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 skull had rolled down the embankment. We were stunned by the teeth Those at the front were almost perfect but the molars ad been virtually ground away. We could clearly see the vertebrae of the neck and back, a shoulder blade, part of a hip and leg still embedded in the bank. We are very excited by this discovery. We thank this is the first grave of its kind to be found in this part of the Karoo. We know IXam San lived here as we’ve found several engravings, or petroglyths on Leeufontein.” The find was reported to David Morris archaeologist at the McGregor Museum in Kimberley. He confirmed that the San were buried to sitting positions and and it was quite usual to find skulls with very worn molars. He aims to inspect the site in April and report his findings to Albany Museum and Alan Morns at UCT Archaeology Department for follow up.
OP DIE TREKPAD
Die Sentrale Karoo Toerisme Kantoor is nog besig om inligting in te vorder oor Beaufort-Wes an die Groot Trek. Die inligting is vir ‘n Rapportryers-projek om ou grafte vie verklaring as nasionale-gedenkwardighede te idenrifiseer. Dr D M Jacobs het in 1984 oor Beaufort-Wes en die Groot Trek geskryf dat alhoewel mane soos Ryk Jan Botes en Lang Hans van Rensburg al in 1830 met 15 gesinne na Smithfield getrek het end at daar heelwat ander gesinne was wat uit hierdie gebied getrek het. Pieter Daniel Jacobs, ‘n veldkornet en boer van Slangfontein het asook die man wat in 1825 Die Poskoets Huis by III Birdstraat as tuishuis laat bou het, was eer van die trekleiers. Onder die ander Beaufort-Wes trekleiers was Jan Gerritze Bantjies van die Nuweveld, Jacob le Clerq van Soutrivier, Johan Godfried Mocke van Lombaardskraal en Pieter Jacobus Jacobs. Saam met hulle het oor die 130 gesinne getrek. Onder hulle was Willem Daniel Venter wat in 1806 in die Swartbergwyk van die Beaufort distrik gebore is. Hy was Grietjie se kanonier by Bloodrivier.
EARLY LITTER PROBLEM
In 1897 James Bryce, in his Impressions of South Africa reported thus on his journey through the Karoo: “Beaufort is the only place along the line that aspires to be called a town. It boasts a church with a spire and one or two streets. Its houses are stuck down irregularly over a surface covered with broken bottles, empty sardine and preserved meat tins There is a large shallow pond of water near the town, and people with weak lungs came here to breathe the keen, dry invigorating air. Of its efficacy there is no doubt, but want of society coupled to monotony of landscape must depress and try those with no occupation except to get well.”
KAROO WARRIOR HONOURED
One of the newly renamed South African Navy Warrior Class strike craft honours a Karoo man. He was Isaac Wauchope Dyobha who once worked in Beaufort West. Dyobha calmed servicemen, leading them in song and “The Dance of Death” as the troopship SS Mendi sank in Febriary. 1917. The Mende was carrying 802 Black South Africa servicemen – 607 perished. The SAS Isaac Dyobha was formerly the SAS Frans Erasmus.
Beaufort West and Prince Albert Tourist Bureaux took advantage of the Klein Karoo Arts Festival in Oudtshoorn to market the accommodation and sightseeing facilities of their towns The Beaufort West exhibit was manned by Maggie Bofhoff, of Sunnyside Holiday Farm. Matoppo Country Inn, Hillandale Farm Holidays. Karoo National Park, Lemoenfontein Game Lodge, Karoo Farm Holiday Association. Young’s Accommodation and Beaufort West Museum contributed towards the stand. The Prince Albert stall. in the Food and Wine Hall. promoted produce such as feta cheese, olives, dried fruit and nuts. Daily shifts were shared by Elaine Hurford, of Dennehof. Louis van Brakel of Kuierhuisie, Martin de Beer, of La Rochelle Guest House, Alta Coetzee of the Ou Kerkhuis, information officer Inge Mynhardt and publicity association chairman Suzanne Perholdt
OLYFTEES OP DREEF
Beplanning vir die Swartberg Olyffees (2 en 3 Mei) Vorder goed. En vanjaar sal daar iets vir alma! op die program wees. Die geleentheid sal met ‘n voorfees van sport op I Mei begin en daar sal ook ‘n halfmarathon pret-fietsrit gedurende die fees wees. Daar sal kunsuitstallings wees, sowel as ‘n uitstalling van plaaslike kunstnemaars se werke op Drie Riviere. Vrydag en Saterdag word fees gevier van vroeg tot laat. Daar is ‘n interresante reeks straatstalletjies, smul-lekker kos, konserte, skoonheidskompetisies, en ‘n straat optog. Vir eko-toeriste is daar die koppie-, voëltjie-kyk- en historiese-staproetes, en’n voldag uitstappie na fossiele en die on goudvelde. Vir die wat graag langer wil kuier is ‘n eko-dag in Gamkaskloof, Die Hel, gereel vir Sondag. Die fees se traditionele damjol en danse is ook op die program. Onder die hoogtepunte is ‘n sweepslag vertoning wat deur klavierspel begelei is en ‘n kabaret wat deur Sarina Briedenhann aangebied word.
