Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 7 of 8
 [ 118 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:23 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:52 pm
Posts: 2534
Location: VEREENIGING
THE WARDEN THINKS ABOUT . . . . . . . . 21

Back fanged snakes are those that carry their fangs so far back in the upper jaw that they cannot bite effectively without first getting a firm grip on the victim and chewing their venom into the wound. Here the BOOMSLANG, the TIGER SNAKE often living in a colony of Weaver birds, the RED LIPPED HERALD hunting mainly on rats and mice in outhouses, the slender swiftly moving GRASS SNAKE easily recognised by its longitudinal yellow streaks, the BIRD SNAKE and the WHITE LIPPED SNAKE are the main members of this group.

The harmless solid toothed snakes greatly exceed the kinds of poisonous snakes already mentioned in both numbers and species. Natives class all snakes as poisonous and therfore dangerous and are to be killed. Here the FILE SNAKE is often confused with the MAMBA in isdestroyed on sight. The EGG EATER has only rudimentary teeth and breaks the egg only once swallowed by contracting its body and then the tooth like mechanism in the back of the gulllet crushes the shell. The contents is swallowed and the shell regurgitated. Other harmless species are the blind BURROWING SNAKE, the YELLOW LIPPED SNAKE, the BROWN HOUSE SNAKE also a great help in controling the rodent population in outhouses, the WOLF SNAKE, the MOLE SNAKE, the BUSH SNAKE, the OLIVE WATR SNAKE, it will be realised from this incomplete list that many of non-poisonous snakes exist, unfortunately they are all regarded as " just snakes " are to be done with as instructed in Genesis in the BIBLE.

PYTHONS are fairly numerous but not often seen. They normally live in holes. Stevenson - Hamilton sais that he never came across an instance where a human being had been caught by a member of this species. A DUIKER seems to be the largest of its prey. He also handled many of these creatures and never in the Low-Veld experienced any aggressive behaviour human beings. Their attitude towards man, resembles that of other wild creatures . . . . . .

_________________
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:39 am 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:43 pm
Posts: 1500
Location: Sungulwane Hills Game Lodge, Hluhluwe
@ gmlsmit i just caught up with the story now thank you very much for such a detailed account of Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton it has really been great reading all this info that i had no clue about! :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :clap: :clap:

_________________
Sustainability is not something we do in addition to..........., it is about the manner in which we do everything


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:10 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:52 pm
Posts: 2534
Location: VEREENIGING
THE WARDEN THINKS ABOUT . . . . . . . 22

The earliest known inhabitants of the Low-Veld were the BUSHMEN, now the SAN or KHOI SAN or as I prefer, the LITTLE PEOPLE.

They knew nothing of agriculture, they never built themselves a permanent dwelling, but they left their history book on the surfaces of the rocks which gave them shelter long before the first European made his appearance. should you be fortunate enough, you may come across these books of history, drawn with great care, using a brush chewed from a stick, using whites and yellows and reds and blacks derived from the oxides, minerals and plants provided by the Creator.

The caves, rock reccesses and granite eaves in the hills and mountains between the Sabie and Crocodile Rivers gave shelter and comfort to these LITTLE PEOPLE. They adorned these surfaces with images of men and animals and stars and many unknown symbols, which are still today to be viewed in an excellent state of preservation, by those who care to maybe walk a distance or climb over and up rocks . . . . . . .

The wild animals depicted, are such as still exist in the area in which they once roamed and were studied and hunted by these LITTLE PEOPLE. The human figures all represent men of uniform type, totally nude and armed with short bows and arrows which are usually shown, carried between the fingers of the left hand.

The paintings are of all ages; a few oblitterated by time and weather; others comparatively clear and fresh. Some may depict combat between small groups of warriors all equipped alike; others depict human figures in postures of supplication or devotion; kneeling with outstretched arms, or bending down with the forehead touching the ground.

These caves and shelters are all relatively close to water and to grassy valleys, doubtlessly the feeding place for wild game animals. The location of these shelters can therefore be assumed were chosen for their amenities and not as refuge from their enemies, those who hunted them down and slaughtered them, only arrived from north AFRICA and maybe EUROPE ,many centuries after their first arrival.

