Annie Booisen

Annie Booisen was born in Cape Town in 1947, but moved to Clanwilliam with her family when she was only two months old. She studied nursing in Worcester.

Annie Booisen shares her experience of growing up in Clanwilliam and speaks of the racial dynamics, the well-known tree they spent their time under as teenagers, and the dam being a living thing. She talks about life in Clanwilliam being very different when she was growing up and shares her opinions about life in the town today.

Annie Booisen was born in Cape Town in 1947, but moved to Clanwilliam with her family when she was just two months old. Her mother worked in Lambert’s Bay and was divorced from her father. Annie lived in Clanwilliam, where she attended school, and she went to high school in Malmesbury. She then went to study nursing in Worcester.

Annie says that Clanwilliam was a very small town with no streetlights or tarred roads. There was only one shop in the coloured area, and the white and coloured living areas were kept strictly segregated. Annie explains that she assumed this is how it should be as a child, not knowing any better. She was not allowed to go into the white people’s shop and had to buy through the window or stand at the door. It was a good and safe time. They went camping at Die Hange. Near the township there was a little tree under which all the young people sat on rocks, chatting and singing, and people brought their boyfriends and girlfriends. There was also a dam nearby where they often went swimming, and Annie says she only knows of one drowning accident that happened there. People said the dam was alive, and some believed it as the body was never found. Someone said they once saw him sitting on a rock, and then he disappeared suddenly. Her family had little money, but every Sunday her mother would cook a delicious meal of chicken from the yard, potatoes braaied in the wood stove, and corn rice, as normal rice was a rich people’s food. Throughout the week they ate vegetable dishes, and Fridays was bread pap made from old bread. Annie says these were good years.

Her parents were strict. Annie and her siblings had to be home by 6pm or they would get a hiding, and they were not allowed to go to the river unattended. When she and her friends were about 15 years old they would go for a walk and take a watermelon as a snack, walking to the special tree and picking berries. The houses in the township were thatch, and although everyone used primus stoves there were few fire incidents. They salted and dried their meat by hanging it from the roof beams, and the first refrigerator she had was oil operated. Annie says she cannot complain about that time of her life. In those times it was “your child is my child” and everyone disciplined and demanded equal respect. Annie says that it is different today – children do not even greet properly. She does not regret being raised strictly.

Annie says her grandmother was seen as the boy of the house and she accompanied her great grandfather to the shop and veld. Speaking about politics in the town and about Apartheid, you cannot forget the past, and now races can talk openly to one another. In those times you had to know your place. Annie worked at the town hospital, which was not a racist environment.


I’m Annie Booisen, a native of Clanwilliam. I was born the 20th of October 1947 in Cape Town. After two months my parents brought me back to Clanwilliam. I’m the daughter of Anna and Dirk Coetzee, and we lived here, and from the time that I was still small I grew up at my grandma and grandpa, Martiens and Lena Scheepers, because my ma worked in Lamberts Bay. My ma had been divorced, she was married Coetzee, but that Coetzee man, Dirk Coetzee, was the only father I knew. And I’ll never prefer another father to him. I went to school in Malmes-, Clanwilliam. I also went to school in Lamberts Bay. From there I went to Malmesbury, I was in secondary school there. And after secondary school I came back to Clanwilliam, to look after my grandma, and then I took up nursing, in Worcester.

Tell us what it was like in Clanwilliam in the past.

Clanwilliam was a very small place. We didn’t have lights in our streets. I’m now speaking of the coloured area, that is what we called it. The streets were dirt roads. And we also had to walk far to the shops, we didn’t have shops. The only shop in our area was down here, Dollie Pieters’s, he had a shop and it was the only shop we had in Clanwilliam. Apart from that we had to go down into town. Everything was very primitive, and everyone in his little pigeonhole, coloureds on their side and the white side. We were, we were actually used to living like that, because, I was a child, I just accepted that it had to be like that.

We went into town… For example, we’d go to the café*, we were not allowed to walk into a café. We bought from a window, or at a door. At the one café we bought at the window, and at the other café we went in at the café door and we couldn’t enter the cafe directly, we had to stand at the door. Now, I was small and I had to hang from the window but then I was chased away. From that shopping window.

If, for example, you accidentally entered through the door, you were turned away, because we were not allowed to do it. Later on things improved, and then we could enter through the door and buy at the one side of the counter. Concerning the window café, we later, when it became the Smits’s (?? 03:42) café, we had a part that was our part (inaudible 03:49), in those days there was the non-white side and the white side. You couldn’t enter the white side.

For example, what, what was taken from us, was for example the dam. We, it had been our, our swimming place. Coloureds had lived there, most of the people who’d lived there had been Parrings, and our parents went to visit them. Few black people lived there, you didn’t really see them, but we were on that side, we were not scared when we were there, because it was a safe time.

Then, higher up, up along the dam, was the Young Good Hopes Club, that we called Die Hange. It was our place where the coloureds went to camp. In the evenings, especially around the high days, it was hot, then we went down the incline, with our watermelons, with our blankets and spread them, and we enjoyed camping there. It was actually one of the most hurtful times when that was taken from us and we couldn’t go there any more.

