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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:19 pm 
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J A B Sandenbergh Part 2

The Royal family visited South Africa during 1947 and of course the White Train made a stop at SKUKUZA in the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK. Col Sandenbergh requested Col Stevenson-Hamilton to accompany the King, his wife and the two daughters with their entourage.

The drought of 1947 after the heavy frost desiccated the Park and all fires were stopped a programme of Water for Game was launched.

The growing tourism caused Col Sandenbergh to recommend increased accommodation and better roads.

He estimated that there were 1721 squatters within the borders of the Park of which 75% were in the Pretoriuskop, Crocodile Bridge and Tshokwane areas.

He recommended that the western boundary of the Park be fenced off serving both pastoral and agricultural interests as well as that of conservation, as game was migrating from the Park to mainly the Klaserie area where they were mercilessly slaughtered. Unfortunately this idea only became reality ten years later – in 1957.

Authority was granted to the Warden to reduce the Lion population in the northern areas mainly Shangoni, however the good rains solved this problem when the antelope moved to their regular grazing grounds.

14 Roan Antelope were reported to have settled in the Skipberg area.

The hunting of Lions outside the Park seemed on the increase, Sandenbergh estimated that between 70 and 80 had been killed in the Crocodile River and other areas of cattle farming.

Wild dog numbers were on the increase – pack of up to 30 was regularly spotted.

A Brown Hyaena was spotted in the Olifants River area and some Aardwolf were seen between Doispanne and Spanplek.

During 1948 Col Sandenbergh arranged with the South African Railways that firebreaks be burnt on both sides of the Selati track to prevent man caused veldt fires.

The gravelling of roads improved the roads and the accompanying dust problems.

He recommended that guide books be prepared and soon Board Member BA Key got involved in the preparation of guide boos on Birds and Mammals, while Dr Codd handled the flora guide book.

Sandenbergh ruled that visitors be confined to their vehicles. The Pretoriuskop Gate was renamed to Numbi Gate.

He recommended that Rangers and their staff be relieved of their duties of maintaining Rest Camps and roads – others should be employed to carry out that function while the Rangers could then carry out their function – CONSERVATION.

Col Sandenbergh reported that the Elephant population was on a steady increase as did Eland in the Shangoni and Shingwedzi areas a herd of 30 was seen south of the Olifants River west of the Lebombos and another 6 near the Rabelais gate.

Predator control was authorised for the Punda Maria Shangoni, Malelane and Crocodile bridge areas during 1948.

Col Sandenbergh was given the opportunity to attend a South African Tourism Conference in Lourenco Marques after which the Mozambican Governor requested him to accompany him to the Gorongoza Area and advise him on conservation for the area.

Good rains made 1949 a good year for the Warden, except for Punda Maria and Shangoni the rainfall was well above average.

The Water for Game Fund was successfully launched with many donors, in order to prevent the tragedy of the past periods of drought. Soon dams were being built and boreholes sunk and windmill being erected. Eight reservoirs were also constructed at existing boreholes. Leeupan was deepened the quarry at Nwatindlophu was converted into a dam with the bottombeing clayed.

12 Miles of road was gravelled.

45000 copies of the brochure “Unspoilt Africa” were published and made available to the 66080 visitors to the Park. Many photographers also participated in the project of post cards being sold at the Entrance Gates and the Parks shops.

He recommended to the Board that both Black and White Rhino be reintroduced to the KRUGER PARK.

The predator control measures were regarded as successful as the numbers of the rarer species of antelope seemed on the increase.

He stated that since 1946 his experience and observations have convinced him that the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK cannot be described as an entire habitat for its entire species and that the boundaries cannot be described as ecological boundaries for all its inhabitants. In his opinion therefore the Park is not, for all our species a complete ecological refuge and if all our species are to made secure and have secured survival, it will be necessary for a certain amount of human interference to take place. Exploitation of water resources outside the Park was just one example; another was the control of macro herbivores like Elephant numbers due to the destruction of the flora of the Park.

A very successful central road construction unit was formed in 1950 under the control of Ranger Harry Kirkman.