During the early part of the twentieth century natives living in the area denied all knowledge of the LITTLE PEOPLE, they had never seen or heard of them, not even by hearsay . . . . . . nothing, the LITTLE PEOPLE must therefore have disappeared from the area very many decades ago, after many areas, being the first and only permanent inhabitants for many thousands of years, living their uncomplicated little lives.

Chert arrow heads used by the LITTLE PEOPLE, may still today be found in the low country, indicating that the LITTLE PEOPLE of the period preferred to reside in a pleasant, well watered area, but from time to time also came down into the hot dry lowlands in pursuit of game.

Nothing is certain of these old days, but when reading their books of history, one may possible reconstruct imaginary scenes of the past.

Sitting under a shady tree in the drowzy heat of a summer afternoon, one can gaze over a kranz or a kloof or a green valley and subconsciously a vision may unfold itself - in the distance you may hear the far off grunting of some Hippos enjoying their pool, you may see some grey moving objects a distance away , their ears flapping, and between the green of the trees and the sparkling dew laden grass, some Wildebeeste or maybe Impala or maybe a Reedbuck or Zebra, Then two little men pass the base of the hill below us, they are quite naked, tawny yellow in colour, their hair growing in little tufts. Each carrying a small bow and some diminutive arrows, in a little hide satchel, slung across the body. The small sharp eyes glancing rapidly from side to side.

Then they stop and look - maybe a spoor - they kneel down and then point - they talk and then quietly seem to vanish. Looking very carefully you may see the shortish grass gently moving in the direction in which the two little hunters had pointed.

Then a sudden movement - a big grey bull ELAND, not noticed before, suddenly jerks as if sting by some insect, and takes off in a heavy gallop, which soon subsides into a trot and eventually into a walk slower and slower, eventually it drops. Two little reed shafts tipped by sharp little chert heads, dipped in a deadly poison had gone home in the great body. First it was just a slight sting, then discomfort, then pain, the beast sways and eventually comes crashing down to the ground.

Two little figures appear from where you may have noticed the grass gently moving and at a gentle trot follow the ELAND and if you listen very carefully you may hear them talking to one another with many clicking sounds, possibly discussing something . . . . . .

A smile on their weathered faces - they know tonight they will make a fire and the women and children will join the feast of this beautiful animal which will soon succumb to the poison, spreading through its body more and more with every heart beat . . . . . . They have taken what they need, nothing more, nothing will go to waste . . . . . and their hand clapping and little song and foot beats will last untill on and on until . . . . . . .

You notice the Elephants are still flapping their ears and the Impala and the Reedbuck and the Wildebeeste and the Zebras are still grazing peacefully and doing their things in the distance, all that has changed is that the dew is no longer glittering in the bright sunlight . . . . . . . Nature is undisturbed by this little tragedy - it is merely a part of a routine - like the huntings of a Lion or a Leopard - the LITTLE HUNTERS and their little families, are surely also the children of the Great Mother, and she accepts them on equal terms with her other winged and four legged and crawling children . . . . . .

Then in the distance you are brought to reality by the the " wurk, wurk, wurk, wukwakuk, wukwukak " of a YELLOW BILLED HORNBILL and you realise that you have just had an experience only had by the very fortunate . . . . . . here in the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK also by a short stout man of Scottish descent dressed in neat khaki and wearing a wide brimmed hat, maybe sixty or seventy or even eighty years ago . . . . . . .

_________________
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.


Last edited by gmlsmit on Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:28 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 18088
Location: Johannesburg - where they cut down trees and name streets after them.
Thanx, gmlsmit!
This is goosebump stuff! :clap: :clap:

_________________
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:23 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:52 pm
Posts: 2534
Location: VEREENIGING
THE WARDEN THINKS ABOUT . . . . . . . . . . 23

This animal with its black face, limbs and underparts and silvery grey upper parts from the forehead to the base of the short tail, divided by a white lateral stripe, is one of the most remarkable of all the animals of the AFRICAN jungle. The foreclaws are very long and powerfull, the skin is loose and extraordinarily tough and almost impervious to most, including the fangs of most venomous snakes. It's short limbs and stout strong body and the shiny eyes and it's carefree, self assured gait makes the AFRICAN HONEY BADGER an almost lovable creature.

