This blog will advise you when I add new pages to my website or update existing ones, post news to my Facebook page, share news from other related sites or to notify my visitors of some event taking place in our village or along the Garden Route.
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Winter is on its way but there is a new spring in the step of Sedgefield’s Ratepayers and Residents Committee.
After an impressive turn-out at the belated 2020 AGM held in March 2021 due to Covid 19 restrictions, a number of younger, enthusiastic committee members, with fresh eyes and ideas of their own and those gleaned from personal knowledge and their relationships with people in their spheres of activity, have come on board.
It has allowed a few faithful long-standing members to be relieved of their duties and responsibilities. At the same time, it is invaluable for the needs and concerns of all Sedgefield’s different sectors of the community to be represented on the Committee so it can better serve its’ purpose for the town.
In 1954 my grandparents, Gabriel & Lettie de Wet from Williston in the Northern Cape, bought a plot in Swallow Drive. They built a small cottage they called,
The mystery illness first came to light in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei Province in November 2019. Dr. Li Wenliang tried to warn his colleagues on 30 December 2019 at the Wuhan Central Hospital that test results revealed he had contracted an unknown virus. He was accused of making false statements but on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID 19, a pandemic.
Speedily the emblazoned Sputnik shape of the Covid 19 virus was seen as a backdrop to our newscasters on all television channels where it took on the appearance of a monster killer. Yet in reality, it is not even the size of a pin-prick. It cannot be seen with the naked eye and can only be observed through an electron microscope. This type of specialised microscope can magnify a particle up to 1 million times.
On the border of Sedgefield's eastern side, is a turquoise green freshwater lake, Groenvlei, partially fringed by coastal dune forest on its' southern shores and fynbos-clothed dune on the slopes above. For several decades, the picturesque lake has been a favourite fishing spot for anglers and many fishing contests there, have been well supported in the past.
However, the common carp, an invasive species illegally introduced in the 1990s have been growing in numbers to the point of threatening this unique ecosystem.
After the 2017 fires destroyed Cape Nature's nets, the nets they were using to capture, remove and partially control the carp invasion of Groenvlei, the numbers multiplied unchecked.
In 2018, Johnny Snyman, a local Sedgefield resident of some 20 years, stepped in offering to use an unconventional method, his archery skills, to reduce the numbers...
Gerry Stavros with his wife and two children arrived in Sedgefield from Kimberley in 1983 to take over the Stop n Stay business and premises.
At the time it was an overnight motel with separate outside bedrooms, a dining room and a small tea-garden, a superette selling mostly basic necessities, and a room occupied by Standard Bank that opened for business in Sedgefield, twice a week.
Time has marched on, but Gerry Stavros continues to own it today although many changes have taken place over the last 30+ years to the small Sedgefield village the family first arrived at and became an integral part of. Gerry and Kathy have fully retired now but still own and manage the Forest Lodge Complex as many businesses continue to come and go…
Lilith Seals has a long history with Sedgefield hailing back to 1950 when the family had their first holiday here. That holiday resulted in the family moving here permanently in 1953, as 3 of their children headed off to university but coming home to Sedgefield for their holidays.
The twins, (Lilith had a twin, Joan) were to inherit a piece of prime property on Kingfisher Drive near the river-mouth. Two houses were built on it, one for each twin and Lilith retired here permanently in 2007.
For the last few years, she has been a busy bee, since she agreed to be nominated as secretary for the Sedgefield Ratepayers and Residents Association. Now it has proven difficult to find someone willing to replace her…
Take a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane with a little newspaper, SEDGENEWS birthed in the late 1980s. During its short lifetime, it served the small village community of under 2000 people informing them of local news and events until the early 1990s. During that period, the Sedgefield population swelled to 3000.
Many of the articles reveal similar concerns to those expressed today – the village charm disappearing, the loss of our natural environment, the lack of amenities, the challenges of unwanted developments, but then also the positives, the value of community spirit and appreciation for this nature-oriented beautiful place and the peace and contentment it engenders for those who enjoy living here…
Since the early 1800s and long before Sedgefield had its name on the map, farmers and their families in the area of Ruigtevlei, Elandskraal and further afield like Oudtshoorn, would trek for days by ox-wagon to gather at a place called Swartvlei, i.e. on the sandy shore of the Black River (called this because the colour of the sediment in the water made it look black) to camp for 3-4 weeks over the Christmas season.
The farmers were taking a much-needed break from the rigour and challenges of their physically demanding daily existence to relax and enjoy some camaraderie with family and friends on the banks of the meandering Swartvlei Lagoon.
They would indulge in simple pleasures, swim, fish and play "boere sport" on the beach and in the ocean behind the campsite. Although many had large families, social interaction was minimal in those early days because farms were spread out far and wide. There were no easy ways of communicating and roads were virtually non-existent.
These gatherings were an opportunity to experience a sense of community...
When Ensle Syphus and her husband Matt retired to Sedgefield in 1979, it wasn’t long before they became involved in the small close-knit community.
When ex-mayor, Fred Hawkins discovered that she had been a high school history teacher and written a number of textbooks, he prevailed upon her to undertake the task of researching and writing the early history of Sedgefield.
He told her that existing records and documentation prior to 1968 had been destroyed in a fire.
Ensle was up to the task and got stuck in with enthusiasm and determination. She visited local libraries, wrote to the Reference Department of the South African Library in Cape Town and interviewed members of several pioneer families such as the Barnards, Elaine Watney, Bob Morris, the Robertsons, Mullers and others.
