Broken Promises

So much has been written in the past about settlers and immigrants to South Africa but also many of them have been sadly neglected or overlooked until now. Keith Tankard's "Broken Promises", Exploring Sir George [...]

Claim to the Country

Reading Pippa's unbelievable publication "Claim to the Country", gave me wonderful insight into the Khoi people and their heritage and ancestry. Now part of UNESCO' s Memory of the World Register, this lavishly illustrated Claim [...]

Villages of the Liesbeeck

Helen Robinson has excelled again in her unbelievable knowledge and research on Cape History. Her latest book "The Villages of the Liesbeeck - From the Sea to the Source" - documents the history of the [...]

The Fox and the Flies

The nineteenth-century was the age of industry, witnessing extraordinary advances in manufacturing, trade and communications. Exploiting the new infrastructure of railways, steamships and telegraph systems, European pimps and 'white slave' traffickers were hugely successful in [...]

The Bishop’s Churches

Having such a passionate interest in Genealogy and church records, I was delighted and overwhelmed when my husband bought "The Bishop's Churches" for my birthday. I found that Desmond's vibrant and delicate brush strokes have [...]

Plague, Pox and Pandemics

This is a Jacana Pocket History of Epidemics in South Africa by Howard Phillips is an epidemic of lethal diseases which killed tens of thousands of people in South Africa. Anyone who lost a family [...]

Admiralty House Simon’s Town

I have been to Simon's Town many times in my life and my childhood association with the Royal Navy has been vividly recalled when I was recently introduced to the book by Boet Dommisse's of [...]

Salt River Accident

Salt River Station Many years ago whilst tracing my family history I met a  cousin who kindly photocopied this newspaper article of the Salt River accident which struck me as a terrible [...]

A Memoir in Letters

A Memoir in Letters by Penelope Forrest covers the Phelps family who originated in Gloucester England. She follows them through the generations, piecing together the puzzle of these wonderful ancestors who have provided her with [...]

The Black Countess

The Black Countess is an incredible story that chronicles the life of Martha a woman of colour from Wynberg and her husband the Harry, the 7th Earl of Stamford. Martha the daughter of freed slave [...]

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Beginners Guide to Family History

When the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu coined the phrase "Rainbow Nation", he was referring to the huge cultural diversity that exists in South Africa today. It is a heritage that has its [...]

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Adoption Records South Africa

If you are over 21 you can get your adoption papers without your adoptive parents' permission. Biological parents can only have access to the adoption records if the adoptive parents and the child give [...]

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Cemetery Records South Africa

Are you looking for Cemetery records in South Africa? Are you looking for plot cards for Maitland Cemtery or personalised visits and graves photographed? I offer this skilled service of finding graves and obtaining plot cards which provides the names of all the people buried in any grave, when they were buried, owner of the plot and which section the grave is in the cemetery. Please contact me for prices.

Rose’s Round-Up October 2002 No 105

BY ACCLAIM, A PRINCE OF CHEESES A full-flavoured, well-matured hard cheese made at Prince Albert in the Karoo has walked off with top honours at the South African Farm-Style Cheese Championships run by the National Dairy Institute at Irene. Known as Parma Prince and produced by Gay’s Guernsey Dairy, it won first prize in the Italian-style cheese sector and was also given a special award as an exceptional cheese. The road to success started four years ago when dairy owner Gay van Hasselt visited Italy to promote mohair products of her farm. While there, she visited top parmesan producers to [...]

Rose’s Round-Up September 2002 No 104

A WONDERFUL WORLD OF FOSSILS, SAYS EXPERT “Laingsburg is most fortunate that the world's largest and most complex eurypterid trackway was found right on its doorstep,” said Dr Simon Braddy , University of Bristol, UK, and an expert on the palaeobiology of ancient, extinct water scorpions. "This discovery will bring scientists, researchers, students and lay people to the Karoo, one of the best places in the world to study fossils of the Permian Period. Finds such as this must be included in the region's tourism plans and visitors must be taught to behave responsibly at such sites," said Dr Braddy. [...]

Rose’s Round-Up August 2002 No 103

IT'S HIGH NOON FOR THE RIVERINE RABBIT The odds are stacked against the riverine rabbit surviving another 10 years. It recently became South Africa’s most endangered mammal when its conservation status was raised to critical. "Its survival appears even more desperate than we previously believed," says Cape Nature Conservation researcher Chrizette Kleinhans. "These furry-footed little leaf-eaters, among the world's rarest animals, will disappear from the face of the earth within a decade unless drastic steps are immediately taken." The riverine rabbit is indigenous to the Central Karoo and found only in Beaufort West, Loxton, Carnarvon, Calvinia, Sutherland, Victoria West and [...]

Rose’s Round-Up July 2002 No 102

IN -FLIGHT MAGAZINE HELPS SAVE FOSSIL TREASURE A story in Rose’s Round-up has been instrumental in raising funds to help preserve a fossil treasure of the Great Karoo, the recent find of an invertebrate trackway that could be the most spectacular example of its kind yet found in the world. The news item, covering Laingsburg’s fossil trackway, was noticed and also published by SAA's in-flight magazine, Sawabona, which is how it came to the attention of Professor Peter Spargo and his wife. After reading the story on a flight between Cape Town and Johannesburg they generously offered R1 000 from [...]

