• Register

History Tour comes to the Oori

The Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy has an annual "History Tour" showcasing the many places of historic interest in the conservancy. This year the tour concentrated on the Western side of the conservancy, and in particular, places inside the Oori.

The tour commenced with a talk about Anglo-Boer War and the trap that was sprung in Kalkheuwel. On the grounds of Alpha Conference Centre the two sentinel hills mark the location of the Boers, and standing on the sport fields, the tour group experienced first hand the entry into the ambush.

Alpha Conference Centre generously provided refreshments, and tour leader Dalene van der Merwe says "The tea they served us afterwards was so good we ran a bit behind schedule as everyone sat and chatted and we did not notice the time flying by!"

As the tour entered the Oori, a welcoming committee of great stature greeted them: George, Georgette and Georgina!

"The Eshelby's place was fantastic, everyone oohing and aahing at all the incredible antiques and paintings and the workmanship put into the house by the family. Mrs Eshelby was a most gracious host as always, "says Dalene.

Lunch at SOS was in keeping with Spring. Stella Angus of Hills and dales, served freshly baked bread, fruit and cold chicken served with homemade lemonade and fruit punch. There was cake afterwards too!

"We had quite a few children along this time and they were given cushions and a picnic blanket and they ate and played under the willow tree near the river."

The tour concluded at the Plaque commemorating the finding of gold. Dalene says the view equals the historical value of the site.

"Our Tour ended with an unexpected 'min-hike' when Mervyn Gaylard very kindly came down to the plaque and led us all off along the river bank to see the place of the Wagon Crossing. We all came back to the bus tired but happy!"

"All in all, it was a great day enjoyed by all. My son Jean has not stopped asking me about the Boer War and who was on whose 'team'. I thought the little ones would find the tour boring but it seemed to awaken an avid interest in them in their heritage which has pleased me no end. "

Can't wait for next year's tour!