Studio 42 is currently hosting a Performance Exhibition for local talented Smutsville Artist, Houghmordeen Jansen. It's called "Holmes at Home" since he's returned from a stint at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) where he achieved a diploma in Graphic Design.
Running from 11 to 20 December from 4 pm to 8 pm his exhibition includes, among many other paintings, prints and some originals from his "Sedgefield Collection".
The exhibition is also supported by some live music and a young troupe of Smutsville dancers.
Rondevlei Learning Centre is an off-shoot of the Wendy Immelman Foundation, ACTS (A Centre that Serves). Carol Van Zyl and Vinessa Van Rensburg have taken on the project of offering a number of children struggling to learn, an innovative “life skills curriculum” that allows them to find and explore their own innate interests and talents beyond those subjects taught in the over-crowded standardised government classroom.
Ranging in ages from 7 to 16 they are absorbing information easily and finding learning can be fun as they are being taught in this unconventional, practical and experiential way,
Exposed to all kinds of activities inside and outside of the classroom and interacting with different people, all kinds of animals and the environment, these children are blossoming as they are being encouraged to believe that the sky is the limit...
The endearing Knysna Seahorse is the only estuarine seahorse out of nearly 40 seahorse species worldwide and it can be found in only three estuaries along the Garden Route in South Africa.
They are the Keurbooms Estuary at Plettenberg Bay, the Knysna Estuary and the Swartvlei Estuary at Sedgefield. It is also the only seahorse listed in the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Red Data List of Vulnerable Species.
Locals need to be made aware of how endangered this seahorse is and be conservation-minded with the activities they pursue in the vicinity of its' habitat.
It would help too if SANParks erected a Knysna Seahorse Information Board on the Island or had prohibited areas demarcated around their eelgrass habitat.
The physical drive through Meiringspoort will take you on a historical journey breath-taking in its magnificence as you travel along a road that twists and bends through a narrow gorge for 18kms with the ancient weathered cliffs of the Cape Fold Mountains towering above you.
The gorge is named after Petrus Johannes Meiring who came to live in De Rust, a farming community on the north side of the Swartberg Mountains around 1820. On horseback, he and some friends regularly explored the area.
Eventually, in 1848, he discovered a “bridle path” through the base of this convoluted mountain range. Thereafter he campaigned vigorously for a road to be built through the "poort". A very rough basic road was completed in 1858 but it was frequently rendered impassable by flash floods as it followed the same route as the Groot River through the Swartburg Mountains..
Local animal lovers are fortunate to have Dr Anuska Viljoen, a veterinary surgeon, who is highly qualified and experienced in a number of different modalities relating to both conventional and alternative veterinary practices living right here in Sedgefield.
After qualifying from Onderstepoort in 1993, she completed a 2-year post graduate Honours degree in Animal Medicine, Anaesthesiology and Clinical Pathology while working for a PDSA in Soweto.
After that, she spent 10 years overseas gaining a broad range of experience at different practices.
During that time she extended her knowledge by exploring the merits of homeopathy, homotoxicology, veterinary acupuncture, Chinese medicine and crystal healing among others.
She returned to South Africa in 2005 with a powerful arsenal of techniques equipping her to provide a fully integrated veterinary service for all animals presented to her care...
An old story with a few extra bits to it that I’ve wanted to put on my website for some time but couldn’t find any historical photos until Sheila Cooper-Collins kindly agreed to do some drawings to illustrate the dramatic event that took place at Swartvlei beach, close to the river mouth on the late afternoon of 11 February 1850.
For 3 days and nights, people watched anxiously from the shoreline, helpless in the face of strong winds and gigantic waves that ripped the lifeboats from the decks of 546-ton cargo ship, the Nepaul and tossed them in splinters on the beach.
Nobody on land knew how many people were on board the luckless ship that had come into the bay near Gerickes Point and been becalmed for 2 days...
It's also time for me to update my list of Sedgefield Coffee Shops. There has always been a good number of them and generally everyone has their own favourite.
Ownership has changed significantly in the nearly 12 years we have lived in Sedgefield and in a few instances, the shop itself has moved to a different premises. However I think I'm current with all of these and if I'm not you can let me know...
Things are looking up in Sedgefield that is besides the popular Sedgeview paragliding site being open again in time for the December holidays, we have a number of really good restaurants to enjoy and that I am thrilled to create a page for on my website...
Whether its steak, pizza, fish, Mexican or vegetarian we now have a number of great choices without having to leave town. In fact one has to book ahead to be sure of getting a table if you really want to get in at your favourite restaurant.
Glorious sunshine arrived in-sync with the December holidays and dished up perfect beach weather for our visitors to enjoy the sand and the sea.
The recently opened river mouth has also provided safe bathing with some fortuitous sand banks in the right places and wonderful opportunities to surge in and out with the tide along the estuary near the mouth which is exhilarating, good exercise and great fun!
Walking, picnicking, surfing, fishing, swimming -its all here - with our wonderful beaches being the space for families and friends to enjoy these rejuvenating activities.
Zanne's December 2018 Art Exhibition
Zanne is a very talented Watercolour Artist now living in Sedgefield.
She has held a number of workshops at her "Small Art Studio" hosting other South African artists this year.
However, Remax have asked her to allow them to host a solo exhibition of her own work this week.
It will be worth attending as she will have a wide range of quality work available to look at and to purchase.
Whether you are leaving Sedgefield to visit family, friends or going on holiday...
Whether you're travelling by plane, train, bus, boat, car or caravan, or even backpacking...
Here are some valuable tips to help you make the most of your travelling experience.
Furthermore if you think something has been left out, you can add your own tip to the page.