Rose’s Round-Up June 2002 No 101

A WINTER LOOK AT THE ANCIENT KAROO Highlight of the Winter School at the S A Museum in Cape Town this year will be a series of lectures entitled Life and Death in the Karoo. Lectures in the T H Barry Hall from July 1 to 4 offer a new look at the Karoo's fossil history. Field sedimentologist and head of palaeontology at the museum, Dr Roger Smith, opens by discussing a relatively new sub-discipline, Taphonomy: A New Look at Old Stone Bones. "This takes a look at what happened to the skeletons of ancient creatures between their death and [...]

Rose’s Round-Up May 2002 No 100

FIRST FIVE-STAR VENUE IN KAROO When Ca' Serenissima opened its doors in Prince Albert a while ago, the Karoo welcomed a mega star. Now the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa has awarded the venue five stars. “The council makes this award only to venues of exceptional quality which offer luxurious accommodation that matches the best international standards with high quality furnishing, flawless service and meticulous guest care," says assessor Mark Goveia Ca' Serenissima, which means serene place, is the brain child of Bernd Borschel and Daniella Graziane. Bernd spent 17 years with the Sheraton Hotel Group before opting for [...]

Rose’s Round-Up April 2002 No 99

LAINGSBURG LAMB HAS THE EDGE When it comes to Karoo meat, master chef Chris van Wyk says there's nothing quite like Laingsburg lamb. Chris is so delighted with the Laingsburg product that he is taking a supply to Luxembourg later this year when he captains a team of 12 South African chefs taking part in the International Chefs Olympiad. "It has a uniquely delicious flavour. To my mind it is a cut above all other Karoo meat." Chris, who has had 12 years' experience as a hotel chef, now owns Amaqueta Foods in George. Here he prepares ready-made delicacies for [...]

Rose’s Round-Up March 2002 No 98

NEW APPROACH TO MARKETING Role-players in the Central Karoo were recently briefed on new strategies to streamline the tourism industry in the Western Cape Province. Sheryl Ozinsky, manager, Cape Town Tourism, Roger Carter, of the UK-based organisation TEAM (Tourism Education and Management), and Anneline Kriel, of Western Cape Tourism, discussed proposals for E-business information management systems and progress on the JMI (Joint Marketing Initiative), which is an attempt to create a common vision for five key economic development sectors: tourism, major events, film, investment and trade. "These strategies will result in closer links between the Mega City and the hinterland, [...]

Rose’s Round-Up February 2002 No 97

MAJOR FOSSIL FIND AT LAINGSBURG Ancient marine sediments of the Ecca Group rock layer near Laingsburg recently yielded an exciting surprise for geologists and palaeontologists working in the area. British palaeontologist Dr John Almond, of Nature Viva cc, discovered the fossil trackway of a gigantic water scorpion (eurypterid) in these 260-million-year-old rocks "This spectacular trace fossil consists of two parallel series of complex footprints. It is about one meter wide and seven meters in length, extending across the surface of a single bed. As such it is the largest trackway of an invertebrate (animal without backbone or other bony internal [...]

Rose’s Round-Up January 2002 No 96

NEW MINISTER NO STRANGER TO KAROO A man with strong hinterland ties has taken over the tourism helm in the Western Cape Province. Johan Gelderblom, former chairman of the Klein Karoo District Council and MP for the region, was appointed Minister of Agriculture, Tourism and Gambling on December 5, 2001. He replaced Mr Leon Marcowitz. Mr Gelderblom grew up in the Klein Karoo, matriculated at Ladismith and then acquired BA and BA Honours degrees in Public Administration at Stellenbosch University. After graduating, he moved to the then Transvaal to gain practical experience. There he also served on the Public Service [...]

Rose’s Round-Up November-December 2001 No 95

Rose’s Round-Up November-December 2001 No 95 CLOSER LOOK AT TOWNSHIP TOURISM Four members of the Mandlenkosi Township Route Forum of Beaufort West recently had an enriching tourism experience in Cape Town. A two-day educational trip, arranged by Western Cape Tourism Board, allowed Sylvia Dyum, Sylvia McKam, Keith Kedama and Clarence Metsing to take a closer look at tourism and meet people involved in township tourism promotion in the province. “Networking with organisations similar to our own has shown us that our problems are neither unique nor insurmountable”, says Sylvia Dyum. “We have gained a much wider perspective of tourism, a [...]

Rose’s Round-Up October 2001 No 94

KAROO PLANS SECOND TOWNSHIP ROUTE Residents of Prince Albert’s North End township have begun planning a tourist route. This follows the successful launch of the Kwa-Mandlenkosi Township Tourist Route in Beaufort West. “We have long wanted to share our history and culture with visitors to the town”, says Ds Cyril Afrika, chairman of the town’s development committee. “We plan to incorporate this route into existing tourist routes and trails in and around the town. We would like to introduce visitors to our talented crafters, invite them to spend a night or two in a North End B&B and to listen [...]

