Rose’s Round-up June 1997 No 47

NEW TOURISM PARTNERSHIP Karoo towns along the N1 have joined forces and formed a new partnership in tourism. They have established the Karoo N1 Marketing Association and its aim is to promote all facilities along this busy route and ensure that information about where to stay and what to see or do, is easily accessible to tourists. Meetings will be held regularly to share information and discuss promotions. The Association's slogan is "Getting there is half the fun". It aims to encourage tourists to stop more frequently as regular rests have proved to play a major role in road safety. [...]

Rose’s Round-up May 1997 No 46

TOURISM - CALL FOR A RETHINK "The way in which we market South Africa desperately needs to be changed." The new chairman of Satour, Liz Wesby-Nunn, said at a recent National Tourism Conference in Stellenbosch that tourism was a holistic product and needed to be marketed more efficiently and effectively throughout the country. "We all have to be part of tourism and we have a social responsibility to change. Our economy depends on it. Satour aims to change the dynamics of tourism in South Africa. We have moved from eco-tourism and are concentrating on culture for the next three years. [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 1997 No 45

PROFESSIONALISM THE KEY The new Tourism Act for the Western Cape Province now has all roleplayers fired with enthusiasm. Constitutions are being checked, the fine print of the Act and its procedures studied and business plans are being created. If these are not tabled funding will not be forthcoming. "But, there's nothing intimidating in the new legislation," John Robert, a consultant in the Ministry of Tourism has said "Professionalism is the key. Tourism must rid itself of its begging-bowl image. We must not wring our hands and wait for handouts. The economy of this country needs tourism, it is [...]

Rose’s Round-up March 1997 No 44

RARE FIND ON LEEUFONTEIN Walking down an old, dry river bed one morning, Jaco Conradie saw a strange white object protruding from the embankment. It was the back of a skull. Closer investigation revealed it belonged to a small skeleton this had been buried in a sitting position, facing east. Quite sure that he had discovered the grave of a /Xam San hunter-gatherer of the early Karoo. Jaco rushed home to share his excitement with his father Flippie. Recent heavy rains must have washed away the bank and exposed the grave," said Flippie "By the time we got back the [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 1997 No 43

REGIONAL TOURISM FORUM MEETS The Consultative Forum on Regional Tourism, established in East London late last year, has just held a follow-up meeting in Rustenburg. The aim was to streamline communications. ensure a cohesive approach to promotion and marketing of tourism throughout South Africa, develop effective co-operation strategies for all committees and assist regional tourism organisations gain a higher visibility coupled to a better image. Financing and functions of regional offices, critical issues and plans for future development of tourism throughout South Africa were also discussed. The meeting was attended by delegates from almost all district councils throughout the Republic [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 1997 No 42

MEIRINGSPOORT REPAIRS GET TOP PRIORITY The Central Karoo District Council and the Provincial Roads Department have launched an all-out effort to repair flood damage amounting to millions of rands to roads and passes during the festive season. Meiringspoort alone was flooded three times in a month. Its reconstruction has been given top priority, and complex work costing millions began on January 15. If everything goes according to schedule, this popular tourist route should be able to accommodate traffic by April, according to District Roads Engineer Juan Prodehl. During operations, care will be taken not to disturb the ecology. “By the [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 1996 No 41

DANCE OF DEATH SOLDIER HONOURED Isaac Wauchope Dyobha, the man who called for the 'Dance of Death" to be performed as the troopship SS Mendi as it sank in 1917, has been honoured in Beaufort West, where he once served as a preacher. A plaque detailing his bravery was handed over at a Remembrance Day Service by Mr Mani. Duimpies, of the Cape Corp to the Mayor of Beaufort West, Mr Michael de Villiers. It will be displayed in the museum. The plaque was made from brass of shell case, hammered out, engraved and mounted on a wooden panel made [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 1996 No 40

NEW BROCHURE BRINGS KAROO TO LIFE A new brochure which brings the magic of the Great Karoo to life will soon be available. It reveals the enchantment of this vast area with its kaleidoscope of colour. It is for those who plan to visit and to remind those who know and love the Karoo of its delights. This information brochure details the Karoo's evolution from swamp to semi-desert. It has information on rocks, fossils, fauna and flora through the millenia to the present day, as well as backgrounds on towns, settlements and unusual places, such as Matjiesfontein, the passes and [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 1996 No 39

HISTORIC MOMENTS ON TV An international TV crew recently visited Beaufort West to make a documentary on the life of heart surgeon Professor Chris Barnard for BBC 1. It will be broadcast as part of a Sunday night 'Songs of Praise' series. Each week a world famous personality is interviewed on religious preferences and favourite songs of praise. Among the music chosen by Professor Barnard were River of Dreams, Amazing Grace, Jerusalem, Old Rugged Cross and What a Friend we have in Jesus. During dramatisation of the latter hymn, Jan Wright, of Beaufort West, played the role of Professor Barnard's [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 1996 No 38

SOLDIERS REST IN PEACE ... AGAIN Headstones have been replaced on the graves of nine British soldiers buried at Laingsburg. The original ones were washed away on January 25, 1981, in the devastating flood that hit the town leaving the graveyard buried under a metre of mud. Damage was considerable. Then, during a heavy storm about two years ago, the headstone from Trooper Burton's grave re-appeared from the river. Although badly broken it was pieced together and relaid on his grave when new stones were placed this month. The new headstones were commissioned by The British War Graves Committee of [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 1996 No 37

