HOLLYWOOD COMES TO PRINCE ALBERT
Excitement reigns in Prince Albert as villagers look forward to seeing top stars, such as Patrick Swayze, in town. A film crew is due to move in from August 3 to 18 to shoot scenes for a remake of King Solomon’s Mines. The film, being made by Argus for Hallmark, will bring more than 160 actors to town. The all-South African crew looks forward to working with producer Russ Markowitz, director Steven Boyam and Patrick Swayze, who is playing the lead. The name of the leading lady is still under wraps. The crew will shoot other scenes for this remake, which is being styled on the lines of Indiana Jones, at locations in Bedford, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. “We are pulling out all the stops for this group,” said Prince Albert Tourist information officer, Charlotte Olivier. “Accommodation is being booked at all venues in town and we are also arranging for these visitors to sample some of the most delicious dishes on offer at local restaurants Among these will be quite some traditional fare, just to whet their appetites for a return visit. Caring for this group will help us position the village as a winter holiday venue.”
BELANGRIKE PROVINSIALE VERGADERING IN BEAUFORT-WES
Die tiende Provinsiale Advies Forum word in Beaufort-Wes gehou vanaf 31 Julie tot 1 Augustus, 2003. Omtrent 80 munisipale bestuurders en burgermeesters van dorpe oor die hele Wes-Kaap sal die geskiedkundige vergadering, wat onder die leiding van die Minister van Plaaslike Regering, Mnr Cobus Dowry, plaasvind, bywoon. ‘n Voldag van hoëvlak vergaderings wag op afgevaardigdes in die Karoo Ontspanningsaal op 1 Augustus, terwyl die groep op 31 Julie nadere kennis gaan maak met die Karoo. ‘n Besoek aan die Karoo Nasionale Park word vir hulle gereël gevolg deur ‘n smaaklike dinee by dié park.
- IMPORTANT PROVINCIAL MEETING TO BE HELD IN BEAUFORT WEST
The tenth Provincial Advisory Forum will be held in Beaufort West from July 31 to August 1, 2003. At least 80 municipal managers and mayors from towns throughout the Western Cape Province are expected to attend this historic meeting held under the guidance of Cobus Dowry, Minister of Local Government. The group will be introduced to the fauna and flora of the Karoo during a visit to the Karoo National Park on July 31. A dinner there that evening will also introduce them to Karoo cuisine. Then follows a full-day of high-powered meetings in the hall of the Karoo Recreation Club on August 1.
HISTORIC IMBIZO HELD IN KAROO
History was made and a major step taken in the name of reconciliation in the Great Karoo during a Community Imbizo held at Laingsburg on July 23. This important meeting was attended by the full cabinet of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, which for the first time visited the Karoo as a group, accompanied by departmental heads, as well as mayors and municipal managers from the region. The aim of the Imbizo was to achieve reconciliation among local communities driven apart by allegations that some victims of the 1981 flood were buried in a huge, unmarked mass grave. The meeting was arranged by the office of the Minister of Local Government, Cobus Dowry, in co-operation with Laingsburg Municipality and the Central Karoo District Municipality. Dignitaries visited the site of the alleged mass grave. Then, at noon, the Premier of the Western Cape Marthinus van Schalkwyk laid a wreath at the flood level marker opposite the Dutch Reformed church in the main road. A meeting with local Councillors followed in the Stefanus Greeff Hall. After a luncheon in the J J Ellis Hall, discussions aimed at achieving a closer liaison between all groups was held. Five local religious leaders representing the Full Evangelical Church, The Lutheran Church, the Lutheran Jubilate, the United Reformed Church and Dutch Reformed Church offered prayers for those who lost their lives in the flood and called for closer unity and tolerance.
GHOST ON DAY DUTY?
