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Number 4 : February 2004


1. At his last till the very end

Text & pictures by Maré Mouton

Shoes and boots made by Mr John Theart of Napier were worn all over Southern Africa and as far away as Germany and Scotland. When he died in December 1984 at age 72, his wife closed his workshop and everything in it remained untouched for 19 years. ...


3. Local seas a paradise for scuba divers

Most people know that the Overberg coast is one of the world’s most important nurseries for the southern right whale and also home to one of the oldest living species on earth, the great white shark. But our coast, specifically around the southern-most tip from De Kelders to Arniston, is also listed as one of the world’s top ten dive sites ...


4. More than just pretty flowers

Leaf juice of the sour fig for tuberculosis and digestive troubles, the fruit of the bush-tick berry a tonic for men suffering from impotence, leaves of the pig’s ear to treat corns and fever blisters. These are just a few of the uses of some of our local fynbos that our ancestors knew of and which would have been lost to future generations if it were not for people like Mathia Schwegler of the farm Heidehof between Gansbaai and Baardskeerdersbos. Her book Medicinal and other uses of Southern Overberg fynbos plants was published in 2003...


5. Land claims in Overberg settled

The majority of compensation claims for forced removals of people in the Overberg under the old regime, have been paid out. A total of R12,65 million was paid to 342 claimants, of whom 250 were tenants and 92 were owners of property. ...


6. Swiss mountain cheese at home in our valleys

At Klein River Cheese, on the slopes of the Klein River Mountains near Stanford, award-winning Gruyère is made by farmer Rian Lourens, cheesemaker Jaco van Beulen and their team. Gruyère is a hard Swiss cheese, ...


Gruyère and Mushroom Salad (recipe) ...


7. Grace to be restored to Genadendal

By Annalize Mouton

Genadendal, the oldest mission station in South Africa (1738) and at one stage the second largest settlement in the Cape, is in the process of being restored to some of its former glory. And not the buildings only. Although there are many historic buildings that needed restoration desperately, Genadendal also is a place where people are still living today and have to continue making a living for themselves and their families. ...


8. Fishing in the Overberg, by Sean Mills of White Water Lodge

Witsand is the place for huge cob


The Village Gardener, by Tracy Paton of The Purple Pumpkin Co

Plant some trees and water them!


9. Napier’s forgotten gold mine

By Doreza Kersandt


10. This is Blue Crane country

By Uwe Kersandt

The Overberg is the southern-most region of the African continent. It also produces most of South Africa’s raw wool. Here sheep farming is big business and pastures form an integral part of the agricultural crop-rotation systems, a system that attracts almost half the world’s Blue Cranes....


11. Wagons came where eland had trod

by Doreza Kersandt

Five years after Van Riebeeck landed at the Cape in 1652, three cattle traders came across the Chainoukwa clan living near the present day Somerset West. Their fat livestock, general affluence, the lush vegetation and an abundant supply of fresh water made the Dutchmen long for their cool, green, water-rich homeland, inducing them to name this inviting area and the mountains beyond the Hottentots’ Holland.


In those far-off days the San and the Khoi followed the migratory routes of the huge herds of game across these mountains seeking greener pastures, as did the early European travellers. The Gantouw or Elands’ Pass, the forerunner of Sir Lowry’s Pass, followed a direct route straight up the mountainside ...


12. Gallery now open for your pictures!

The Overberg and its coastline offer photographers endless opportunities for making great pictures. Village Life would like to use the publication as a showcase for photographers from the region in a regular feature called “Overberg Gallery”.


With Mug in Hand, by Andy Mitchell of Birkenhead Brewery

A beer is not just a beer

Beer is not necessarily beer; to some it is Ale. To others it is Lager, and still other styles exist of the beverage we all know as beer. ...


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Wooden shoe lasts

Shoe lasts found in Mr Theart's workshop

Mr John Theart, shoemaker

An old newspaper photograph of Mr Theart in his shop

Blue cranes in field, Cape Overberg. © Uwe Kersandt

Blue cranes, South Africa's national bird, are a common sight in the Overberg – Photo by Uwe Kersandt

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