It seems Elton John may have sneaked into Beaufort West unnoticed on his way to Sun City. There is an inscription in the visitor’s book outside the Chris Barnard Exhibition – it simply reads: Elton John, a London Address and says “this exhibit’s worth a song.” Now, like a lilting melody the mystery will remain – was it or wasn’t it him?


The first “platteland” workshop on planning for tourism was held in Beaufort West on March 2. It was presented by Satour and attended by 30 delegates from various towns in the Central Karoo. They represented the RSC, municipalities, publicity associations, major businesses, hotels and guest houses. Colin van Zyl, regional director of Satour, guided the delegates through a step-by-step evaluation process on how to establish exactly what the area has to offer to the tourist. He showed those present how to analyse these worksheets and begin to develop a marketing campaign. “Each town has potential, but all plans must be based on honesty and reality,” he said. Also, the plans must be revised and updated regularly.” The delegates were most enthusiastic and follow-up sessions are soon to be arranged.


Die jaarlikse Dankfees in Merweville vind plaas op 30 April and 1 Mei. Soos gewoonlik gaan dit ‘n besondere geleentheid wees met mense wat kom van heinde en vêr om die fees te geniet. Die eerste aand is daar ‘n braai en konsert, en op die Saterdag is daar ‘n bazaar, ‘n groot vee veiling en ete in die kerksaal. Besoekers van so vêr weg as Kaapstad het al klaar plek bespreek. (Verdere inligting van Elsabe Victor van Nova Vita farm)


The annual Thanksgiving Festival at Merweville’s Dutch Reformed Church takes place on April 30 and May l. As ever this is going to be a special event with people arriving from far and wide to come and enjoy themselves. On the first evening there will be a braai and concert, and, on the Saturday, there will be a bazar, huge cattle auction and lunch at the church hall. Visitors, who are expected to come from as far afield as Cape Town, have already booked accommodation. (More information from Elsabe Victor of Nova Vita farm)


The 11th AGM of the International Police Association, and the first to be held on the “platteland” takes place in Beaufort West on March 26. The town is going all out to make the 120 delegates welcome, and their visit a success. Delegates will attend from the USA, Israel, Europe and the UK . They will be treated to good old-fashioned South African hospitality and introduced to the “Platteland Way of Life” with many visits to private homes. There will also be special programmes for wives and visits to the Karoo National Park as well as a sunrise church service at Mountain View. (Further details from Rob Pollitt)


‘n Meso Verkeersbestuurstelsel gaan gestig word om kommunikasies op alle vlakke, soos byvoorbeeld beheer, veiligheid, padomgewings, polisiëring, navorsing, ontwikkeling, mediese dienste en die verspreiding van inligting, te verbeter. Die loodsvergadering gaan in Beaufort-Wes gehou word op 12 Mei, 1993, by die Karoo Park en verkeerspersoneel van oor die hele Wes-Kaap sal bywoon. (Verdere inligting van H N C van der Bergh, Mosselbaai Munisipaliteit)


A Meso road traffic control and management system is going to be formed to promote better communications, management, road safety, environments, policing, research, development, medical services and the dissemination of information. The inaugural meeting will be held in Beaufort West on May 12, at the Karoo National Park and traffic personnel from across the whole of the Western Cape are expected to attend. (Further information from H N C van der Bergh, Mossel Bay Municipality)


The tiny Karoo town of Loxton is planning a huge wool festival for April 3. It will be like an old-fashioned village fair with plenty of exhibitions, produce and handicrafts for sale, demonstrations of spinning and weaving, as well as stock competitions and sales. To add to the excitement there will be challenges, competitions and treasure hunts with superb prizes to be won. The day kicks off early with a fun run. The first prize is a slaughter sheep. Then there is a champagne breakfast and fashion show with Karin Barnard, wife of Professor Chris Barnard modelling pure wool outfits. Later in the day there will be an open fashion show where local seamstresses will model their creations. Mrs Alet van Wyk from Fraserburg will demonstrate spinning techniques and talk on hand knitting and the care and washing of wool. Mrs Effraine Marais from Victoria West will discuss the creative use of wool and pure wool products in the home. There is to be a baby show, a Master and Miss Wolletjie competition for toddlers and a Miss Wool Festival Beauty Competition, which will be judged by Professor Chris Barnard and Mr Jan Potgieter. The show queen will be crowned at the ball that night. It promises to be an exciting day. (For further information call Anna Van Wyk or Una Vorster)


Een van die grootste saamtrekke van geestelike leiers wat ooit in die Karoo gehou is vind op 11 en 12 Maart plaas wanneer 26 kerkleiers van oor Suid-Afrika in Beaufort-Wes vergader. Dit is die eerste keer in die geskiednes dat so ‘n groot groep van verskillende gemeentes byeenkom.


One of the largest meetings of religious leaders ever held in the Karoo will take place on March 11 and 12 at Beaufort West when 26 churchmen all denominations from across South Africa gather. This is the first time in the history of the town and province that such a huge group of inter-denominational clerics have gathered.