Further up in the road, before you, just before the path to the Young Good Hopes Club, there was a small tree. There are now many shakes (?? 05:27) there at the tree, and that was actually our sitting place. It was, that tree should actually be declared a monument, if I can put it like that, because it is the place where us young people visited together. All of us got together there, each one on a rock, girl, boyfriend, all of us congregated there and we spent time together there. Sang together, the songs, and whatever. And then we returned to our homes. That time was a very safe time.

Tell us more about the location at the dam, what was it like?

Oh, it was very nice. When we, we used to visit our friends there, Petrus and Willem Parring and them, Auntie Nettie and them. I can still see the dam, and the houses, the rows of houses. Us children went swimming in the dam, it was safe, we swam. I know of only one drowning there. I don’t know what he did, but it was a friend of ours that drowned there. They later moved to Lamberts Bay and he came here to visit and people said, “The dam is alive.” Us children didn’t know about that, but we heard it from our parents and our grandparents’ mouths. And then the people alleged that the guy, that he was actually alive, because they’d never found his body.

Someone once said that he’d called out to Willem, they’d seen him on a rock, then he disappeared again. I can’t say that it was like that, this is stuff that I was told. We (inaudible 07:29) the whole day, there was this rock shelf that pointed down, and then we climbed onto this rock shelf, and then we slid down on the boxes we sat on, and then we slid down, we were children after all. It was nice recreation. The only other activity that I can remember was the regatkatska (?? 07:54).

Tell us.

Must I speak of it? Was the regatta that was held there, it was a race with boats on the water. And then we also stood on the one side of the river, and we were allowed to watch it. It was, I would say it was good for me. I don’t want to speak negatively or whatever about everything, but that was the life that we knew.

Our people went fishing there. I remember our neighbour, Boeta Damon Scholtz (?? 08:34), he caught these long fishes there. And he was able to give us food from a fish like that. Those were days of suffering. They were difficult days. Our parents, for example, worked, my grandpa worked for one pound ten, but we lived all week on that one pound ten. Just the other day I told my children that we, on Sunday we had a nice meal, it was a chicken from the yard. We don’t know that any more today. And, and the oven potatoes in Mommy’s wood stove, and, and the mealie rice. We didn’t eat rice, mealie rice was the rice, rice was seen as rich people’s food. On Mondays we, it was a vegetable dish, on Tuesdays it was a vegetable dish, on Wednesday, from around Thursday we were hard-pressed, we were hard-pressed. I can remember my grandma, for example – I’m a grandma’s child, as I said – my grandma buying, on Thursdays, a small shin (?? 09:58) for half a crown. That was then, it was boiled in the mealie rice. To me it was the nicest dish, and funnily enough, when I experienced my first pregnancy, that was the food that I craved. And that was the food that my husband’s aunt then made for me to eat. On Fridays, because Daddy only brought the money late afternoon, on Fridays it was bread porridge, it was old bread, because we had oven bread, then bread porridge was made from that, and we ate it. But those were good years.

Our parents were very strict. At six o’clock, late afternoon in summer, you had to be inside. If not, Ma and Pa went looking for you. And you got your hiding. You could also not just go to the river. You got your hiding. They had to know that you were going to the river, and you were also not allowed to go to the river. And at that time it wasn’t actually to the dam, we went to Jan Dissels River, and then we went swimming there. At Aruna, the oak trees, I can’t remember the names so well any more, remember, I‘m already 70, we went swimming there. But we were not allowed to do it without our parents’ permission.

I can remember, I was a girl of, say, 15, 16, we went to buy watermelon below in the vlei*, us friends. We walked right down, as one would say now, to Ospas (?? 11:43), down there at the bridge. Then we walked along the river, and then we, until we came to Aruna. It was nice.

One of the nicest, we, when you’re back on this side, we came, because we passed the – where the cemetery is now, that was the refuse dump. So we came through there and then we came past a tree, and we sat down at that tree, I apologise for the name, but the tree, the tree was known as the arsehole tree. It was this burnt tree but it had the shape of someone’s behind. And then we picked dune berries there, and then we came home with our dune berries.

Our houses had reed roofs, you know. But funnily enough, there were very few fires, because it was still, we used Primus stoves. And then we had this brush that had been dipped in spirits, tightened and, the Primus itself was filled with oil, and then pumped.

Our people dried meat, we didn’t have a fridge. The fridge, I was already a young girl when we first had a fridge in the house. Then it was also a Primus fridge. Not a Primus, an oil fridge. It was an oil fridge, but our food didn’t, our meat didn’t go off. The pieces of meat hung here across the beams, inside the houses, the meat hung there. And that is what I knew. And I did, as a young girl, and when I went to school, after school I did nursing there in Worcester, and I came back. I came to nurse in Clanwilliam. My grandpa took me down to the road in the morning, in the evenings down to the road, to Park Street, with the lantern, and when we did the day shift until seven o’clock, until seven o’clock in winter, my grandpa again came to fetch me at the hospital. Very nice.