It is a solitary, partly diurnal animal that lives in the forest and bushy country, and is therefore not often come across. It lives in holes in the ground and sometimes amonth the thick roots of large trees.

Consciously secure, the BADGER does not hesitate to attack the most venomous of snakes. Stevenson-Hamilton once observed a BADGER following a MAMBA into an Antbear hole into which the snake had taken refuge, drag it out and devour it with an air of supreme unconcern. The diet is locusts, ants, beetles, snakes, small mammals with the favourite being honey and the grubs of wild bees, the combs are torn from the nest, with its powerfull claws, entirely ignoring the attacks of the furious insects.

It is often told that the BADGER has an alliance with the HONEY GUIDE which will guide the robber to a nest and then be rewarded by some of the sweet spoils.

Stevenson-Hamilton wrote that he did not believe that anywhere in the world, there existed a more courageous animal. It seems to be fearless of anything that runs, walks, crawls sails or flies. It always seems purposefull while walking or jogging to a definite point. It seems to fear nothing and threatens nobody, perfectly inoffensive so long as it is not interferred with, when wounded or driven into a corner, there is no creature alive capable of making amore gallant fight, or one which for it's size, is more difficuilt to dispose of. At bay, it utters a sound between a whistle and a hiss, and makes straight for even tje most formidable of its enemies. The Warden wrote that he knew of cases , when after a lenthy struggle with a pack of dogs, the BADGER had picked itself up and trotted off no worse for the encounter, sometimes smeared with blood, not its own, leaving the assailants totally exhausted and very much damaged.

Major Frazer recorded " the dogs got to grips with a honey badger and had one of the biggest worries I ever saw. The badger was fairly smothered in dogs and he punished evry one them well. They were covered with blood and clean off their heads. They paid no attention to me calling them off and every time I went near the badger broke away from the dogs and came for my legs. I had to shoot him in the end, but although I had broken his shoulder, he still continued to come straigh at me. Pluck was not a word for it ".

On anothe occasion Ranger Frazer took a snap shot at some small animal he saw in the bush, the next instant out came a BADGER, slowly and deliberately, it got hold of him by the calf of his leg and held on like a bulldog untill it was killed.

Ranger Duke reported that on 31 march 1908: a Wildebeeste bull was found dead on the north bank of the Sabie Rivere. On examining the carcass it was found perfectly free from wounds, except that the scrotum was torn and the animal partially emasculated. The lower intestines and bladder were full of blood, the bull had eveidently bled to death. They followed the spoor back for a considerable distance and found signs of a prolonged struggle, the tracks of a BADGER mixed with those of the Wildebeest.

Many more such attacks have been reported, sometimes Warertbuck, Wildebesste and even Buffalo bulls being the victims. Natives reported that this was the way in which the BADGER attacked, grabbing and holding onto that part of the body, its motives may in such circumstances, be resentment of some interference or some possible injury.

In captivity a BADGER becomes extremelytame and gentle and a most amusing companion. It dispays an intense yearning for sugar and treacle, in fact anything that is sweet is to be kept well out of reach. The Warden wrote that it displayed great ingeuity in prizing open doors of cupboards and presses in its search for delicacies. Where closely confined, it has an amusing way of passing the time by turning somersaults.

The HONEY BADGER deserves well of man, aqnd should therefore notbe wantonly destroyed, a man who had caught a BADGER in a trap or otherwise interfere with it, must be prepared for all kinds of eventualities . . . . . .

_________________
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:21 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:52 pm
Posts: 2534
Location: VEREENIGING
CHANGES, RUMOURS AND DISCONTENT . . . . . .

With the political changes that had taken place in the Union of South Africa there was a lot of dissatisfaction and uncertainty for many residents of the country. Many changes came about.

The management of the GAME PARKS was now taken out of the hands of sportsmen and old - style game wardens, it was now placed in the mainstream of South African politics, under the general supervision of the Minister of Lands and contrled by the Board, a statutory body representing state, provincial and wildlife conservation interest.

The Board had considerable power and was required to : control, manageand maintain all aspects of South African national parks. Stevenson - Hamilton disliked this intensely as he regarded many of the members as amateurs as far as wildlife was concerned. He wolud put his case forward at meetings, argue it and defend it , but in the long run, he had to abide by the decision taken.

