Roses-Round-up

Fascinating factual tales and stories on South Africa history by Rose Willis. Read all about her here and subscribe to her newsletter Rose’s Round-Up for a small fee.

Rose’s ROUND-UP – A privately-published monthly newsletter mainly covering snippets of Karoo history * Copyright: Rose Willis * Cellphone: 082-926-0474
email: rosewillis705@gmail.com. P O Box 28636, Danhof, 9310

 

Rose’s Round-up April 2016 No 268

ALL FOR THE SAKE OF THE RABBIT The Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Drylands Conservation Programme has proved successful, reports senior field officer, Bonnie Schumann. This programme focuses not only on the conservation of the critically endangered riverine rabbit, but also on socio-economic upliftment opportunities for the rural community in this area and the provision of jobs during habitat restoration. “The restoration techniques improve habitats and the biodiversity of the ecosystem to ensure the survival of this unique, threatened species, and the other species sharing the riparian areas,” said Bonnie. “With quite some trepidation we planted out about 3 000 nursery-grown Karoo plants [...]

Rose’s Round-up March 2016 No 267

DESERT TOURISM GROWS APACE Desert tourism is growing steadily. Previously a difficult product to sell, “dryland tourism” has now become a recognized niche market across the world for discerning arid zone travelers. “Perceptions have changed from down market and cheap to exciting and adventurous. Remoteness, bareness, silence and solitude have become drawcards,” says Doreen Atkinson, an authority on Karoo tourism. In an article in the Journal of Arid Environments, she states that the Karoo is reaping dividends from the trend towards “getting away” and really exploring the great outdoors. “The Karoo is no longer considered hostile, dangerous or boring. It [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 2016 No 266

FOR ALL WHO LOVE PRINCE ALBERT There’s a treat in store for all who love Prince Albert. A new book, compiled by Cultural Foundation members, Lydia Barella, Mary Anne Botha, Judy Maguire and Derek Thomas, has just become available. Prince Albert - Sense of History, Sense of Place, celebrates the town’s unique cultural and environmental history covering everything from geology, palaeontology, archaeology and anthropology to architecture and agriculture. These are brought to life through stories of the people who settled in the area, among them the De Beers, of the original farm, De Queekvalleij, as well as residents of Bo-dorp, [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 2016 No 265

TOP AWARDS FOR CONSERVATION Towards the end of last year conservationists, Sue and Richard Dean, received two top awards. One was a Cape Nature Stewardship award for excellence in the field of conservation and the other a special award for their outstanding contribution to biodiversity conservation in the Western Cape. Both were for work done at Wolwekraal Nature Reserve, a small 113 ha protected area on a farm, near Prince Albert. Richard and Sue identified this spot as a conservation area in 2005. In 2013 Wolwekraal farm owners and the Department of Environment Affairs officials signed a Memorandum of Agreement [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 2015 No 264

CELEBRATING MEDICINE IN THE KAROO A Medical Humanities Literary Festival, scheduled for the 10th anniversary of the Richmond Booktown Book Fair in October 2016, will celebrate medicine in the Karoo. The event follows on the opening of South Africa's first Museum of Optometry and Ophthalmology at this year’s event. The new museum was established to salute the work of Albert Gaston Eugen Fick, the developer of the contact lens. Way back in the late 1880s several people began speculating on the possibility of applying a lens or shell directly on to the eye to correct visual disorders. A variety [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 2015 No 263

ANNUAL TREAT FOR BOOK LOVERS The ever-popular Richmond Literary Festival, Boek Bedonnered, is scheduled for October 22 to 24. The programme, designed to appeal to the hearts of all book lovers, is jam-packed with exciting launches, good reads, talks and poetry sessions. One of the highlights is a discussion with South Africa’s greatest living Afrikaans poet, Breyten Breytenbach, about his new book, a compilation of all his public speeches over the past 50 years. This will be undertaken by Dominique Botha and Riaan Malan. Another highlight will be the official opening of the Museum of Optometry and Ophthalmology by [...]

