hangklip01Allan Heydorn

In the September issue of the Newsletter, we published an article titled “The Hangklip Ecological Corridor – The untold story”. In that article, mention is made of Simon Marais who very generously donated the substantial funds which enabled WWF-SA to purchase the eastern flank of Hangklip Mountain and also the smallholding in the valley at its foot. The last paragraph of the article tells of Simon’s sad and unexpected passing and the intention to erect a memorial plaque for him.

hangklip02This promise has now been fulfilled. On 19 November, Dr Andrew Baxter of WWF-SA and I toiled up the mountain (luckily not to its peak) carrying the sandstone plaque, cement, water etc. and mounted the plaque at the spot where Simon felt that we needed to expand the Eco-Corridor further and committed the necessary funds. The photographs show the plaque. The simple wording was provided by Simon’s widow, Corena.

To me this is one of the most beautiful spots in the world and it means a great deal to Corena, to WWF and of course to me personally. It is a place where the words “I cast my eyes up to the mountains” acquire true meaning. It is not too difficult to get there – about 40 minutes up a steepish rocky track. It requires some, but not exceptional fitness. On the way one also passes a memorial plaque to Bernard Brodie, whose family provided the funds for the purchase of the smallholding ’Koppie Alleen’.