn’t get much sleep.

Next morning we headed back to the Centre and the projects were all judged. Rebekah Swanepoel and Michaela Steyn’s door-sized garden scheme won them silver awards.

Martin Koorts and Marais le Grange won bronze awards for their solar heating project. Joshua Swanepoel and Matthew van Heerden were disappointed when their Periodic Table of the Elements board game didn’t win a prize.

The whole team was thrilled when Caleb and Sandy Swanepoel were told that their composting project had won them silver awards and had been chosen as one of fifteen projects to represent the Western Cape in the national competition in Pretoria in September.

All the Scienceclub members enjoyed themselves and are hoping to enter projects again next year.

Prince Albert Primêr se Belowende Krieketspelers

Vyf leerders van Prince Albert Primêr is onderskeidelik opgeneem in die O/13 (Beniton Klaasin, Damian Bezuidenhout) en O/15 (Sachin Reed, Christopher Daller, Ayden Buys) SWD Krieket oefengroep. Die leerders het aan die SWD winter oefenprogram deelgeneem waar hulle deur die bekwame afrigters van die SWD Krieketraad geslyp is om hul kolf-, boul- en veldwerk op te skerp.
Hulle ding op 24 en 25 September 2007 mee in die finale proewe te Oudtshoorn om ‘n plek in die amptelike SWD span. Die O/13 span sal tydens die Standard Bank O/13 week vanaf 2 - 6 Desember 2007 provinsiaal meeding te Pretoria en die O/15 span tydens die PG Byson week (8 – 12 Desember) te Stellenbosch.

Alle sterkte word die belowende krieketspelers toegewens.