Saturday, May 31, 2008

De Beer family visit Prince Albert

- Ailsa Tudhope -

Just before the Town and Olive Festival the village was visited by four direct descendants of Zacharias and Dina de Beer, the founding family, who established the farm Kweekvallei here in 1762.

Seventh generation Riel de Beer, Lydia, his wife; their daughters Anli de Beer and Alrina Visagie and granddaughter Jani Visagie spent a few days wandering through Prince Albert. They visited Gay’s Dairy, site of the original farm buildings, spent time in the Fransie Pienaar Museum and took a Ghost Walk. It was a great pleasure to spend time in their company. They were extremely enthusiastic about the town and their family history, so much so that during the evening little Jani told her oupa that she’d like to change her name to de Beer.

Riel is the grandson of Oom Zaag de Beer, one time Skriba at the NG Kerk, who lived in the house in Parsonage Street. Riel last visited the village for his oupa’s funeral. Helena Marincowitz recorded the tale of Oom Zaag’s almost running over his wife Tant Lienie in their garden in her book of Prince Albert Stories and Riel confirmed that the old man was a holy terror on the roads. Oupa Zaag would take him and his brother out to Scholtzkloof during the fruit season to pick fruit for the family. He would back out of the garage and turn so that he could leave the property bonnet first; he knew he had turned far enough when he hit the fig tree!

Riel had many stories to tell Jani and places to point out but couldn’t remember exactly where his Hofmeyer grandparents had lived. If anyone can supply this information please contact me at 023 5411 211 and I’ll pass it on.

The family thoroughly enjoyed their visit, as their note a week later conveyed: “We haven’t stopped talking about Prince Albert ever since we left. We really enjoyed the stay and are considering buying property there one day. We spent a lot of time in the Museum and even took turns to see if we could see the notorious Museum Ghost - no luck though. We hope to pay another visit to the town soon and wish yourself and all the residents well.

Greetings: Riel, Lydia, Anli de Beer, Alrina and Jani Visagie.”

No comments: