A fine day of gravehunting today. There were 4 tasks to be completed. Firstly, check out Larsens farm, then onto Nooitgedacht 534 to get proper GPS co-ordinates, then to Chartwell to get new pics and finally pop in at Fourways Memorial Garden to have a look.
Turns out Larsens Farm is actually called Rietfontein 189, and is one of the many undocumented cems in this area. There were over 100 graves there, and they were generally in a good condition. 3 new additions since it was last photographed in 2008, and I enjoyed this visit. Camera though has something stuck inside the lens that caused a dark spot in RH corner, that shifted once I got to Nooitgedacht. I hope that it doesn’t happen again because that could prove to really cause havoc. (interestingly enough, I pensioned off the camera in February 2016 and between then and now never had this spot re-appear)
Then onwards to Nooitgedacht 534. This one has also been done before, but the existing pics at eggsa are not great because of the weather in JHB at the time. Not a lot of deterioration though, considering. Graves in the veldt, an amazingly common thing in South Africa, what amazes me is that this area is riddled with graves, but finding them is a whole new ball game. From here onwards to Chartwell.
Finding Chartwell Rietvallei wasn’t too difficult, for once the GPS didn’t decide to take me miles away, but for some odd reason it reverted to Afrikaans. I have no idea why it does that! The graves in question have also been photographed before, 2 marked graves, one being an ABW casualty, the other is apparently one of the original Voortrekkers, born 1825? Ok, maybe one of the original settlers in this area. Between now and the original photographs the inscription on the stone has disappeared. Possibly delaminated? I also got accurate GPS co-ordinates now, so it’s not lost. The question does beg asking, why are these graves on this open stretch of veldt next to a road? was there a farm here that got subdivided?
My final destination was called “Fourways Memorial Garden”, a private cemetery out in the nether regions of Fourways. Its a professionally run private cemetery, and parts of it are really beautiful, but I don’t know, its not the sort of place that I get any sense of atmosphere from. Lets put it like this, I wouldn’t be caught dead in it. Still, it does make me wonder, if the powers that be in Johannesburg got their act together they could do something like this really easily. The problem is, it’s easier to do the bare minimal in some of the more marginal cems and then create new eco-friendly ones elsewhere, instead of taking historical sites like Brixton and Braamfontein and making them great. I didn’t take many pics here because of the private ownership issue, but it was an interesting look at “how the other half die”.
The cemetery does have a separate are for pet burials, and there is a memorial to the 104 people who died in the Afriqiyah Airways disaster in Libya on 12 May 2010. There is also a memorial stone to the novelist Bree O’Mara.
Then it was “home James” on the highway. Oy! do they think that 4 lanes will solve the traffic problem? bearing in mind the left lane is unusable because of slow trucks, the next one is unusable because of slow trucks overtaking other slow trucks. the right one is unusable because of fools in overpriced car with no manners, so that leaves the third lane, and that always has the “40 kilos below the speed limit” school of thought drivers in it. Wait till the tolls come into effect, its going to be very very interesting.
My comment above about “Wait till tolls take effect” is an interesting one. Since the tolls were brought into effect they have proven to be a large white elephant. The refusal by motorists to pay them has been ongoing since then. The fact remains that large portions of money get spent to collect and process the fees with very little actually going to SANRAL who in turn end up having to prop up the company overseas who had a finger in the pie. Add to that the bad publicity, extortion tactics and a poorly managed publicity campaign it has really be a failure. The fact is that no new roads were built, they really just added in an extra lane utilising the emergency lane. Congestion is still rampant, the traffic is just as bad and those smarmy new roads have only really addressed issues that date back to the 1980’s!
DRW © 2011-2018. Images recreated 18/03/2016, links recreated 03/03/2018