That, about that period in my life, I can’t complain. We, our school was also down there, the primary school was also there, on the one side the Anglican school, and on the other side the Dutch Reformed school. Mister Fransman was the principal there in my time. And, ah, it was, it was just, we just knew we had to stay on our side. It wasn’t strange to us, and, like I hear now, often I hear them say we must go back to “my child is your child, your child is my child”. It isn’t like that. It doesn’t happen here. It isn’t like that any more. You may not hit someone else’s child. But in those days our neighbour was allowed to give us a hiding. If I can only go back to that time. Or just bring our children back, so that they can learn about that time, because we adults, today children no longer have respect for, for the adult. The children don’t care, they don’t really greet you, you have to greet them, then they will greet you. The manner in which they greet, we had a way to greet the adult, the aged. There was a way of, it wasn’t “Hello”, it was, “Afternoon, Auntie”, “Afternoon, Grandma”, “Evening, Grandma”, “Morning, Grandma”. That was the way we greeted each other. Today they greet you… It was funny to me, I’ll always remember it, because I was brought up very strictly. And I’m not sorry about it.

Can you still remember some of the stories that your father and them told you?

My grandpa and my grandma loved the old stories. It was Jackal and Wolf. And then the other stories, which were stories from their lives. My grandma told me that she’d been seen as the boy in the house, and she actually had to stay in the veld*, and then she had to go to the shop with her pa. Her pa disappeared, I think he was, I don’t know what they call those people who, who worked in the Boer War, or whatever. But he just disappeared, and whether he was carrying stuff, or whatever, I don’t know, ammunition or whatever, but anyhow, I don’t really know anything about that. But then my grandma had to, when he came home, then they had to go and buy food.

And my grandma said that she used a kierie* in front of her to be able to see, the kierie was her eyes, to be able to see in the dark. And one evening her pa also came, and he probably had had a drink and then her pa fell asleep under a bush, and it was cold and wet. And my grandma realised that she somehow had to try to get home, because she was going to die in the rain and cold. She was going to freeze. And she tried to walk and when she, but she knew about the donga* that they had to cross, because she knew the way. And she stuck out her hand, stuck out her kierie, in the donga to cross, because she wanted to climb into the donga and then out again, and then she stood on a snake. And she said she walked all along the donga, and she was already down there where she knew she could cross and she could still hear the snake hissing.

My grandpa told a story and, and it was painful to me, it pained me. One doesn’t want to hit back but it’s what happened. My grandpa said that he couldn’t remember whether it was my ma, or whether it was my uncle, but my grandma had to give birth. And she was in pain and then my grandpa had to tell his baas* he won’t be coming to work, because he had to go fetch the grandma, because at that time there were still midwives. He had to go fetch the grandma, to help my grandma, because my grandma had to give birth. And then his baas said to him, “When you speak to me, don’t speak of your wife, tell me that you have to go and fetch the old woman for the birth, because your meid* has to have a baby.” And that, that story, my grandma and my grandpa laughed about it. And for me as a child, it hurt me. And it has remained with me up to today. It has remained with me up to today.

All right, today, in today’s life, you can, we can sit around a table, we can drink a cup of tea together, we can have a conversation, but there is still, one can’t say that you’ve forgotten the past. Okay, everyone has changed, people have changed, but you still go to places where you can just feel, this one is friendly towards you, but you can just feel, I must stay where I am. That is the truth. We have our pride, today we can also stand up and today we can also speak. About many things that hurt us, we can today, today I can speak to a white person, or speak to a black person, and it is nothing. And they can come to you, and you can go to them, and you have a nice conversation, and you visit. It is nothing. But then, as I understand, it was apartheid and you were not allowed to, not allowed to mix. So you just knew where your path lay. You had to know your place. And it’s on that note that… I think there are many of our people who, who still see that we’re friendly, and we’re… but we go, we must just know our place.

I worked at the old hospital. It was good to work there. I can name exceptions, many people… Look, I’m speaking now about things that were good and things that were bad. I can name exceptions, I can speak of Doctor Miller, I can speak of Doctor Ash, I can speak about a Doctor Smit who was here. I’m not going to, the others came later, but I’m not speaking of them now. But they were not ugly, I, they didn’t treat us in an ugly way. They were good – although we had our side and they had their side, they never treated us in an ugly manner. There was… Sister Coetzee. Redhead. She was strict, but I didn’t feel funny around her or, or stood apart from her.

I think it was already better then, it was probably already a better time. It was good for me. And I thought when I came from Worcester where I’d nursed, I thought, because we were really only a lot of coloureds together, and blacks together, who nursed there. And I thought, o-o-h-h, I wonder how it will be when I go home and I’m working here, because there are white and non-white here. And I, it was, I was, initially I was afraid. Not afraid, careful, because I was used to the people I interacted with there, those few whites, it was good, because the matron was a white woman. And, but when I started working here, came to work here, I worked very well… it was, I worked very well together with the white sisters. Then it wasn’t strange to me, or they weren’t funny to us, working with us. It was good. I can’t speak badly of them.