The heavy storms that led to the closure of Meiringspoort caused more traffic to use the route over the Swartberg Pass. Prince Albert town clerk Willem van Zyl reports hearing tourists describing the experience as “breathtaking,”, “exhilirating”, and “an experience never to be forgotten.” The increased traffic flow caused a great deal of excitement and upped sales of virtually every commodity. In fact, the town almost ran out of cool drinks and petrol!


Die mense van Prins Albert beplan ‘n Herfsfees vanjaar net om vir toeriste te wys hoe mooi hulle deel van die Karoo is voor die winter sneeu op die berge val. Die fees sal in Mei gehou word. “Teen daardie tyd van die jaar is ons kontrei ‘n rykdom van kleure en dit sal ‘n beleefenis wees vir enige toeris,” sê reklame verenigingvoorsitter Johan Mulder. “Ons wêreld is bekend vir droë vrugte, olywe en natuurlike produkte. Daar is ook ons eie “witblitz “. Vir die fees hoop ons alles en nog meer te hê vir toeriste te kies en te keur.

(Verdere inligting van Ronel van der Spuy, Prins Albert Toerisme Kantoor)


The people of Prince Albert are planning an Autumn Festival this year to share their Beautifully situated town and the glories of the Karoo with tourists. The plan is to hold this event before winter sets in and snow falls on the mountains, so a date will be set for May. “At that time of the year this part of the Karoo is rich in a variety of colours and will be a delight for any tourist to see and experience,” said the publicity association chairman. (More details from Ronel van der Spuy, Prince Albert Tourism Office)


Beaufort West was the first “platteland” town to host an exhibition of paintings from the prestigious Sanlam Art Collection since 1989. The town was delighted to be chosen to hold this weeklong tourist attraction as it is the only one of its kind which Sanlam plans to have this year. A selection of 22 paintings, valued at R500 000, all by South African artists and featuring a variety of media, were displayed, in the function room of the Oasis Hotel. This special exhibition included woks by Irma Stern, Maggie Laubser, Wolf Kibel, and Frans Oerder. The exhibition was arranged by Sanlam manager Gert Roux and staged by collection curator Estelle Voyatjes. .


Youngs Halfway House in Beaufort-Wes wat al ‘n kwarteeu van diens aan reisigers deur die dorp bied, brei hulle dienste aan toeriste uit in Mei vanjaar. Hulle beplan om ‘n braai restourant te open. “Die idee daar agter is dat so veel reisigers ‘n braai geniet, maar partymal is hulle eenvoudig te moeg om een te maak. By die restourant sal daar ook ‘n dameskroeg en klein dansbaan wees. Spesiale aandetes en ontbyte sal ook aangebied word,” se eienaar Ria Young. Die bestuurders sal Trevor Young en sy suster, Melony, vanjaar se skou koningen, wees.


Youngs Halfway House in Beaufort West has been serving passing tourists for over a quarter of a century. The company plans to increase its service to the passing public in May this year by opening a braai restaurant. “So many South African tourists enjoy a braai, however, by the time they arrive in Beaufort West they are simply too tired to make one, so our idea is to service this market sector,” said owner Ria Young. “We plan to also have a ladies bar and small dance floor at this facility. Special evening meals and breakfasts will be available.” The restaurant will be managed by Trevor Young and his sister, Melony, who is this year’s show queen.


The ever-popular Beaufort West Agricultural Show was again a festive occasion this year. There were two national horse championships – Boerperde and Hackneys – and there was a Saddle Horse Competition. The exhibitors were delighted with their friendly reception and are looking forward to returning again next year. In fact, enquiries have already been made by another society of horse breeders to also stage their championships at the Beaufort West show next year. The commercial and industrial section was more heavily booked than ever before this year and already about one-third of these exhibitors have booked their stands for 1994.

(Further information from The Agricultural Society President, Herman de Witt)


Die munisipaliteit van Victoria-Wes is besig met die oprigting van ‘n handwerksentrum. Dit sal gekoppel wees aan ‘n verkoopslokaal waar voltooide artikels aan toeriste vertoon en verkoop sal word. Die hele kompleks is net langs die N12 pad na Kimberley so dat die reisende publiek nie vê uit hulle pad hoef te ry nie. “Dit idee agter die sentrum is om ‘n groot ruim werkplek te verskaf aan veral die swart gemeenskap van die dorp, wat nie by hulle tuistes kan werk nie” sê stadsklerk, Kobus Rust. “Baie van hulle doen uitstekende handwerk, veral op etniese style, maar hulle huise is te klein om hierdie stokperdjies te beoeffen en ‘n inkomste daar uit te verdien. Die lokaal sal reg wees vir die volgende groot toeriste seisoen. (Verdere inligting van Kobus Rust , town clerk)


The municipality of Victoria West is busy erecting a craft centre. It will be coupled to a sales area where completed articles can be displayed and sold to tourists. The whole complex is adjacent to the N12 route to Kimberley, so the passing public will not have to go out of their way to see local handwork “The idea behind the centre is to provide a huge, spacey area in which our black community, who have no space to work at home, can manufacture articles,” says town clerk, Kobus Rust. “Many of them do exceptional handwork, particularly in ethnic styles, but their homes are too small and crowded to allow them s pace to exercise these crafts and make an income. The facility will be ready by the next major tourist season. More Information from Kobus Rust.