He often felt that his job was threatened. He sometimes considered leaving, however he was happy in Cinderella who had now met her Prince. He realised that time was moving on, he had a family, he enjoyed being the Warden of the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK and everytime decided to stay on. He was not prepared to let his hard work go for nought, just because there were some deliberate attempts to oust him. He was not prepared to be replaced by some unsuitable successor, who did not think the same way as he did, and whose values about wildlife and park development were different .

Stevenson-Hamilton had great admiration for Genl. Smuts, they got on well together and he felt that Smuts loved nature and understood its intricasies enough. Stevenson-Hamilton was very wary of the Afrikane Nationalists, he thought that they may undermine his position as Warden and replace him with a man of their choice.

Not being a politician himself, he did not regard polticians as really " nice " people. He often said he felt like a foreigner, it now was a clash of different cultures. He was a meticulous British Cavalry Officer versus the more casual men of the veld; the sophisticated British gentleman versus the egalitarian republican. Now the language spoken was Afrikaans, he could speak the language but there was a cultural gulf seperating them.

The unresolved question of supreme command within the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, between The Warden and the Board of Trustees also impacted on the Rangers. There was often in fighting and disagreement among themselves which the ageing Warden was often hard pressed to resolve.

Stevensom - Hamilton resisted the presence of scientists, in the early days an ecologist was unknown and wildlife management was done ad hoc. the reason him distrusting scientist was his experience in Zululand when, thanks to them ( the enotomoligists and zoologogists ) that the wildlife was exterminated because of the links between the wild animals , tsetse fly and ngana. He also had to argue against those who wanted to exterminate Lion in the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.

At the date of Proclamation of the National Parks Act in 1926, the killing of Lions was stopped as the visitors loved them and the game had increased to such an extent that it was no longer necessary to control their numbers.

He now saw his job as Warden as a managerial position, its core functions to deal with human resources, administrative and development issues. He did not consider that training for the position of Warden or as Ranger, needed to encompass specific qualifications in natural history. In his time, this would have been zoology , rather in the broad applied science of ecology which then was undeveloped. He believed that the desirable traits of Rangers physical strength, energy, reliability, a knowledge of the local population, bushcraft, horses, firearms and agriculture and in his younger days preferably the absence of a wife . . . . . . . Rangers knowledge were to be broad and diverse not specialized.

_________________
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.


Last edited by gmlsmit on Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:35 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:15 pm
Posts: 828
Location: Kyalami, South Africa.
gmlsmit - I really think you should get someone to publish your work!
I must admit I'm not very good at reading things off the computer, unless I print them out.

I'm sure if you found someone to print in simple booklet form, they would sell like hot cakes in the KNP shops etc. You wouldn't necessarily need to go the "hard cover" route. People are interested in the history of the KNP.

I would definitely buy a copy.

_________________
Mopani 18-20 Oct 2014
Shingwedzi 20-22 Oct 2014
Punda Maria 22-25 Oct 2014

KTP May 2015


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:30 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:52 pm
Posts: 2534
Location: VEREENIGING
THE WARDEN THINKS ABOUT . . . . . . . 24

In appearance this animal is quite large and powerful, Standing between 60 and 80 cm at the shoulder, weighing between 25 and 35 Kg; the muzzle is relativey short and broad with a black stripe leading over the head, the ears rounded and large, legs long and slender, the slender body blotched, black, white and yellow, the tail often ending in a white bush.

The WILD DOG is a diurnal animal, they hunt in packs. Stevenson - Hamiltons said that few wild beasts display more sagacity in pursuit of prey than these. Watch a pack of them in the gray morning light as they quarter the bush in quest of some unsuspecting animal. They ramble along at hounds' pace each individual with head and tail held low, and in perfect silence; a silence which by the way, is seldom broken throughout the whole course of the hunt. On coming on a fresh " line " there is no increase of pace, but the leaders prick their great round ears, and jump at intervals straight up and down to get a view over the top of the grass and low scrub. Now maybe some Impala can be seen down down an aisle of the bush, calmly browsing, and immediately the whole pack spreads out noiselesly in attack formation towards the unsuspecting prey. An ewe raising her head quickly in an interval of feeding, catches sight of one of the sinister forms stealing from bush to bush; she snorts her warning loudly and in a moment , as by one impulse, the pack dashes in. Away in all directions , and in the extremity of terror rush the fleeing antelope, springing high into the air, and in the confusion often impeding one another, in their frantic effort to escape. One or maybe instantly siezed and pulled down, and the rest of the pursuers, splitting up into small detachments, relentlesly chase the unfortunate individuals they have singled out. There seldomnly an escape; gifted with marvellous speed for a short distance and with immense endurance during a long chase, the WILD DOG is served when occasion demands as well by his powers of scent as by it's muscular limbs, fortunate indeed is the creature which, once having formed his quarry, that wins the race. . . . .

