Thursday, April 30, 2009

Let Our Festival Begin!

The Prince Albert Town and Olive Festival is upon us once more so it is time take to the streets, dust off the dancing shoes and have a party. It is time to welcome friends old and new to our town and to share a little Prince Albert magic.

This year we have some wonderful entertainment lined up, together with our usual delicious food, fresh produce, wine, crafts and many cultural activities. Highlights of this year’s festival are bound to be the breathtaking acrobatics and high wire antics of the South African National Circus School and the Jazz Art Dance Company’s street procession of the Karoo Mermaid puppets made by the town’s children, culminating in a dance performance that will hold you spellbound.

We have a very exciting line up of music performances to cater for all tastes. Our very own Brian Finch will get you rocking and don’t miss his brand new song dedicated to Outa Lappies, who will also be displaying his uniquely remarkable crafts. Dave Ferguson will play his goose-bump-inducing rockabilly blues and have you spellbound with his harmonica riffs. We also welcome back the Riebeek Kasteel Steel Band and for the first time, look forward to hearing the mellow beat of the Principia College’s Marimba Band.
Local is definitely lekker with the introduction of two wonderful groups, ZigZag Generation and Slam Jam Music Factory to get your feet moving in the street.

There is a special treat in store for the petrol heads as the Muscle Cars conduct a drive-by and get the adrenalin going with some wheel-spins and other antics. Enthusiasts will also have the opportunity to get up close to these muscle bound classics as they line up in Church Street.

Our streets will be lined as usual with colourful stalls offering a mix of great street food, crafts and curiosities. And of course, olives will take centre stage with local producers showing off their wares with olive oil fresh from the press, accompanied by other delicious olive products. Olive guru Linda Costa will give some insight into the subtleties of oil tasting and preparation of table olives.

Historical and botanical walks and a visit to the Fransie Pienaar Museum are a must for visitors to get a fascinating insight into the history and traditions of Prince Albert. Pay a visit to some of our beautiful churches in the town and take a drive to Weltevrede Fig Farm for a picnic or stock up on fresh milk and cheese at Gay’s Dairy in town. Discover another side to Prince Albert on a guided tour of the art works of the intriguing Villa Kruger. Pop into our local art gallery and do not forget Prince Albert’s rich tradition of storytelling and stargazing.

Enjoy the hospitality and warmth of our guest houses. Savour delicious meals at our restaurants – from egte boerekos to haute cuisine – or watch the passing parade from a coffee shop stoep. Explore antique and collectables shops, find interesting gifts – mohair and wool product, both big and small, Karoo memorabilia and arts and crafts, exquisite linen and interior decorating materials and so much more!

Donkey cart rides for the kids and ghost walks for the curious all add to the great carnival atmosphere that has made the Prince Albert Town & Olive Festival such an eagerly anticipated event.

Here’s to another successful festival and let the games begin!

The Olive – Some Spiritual Perspectives

“The olive tree is surely the richest gift of Heaven.”
- Thomas Jefferson

“Happy are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways. Thy wife: a fruitful vine inside the house. Thy sons: olive plants around the table.”
-Bible, Psalm 128

“Allah’s light is … as a lamp kindled from a blessed tree, an olive, of neither the East nor the West, whose oil is of such luminous glow that it seems to shine though no fire has been touched to it. A light upon light.”
- Koran, Surah 24

“…I like them all, but especially the olive. For what it symbolises, first of all – peace with its leaves and joy with its golden oil.”
- Aldous Huxley

“The olive orchard is like a library, where one goes to forget life or to understand it better. In certain villages … where there is no other distraction than solitude, the men on Sunday morning, go to the olives just as the women go to mass.”

- Jean Giono

Letters / Briewe

Stormwaterskade – wat doen die Munisipaliteit?

As 'n inwoner en huiseienaar wat gereeld my munisipale verpligte aangaande belasting en diensbetalings nakom rig ek my nou aan die Vriend.

Die foto op die voorblad van die vorige uitgawe (Maart 2009) het my beskadigde buitegebou vertoon, slegs 'n gedeelte van dieskade wat aanbuitegebou en muur aangerig is as gevolg van 'n stormwaterstelsel wat 'agterstevoor' gebou is. Gevolglik word die water in my oprit in die stormwater voor reg langs my eiendom af gelei.

Na die trauma en skok hetek die munisipaliteit geskakel en later persoonlik na die munisipaliteit gegaan. Ek het 'n skriftelike boodskap vir menere September en Swanepoel gelaat met 'n versoek om my dringend aangaandete kontak, ongelukkig sonder dat ek ooit verder as die ontvangsdame gekom het.

Myen buitegebou is platgevee en moes vinnigteen aansienlike koste opgeruim word omdat dit gevaarlik was om dit so te los.

My vrae is:

  • Watter gebeurlikheidsplanneis na 'n maand van ondersoek en beplanning inom my en die ander inwoners van ons pragtige dorp te beskerm?
  • Wat is die munisipaliteit se finansiele verpligting teenoor my wat aansienlike uitgawes gehad het omdat ‘n stormwatersloot foutief gebou is?

Barbara Gorniak

Pierneef and the Swartberg Pass

Bokkie Botha’s article on the Swartberg Pass (March 2009) refers.

I love the Pass and thought you may be interested to know I have an acquaintance who has just written to me as she teaches the Art of Photography and has sent me a copy of the Swartberg Pass as she photographed it recently, together with a copy of Pierneef’s painting of the Pass, clearly showing nothing has changed.

Could you use this info to promote interest in your project?

Beryl Rimes

Sterreprag oor Prince Albert

- Hans Daehné -

The founding of the Starfriends of Prince Albert started with a bang when 22 enthusiastic residents enrolled for membership at the inaugural meeting on 21 March. There was no objection to SPACE as the name for the association as it stands for Starfriends of Prince Albert for Celestial Enjoyment.

This was exactly what happened during Earth Hour a week later on Saturday 28 March, when more than 60 people, young and old, gathered on the rugby field of Hoërskool Zwartberg to enjoy a laser pointer tour over our Autumn sky above Prince Albert.

The appearance of a friendly extra-terrestrial with a bag full of chocolates, enough to go round was a welcome surprise. The all important message that he brought was: PROTECT THE EARTH – IT IS THE ONLY PLANET WITH CHOCOLATE.

As the emphasis is on enjoyment there will be no office bearers or duties for the members, other than the promotion of the observation of the starry splendour over Prince Albert.

In die tradisie van sterrekunde om alle lang beskrywende woorde af te kort (kyk net na ISS vir die internasionale ruimtestasie of HST vir Hubble ruimteteleskoop) kan die Sterrevriende van Prince Albert selfs tweetalig ook as SPA uitgedruk word.

Enige persoon wat nog by SPA wil aansluit is welkom om ons te nader vir `n inskrywingsvorm en `n oorsig oor die doelstellings van die vriendekring.

Die volgende groot samekoms van SPACE word beplan vir die 20ste Junie op Abrahamskraal om die wintersonstilstand te vier wanneer die dae weer begin om langer te word.

Volmaan in Mei is op die 9de en Nuwe Maan op die 24ste.

Merkurius word op die 19de Mei weer `n oggendobjek nadat hy in April op sy helderste vir die jaar in die aand sigbaar was.

Venus is baie helder maar net in die oggend sigbaar en sal `n oggendobjek bly vir die res van die jaar.

Jupiter in die sterrebeeld Steenbok word al helderder maar kom aan die begin van Mei eers na middernag op en aan die einde van die maand sal die pragtige planeet met sy vier helder mane reeds vanaf 22h30 vir die hele nag bewonder kan word.

Saturnus in die stertgedeelte van die Leeu is in Mei nog die hele nag sigbaar in sy seldsame vertoning met sy ringe van die kant af gesien.

Richard Dean Honoured for Lifetime Service to Ornithology

- André Jaquet -

Last month, at the Annual General Meeting of BirdLife South Africa in Phalaborwa, our own Richard Dean was awarded the Gill Memorial Medal for lifetime service to ornithology in Southern Africa.