The squatter population reduced to 1421, the majority living in the Punda Maria, Crocodile Bridge, Tshokwane and Pretoriuskop areas.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:27 am 
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J A B Sandenbergh Part 3

1951 was again a year of severe drought. Fortunately, the Water for Game project was off the ground and reduced the severity.

He reported in his annual report that in order to prevent the Park from just becoming an exclusive holiday resort, the cost of accommodation and entrance fees should not become out of reach for the average visitor.

Unfortunately, there were members of the Board who made their feelings more obvious that more persons of the correct political affiliations should be employed also possibly with Col Sandenbergh in mind. The de Hoek Commission was ordered and when the final report was tabled – Col Sandenbergh was mentioned as able and competent. Although there was some breakdown in the relationship between the Warden and of his sub ordinates, this was ascribed to troublemakers and not to the ability and style of the Warden.

The Warden experienced many problems with of the more senior staff members, Lou Steyn was one who often went out of his way to make things difficuilt for the Warden as he was of opinion that he had been done out of a job when Col. Sandenbergh was appointed as Warden of the KRUGERNATIONAL PARK.

The Warden recommended that more tourist accommodation be made available in priority order being: SKUKUZA, LETABA, SATARA, PRETORIUSKOP, LOWER-SABI, SHINGWEDZI and CROCODILE BRIDGE.

It was reported that the behaviour of tourists seemed to be improving however speeding, feeding of animals, visitors getting out of their vehicles, poor behaviour towards officials and other visitors were still happening. . . . .

At the “International Conference for the Protection of the Fauna and Flora of Africa”, a National Park was described as:

(a) Placed under public control, the boundaries of which shall not be altered or any portion be capable of alienation except by competent legislative authority;
(b) Set aside for the propagation, protection and preservation of wild animal life and wild vegetation, and for the preservation of objects of aesthetic, geological, pre-historic, historical, archaeological or other scientific interest for the benefit, advantage, and enjoyment of the general public;
(c) In which hunting, killing or capturing of fauna and the destruction or collection of flora is prohibited except by or under the park authorities.

In accordance with the above provisions, facilities shall as far as possible be provided to the public for observing the fauna and flora in National Parks.

He was dismissed from the service of the National Parks Board after a member of his staff had been caught misappropriating Board money – he was thought of “not having sufficient control over his staff.” In more reality, he was not of the correct political standing.

Col Sandenbergh was very bitter after his dismissal and never again visited the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK except when invited by Dr Tol Pienaar the then Warden in 1986 for the sixtieth anniversary of the Park when he visited the Park for two days, an invite which he was well appreciated.

Col Sandenbergh was married five times - during the 1930s, he married Jean Kerr the mother of their sons John and David. He married Lynette a Captain in the WAAF in 1943, they had daughters Lynette and Mervyn and son Peter, wife Lynette died in 1971 after cancer was diagnosed.

Son David later became a Lodge owner and a Wildlife Expert in Botswana, another son Peter also became a Lodge owner and also the owner of Airways in Botswana.

After his retirement from the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK in 1954, the Sandenbergh family settled in the Kiepersol area near Hazyview where they in partnership with George Turner became successful banana growers.

Col; Sandenbergh died during 1994 his ashes remain next to that of wife Lynette in the garden of memorial of the St. Georges Church in White River.

Senior Ranger Lou Steyn was appointed Warden of the Park after the Sandenbergh era.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:51 pm 
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Johan Sithole.

I have come across this while searching through the SANParks website.

All must remember that there are very many different functions carried out in a Nature Reserve here below is a bit about a man who spent 34 years in the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.

First appointed to SANParks in February 1973 as a general worker, Johan Sithole began his long and productive career at Crocodile Bridge in the Kruger National Park. In November 1973 Johan was transferred to the north of Kruger to Mooiplaas section.

