22 June 2012


Rassie ERASMUS of the Louis Trichardt Old Age Home in Dannville, Pretoria, celebrated her 100th birthday on 04 June 1992.

Claude DE VILLIERS of the Susan Strydom Old Age Home in Colbyn, Pretoris, turned 105 on 05 June 1992. He is married to Esther (78 years old in 1992). They were married in 1960.

Dawid Niklaas BREEDT of Germiston celebrated his 100th birthday 26 March 2001, together with his sons Hans (68 in 2001) and Fik (64 in 2001), his daughter Marie MARAIS (58 in 2001) and a great-grandson Dave BREEDT (8 years old in 2001). He lives with his daughter and has 38 children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. His advice for long life is eat healthily, don't smoke or drink alcohol, don't get angry, and if you argue with someone, make peace before you go to sleep. He is a bit deaf and the eye sight is dimmer, but otherwise healthy, having only been in hospital once for appendicitis. When he received his first salary, you could buy a whole sheep for 5 shillings!

Aaltje HUIZINGA of Welgelegen celebrated her 100th birthday on 17 August 2001. Her secret to long life is keeping a positive and optimistic attitude, staying away from junk food, a good night's rest, never stop learning, and keep busy. She was born in 1901 in Leeuwarden, Friesland. Aaltje was an opera singer. Her husband, Bertus, died at the age of 89 in 1999. He used to work for KLM and decided to retire to the Cape, after spending three years in Goodwood. In 1989 they returned to the Cape permanently. Aaltje is a bit deaf, but still reads without spectacles and walks without a walking stick or aid. She still enjoys doing crossword puzzles and needlework. She does her own shopping, accompanied by her son Gerrit. Her great-grandson, Steven STEYN, was 1 year old at her 100th birthday.

Annie LANDMAN, grandmother of Professor Christina LANDMAN, celebrated her 100th birthday on 16 October 2004 in Constantia Park, Pretoria. Her four daughters and her son Professor Willem LANDMAN joined in the celebrations. Annie's husband died at the age of 82. She said her happiest day was when her son received his first degree. The week prior to her 100th birthday, one of her daughter's daughter-in-law, Mariana ENGELBRECHT (48), was fatally shot outside her mother's house by a car hijacker.

Jacoba OTTO of Huis Uitkoms in Bethulie celebrated her 100th birthday on 18 November 2004. Although hard of hearing, she is healthy and does not take any medication. Jacoba, maiden name ALBERTS, was born in Bloemfontein, one of 10 children. She had 10 children - one daughter with her first husband, and four daughters and five sons with her second husband. The five daughters and two sons were still living in 2004. Jacoba has 37 grandchildren, 54 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. Jacoba spent her life living in Bloemfontein, Reddersburg and later in Oviston, before moving to the retirement home. One of her daughters, Jana DU TOIT, said her mother played various musical instruments, including the organ, guitar and accordion.

Joep FOURIE was born on 01 February 1905 in Ladybrand. She celebrated her 100th birthday in Bloemfontein. Her grandfather JOUBERT died at the age of 98. Her daughter, Liesbeth OOSTHUIZEN, said her mother enjoys music, chatting, knitting and crossword puzzles. Joep grew up in Hobhouse.

Bill BRAYFIELD from Tweespruit celebrated his 100th birthday on 16 June 2005. He is the oldest Tweespruit resident. The local bank treated him to a champagne breakfast, and the Freemasons held a function for him. His family celebration included 150 guests. His secret to long life? Keep your head occupied. Bill keeps the local Anglican Church's and the bowling club's bookkeeping up to date. Bill plays bowls twice per week. He is also an active member of the South African Legion and honorary Old Bill of the MOTHS. He was born in England. In 1919, at the age of 15 years, he immigrated to South Africa with his mother and step-father, settling in Tweespruit where Bill later became a farmer. He can still recall the locust plague of 1934, which destroyed most of his maize crop. One of his daughters is Maryann OERTEL.

