Beaufort West man of God buried on Robben Island

//Beaufort West man of God buried on Robben Island

Beaufort West man of God buried on Robben Island

 

Visitors to remote little graveyard on Robben Island  are often amazed to see the grave of Reverend  Louis Hugo. Many wonder why this minister was buried there and why his body was not taken back to the mainland. Louis Hugo,  who was born in Stellenbosch on November, 22, 1846, could trace his roots back to Daniel Hugo, a Huguenot who played a significant role in South Africa’s ecclesiastical and social arenas  Daniel was a tiny man. He stood only 133 cm (4ft 6in) tall, but he was an excellent craftsman and gifted winemaker. After leaving school Louis studied at the local seminary where his teachers included such great ministers as Reverend Nicolaas Hofmeyr and Reverend John Murray. Louis was ordained, at the age of 25, on March 10, 1871, and he went on to serve as the first Dutch Reformed minister in “the conquered territory” of Ladybrand. Four years later, on November 29, 1875, he was called to Beaufort West. Getting there, however, was not easy because there was as yet no public transport on which to move his household goods. Eventually a cart and some mules were hired for the princely sum of £100 and sent to fetch him.  As it neared town on April 6, 1876, several members of the congregation rode out to welcome him. Louis saw many changes in the Beaufort West church, but on the whole things did not go well for him. He was blamed for a series of expenses and in the end the situation deteriorated to such an extent that by the beginning of 1896 charges were laid against him. He decided to resign.  He and his wife left Beaufort West by train on June 30 that year   He went to Robben Island where he set up a mission to serve the lepers and mentally ill patients who had been sent there.  He died on Robben-Island on August 21, 1907 after ten years of faithful service.  opted to be buried in the same graveyard as the departed members of his congregation and forever to remain part of the island. The Island cemetery is a very interesting place but sadly many of the grave stones are badly weathered and unidentifiable

2018-11-02T08:38:12+00:00