In November 1974 Johan returned to Crocodile Bridge was promoted to the position of a field ranger, which meant active patrols in the veld and the chance to learn more about the wildlife of Kruger. In 1976 Johan was offered position as a laboratory assistant in the research section of Skukuza, but he decline the offer as he was enjoying being out and about in the field. Then one day when Johan came back from a patrol he found his thatched hut “doorless” and all his belongings were gone. When he asked Johan Steyn, the then section ranger, what had happened he just told Johan catch a lift to Skukuza and that is how Johan started working in Research and Development in August 1976! In 1980 Johan was promoted to the position of Laboratory Supervisor working in the Scientific Services Department.

Johan didn’t only work in the laboratory but also assisted in game capture operations – that sometimes lasted for up to 3 months in the field. This was challenging and physical work that involved taking samples from captured animals and having to be alert to possible danger at all times. In 2001 Johan stopped helping with the Game Capture team as the Game Capture unit and laboratories were separated from the Scientific Services Offices and relocated to their new offices.

Johan’s responsibilities changed and increased over the years and he was tasked with the supervision of the N’waswitshaka Research Camp staff and the maintenance of the camp. From 2001 Johan has been working in the herbarium/ biological reference collection with Guin Zambatis and his tasks have been varied from assisting on the ground crew for the helicopter and fix-wing aerial census in the Kruger Park to cleaning and preparing specimens for the reference collection. His day to day tasks would vary from the skinning of larger specimens for the collection, cleaning skulls and fumigation to sending water samples away to laboratories for analysis. He helped with fetching and carrying, driving people to various destinations as well as maintaining the research accommodation in Tshokwane and Satara.

Johan’s helping hand was not only seen in the working environment but whenever there was a function Johan was always there to help with the arrangements from fetching tables and chairs to the chef’s role at the braai. He helped with the annual Skukuza Half Marathon and at the cricket club.

“Johan was a wonderful man to work with and he always did more than he was asked to do” says Guin Zambatis, curator of the Skukuza Biological Reference Collection. “Nothing was ever a problem or too much effort for him. He was meticulous and thorough and could always make a plan to solve a problem. As an assistant with the collection he worked with great care and took pride in his work. We wish him a peaceful retirement” says Guin.

“In my 34 years of service in SANParks it has not been child’s play, it was not always easy, but I would like to thank God for giving me the strength that helped me work from 1973 up till now” says Johan.

Just another bit of a man who did much to develop this wonderful place.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:59 am 
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Thanks gml, I always enjoy these postings.

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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:28 pm 
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I know that I am a little late in having joined this tour, but I would just like to thank you for all of the obvious effort that you have put in to give us this very enjoyable thread which has kept me busy for this past week :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 6:24 am 
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gmlsmit, I'm really enjoying this thread. I can read it over and over again. :)
Thank you! :gflower:

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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:47 am 
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believe there are more :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:42 pm 
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I managed to compile the following with the assistance of Joep Stevens:


Corporal Nombolo Mdluli

Corporal Nombolo Mdluli served the Kruger National Park during the period from 1919 until his retirement in 1958 (nearly 40 years service).

His exact age was unknown, even to himself. He started working for the Kruger National Park (then still known as the Sabi Game Reserve) at the old Rolle ranger post, which was a railway halt on the old Selati railway line some 55 km north-west of Skukuza. Here he served under Thomas Duke (1860 – March 1934) and served with various of the game rangers of the Kruger National Park, including Stephen Harold Trollope (7 July 1881 to 15 May 1949) and Herbert Ernest Tomlinson.

In 1926 he saved Trollope, who was stationed at Malelane at the time, from serious injury or death by shooting a wounded lion (one of a group of four that Trollope had shot on the banks of the Mhlambanyatsi Spruit) as it was about to charge Trollope. Apparently the lion was so close that it fell dead onto Trollope’s legs and Trollope never forgot this deed of bravery by his ranger corporal and for many years after his departure from the Park, still sent Nombolo an annual gift of £2.0.0.

So too Nombolo also became Tomlinson’s right hand man, who was stationed at Shingwedzi at the time. At Shingwedzi, Tomlinson had a maizefield and some Black children were given the task of keeping the baboons away from it. One morning (circa 1938) at about seven o’clock, while Tomlinson was in hospital at Elim, the children were on their way to the field, when a lion attacked one of the boys, tore off his leg at the groin and started eating it, while the bleeding body of the boy was lying beside the animal.