OLIVES ON THE AIRWAVES
Well-known radio personality Jon Richards and his wife, Ester, popped into Prince Albert to discuss olives and handcrafts, during a recent Karoo tour. They visited Hansievan der Merwe at the local weaving factory and were impressed with his range of products and labour policies. Then it was on to Swartrivier Olive Farm for an interview with owner Jan Bothma, who started this operation in 1972 and now has 14ha under olives_ Jan explained the intricacies of olive farming and preserving while walking through orchards and bottling rooms. The interview will be broadcast during April as part of Jon Richards’s “At Home On Sunday” programme
NOVA VITA WEER OOP
Nova Vita die gewilde Karoo gasteplaas tussen Merweville en Sutherland. is weer oop vir toeriste. Op hierdie plaas is daar ‘n reeks staproetes was professioneel uitgelê is, sowel as fasiliteite vir “boendoe” kampeering. Daar ‘n uitdagende 4 x 4 roete en historiese plaasopstal waar gaste kan oomag. Die plaas, wat in ‘n pragtige bergagtige gebied van die Nuweveld is het ‘n ryk geskiedenis. Daar is tot ‘n on /Xam San graf wat op een van die roetes besigtig kan word. “Dis is een vandie mooiste plaase in die Groot Karoo,” se Andre en Suzan Theron wie nou daar boer. Daar is ‘n rykdom van voëltjies en dis ‘n perfekte plek vir sterekundiges. Ons nooi dus vir alle eko-toerisme entoesiaste om by ons te kom kuier.”
PLANS TO IMPROVE PROFESSIONALISM
Colin and Peter vat Zyl of Tourism Spectrum recently visited the Central Karoo to discuss tourism training, This was part of an evaluation into the general training needs of Accredited Tourism Bureaux and conducted on behalf of Western Cape Tourism Board. South Africa is dependent on tourism, yet all too often scant attention is paid to training. “If market share is to be increased, the highest standards of professionalism and service must be applied throughout the Western Cape Province” said Mr Van Zyl, whose experience in tourism spans 23 years. Tourism Spectrum last year presented the highly respected Canadian Service Best courses to all Tourism Bureaux hroughout the Province. His report recommends a series of courses covering communications, media liaison, marketing, merchandising, budgeting, conference organising. exhibitions, general management. safety, security aid dealing with the handicapped.
n Klassieke musiekaand word in Prins Albert by die Ou Kerkhuis op 14 April deur die Stanley Quintet aangebied. Die groep het ‘n ruk gelede besoek in die dorp afgelê en by Rosies Gastehuis oornag. Hulle het hierdie besoek an die Kano so geniet dat hulle besluit het om terrug it keer en hulle musiek met meer mense van die gebied te deel.
NEW LEGISLATION NOW A REALITY
The new Tourism Bill for the Western Cape ProvInce has just been passed. This was announced by John Robert a consultant in the office of the Minister of Tourism. at function held at De Rust to celebrate to the opening of Meiringspoort. Mr Robert said this new Bill would allow structures to be put in place to ensure that tourism in the Western Cape Province was community driven by “a bottom-up” approach “Everyone interested in tourism can now become involved and share in its rewards. The new legislation ensures a wider arid more effective base for tourism in this province. Tourism Bureaux, supported by local authorities, and Regional Tourism Organisations, will ensure the success of the new legislation. The private sector will have a much more important role to play and will ensure the growth of tourism. They will provide drive and management power. The new Bill based on fresh thinking, will strengthen the industry in the Western Cape and increase market share. Tourism in this province is already virtually on a par with agriculture as a revenue earner,” Mr Robert said -The Ministry will support the introduction of this new legislation through a series of workshops.
