THE BATTLE OF BETTY’S BAY – REPORT ON ROUNDS 630 and 631
Ed Silberbauer, Convenor
Two colossal gum trees were felled and dismembered by the heavy brigade, six chain saws shattering the quiet and otherwise peaceful morning. Three largish and long dead Acacia elata too were downed. Under the bark of these dead trees were an interesting collection of insects, including those large ants which tend to bite the unwary. The light brigade eliminated all the seedlings in that area – Acacia elata, Pittosporum undulatum and gums – there were many. Pittosporum is another fast growing problem in Betty’s Bay. This Pittosporum undulatum, highly invasive, is not to be confused with the Pittosporum viridiflorum (witboekenhout) which is neither an alien nor invasive. You won’t confuse these two anyway, they bear no resemblance to one another.
Jan ‘wounded knees’ Joubert wielded a trusty chain saw while his son Francois and his children Jacques and Alé and nephews Luc and Tim dragged cut-up branches out of the way. Jan recently had his knee repaired and, after a long period of recuperation, it is good to have him back with us.
Aliens of a different sort hit two of our stalwart hacking couples, Maarten and Hilary Mauve and John and Andrea Benn – both had their houses ransacked, all part of a series of burglaries which have taken place in Betty’s Bay of late.
Christine Dreyer made the sandwiches and Merran Silberbauer made the tea which sister-in-law, Caroline Silberbauer, served to John and Andrea Benn, Tom Dreyer, Rosemary Fowkes, Ursula Huyssen, Jan, Betsey, Francois, Jaques, Alé, Luc and Tim Joubert, Maarten and Hilary Mauve, Frik Potgieter, John Whitehead, Lewis, James and Ed Silberbauer.
The November hack is the hack that never was! With the severe droughts and alarmingly low dam levels throughout the country, why is it that on the most important date in the Betty’s Bay diary – it rains ! Not to worry – we will simply double our efforts on the December hack – if it doesn’t rain. The December hack, no 632 (6 December), is to take place on the banks of the Dawidskraal River. Meet at Frik Potgieter’s house at the end of Four Streams Road on the river side. The enemies to be tackled are the huge number of myrtle (Leptospermum laevigatum) seedlings. At this stage they are still easy to pull out by hand, so we need hands in vast numbers. Access will be no problem due to the fire that raged through that area in March.
This year will be different in that there will be no ‘office party’ as we will be celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the formation of our branch on Saturday 12 December.