And remember, at that time Clanwilliam Hospital was actually a very primitive place. They also had to make the best of the place where they worked, but good work was done there. That is what I can say, coming from a big hospital. I came from a big hospital. I’d had my training, I’d done my general in Eben Donges, and I’d done my infectious diseases in (inaudible 24:39), and it was our main hospital that also gave the training, and our clinic we’d done at the local clinic, and they called it district then, if you did district work, that is when you go out into the field. To do bathing work and those things. And then I had to come to Clanwilliam, then I had to fit into Clanwilliam, and I was actually a bit scared about how it would be. And, but it was good, that is what I can say now, it was quite simple. But those people made the best of things, that I can attest to. It was good. I can’t speak badly of those, of that. Can’t, I can’t. We did our best, only the best was done for the patients. You could never say that this sister favoured the white person, huh-uh, it was not like that. It was not like that.

Annie Booisen is in 1947 in Kaapstad gebore, maar het saam met haar familie Clanwilliam toe gekom toe sy net twee maande oud was. Sy het op Worcester vir ’n verpleegster geleer.

Annie vertel hoe dit was om op Clanwilliam groot te word, en van die rassedinamika. Sy vertel ook van die bekende boompie waar hulle as tieners gekuier het, en dat die dam lewe. Sy deel haar mening oor die lewe op Clanwilliam, wat vandag baie anders is as toe sy ’n kind was.

Annie Booisen is in 1947 in Kaapstad gebore, maar het saam met haar familie Clanwilliam toe gekom toe sy net twee maande oud was. Haar ma was ’n geskeide vrou en het op Lambertsbaai gewerk. Annie het op Clanwilliam gebly en daar skoolgegaan totdat sy hoërskool toe is op Malmesbury. Na skool het sy op Worcester vir ’n verpleegster gaan leer.

Annie sê Clanwilliam was ’n klein dorpie sonder straatligte en teerstrate. Daar was net een winkel in die Kleurling-gebied, en daar was aparte woongebiede vir blankes en Kleurlinge. Annie verduidelik dat sy as kind bloot aanvaar het dis hoe dit hoort en dat sy nie van beter geweet het nie. Sy mag nie in die blankes se winkel ingegaan het nie en moes deur die venster koop of by die deur staan. Dit was ’n goeie en veilige tyd. Hulle het by Die Hange gaan kampeer. Daar naby was ’n boompie waaronder jongmense op die klippe gesit en gesels of sing het, meisies en kêrels. Daar was ook ’n dam daar naby waar hulle dikwels gaan swem het, en Annie sê sy weet net van een persoon wat daar verdrink het. Mense het gesê die dam lewe, en sommige van hulle het dit geglo, want die drenkeling se liggaam is nooit gevind nie. Iemand het gesê hulle het hom eenkeer op ’n klip sien sit, maar toe het hy skielik verdwyn. Haar familie het min geld gehad, maar elke Sondag het haar ma ’n heerlike maaltyd gekook van vars geslagte hoender, aartappels wat sy in die houtstoof se oond gebraai het, en mielierys, want gewone rys is beskou as rykmanskos. Deur die week het hulle groentedisse geëet en Vrydae was daar broodpap wat van ou brood gemaak is. Annie sê dit was goeie jare.

Haar ouers was baie streng. Annie en die ander kinders moes om sesuur saans tuis wees of daar het ’n pak slae op hulle gewag, en hulle mag nie alleen rivier toe gegaan het nie. Toe sy en haar maats omtrent 15 jaar oud was, het hulle gaan stap en ’n waatlemoen saamgeneem om te eet. Hulle het na die spesiale boom toe geloop en langs die pad duinbessies gepluk. Hulle huise was rietdakhuise en hoewel almal primusstofies gebruik het, het daar min brande plaasgevind. Hulle het hulle vleis gesout, en gedroog deur dit aan die balke op te hang. Haar eerste yskas was ’n paraffienyskas. Annie sê sy kan nie kla oor daardie tyd in haar lewe nie. Destyds het almal kinders gedissiplineer en respek vereis, want hulle het geglo “jou kind is my kind”. Annie sê dis anders vandag – vandag groet kinders ’n mens nie eers behoorlik nie. Sy is nie jammer dat sy streng grootgemaak is nie.

Annie sê haar ouma is beskou as die seun in die huis en het saam met haar oupagrootjie winkel en veld toe gegaan. Wat politiek in die dorp en apartheid betref, kan ’n mens nie die verlede vergeet nie, maar vandag praat mense van alle rasse openlik met mekaar. In daardie dae moes jy jou plek geken het. Annie het by die dorpshospitaal, wat nie ’n rassistiese omgewing was nie, gewerk.

Ek is Annie Booisen,  boorling van Clanwilliam. Ek is gebore twintig Oktober 1947, in Kaapstad. Na twee maande terug in Clanwilliam het my ouers my gebring. Ek is die dogter van Anna en Dirk Coetzee, en,  ons het hier gewoon van ek ken van kleins af het ek by my ouma en oupa, Martiens en Lena Scheepers, grootgeword omdat my ma gewerk het in Lambertsbaai. My ma was ’n geskeide vrou, sy is Coetzee getroud, maar dié Coetzee-man, Dirk Coetzee, is die enigste pa wat ek geken het. En ek sal nooit ’n ander pa bo hom verkies nie. Ek het in Malmes-, Clanwilliam skoolgegaan. Ek het ook in Lambertsbaai skoolgegaan. Van daar is ek na Malmesbury, daar’t ek op hoërskool gewees. En van die hoërskool af weer teruggekom Clanwilliam toe, na my ouma te kyk, en toe het ek verpleging opgeneem, in Worcester.

