Isaac Wauchope Dyobha, the man who called for the ‘Dance of Death” to be performed as the troopship SS Mendi as it sank in 1917, has been honoured in Beaufort West, where he once served as a preacher. A plaque detailing his bravery was handed over at a Remembrance Day Service by Mr Mani. Duimpies, of the Cape Corp to the Mayor of Beaufort West, Mr Michael de Villiers. It will be displayed in the museum. The plaque was made from brass of shell case, hammered out, engraved and mounted on a wooden panel made by Colonel B C Gildenbuys, School of Armoury, and Commanding Officer Major D Smit of the Free State Work Farm at Tempe Army Base in Bloemfontein. The Mendi, which belonged to the Elder Dempster Line, was lost on February 21, 1917, after being rammed in the English Channel. She was carrying 802 Black South African servicemen. Isaac Dyobha was one of the 607 soldiers who perished in the tragedy. A remarkable phenomenon during the incident was that news of the disaster reached remote kraals throughout South Africa days before the official report came through by cable.


Gert Fourie, 39, ‘n Eskom ekoloog en ‘n man met ‘n groot liefde vir die Karoo, het verlede jaar verongeluk. Hy was besig met ‘n groot navorsingsprojek oor die ekologie in areas onder die kraglyne. Hy was ‘n gewilde man onder Beaufort-Wes se skoolkinders nadat hy so behulpsaamam was met natuurbewaringsprojekte. Hy is onlangs by Droërivier-substasis vereer toe ‘n plaatjie opgerig is met die inskripsie “Tot nagedagtenis aan Gert Fourie vir die toewyding waarmee hy hom in Eskom se transmissie projek vir natuurbewaring beywer het.”


Many plans are in the pipeline for the commemoration of the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War (1899 – 1902). These are being co-ordinated by Major Frik Jacobs in Bloemfontein. To ensure that all planning in the Western Cape Province does not lag behind, a meeting was recently held at the Castle in Cape Town. The people behind this were Nic Badenhorst and Ms Hannetjie du Press, of the Directorate of Cultural Affairs. About 60 people attended. Their fields of interest included philately, numismatics, medals, memorabilia, tours, TV and video programmes. photography, publications, public relations and marketing.


Twee helde wat in die Slag van Bloedrivier deelgeneem het, is in die ou begraafplaas in Beaufort West begrawe. Hulle is Jacob le Clercq en S A A Marais. Die plaaslike Rapportryerskorps is besig met navorsing oor die grafte en gaan die Raad van Nasionale Gedenkwaardighede nader om hierdie grafte as nasionale gedenk-waardighede te verklaar.


After reading in the last issue of Round-Up that there was a hunt for information on rebels of the Anglo-Boer War, John Sinclair, of Loxton, called to report that his uncle, Commandant Japie Neser. was a “real rebel”. Neser joined up when Jan Smuts and his raiders swept through the Cape. Smuts cut a swath through the Sutherland and Fraserburg areas, often leaving turmoil in his wake. Anglo-Boer War researcher Taffy Shearing says “Nesere certainly was a colourful character.” John Sinclair says, ‘Uncle Japie was furious when the Peace Treaty was signed at Vereeniging and publicly called Smuts a traitor.’


Die Heaven-Bound Gospel Sangers beoog om toeriste op ‘n outydse wyse te trakteer gedurende die feesgety. Hierdie 15-man koor van Beaufort-Wes wil hulself graag bekendstel terwyl hulle iets vir die dory doen. Hulle beoog om van een hotel na die ander te stap en Kersliedjies te sing, ‘net soos dit in die ou Charles Dickens stories gedoen was,” sê hulle skakelbeampte, Miriam Telane.


A Beaufort West man once walked halfway across Africa to ensure that a runaway slave got safely home. The man, the Reverend Guy Getting, was the much loved parish priest of Christ Church from 1869 to 1906. Sadly the name of the slave was never recorded. The story goes that in his early life, when travelling between far-flung farms to spread the gospel. Gething came across a famished and terrified man who had fled from a cruel master. A great humanitarian, Gething took pity on him and, after giving him sustenance, pledged to personally guide his back home. This incredible journey resulted in a long and arduous trek. mostly on foot, to Nyasaland (present-day Malawi). After trudging from village to village to re-unite the man with his family, Gething walked back to South Africa, passing through dangerous territory alone. A small marble bust dedicated to his memory stands behind the pulpit in Christ Church Anglican Church in Beaufort West. It is inscribed “To the Glory of God and in thanksgiving for the life of Guy Gething. a pioneer priest of South Africa.” Gething is buried in Beaufort West.