The helpless boy kept screaming for help. The other boys hurriedly set off to fetch Nombolo. When he arrived at the scene of the slaughter, the boy was already dead. The lion had ripped off the boys head and eaten more of the body. The lion was nowhere to be seen.

While they were still standing around the body considering what to do, a lion with blood-smeared paws and jaws came charging out of the bush. The others ran away, but Nombolo stood his ground and managed to use his rifle, shooting the animal in the neck. The lion stumbled and Nombolo came closer to shoot him in the back. The lion collapsed next to the boy’s body. Nombolo sent a messenger by bicycle to Punda Maria to report to Ranger Izak Johannes Botha, who came to investigate and rewarded Nombolo with twelve shillings and six-pence for his bravery.

Colonel James Stevenson-Hamilton, Park Warden at the time, especially came to thank Nombolo and gave him five pounds as a reward and permission to kill any lion that caused trouble – a considerable concession for those days and an expression of confidence in Nombolo.

Mrs Hilda Stevenson-Hamilton gave Nombolo a Singer sewing machine for his brave deed and made him a hat out the man-eaters skin. Nombolo wore this treasured hat for more than 40 years and later (in 1981) donated it to the Stevenson-Hamilton Library in Skukuza where there is a display of the sewing machine, Nombolo’s photograph and a report of the event.

Nombolo tells of another incident involving lions while at Shingwedzi:

“Ranger Tomlinson had two horses named Rome and Rubel. My horse was called Kramity. One afternoon a stable boy reported that a lion had attacked Rubel and that his hindquarters had been mauled.

Tomlinson with eight Black rangers, the stable boy and myself tracked the lion to a Mlala Palm thicket. We stood there arguing. The dogs had not been brought with us and I wanted them to be fetched before we did anything else. While we were arguing, I noticed the lion walking slowly into the bush.

I showed Ranger Tomlinson where he was and said: “He is the culprit, shoot him! Look, he is not even scared of us”. Tomlinson took a quick shot at the lion and hit him in the leg. I told the ranger that we could not go into the thicket without the dogs, but he insisted. I warned him and asked him why he did want to do what I had taught him to do. With all this noise the lion suddenly charged out of the bush, straight at me.

I quickly loaded my rifle, but before I could shoot, the lion leapt at the man next to me. The lion was so close that his tail touched my leg. I quickly turned around, pressed the rifle against his neck and pulled the trigger.

Frans Bambi, the man on whom the lion sprang, also had a rifle, and when he fell, he accidentally shot himself through the hand. Blood was flowing from Frans’ head. Tomlinson angrily accused me of killing Frans. I hurled my rifle aside and pulled the lion off Frans, who stood up and we could see that the blood was coming from wounds caused by the lions bite. Frans’ pants were so soiled, it seemed as though he had taken a large dose of purgatives.”


Nombolo Mdluli retired from Shingwedzi in 1950 while working under WJD Groenewald. He later continued to work at Skukuza until 1958, after which he accompanied the former ranger, Harry Kirkman to the Sabie Sand Game Reserve. He finally retired in 1971 after 52 years of work in the bush – a legend among his people in his own lifetime.



Nombolo’s life philosophy

“In my life, I have had most satisfaction from the fact that I have tried to live up to the job given to me with as much honesty and sincerity as possible. As a reward the people I served took both my hands in theirs and thanked me for the conscientiousness, exactitude, righteousness and courage I had tried to show”

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:12 am 
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Just found the direct to this post - amazing! Mods, is this not the kind of post that should have a permanent link like some of the others at the top of the posting board. It really is a historical treasure trove, and the most phenomenal read for anyone with an interest in Kruger. I encourage all mites to give it a squiz, as it provides great background to the people who helped build the place we all love so much.

Thanks to all those who helped put it together

Horrace


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:21 am 
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You are perfectly correct Horrace. It is one of the most treasured threads on forum and well worth a sticky.
It will now permanently sit at the top of the page. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:13 am 
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Thanks Jen B, really appreciate it and look forward to many re-reads!