Nou vertel vir ons hoe Clanwilliam destyds gewees het.

Clanwilliam was ’n baie klein plekkie. Ons het nie ligte gehad in ons strate nie, ek praat nou van die kleurlinggebied, want dit is wat ons dit genoem het. Die straatjies was maar stofstrate. En, ons moes ook maar ver gestap het vir winkels, ons het nie winkels gehad nie. Die enigste winkel in ons gebied was hier onder, van Dollie Pieters, hy het ’n winkel gehad en dit was die enigste winkel wat ons in Clanwilliam gehad het. Verder moes ons af dorp toe gegaan het. Alles was maar baie primitief gewees, en elkeen maar in sy hokkie, kleurlinge aan sy kant en die blanke kant. Ons het, ons het eintlik gewoond gewees om so te lewe, want, sê ek was ’n kind, ek het aangeneem dit moet so wees.

Ons het al byvoorbeeld in die dorp ingegaan, nou gaan ons kafee toe, ons was nie toegelaat om in ’n kafee in te stap nie. Ons het by die venstertjie gekoop, of by ’n deur. By die een kafee het ons by die venster gekoop, en by die ander kafee het ons by ’n winkel, by die kafee se deur het ons ingegaan en ons mag nie direk in die kafee ingegaan het nie, ons moes by die deur gestaan het. Nou, ek was maar klein gewees, en ek het maar gehang aan die venster, maar toe is ek dan gejaag. By dié venster-verkope.

As jy byvoorbeeld per ongeluk by die deur ingegaan het, dan was jy teruggewys, want ons mag dit nie gedoen het nie. Later het dit darem verbeter, en toe kon ons ingegaan het tot by die deur en dan die een kant van die toonbank gekoop het. Wat die een vensterkafee betref, het ons later toe dit die Smitte (?? 03:42) se kafee geword het, het ons ’n deel gehad wat ons deel (onhoorbaar 03:49), daar was mos daai tyd wat dit die nieblanke kant was en die blanke kant was. Jy mag mos nou nie blanke kant ingegaan het nie. Byvoorbeeld, wat, wat vir ons was, wat van ons ontneem is, was byvoorbeeld die dam.

Ons, dit was onse, ons,   swemplek, daar’t kleurlinge gewoon, die Parrens (?? 04:17) was die grootste gedeelte mense wat daar gewoon het, en so het onse ouers ook maar by hulle gaan kuier, daar’s maar min swart mense gewoon, jy’t nou nie eintlik vir hulle gesien nie, maar ons was nou daai kant toe, maar ons was nie bang vir niemand as ons bank daar nie, want dit was veilige tyd gewees.

Dan was daar opper, by die dam op, was die Young Good Hopes Club, wat ons genoem het Die Hange. Dit was onse plek wat ons kleurlinge gaan kamp het. Saans het ons veral hier by die groot dae, is warm, dan’s ons daar by die steilte afgegaan, met ons waatlemoen, met ons komberse en oopgegooi, en ons het lekker gekamp daar. Dit was eintlik een van die seerste tye toe dit van ons ontneem is, en ons nou nie meer daar kon gegaan het nie.

Hier op in die pad, voor jy, net voor jy by die afloop na die, na die Young Good Hopes Club toe, daar was ’n boompie,  daar’s nou baie shakes (?? 05:27) staan daar by die boompie, en daai was eintlik ons sitplek gewees. Dit was, daai boompie moet eintlik ’n monument verklaar word, as ek dit so sal sê, want dissie plek wat ons jong mense saam gekuier het. Ons almal het daar bymekaargekom, elkeen op ’n klip, meisie, kêrel, daar’t ons almal bymekaargekom en daar’t ons saam gekuier. Saam gesing, die songs, en wat ook al. En dan’t ons weer teruggekom na ons tuiste toe. Daai tyd was ’n baie veilige tyd gewees.

Vertel vir ons meer van die dam se lokasie, hoe was dit daar gewees?

O, dit was baie lekker. Toe ons, ons altyd vir ons vriende daar gaan kuier het, daar by Petrus en Willem Parring-hulle, antie Nettie-hulle. Ek sien die dam nou nog, soos hy gestaan het en die huisies, die rye huisies daar. Dan het ons kinders gaan swem in die dam, dit was veilig, ons het geswem, ek weet net van een geval van ’n verdrinking daar. Ek weet nie hoe’t hy gemaak het nie, maar dit was ook ’n vriend van ons wat daar verdrink het, hulle het toe later Lambertsbaai toe getrek en hy het hier gekom kuier en mense het mos gesê “die dam lewe”. Ons kinders kan nou nie baie daarvan praat nie, maar ons het nou ook maar gehoor by onse ouers en grootouers se monde. En toe’t mense beweer dat,  die outjie, hy, hy lewe eintlik, want hulle’t nooit sy liggaam gekry nie.