For the last twenty years, Richard Dean and his wife, Sue Milton, have done pioneering research on birds and plants in arid ecosystems, mainly in the Karoo and Southern Africa. Much of this research was done in collaboration with students and researchers from the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University.

Their studies focussed mainly on trying to establish exactly how human activities like farming, overgrazing and other practices affect birds and vegetation in the Karoo and other similar semi-desert areas. More recently they have explored ways in which the visible desertification caused by farming, overgrazing, ploughing and mining could be reversed in our area and elsewhere.

Although far from complete, Richard and Sue’s research reveals that birds and plants not only sustain our Karoo environment, but also help to repair it where irresponsible farming has led to desertification.

They showed that it is vitally important that we establish a network of protected areas so as to maintain natural corridors that allow plants and animals to move through the countryside to find mates or escape the effects of climate change, without being hindered by roads, housing developments, crops lands and other landscape transformations.

In handing over the Medal, which is bestowed only when a highly-deserving candidate is identified, Rick Nuttall, the President of BirdLife Africa, referred to Richard’s unconventional career path, the contributions that he had made to ornithology, and the ways in which he had assisted the careers of younger ornithologists and conservation biologists.

Richard abandoned a lucrative career in the printing industry in the 1970s to work as a field ornithologist in Angola for a North American museum. He then spent a decade as a research officer and nature reserve manager in the Transvaal Division of Nature Conservation before moving to Prince Albert in 1987.

From then until his retirement in 2005 he worked for the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town as a senior research officer and manager of the Tierberg Karoo Research Station some 30 km east of Prince Albert.

As if that has not kept him busy enough, he is a prolific writer. Apart from a number of scientific papers on the ecology of birds, his publications include:
Birds of Angola, Nomadic Desert Birds, The Karoo – Ecological Patterns and Processes and Karoo Veld Ecology and Management and Roberts Birds of South Africa, which he helped to edit and revise.

The Fate of the Twelve Apostles

After Easter, when thoughts turn to things spiritual, Prince Albert’s Michael Aggett fills in the gaps on the twelve Apostles.

Traditionally, eleven of the twelve Apostles were martyred. Modern scholarship, however, claims little concerning knowledge about their final years:

James the son of Zebedee (James ‘the Great’) is believed to have been the first to suffer martyrdom. His death is the only one recorded in the New Testament (Acts 12: 1-2). He died about 44 A.D. at the hands of Herod Agrippa 1, whose campaign against the Church at that time was apparently an attempt to curry favour with his Jewish subjects.

It is likely that Peter, towards the end of his life, reached Rome where he was martyred and buried.

The Acts of Thomas (3rd or 4th century A.D.) reports Thomas’s evangelizing efforts and martyrdom in India. Modern Syro-Malabar Christians still maintain this tradition.

The story of Andrew’s travels in Asia Minor, starting in Pontus and ending in Patras, Achaea, where he was martyred, is told in the Acts of Andrew. In Patras (modern Patrai), he ‘converted the city’ (including Lesbios, the proconsul) and ‘performed many miracles.’ Upon his return there, he was instrumental in the ‘healing’ and conversion of Maximilla, the wife of the new proconsul, Aegeates.

After Maximilla’s conversion to Christianity she became celibate, provoking the wrath of her husband who proceeded to arrest Andrew. The new converts began to congregate at the local prison to hear the Apostle preach, and it was there that his martyrdom began. Out of revenge for Maximilla’s refusal to return to conjugal life, Aegeantes eventually had Peter’s brother crucified. Andrew died, having preached from his cross for three long days to the assembled townspeople.
Matthew’s death is still contentious, although the Church has long revered him as a martyr. The most influential tradition holds that he died in Ethiopia. This is found in the Roman Catholic Church’s official Roman Martyrology and is corroborated in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, which reports that Matthew was killed with a halberd in the city of Nabadar. (This accounts for Matthew’s traditional depiction in art, carrying a spear).

John the son of Zebedee (the Beloved Disciple) exercised a leadership role in the Jerusalem church. He finally moved to Ephesus, where he died, an old man, of natural causes during Trajan’s rule. It is believed that John was once banished to Patmos, an island off Asia Minor not far from Ephesus. (It is ‘highly unlikely’ that John the Apostle wrote any of the five New Testament books that bear his name).

Nothing reliable is known about the final years of Matthias, Bartholomew, James the son of Alphaeus (James ‘the Less’), Judas the son of James, Philip and Simon the Zealot.

Oom Pat vier nog ‘n mylpaal

- Lydia Barrella -

Op 17 Maart het Pat Marincowitz sy 85ste verjaarsdag gevier. Hierdie mylpaal in sy lewe het hy die daaropvolgende Saterdag gevier saam met familie en vriende van wie sommige van ver gekom het. By Die Ou Kelder op die plaas Drie Riviere het Johanna Luttig die heerlikste tradisionele ete voorgesit vir hierdie spesiale geleentheid.

Uit nuuskierigheid vra ek vir Pat of Patrick ‘n familienaam is. Hy sê toe nee, en vertel dat sy moeder vir die bevalling Outdshoorn toe is waar sy in ‘n losieshuis tuisgegaan het. Daar het sy bevriend geraak met ‘n bejaarde Ier en toe haar seuntjie op St Patrick’s dag gebore is, het die ou man haar gevra om die kind so te noem. Nou dra hy die naam Charles Patrick!

Pat het op die plaas Rondawel groot geword waar sy ouers geboer het. Later het hy op Klein Sleutelfontein geboer totdat hy agt jaar gelede op die dorp kom woon het. Hier hou hy hom self besig met sy groot belangstelling en liefde van die Karooveld en plante. Hierdie bellangstelling het hy as kind by sy pa gekry. In sy eie klip veldtuin doen hy verdere navorsing oor die bestuiwing van Karooplante.

Museumnuus The Prince Albert we love

Lydia Barrella, skakelbeampte by die Fransie Pienaar Museum, is besig om al die ou dokumente en foto’s in die museum se besit, te orden. Daaronder tel Helena Marincowitz se navorsingsdokumente - wat deur haar dogter Lydia ná haar ma se dood aan die museum geskenk is.

En terwyl Lydia so deur die dokumente sif, kom sy af op hierdie pragtige artikel wat sy graag met die inwoners van Prince Albert wil deel. Volgens haar sê dit álles van Helena se nalatenskap aan ons dorp wat sy so lief gehad het.


Prince Albert is a gem – arguably the most beautiful village in South Africa! Many visitors are attracted by its tranquillity and particularly by its old world charm.

Recognised as an architectural treasure house, Prince Albert boasts no less than eighteen gabled houses, many Victorian, “Kaapse”, Karoo and Georgian style homes, and our Neo-Gothic DR Kerk and Anglican Church. These old buildings are true and honest expressions of their various styles and of the times of those who built them – it is in their simplicity that their true beauty lies.

Surely we all agree that Prince Albert’s 19th century character should be retained – otherwise why are we living here? In order to do this, it is vital that new buildings and alterations, or additions to old buildings, should complement their neighbours in form, scale and colour.

Colour is of great importance because it is the first thing one notices – and it can either enhance or destroy the character of our town!

On reading the writings of early visitors to Prince Albert one is struck by their first impressions of the wide, tree-lined streets and white houses. If you are lucky enough to own one of the houses built before 1860 (gabled and “Kaapse” houses) paint it white or ochre, preferably with limewash, which allows the walls to breathe. The woodwork should be painted antique green. These old buildings were usually rough-cast with smooth plaster mouldings framing the windows, doors and gables, giving a lovely contrasting effect. It was unheard of to paint any gable mouldings green, as this spoilt the aesthetics of the building.

Victorian houses should be painted a soft pastel shade: soft dove grey, powder blue, rose pink or pale lemon. The quoining (key-pattern) at the corners and around doors and windows is more effective when pained white. Woodwork may be painted white, golden-brown or slightly darker shade of the colour chosen for walls. In all cases the moving sections of windows should be white.

