Day fifteen - Plettenberg Bay,
17th October 2007

This morning I got up lateish  went to see Marie from the Village Bookshop in Plett who ordered 24 book and then then drove to Knysna to explore what is commonly known as one of the most beautiful places on earth. The area was an amazing contrast between rich and poor with the most basic of slums located just a few hundred metres from lavish and opulent millionaire homesteads - as you will see in the pics below.

Image right: Collector's item - 1 of 50 celebrating the book launch at Kranshoek signed by members of the Giqua National Conference

The small beach of Noetsie, its castles, and the millionaires resort of Pezula reflected the great divide.

A trip to Leisure Island and Twin Heads capped off an interesting day exploring the region.

It was now time to prepare for the "big event" the book launch at the Griqua settlement of Kranshoek - more below this set of images.

 

Strrets of Plett

Village Bookshop

- Scott in store

The poor end of Knysna

and the upper end

Pezula - very elite

very baboon

And the top end

Views from

Noetsie

There are lots of steps to

the beach at Noetzie!

The Castles

The Noetsie beach

Near Knysna

Leisure Isle

Twin Heads

Views from

Leisure Isle

Chele at her old business

in Knysna

And at her old home

on Leisure Island

Look out at

Twin Heads

The Crags

Tortoise at Knysna

Stalls in the main str

Knysna forest scene

African craft

The Plett dolphins

Dumps on Kranshoek rd

The le Fleurs
(Mrs le Fleur pictured below)

I went to Kranshoek at about 4pm to finalise arrangements for the launch and briefly met with Rev Sam Jansen and Cecil le Fleur.

At Kranshoek you can see the remains of the house (image right) once rented by the Kneg (A A S le Fleur) on the neighbouring farm Jakkalskraal. le Fleur, the Griqua's spiritual leader, died in 1941. He predicted that the Griqua would one day own the entire farm.

Jakkalskraal was officially handed over to the Griqua people on 19th November 2001.

The farm has one of the biggest dairy herds in the area.

When I arrived at Kranshoek I found that the Griqua National Conference had prepared a lavish evening with the Griqua Choir, the entire council of elders and an expected audience of 200.

Image right: Scott with Alan le Fleur, Mrs le Fleur (their mother) and Adrian le Fleur

I left the large laminated posters of the front cover of the book and the 100 copies of "Children of the Mist" that were to be donated that evening to the library at Kranshoek. Cecil le Fleur explained to me that it had been decided that 50 Griqua elders from Kranshoek would personally receive a copy of the book from me to entrench its significance among the people. After accepting the book they would then hand them back to the Griqua National Conference and that a whole shelf in the community's library had been set aside for the book.

I was delighted to see that 50 elders had individually signed one of the 50 special commemorative labels for books to be sold that evening making each book with the numbered stuck in labels unique.

Armed with the labels I went back to Ocean Watch and stuck them into the books.

At 6pm I arrived back at the Kranshoek Hall to a large crowd and a delicious smelling feast. I took my seat at the head table with Paramount Chief Alan le Fleur and Cecil le Fleur, who is in charge of the exciting Ratelgat project. I was one of the first to learn that the government had just authorised the payment of ZAR 5,000,000 to the project to allow it to be completed. Ratelgat is one of several donations being marketed in South Africa through my cultural village homestay project - which has now gone global.

There were several white guests including tourists who attended the book launch - and the evening was a treat! The white guests included Plettenburg Bay historian Margaret Parks and mediaman Timothy Twidle.

The large Griqua choir sang and speeches were made followed by an introduction to my launch by Cecil le Fleur who said that the book was the first to look at history from a Griqua perspective and was one that had helped him fill in many gaps in the history of his people.

He thanked me for the work that I had done on the book and said that every Griqua should read it to understand the richness of their heritage.

Image right: the Griqua community sing the Griqua National Anthem for me (you can see the video here)

I then got up and recited the poem on the front page of this website before talking about my motives in writing the book and my affinity with the plight of the people.

After I had finished speaking there were more songs from the Griqua Choir including a very special rendition of the Griqua National Anthem - including the Griqua elders, members of the Griqua National Council and Paramount Chief Alan le Fleur - a special request of mine and one rarely seen. I was fortunate to capture the whole event on DVD.

At the conclusion of the anthem the feasting started and I was inundated with orders for the book - selling nearly 50 and leaving me with just three spare. One English tourist said to me when buying the book that the event had been the highlight of his trip to South Africa.

 

The Griqua leadership
at Kranshoek

The cooks for the
festivities

Plett article

Launch ad

The school at Kranshoek

Sunset

Books donated to
Griqua National Conf

The large Griqua Choir

Scott, Alan and Cecil
le Fleur

The Griqua elders

Scott talking to Paramount
Chief Alan le Fleur

Scott and Alan le Fleur

The elders

Scott reciting "the poem"

Cecil and Sam Jansen thanking
Scott for books

Symbolic handing over of

books to Griqua elders

Scott handing book to Alan
le Fleur - Cecil and Sam Jansen

The  assembled Griqua

community and choir sing their

national anthem for Scott

Griqua present Scott with
a gift

Sam and Scott with Charlotte
from Village Bookshop

Alan's brother Adrian with
his wife

Return to Scott Balson's 2007 book tour