Iemand het eenkeer gesê dat hy het geroep na Willem, maar hulle het hom gesien op ’n klippie, toe’t hy weer verdwyn. Ek kan nie sê dit is so nie, dit is goed wat vir my vertel is. Ons het (onhoorbaar 07:29) die hele dag, daar was so ’n klipplaat, wat so af gewys het, en dan’t ons geklim op dié klipplaat, en dan het ons met, met,  die bokse wat ons op gesit en dan het ons so afgeseil, ons is mos nou kinders. Dit was mos nou lekker ontspanning gewees. Die enigste ander aktiwiteit wat ek nou kan onthou was die regatkatska (?? 07:54).

Vertel vir ons.

Moet ek daarvan praat? Was mos die regatta wat daar gehou was, dit was mos die resies met die bootjies op die water. En dan het ons ook maar een kant van die rivier het ons ook maar,  gestaan en ons was ook toegelaat om dit te sien. Dit was ook vir my, ek sal ook sê, dit was vir my goed. Ek sal nou nie op alles neerhalend of wat ook al, ek wil ook nie neerhalend praat nie, maar dit is die lewe wat ons nou geken het.

Ons mense het daar gaan visvang. Ek onthou ons buurman, boeta Damon Scholtz (?? 08:34), hy’t net sulke lang visse daar gevang. En uit so ’n vis uit vir ons kan kos gegee het. Dit was swaarkrydae. Dit was moeilike dae. Ons ouers het byvoorbeeld gewerk, my oupa het gewerk vir een pond tien, maar ons het uit daai een pond tien uit, het ons in die week gelewe. Ek het nou die een dag vir my kinders gesê dat ons het,  Sondag het ons ’n lekker ete gehad, dit was die hoender uit die jaart uit. Ons ken dit nie meer vandag nie. En, en, en die braai-aartappels in Mamma se houtstoof in, en, en dan die mielierys. Ons het nie rys geëet nie, mielierys was die rys, rys was beskou as ’n ryksmanskos. Maandae het ons, was dit ’n groentedis, Dinsdae is dit ’n groentedis, Woensdag, hier van Donderdag af dan trek, dan trek ons noustrop. En dan het ek onthou, my ouma het byvoorbeeld – ek is ’n ouma-kind, soos ek gesê het – dan het my ouma,  Donderdae het, was die skinkertjie (?? 09:58 shin?) gekoop, ’n halfkroon s’nne, dan was dit, dan was dit in die mielierys gekook. Dit was vir my die lekkerste dis, en snaaks genoeg en toe ek my eerste swangerskap,  ervaar het, was dit die kos wat ek gelus het. En dit was die kos wat toe, my man se tante toe vir my gemaak het om te eet. Vrydae, want Pappa bring eers namiddag die geldjie, Vrydae was dit of die broodpap, dit was ou brood, want ons het mos nou bakbrood gehad, dan was daar daarmee broodpap gemaak, en dit het ons geëet. Maar dit was lekker jare.

Ons ouers was baie streng. Sesuur, namiddag in die somer, moet jy in wees. So nie gaan soek Ma en Pa jou. En jy het jou pak slae gekry. Jy mag ook nie enige tyd rivier toe gegaan het nie. Jy’t jou pak slae gekry. Húlle moes geweet het, dat julle sal rivier toe, en julle was ook nie toegelaat om rivier toe te gaan nie. En daai tyd was dit nie eintlik na die dam toe nie, dan het ons na Jan Disselsrivier toe gegaan, en dan het ons daar geloop swem. By Aruna, die akkerbome, ek kan nie meer lekker die name onthou nie, onthou ek is ook al sewentig, enne, dan het ons daar gaan swem. Maar ons mag dit nooit gedoen het sonder onse ouers se toestemming nie.

Ek kan onthou, ek was ’n meisietjie van, van, sê vyftien, sestien, dan het ons onder in die vlei gaan waatlemoen koop, ons maats. Dan het ons reg afgeloop, soos ’n mens nou,  Ospas (?? 11:43) toe gaan, daar by die brug af. Dan het ons al met die rivier op geloop, en dan het ons, tot ons by Aruna uitgekom het. Dit was lekker.

Een van die lekkerste, ons het, hier as ons nou weer hierdie kant verbykom, dan kom ons, want ons kom verby die, waar die begraafplaas nou is, daai was die vuilgoedgat. Dan kom ons daar deur, en dan het ons verby ’n boom gekom, nou by daai boom het ons gaan sit. Ek is jammer om nou die naam te sê, maar die boom, die boom was bekend as die poephol-boom. Hy was so ’n gebrande boom, maar hy het nou dié vorm gehad van iemand se agterstewe. En dan het ons daar duinbessies gepluk, en dan het ons met ons duinbessies huis toe gekom.

Onse huise was mos maar die rietdakhuise. Maar, maar snaaks genoeg, baie min het brande plaasgevind, want dit was tog, ons het gebruik gemaak van die Primus-stoufie. Nè. En dan het ons mos nou met dié kwassie met die spirits wat in die spirits gedoop word, vasgemaak en,  Primussie self was mos nou die olie in ge-, en dan maar gepomp.

