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history

History

Timeline for Jejane Private Nature Reserve
 

  • 1967: Property was proclaimed Private Nature Reserve in terms of the nature Conservation Ordinance (Administrator’s Proclamation No. 282 of 1967)
  • 1988: Peter le Sueur Milstein, a conservationist qualified in agriculture and zoology with 20 years of nature conservation experience was taken to visit the then Fauncap Kwaratynplaas (PTY) Ltd which was in liquidation by an old friend, Lolly Sussens( from Tshukudu). He was “tremendously impressed with its potential”, although the farm was severely poached. - The farm was purchased for R1.1million on a deed of sale. Purchase price was fractionally over R750/hectare!
      - It was proposed to sell 30 shares at R50 000 each. Peter Milstein and his partner, Henry Radford (Harry) Savage would each receive a share each as the “founders and drivers” of the initiative.
      - The game on the farm was valued at R21 000. The game estimates were; 90 Impala, 21 Blue Wildebeest, 16 Burchell’s Zebra, 4 Giraffe, 6 Kudu, 20 Warthogs, some Waterbuck, Grey Duiker, Steenbuck and Bushbuck.
      - Property registered as Vienna Game Farm (PTY) Ltd.
    • 30 April 1988: First formal meeting held at 07h30 for 08h00 at Irene Primary School. The purpose of the meeting was to formally constitute the Company, draft the Articles of Association and the Shareholders Agreement. 
       
    • 14 June 1988: Alan Ross submitted first guarantee. - First Executive Committee elected; Frank Douwes(Chairman), Gerrie Griffieon, Barry Kraut, Dieter Mandlmeier, Peter Milstein, Harry Savage, Mike Snaddon, Keith van Heerden. Alan Ross co-opted onto the committee.
    • 17 June 1988: The guarantees of purchase finally presented to the liquidators. 
       
    • 20 June 1988: First Executive meeting held in Glenfurness at the Snaddon residence. Two important matters were discussed: the recruitment of new members and the allocation of the sites. 
       
    • Aug 1988: Johan du Preez surveyed the sites. - Alan Ross “facetiously” named the main access road, the N1. To this day, the name has stuck!
        - One of the initial Aesthetic guidelines was agreed upon: sites to have one corner of the house within 50 m of the specific numbered peg.
        - 186 bird species recorded on Vienna

        - Side striped jackal, Aardwolf, Civet ,Large spotted genet, Scrub hare, Bushbabies, Honey Badgers sightings recorded. Evidence of lion and leopard found. Various lizards recorded.

      • 1 Oct 1988: Price of unsold shares increase to R55 000.
      • 20 Oct 1988: Sites finally allocated to shareholders.
      • Nov 1988: Helmuth Wessels (Site 24) erects first dwelling on Vienna, an old army tent.

Archive photographs from Jejane's Past

The original advert that got me hooked in Vienna in the first place.It was placed in the Financial Mail. Dieter Mandelmeir was the Chairman at that time and he suggested that we actually go down to the farm and have a look see. The Thomson family have been addicted ever since.

 

Archive photographs from Jejane's Past

Vienna Archive - Leopard Kill Bushbuck

The very first recorded "kill" on Vienna was this magnificent Bushbuck ram taken by a leopard along the river bed which crosses river road just before the Pixie Pans. Discovered immediately after the kill whilst a working party of shareholders were cutting a hiking trail along the riverine from Pylon Drive - from the state of the carcass the leopard must have been distrubed at its kill.

Vienna Archive - Leopard Kill Bushbuck

Vienna Archive - Manager Steve Rademeyer

Steve Rademeyer (facing on the left), an ex Merchant Navy sailor and one time professional boxer ( and quite a character) was employed as a manager to replace the part timer, Willie Boschoff. Steve's focus was infrastructure (he knew nothing of the environment and conservation) - he supervised the erection of the western boundary bonnox fence, the stone bridge at Kudu Trough,and the trenching and laying of the steel piping for the water reticulation. Steve's Pan owes its name to Steve Rademeyer. He felt sorry for the game whilst he was laying the water pipeline from borehole #6 and surreptitiously fabricated a leak in the pipeline to create a small pan for the animals - the forerunner to the beautiful pan and hide that exists today. Steve suffered a heart attack as he left the farm and into retirement. His ashes are scattered at the magnificent leadwood along river road which carries his name to this day as Steve's Tree.

Vienna Archive - Manager Steve Rademeyer

Vienna Archive - Frank Douwes Bird ringing

Frank Douwes in his element - ringing birds, surrounded by children and teaching the older children the skills of ringing and passing on his love of the bush and birding. The youngster being taught in the photograph is Johann Griffioen - a parent himself today and still a staunch member of the Jejane family. You may be able to identify the other children in the photograph.

Vienna Archive - Frank Douwes Bird ringing

Vienna Archive - Frank Douwes Bird ringing

The late Frank Douwes, an enthusiastic bird ringer of renown set up a registered bird ringing station under the auspices of the University of Cape Town Ornithological Research Unit. Shareholders were constantly amazed at the gentleness displayed by this rough tough man when he was extricating a minute blue waxbill from the mist nets for ringing. He loved children and shared his knowledge of the birds and the ringing process and was always surrounded by onlookers. Perhaps you will recognise some of the children in the picture. Many of them are still associated with Jejane and have children of their own.

