One cannot deny it: for most people, these are indeed difficult economic times. It is therefore doubly rewarding for us at Village Life to see our subscriber numbers still growing, slowly but surely with each issue.
Although few people get round to actually writing to us, many who speak to Ronél Vosloo regarding subscriptions or renewals can hardly stop talking about how much they appreciate our mix of articles and the quality of production.
One gentleman phoned from George last week to say that, although he is already retired, he had just realised that he wasn’t too old to learn something new he had discovered Village Life, and was cancelling his subscription to another title to subscribe to our magazine.
Whereas popular wisdom in the publishing industry maintains that only stories about celebrities, sport, glamour and disasters will sell a newspaper or magazine, the current downturn has shown that the “popular” titles are battling, even closing down, whereas those few with factual, informative content are growing.
We put our hearts and minds into each issue of the magazine, and trust you will enjoy this offering from start to finish!
Prolific botanic collector TP Stokoe’s favourite flower was the Golden Protea, Mimetes stokoei, which was recorded only a few times in the previous century and then died out. However, the plant again flowered recently, and scientists now understand why it took so long to germinate. Read the fascinating story of TP Stokoe and his plants page 16. Photo: Peter Slingsby
2 At the office
Letters and other important matters
Charles and Julia Botha, the two avid conservationists from Durban who have been contributing our “Gardening for Wildlife” feature since July 2007, will be taking a break. Charles, a semi-retired businessman, and Julia, Professor and Head of Therapeutics and Medicines Management at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, need time to update their book Bring Nature Back to your Garden (Eastern Edition). All 15 000 copies printed of this book have been sold, with the proceeds going to conservation organisations. We look forward to having more of their articles in Village Life next year.
4 Darling tells its stories
A part-time resident from Switzerland saw the divide amongst the residents in the village, and suggested that people start telling their stories by Barbara Mills
8 The face of South Africa
We revisit Renosterkop near Agulhas with Hercules Wessels, who helped set Village Life on its course of historical research. Mr Wessels passed away in March this year
10 A trove of vintage images found
The glass negatives from a Karoo photo studio record life in the Edwardian era, and also sometimes reveal how the photographer went about creating the final image on paper by Carol Hardijzer
16 T P Stokoe and his many ‘children’
Peter Slingsby and Amida Johns record the little-known life of this prolific collector of plants, and reveal the rediscovery of his favourite Protea
22 The Moodies: From Groot Vaders Bosch to Rhodesia
Annalize Mouton concludes the history of this family, who prevailed through often difficult circumstances
28 Marianhill Mission a century of service
Megan Abigail White recounts the history of what started as a Trappist monastery in Natal, but became an independent mission serving many
34 Marula tree of tradition
Constance Rahlane of Mapumalanga takes us into the lives and rituals of people under this magical tree of plenty
38 Coppersmiths whose shine endures
The story of the Woudberg family of Wellington, who made most of the brandy stills for the KWV. Many of the Woudberg stills are in use to this day by Maggie Follett
44 Stalwart of the Karoo
The Karoo Korhaan will stay in its arid territory, even if it doesn’t rain for years more eye-witness birding with veteran photographer Nico Myburgh read full article
46 Winter, time for snoek
Our Country Table Annalize looks at ways to prepare a snoek, and how a good cook should listen to the food. WP Burger, quoting a Gansbaai recipe, says only water should be used for basting a snoek on the coals
48 Camera work
Form and texture. The most difficult part about learning photography is not the technical stuff, but to learn to "see like the camera", enabling one to extract images from the clutter of the world around us by Maré Mouton
49 Tail piece
A polecat in Philippe’s boots, but no smelly incidents yet