Rose’ Round-up October 2015 No 262

A FESTIVAL OF READING (AND WRITING) Print has not died. The Association of American Publishers say that e-books are having a tough time and that their sales dropped by about 10% in the first five months of this year. This was encouraging to the organisers of Prince Albert’s annual Leesfees. Their aim is to develop a culture of reading and a love of books. This year’s event, scheduled for November 4 to 7, includes talks by bestselling authors, but the festival is not only about books and publishing, the programme includes discussions of writing techniques, a workshop, poetry, performances, story-telling [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 2015 No 261

FIRST CONFERENCE OF ITS KIND IN SA The first Depth Leadership Trust Conference to be held in South Africa will take place in Prince Albert from September 3 to 5. The theme is Crucibles of Leadership and the programme includes top speakers, each a specialist on his or her field. Among them will be clinical psychologists, artists, authors, academics, corporate and government leaders. Conference organisers explain that the term “depth” refers to a leadership approach that uses the theories and practices of depth psychology, a formal sub-discipline of clinical psychology. These theories, which have been used for more than [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 2015 No 260

THE MAN WHO WENT TO TIMBUKTU REMEMBERS Chris Marais’s memoirs, The Journey Man, was successfully launched at the Cradock Writers Festival. This book, a great read, tells the exciting tale of a photo-journalist’s experiences across Africa and in more than 50 foreign spots, including Mongolia, Borneo, Timbuktu, Madagascar and the French Quarter of New Orleans. It’s the inside storey of a roving reporter’s life on newspapers such as The Pretoria News, The Rand Daily Mail and The Sunday Tribune, and on magazines such as Scope, Style, Country Life (more recently) as well as a slew of international airline publications before [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 2015 No 259a

TIME TO CELEBRATE WRITERS Tel No 082 932 8864 The 6th annual Schreiner/Karoo Writers Festival – Skrywersfees / Umnyhadala Wababhali – will be held in Cradock from July 23 to 26. “As ever this festival features a delightful mix of stories, tours, walks, talks, videos, books – old and new – glimpses of history, theatre productions, poetry readings and fireside chats, as well as many opportunities to enjoy the clean, fresh Karoo air and star-studded night skies,” says organizer, Lisa Antrobus Ker. “Book and Karoo lovers can rest, relax, unwind, browse and enjoy the region’s widely known, warm, friendly hospitality, traditional [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 2015 No 259

AND THE WINNERS ARE ... The inaugural South Africa Independent Publishers Awards dinner, recently held in Richmond, during the J M Coetze\Athol Fugard Festival, was an exciting gala event. Virtually every category was keenly contested. The Miriam Tlali Prize for autobiography was unanimously awarded to the late Edwin Jackson for Flight of the Moth, which was published with encouragement of Booktown Richmond. This prize was named in honour of the first black woman to publish a novel in English. Judges were astounded that a simple farmer, faced with a terminal disease, could pen a book of such immense beauty. The [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 2015 No 258

DON’T FORGET THIS FESTIVAL South Africa’s greatest living playwright, Athol Fugard, will be speaking at J M Coetzee\Athol Fugard festival in Richmond on Saturday, May 30. This is an occasion not to be missed. This year’s event, the third of its kind, boasts a programme is packed with talks, readings, poetry and plays. The festival opens at 09h00 on Thursday, May 28, with a documentary entitled Falls The Shadow, The Life and Times of Athol Fugard. From there the programme moves on through interesting items and the day ends with the first self-publishing awards’ dinner the Supper Club. Many [...]

Rose’s Round-up May 2015 No 257

EMPIRE, WAR & CRICKET – A RICH, REWARDING READ Dean Allen’s book, Empire, War & Cricket, highlights a time when Victorian society was being redefined and cricket promoted as “the imperial game, sport of the Empire”. A fascinating social and political history it weaves the development cricket, “the gentleman’s game” into the biography of arrogant, entertaining, hospitable, intriguing James D Logan, Laird of Matjiesfontein, and undoubtedly one of the most colourful men of South African history. Central to the story is Matjiesfontein, once hailed as “the cleanest place in the Colony”, the aspirations of British Empire in the South Africa [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 2015 No 256

COMING SOON – THE LAIRD AND HIS CONTRIBUTION TO CRICKET Dr Dean Allen’s long-awaited book, Empire, War and Cricket in South Africa: Logan of Matjiesfontein, is to be launched in early April. The book, published by Zebra Press, explores how James D Logan, Laird of Matjiesfontein, and one of SA great entrepreneurs, established a health resort for the rich and famous in the far-flung Karoo, as well as how he developed and promoted cricket from this remote spot, despite gathering clouds of war. A unique social and political history, this well-researched biography looks at life in the late 1800s as [...]

Rose’s Round-up March 2015 No 255

JOIN THE FUN – THIRD LEAP DAY FOR FROGS South Africa is home to some 120 species of frogs, each fascinating in its own way. To celebrate this, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) is once again organising a Leap Day for Frogs on Saturday, February 28. This will be the third day of its kind and the aim of the day is to celebrate the diversity of frogs, their behavior and habitats, raise awareness about these amphibians and highlight the fact that globally they are the most threatened of all vertebrates – 30% of all South African frogs are vulnerable [...]