The pack lopes along a few metres behind the intended victim, each member in turn spurting up alongside the to spring at the flank or quarter, tear away a mouhful of livingflesh and then drop back level with its companions. Soon exhaustion and loss of blood tell their tale, and the hunted animal falls to the ground, the pursuers now rush in like hounds onto a fox, tearing it to pieces, and evouring it in a very space of time.

Having had their fill, as if by command they wil congregate and return to their den, where they will regurgitate of the freshly caught Impala and share with those who stayed behind.

WILD DOGS are not known to eat carrion, they will gorge the freshly caught meat and leave behind the excess and not return!l

Their usual prey consists of Impala, Reedbuck, Bushbuck, Duiker and Steenbuck, when pressed by hunger they will hesitate to attack larger and more formidable species, Waterbuck and Kudu and the young of all often killed.

Although excellent swimmers tehy decline crossing deep water, This un willingness is obviously due to their fear of Crocodiles. Hunted animals seem to be aware of this and often take advantage of this.

The Warden wrote that troops of WILD DOGS often show indefference to man's presence, and a reluctance to retire before him. He put this down to their natural ferocity and fearlesness of the animals.

Hunting dogs when caught young, become quite tame and friendly with their masters, but never seem to lose their wild instincts and when grown up are not ver reliable in temper. W Sanderson once kept two half grown ones, which accompanied him on his hunting trips, but he said he could never teach them real obedience. nor to refrain from running in and tearing at fallen game.

As WILD DOGS live in close packs, they are susceptable to disease and when canine distemper takes its toll, often destroys the whole pack . . . .

Although WILD DOGS, when present in large numbers are a scourge to game, killing, terrifying and scattering it all over the area, they still fill a useful place in Nature's economy, and the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK certainly would be better off with increased numbers who would assist in keeping the game numbers to sustainable levels and weeding out the old and diseased, ensuring that only the strongest and the fittest and the healthiest survive in the delicate balance of the Great Mother . . . . . . .

_________________
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.


Last edited by gmlsmit on Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:41 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:34 pm
Posts: 10800
Location: Bloemfontein
FAC Member (2012)
Facinating and interesting reading here! Thank you gmlsmit :clap:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:13 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:52 pm
Posts: 2534
Location: VEREENIGING
THE WARDEN THINKS ABOUT . . . . . 25

Nothing can be said about the eraly day without mentioning . . . . . . buried treasure or the KRUGER MILLIONS .

Whlie the onslaught of the British Forces to Pretoria the capital of the ZUID AFRIKAANSCHE REPUBLIEK was taking place, President Paul Kruger moved east and established a new capital towards the east. He resided in Waterval Boven for quite while before leaving for Europe.

Many stories and tales were spread about the KRUGER MILLIONS - gold bullion belonging to the stricken REPUBLIC that had been removed and buried for recovery at a later more safe time. No one knew exactly what had happened but many knew someone . . . . . . . who had been told by another . . . . . . . . who had had been confidentially confided in about the vast gold treasure..

The story in short was either : two Burghers took the treasure and hid it in a cave in the hills near . . . . . . . , or that a Commando transport the thhree tons of bullion on an ox wagon into . . . . . . where the commisiioned some natives to dig a large hole, upon completion of the digging, the natives were shot and their bodies buried on top of the treasure. The spot was marked by either a strange mark on a tree or on an ant heap, or by a wooden cross nailed onto a tree, or by a stone cairn packed in some peculiar fashion, or that some pld native had told his eldest son . . . . . . . the location of the buried treasure.

