A rainbow over Henley
December 12 2017
There was a rainbow over Henley yesterday. We saw it over the trees at Fraser Park, a curve of colours disappearing in the low clouds which massed in heaps and streaks, both dark and light.
And then it began to rain – again.
We were on a trip of discovery, starting when I told the Man I couldn’t find the Sasol garage in Meyerton. Yes, all right, that’s dumb, but I couldn’t. He took me to find it. It turned out I had always missed it because I was looking at the gym equipment in the park on the other side. Sorry, people are much more interesting than petrol!
We explored Meyerton in the peace of Sunday afternoon taking careful note of the take-out options – everything from Chinese to fish ‘n chips with plenty of burgers in between. Unexpected visitors will not find us lacking and they won’t have to wait long either. It’s just down the road.
On the way back, I had another request. I wanted to find the churches. They weren’t marked on the map we had, so we negotiated a few dead-ends until we spotted the little yellow St Paul’s Anglican Church in (wait for it) Church street by the river. By the way, what is that magnificent building behind the rusted gate at the end of the road?
In cemeteries you can get a real sense of the past and St Paul’s is no exception. In Joburg we tried to rescue the old Bezuidenhout family graveyard in Bezuidenhout Park, where the graves date back to the 1850s. It’s overgrown and neglected now and many of the headstones have been vandalised. Most of those we could make out were children.
There are children here too, from the same era, particularly in the row with predominantly Afrikaner names. Was this the burial site of the first families in the area?
The headstones of those nearest the river are mostly illegible, except for “Modise”, although the rock piles look recent. Was there flood damage?
The latest gravestones have English, Irish and Scottish names; whole families resting here. The church, a board informs us, was built between 1942 and 1952. Surely that’s too recent? Is there an older site somewhere?
The next stop will have to be the library as soon as I have time to browse the museum.
Crossing the river, we found St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. All very modern. Cars were coming in, presumably for an evening service, so we cruised off to locate the bird sanctuary.
Um, oops, not sure. We spotted birds aplenty, we spotted what looked like a couple of hides, but we couldn’t find an entrance. Is there one, or did we miss the sanctuary completely?
We tried to find the dump and spotted instead a herd of alpacas, the last sight I expected. I fell in love with these beautiful, stately creatures with their woolly coats and soft eyes under fringes of hair. What are they doing here?
So much to see, so much more to discover.
I’d love to hear from you if you have any answers or suggestions.
Off the Rails: Henley’s haunted house
It was once a prefab hut for the British army, perhaps used for officers’ billets or a hospital annex, then, shipped to South Africa in 1904, it was one of Henley on Klip’s first family homes and a church.
If you can’t spell a street name, blame the Kents
Triumph and Disaster – The True Story of Horace Kent.