(Himeville, Underberg and Bulwer)
PO Box 207, Himeville, 3256 Tel. 033-702-1184
Newsletter No. 12 June 2011
Annual General Meeting
Our Annual General Meeting is to be held on Thursday 11 August 2011 at 10h00, in St Michaels Church Hall (across the road from the Museum). Members: please make an effort to attend the AGM. After the AGM, at about 12h00, there will be a talk by Dr Rodney Maud entitled “The origins of the landscape” (non-members welcome) followed by refreshments.
Note: Committee members are elected for a two-year term, approximately half the Committee standing down each year. Would you be interested in serving on the Committee, or do you have a candidate in mind? Nomination forms will be going out soon, along with the Notice of Meeting and other documents.
A reminder that annual membership fees are due in August. Your Committee is pleased to say that these remain at R20.00 per adult (R5.00 for junior members, 10-18 years of age) for 2011/2012.
Since our last newsletter:
We held another book sale outside Spar on the Easter weekend, at which we raised some R2100. As usual, books were “sold” on a donation basis, which we have found more effective than fixed pricing. We had quite a bit of new stock, and even some of the old, out-of-favour authors seemed to attract interest this time around.
At the beginning of May, we held our regular Autumn picnic at Kenmo Lake (courtesy of Jack and Di Lund), and raised almost R3400. Neil Prior again provided some recorded “music over the water”, supplemented this year by a “live band”.
For the benefit of those who may have missed our earlier newsletters, and without wishing to pre-empt anything our President may cover in his report at the AGM, here is a short review of our other events during the past year:
Liz Mackay received an Amafa Heritage award for her “contribution to local history, curation work at the Himeville Museum and the establishment of Himeville Historical Tours”. This was the Society’s second Amafa Heritage Award, the other going to Diana de Nagy in 2005. We again held our Heritage Day Children’s Art Competition in September 2010. The selected theme was the Soccer World Cup, and winning entries were displayed at the UFA Show in October. In October 2010, the Society visited the ruins of the old Home Rule farmstead (courtesy of the Blomeyer family), and Liz Mackay gave an overview of its, and the Alcock family, history. Afterwards, we went on to Pevensey Place, the local cerebral palsy institution, where we learnt about its background and had a tour round the facility. The Christmas Fete was again held at the Museum, mid December. As usual, there was a wide variety of stalls, Christmas music, hot and cold refreshments—and a jumping castle for the youngsters. In all, some R12000 was raised for the Museum funds.
February 2011 saw us finally achieving the unveiling of the new plaques, erected on those previously-unmarked graves at the Watermead Cemetery, at a brief ceremony with the Revs. Paul Mosdell and Edward Petersen officiating. Afterwards, we visited the original Watermead farmstead (now the home of Anthony and Linda Palframan). In March, we visited King’s Grant, near Ixopo, where we were given a guided tour by the owner, Cheryl Biggs. This was followed by a picnic lunch in the gardens.
Also in March, we joined up with the Ladysmith Historical Society on an outing to Pietermaritzburg to explore some of the Voortrekker history associated with the city, including the Voortrekker Museum and the Church of the Vow.
We extend a warm welcome to Barbara Bruynse, who joins the Museum in the capacity of Assistant Curator.
The old ox wagon (in front of the main (double) doors into the Museum courtyard), which had deteriorated very badly over the years, was eventually replaced by one of the wagons previously on display in the courtyard. There are plans to obtain and exhibit further examples of old transport.
With the renovations at the Shell Garage in Underberg, and the construction of the KFC outlet, the Society became involved in trying to arrange for the preservation and display of the “Tarboton generating plant” which provided electricity to Underberg and Himeville before Eskom power became available to the villages. Regretfully, due to what we understand to have been bureaucratic delays, the generator could no longer be stored locally and was relocated to Baynesfield, where it will also be put back into commission.
As many of you will be aware, the pin-oaks between Himeville and Underberg, planted in 1970 as a symbol of unity and to commemorate the “burying of the hatchet” with regard to previous “animosity” between the two villages, has, over the years, suffered from the ravages of weather, fires and the like, leading to several gaps along the line of trees. It is planned to replace those trees which have been destroyed, and we are gratified to hear that the KwaSani Municipality is prepared to become actively involved in the maintenance, care and preservation of this integral part of our local history.
For those who have internet access, the Museum is already present on the World Wide Web— either with a page on one of the museum or tourism sites, or through links found on such sites. These include www.museumsonline.co.za and http://www.southernbergescape.co.za/
But, did you know that the Society also has a presence? See www.hubhs.blogspot.com and also a listing on www.southernbergescape.co.za
Have a look and tell us what you think.
Have you visited the Himeville Museum recently? It is open every day, except Mondays, and the Curator will be very happy to tell you about the Museum and its exhibits, and perhaps to take you around.
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 09h00-12h30 Tel. 033-702-1184 Curator: Michael Clark