A recent business visit to Beaufort West allowed Carel Albrecht to take a closer look at the world of Karoo ghosts. Tales of The Eye (Die Oog), The Fireball of the Karoo, have long fascinated him. Over the years he has collected considerable data on The Eye. Some firmly believe it is a ghost, others that it is gas emitted by rotting plant material. This led him to discover other “ghosts,” such as the “water ghosts” which are related to natural phenomena. “Last year I was fortunate enough to see one of these spectres forming in the veld south of Beaufort West. Between 11h00 and noon, I saw a mysterious cloudy form beginning to take shape. I was fascinated. It had rained the previous evening and overnight temperatures had dropped to about 9 deg.C However, as noon approached the day was baking hot and crystal clear. Suddenly two little clouds slowly began to materialise. They seemed to be swirling, yet static. Near them numerous dust devils rapidly capered about on the veld. The scene was immensely clear. Everything was etched against a backdrop of the so-called ‘Bruinrand’, a dark-coloured 20m high ridge. I was not sure whether I was watching the birth of The Eye, slowly preparing itself to rocket off across the plains, or whether I was simply looking at a ‘water ghost.’ Whatever it was, it held my attention. Fortunately, I had my camera with me and was able to take clear pictures of the phenomena.” Carl would love to hear from anyone else interested in The Eye and other “natural” ghostly occurrences of the Karoo veld.
OORLOG SPELETJIES IN DIE KAROO
Verskillende prettige oorlog speletjies word oor die naweek van 2 Augustus by Oude Kloof Boerdery net buite Prins Albert, aangebied. “Hierdie ‘paintball games,’ soos die Amerikaners dit noem, is groot prêt,” sê organiseerder, Deon Gouws. “Ons het verskillende speletjies gereel en laas jaar was die mense gaande daaroor. Twintig semi-outomatiese gewere is beskikbaar en kan gebruik word teen ‘n koste van R40 per persoon. Gesigskerms en beskermpakke, word verskaf, en daar is letterlik duisende ‘koels.’” Die eerste 25 balletjies (of koels) word verniet verskaf. Daarna kos dit R25 vir 50 balletjies. “Kom geniet die dag saam met ons. Bring vleis en braai. ‘n Groot skerm-TV sal beskikbaar wees vir rugby-geesdriftigers” sê Deon.
- WAR GAMES IN THE KAROO
A variety of war games are planned for a fun-filled weekend at Oude Kloof farm, just outside Prince Albert, on August 2. These “paintball games” as the Americans term them are the greatest fun,” says organiser Deon Gouws. “Last year we arranged quite a selection of different games and those who took part thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Twenty semi-automatic rifles are available to competitors at a cost of R40 per person. Facemasks and protective clothing are also available. We literally have thousands of ‘rounds of ammunition’ available. The first 25 rounds (paint balls) are supplied free of charge. Thereafter the cost is R25 for 50 rounds. Come and enjoy the day with us. Bring along some meat for a braai.” A large screen television set will also be available for those who want to watch the rugby.”
THE AIR WILL BE FILLED WITH GUN SMOKE
The Cape Light Infantry .303 Club from Cape Town will present their second “Away Shoot” weekend in Prince Albert at the end of September. “We formerly met at Matjiesfontein, with the Black Powder Association,” said secretary, Corena de Beer. “Last year, just as for fun, we changed our venue to Prince Albert. And, we certainly did have fun there. We were treated to a wonderful family weekend. So, building on this success, we hope to have an even better time this year. The Away Shoot last year took place in November, but the incredibly high temperatures affected us, so this year we have chosen an early spring weekend from September 26 to 28. The competition, 300m and 500m details, takes place on Saturday morning. There will be a prize-giving dinner at Die Ou Kelder that night.” This shoot is not restricted to members only. Visitors, who have .303 rifles and ammunition, are welcome,” says Corena. “We shoot with standard .303 rifles, no rifle scopes are allowed, but people must bring spotting scopes.”
BEGEERTE OM ‘N LEKKER ROMAN TE LEES?