Karoo-style homes with their flat roofs have a charm of their own and should never be spoilt by harsh colours. Originally these houses were lime-washed but soft pastel shades may be used, all plaster mouldings should be white. Woodwork should be painted in the same colours as Victorian houses.

It is particularly important that designs of new buildings should be in harmony with the existing built environment. Their shape and size should be similar to existing structures and colours should blend in. They should greet their neighbours with a friendly “how-do-you-do!”

Lydia Barrella


Urban edge, land swap and water issues

- Judy Maguire -

On Monday, 6 April, there was a Spatial Development Framework (SDF) information meeting at the Klaarstroom Community Centre, chaired by two Councillors from the Prince Albert Local Municipality, Mr April Pienaar (ANC, Deputy Mayor) and Mr. S Botes (DA, Speaker) and led by Mr Tinus Scott of Terraplan, who is employed as a town planning consultant by the Municipality. The main issue under discussion was the location of the ‘urban edge’, a line drawn on planning maps indicating the confines within which service delivery by the municipality is due, rates and taxes are paid, and within which town development may be permitted to occur.

The proposed urban edge document was made available for comment by being lodged for inspection with the Municipality, with a two week response period, presumably dating from 6 April. Those present seemed to be generally satisfied with the proposal although there was hot debate and several vehement objections.

A serious defect appears to be the lack of a heritage component in the SDF document for Klaarstroom. Section 31 (1) of the National Heritage Resources Act (NHRA) instructs that when revising its zoning, town or regional planning schemes or spatial plans (e.g. the SDF and Integrated Development Plan or IDP), a local authority “must investigate the designation of heritage or conservation areas”. Without such provision being made, it is unlikely that the documents will receive approval at provincial level. The NHRA section 30 (5) also states that the local authority “shall compile an inventory of the heritage resources which fall within its area of jurisdiction’. For Klaarstroom, no start on such an obligation has yet been made. The same situation pertains in Leeu-Gamka.

Two years ago, a senior Heritage Western Cape official briefed the Municipality regarding its legal responsibilities with respect to the NHRA (29 March 2007), but it would appear that these have been forgotten or overlooked. Klaarstroom is a small heritage-rich Karoo town dating from 1763, which could easily lose its significance and authenticity should inappropriate or out-of-scale development occur.
Another issue which was raised was the proposed ‘land swap’ – the swapping of a substantial piece of communally owned ground or ‘meentgrond’ for two or three alternative patches of ground belonging to a local farmer, Mr. H van Meersbergen. The meentgrond is valuable prime real estate stretching along either side of the picturesque Grootrivier flowing through the town. A considerable part of this will be swapped for two patches of agricultural land adjoining the township urban edge adjacent to the township ‘uitbreiding’ for possible use as vegetable gardens, while it has been said that the farmer has plans to develop the meentgrond and contiguous areas of agricultural land along the river towards the ruins of the historic wool-wash, as well as within the portion of land between Poort Pourri and the first houses (40 housing units were mentioned at the meeting; there are only 15 houses in Klaarstroom at present).

An additional small piece of vacant ground between existing houses (occupied by a substantial and eroded drainage way) will also form part of the swap. Large-scale or insensitive development in the sensitive and visually conspicuous meentgrond area (some of which is within the floodline restriction) could irreparably mar the historical and cultural landscape of Klaarstroom. No definite proposal has been submitted to the Municipality as yet, although the planned ‘development’ has been mentioned in a SDF planning document.

Mr September, who arrived after the meeting had started, assured the reporter that the Municipal Council was ‘still considering’ the land swap issue, and that no decision had yet been made. This may well be the case, but Mr Tinus Scott had earlier presented plans to the meeting showing the land swap already in place, and it would seem that behind-the-scenes negotiations (ongoing since October 2006 or even earlier) have already created a fait accompli – without a proper public participation process. In any case, the reporter has been able to ascertain that a decision to pursue the land swap has indeed been taken by the Municipality. What is being traded are communal rights and a proper fully inclusive public participation process including transparent exposure of all the issues at stake should have been instigated from the outset. This is a requirement of law. It is no use initiating such a process after decisions have already been taken – the whole point of public participation is that the public are given a part in the decision-making process.

Bungling the public participation process combined with closed-door tactics has given rise to rumours of private agendas on both sides, which appear to have riven this small community into warring factions, a situation which could have been avoided by transparency.

Furthermore, even though the land-swap process has not yet reached finality, Mr van Meersbergen has cleared the meentgrond of its grove of poplar trees. A Department of Landcare source insists that she had been informed that the grove was on the farmer’s property and not on Commonage. Presumably the Municipality, as the local authority in charge and custodian of Municipal assets, gave Mr van Meersbergen permission to eradicate the meentgrond trees. One wonders who in the end benefited from the sale of the forest of poplar logs, the best of which were removed from the property by a contractor from George. A Kei Forestry Services technician confirmed that the stumps had not been treated with herbicide as required by law, and untidy coppicing and stump-sprouting is already occurring (logs, more than permanent clearance, appear to be significant). Expensive and regular applications of foliar spray over a 5-10 year period will now be needed and it is to be wondered who will foot the bill for this. Roots from thousands of new suckering saplings will further stress the wetland.

The meentgrond was a significant source of fuel wood for residents, who were unhappy about the loss of this communal asset. Many of the less valuable logs and debris remained. Logs and chopped wood floating downstream after the recent floods (March 2009) caused log jams at the nearby Eerste Drift and Opmetingsdrift which caused severe flooding of the N12.

The then Acting Municipal Manager, Mr Edwin September, was witness to the felling and denied having given permission to Mr van Meersbergen or anyone else. The Municipality nevertheless failed to take a stand and the trees were felled without a public process of any kind having taken place. This has left an inescapable impression that either the Municipality is too weak to stand up to civil disobedience - even if the perpetrators break the law - or else they condone it.

Another issue that was discussed was water and sustainable development. Klaarstroom is presently supplied by two boreholes situated in the meentgrond, one of which has a dysfunctional pump. The boreholes are close to each other and presumably tap the same aquifer. The other borehole cannot cope with the town’s demand. The water is brak and residents complain of intermittent problems with discolouration, odour and taste. The Municipality then paid Mr van Meersbergen R94 000 to commission a borehole on his property, and for servitude rights. The borehole is sited below a large farm dam and probably benefits from under-dam flow. It is situated within a wetland and there are ecological considerations for this, especially as the supply will have to cope with a town with a 2% population growth rate. There is a waiting list of 120 houses, and an informal settlement has been allowed to develop adjacent to the N1.

However, a water licence to abstract groundwater still has to be obtained, along with numerous other legal and practical assurances such as water quality, sustainability, recommended abstraction and recharge rates, etc. The water pipeline has not yet been laid, and the town is still drinking meentgrond water. The injunction to supply a stand pipe and tap for every dwelling (including squatter camps) will stress the scarce supply still further. This was accomplished in Plettenberg Bay and Knysna with the result that the water ran out – communities were left with taps but no water.

Swallow the Anchor

- Gunda Hardegen-Brunner -

It all started in the middle 1990s. Michael came home from the Isidingo film-set to our smallholding. No Eskom. Solar panels and a windmill. Free range everything: the fowls, sheep, muscovies returning to the kraal when the sun went down. Horse and geese stayed outside. They could fend for themselves. Jackals howling, porcupines scratching, bats and owls doing their thing.

The flames crackled in our home-made, lift-or-lower-the-canopy fireplace.

“Would you like to sail the Seven Seas?” I asked Michael.

“Yes,” there was a pause. “If I get a sign from the universe.”

The sign revealed itself a few weeks later in Saint Lucia. An almighty thunderstorm had built up on the horizon, pitch black against the turquoise surf. I walked on the beach towards the water. Michael locked up the car. A double rainbow appeared, draping its colours around me.