Vienna Archive - Frank Douwes Bird ringing

Vienna Archive - Bushcamp

Some shareholders were less optimistic at the speed of approvals for the share block and caravan sites became more permanent with small areas of grass springing up around them.

Vienna Archive - Bushcamp

Vienna Archive - Bushcamp

Another early view of the Bushcamp.  The "communal" braai structure in the middle of the camp was the scene of many festive evenings around the fire by a group of shareholders. Many long lasting friendships forged in this environment. Who can ever forget the late Frank Douwes' earthy language and his famous "train smash" and pap. Enough for the whole camp irrespective of numbers. Current office structure in the background. Sadly the magnificent knobthorn tree in the foreground died off years later and no longer exists.

Vienna Archive - Bushcamp

Vienna Archive - Bushcamp

An early view of the bushcamp after the bungalows had been thatched for the first time. A temporary workshop was erected between the two bungalows and this can be seen in the photograph.

Vienna Archive - Bushcamp

Vienna Archive - Bushcamp ablutions

Ablutions in the Bush Camp was limited to a single water tap. The shell of bungalow one can be seen in the background - subsequently to be thatched by Harry Savage and thereafter known as Harry's Hut.The remaining bungalows were refurbished and thatched in later years. Bungalow one was in constant demand because of its relative luxury.

Vienna Archive - Bushcamp ablutions

Vienna Archive - Accommodation bushcamp shed

Communal "Five Star" accommodation in the early days was on the floor of the old hunting camp shed.(Which has been transformed into the manager's house over the years) The walls were chicken wire to keep out dangerous "noonies"! The alternative accommodation was in the old abbatoir (current parking garage) with the old meat processing relics and the piles of giraffe skins and abandoned biltong in the drying ovens. But there was a hot shower and a flush toilet available!! Not popular with a lot of the ladies who likened it to an Auschwitz camp! Quite an adventure though!

Vienna Archive - Accommodation bushcamp shed

Vienna Archive - Boundary fencing

Our staff erecting the Western Boundary fence. The person on the left of the photograph is Patrick Ngwenya who is still an employee of Jejane.

Vienna Archive - Boundary fencing

Vienna Archive - Western boundary fence

The western boundary was graded in preparation for the erection of the Bonnox boundary fence. The late Dave Telford organised the bulldozer which Gerrie Griffioen transported down to Hoedspruit. Materials for the fence were transported from the "factory" to the erection sites in his father's landrover by your current manager, Glen, who at that time was a volunteer conservation student during his college vacation. Some 16 tons of materials were moved in this way, and in the process cracking his father's landrover chasis. Prior to the erection of the fence the Western boundary was a favoured entry point to the farm for poachers. Note the completely inefectual fence that existed at the time.

Vienna Archive - Western boundary fence

Vienna Archive - manager Willie Boschoff

Pictured here is the first manager on Vienna, Willie Boschoff,  a former Selous Scout from Rhodesia. He looked after the farm in return for accommodation and access to the farm to run survival courses. Willie was an imaculate dresser and a fitness fanatic. For instance he did not have transport initially and ran all the way from the Bushcamp, where he occupied what is now the office,to fill the diesel tank on the Lister pump at Kudu Trough in the North with a 10 gallon container full of diesel balanced on his shoulders as he ran. Many of the present authorised users were youngsters who participated in Willie's survival courses - a few that come to mind were Sven Ploger and Charl and Johann Griffioen. They slept under the stars in a river bed in the North and lived off the veld - grasshoppers and that ilk!

Vienna Archive - manager Willie Boschoff

Vienna Archive - Security gate - Vienna formative years

The first security check point on Vienna Game Farm.  The caravan was located at the junction of the N1, the Southern Access route which led only to the Bush camp and the entrance to the farm through Amsterdam (the Joubert property) Access was through a gate in the fence between Amsterdam and Vienna. Lucas, the original security guard was recruited from Hall's in Nelspruit. A real tough character who took his job seriously. Mike Bridgeford had to intervene on one occassion in a skirmish between Lucas (armed with a knobkirrie) and a firearm toting landowner from the Klaserie side who wanted access through Vienna to Klaserie. The landowner (no names no packdrill!!) was determined to shoot off the lock on the gate preventing his entry into Vienna. Note also the fine display of marigolds around the caravan - their ultimate demise upset Lucas.
Vienna Archive - Security gate - Vienna formative years

Photos 1993 - 2000

Top left: Vienna - October 1993

Top right: Warthog Dam - October 1993

Bottom left: Site 6 - October 1995

Bottom right: Swimming pool - August 2000

Photos 1993 - 2000

Photos - 1989

First time at Vienna - September 1989

Photos - 1989

Photos - 1993

Photos - 1993

Photos 1993 - 2000

Left: Vienna - October 2000

Center: Bushcamp - March 1993

Right: The shower - 1993

Photos 1993 - 2000

Photos 1992 - 1998

Top right: Warthog dam - 1998

Bottom left: Vienna - March 1992

Bottom right: The Swimming Pool - December 1994 (In this pic: John Duthie & Brian Golding.)

 

Photos 1992 - 1998

Bush camp & Vienna 1993

(Top left) Bush camp - March 1993.

(Rest) Vienna - June 1993

Bush camp & Vienna 1993
January 2014 - Bird Photos
January 2014 - Elephant Photos

 

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