Very few ever took the time to calculate the logistics of such a a happening, even less considered the fact that no white man in this wilder part of AFRICA could do anything like this without the ubiquitious natives, noticing this and investigating the site as soon as expedition had left.

The first follow up on this great mystery when a Captain de Bertonado in 1903 arrived at SABI BRIDGE with an escort of officers and some Burghers of the old Republic,with official government authorizing documents on e secret mission. They spent many months in the LEBOMBO area, they were well provided by government transport and stores. all that became of the mission was many backaches and blisters and sunburn.

Soon the mystery of the Kruger Millions was spread all over South Africa and during the period 1904 to 1906 the Warden and his staff were inundated with parties of treasure-seakers who, spurred on by unquenchable optimism, dug and searched frantically in the most widely separated and likely and unlikely places.

The natives often asked why these white men come and cultivate these barren pieces of land and at the wrong time of the year.

The area surrounding the Crocodile River was for a long time the magnet, the staff had their greatest thrill during 1904 when a party digging along the river bank struck a lead of old telegraph wire, which followed along by trenching ended up at an old iron safe. The treasure at last . . . . . . The safe was in good order and locked. The Police Corporal in attendance telegraphed Pretoria and an armed contingent arrived on the next train, to guard the gold treasure while in transit to to the strong room of a bank. Only then under supervision of the armed guards and in front of the eyes of the eager spectators, was the safe forced. . . . . . . Inside was some bundles of consignment notes, connected with the rail construction some twenty years before . . . . . . the Government then seemed to have lost interest.

A new profession arose - that of the Treasure Guide. a few "old Low Veld hands " found this rather rewarding. Somewhere in some bar where mysterious hints would be dropped into some likely rich ears. Upon realted questioning the guide would explain that he was still the only person left, who could point out the lacallity of the buried treasure. It was noramlly quite simple going there and digging and pronto - instant riches.

The guide could go on his own but unfortunately did not have the finances to get him there, and therefore was forced by circumstances to take someonehe could trust, into his confidence.

Now the normal well to do stranger, would either by himslef or together with a few of his well to do friends who were also shared the secret, fit out for the expedition. The guide was promised a part of the treasure as well as a fixed renumeration for the time spent on the expedition and of course free living. . . . . .

At first these expeditions would seek out various spots, as suggested by the guide. Each guide had his own itenerary as not to interfere with the other members of this exclusive group.

The expedition would arrive at the selected area and they would then spend several days searching for the markings, previously described. Eventually the guide would admit that seemingly through the years the marking had been destroyed. most certainly the treasure still had to be buried, somewhere and then . . . . the digging operations would commence and many blisters and backaches and sunburns later, the party would either get discouraged or the food or funding ran out and the party would return to civilization

Stevenson- Hamilton was of opinion that most of the guides honestly believed that there was a treasure hidden there somewhere . . . . . and maybe one day . . . . . . . .

_________________
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:23 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:52 pm
Posts: 2534
Location: VEREENIGING
EVENTUALLY . . . . . . . . RETIREMENT . . . . . .

World War 2 was declared on 1 September 1939 and after much death and destruction came to an end mid 1945. The KRUGER NATIONAL PARK was closed to tourists during this period for fear of possible German spies using the PARK as an access or escape route from or to neighbouring Mozambique. The only vistors were those visiting the PARK officials and needless to say the Stevenson-Hamilton famity had many of. Radios were confiscated from all staff members, fortunately after raizing an official complaint, they were returned. The Warden and his wife were for a time suspected of being spies - for Germany - the suspicion arose from his friendship with Oswald Pirow the Minister of Defence in the Hertzogh Cabinet 1924 - 1939 and member of the National Parks Board 1926 to 1940, also the person who in 1924 introduced Stevenson-Hamilton the Warden, to Minister Piet Grobler the then Minister of Lands who eventually saw through the Procalamation of Law 56 of 1926 ( the NATIONAL PARKS ACT ). Oswald Pirow was of German descent.

The Warden was now ageing and he realised that the inevitable was approaching - his retirement. He had no home in SOUTH AFRICA, the only home he knew was in the now grown up and prospering CINDERELLA the little orphan he had raised . . . . . .