“That’s the sign,” Michael said. And we started to build Timshel, a 40 foot gaff rigged cutter, traditional, wood, cotton sails, easy on the environment, solar panels. It took us seven years. Isidingo put it in their story line. Filmed the launch in Durban. And that’s where we lived for three years, on the boat. We met the most extraordinary people. Adventurers, treasure hunters, dreamers, loafers and madmen.

Michael developed an arthritic hip. You have to be fit to sail the oceans. We decided to move back to the land. A friend of a friend suggested a shareholder farm near Gansbaai, a lovely, beautiful place; it would only take a few months to sort out the bureaucratic stuff and then we could start building our house.

We sold the yacht, bought a caravan, trundled westwards and parked under the milkwood trees. We met more extraordinary people, designed our dream house, had a fabulous time. One and a half years later the bureaucratic stuff still hadn’t been sorted out.

“All right, let’s move on. Let’s go and have a look at Swaziland.” Michael had delicious memories of times spent on his uncle’s cattle ranch there, half a century ago.

We went, we had a good look, we found a place on top of the Lebombo Mountains. To the west you could see Big Bend and the green vastness of the sugarcane fields, to the south the Great Usuthu River cut its way through the mountains, to the east, on a clear night, you could see the lights of Maputo.

“You can have ten hectares for a cow,” a local, who knew the chief and customs, told us.

What more does one want in life? A Permanent Residents Permit! No go.

“All right, let’s go back to South Africa. We’ll find a place there.”

We hitched up the caravan, had a look at the Drakensberg, the foothills of the Maluti Mountains, parts of the Karoo.

“Check out Prince Albert,” Anna Breytenbach, a friend, suggested.

“Where’s that?” We found it on the map. Things began to happen. One caravan tyre burst, then the other. Approaching Prince Albert we had to change tyres seven times.

“You think it’s a sign from the universe?”

“Mebbe we should stop travelling.”

We pulled in at the caravan park and Prince Albert embraced us.

Life is full of surprises – as everybody knows. The last thing we’d have expected while building the boat was that we would swallow the anchor in an oasis on the edge of the Karoo, in a small town with a big soul, where things are on a human scale and people smile at each other.

Prince Albert Biblioteekweek 2009

- Reinie Smit -

Biblioteekweek 2009 (16-20 Maart) was soos gewoonlik ‘n bedrywige tyd, vol pret en plesier. Maandag het ons die kleuterskole besoek en die kleinspan bederf met stories en lekkers.
Dinsdag was dit die Teedrink vir lesers bo 60. Die meer as 100 gaste is trakteer op sang en voordrag van die talentvolle kinders van Victoria Akademie en Albert College.
Michael Brunner se akteursvernuf is ingespan en hy’t vir ons ’n gedig en vooorlesing gedoen. Daarna is weggelê aan die heerlike eetgoed wat voorsien is deur die Vriende van die Biblioteek.

Donderdag is ons na die Bejaardesorgsentrum in Noord-End waar poeding en pakkies beskuit uitgedeel is. ’n Program is ook daar aangebied: Sang (Albert College), ’n humoristiese voorlesing (Chen Freysen) en ’n vertelling (Jeanette de Lange).

Leerlinge van al die skole in die dorp het deelgeneem aan kompetisies wat geloods is vir biblioteekweek. Al hul kunswerke is in die biblioteek uitgestal en het baie positiewe reaksie van die publiek uitgelok! Baie dankie aan almal wat ingeskryf het en baie geluk aan al die pryswenners.

Baie dankie ook aan ALMAL wat so hard saam met ons gewerk het om ’n sukses van die week te maak. Ons waardeer julle!

Fanie Venter

17 February 1933 - 7 April 2009

Fanie Venter, sestien jaar lank ’n geliefde inwoner van Prince Albert, is op 7 April 2009 in die ouderdom van 76 jaar in Krugersdorp oorlede.

Hy en sy vrou Thelma het Prince Albert ses maande gelede verlaat om by hul dogter en haar gesin te gaan inwoon.

Hulle was net goed ingerig en gevestig toe hy ’n ernstige hartoperasie moes ondergaan. Hy het nie weer sy bewussyn herwin nie en is ná drie weke in die intensiewe eenheid oorlede.

Tribute to Clive

11 October 1955 – 5 April 2009

- Ingrid Wolfaardt -

Clive, you’re my man. There is no one who can and will ever beat you in the ‘Olive Pip Spitting’ stakes, not even the biggest bellows in the world would or could move an olive pip the way you used to do.

I thought my husband was the king of the castle, king of the olive grove, king of kicking arse and so confidently, without a thought that anyone could beat him at it, I offered a weekend at Sun City (falsely and under pretence) for anyone who could spit a pip further than Camel man himself. The manne of the dorp took on the challenge, beginning their enthusiastic but futile attempts at quite a distance from the start line, dropping down on their haunches, their overalls rolled up above their knees like you do in the hundred meter dash, bottoms up and chins out, sucking in their cheeks, drawing air into their lungs, they came at a drunken gallop to the line, stretching out their throats like ostriches and spat, to find the pip dropping at their feet in a show that can only be called comic.

And I rallied the crowd to greater heights increasing the prize to include limitless gambling and free drinks on the house and the crowds kept coming until you, Clive, sauntered down from where you had just judged little, minor, mini, Miss Olyfie and all, in the main street and you took an olive, leisurely rolling it in your mouth, waiting for the wanna-be manne to give you a chance at it and then you casually stood at my line drawn in the dust, feet apart, hands on hips and blew that pip, well, quite moer toe. I had forgotten your water polo days and that there was a pair of lungs hiding under that shirt that would give any deep sea diver a go for his money. Your pip flew through the air, meters and meters, over the heads of the gob-smacked onlookers landing way past any other - we had to run and search for it amongst the grass and you simply smiled and said to me, “I can’t wait to receive my prize.”

Clive, nothing sums you up more than that incident in the early days of the Olive Festival, charming, warm and welcoming, large of personality, large of intellect, large of laughter and life, to match your large physical presence. I will miss you greeting me at the Dairy as though I was the most important person to have ever put their foot in there.

Forgive me for never giving you your prize; my hope is that wherever you find yourself, will make my prize look like Mickey Mouse.

Clive van Hasselt passed away during a rare Prince Albert thunderstorm on Sunday afternoon, 5 April, after a courageous battle against acute myeloid leukaemia.

Clive was born in Johannesburg and educated at Michaelhouse and Elsenberg College. Unlike his parents and three siblings who chose medicine as professions, he was always passionate about farming. His enthusiastic pursuit of his vision and his hard work saw him become one of the top Angora goat breeders in the country and a moving force in the mohair industry in South Africa. His expertise in the field was acknowledged worldwide and he was frequently invited to judge at shows abroad.

Clive leaves his wife, Gay and children, Frances, Jordi, Eugene and Jean, his mother, Greta, and siblings, Andrew, James and Gill, who remember and celebrate his memory. We’ll miss you, Clive.

Unieke Kunshuis oop vir Feesbesoek

- Denise Ohlson -

Katjiepiering ... Gesiggie... Trapsuutjies... Duiwelsdrek... Bliksem... “My moedertaal,” sê Hennie Boshoff, gerespekteerde internasionale kunskonsultant, “is die grootste bonus wat ek kom terugvind het in die land van my geboorte ná bykans veertig jaar in die buiteland.”

In die sestigerjare het hy sy geboortedorp Durban met sy “net te eng” gemeenskap “ontvlug” om hom te vestig in die vrye, taboelose Londen. Hier leef hy hom spoedig in die kunswêreld uit en maak vriende met geesgenote soos Mick Jagger en Sting. Tien jaar later vertoef hy in die kreatiewe en spirituele Indië waar hy twee boeke skryf – ‘n reisgids en ‘n kinderboek.

Die Franse platteland is sy volgende tuiste. In die Middeleeuse dorpie Carcassonne vestig hy die Azazel Instituut met fondse van ‘n Amerikaanse filantroop: ‘n Kunsprojek sonder winsbejag waar hy sy eie en ander kunstenaars se werk borg en promoveer.