MEIRINGSPOORT WEER OOP
Meinngspoon is weer oop. “Die pad was in rekord tyd herstel te danke aan die werk van die Provinsiale Paaie Department en Paaie Afdeling van die Sentrale Karoo Distrikraad,” het die burgermeester van De Rust, mnr Aubrey Britz, tydens die heropeninggeleentheid by Spookdrif gesê. “Dorpies langs die Swartberg het eers die voile waarde van toerisme besef toe Meiringspoort gesluit was weens ernstige vloedskade. Prins Albert, Klaarstroom en De Rust is elk ‘n yslike knou toegedien toe die belangrike toerisme aar afgesny is. Ons stel dus die paaie afdelings se harde werk hoog op prys,” het hy gesê. Die gaspreker was John Robert, ‘n consultant by die kantore van die Minister van Toerisme. Hy het die belangrikheid van toerisme in in die platteland onderstreep deur te sê “Die platteland toerismemark het ‘n groot groei potensiaal.”
CAKE WALK WITH A DIFFICULTY FACTOR
Carrying cakes to market on your back is tough, as Danie Marais of the farm De Hoop in Meiringspoort has discovered. His wife, Dolly, is a keen baker and supplier of cakes and cookies to home industries outlets. When storms hit the area and washed away the road through Meiringspoort, they also swept away her road to market She had many orders and did not want to disappoint the customers. so Danie volunteered to carry the cakes to a point at the edge of Meiringspoort. From there they could be collected and delivered. “Normally Dolly’s batches of cakes at wisked off by car. When the road vanished, I had to devise a way of carrying them to market, so I waded across the still turbulent river and negotiated a boulder-strewn path that days before had been a major tourist route. I felt rather rather like an early frontiersman walking out of the mountains with produce in a special bag on my back. But, on the positive side, I saw much more of the ecology and grew closer to Meiringspoort ”
HOOGSTE IN DIE KAROO
Bergklim enthoesiasie kan nou de Karoo besigtig van een van the drie hoogste pieke in Wes-Kaap. Dit is die 7 400 voet Toorberg vat deel vorm van ‘n stapoete op Quaggasdrift, die plaas van AntonieTroskie, in die Sneeuberg area van Murraysburg-distrik. Die asemrowende-roete, wat op plekke nogal steil is, loop tureen die Oos- an Wes-Kaap, oor die kruin van die berge en gee stappers pragtige uitsigte oor die Groot Karoo en die Camdeboo. “Dis ‘n ideale gebied vir die wat “wildenis-staptogte” geniet. Daar is heelwat fonteine, watergate en ‘n waterval langs die roete. Stappers kry die geleentheid om af te koel en in ‘n grot te slaap.”
TEACHING THE TEACHERS
A special three-day environmental education weekend was recently held for Beaufort West natural sciences teachers at the Karoo National Park. It was presented by Natsoc, the Naturalist Society of the Western Cape. “The variety of material was excellent and covered many ways of introducing environmental education in current school curricula Natsoc also shared information on how the well-known Elsies River Group, which has over 21 member schools, operates,” explained Zuilega Rossouw. socio-ecologist at the Karoo National Park. ‘The course convinced delegates that environmental education is a way of life.”
BOEK FOR BERGFIETSRYERS
‘a Nuwe gids vir bergfietsentoesiaste is mou beskikbaar. Bekend as “A Guide to Mountain Biking in the Western Cape”, is dit deur Paul Leger geskryf. Dit beskik oor alle inligting oor roetes in die woude van die Tuinroete tot die bergroetes op plase sons Hillandale in die Groot Karoo. Daar is ook kaarte.