Stevenson- Hamilton rallied when the matter of his retirement was raised. He became depressed and often felt better dead than alive. Very few could imagine the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK - without JAMES STEVENSON - HAMILTON.

THEN at a Board Meeting held at the end of July 1945, it was agreed that the Warden would retire on 30 April 1946. Harry Wolhuter would retire at the same date. Stevenson - Hamilton at the age of seventy eight years of which he was Warden of first the SABI and SINWITSI GAME RESERVES, later becoming the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK for forty four years.

Telegrams and letters of appreciation flooded in once the news was made public. Tributes to his success streamed in. He had to find somewhere to live, eventually they decided to purchase the piece of land adloining the Lonmere Dam at White River, close to many of their friends, the deal was struck in January 1946.

The retiring Warden went out for the last time on 20 April 1946, On 30 April 1946 he entered into his journal : " My last day as Warden, All inriguing and bad feeling laterally. I had to make a speech of sorts but nearly wept " . Many of the audience also wiped a tear, their mentor, a man most of them respected and loved dearly had left . . . . . . .

Stevenson-Hamilton was a famous figure, world wide. He had received two Honorary Doctorates in Law, one in 1935 from the University of the Witwatersrand and the othe from the University of Cape Town in 1945. The citations were tributes to his contribution to what he had achieved in PROMOTING WILDLIFE PROTECTION in SOUTH AFRICA. He was also the recipient of many medals, including that of the Fauna Society in 1940 and later the Coronation Medal in 1953.

Surely on 1 May 1946 many things in the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK must have been very different . . . . . . . . .

_________________
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:46 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:35 pm
Posts: 678
Location: Randburg
Another great read - gm!

You have put so much time and effort into this that it would be rather sad to see it buried in the thread!

Thank you so much! :clap:

_________________
Jackie

Croc Bridge - 6 April 2012
Berg en Dal - 7&8 April 2012


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:27 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:52 pm
Posts: 2534
Location: VEREENIGING
AFTER RETIREMENT .. . . . . . . .

After retirement Stevenson-Hamilton often found it very difficuilt to adapt to the every day life of a normal citizen.

He was appointed a member of the National Parks Board in June 1947, but a year later was advised that his appointment would be terminated. He was awarded the title of WARDEN EMERITUS of the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK in 1950, the title was not one of decision making so it did not mean much to him.

After the change in Government, after the 1948 elections, as can be expected there were many rumours about changes to be done, obviously many of them were very negative, the old Warden feared that much of what he had spent a lifetime, on building and constructing, would fall apart, fortunately most of them later were found to be untrue. but they already had upset him greatly.

James stevenson - Hamilton was nominated to accompany the Royal Family while visiting SOUTHERN AFRICA in the late 1940's, during their visit to the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK - enjoyed by all, including the current Queen Elizabeth, then one of the two princesses.

He also served on the governing body of the Sabi Sand privately owned game reserve, on farms adjoining the north eastern enclave, north of the Sabie River on KRUGER'S border.

The next era for the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK had dawned and his feared scientists moved in, he felt helpless, fortunately they assisted in converting the princess into the reigning queen which she is today.

The old Warden felt tht he very few friends left, fortunately Harry Wolhuter lived neareby and the two of them could still often regularly share very fond and treasured memories. . . . .

An extract from his journal, was he British or was he South African :

" what to do/ Fairholm or Gibraltar? . . . Much her up about what to do. . . God knows what to do best . . . . did not leave the place. Gloomed all day . . . 80th birthday - presents and lots of visitors. My problems have become an obsession. Hilda in tears . . . . Depressed and bored, did all the wrong things to Jamie. Hilda opnely miserable.

The lady who had made him so happy in the past, bought him presents on his birthdays since their marriage, was now in teras on his eightieth. She loved AFRICA as much as he did and married James to share all of AFRICA with him. The Continent of which much was depicted in her paintings and her sculptors . . . of which many are still to be seen today in the librarary carrying their name in the restcamp bearing tribute to her husband. You are welcomed to the library by sculpture made by Hilda of the man she loved so dearly.

James suffered a stroke during November 1949, on 10 December of that year he wrote in a very peculiar hand wrote, " First day I am able to write intellegently. Am still dizzy " and a month later " wish my right hand would become unpalsied and that I couls write.