Beaufort-Wes Museum gaan tot laat oop wees vir toeriste tydens die vakansieseisoen. Die Ou Stadshuis sal ook op Saterdag oggend oop wees. Die Fransie Pienaar Museum op Prins Albert sal ook heeldag oop wees en op Saterdae tot 13h00.


Tess Kitchener of Ohio in the United States is swotting up on Beaufort West. A student at the Massachusetts University, she completed a post graduate project at the University of Cape Town. This included conducting research into the infrastructure, history, local government policies and socio-economic development of Beaufort West. She chose Beaufort West as a remote hinterland environment and has thoroughly enjoyed ‘getting to know what makes it tick” she says.


Ongewone swaar November reën het probleme vir toeriste in die Karoo veroorsaak, Bergpasse tussen die Karoo, Klein Karoo, en Tuin Roete was gesluit en van die brue in Meiringspoort het weggespoel. Dit sal ‘n ruk duur voordat hulle herbou is. Skade aan die wêreld-beroemde Swartbergpas is so erg dat dit maande sal duur voor die pad weer bruikbaar sal wees. ‘n Duitse toeris wat vir tien jaar daarna uitgesien het om oor hierdie bergpas te ry was bitter teleurgesteld. “Maar,” het hy met ‘n glimlag gesê. “Dis nou net my geluk dat ek lank genoeg gewag het totdat die Karoo weer in ‘n moeras begin verander!”


A new guide has been published that makes it possible for people to “read° the veld. Written by Prince Albert’s Dr Richard Dean and Dr Sue Milton and sponsored by the Wool and Meat boards, the 95-page, A4, Spiral bound “Karoo Veld – Zoology and Management” is designed to give readers a better understanding of the region’s natural history. Simple text and photographs explain the link between veld plants and animals that pollinate flowers, spread seeds and enrich the soil. The book explains how farmers can keep track of veld conditions by examining forage plants, seedlings and soil. “It doesn’t teach users the names of plants or animals, but it provides excellent insights into how plants survive in the harsh Karoo climate, how they take advantage of weather patterns and animal transport. It is aimed at farmers, game ranchers and the layman,” says Sue.


Artikels in Die Burger oor die windpompe van die Karoo het mnr G E le Roes weer aan die Karoo laat dirk. “Dis ‘n besonderse gebied,” sêhy. In ‘n brief vol inligting oor die Matjiesfontein gebied vertel hy van ‘n spoorweghalte met die naam Skeiding. Hy sê die plek is halfpad tussen Matjiesfontoin en Laingsburg en dat die treinspoor daar deur die rivierloop van die Baviaansrivier en deur ‘n poort gaan. “Wes van die poort is die winter reënvalstreek en oos sien ‘n mens onmiddelik die somer reënval streek. Die plek het die naam gekry omdat die skeiding van die twee streke daar so duidelik gesien ken word.”


Travelling by train has always had its own allure. However, the route into the Great Karoo near Willowmore has some special magic. Here the rail penetrates the mighty barrier of the Swartberg at Towerwaterpoort said to be an enchanted place. At this ‘Pass of Bewitched Water” a hot spring with a temperature of 45 deg C bubbles to the surface together with subterranean gases which spontaneously ignite, causing small surface fires. These burn intermittently. Train drivers who have seen this phenomenon at night say “when these will-o-the-wisp flames flick up and dance about against the darkness you could well believe in ghosts.” In earlier years, says travel writer T V Bulpin, there were unfounded fears that the emissions would result in a volcanic eruption.


Clyde House. die bekende dubbel-verdieping geboutjie met “al die tralieverk” in the hoofstraat van Beaufort-Wes, word in ‘n gastehuis omskep. Daar is vier elegante dubbelkamers met badkamers. Tariewe sluit in ‘n heerlike groot Karoo ontbyt. Clyde House is ‘n nasionale gedenkwardigheid.