Rose’s Round-Up September 2001 No 93

BOER COMMANDANT HONOURED A century to the day after his capture near Prince Albert local Boer War enthusiasts honoured legendary Boer Commandant Gideon Scheepers. A memorial commemorating the 100th anniversary of Scheepers’s capture on Koppieskraal October 10, 1901, was unveilled by Rienus Koorts, grandson of the man who sheltered Scheepers. “This dynamic and controversial young Boer leader led British forces a merry chase across the plains of the Karoo”, said Lydia Barella, one of the organisers of the function. “Towards the end he became increasingly ill. This eventually led to his capture in a tiny room in one of the [...]

Rose’s Round-Up August 2001 No 92

RIVERINE RABBIT MEETS THE PRESS The Riverine Rabbit Conservation Project was recently introduced to the media at Kirstenbosch. At this function members of each conservancy received a certificate of registration. “The aim of the launch was to raise awareness of the plight of this nocturnal animal and gain publicity for farmers committed to the survival of the species. The riverine rabbit is Africa’s only indigenous burrowing rabbit and one of 12 globally endangered rabbit species”, said Tony Marshall, regional manager Cape Nature Conservation. “Saving the species from extinction is extremely difficult because the rabbit’s natural habitat does not fall within [...]

Rose’s Round-Up July 2001 No 91

ALBERT’S MILL COMES BACK TO LIFE On a windy winter’s day recently, a group of people alongside a stream on the outskirts of Prince Albert enthusiastically discussed a lady, a launder and a lantern. The Friends of Albert’s Mill were in fact taking a serious look at restoration work in progress on the last surviving mill in town. The uninitiated soon discovered that the strange terms all referred to parts of a mill. In its heyday, Albert’s Mill was no rarity what with four others in the village. But it was closest to the Swartberg Mountains. The mill once supplied [...]

Rose’s Round-Up June 2001 No 90

IT’S ALL SYSTEMS GO IN KWA-MANDLENKOSI Tourism has sprouted wings in Kwa-Mandlenkosi. This was evident at the crowded inaugural meeting of a tourism planning committee recently at H M Dlikidla Primary School. Representatives from diverse organisations discussed the vital role of tourism within the Beaufort West community and the importance of the proposed route through the township. “Until fairly recently, most Africans had little interest in tourism”, said Siphiwe Piti, chairman of the Central Karoo Regional Tourism Organisation. “Developments in the new South Africa, however, have changed this. People now acknowledge tourism as the key to economic and infrastructure development [...]

Roses’ Round-Up May 2001 No 89

KAROO’S FIRST TOWNSHIP TOURISM ROUTE The first tourist route through a Karoo township is being created in Kwa-Mandlenkosi, Beaufort West. This was recently announced by Siphiwe Piti, chairman of the District Municipality Tourism Committee, when he appointed 12 tourism ambassadors at Mandlenkosi Secondary School. They are Gift Louw, Utombekhanya Lawrence, Athone Ngondo, Uthabiseng Manewe, Bongulethu Faas, Siyabulela Swartbooi, Andiswa Mzakala, Sandile Kohwe, Mzwamadode Visagie, Sipho Ngwenya, Uonzwakazi Lekanyane and Mucedisi Minye. All are in Grade 9. They volunteered to help with a community service project. Siphiwe presented the pupils with T-shirts and background information. The idea for the route developed [...]

Roses’ Round-Up April 2001 No 88

MINISTER CALLS FOR MORE RESEARCH Tourism was a powerful partnership, but only the surface had been scratched in efforts to create a closer working relationship between all sectors of the industry, the Western Cape Minister of Finance, Business Promotion and Tourism, Mr Leon Marcowitz, said when he addressed tourism roleplayers at an Oudtshoorn road show recently. “The image of tourism is still too fragmented. We also have far too many logos and structures”, he said. “Image is important, and so is marketing. We must focus and streamline our marketing approaches, spend more wisely and research the value of niche markets [...]

Rose’s Round-Up March 2001 No 87

KAROO PLANS OFF-ROAD RACE The first off-road race in the Great Karoo is being planned for later this year. “Interest in the proposed event is high, and it could eventually attract about 250 competitors”, says Pete van der Walt, a director of Motor Sport SA. The course will be laid out in the Merweville area and tested later this year. Pete evaluated the proposed 50km route recently when he visited the area with Kallie le Roux of Springbok Lodge. “The course will cross a wide variety of rugged and challenging terrains”, said Pete. “From the village it snakes out [...]

Rose’s Round-Up February 2001 No 86

Rose’s Round-Up February 2001 No 86 TOURISM IS THE KEY Carefully planned development would create a better quality of life throughout the Karoo, according to Doreen “Thiwe” Hugo, the first mayor of the Central Karoo District Municipality. “Every effort is being made to promote tourism to so capture a larger slice of both the domestic and international market sectors. Tourism will assist us to develop the area, build the infrastructures of our small towns and villages and strengthen the region’s economy. We aim to bring tourism closer to our previously disadvantaged communities so that they may share its benefits [...]