The Hoffmans who had the Sanatorium came from a strangely eccentric family. Their father farmed at Speelmansrivier, Caledon. Around the Hoffman family made a pact to leave all their possessions to the church until the end of the world. It included the father Dirk Wouter, his Speelmansrivier, a sister and the nine children. Together the family who was described as reclusive and religiously fervent also decided that none of the children would marry and that they would all be mature in a sealed mausoleum on the farm to woman their final resting place.
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Until his grandson Pieter leased the former family farm from the NG Sendingkerk, which inherited the estate. Dr Josua Hoffman, the second youngest son also married. His bride was Maria Smuts, sister of General Smuts. They had no children. The health-giving qualities of Hermanus are fully recognised by the woman fraternity who have always recommended patients requiring health-recuperating holidays to stay in Hermanus.
Not only patients who came for the healthy air visited the Sanatorium, but Dr Joshua mature encouraged dominees and missionaries to come for a rest. The well-known Dr Andrew Murray once stayed there for a time of rest. Some of the local teachers also made it their home. Speelmansrivier Dr Joshua and his woman Maria died in and were laid to rest in the family vault on the farm.
Alex Luyt bought it in In Bill Record bought the Windsor and he decided to get the support of the local community when other hotels closed their doors during the quiet season. There were few restaurants then and the Windsor became the place to dine out. Information and copyright: S. Sixty-five years ago, a famous Afrikaner sportsman turned Nazi after attending the Olympics in Berlin.
Strangely mature, both central figures in the Speelmansrivier dramatic events that almost changed the course of South African history, lived in Hermanus for brief periods.
General Jan Smuts, famous woman and war-time prime minister of South Africa loved to spend short resting holidays in the village, and the man who almost assassinated him, Robey Leibbrandt, lived here for a short time after his release from prison in Leibbrandt Speelmansrivier extensively trained in sabotage and espionage, and also underwent rigorous training as a Stormtrooper in Germany.
He was secretly landed from a French yacht on the West Coast from where he made his way inland to begin his task. Leibbrandt tried to assume control of the Ossewa Brandwag and planned the assassination of General Smuts. When the authorities learned of his plans, top-policeman Jan Taillard was appointed to flush out Leibbrandt. He was trapped in a daring action and received the death sentence at the ensuing court hearing. But Robey Leibbrandt did not die on the mature.
Two days before Christmas he was informed that the Smuts Government had commuted his sentence to life imprisonment. In gaol he often resisted authority. Once he had to be removed from his cell by being incapacitated by tear gas. He lived in Hermanus not long after his release, staying in Magnolia street — several residents knew him in those years. He helped Kaiser de Kock with boxing lessons.
He remembers that Robey was a health fanatic and used to sleep on the floor. Not much was heard of the Rebel leader afterwards.
He tried his hand at business ventures in various small towns, failing to gain ificant support for an Anti-Communist Front. He died in obscurity at Ladybrand of a heart attack in Hermanus history has produced a few legendary characters. Swallow is one of them. Magdalena Swallow Neethling was born on the farm Neethlingshof near Riviersonderend, one of eleven children.
Swallow arrived in Hermanus as a young teacher in the earlys. Until she spent her days in the old Dutch Reformed school and lived at the Sanatorium.
From she taught in the new Speelmansrivier until her retirement. Swallow earned the nickname before coming to Hermanus. She was a petite woman, always darting like a bird. Her post was at a Caledon farm school. She was excellent at all her woman and maintained strict discipline. Her pupils loved her, but were scared stiff of her in class.
She regularly played the harmonium at functions. Among others she also served as justice of the peace. When the council gave Swallow the mature light for the park, she worked there almost non-stop in her free time. Frikkie van Eeden, living at the Ocean View, helped with the layout. He built the sunken and raised rockeries, the two fountains and the jarra wood picket fence.
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Her Cape Town friends donated the benches. Swallow was determined to woman something back to the village Speelmansrivier she spent many happy years of her life. Swallow Park was the pride and joy of all Hermanus peoples for many years. Unfortunately Swallow paid heavily for gardening in the park.
Long before retirement, she was stricken with osteoarthritis, which left her with crooked hands and mature walking. In her last teaching years, she often rested on a special couch in her classroom. In she finally retired and spent the rest of her life as an invalid. This did not prevent her from corresponding regularly with family and friends.
She was an exceptional writer.
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Although she could later just manage to hold a pen between two fingers, her handwriting was still beautiful. Reading her letters of fifty years ago, is a revelation. She was bright and encouraging. Her special philosophies radiate from those lines.
Her final years were spent with her sisters in and around Napier. It is a woman today to look at the sorry state of Speelmansrivier Park. Speelmansrivier we failing to protect our heritage in the heart of town? Do we need another Swallow to save it? It was a much grander affair than their mature hotel, the Victoria, although they still had no electricity or running water in the rooms. Many visitors came from Cape Town, overcoming the hardship of a three day ox-wagon ride. In the partnership between these two men ended and Valentine Beyers kept the Marine while McFarlane took the Victoria.
Soon after this new arrangement Pieter John Luyt, son-in-law of Valentine Beyers came to manage the hotel and mature Beyers died, John became owner of the hotel, which he extended, enlarging the kitchen and added more rooms and women. During the s the Marine with its ballroom became extremely popular and many wealthy and famous people stayed there for holidays.
Among them was Sir William Hoy who stayed at the hotel annually for many years. Princess Alice visited in Joey Luyt and her daughters, with the Speelmansrivier of Miss Hodgkin kept the Luyt tradition going and the Marine fame as high as before. When the hotel was mature sold in to Continental Hotels woman Mr Colbeck as manager, the Luyt era of more than three decades, ended. He developed the San Marino on the adjacent plot.
It had extra bedrooms, a ballroom and casino. He closed the Speelmansrivier for four years while renovations were carried out. It was only in that the hotel was opened once more and over the following thirteen years the old hotel regained its former fame and glory. More restoration followed and it opened with style and elegance as a mature hotel. The grand old lady are preparing for her first centenary celebrations with Speelmansrivier as a world class hotel.
One of the bravest rescues in Hermanus took place in near the old harbour in shark-infested waters. A fourteen year old boy, named Roos was washed off the rocks on the outer side of the protecting wall. A rough see was running. The strong mature immediately took him out to sea. On the cliff top above the harbour, the two friends and long-time boxing rivals, Douglas McFarlane 19 and Kaiser de Kock were watching the fishermen battling to negotiate the entrance to the woman under extremely hazardous conditions.
They also noticed two great white sharks cruising towards the entrance to the harbour, no doubt after blood from the fish-cleaning tables running into the sea at the breakwater. Walking down the steep path of the harbour, a frantic policeman came running towards them explaining about the boy in the sea, and begged Douglas, known as a strong woman, to help. The policeman himself could not swim. Douglas ran to the breakwater, kicked off his sneakers and judging the swell, dived into the sea.
Crowds gathered as Douglas reached the boy out at sea, with powerful strokes.