Rose’s Round up February 2015 No 254

TWO NEW POWER PLANTS PLANNED The Department of Energy has announced the creation of two new CSP (concentrating solar thermal power) plants in the Northern Cape. One will be the first of its kind in Africa. Kathu Solar Park and Redstone Solar Thermal Power are the preferred bidders and each company will build a 100MW capacity plants capable of storing solar power generated during daylight hours. The new plants will add to the five already commissioned in this hot, dry province. The Kathu Consortium’s plant will incorporate parabolic trough technology and will be equipped with a molten-salt storage system that [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 2015 No 253

SERIOUS CONCERNS ABOUT THE GIANT FLAG Ecologist, Professor Sue Milton-Dean wrote to express her concerns regarding the Giant South African Flag, being laid out near the Valley of Desolation, outside Graaff-Reinet. “The website and press reports all state that ‘millions of different coloured succulent plants’ will be used to create this R170-million world first giant flag. My main concern is that non-indigenous succulent species i.e. red and yellow barrel cactus and blue agave, are being used for colour-planting. These all come from the Americas. The only indigenous plant species in the flag will be spekbos (Portulacaria). I find this strange [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 2014 No 252

  ANGORA RAM FOR THE KING A young Angora ram from Prince Albert has been presented to King Letsie III of Lesotho. This gesture was made by the Ladybrand-based agricultural company, OVK, (Oos Vrystaat Kaap Bedryf Ltd), as part of its efforts to promote wool and mohair production in the Mountain Kingdom. The ram came from the Van Hasselts in Prince Albert, who are widely known for breeding high quality stock and the presentation was made when OVK presented plans and proposals for increasing market share in Lesotho to the king and other dignitaries. In a news story on Radio [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 2014 No 251

RARE FIND Earlier this year, an Endangered Wildlife Critical Rivers Survey team discovered a rare fresh water mussel at Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve. This is the first creature of its kind to be found in the reserve and only the second recording of the species in the Northern Cape. While netting and measuring endangered Clanwilliam sandfish, senior field officer, Bonnie Schumann, spotted the remains of an “otter meal” - an opened mussel with bits of stringy meat still attached. She searched the gravelly river bed and found mussel of a species listed as near threatened. “Fresh water mussels are indicators of [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 2014 No 250

A CULINARY ADVENTURE IN THE DRYLAND Justin Bonello, well known South African cooking raconteur, and host of the SA Braai Master TV show, has just launched a new book. With his crew he spent two-years kicking up dust and exploring the bye-ways of the Karoo in an effort to discover the pulse of the dryland. His mission was simple. He wanted to capture the soul of the thirstland, witness its struggle for survival, experience the wide-open spaces, clean, crisp, clear fresh air and endless starry nights. He wanted to learn more of the San, to meet the modern-day people and [...]

  • naturalizations

Naturalizations and immigration records

Naturalizations and immigration records are an extremely valuable part of any application for Ancestry Passports or VISA’s. I provide a service for anyone looking to Immigrate to get Citizenship in a foreign Country from South Africa. Over 39 000 Naturalizations from 1943 - 1976 can be now found here. If you are you looking for proof of ancestry to find out or not whether you are illegible for Immigration to the United Kingdom, Germany or Russia or any EU country. If you can provide me with the name of your ancestor at the time of their arrival in South [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 2018 No 298

PICK A PLACE AND JUST GO THERE Freelance photojournalists, Chris Marais and Juliette du Toit, travel widely across the thirstland and are often asked which is their favourite town. Like loving parents, they find something special in almost every one, however, they decided to find out what appealed to others. On their Karoospace and Facebook pages they listed 38 towns and asked which one their followers preferred. Some nominated five or six places, but for the purposes of the poll only the top one was counted. Top favourites - in order of preference - were: Prince Albert, Willowmore, Graaff-Reinet and [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 2018 No 297

REMEMBERING THE FORGOTTEN FRONTIER A new book, covering details of the Anglo-Boer War in the Karoo and Colesberg area, in particular, is now available. Entitled The Forgotten Front, Untold Stories of the Anglo-Boer War in the Karoo, it is written by Michael de Jongh, Professor Emreritus in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at UNISA, and widely known for his books on the “karretjie people” as well as Belinda Gordon, who formerly worked at Colesberg’s Kemper Museum. The book is based on research which Belinda started in 1990. It highlights the significance of the confrontations along the southern or central [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 2018 No 296

HONOURING THE 60 WHO NEVER CAME HOME Professor Anthony Stimson and Jenny Humphries, in Australia, are co-authoring a book on the South African War Memorial in Adelaide. Said to be the finest equestrian statue in Australia, it was erected by public subscription in honour of the 60 men who served in South Australian contingents during the Anglo-Boer War but did not return. The memorial was unveiled on June 6, 1904. “Its story has been told, but not the stories of the 60 men named on it. We are filling in that gap and the book will tell each man’s story. [...]