Ons mense het die vleis,  drooggemaak en ons het nie yskas gehad nie. Die yskas, ek was al ’n jongmeisie toe ons eers ’n yskas in die huis gehad het. Toe was dit ook ’n Primus-yskas gewees. Nie ’n Primus, ’n olie-yskas, was dit ook ’n olie-yskas gewees, maar onse kos het nie, onse vleis het nie vrot geraak nie. Die vleise het maar hier oor die balke, binne-in die huise, die vleis daar gehang. En, dit is wat ek geken het. En ek het, as ’n jongmeisie, en toe ek skool toe, na skool toe gegaan het, het ek,  daar in Worcester gaan verpleeg, en ek het teruggekom. Ek het in Clanwilliam kom verpleeg. My oupa het my soggens afgevat pad toe, saans afgevat pad, Parkstraat toe met die lantern, en as ons tot sewe-uur dagdiens gedoen het, tot sewe-uur toe in die winter, het my oupa weer vir my daar gaat haal by die hospitaal. Baie lekker.

Daai, van daai periode in my lewe, kan ek nie kla nie. Ons het daar, onse skool was ook daar onder, die laerskool was ook daar, die een kant die Anglikaanse skool, en die een kant die NG-skool. Meneer Fransman was in my tyd die hoof daar. En,  ag dit was, dit was net, ons het net geweet ons moet op onse kant bly. En dit was nie vir ons snaaks nie, en, soos ek nou hoor, ek hoor baie kere hulle sê dit moet teruggaan na my kind is jou kind, jou kind is my kind. Dit is nie so nie. Dit gebeur nie hier nie. Dit is nie meer so nie. Jy mag nie aan iemand anders se kind slaan nie. Maar daai tyd mag, ons buurman mag vir ons pak gegee het. En as ek net weer kan teruggaan na daai tyd toe. Of net weer ons kinders kan terugbring, dat hulle kan leer van daai tyd, want ons grootmense, daar is nie meer vandag respek vir die groo-, van die kind na die grootmens toe nie. Die kinders gee nie om nie, hulle groet nie eintlik nie, jy moet vir hulle groet, dan sal hulle vir jou groet. Die manier  hoe hulle groet, ons moes ’n manier gehad het hoe ons die groot-, bejaarde groet. Daar was ’n manier van, dis nie “Hallo” nie, dis “Middag, antie”, “Middag, Ouma”, “Naand, Ouma”, “Môre, Ouma”. Dit was die manier van groet. Vandag groet hulle vir jou, dit was vir my snaaks, ek sal altyd terugdink daaraan, want ek was streng grootgemaak. En ek is nie spyt daaroor nie.

Kan Antie nog van die stories onthou wat Antie se pa-hulle vir Antie vertel het?

My oupa, en my ouma, was baie lief mos maar vir die ou stories nou. Dis nou mos maar Jakkals en Wolf ook ja. En dan die ander stories was mos nou maar stories uit hulle lewe uit. My ouma het vir my vertel dat sy was beskou as die seun in die huis, en dan moes sy nou natuurlik mos in die veld gebly het, en dan moes sy winkel toe saam met haar pa. Haar pa het weggeraak, ek dink hy was, ek weet nie hoe noem hulle daai mense wat, wat,  in die Boereoorlog gewerk het nie, of wat ook al nie. Maar hy’t net weggeraak, en of hy nou wat aangedra het, of wat, maar die, die een ding was, ek weet nie, ammunisie of watse goete nie, maar ewenwel, ek ken glad nie daai nie. Maar dan moes my ouma moes, as hy nou gekom het, dan moes hulle nou gaan kos koop het. En my ouma vertel dat, sy het so met die kierie voor haar gedruk om te kan sien, die kierie was haar oë, om te kan sien in die donkerte. En een aand toe daar het haar pa ook gekom, en hy’t nou seker ’n dop gedrink en toe het haar pa aan die slaap geraak onder die bos, en dit was koud en nat. En my ouma het net besef dat sy moet somehow probeer om by die huis uit te kom, want sy gaan doodreën van die koue. Sy gaan koud kry. En sy’t probeer loop en toe sy, maar sy’t geweet van die sloot wat hulle moes oorgaan, want sy ken die pad. En sy het haar hand, haar kierie afgesteek, in die, in die sloot, om oor, in, want sy wou in die sloot geklim het, en dan uit, en toe het sy op ’n slang getrap. En sy sê sy het so al lang die sloot af geloop, en sy was al daar o-o-nder waar sy geweet waar haar oorgang ook is en toe hoor sy nog altyd hoe blaas daai slang.

My oupa het ’n storie vertel, en, en, en dit was vir my seer, wat vir my seergemaak het. ’n Mens sal nou nie so terugkap nie, maar dit is wat gebeur het. My oupa het vertel dat, hy kon nou nie meer onthou of dit my ma was, en of dit my oom was nie, en hy het vertel dat, my ouma moes in kraam gaan. En sy was onder pyn en toe moes, toe moes my oupa vir die, vir sy baas, gesê dat hy sal nie kan kom werk nie, want hy moet nou die ouma gaan haal, wat destyds nog die vroedvrouens gewees het. Hy moet nou die ouma gaan haal, om my ouma te help, want my ouma moet nou ’n baba kry. En toe sê sy baas vir hom: “As jy met my praat, dan noem jy nie van jou vrou nie, dan sê jy vir my die, jy moet nou ry en jy moet die ouvrou kry vir die bevalling, want jou meid moet ’n kind kry.” En dit het, die verhaal, my ouma en my oupa het gelag daaroor. En,  ek as kind, vir my het dit seergemaak. En dit het my bygebly, tot vandag toe. Dit het vir my bygebly tot vandag toe.