Ronnie and Marlene Joubert are back at the North and South Hotel at Prince Albert Road after a short change of management. Their regular clients have welcomed their return. “We aim to build the hotel up again and once again make it a popular tourist stop,” said Ronnie


William Quinton, after whom the Beaufort West Wild Bird Society is named, has a Cape Canary named after him. He was a well-known farmer and conservationist.


Die Fransie Pienaar Museum in Prins Albert baat uit hulp wat deur die Std 8 klas van die Zwartberg Hoërskool aangebied word. Die museum is as spesiale taak voorgeskryf vir dié klas as deel van hulle burgerskapopvoedingkundige program Onder die leiding van Jaco Olivier en Marna Esterhuizen is die klas besig om nuwe etikette vir die uitstallings te maak (Verdere inligting van Ronel van der Spuy, Toerisme Kantoor)


The Fransie Pienaar Museum in Prince Albert will benefit from help provided by the Std 8 class at the Zwartberg High School. This museum has been prescribed as a special project for this class and will form part of their community development programme this year. The project will be led by Jaco Olivier and Marna Esterhuizen. The class has already begun making labels for the exhibitions in the museum. (More information from Ronel van der Spuy.)


The Rietfontein Farm Stall, just south of Leeu Gamka, is offering travellers along the N1 highway a refreshing break. In addition to the normal range of quality homemade preserves, dried fruits, minced fruit rolls and homemade fruit sweets, there is now a small tea room serving tea, honey tea, coffee and fresh scones with rich farm cream. Those seeking something cooler will enjoy the ice-cold, homemade ginger beer. This little shop also sells biltong, dried sausage, fudge, biscuits and rusks. It is normally open from 07h30 to 17h30 daily, but special arrangements can be made to visit it by telephoning the owner, Hannes Botes.


Saterdag 27 Maart, belowe om ‘n pretdag in Beaufort-Wes te wees. In die oggend sal bedreisies in the hoofstraat plaasvind, terwyl daar in die middag ‘n pretrit vir motors en motorfietse sal wees. Die Beaufort-Wes 500 is ‘n wedloop van ‘n ander soort, en een wat nog nooit van tevore in die Karoo gehou is nie. Die “voertuie” sal hospitaal beddens wees elk met ‘n die drieman span. Onder die drie moet een ‘n “pasient” wees wat nie uit die bed mag val nie. As dit gebeur sal die span gediskwalifiseer word. Die wedstryd vind van 08h00 tot 10h00 in Donkin-straat plaas as deel van die International Police Association (IPA) se vondsinsameling- veldtog. Vondse sal aan die IPA-projek vir terminale siek kinders en die Beaufort-Wes hospitaal geskenk word. Die motor en motorfits pretrit in die middag word deur die SA Vereeniging van Munisipale Werknemers in samewerking met die Verkeers-afdeling beplan. Elke voertuig sal deur ‘n span, bestaande uit ‘n bestuurder en navigator, oor ‘n voorafbepaalde roete moet ry. ‘n Spesiale roete word ook vir motorfietse beplan. Heelwat pryse kan gewen word en ‘n braai word ook aangebied. (Verdere inligting oor die dag oor die motor, motor fiets of fiets resies en roetes van : Rob Pollitt , Willie Human, Dennis Bothma)


Saturday, March 27 promised to be a fun day for all who will be in Beaufort West. In the morning there will be bed races in the main street, while in the afternoon fun rides and races have been planned for cars, cycles and motor cycles. The Beaufort West 500 is a race with a  difference and such an event has never before been seen in the Karoo. The “vehicles” will be hospital beds and there will be a three man team one of whom has to be the patient, who of course, will not be allowed to fall out to bed. If any one does, that team will be disqualified. The race takes place from 08h00 until in Donkin Street and is part of the Internal Police Association (IPA) fund raising campaign. Proceeds will be donated to the IPA project for terminally ill children and the Beaufort West Hospital. The motor car event is being organized by the S A Association of Municipal Workers in co-operation with the Traffic department. Each vehicle will have a team comprising a driver and a navigator and will have to complete a pre-arranged route. There will be a special route for motor bikes and another for cycles. Many prizes can be won and at the end of the day there will be a braai. (For more information about the day, the motor, motor bike and cycle events and routes contact : Rob Pollitt , Willie Human , Dennis Bothma)


Tourists to Prince Albert are invited to visit Swartbult farm and sample top quality dried figs made by Jeanette Marais. This farm is situated on the road from Prince Albert Road to the little village of Prince Albert. This year Jeanette has made no less than seven tons of dried figs. She gets orders from across South Africa and as far afield as Zimbabwe. She says the Karoo sun dries these figs to perfection. Jeanette promises all who call a delicious cup of coffee. (Further information from Jeanette Marais)