When we grew up outside Harrismith ca 1959 we couldn’t use the lounge. The lounge was filled edge-to-edge by an upside-down speedboat. The old man built his first speedboat in this lounge, shown below many decades later:

1990 Birdhaven Mum, Dad & Sheila

Younger sis Sheila, in the picture with Mom & Dad, says he also built that fireplace.

Then, after we’d left home and Mom & Dad had retired, he developed another urge to build a boat. Luckily this time in a boatyard with the help of boat builders.

1990 April Dad's newly built boat0002

On a cold winter’s day ca1990 we took it, shiny new, for a spin on Sterkfontein Dam outside Harrismith: Me, Dad, two Eskimos and a semi-eskimo.

Trish eskimo, Mom eskimo, Dad, Sheila semi-eskimo

1990 April Sterkfontein 50002
Dad, Mom, Trish & me – pic by Sheila

We zoomed over the spot where Mom estimated her old farmhouse was – on Nuwejaarsvlei, where she grew up.




  1. Jon Taylor says:

    interesting bit of history – never thought about the farmers who lost their land to the river. Was it EWC?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. bewilderbeast says:

      Expropriation Without Compensation? Never. I am quite sure they got paid for their land in ca1970 when Sterkfontein was built. Frank of course had left long before – ca1938.


    2. bewilderbeast says:

      EWC? Oh, expropriation without compensation? No, they moved off the farm in 1938 and the dam got built in 1970. So I’m sure they sold it some other farmer back then.


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