“Lus om ‘n lekker roman te lees? Kom maak dan gerus ‘n draai in Prins Albert,” sê toerisme inligtingsbeampte Charlotte Olivier. Bekende Afrikaanse skrywer Eben Venter bied ‘n voorlesing uit sy nuwe roman Begeerte aan by Celestinos, om 16h00 op Sondag, 27 Julie, 2003. Dit is die tweede roman wat Eben in die rustigheid van Prins Albert geskryf het. Twee van sy vorige werke, Foxtrot van die Vleiseters” en “Ek Stamel, Ek Sterwe,” is met die W A Hofmeyer prys bekroon. Hulle is ook in Nederlands en Duits vertaal. Sherrie word by die voorlesing aangebied, en eksemplare van die roman sal te koop aangebied wees.
- FANCY A GOOD READ?
“Anyone who fancies a good read should join us in Prince Albert on Sunday, July 27,” says tourist information officer Charlotte Olivier. “Well known Afrikaans author Eben Venter will be reading excerpts from his latest novel “Begeerte” at Celestinos at 16h00 that day.” This is the second novel, which Eben has written in the peace and quiet of Prince Albert. Two of his previous books, “Foxtrot van die Vleiseters” and “Ek Stamel, Ek Sterwe” were awarded the W A Hofmeyer Prize. Both were also translated into Dutch and German. Sherry will be served at Celestinos during the reading and books will also be on sale there.
AANDAG LANGASEM ATHLETE
Die 28ste Beaufort West Marathon vind vanjaar op 16 Augustus plaas. Die gewilde wedloop word in samewerking met Spoornet Atletiekklub gereël. Inskrywingsvorms is soos gewoonlik van Mev Elwina Otto, by Beaufort-Wes Munisipaliteit, verkrygbaar. “Die inskrywingsfooi is R40 per persoon en dit sluit ‘n medalje en T-hemp in. Na die uitdeling van pryse aan die wenners sal ‘n braai gehou word.” sê
- ATTENTION LONG DISTANCE RUNNERS
The 28th Beaufort West Marathon takes place on August 16 this year. This popular event is being organised in co-operation with Spoornet Athletic Club. As usual entry forms are available from Mrs Elwina Otto at the Beaufort West Municipality. “The entrance fee is R40 per person and this includes a medal and T-shirt. There will be a braai after the prize-giving.” said Elwina.
MYSTERY MEDICINE MAN OFFERS A SURE CURE
An unusual salesman rode into Beaufort West in February 1891. He totally captivated the locals with his garb, gear and claims of wondrous cures. The “Great Sequah” arrived by train. However, as the “gloaming of evening drew nigh,” he paraded the streets in a “gorgeous chariot with prancing steeds.” Beautiful notes played on a “silver-toned American organ” on the back of this vehicle-lured crowds to the Market Square. There, for ten days, Sequah launched into colourful discourses on the marvellous and miraculous properties of his Indian remedies. They could, he claimed, cure rheumatism and be used to “painlessly and gratuitously” extract teeth. A report in the Beaufort West Courier of February 17, 1891, states: “It says much for our climate that only one severe case of rheumatism could be found on which to try the virtue of his remedies. Some confirmed cases of paralysis and deformity from birth were brought to the ‘doctor’ but his reply to anxious friends of these afflicted ones was: ‘We do not work miracles.’” Before departing for Kimberley, Sequah left a “goodly supply” of his concoctions with P J Alport and Company. Now, Cape Town researcher Ethleen Lastovica is looking for more information on this itinerant quack and dentist. She has found references to Sequah in 53 different newspapers from a wide variety of places, between 1890 and 1891. “Sequah Medicine Co Limited was established in England in 1889,” says Ehtleen. “The company sold ‘miracle medicines’ named Sequah Prairie Flower, Sequah Oil and Sequah Instant Relief. However, none of these ‘cures’ had pharmacological properties. Nevertheless, men were recruited throughout the world to sell these products on a franchise basis. Most dressed like cowboys or Indians and used the name ‘Sequah.’ At least two operated in the South African hinterland. I have not been able to find out their real names. I would love to know if anyone else has ‘bumped’ into them in the course of their research. I would also love to trace a picture or even see copies of advertisements in local newspapers,” says Ethleen.
