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This page exists to house the old magazine, "The Buzz", we used to print. Links to the PDFs are below. The articles in this section are related to the magazine, or have not yet been moved to other categories.

A letter to the Editor

Thanks to a very good article in the Betty's Bay rag, "The Buzz", I was made aware of this workshop and was able to join the group. It took place over three days and was taught by Vicki Thomas, ably assisted by Ebraime Hull. Vicki is a very famous artist. She has even painted for Prince Charles! She also teaches the Fine Art honours student at Stellenbosch University.

Twelve people of different abilities, from a couple of total beginners to some accomplished artists, were taught how to create beautiful paintings.

Thank you, Vicki, for three days of inspiration. I hadn’t thought it was possible to produce a painting that I would actually be proud of in such a short time. Apart from the fact that it was fun, there is a good chance we can continue our education over two years on a once-a-month basis.

Jane Orpen [Helderberg]


I’d heard about him, I’d read about him and, yesterday, I finally got to meet him. What an inspirational human being is Ebie Hull — baker, teacher, plant propagator, botanical explorer and botanical artist! He is also a man with a profound social conscience: he is  forever trying to find ways to uplift the less fortunate.

The Editor Rants (Again)

If you live and work in a city, a postman delivers your post to your home or workplace. And it matters not a jot how much mail you receive or to whom it is addressed.

If you live in a small town, without the services of a postman, you have a post box, for which you pay R40 a year. No problem!

But if you have any mail that is addressed to a trust or a company, with your box number, it gets RETURNED TO SENDER, that is if you haven’t upped your payment to a whopping R363. This applies to everyone, even those who are no longer involved in business.

Is this fair? Is this right? I THINK NOT!

The chosen font for this month’s title, methinks, aptly portrays the appearance of some of the plants in our fynbos at present: partly caterpillar-chewed, partly dehydrated, with grey tips curled in interesting directions. Despite their appearance, however, isn’t it wonderful to know that such damage is only temporary and they will recover? For the present we can simply move on to the protea bushes, either resplendent in flowers or full of buds, with the promise of a colourful winter. The recent few days of mist covering our mountain has also ensured the continuing carpet of fascinating ericas, especially, totally different in colour and texture from those in our garden.

The heroism of a very brave man who battled to save his house in the fire of 1970 was celebrated in an article in the Cape Argus. The hero was Eden Hodgson, a one-legged veteran of World War I. With the fire raging towards him, he was on his roof saturating the thatch. At one point, his house was completely surrounded, but he did not let up and his house  survived unscathed. It survives to this day.

Eden Hodgson watches Jock van Niekerk at a local bowls game.


Eden Hodgson had another claim to fame. He was the brother of one of South Africa’s most famous artists, Irma Stern. She visited Betty’s Bay on many occasions, and on one of her visits she painted two murals, one on either side of the fireplace in the sitting-room.

Eden Hodgson died and the house changed hands. One of the new owners hired the services of an extremely efficient cleaning lady when he moved in. Having instructed her to give  the place a thorough going-over, he and his wife set off on a mountain hike. When they returned a couple of hours later they discovered to their horror that the wall had been restored to its former pristine state. The Irma Stern mural had succumbed to a combination of Vim and Handy Andy.

This is a true story!

A popular sweetener among diabetics and those wanting to lose weight has been found to be deadly to dogs and birds.


Xylitol is a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener in baked products, chewing gum, toothpaste and lozenges.

But vets have warned people to keep their pets away from it. While the sweetener is safe for humans, it can lead to pancreas and liver failure and even seizures if eaten by dogs.

It appears that xylitol is also toxic for wild birds. Joburg vet, Dr Brett Gardner, examined the bodies of 30 Cape Sugarbirds that had died within 30 minutes of drinking a solution made with xylitol, from a feeder in a Hermanus garden. Gardner suspects the xylitol triggered a huge insulin release, causing an irreversible drop in blood sugar.

Library Hours: Monday to Friday 9h00-16h00
EVENTS for JUNE 2015


This is a question I have sometimes been asked by theyoung or by relative newcomers to Betty’s Bay. Those of you who have been here a while will know that what many of us called “Little Beach” when we were kids later came to be named “Jock’s Bay”, in honour of one of the great characters of Betty’s Bay, Jock van Niekerk. [His house over-looked said bay.]In fact, one can regard Jock as one ofthe principal pioneers of the area, so great was his influence on the early development of our town.

We are lucky enough to live in a breathtakingly beautiful environment. We take delight in our mountains, the fynbos, the sea and the sunshine and we even make excuses for the wind that batters our houses and destabilises our sanity. We relish the solitude and peace that Betty’s Bay offers us, so different from the hurly burly of city life.

But this solitude comes at a cost. Now and again you will strike up a conversation with a complete stranger at the Centre Shop, seemingly a newcomer or a visitor. Then you discover that both of you have lived in Betty’s Bay for the last ten years and have never clapped eyes on each other.

The new Stony Point Eco Centre on the old whaling station site was officially opened on Friday, 10 April, by Tourism Minister, Derek Hanekom, accompanied by local dignitaries and the trustees of the recently constituted Mooiuitsig Trust.

On Thursday, 16 April, a group of footsore, placard-waving demonstrators were spotted making their way along Clarence Drive in the direction of the municipal office complex. The most legible of the posters read: “HOOT FOR THE PENGUINS!” and most passing drivers did just that and then continued on their way. A people-carrier was waiting for the intrepid walkers at the Caltex Service Station. I stopped to chat to them as they were massaging their blistered feet and was made aware of the valid cause that prompted their efforts.

Fire is an inevitable and necessary factor in the ecology of the Fynbos Biome. To ensure the optimal regeneration of our precious veld it needs a comprehensive burn every ten to fifteen years. Dead growth is removed and precious nutrients re-enrich the infertile soil. And when the dense canopy is removed there is sufficient space and light to stimulate almost immediate regeneration.