Orraait, vandag, in vandag se lewe, kan jy, kan ons langs ’n tafel sit, ons kan saam ’n koppie tee drink, ons kan saam gesels, maar daar is tog, ’n mens kan nie sê jy het die verlede vergeet nie. Goed, almal het verander, mense het verander, maar jy sal tog nog somtyds by plekke kom wat jy net voel, dié ene is gaaf saam met jou, maar jy kan net voel, ek moet vir my op my puntjie hou. Dit is die waarheid. Ons het onse trots, vandag kan ons ook opstaan en vandag kan ons ook praat. Oor baie dinge wat vir ons seermaak, ons kan vandag, ek kan vandag met die een blanke persoon praat, of met die swart persoon praat, en dis niks. En hulle kan vir jou na jou toe kom, en jy kan na hulle toe kom, en julle gesels lekker, en julle kuier saam. Dis niks. Maar destyds, soos ek verstaan, was dit mos die apartheid en jy mag nie, julle mag nie gemeng het nie. So jy’t maar geweet waar jou paadjie staan. Jy moet jou plek geken het. En dit is, so, op so ’n,   noot dat, ek dink daar’s baie van ons mense wat, wat nou nog besef dat ons is gaaf, en ons is …, maar ons gaan, ons moet maar net ons plek ken.

Ek het by die ou hospitaal gewerk. Dit was, dit was ook goed om daar te werk. Ek, ek, ek kan uitsonderings maak, baie mense,  kyk, nou praat ek van daar was goed en daar was sleg.   ek kan mense uitsonder, ek kan praat van dokter Miller, ek kan praat van dokter Ash, ek kan praat van ’n dokter Smit wat hier was. Ek gaan nou nie, die ander het later gekom, maar ek praat nou van daai. Maar hulle was nou nie lelik, ek, hulle was nie lelik met ons nie. Hulle was goed, alhoewel ons onse kant gehad het, en hulle hulle kant gehad het, het hulle nooit lelik met ons gewees nie. Daar was    suster Coetzee. Rooikop. Sy was streng, maar ek het nie snaaks gevoel teenoor haar nie, of, of, of, of apart gestaan teenoor haar nie. Ek dink daai tyd het dit seker al beter, was dit seker al in ’n beter tyd. Dit was vir my goed. En ek het gedink toe ek uit Worcester uit kom waar ek verpleeg het,  toe’t ek gedink, want ons was amper net ’n klomp kleurlinge bymekaar, en swartes bymekaar, wat daar verpleeg het. En ek het, ek het gedink, o-o-e-e, ek wonder hoe gaan dit nou wees, toe ek nou huis toe kom, en ek gaan nou hier werk, want hier is mos nou blank en nieblank. En ek het, dit was, ek was, ek was aanvanklik bang. Maar, nie bang nie, maar versigtig, hoe nou, want ek is gewoond met die mense wat ek nou daar mee gemeng het, daai paar blankes, dit was goed, want die matrone was ’n blanke vrou. En,  maar toe ek nou hier werk, kom werk het, het ek baie goed gewerk. Dit was, ek het baie goed saam met die blanke susters gewerk. Dit was toe nie vir my,  snaaks gewees, of, hulle was nie snaaks met ons om saam met hulle te werk nie. Dit was goed. Ek kan nie sleg van hulle praat nie.

En, onthou, daai tyd was Clanwilliam-hospitaal maar baie,  primitiewe plek. Hulle moes ook maar die beste gemaak het van die plek waar hulle werk, maar daar’t goeie werk uitgekom. As ek nou kan praat wat van ’n groot hospitaal af gekom het. Ek het van ’n groot hospitaal af gekom, ek het my opleiding, ek het my,   general het ek in Eben Donges gedoen, en ek het my,   uhm aansteeklike siektes in (onhoorbaar 24:39) gedoen, en dit was onse main hospitaal wat ook die opleiding gegee het, en,   ons het onse kliniek het ons by die kliniek plaaslik gedoen, en dan het hulle genoem, distrik, as jy distrikwerk gedoen het, is wanneer jy uitgaan op die, in die veld. Om nou badwerk en daai goed te doen, en toe ek mos nou in Clanwilliam kom, toe moet ek mos nou weer inval by Clanwilliam, nè, en dit was nogal ’n bietjie bang oor hoe gaan dit nou wees. Enne, maar dit was goed, dit was net al wat ek nou kan sê, dit was baie eenvoudig. Maar dat daar van die beste gemaak is, dit kan ek ook getuig. Dit was goed, ek kan nie sleg praat van daai, van dit nie. Kan nie, ek kan nie.  ons het net die beste, daar was net die beste gedoen, vir die pasiënte. Daar was nogal nie dat jy kan sê, maar dié suster het nou daar, die, die blanke persoon voorgetrek nie, huh-uh, dit was nie so nie. Dit was nie so nie.