Horace


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:19 pm 
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Great, more special stories :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:55 pm 
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Very interesting!


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:11 pm 
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Dr. Roy Bengis.

Many old timers will remember Dr. Dudley Gradwell who was the State Veterinarian TUKS and the then Northern Transvaal Rugby team. Gradwell resigned in 1978 and was succeeded by Dr. Roy Bengis.

The State Veterinary staff is not in the employ of SANParks but of the State Veterinary Department.

Dr. Roy Bengis graduated at the University of Pretoria Onderstepoort in 1971 with na B.VSc. degree. He then studied at the University of Pennsylvania during 1972-1973. He holds an M.Sc. in physiology and pharmacology from the University of Mississippi (1975) and a Ph.D. also from the University of Mississippi attained in 1978, while consulting for the Jackson zoo in Mississippi.

Dr. Bengis is still employed at Skukuza in the Kruger National park as Chief State Veterinarian.

This friendly man authored or co-authored >70 scientific publications and is Africa’s representative on the World Organization for Animal Health’s “Working Group on Wildlife Diseases”.

Dr. Bengis is an external examiner in Wildlife Medicine at the Pretoria University and also Chairperson of the Wildlife Diseases Advisory Group and the Buffalo Committee of the national Directorate of Veterinary Services.

His fields of interest are wildlife disease epidemiology, infectious disease risk assessment related to translocation and chemical immobilization of free-ranging animals. One of his great successes is the development of a system for the translocation of Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino and Hippo. He also played a major role in the planning and development of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier National Park. He also played a major role in the breeding of disease free Buffalo.

He has been honoured as a fellow of “The Royal Society of South Africa” in recognition for his contribution to life sciences and the fields of veterinary science.

Dr. Bengis has time for everybody, he is married to charming Bibi who also soon after their marriage settled in the Lowveld, daughter Lara studied at Grahamstown and would love to become an Environmental Educator, no wonder being the daughter of a man who loves the outdoors and whose childhood dream was to become a Game Ranger.

Wife Bibi was appointed technical assistant in the research centre at Skukuza in 1982.

Young Roy and his three brothers were regularly taken out into the veld by their medical practitioner father where they were taught about the birds, birding is still one of his passions, especially the raptors, the other is fly-fishing – also taught him by his father.

He loves shooting – clay pigeon and wing-shooting.

He is still often called upon a neighbour to remove a snake from their house at Skukuza.

He discovered bovine tuberculoses in the Park in a buffalo herd between Lower Sabia and Crocodile Bridge Rest Camps during 1991. Initially thinking it was an isolated case but soon realised that it was a major disease.

Bovine tuberculoses “Mycobacterium tuberculoses” spread thru most of the KNP as far north as the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe and affected Buffalo, Kudu, Impala and Warthogs then Lions, Leopards, Genets, Badgers and Cheetahs which had fed from diseased carcasses, were affected. Bovine tuberculoses was even discovered in a troop of Baboons. A vaccine against this dreaded disease is available but vaccinating the animals in the KNP is a near impossible task. It currently appears that the bovines are developing a natural resistance to this killer disease as the incidence has reduced drastically.

Dr. Bengis and his team are also regularly involved in the combating of the dreaded anthrax in the KNP especially after a dry spell.

Roy Bengis is known to look at the broader picture and approaches it in a practical way.

He is a great rugby fan and a keen supporter of the Sharks.

Dr. Steve Ofsofsky of the Wildlife Conservation Society of New York describes this man as “a living legend” and Dr. Harry Biggs says that “He’s an enormously good human being all round”.

Should a reader of this perhaps see a white vehicle with a red Buffalo head emblem on the door travelling in the KNP, stop it and have a chat it may be At Dekker or Dr. Roy Bengis and you will remember this informative chat for quite a long time.

Our country is indeed privileged to have a man like Dr. Roy Bengis heading this Department in our KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: LEST WE FORGET
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:59 pm 
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Many thanks for that! I worked in the same building as Bibi before she was married, when she was still Birgit Drews -- a very bright and special young lady!

So it's great catching up on (ex-)colleagues from days of memory.

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