In die vroeë negentigerjare skuif hy die Instituut na Japan, oorbewus van die vloedgolf Suid-Afrikaners wat wêreldwyd terugkeer na hul vaderland... Uiteindelik swig hy ook voor die dwingende roepstem – en in 2003 kom vestig hy hom in Umhlanga. Hier skep hy Blou Piet: Sy kunstuiste wat elke konvensie uitdaag en vyf jaar neem om te voltooi. Die huis is deurspek met motiewe van die Afrikaanse Tarotkaarte - wat Hennie ontwerp en skep saam met sy vrou, die kunstenaar Rossetta Woolf.

In KZN werk Hennie geïnspireerd met plaaslike talent, en afgesien van tegniek, leer hy sy studente ook webontwerp en hoe om hulself te bemark. Hy help ook twee kunstenaars wat as Nivea se Kunstenaar van die Jaar benoem word, om die eerste Swart Ekonomiese Bemagtigings-maatskappy in Suid-Afrika te begin. Vulindlela Art and Design is vernoem na hul mentor, en Hennie is trots daarop dat hy gesien word as “die een wat deure oopmaak”. Die maatskappy floreer en sal belangrike kunsinstallasies doen vir Sokker 2010.

En nou is Hennie Boshoff vier maande lank al 'n inwoner van Prince Albert, ‘n dorp wat hy “oop” vind en waar hy hom reeds goed tuis voel. In Villa Kruger leef hy en Rossetta weer hul skeppende kreatiwiteit uit en merk dat mense omkyk-omkyk by die naambord en reuse tuinbeelde verbyry. Hul mikpunt is om weer ‘n kunshuis te skep. Maar eers wil hy sy wedervaringe te boek stel ... en tussendeur betrokke raak by die dorp se talentvolle kinders - soos by die KKNK in Oudts-hoorn, toe hy die magiese installasie Die Eierpaleis met die Azazel Instituut se fonsde opgerig het.

As kind van sewe jaar het Hennie al sy eerste kunstoekenning gekry - die sertifikaat met die kenmerkende tragies/komiese maskers het hom eindeloos gefassineer. Vandag nog is dit ‘n deurlopende tema in sy werk. Dualiteit en teenoorgesteldes bly hom boei: Hemel/hel, manlik/vroulik, geweld/teerheid, swart/wit, goed/kwaad ...

Al is Hennie Boshoff ingestel op ‘n bykans hermietese leefwyse, gaan hy Villa Kruger se deure en tuin oopstel vir ‘n eksklusiewe kunservaring tydens die Olyffees: ‘n Begeleide toer deur huis en tuin teen sonsonder.

Verwag geen gewone kunsuitstalling nie. Verwag ‘n teatrale “happening” wat jou tastend oor visuele drumpels gaan laat tree met begeleiding van klank en reuk ... Hennie sal jou met nuwe oë laat kyk; met nuwe denke laat dink.

Die tentoonstelling is beperk tot 35 mense, en kaartjies is beskikbaar by die Toerismekantoor teen R30 per persoon, wat ‘n glas Bergwaterwyn sal insluit. Sorg dat jy by Villa Kruger is op Saterdag 2 Mei, 5.30 - 7.30. Mis dit nie!

Fondse sal aangewend word vir ‘n biblioteekprojek by Prince Albert Primêr.

Meer inligting: Denise – 0828261326 of Linda – 0732133797.

Alaskan Grey Wolf visits Prince Albert

Working in a small town tourism bureau can present a few challenges. When trainee tourism officer Annelien Minnies got a call on Day One of her new job, she was stumped.

“I’m looking for accommodation for myself and two pets. One dog. One wolf”.
Annelien hadn’t quite … uhm, resolved the issue yet, when the visitor arrived in town, went straight to the bureau and inquired briskly where he would be staying. Annelien’s calls to various guesthouses which might offer the ideal wolverine accommodation had so far drawn a blank.

“A dog and a WHAT? … mmm. Sorry we don’t take wolves.”

What ensued was what we shall term a small flurry. The visitor was one of Cape Town’s top tourism figures, Carl Momberg, and Carl was accustomed to things running rather more smoothly. This was his first visit to Prince Albert and an “official” visit at that.
Carl, a long-time consultant to the developers of the V&A Waterfront among numerous other hospitality and travel ventures, now owns and operates the highly successful Cape Tourism website

He had chosen Prince Albert as the launching pad for a 3-month South African road odyssey with a dog and a wolf, rather in the style of John Steinbeck’s
1960s trans-American ‘Travels with Charley’. Except that Steinbeck’s travelling companion was a standard chocolate poodle, and he was travelling with his own accommodation in the form of a luxurious, well-equipped motorhome.

Fortunately a swift call to Merle Cleaver elegantly untangled the problem and accommodation was found at Jackie Burger’s Kanniedood cottage.

Half an hour later, settled in my patio with a cold beer in hand to help catch up with 20-odd years of backlog, Carl told me Akela’s story.

Nine years ago, just as Cape Nature Conservation called a halt to wolf breeding and owning, Carl adopted Akela, a pure-bred grey wolf from a Canadian immigrant couple whose bitch had had a litter of two pups. Special dispensation was granted and so the story of his long and fascinating relationship with a “wild” animal began.

Meeting the noble, elegant and oh-so-ladylike Akela it was hard to imagine her in her natural habitat with an (unde-served) reputation as a feared predator.

But, Carl admits that living with a wolf is a never-ending challenge. You need to be one step ahead of them all the time – but more often, they’re ahead of you. They’re inquisitive, can be spiteful when they don’t get their own way, demanding, aloof and are all supremely intelligent.

In the wild, wolves mate or bond for life and in Akela’s little family, Carl is her dominant male and Kenya, the male brindle staffie, a lower-ranking pack member.

As Akela’s “alpha male” and pack leader, Carl can seldom leave her alone – she will either find a way to get to him or if thwarted, wreak considerable havoc to her surroundings.

When Akela was six months old she’d already learnt to open the fridge door and help herself. When the fridge was locked, she’d simply turn the padlock key with her teeth and Carl frequently saw whole chickens and other snacks flying past out of the door. She also loves apples and raw olives straight off the tree.

Wolves are playful and can very successfully be socialised with other dogs. Akela makes friends with women and children but very rarely lets men touch her. She just quietly backs off. She is also an outrageous flirt, and fancies labradors and retrievers most of all.

Part of Akela’s job when at home in Hout Bay, is to visit schools with Carl, where children have the opportunity to meet an Alaskan Grey Wolf in “person”. We have invited Carl to come back to Prince Albert as our guest any time, and perhaps he can be persuaded to do the same here.

For more about “Travels with Akela” log onto, where you can also check out the link to his arrival Prince Albert at the start of the journey

In St John the Baptist’s Garden

- Ailsa Tudhope -

Gardens was a grand theme for the first 2009 Words and Music programme at St John’s. Musicians, readers, actors and a story-teller wandered down garden paths or peered over garden walls to share their experiences with an enthusiastic audience. We were particularly delighted to have children from Victoria Akademie, Hoërskool Zwartberg and Patchwork Theatre taking part alongside familiar troupers Hugh Forsythe, Chrisna Smit, Gudrun Toelstede, Carol Tissiman and Jeanette de Lange. Linda Jaquet and Michael Brunner joined us for the first time too. Our youngest performers were Bobby Swanepoel and Hané Smit who are both in Grade 1.

The talent in our village is quite amazing. It is wonderful to see the confidence of the children, whether singing or delivering poetry, congratulations on your renditions Bobby, Hané, Carli Nel, Sarah and Abigail Modra and Joshua Swanepoel.

Lisa Esterhuizen and Lucille Steyn both performed at the piano, Lisa, to everyone’s delight, playing a duet with Chrisna. Lucille accompanied Chrisna as she played To a Wild Rose on the clarinet. Accompanying another performer is a challenging task – well done Lucille! Carol Tissiman and Chrisna both entranced us with their beautiful voices. Erica Phaal accompanied the trio of Niel and Louis van der Nest and Matthew van Heerden in that well-loved classic I come to the Garden and we were pleased to welcome Chandrė Schoeman, who sang Edelweiss.