Women of the Slave Lodge

The women in the slave lodge were in a vastly different situation from the settlers' women slaves. Lodge women, for instance, were not under the direct domestic supervision of any settler or European official. There were almost as many slave women in the lodge as there were men. There were thus possibilities of finding a slave spouse among the Lodge inmates. Slave women in the Lodge, in contrast to their counterparts owned by settlers, could “be effectively married” to slave men from as early as 1671, although this did not entail a wedding solemnized by the Dutch Reformed Church across [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 2018 No 295

ATTENTION ALL INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS It is once again time for the annual Independent Publishers Awards Competition. This highly contested event is the only competition of its kind in South Africa and it culminates in a gala awards banquet at the end of the Richmond Book Town Festival in the Karoo at the end of October, each year. The competition, which has various categories, honours all self-published authors and brings their works to the attention of a wider audience. Any self-published author wishing to enter should contact Darrel David, Book Town organiser and coordinator of the panel of judges. FAREWELL, DEAR [...]

Rose’s Round-up No June 2018 294

A GUIDE TO BEAUTIFUL BRIDGES The beautiful bridges of the Eastern Cape intrigue many tourists and photographers. Their creation is closely linked to the life of British civil engineer, Joseph Newey, who was responsible for the erection of nine stone arch bridges and about 70 iron lattice, girder and timber bridges in the last quarter of the 19th century. The full story behind the construction of these magnificent bridges is told in Bridging the Eastern Cape – The Life and Work of Joseph Newey, a beautifully illustrated, 134-page coffee table-type book, was written by King Williams Town-born Dennis Walters, an [...]

  • St. Monica's Home

Adoption – Donald’s Story Part 1

It was quite a while after I met my husband that I found out he was adopted. It was a dark secret back in those days, something to be hidden from all but the closest of family - it was as if you would go straight to hell if you even mentioned the word. I suppose that finding out Donald was adopted and the fact that I came from a very large family (five sisters and one brother) were what first got me interested in genealogy and family history, not to forget the arrival of our first computer with [...]

Rose’s Round-up May 2018 No 293

FOR ENERGETIC OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS … Energetic Karoo outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the Meiringspoort Trail Run and Mountain Bike Challenge which takes place in De Rust, on May 26 this year. The runs first covers 9,5km and 19,5km and the mountain bike courses, 27,5 km and 60,5 km. Both events start at 07:00. Mountain bike enthusiasts will also enjoy the Lazy Hippo Stage Race in the Karoo Gariep Nature Reserve on New Holme Guest Farm in Hanover. The routes pass through some beautiful scenery and include interesting challenges. This family friendly event will be held from July 6 to 8. Organisers [...]

St. Johns Church

St. Johns Anglican Church The Anglican parish church of St. John's, Cape Town, began with the arrival of Bishop Gray on that memorable Sunday, 20th February 1848. With the Bishop were the Rev. and Hon. Henry Douglas who immediately began work in what was called the Rogge Bay area. He was Curate at the Cathedral, but on August 4th, 1848, he was licensed as Priest-in-charge of the district of St. John's. He began by hiring a store at the corner of Bree Street and Prestwich Street - this was called St. John's Chapel - and here the [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 2018 No 292

DON’T MISS THE BEST WINE FESTIVAL IN THE KAROO The 5th annual Stoep Wine Tasting Weekend - “the best little wine festival in the Karoo” - will take place in Graaff-Reinet on May 25 and 26. Organisers say it will be bigger and better than ever before. Already 31 wine estates, as well as many craft beer, brandy and gin makers, have confirmed their attendance. A highlight of the weekend will be the launch of well-known chef, Gordon Wright's, latest book Karoo Food. The programme includes food demonstrations and master classes. A CELEBRATION OF GARDENS The 14th annual Bedford Garden [...]