Johanna SIEGRUHN of the Deutsches Altesheim, a retirement home in Groenkloof, Pretoria, celebrated her 101 years on 10 October 2005. A positive outlook on life, interesting social life and regular card games are her secrets to staying alert at her age. She celebrated the milestone birthday with family, including her son Adriaan SIEGRUHN and daughter-in-law Gwen SIEGRUHN, and the home's residents including Fredeburg PENZHORN who turned 100 on 10 November 2005.  Johanna was born in Caledon. She met her husband, Johan Adriaan SIEGRUHN, in the Netherlands where he worked in the Embassy there. She has two children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Moloko TEMO of Bochum in Limpopo celebrated 132 years on 04 July 2006. She has been blind for 54 years and uses a wheelchair. According to her identity book, issued in 1988, she was born in 1874. The Department of Home Affairs interviewed her and her children to gauge her birth date. She has eight children, 29 grandchildren, 59 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren. She lives with her daughter Evelen TEMO (78 in 2006). Moloko used to play a lot of field hockey when she was young. She voted in the April 2009 elections and passed away on 03 June 2009. The Guinness World Records never recognised her age. Moloko was a member of the Limpopo Century Club, founded by Tom BOYA and standing at 440 members in 2003. Members included Emily MUKWEVHO of the Vhembe area (129 in 2003) and Mmakgomo SEKHUKHUNE (124 in 2003) of Mohlatse in the Sekhukhune area.

Mealiepap, mampoer and whole cloves of garlic are the secrets to Piet SCHOLTZ's long life. He lives in an old age home in Zeerust, where he celebrated his 102nd birthday in January 2008. Four generations of family members attended his birthday party, including his two daughters, Ralie LE GRANGE (74 in 2008) and Elsa GROVE (71 in 2008), and his great-great-grandchildren, the eldest being Coenraad BOSHOFF (13 in 2008). The former farmer walks with a walking stick. He served six years in the Army and cooked for 300 soldiers during the Second World War. He knew General Jan SMUTS, having stood guard for him in Irene. Piet grew up on his father's ostrich farm outside Aberdeen.

Eli JAARS from Daniëlskuil celebrated her 100th birthday on 12 March 2009 in the Town Hall with 150 guests. She lives alone and does all her housework on her own. Eli was born in the Kuruman district, and moved to Daniëlskuil in 1928. She had 10 children, of which four were still living in 2009 - Maria, Liz (married to Danie BAKKER), Dawid and John. Eli has 28 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Margaretha CROUKAMP celebrated her 102nd birthday on 07 July 2010 in Parys. After her husband's death in 1977, she lived in Lichtenburg, then Warmbaths, and later with her son in East London. After his death, she moved to Parys to be closer to her youngest son and his wife, who live in Sasolburg. Margaretha lived in a flat in a security estate, before buying a townhouse in the same estate at the age of 100. She still knits jerseys for poor children in Kenya, sending them with her neighbour's children who do mission work in Kenya. She is also an avid reader of newspapers, magazines and spiritual books. Margaretha has eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Vytjie BOYISE of Tiryville, Uitenhage, celebrated 101 years on 24 July 2010. Ouma Faith, as the great-grandmother is known, was born on 24 July 1909 in Dorbos, Glenconnor district. She has 12 children, of which eight were still living in 2010, including Sanna JAFTA. There are 34 grandchildren including Brenda SIZE and Tersia JAFTA, and 56 great-grandchildren including Duwayne SIZE, Juandré COETZEE and Diane JAFTA.

Koosie BESTER celebrated his 100th birthday in 2010 at the Noorderbloem Retirement Home in Bloemfontein. He was joined by his son, André, who lives in New Zealand. His daughter, Hermine VAN ROOYEN, lives on the farm Ruste Mari outside Brandfort. Koosie was born in Moorreesburg. He worked as a liaison officer between the railways and harbour in Cape Town. After retiring in 1970, he moved to Hermanus with his wife, Minnie, where he was well-known for his rose garden. In 2005 they moved to Noorderbloem Retirement Home in Bloemfontein to be closer to their daughter. Minnie died in 2007 at the gae of 83. Koosie has seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Alida LEWIS of Gemsbok Street, Kleinvlei in Blue Downs celebrated her 100th birthday on 17 February 2011, and puts her longevity down to no alcohol and Bob Martins pills. She maintains the pills cured her gout. Patricia DE LILLE, now mayor of Cape Town, also celebrated her 60th birthday on the same day, and attended Alida's party. Alida worked as a housekeeper. She was born in 1911 in Laingsburg and at the age of 11 years moved to Cape Town. She has nine children, 70 grandchildren, 48 great-grandchildren and 37 great-great-grandchildren. Her grandfather lived to the age of 108 and her grandmother to 106. Alida's siblings have all passed on. She lives with her daughter Andrika (56 in 2011).