MILITARY ENTHUSIASTS SALUTE MUSEUM Visiting military enthusiasts have heaped praise on the special arms exhibition in the Marie Rawdon Museum at Matjiesfontein. The exhibition, recently opened by Major John Buist, features a display of uniforms, medals, rifles and shotguns. The exhibits are part of his private collection, now on loan to the museum. The display, in the basement section of the museum, includes several items dating back to the Anglo-Boer War and World War I. The opening coincided with the three-day annual International Championships of the Muzzle Loaders Association which was held at Matjiesfontein. SKAARS PLANT IN KAROD GEVIND Tydens [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 1996 No 36

CENTRAL KAROO SCOOPS TOP AWARD The Central Karoo District Council walked off with the top award at the 21st Annual Congress of the Institute of Municipal Public Relations Officers (IMPRO) held recently in Kuruman. The Institute named tourism co-ordinator Rosalie Willis the IMPRO public relations officer of the year in South Africa. The award was presented to her at a banquet by the Premier of the Northern Cape Province, Mr Manne Dipichia. He said: "It is indeed a pleasure to present this award to someone involved in promoting the platteland, and the Karoo in particular, as this is such a [...]

Rose’s Round-up May 1996 No 35

THE PAST REVISITED Frieda Haak, one of Prince Albert's best-known history researchers, has written another book on the town and district. The story starts in 1762, when the De Beer family settled at the foot of the Swartberg, and it moves through the town's rich and colourful past to the present. Aimed at providing information in a cost-effective manner, this 102-page printed booklet is now available in Afrikaans at the Fransie Pienaar Museum Shop at R20 - the English version will soon be available. On the cover is a colour picture of the old Oueekvallei farm. The booklet is one [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 1996 No 34

ONE OF THE BEST The Karoo National Park is one of the finalists in the A A Travel Guide's Resort of the Year Competition. It was the only nature reserve in the Western Cape Province to be nominated and the only venue in the Great Karoo. Winners will be announced at a function in Johannesburg on April 18. The park was also nominated last year in the Game and Nature Reserve category and came second. Western Cape resorts featured well in this year's nominations - 21 were among the 56 venues nominated in 11 categories. The Karoo National park [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 1996 No 33

NEW VIGOUR ON TOURISM TRAIL Renewed vigour has been blown into the Central Karoo on-going tourism campaign. Meetings have been conducted in Beaufort: West, Lainsburg, Prince Albert and Murraysburg along guidelines from Lample Fick, the Western Cape Province Minister of Agriculture, Planning and Tourism. Each town has elected delegates to serve on a Regional Tourism Committee (RTC) and an inaugural meeting of this new body is scheduled for March. The RTC will elect. a member for each of the two provincial standing committees, which in turn will each nominate two members to serve on the four-man ministerial advisory board. Technicalities [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 1996 No 32

ROCKS REVEAL THEIR SECRETS Ostriches, elephants, a snake and a boer soldier are among the latest Karoo rock art finds to make archaeologist Davi Morris, of Kimberley’s McGregor Museum, a happy man. He recently visited Nelspoort to insepct a series of rock drawings just discovered at Bleakhouse. While in the area, Mr Morris also discovered four rock gongs at Tierkloof. There was previously thought to be only one. The new Bleakhouse engravings were found by Johan Lund on a koppie which may have been used as alookout during the Anglo-Boer War. One engraving is thought to be of a Boer [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 1995 No 31 Supplement

Here are some more Great-Karoo-related stories from the RTO newsletter, Rambler VULTURE DOES THE GRAND TOUR After literally crash landing in a Beaufort West garden during the night, Vernon the VIP Vulture, as he affectionally become known was rescued and then lovingly nursed back to health at the Karoo National Park. He then spent weeks travelling the countryside by car. When first found he was carefully watched as it was thought that he would be off at first light. However, as the sun rose, it became clear that the bird could not fly. The park was called, and so began [...]

Rose’s Round-up November/December 1995 No 31

DONKEY CART RIDE TO WEDDED BLISS Just over a year ago the Prince Albert SPCA rescued a small, underfed, grey donkey. Local resident Howard Derby took pity on the little animal and offered her a home. Named Esmeralda she went into training to eventually accompany Howard and his wife, Lynne, who has a heart complaint, on walks into the mountains. She now carries the hiking and picnic gear. Before long, Esmeralda became a well-known sight in Prince Albert. So, when two Cape Townians recently bought a house in town and decided to get married there, they requested that the bridal [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 1995 No 30

FAMOUS FILM CREW VISITS KAROO A film crew of world famous Jacques Coustou Organisation recently visited the Beaufort West area to film the farming operations on Elandsfontein. There were six in the team, who worked under the guidance of producer and cameraman, John Jackson. Their focus was the fauna and flora of arid zones and life on a typcal Karoo farm. It was a hetic time for Andre, Martie and Gustav Lund. There were obvious communications difficulties – most of the crew were French speaking – but the Lunds ensured that they were shown everything from old Bushman wells to [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 1995 No 29

THE CALL OF THE KAROO A former BBC producer and Methodist lay preacher, who lived and worked in Beaufort West from 1989 and 1990, will visit the Karoo in November. He is Colin Cradock, who together with local camerman, Trevor de Kock, produced a wildlife film called The Great Karoo. “I discovered the magic of the Karoo while working on that project,” he said. “Its fascination grips you and never lets go Over the years I”ve felt it calling me to return.” Colin now plans to introduce the wonders of the Karoo to a wide range of people. He and [...]