Gudrun’s reading of extracts from The Little Prince was much appreciated by the German speakers in the audience and added a philosophical touch to the programme continued by Michael in Soul, Spirit & Place and Linda’s Garden Philosophy. Creativity came to the fore in Jeanette’s delivery of her own poetry and we look forward to the publication of her book. Hugh entertained us with his witty verse and wildly floral attire as he chatted to the vegetables in his garden.

The Patchwork Theatre children stole the show, opening with Morning has Broken and closing with my local version of An English Country Garden and a grand finale which spoke of roses rising triumphantly out of the ashes.

Sincere thanks to all the performers and audience and to Jeanette, Renee Finn and Dawn Viljoen who decorated the foyer and served tea. Over R1000 was raised for ongoing maintenance at the church and a donation later inflated that to R1400. We hope to stage a similar event in August.

How many bright Karoo flowers grow in St John the Baptist’s garden?
We'll tell you now of some that we know, and those we miss you'll surely pardon
Duiweltjies, botterblom, spekboom, pelagonium and mesembryanthemums
There are olives, aloes and daisies too, in St John the Baptist’s garden!

Men: Look after your health

Did you know that the leading cancers diagnosed in men are prostate and lung cancer? Also did you know that testicular cancer affects younger men? But the good news is that if you lead a healthy lifestyle and go for regular check-ups you can help beat these cancers.

Due to the widespread awareness among women in terms of breast and cervical cancer, this year the Cancer Association of South Africa and Sanlam are focusing on men’s health in order to help fight men’s cancers. All South Africans need to encourage their brothers, fathers, uncles, grandfathers and sons to look after their health.

Lung cancer is the primary cause of death among South African men lost to the disease – almost 5000 per year. Never smoke and don’t let anyone smoke around you.


Reduce your risk of prostate cancer by:

  • Following a Low-fat high-fibre diet
  • Exercising regularly and watching your weight
  • Going for regular medical check ups. From the age of 50, go for an annual Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test. The PSA test is a simple blood test that checks for the presence of a certain protein formed in the prostate gland that may indicate the presence of cancer.

Early warning signs of prostate cancer:
  • Difficulty in passing urine
  • A frequent need to urinate, especially at night
  • Difficulty in starting and stopping the urine stream

Late warning signs of prostate cancer:
  • Blood in the urine
  • A painful or burning sensation when passing urine
  • Pain in the lower back, upper thighs or pelvic area

If you experience any of these symptoms, go to your doctor without delay. They could be signs of something else, but get it checked out!


Men from age 15 to 40 years need to examine their testicles each month, preferably after a bath or shower, to feel for any pea-sized lumps that could indicate testicular cancer. Did you know that sons of women who had breast cancer have a higher risk of getting testicular cancer?

Warning signs of testicular cancer:
  • Hard, painless, pea-sized lump on the front or side of the testicle
  • A feeling of heaviness in the testicle
  • Enlargement of the testicle
  • Change in consistency of the testicle
  • Sudden accumulation of fluid or blood in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the groin

Unfortunately men often ignore these warning signs, hoping the symptoms will disappear.
Symptoms of testicular cancer in advanced stages:
  • Back and abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Urinary obstruction

Should you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor without delay. Treatment of testicular cancer, even in advanced stages, is reasonably effective.

For more information on men’s health or cancer in general, call CANSA toll-free on 0800 22 66 22 during office hours or visit

Garden Club Visits Kredouw Olive Press

- Sue Goosen -

At the beginning of April, the Garden Club enjoyed a visit to Kredouw Farm, owned by John Southern and situated at the foot of the Kredouw Pass. Fifteen members were shown around the farm by Adan Liepner, who supervises the extraction of olive oil by the recently installed, state-of-the-art olive press that was imported from Italy.

We watched fresh olives being poured into a large chute at one end, saw (and heard!) the crushing process and tasted the still-warm and pungent raw olive oil that came out of the other end, before it undergoes a separation and settling process. Nothing is wasted; skins, pulp and crushed pips are returned to the lands as mulch. The olive press is being widely used by local olive growers who bring their own olives for pressing, although +/- 200kg per run is needed to make oil extraction viable. The yield of oil is one litre per 7-11kg of olives, depending on the type of olive.

Then Adan took us into the large shaded area where the wonderful apples and tomatoes that Anthony and Zelia Mullins sell at the Saturday market are grown, and showed us the fields of olives, vines, fruit, and nut trees that surround the farmhouse. Finally we glimpsed John’s latest venture into wine making, and viewed the barrels of maturing wine.

There was an opportunity to purchase olive products from the newly established shop, and several members went home with Kredouw oil, bottled olives and olive paste.

The Garden Club meets again on 6 May at 15h00. For details of the venue, keep an eye open for Garden Club posters all over town or call Mike Upton on 023 5411-872.

Waar is jy 2010?

Nee, dit het niks te doen met die sokkerwêreldbeker wat om die draai is nie. Waar is jy 2010 is seker die kommerwekkendste vraag wat aan ons matrieks se gedagtes knaag en ons onderwysers het besluit om ‘n naweek daarvan te maak.

Die naweek van 27-29 Maart het 21 van ons 34 matrieks op die “Matric Breakaway” gegaan wat seker ons laaste blaaskans was voor ons belangrike eksamen aan die einde van die jaar.

Die Vrydag na middagete by Prickly Pear het ons vertrek na wat ons gedink het ‘n boskamp was, maar toe word ons verras met Bushman’s Valley se luukse akkommodasie eenhede. Na ‘n vriendelike verwelkoming deur ons fasiliteerders het ons die kampterrein verken en een van die staproetes gaan stap.

Die aand het ons terug dorp toe gekom vir ons eerste konferensie ervaring by die Swartberg Hotel. Ons was toegespreek deur plaaslike mense van verskillende beroepe om vir ons ‘n idée te gee van wat hulle doen en ons belangstelling te prikkel.

Die belangrikste boodskap wat die sprekers ons meegedeel het is dat jy jou werk moet geniet en ‘n passie daarvoor moet hê. Daarna het ons onder die sterre, lanks die kampvuur hierdie onderwerp hervat.

Die Saterdag oggend was dit die wegbreek uit Prince Albert gedeelte van ons kamp. Ons het ons Biologie onderwyser by haar huis in Klaastroom gaan besoek vir ontbyt en toe vertrek na Heroldsbaai waar ons die res van die oggend deurgebring het. Ons het ons tweede staproete lanks die see gaan stap en die res van die dag in die seewater deurgebring. Daarna het ons die Garden Route Mall ingevaar om die vouchers wat aan ons gegee is te gaan blaas.

Terug by die kampterrein het ons weer ‘n rustige aand om die kampvuur gespandeer. Vir aandete het party van ons, ons eerste ervaring van pap en wors gehad en die res het maar vir die brood en slaai gemik. Doodmoeg gaan slaap en Sondag moeg opgestaan het ons teruggekeer huistoe.

Namens almal wil ek ‘n baie groot dankie sê aan die mense wat dit naweek vir ons moontlik gemaak het. Dankie aan ons onderwysers wat die toer beplan het, dankie aan die sprekers en dankie aan ons borge. ‘n Spesiale dank aan Mnr. Ian Uys van Bushman’s Valley vir die wonderlike fasiliteit wat hy aan ons beskikbaar gestel het.

Julle almal het definitief ons matriekjaar vir ons spesiaal gemaak!

- Nina Vermeulen, Grd 12 -

Zwartberg 200 Club’s First Winners

- Linda Jaquet -

An excited group of Zwartberg 200 Club members gathered on the evening of 6 April at the Golf Club for the Club’s first ever draw. The Zwartberg 200 Club is a fund-raising initiative of Hoërskool Zwartberg. Members contribute R50 each month until the end of the year, a draw is held once a month and three lucky members stand a chance to win 30% of the funds that have been collected every month.