ROUND-UP MAKES THE WORLD A SMALLER PLACE
Round-up has helped a former South African music student discover a long-lost teacher. He is also a South African, but now lives on the other side of the world. And, oddly enough, he is a Round-up reader. Many years ago, Sarah Hauselmann studied music at the University of the Witwatersrand. Among her teachers were Joyce Barker for voice training and Carl van Wyk, at that time head of the School of Music. Then, Sarah fell in love and married Fritz Kettner. She moved to Austria and had two sons. “My beautiful boys are now big enough to travel with me when I gives recitals, as I did in Italy, last month,” says Sarah. She now wishes to continue her music studies but needed a letter from Carl to accompany her application to The School of Music at Graz University. An Internet search led her to Rose’s Round-up and a story mentioning that Carl was now married to Nicolette Solomon, who once lived in Laingsburg. Sarah e.mailed regional tourism co-ordinator Rose Willis asking for his address. The two were quickly put in touch. By then Sarah, who had read several issues of Round-up on the website, said: “Your wonderful little stories of the Karoo have made me quite homesick.” Carl and Nicolette hope to visit South Africa next year. He said: “Just the thought of motoring through the Karoo again, fills me with excitement.”
A DREAM TO SEE THE KAROO COMES TRUE
Swedish journalist, Susanna Rosen’s dream to visit the Karoo, and study its flora at close quarters, has become a reality. She has a special interest in unusual fauna and flora and thus has long wanted to visit the Great Karoo, which is hailed as the most interesting arid zone in the world. Susanna’s other interests are gardens and gardening. So, while in the Western Cape she will be on the lookout for beautiful gardens. She will visit Beaufort West and Matjiesfontein in mid-August with Cape Town tour guide Emilene Ferreira. Her trip, partially sponsored by Western Cape Tourism Board, will be well covered in the Scandinavian press. Already some top publications have confirmed that acceptance of articles she will write on this trip. Among them are Expressen, Sweden’s largest daily tabloid, ICA- kuriren, a top-selling magazine, with a weekly circulation of over one million, and Allt om Trädgård, the largest garden magazine in Scandinavia. Over 500 000 copies of this magazine are sold each month. On her return to Sweden Susanna has been contracted to write a travel guide with a difference. In it she will concentrate on unusual and interesting plants she has discovered on her travels and detail where to find them. She will also include a section on beautiful gardens and the heading: “My most favorite spots on earth.”
A VERITABLE FAMILY OF GIANTS
A recent visit to Beaufort West reminded a Cape Town tour guide of a special day in Israel. Seeing the Barnard exhibit in the Beaufort West museum took Norman Arnoni right back to a day when he met heart transplant pioneer Chris Barnard in Israel. “I was thrilled. I proudly told him I had read, One Life, in Hebrew,” said Norman, who sent a copy of the Hebrew advertisement for this book for display in Meiringspoort. The excerpt on it tells of a family visit to the coast in Chris Barnard’s youth. “The trip from Beaufort West to the Wilderness was only 120 miles, but it took 12 hours. The roads were dirt or gravel and often so corrugated that the car shook until it seemed it would fall apart. Most rivers had no bridges and sometimes in fording them we would become stuck. The whole family then had to get out, wade through knee-deep water and try to push the car out. If that did not work horses or donkeys had to be sought.” The most difficult stretch was Meiringspoort, with its 32 river crossings. The family were relieved when that part of the journey was behind them and looked forward to meat pies bought from an Oudtshoorn café. “My earliest memories are not of swimming or fishing, but of walking with my father in the forests. He taught us the names of trees and their uses. He knew his way through the woods. He had grown up in wilder forests near Knysna. From these my grandfather dragged out giant stinkwood logs by ox team. He and his brother, Koos, navigated the treacherous Knysna Heads before any man had yet dared to go to sea from there. When my father told stories of the men of his family, I imagined them all to be giants filled with great courage. One, a woodsman, once failed to return from the forest. A search party found him dead on the homeward-bound route, his right leg chopped off at the knee. Following a trail of blood, they came across a giant tree, which had fallen and trapped his leg. Next to it was the bloody axe, with which he had hacked himself free, in the hopes of crawling home before losing too much blood.”