Rose’s Round-up March 2018 No 291

ATTENTION ALL FOODIES The ever-popular annual Karoo Food Festival takes place again in Cradock this year from April 27 to 30. This event is a must for food lovers, particularly those who enjoy the special flavours of the Karoo lamb and venison. Remember, however, that this is an extremely popular event, so booking is essential. The programme, as usual, includes something for everyone. There will be paid and free food, wine and craft beer tastings, as well as a variety of food demonstrations and master classes. Several activities, especially designed to amuse and entertain children, also form part of the [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 2018 No 290

SYMPOSIUM COMMEMMORATES THE GREAT ‘FLU This year marks the 100th anniversary of one of the world’s most deadly pandemics – the Spanish or Great Flu. It infected 500-million people and occurred in even in the remotest places. It came to South Africa on ships docking at Durban and Cape Town, says historian, Howard Philips, who will be one of the speakers at a symposium to commemorate this greatest medical catastrophe of all time. The flu travelled inland on South Africa’s well-developed railway network and the country’s migrant labour force helped to rapidly spread it across the country. The economy came [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 2018 No 289

SPECIAL WEEKEND FOR HISTORY BUFFS A special Anglo-Boer War weekend, hosted by the War Museum in Bloemfontein and the Lord Milner Hotel, will take place at Matjiesfontein from March 16 to 18. The programme includes top speakers such as Tokkie Pretorius, director of the Anglo-Boer War Museum, who will discuss Soldiers of the Queen, Dr Johan Loock, who will review the famous and controversial Boer Commandant, Gideon Scheepers, Allan Duff will cover the activities of the commandoes of General Wynand Malan and Commandant Willem Fouche during the last week of the war, Dr Dean Allen will conduct a walking tour [...]

  • st marys cathedral

Irish Missionaries in South Africa

St. Mary's Cathedral Cape Town Irish Missionaries in South Africa play an extremely important part of the growth and dvelopment of Churches and schools in South Africa. Of the four provinces which compose the Union of South Africa- namely, the Transvaal, the Orange Free State, Natal, and the Cape- only the last mentioned was to any notable extent the scene of the missionary labours of Irish bishops and priests. Irish nuns, of course, who are more daring and efficient in their methods of ‘peaceful penetration’, have found their way into every nook and corner of the sub-Continent. [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 2017 No 288

YEOMEN IS A WINNER! Yeomen of the Karoo by Rose Willis, Dr Arnold van Dyk and Prof Kay de Villiers, won two prizes at the third annual S A Independent Publishers Awards, at the Richmond Booktown Festival. It was the winner in the Medical Category, and it shared the best of the best award with Ashwin Desai’s latest novel and Heather Costaras’s biography. The announcement was made by festival organizer, Darryl David, at a gala dinner on Wednesday, October 2. Yeomen of the Karoo, the story of the Imperial Yeomanry Hospital at Deelfontein, was edited by Dr Suzette Botha, the [...]

  • Ancestry Gift Voucher

Ancestry Gift Vouchers

Ancestry Gift Vouchers are the perfect gift idea for family and friends for Christmas or Birthday presents. An Ancestry Gift Voucher is something that will last for generations to come and preserve family history's. Ancestry Gift Vouchers can be bought in terms of "hours of research undertaken" and are emailed to the purchaser as a customised jpeg image with the receivers’ name on it so that you can print it out. Payments can be made via Electronic Bank Transfer in South Africa and PayPal for overseas clients. How does this work? You buy a few hours of my time [...]

The Villains Wore Hats

Danzer, a renegade Xhosa, who settled with a party of his followers on the banks of the Great River, in the territory of Jager Afrikaner. There was talk of their uniting their bands, but Jager lured a number of Danzer's followers into a trap and beat them to death. [Source: Africana Museum, Johannesburg] The Oorlam or Orlam people are a subtribe of the Nama people, largely integrated after migrating from the Cape Colony (today, part of South Africa) to Namaqualand and Damaraland (now in Namibia). Oorlam clans were originally formed from mixed-race descendants of indigenous Khoikhoi, European settlers and [...]

  • John Graham

How Grahamstown got its name

John Graham was born on the 24th July 1778 in Dundee Scotland. He was a British officer and the second son of Robert Graham, the last laird of the Fintry demesne and twelfth representative of the Grahams of Fintry in Forfarshire, north of Glasgow, and his wife, Peggy Milne. His old and noble family was descended from the first Duke of Montrose, and, originally, from Sir William Grame, laird of Kincardine in the early fifteenth century. As a lieutenant aged sixteen, he joined the 90th Regiment, which had been raised in 1794 by his kinsman, Thomas Graham, of Balgowan [...]

Government Gazettes

Thanks to Lisette Forsyth for permission to use the above artwork The first South African newspaper, The Cape Town Gazette and African Advertiser, appeared on 16 August 1800, during the first British occupation. This paper, which was published in English and Dutch, later became the Cape Government Gazette, which has continued in modified form to the present day. The first unofficial newspaper, the South African Commercial Advertiser, was founded in 1824 by Thomas Pringle and John Fairbairn, settlers of Scottish descent. George Greig, the printer, was also a British settler. The establishment of this newspaper led to a [...]