Cornelis (Kees) VAN DAM celebrated his 100th birthday on 25 March 2011 with a tandem parachute jump, making him the oldest person in South Africa to do so. It was his first jump. Robert VERNER of the Pretoria Parachute Club was his instructor. Cornelis' son, Chris, had a hot air ballon ride in mind for the century celebration, but his father said it was too slow for him. Cornelis was born on 25 March 1911 in Vlaardinger, the Netherlands. In 1933 he joined the Royal Dutch-Indian Legion and the following year left by steamship for Indonesia. He worked in the topographic services, making maps. In his spare time, he was a keen photographer. In 1942 the Japanese attached Indonesia and he was taken prisoner. He was taken to Singapore, where the Japanese used his skills to lay out a railway line. Five years later he returned to the Netherlands, where he met his wife, Nellie PENNING. Nellie had married in Indonesia and Cornelis was the wedding photographer. Her husband died early in the war, leaving her a widowed mother of three children. Cornelis and Nellie were married in 1948. Cornelis retired at the age of 45, and in 1958 immigrated to South Africa with his family. He bought a house in Lyttelton, Centurion, and worked as a photographer for the South African Air Force at Swartkop until 1976, when he finally retired.

Lenie BADENHORST celebrated her 100th birthday on 10 November 2011 at Ons Gryse Jeug in Sasolburg. She was born in 1911 in Elandsfontein, Potchefstroom district. She married Theuns and they had three daughters. They lived on a farm in Kaalfontein, between Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark. Theuns fought in World War II and Lenie started farming with cut flowers. Every Saturday morning she would drive into Vereeniging with a carload of flowers for the market. Lenie has seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Maria Magdalena SLABBERT (maiden name BOSHOFF) celebrated her 101st birthday on 25 March 2012 in Paarl. She passed away on 21 May 2012. Maria had lived in Nylstroom prior to moving to Paarl.

Henk GEEVE celebrated his 100th birthday on 08 April 2012 at Mooihawe Tehuis in Bloemfontein. His secret to long life? "Don't die." Henk was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. At the age of 30, he immigrated to South Africa with his wife Maria and their two daughters. They settled in Johannesburg, where he owned hairdressing salons. His daughter, Hennie LE ROUX, runs the hairdressing salon at Mooihawe Tehuis. Forty-two years ago, Henk and his family settled in Bloemfontein, where he owned a paint factory and later a fencing / walling business. He drove his own car until the age of 94.

Tinie VAN DER WALT celebrated her 100th birthday on 10 April 2012 at Huis Uitkoms in Bethulie. Tinie was born on the farm Gelykfontein in the Venterstad district. Her maiden name was VAN DER WALT and she was an only child. After marrying Boer VAN DER WALT, they settled on the farm and farmed with thoroughbred race horses and Merino sheep. The couple had five children - three daughters and twin sons. Tinie was very involved in the local women's organisations and her local church. She had many creative talents, including designing and making hats. After Boer's death in 1977, she left the farm and settled in Venterstad. She moved back to farm for a while, where she lived with her son Schalk and his wife Christa, before moving to Huis Uitkoms. Tinie has 13 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Catootje VAN DER WALT of Theunissen celebrated her 105th birthday on 17 May 2012. She lives with her daughter Ninie KOTZE. She has been confined to her bed for the last five years, and believes that laughter is the secret to a long life. Her hearing and sight are not too good. Her father was born in Holland, where he studied to be a pharmacist. In 1899 he immigrated to South Africa in search of work. He contracted malaria and after the Anglo-Boer War he returned to Holland. He returned to South Africa and became a teacher. Catootje's mother died when she was 16 years old, leaving 5 children. Catootje helped raise her siblings, and married at the age of 26.

Maria Margaretha BOOYSEN of Huis Hermon in Pretoria North celebrated her 100th birthday on 07 June 2012. She was one of 11 children. Maria has eight children, 26 grandchildren, 58 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren. She was married to Henry BOOYSEN for 43 years. He passed away in the 1970s.

Joey SCHUTTE celebrated her 102nd birthday on 17 June 2012 at Huis Herfsblaar in Queenswood, Pretoria, together with her three children and friends. Joey moved to the retirement home 23 years ago, after the death of her husband Hannes. Her son-in-law is Prof. Alex VISSER (66 years old), married to her daughter Trippie (also 66). Joey has 11 siblings and grew up on a farm outside Potchefstroom. They went to school on a donkey cart. After her marriage, she ran a needlework store in Heidelberg, Transvaal, selling curtains and bed linen. She has 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.