By 1950 he was feeling bright again and enjoyed time with wife Hilda and son Jamie and daughter Anne. Again a happy routine was established. He had made peace with his to live in SOUTH AFRICA even at Gibraltar - outside his KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.

In 1952 he decided that they should again make a visit to Fairholm, his strength was failing and while at Fairholm spent most of his time in the library, reading of his very old and other not so very old well kept journals. He was fortunate in reading and rereading these writings of his, to re live his days of adventure, vagaries, successes and disasters, through his own mind, unclouded by anything, and to share them with those who were prepared to listen . . . . .

_________________
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:08 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:52 pm
Posts: 2534
Location: VEREENIGING
THE END OF A MAN AMONG MANY . . . . . .

The inner life of this remarkable man still remained active even as old age slowly crept up on him. He still remained critical and intellegent, his wisdom was evident in his commentary.

His friends were leaving him one by one, Smuts, Charlie Sanderson, Tomlinson,de Laporte, Duke, Wolhuter and . . . . . those that remained were ill, some were blind, others lived in poverty, some helpless. He once concluded that there is little benefit left to living after one's work is done ".

He saw many transformations - Went to Mtimba, buildings now torn down and again reverted to a jungle. seen the complete circle - jungle to jungle.

Hilda was still young and fortunately healthy. At the end of 1953 the old timer fell and cracked a rib. He was often giddy and when walking, had to be supported, his memory began to fail him. Still proud he felt that had disgraced himself " for he slipped and fell while other people were around ".

To James Stevenson-Hamilton, his last years were often humiliating after the life he had lived; that of a SOLDIER, that of a HUNTER, that of a WARDEN, out in the fields of AFRICA, the place he loved so dearly. Now he was restricted, but fortunately he had the wonderful memories . . . . .

On 31 December 1956 James wondered " if I shall last another, I don't care for myself, but the longer I can live the better for Hilda finacially and otherwise ". His ninetieth birthday was cause for great celebration, telegrams poured in from those who could not attend the party.

He wrote " today I attained the unexpacted age of 90 years. Two years older than my father when he died in 1926 of nothing but old age. So, I have beaten him, but don't expect to see another. In fact for the past two months, I have been pretty ill. and on my back a lot, which I recognise a purely decay. My hearing is poor, my voice suffers from chronic laryngitis, and I can barely hobble on two sticks and usually have to take Hild's arm. In fact, I depend on her now for almost everything, and must give her a lot of trouble with my slow ways ".

A few days later he detailed all his assets. By 2 December he wrote that " I am getting feebler by the day. I don't think I would last long without Hilda to help me, but what a drag I must be to her ". He sat in the sun and on 3 December he wrote his last journal entry.

Eventually on 10 December 1957 his time came, and he joined all his friends who had gone ahead of him, on the soils of the place he loved so dearly AFRICA . . . . . . .

_________________
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:11 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:52 pm
Posts: 2534
Location: VEREENIGING
My 500th post.

FROM GIBRALTAR to SHRIMANTANGA to . . . NOW . .


Hilda and the children received many letters, and tributes after the passing of this remarkable man, her husband and their father.

At Gibraltar there was a sense of human dignity and rightness, there was no sense of tragedy in his death, for his work had ended.

James Stevenson-Hamilton left something behind, valuable and lasting and real . . he was someone that really lived . . . . he understood and respected lt and its values as well as the art of living .. . . . his life was filled with purpose and achievement. He was indeed one of this Country's true pioneers, today we can enjoy the result of his life's work, that has also now become OUR HERITAGE, the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.

Should you ever have the privilege to visit Shirimantanga Kopie, south of SKUKUZA Rest Camp, you can know that this is where SKUKUZA and his Hilda spent many wonderfull times. Here, they viewed many sunrises and many sunsets, they dreamt about the future and relived of their happy past, this is where they may have studied the stars on a dark moonless night or where they at fullmoon may have looked over the landscape and saw of the great herds, this is where their ashes have been strewn in the wind and they again became part of the AFRICA, both of them loved so dearly . . . . .

_________________
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 118 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Anonymous at 13:02:18 Submitted by Ellies at 21:44:34 Submitted by Foxy at 22:01:30 Submitted by Anonymous at 17:45:54