TOGETHERNESS ON THE CARDS
The Western Cape Government, City of Cape Town and tourism stakeholders throughout the province, last month reached consensus on the formation of a single marketing organisation. This new operation, known as the Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO), will promote all facilities and attractions within the Mother City and the rest of the province as a “seamless” brand. The DMO was launched in Cape Town by Minister Johan Gelderblom before he handed the Tourism portfolio over to Ms Joyce Witbooi.
SOEKTOG NA LEIERS VIR TOERISMEBEDRYF
Toerisme instansies word gevra vir benoemings van interim direkteure vir ‘n oorgangstoerisme-organisasie. Hulle pligte sal die effektiewe totstandkoming van die Bestemmingsbemarkingsorganisasie (BBO) in sluit. Die samesmelting van bemarkingskragte van oor die Wes-Kaap en Kaapstad in ‘n BBO was onlangs aangekondig. Een van die eerste take van die nuwe Minister van Toerisme en Dobbellary Me Joyce Witbooi was die lootsing van ‘n soektog om leiers in die bedryf te identifiseer om 12 direksie poste te beklee. Briewe met versoeke om mense te benoem is na alle belanghebbende instansies gestuur. Nominasies is ook aangevra vir lede vir vyf raadgewende komitees wat toesig sal hou oor konvensies, aansporings, groot gebeure, ontspanning, besoekersdienste en produkontwikkeling.
- SEARCH FOR TOURISM INDUSTRY LEADERS
Tourism institutions throughout the Western Cape Province have been asked to nominate interim directors for a transitional organisation. The main task of this body will be to ensure that the Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) is effectively phased in. The inclusion of all tourism marketing authorities throughout the province in this single DMO was recently announced in Cape Town. The first task of the new Minister of Tourism and Gambling, Ms Joyce Witbooi, has been the launch of a programme aimed at identifying industry leaders to fill 12 directors’ posts. Letters calling for nominations were sent to all role players. Nominations have also been requested for experts to serve on five consultative committees dealing with conventions, major events, recreation, visitor services and product development.
ROUND-UP FINDS THE MISSING LINK
“Round-up is absolutely amazing,” writes reader Marge Campbell from McGregor. “It has put me in contact with a Scottish branch of my family and helped me fill many gaps in my genealogical research. Through Round-up I was able to contact Ingrid Paterson of Inverness and from her I received wonderful information. Through this I found a long-lost second cousin, Gillian Kat, of Fish Hoek. We once lived in Fish Hoek, she has plans to move to McGregor. Ingrid also sent a copy of an old family photograph of my grandfather’s generation to me, and all of this happened thanks to your amazing publication.”
WITBLITZFEES – ‘N HEERLIKE AFRONDING VAN WINTER
Prins Albert se gewilde Winter Witblitzfees gaan vanjaar op 9 Augustus gehou word. “Dit beloof om soos altyd vol opwinding, pret en vermaak te wees,” sê toerismebeampte Charlotte Olivier. “Onthou, hierdie voggies is al van Toeka se Dae af ‘n alom bekende middel teen verkoues en die koue. So, kom sluit gerus by ons aan. Ons beloof dit sal die moeite werd wees.”
- WITBLITZ FESTIVAL – A DELIGHTFUL WAY TO END WINTER
Prince Albert’s popular Winter Witblitz Festival will be held on August 9 this year. “It promises to be a weekend of fun and excitement,” says tourist information officer Charlotte Olivier. “Don’t forget Witblitz has been a favourite way of warding off colds and keeping the cold out for many, many years now. So, come along and join us. We promise it will be well worth your while.”