Imke Maeyer, who is responsible for fundraising on the School Board, first thanked parents and residents who had showed an interest in the School’s future and well-being by joining the Club and exhorted them to encourage friends and family to do the same. Then, everyone held their breath as Jaco Olivier drew the first name from the hat!

Sandra Meyer won the first prize of R834, with Das Olivier, in second place, being awarded R311, while Linda Smith, in third place, won R100. As only Das Olivier was present, Sandra and Linda were informed of their winnings by telephone. All generously donated their prizes back into the 200 Club’s fund and so swell the coffers for next month’s draw which will be held during the Town and Olive Festival – on Friday evening, 1 May, at the Beer Garden.

Di Steyn, Chair of the School’s PTA, is thrilled about the Club and hopes that its membership will soon reach 200. “It’s fun and exciting and members stand more chance of winning every month than if they’d bought a Lotto ticket!”

Hat and Tennis Tournament

- Rebekah, Sandy and Caleb Swanepoel and Christopher Mullins -

Hoërskool Zwartberg and Albert College players ended the first term with a rather different sort of tournament. A high school and junior school player had to pair up to play doubles matches.

Sandy noted that “there were some really good teams and then there were also some less than even teams,” but, according to Rebekah, “everyone had fun.”

Juffrou Lola and Juffrou Jennifer decided upon a very interesting theme for the day, the players all had to decorate the hats they would wear. Prizes would be awarded for the tennis and the hats.

According to Christopher: “The hats were crazy!” Caleb was particularly impressed with the miniature tennis rackets which decorated the brim of Juffrou Jennifer’s version of an Australian outback hat. Juffrou Lola wore a fishbowl, complete with fish, on her hat. Rebekah Swanepoel and Nina Vermeulen won prizes for their creations. Rebekah’s was a colourful cap decorated with folded paper and beads. Nina wore a witch’s hat, like Liewe Heksie.

As for the tennis: the unusual pairs had to really concentrate because they weren’t used to each other’s games and that was great.

Each pair played three matches and the prize-giving was most amusing, with prizes for the smallest player (Drieska), the last to arrive (Alroy), the most laid back (Joshua) and the team who came last (Matthew and Rebekah).

Everyone enjoyed a Coke and we look forward to more serious and fun-filled tennis later in the year. Special thanks to Juffrou Jennifer and Juffrou Lola.

Ons Karatekas Doen Dit Weer

- Diana Koorts -

Agt van Hoërskool Zwartberg se karatekas het 21 Maart aan die Wes-Kaap Kampioneskappe te Stellenbosch gaan deelneem. Daar was onge-veer 280 karatekas wat aan die kompetisie deelgeneem het. Almal was slaggereed en reg vir die groot uitdaging wat wag.

Vier lede van die span het teruggekom met ‘n pragtige medalje om die nek – iets waarvoor hulle hard gewerk het en werklik verdien het.

Die volgende leerders het medaljes ontvang:
Pieter Koorts - Goud (Kata)
Oscar Maeyer - Brons (Kata)
Ryan Ferreira - Goud (Kata en Gevegskuns)
Nelius Koorts - Goud (Kata en Gevegskuns)

Baie geluk aan elkeen wat deelgeneem het – ons almal is waarlik baie trots op julle. Ons hou duimvas vir elkeen – 23 Mei is dit SA’s en ons glo julle sal weer dieselfde prestaisies behaal.

Vanjaar is die eerste keer dat die karatekas Springbokkleure kan verwerf – ons hou werklik duimvas dat Hoërskool Zwartberg ook sy eie kwota Springbokke kan oplewer!

Prince Albert Primêr verwelkom Mnr en Mev Visser

- Sami Delport -

Mnr. Dirk Visser is een van die nuwe onderwysers by Prince Albert Primêr. Hy is gebore in George en het ook daar groot geword. Nadat hy sy B.A graad op Stellenbosch verwerf het, het hy ook vir drie jaar aan die Onderwys Kollege Boland in Wellington studeer vir sy onderwys diploma.

Na sy studies het hy vir twee jaar in Kaapstad skool gehou voordat hy vir sewe jaar lank in Taiwan skool gegee het. Dit is ook hier waar hy sy pragtige vrou, Helen, ontmoet het.

Mnr. Visser is baie lief vir sport, veral rugby, tennis en krieket en geniet dit om vir die leerlinge te onderrig.

Die Vissers geniet die skoon lug en die rustige atmosfeer in Prince Albert en sien uit daarna om hul hier te vestig en verder betrokke te raak by die dorp se bedrywighede.

Prince Albert Primêr heet u hartlik welkom en hoop dat u gelukkig en lank hier by ons sal wees.

Outa Lappies Inspires Words and Music

Local singer-songwriter, Brian Finch, has composed a song in tribute to Outa Lappies, which he will perform during the Town and Olive Festival.

Brian explains: “Six years ago I was inspired to write a song about Outa Lappies when I first met him when he was living at Botterkraal on the Prince Albert Road.

Time passed and nothing transpired until I saw the write-ups in the Fransie Pienaar Museum recently. I started doing some research into the Outa Lappies story. I visited him at the Prince Albert Road station and from that day the song was born.

I would like to thank Nicoleen Basson for her input, words and translations. The song will be recorded during my upcoming tour of Namibia.” Brian will be performing at Mike’s Memorabilia and at African Relish during the Festival. Please see the Festival Programme for details.

Outa Lappies, Waar is Jy My Broer?

Jou stories waai weg soos rolbos innie wind
Jy is vir ewig Karoo se kind
Patrone van jou lewe gelap innie kleure
Van jou ou jas wat jy om jou vou
As jy nou hartseer onthou

Jou oë trek water as die son ondergaan
Met Boesmanstee en beskuitjies, laat jou alles verstaan
Met jou rug na die wind
Trek jy jou waantjie so swaar
Jou ou siel weet jou reise is klaar

Van heinde en verre het die mense kom vra
Vir klippies van wysheid om saam te dra
Oppie stofpad vannie lewe
Waar die horison wink
Outa Lappies jy’s ewig Karoo se kind

Outa Lappies waar is jy my broer?
Ek hoor jy’s nog steeds innie Groot Karoo
Is dit waar jy bly langs die Prins Albert spoorlyn
Soos die blare in winter het jy verdwyn

PA Gholfklub se Sanlam Kanker Gholfdag

By teeing up in your 2009 Sanlam Cancer Challenge Club Competition you will be joining the nationwide fight against cancer. Join me and over 35 000 other golfers who play to beat cancer,” was Ernie Els se kommentaar met die afskop van die 2009 Sanlam Kanker uitdaagreeks. “Last year 771 Sanlam Cancer Challenge Club Competitions were staged. SAGES, a benevolent organisation that raises money through golf, held an additional 30 competitions, making a total number of 801 competitions.

In all 34,598 players participated raising a total of R2,290,894 for CANSA,” het Sue Janse van Rensburg, Nasionale Uitvoerende Direkteur van Kansa gesê en die hoop uitgespreek dat daar in 2009 hierop verbeter kan word. En dit is wat die Prince Alberters wat omgee gedoen het.

Prins Albert Gholfklub het op 28 Maart 2009 hulle plaaslike uitklop toernooi gehou. Die weer was ideaal en goeie tellings is aangeteken. Die toernooi word in drie afdelings gespeel en die wenners van die plaaslike afdelings speel op 22 Augustus te Beaufort Wes teen die wenners van die ander klubs in die Karoo Gholf Unie se streek.

Die wenners van die streek se drie afdelings speel dan van 22 tot 24 Oktober te Sanlameer aan die Natalse Suidkus in die landwye finaal. Prins Albert Gholfklub het al in die verlede ʼn wenner gehad by die byeenkoms toe Ewert Van Zyl dit gewen het.
Die wenners van die onderskeie afdelings was:
Afdeling A (Voorgee onder 10)
– Ewert Van Zyl;
Afdeling B (Voorgee 10 – 16)
– André de Wit;
Afdeling C (Voorgee 17 – 24)
– Bodo Toelstede.