When is a grape not a grape? When it’s A Karoo grape. This is the common term for a mineral called prehnite. It is a greenish stone that forms clusters that look like petrified grapes. Prehnite was discovered in the Karoo at the end of the 18th century by Colonel Prehn, at that time Governor of the Cape. Those who have seen these rock clusters agree they look like bunches of solid stone grapes. Those interested in learning more about minerals should make an appointment to visit Lydia and Sigri Barrella in Prince Albert to see their highly acclaimed stone and mineral collection which is on permanent display in their home.


Daar is nou ‘n nu we plek om ‘n vinnige maaltyd te geniet op die roete Kaap toe. Dit is die nuwe BJ’s restaurant by Nuweveld Motors in Beaufort-Wes. Hulle lewer vinnige diens vir die wat nie tyd bet om lank te vertoef nie.


People researching family histories regularly call at the Central Karoo Tourism Office for assistance. Among the most recent to delve into history are Ronald Legg and Leslie Scheepers. She is seeking details on Amandelboom, where a man was murdered by a runaway slave and a woman was killed by a train when her foot was caught in the rails. Ronald Legg is after information on Anthony L Powell who came to South Africa to seek his fortune during the gold and diamond rushes. His was very successful, it seems and “with a pocket full of diamonds’ he decided to settle in Beaufort West. No one knows why, but perhaps it was because the lovely Jacobs Susannah van Druten caught his eye. They were married and she bore him 18 children – 17 survived. Powell is thought to have been a preacher of the little known Plymouth Brethren and, Ronald wonders whether he had a following in the Karoo. In 1900 one of his daughters, Emily Elisza, married railway foreman Henry John Legge and they settled at Brakpoort. Mr Legg would love to hear from anyone with information on the Powell, Legge (or Legg) and Van Druten families as he aims to produce more than just a family history. His objective is a book about the life and times of the early Karoo.


Daar is plekke in die sentrale Karoo wat bekend is as paradyse vir toeriste wat voëtjies wil kyk. Hulls is Boskamp, by Scholtskloof, naby Prins Albert, an Sakrivierspoort, in die Nuweveldberge. Op Scholtskloof bet Christiaan en Hannie de Wit ‘n boskamp ingerig en by die kampplek kan heelwat voëlspesies gesien word. Christiaan is ook bereid om voëltjieliefhebbers na spesiale plekke op die plaas to neem en vir hulle interessante plante te wys. Die wat belangstel amoet hom kontak. ‘n Pragtige volledige toegeruste plaashuis is beskikbaar by Sakrivierspoort, 100km noord van Beaufort-Wes. In hierdie rustige atmosfeer kan voëls van die Karoo geniet word. ‘Dit wemel van voëls hier en ‘n voëllys is beskikbaar vir die wat hier wil kom uitspan.” sê eienaar Martin Scholtz


The beautiful pink Nerina Marincowitzie, with its whitish throat which fades delicately to brown, is found in only one place in the world. And that is on the farm Vredendal, near Prince Albert. Dr Desire Hayman, Kirstenbosch botanist and authority on Amaryllidacaae, confirms this is a rare new species. ‘It was recently discovered in the Koup area of the Karoo and comes from a single colony of 400 plants, which grow 40km south east of Leeu Gamka, near the Kleinwaterval River. This plant was first discovered by Pat Marincowitz of Sleutelfontein, in 1992.


Almal soek deesdae na ‘n ekstra inkomste. Vir the boer is daar die versoeking om sy grond intensiewer te gebruik, maar ‘n voetslaanpad is een van die mees ideale maniere om waarde tot ‘n plaas te voeg, sê Professor Leon Hugo van die Departement van Omgewingsake en Toerimee, by die Universiteit van Pretoria. Hulle het onlangs ‘n tweetalige boekie, ‘Voetslaanpaaie – besin voor jy begin.” gepubliseer en dit sal van groot nut wees vir diegene wet beoog om ‘a voetslaanpad uit te lê.


Ever thought of eating an aardvark? It appears some early Karoo dwellers did. In the Solater Manuals of 1900 these creatures are described as timid, shy and quick, with excellent hearing. They are also said to make excellent eating and “their flesh is loaded with fat and much appreciated. It is often salted or smoked.’ The aardvark was first described by Kolben, who gave a quaint account of its habits in the early 1700s.