The coastal plateau between the Indian Ocean and the Outeniqua Mountains in the Southern Cape was known as Houtteniqualandt or Outeniqualand.  Outeniqua is derived from the Khoi-Khoi word meaning "laden with honey" or "people carrying bags of honey". Kannaland (Little Karoo) is between the Outeniqua and the Swartberg Mountains. Kanna is also a Khoi-Khoi word for a plant commonly found in the Little Karoo and was chewed for pain relief. The Lange Kloof runs between the Kamanassie and the Kouga Mountains to the north and the Outeniqua Mountains to the south. Pauw STEYL has been a stamp collector since his primary school days in Tulbagh, with a break while in high school. In 1978 he became a clergyman in Sutherland and reignited his interest in stamp collecting. In April 1980 he moved to George and joined the George Philatelic Society. Here he started a collection, The history of National Stamp Exhibitions in South Africa 1913-1960. He entered this collection in the annual National Stamp Exhibition in Paarl in 1987, winning a bronze award. He was encouraged to compile a postal history collection of the original George District. In 1988 Pauw found his first postal item originating from the George Post Office. Today this collection starts circa 1777, when George was a woodcutters post, and ends in 1911, George’s centenary year.

The original George District covered approximately 16402 km². It later comprised the districts of Knysna, Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn and Uniondale. As the districts of the Colony were too extensive, a new district with its own Drostdy, named George Town, was seceded from Swellendam on 23 April 1811 by Governor CALEDON. The first landdrost was Adrianus Gysbertus VAN KERVEL. Knysna, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn became independent districts in January 1858 and Uniondale in December 1879.

In 1992 Pauw visited the National Archives in Cape Town and found a treasure trove in the "General Post Office Document: GPO 1 - Incoming letters from Country Postmasters to the Postmaster General: 1814–1880", all of 166 volumes. This served as the start of writing a book about the postal history in the original George District. As he was still a Chaplain at the Department of Correctional Services, full-time research was not possible. Over time, every letter of importance from the collection was transcribed by hand into several A4 examination pads. The last page of volume 166 was transcribed on 28 February 2002. Next, Pauw had to teach himself how to use a computer, with help from willing neighbours. Seventeen years later, the A4 format 230 page book describes postmasters, postal agents, post-contractors and post-drivers, along with many humorous incidents, and lots of history. I was fascinated to discover some unknown LEHMKUHL family history in this book. With The Postcart is available from Pauw via http://www.postalhistory.co.za

19 June 2012


In June 1942, whilst the British Prime Minister, Winston CHURCHILL, was visiting President Franklin D. ROOSEVELT in Washington D.C, he received a telegram with the news that Tobruk had fallen to the enemy, and 33 000 men were taken prisoners-of-war. He later recorded this news as "one of the heaviest blows I can recall" in his book, The Second World War. A South African, General-Major Hendrik KLOPPER, was in charge at Tobruk at the time. He was captured, along with 13 000 South African soldiers. They were later imprisoned in camps in Italy and Germany. On the morning of 21 June 1942, after 24 hours of heavy fighting, the General gave his compass and staff car to seven young South African soldiers of the South African 6th Brigade who were determined to escape. The seven eventually reached Cairo, with remnants of other units that had managed to escape capture. A board of imquiry was set up to investigate the fall of Tobruk. Its findings were finalised in October 1942. A copy of the report was handed to CHURCHILL, General Jan SMUTS and General Claude AUCHINLEK, according to the 1959 book by Anthony HECKSTALL-SMITH, Tobruk: The Story of a Siege. The report was not made public. Brig. Eric HARTSHORN later found a copy in General SMUTS' archives. In his 1960 book, Avenge Tobruk, he mentions some of the findings. General KLOPPER also wrote a report on what happened at Tobruk, and gave it to General SMUTS. KLOPPER died in 1977 at the age of 75.

A list of South African soldiers captured at Tobruk is kept at the South African National Museum of Military History. A list of South African casualties at Tobruk was published in a special supplement to The Natal Mercury newspaper dated 27 July 1942, as well as in The Star newspaper dated 19 August 1942 and the Rand Daily Mail newspaper dated 20 August 1942. Seven thousand South Africans died in Tobruk.
The Tobruk Seven
Who were the seven South Africans, pictured in the photo above as published in the Rapport newspaper dated 16 June 2012?


Golgotha van die Oseane – Skeepsrampe aan die Agulhas-kus, by Jeanette Grobbelaar, covers shipwrecks along the Southern Cape coast from Cape Point to Cape Infanta. The title comes from a discussion printed in the South African Commercial Advertiser of 18 July 1840 regarding a lighthouse requirement... "to put a period, if possible, to the many and melancholy losses at that Ocean Golgotha, Cape L’Agtilhas." Jeanette was the curator of the Shipwreck Museum in Bredasdorp. This softcover 132-page book covers 120 shipwrecks and includes phoos, sketches and a map. It can be ordered from Inset Uitgewers at Eversdal: Insetuitgewers@gmail.com