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From June each year whales arrive from the cold waters of Antarctica to breed along the Cape coast. They have also become a very popular tourist attraction, with visitors arriving from all over the world to get a closer look at these mammoths of the deep – page 6. Photo: Kees van de Coolwijk

Number 39 : Winter 2010


Our farewell

This is the last issue of Village Life. We have kept it going for almost seven years, sometimes optimistically, sometimes dejected, but stubborn throughout. The financial reality of accumulated losses has unfortunately caught up with us.

Annalize and I do not regard Village Life as a failure; it was only the business side that didn’t work out. We are quite proud of what we have achieved, especially given our limited resources. Someone who phoned from England the other day was adamant that the United Kingdom had no magazine of similar quality.

We had help from friends, especially some excellent scientists and other experts whom we attracted as contributors, some of whom worked without payment.

New things await us. We have to sell our house to pay the printer, but are confident of a meaningful future. We thank you for your support.


• Subscribers who require a refund on outstanding portions of their subscriptions, must please contact Ronél Vosloo with their banking details before the end of July. We shall do our utmost to arrange payments as soon as funds become available. You may also request back issues in exchange for outstanding monies.



2: At the office

Letters and other important matters



Nico Myburgh called yesterday to give me the sad news that Village Life will be no longer. I know you have been having a number of problems, but the demise of VL will leave a huge vacuum in the field of good journalism and photography. It really showed up other publications for their shallow content.

I’m sure you will move on to something less invasive of your time, but in the meanwhile may I join all those to whom you conveyed immense pleasure over the years and say how much we enjoyed your outstanding publication.

– Peter Steyn, ornithologist


4: The muted bells

The bells of the imposing DR church at Uniondale sound rather modest – for a reason


6: The face of South Africa

Whales are back along our coast for their annual breeding season. View PDF


8: The goat ladies of Napier

Two women who left city life behind now live in harmony with their goats (and a variety of other animals)


12: Lonely church on the lagoon

Churchhaven at Langebaan once served a community of whalers and fishermen – by Peter Hollard


16: Insects: masters of deception

Dr Geoff Tribe looks at the many ways in which insects disguise themselves from prey and predators


24: Meerlust: ever better with age

Annalize Mouton concludes her history of this famous farm on the Eerste River


30: The legacy of the cigarette card albums

The illustrated cards packed with cigarettes 70 years ago had some foremost experts producing the text for the albums – by Elwyn Jenkins


36: Fetching water

This story from Mpumalanga is the story of millions of women the world over – by Constance Rahlani


38: Pella: refuge in the desert

The mission station in the far north-western Cape has a cathedral built by priests and helpers with only an encyclopaedia as a guide – by Steve Moseley


44: Birds from paradise

Veteran birding photographer Nico Myburgh looks at the lovely Paradise Flycatcher. Read full text


46: Recipes are for sharing

Annalize bakes pears into a cake for her Country Table


48: Tail piece

Fielie the cat decides it is time to take a break. View as PDF

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The essence of the quiet life at Churchhaven near Langebaan. Photo: Peter Hollard

The wingless nymph of the eyed-flower mantid (Pseudocreobotra wahlbergi) which mimics flowers where it ambushes visiting insects. Photo: Nico Myburgh

In this photo by Arthur Elliott, Nicolaas Myburgh, with his wife Susan standing behind him, is listening attentively to his shepherd Paul’s report of the day’s work

A spread from Our South Africa Past and Present, one of the series of cigarette-card albums

The altar inside the Pella cathedral. Father Simon carved the crucifix with a pocket-knife. Photo: Steve Moseley

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