Die hoofdoel van die toernooi is om fondse in te samel om kanker te beveg. Die spelerpryse word deur Sanlam geskenk. Alle inskrywingsfooie en ander fondse wat ingesamel word gaan na Kansa. In samewerking met die plaaslike tak van Kansa, wat ʼn ete aangebied het na die toernooi, en persone wat geborg het in die vorm van skape, tamaties, kontant en nog vele meer, is ʼn rekordbedrag van R 7-55 ingesamel.

Die flukse plaaslike dames van Kansa het op kort kennisgewing ingespring en ʼn heerlike ete van braaivleis, pap, sous, tuisgebakte brood en slaaie voorgesit. Die plaaslike verteenwoordiger van Sanlam, Danie le Grange en die Streekverteenwoordiger van Kansa, Amanda Serfontein, het ook die geleentheid bygewoon. Na die ete was daar tot laat gekuier.

Die Kaptein van Prins Albert Gholfklub, Ewert Van Zyl, het met die prysuitdeling almal wat gespeel, geborg, gewerk en bygedra het tot die sukses van die dag bedank. Onthou volgende jaar in Maart dan maak ons weer so. (Hopelik al amper op ʼn grasbaan!)

Tom Claassen
(Sekretaris van Prins Albert Gholfklub)

Brett the Vet - Carnival of the Animals

Celebrations in the animal world unfold as spontaneous or predictable events. For same reasons as the human race they gather at a time and place to entertain their moods and drives enriching their complicated lives: joyous, greedy, savage, and trite: just like festivals in the human plight.

The dawn chorus couldn’t bore us with the daily ode to joy when light succeeds the darkness void. And eerily at dusk in flight the bats and owls regale the night. Symphonies of crickets and frogs ensue until the scene is sparkling with dew.

Autumn equinox is the turning point of daylight length that triggers frenzied avian strength in the skies, seas and canopies of trees. The whole day fills with shrill sounds of jubilation calling birds to preparation forth, the seasonal migration north. No tickets, no reservations, no baggage, no passports, no carbon footprint, just flutter.

Food prevails among good reasons to celebrate spells of abundance. In the bushveld a lion kill provides a sequence of feasts catering way beyond the king of beasts. Vultures circling in the sky wait their turn to drop on by; lurking and laughing on the fringe hyenas tauntingly prepare to binge. Flies and ants clear up the mess, presenting themselves as a round of treats for all the insectivorous beats.

Humans frequently provide irresistible excess, attracting uninvited guests, usually considered pests. Birds flit from fig farm to grape harvest with cunning and jest.

Squawking gulls hovering over trawlers at sea trail the offerings of fish for free. Baboons revel in a banquet of maize or fruit that’s been grown especially for them to loot. Bounteous lambs unprotected by dogs or shepherds make take away meals for jackals and leopards.

Orgies occur naturally in sessions for breeding purposes and otherwise. Antelope herds at time of rutting, solicit for sex engaging in head butting. Among bonobos interactive participants explore together every diversion in sexual pleasure, unencumbered by moral dilemma.

Turning to drink starts so innocently, restricted only by availability. Fermenting maroelas are notoriously linked to elephant slurps for hiccups and burps.

Gatherings purely for fun pervade notions on how the west was won. When dolphin pods converge there’s a surge of enthusiasm to dance and play then surf the waves till break of day. Does this happen just by chance or do they receive invitations in advance?

Sometimes it’s all about the journey despite the lure of destination. At a given cue wanderlust consumes the gnu that collectively decide to drift in spectacular population shift. Lemming suicide elucidates en masse consciousness left hanging on the cliffs of crass popularity.

Intensive farms crammed with resounding cries of frustration cannot be mistaken for celebration. The cacophony of consternation, hysteria and derangement evident in any battery hen house reflects mass misery relished by humans who indulge in the cheap extravagance of omelettes, cakes and soaring cholesterol stakes. Similarly the despairing grunts of sows confined to crates infiltrate the bacon plate. The distressed bellows of feedlot grief saturates the flesh of beef.

The anguish or triumph of every noisy crowd, happy or distressed carries a message to the world. Take heed of all this fuss, there’s something in common with all of us.

Zwartberg Runners Update

Zwartberg Runners turn out in force in KKNK races

- Brian Modra -

Seventeen Zwartberg Runners made the starting line-up at the KKNK Half Marathon and 10km races in Oudtshoorn on Saturday, 4 April.

It was a 4am start for some who value their morning cup of tea, before hitting the road from Prince Albert. Tracey Swanepoel's Combi, and the Modras’ Chrysler were needed to "transport the troops", who met at the Lazy Lizard before slowly making their way via the Poort, avoiding any misguided kudu and on to Oudtshoorn.

Despite a small navigational hiccup, the runners made it to the Wesbank Primary School in time to register and take their positions at the start. Roughly half of the bright orange T-shirted Zwartberg Runners were in the 21km race and the other half ran the 10km race, easily identifiable among the other runners.

The official enthusiastically shouted "On your marks, 3, 2, 1" then shot a blank. They were off, the 21.1 km runners starting about 100m ahead of the 10km runners, who soon passed them all at a thunderous pace.

Joshua Swanepoel, who is normally a very fast 10km runner, woke up that morning feeling ill, so he said he would walk it, but he passed all the other Zwartberg Runners and indeed most of the whole pack, "walking it" to finish in 45 minutes, with only the more experienced and professionals in front of him!

The KKNK race was well organised and had about 200 participants, from various parts of the Garden Route and Karoo, as well as from as far away as Norway. The runners were in good spirits, talking and joking along the way, perhaps only inhibited nearer the finish where the effort of endurance began to take its toll, and extra energy was reserved for muscles rather than tongues!
The route went initially out of town on a tarred road, but soon left that in favour of dirt roads and tracks through farmland.

The backdrop of the mountains, and the green fields alongside, complimented the good company of the runners. There is a degree of personal satisfaction in running a distance race and according to Zwartberg Runners' Janet Modra, "the fun of the outing is enhanced by mixing with other runners."

Well done, Tracey!

Zwartberg Runners’ Tracey Swanepoel completed her third Two Oceans ultra-marathon earlier this month in just over six-and-a-half hours. While it was not her best time, Tracey said that the race, its organisation and atmosphere were “incredible as always and really enjoyable.”

Swartberg Pass Half Marathon on 16 May

Zwartberg Runners are on schedule for their second Swartberg Pass Half Marathon and other races to be held on Saturday, 16 May. They are expecting a field of 100 or more, an increase on last year’s entrants.

According to Chairperson, Terry Barnato, local sponsors have again been very generous in their support of the race day. The club is again raffling a Karoo lamb worth R900 at R5 a ticket. Tickets are already on sale at The Lazy Lizard, while Zwartberg Runners members will be selling tickets in town and during the Town and Olive Festival.

Zwartberg Runners is well into its second year now and has seen a growth in members - 27 runners - and certainly a growth in enthusiasm and participation.

Future plans include organising trail runs off the road in the Swartberg Pass, which are intended to add some fun to regular running events.

Fun Run Attracts Young Runners

On Saturday, 28 March, Zwartberg Runners hosted a 10km, 5km, and 1 km fun run in Prince Albert, with free admission which drew a good number of young runners.

Prize winners were:

1st Johannah Mokoaqo 50:08
2nd Tracey Swanepoel
1st Petrus Bostander
Senior Boys
1st Eleis Oliphant 45:45
2nd Joshua Swanepoel

Grand Masters:
1st Melvin Berlin
1st Caryn Pastrana
1st Juan Pastrana
Senior Girls:
1st Emma Maeyer 27:35
Senior Boys:
1st Wensal Minnis 20:11
2nd Gavin Jacobs
Junior Girls:
1st Diedre Hendricks 24:01
2nd Hannah Modra 24:36
Junior Boys:
1st Justin Booyer 20:59
2nd Oscar Maeyer 23:50