Volume 30 Number 2 - 15th August 2009

Editor : Karen Long

My but time does fly! It seems only a few weeks ago that our last newsletter was posted off. Winter is almost over and as I write this I am admiring the rich orangery red colours of the Coral trees that are just beginning to bloom - a true sign that Spring is right around the corner. An arborist (tree hugger) tells me that a variety of this tree's flower is the national flower of Argentina and Uruguay. It is also the official city tree of Los Angeles, California. Bit of useless information...Now on with our news...

In keeping with International Museum Day celebrated on the 18th May each year, the Bathurst Agricultural Museum offered free entrance to all visitors on Sunday the 17th May. What felt like a 30 knot wind - I almost took off once or twice - did not deter folk from venturing out to visit the Museum. Mandy Villers who's mom Sue from the Whistling Kettle and Verna van Zyl laid on teas and coffees with carrot cake and delicious cheese and jam scones. We were most fortunate to get Brian Moxham from Beemox who "entertained" us with a delightful demonstration of how honey is produced. I am sure you all know that we have a working hive at the Museum and visitors were able to see these furry little creatures beavering away in this hive and see how honey is made.

I learnt that bees have 2 stomachs, their regular one and a "honey stomach" which holds almost 70mg of nectar when full and can you believe this - weighs almost as much as the bee does. They have to visit between 100 and 1500 flowers to fill their honey tummies! Bees pass the nectar onto other worker bees and these "house bees" chew the nectar for about half an hour. They then spread the nectar throughout the honeycombs where water evaporates from it, making a thicker syrup. The bees make the nectar dry even faster by fanning it with their wings (bees' wings beat 11,400 times per minute!) and once the honey is gooey enough, the bees seal off the cell of the honeycomb with a plug of wax. The honey is stored until it is eaten and in one year a colony of bees eats something like 90kg of honey. The most amazing fact is that bees can recognise human faces!!! So next time you squish a bee, know his brother "will be back!"

International Museum Day has been celebrated all over the world since 1977. Each year, a theme is decided on by the Advisory Committee and this year's theme was Museum and Tourism. The event provides the opportunity for museum professionals to meet the public and alert them to the challenges that museums face if they are to be - as in the definition of museums - "an institution in the service of society and of its development". Museums are after all, an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, co-operation and peace among peoples.

Our annual Golf day was held on the 5th July and some 50 players participated. We had originally planned the day for the 28th June but with all the glorious rain the course was completely waterlogged so we had to postpone to the following Sunday. Unfortunately we had to forego the warthogs and delicious homemade bread prepared by Vic and Nettie Keeton and their helpers but Vic very kindly donated sheep for the 5th July event. Thank you very much Vic and Nettie!!!

We were really thrilled because we struggled to get sponsorship and players, given the current economic climate. Despite this we were able to raise approximately R5500 for the Museum. We would liek to extend a very big THANK YOU to the players and sponsors for making it such a great day and would like to recognise the following sponsors:-

  • Albany Labour Focus
  • Bathurst Butchery
  • Bearing Man - East London
  • Chicory SA
  • Dave Duncan
  • Forward Refrigeration
  • Greg Timm
  • Hi Q - Greenacres
  • I Hire
  • Independent Plumbing Supplies
  • JSH Solutions
  • Kingsley Tyres
  • Kingston Farm
  • Kowie Brake and Clutch
  • Lal Purdon
  • Maritime Motors
  • Mike Palmer Nyala Valley
  • Phoenix Roller Mills
  • Rob Houston and Friends
  • Rob, Glynis and Steven Moss
  • Settler City Motors - Viv Jordan
  • Stafix Electric Fence
  • Summerpride Foods
  • Talisman
  • The Boardwalk Restaurant
  • Thospark.

Alan and Walter recently headed off to Jamestown and Queenstown where the Coetzee family from Jamestown (Nico and his sons Andries and Johan) hosted them. They enjoyed a super lunch and were taken for a tour of their farm. The family donated some great old machinery namely a 1928 McCormic Reaper and Binder; a Massy Harris Hay Rake; a Case Tractor and Case Combine; an Alldays and Oncons forge and bellow; and a Case Plough. The donation also included a number of implements and an interesting square bale loader. To transport all of these items, will take an 8 ton truck and trailer load so you can just imagine how much the museum received! A huge THANK YOU to the Coetzee family for their hospitality and donations and to Peter Ellliot who has indicated his willingness to help collect all this with his 8 ton crane truck and trailer.

Louis du Plessis from Queenstown intruduced Alan and Walter to Tubby Milne who donated blacksmith equiment; a "bakoond" door and a very unusual "silage/hay/lucerne grab". Mmmmm...the guys were not exactly sure what this strange implement is and so we will post pictures on our website www.bathurst.co.za within the next week in the hope that one of you clever people will help them confirm what this implement actually is and what it was used for!!! In addition to those items mentioned, Tubby donated a bakkie load of useful items like little wheels and the like - all of which will be put to good use.

Louis also donated a slatted chain-feed silage cutter in very good condition.

Chris Muller, Jon Peters and Walter have been hard at work dismantling and transporting all the parts of a Tangye (circa 1902) from the Cookhouse district. This machine is absolutely massive and was used at the Fish River to pump water for irrigation. I am busy gathering lots more information on this and will include it in the next newsletter along with pictures. The Tangye is a suction gas engine donated by the late Oscar Evans of Melrose Farm.

Chris and Walter are also still busy restoring a Spring Injection Blackstone which was donated by Mr Johan Kritzinger of the farm Groendal, Louterwater as well as the Petter Fielding 80hp twin cylinder engine donated by Tony Nelson originally from the farm Clifton at Committeesdrift.

And...just so as not for you to think us idle, last but not least, Jon and Walter went to "Christmas in July" at Hogsback and took with them a mealie sheller, a grist mill and engine to demonstrate yesteryears implements. Jon also helped Jonathan Amos-Brown with smithing on his portable "whistling forge."

A very warm welcome to our 3 new members: Mr Ted Gilfillan of Kenton-on-Sea; Mr Ross Purdon of Martindale; and Mr John Cryer of Bedford. We look forward to your participation in the Museums' activities. If you can help introduce any other new members, we would be most grateful.

We extend our sincere condolences to the family of the late Harold Ainslie who many will remember, restored the "Spider" horsecart which is now being used for weddings and brings in much needed funds. Also to the families of Bob Kaschula and Blom Davies both of who were very supportive and active members of the Museum during their time.

The Museum also benefitted from a generous donation from the late Mrs Roddy Tremeer's estate and this will most certainly be put to good use. Our condolences also go out to Mrs Tremeer's family.

Please let us know of any other members that we may not ahve included in our condolence wishes. We apologies if they are not mentioned here - this is only because we have not hearf from their families and we would dearly love to include them in our next newsletter.

Last by not least, congratulations to our Chairman Alan Pike and his wife Glynis on the birth of their first granddaughter Holly Ann on Monday 10 August 2009. We know how very proud you are and thought you'd like this saying I found - a Welsh Proverb... "Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild."

We continue to update our records and again remind those who have not yet done so, to please complete the slip and return it to us either via post or email. We also have names of members for whom we do not have addresses which I have listed below. If anyone can assist us with thses, please call me or Alan. We are trying very hard to keep our members informed of what we are doing and urgently need this information.

So until next time...

Uploaded : 08-06-2011

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