STUDENTS BUILD KAROO IN MICROCOSM
Two Saarseld technical students completing their practical course under the guidance of Dr Sue Dean and the Fitzpatrick Institute are building a natural history section for the Fransie Pienaar Museum in Prince Albeit The exhibit, housed in the museum’s outbuildings, contains a paleo-ecological section showing the interaction between plants, the /Xam San and other indigenous people who lived in the Karoo centuries ago. There will be displays of seed dispersal systems and recreations of burrows as well as porcupine diggings. Dr Dean recently established a Karoo garden next to the museum. The museum also has a display of old agricultural implements.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Many people are unsure what term to use when referring to the early indigenous hunter-gathers of the Karoo. David Morris, archaeologist at the McGregor Museum in Kimberley, says: “San has been widely used since the 1960s5 in preference to Bushman, but it is not entirely satisfactory since it originated as a pejorative used by the Khoikhoi, previously referred to as ‘Hottentots’. And, in more years, some authorities consider this term as insulting as ‘Bushman’. ‘Khoi’ is the shortened form of Khoikhoi, which means ‘men of men’, and this is the name which the pastoral people, such as the Nama stock farmers, gave themselves. Khoisan is a term invented by anthropologists to refer generically to San and Khoikhoi collectively, basically because of broad similarities in their language and culture. Some researchers also feel it is possible that pastoralism was taken up by erstwhile hunter-gatherers in Southern Africa that 2 000 years ago, so the distinctions between ‘Khoi’ and ‘San’ have grown since then, but other authorities suggest Khoi were a separate people who migrated into southern Africa at that time. The culturally extinct hunter-gatherers of the Karoo are ancestors of a large number of Karoo people today, knew themselves by names such as /Xam. !Kung (Namibia), !Xu and Khwe people from Angola who settled near Kimberley. For clarity, /Xam San should best be used when referring to the people who once lived in the Karoo.”
KAROO ROEP HULLE
Baie mense wat bande het met die Karoo keer terug om navorsing te doen of sommer net die wêreld van hulle kinderdae weer esien. Baie loer in by die Sentrale Karoo Toerisme Kantoor om ervari nge tedeel. Dit was die geval met Karooseum en digter Barend du Toit. In “karoo-vlug” skryf hy “Die Karoo, ‘n simfonie van eindelose ruimte is die lêplek vat my siel.” Ander kuiergaste was Roy en Joan Weaver van Richmond in Engeland wie saam met John en Eileen Goldsmith van Port Elizabeth kom kuier het. Eileen is ‘n kleindogter van George Edward Breswill Waund wie jare gelede op Bleakhouse geboer het. Hulle het die plaas besoek en huidige eienaars Pieter en Anna Lund van hulle kinderdae daar en op die buurplaas Avondale waar hulk neefs Tom, Doug. Arthur en Stanley Waud gewoon het, vertel. “Die Karoo bly maar ‘n lekker plek,” se hule.
When John and Eileen Goldsmith of Port Elizabeth announced they were going to Beaufort West to visit Eileen’s childhood haunts, their neighbour said he also had links with the town. His grandfather, a Mr Winterton, married the local school teacher, Miss Willis, and they lived on Lemoenfontein. Winterton is mentioned in the memoirs of Major the Hon. A V F V Russel of the Grenadier Guards, who recuperated at this farm during the Anglo-Boer War. He wrote: “Lemoenfontein is one of the healthiest spots in South Africa_ It belongs to Allhusen, but is rented by a Mr Winterton who came out from England an invalid He was carried here almost dying, but shortly afterwards recovered completely. The place was built as a hotel, but failed and at the beginning of the war Winterton offered it to the British as a hospital. It is used by officers who pay 8/6d a day, apart from drinks” Russel arrived on February 20, 1901. by “a crawling and stopping train”. It was due at 2pm but arrived at 9.45pm. He found Mr Winterton bad been at the station for hours. “I expressed my regret, but be said he did not mind a bit. We drove across the veld by moonlight in a swift Cape cart with an Irish terrier at our feet. A light glowed at the house half way up the mountain, a lovely warm place where A capital supper awaited us!” Winterton arranged an “exciting hunting expedition” for them and a visit to the De Jagers Kuilspoort. When they were well, Winterton drove than to the station in a “tropical storm”.
UP DIE SPOOR VAN PADDAS
Atherton de Villiers van Die Departement Natuurbewaring in Stellenbosch soek inligting oor paddas in die Karoo. Hy werk op ‘n landwye projek wat alle inligting insamel vir ‘n databasis wat by die Univeristeit van Kaapstad opgebou gaan word_ Sal diegene war in hierdie projek belangstel asseblief vir die Streekstoerisme kantoor bel.