THE ULOLWE SOUTH AFRICA – SUID-AFRIKA A monthly railway research / historical publication ‘n Maandelikse spoorweg historiese en navorsing publikasie “Everything to do with the former South African Railways & Transnet; i.e. Railway Stations, Harbours, Airways, Road Motor Transport, SAR Police, Lighthouses, Pipelines, Catering, SAR Models & Diagrams of Locomotives and Rolling Stock”
Patron – Les Pivnic - Beskermheer Hennie Heymans, Pretoria, South Africa - email@example.com June 2011 Vol 2 No 6B Special Edition honouring the late Boon Boonzaaier
Junie 2011 Vol 2 No 6B Spesiale Uitgawe ter ere van wyle Boon Boonzaaier
Contents / Inhoud Editorial – Redaksioneel.......................................................................................................................... 2 Death Notice & Funeral Letter ................................................................................................................ 5 Condolences received from friends on SAR-List ..................................................................................... 9 Deon de Beer ........................................................................................................................................ 20 A tribute to Boon in Photographs by– Hennie Heymans ...................................................................... 26 Rob Adams sent this memory: .............................................................................................................. 41 Denny Trueman sent in this photo of Boon: ......................................................................................... 41 The last BTS departing Pretoria – Totsiens! .......................................................................................... 42 Conclusion - Slot.................................................................................................................................... 42
Editorial – Redaksioneel Please let’s pause for a minute! Our friend Boon Boonzaaier has passed away – let’s give our friend some respect – let’s remember him and what he did for the Railway-tourist industry in South Africa. He also left his mark on our book shelves – he wrote about his passion when Spoornet no longer gave him his trains! He took so many people on his tours – there were old people as well who regularly travelled on his trains. He took older people to see their own country at affordable prices. Boon was no tickey snatcher! He did what he could for his family, friends, patrons and staff. He was honest and loyal. He was a deep Christian and he had his own brand of humour. He enjoyed the trains, no matter what impediments were put in his way! He overcame them all, one by one! I knew Boon before he started Bosveld Train Safaris – a colleague of mine retired to Nylstroom and one day this friend – now also no longer with us – phoned me very excitedly and said: “Hennie you are mad about trains. There is man in Warmbad who has published a new calendar on trains.” I went through Warmbad (now Bela Bela) and got hold of the printer who directed me to Boon and that is how our friendship started! I remember the time I went with him to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. In those days he would book places on a train, take people to Zimbabwe and hire local taxis to take his passengers around. I remember the long curved platform at Bulawayo. We had to leave our things in the compartment to visit the Railway Museum and other places of interest. I spoke to the policemen on duty – these policemen were spotless and their legging shone! Nothing
disappeared from our baggage. The station was clean and the platform was polished with red Sunbeam polish! We went to various places in and around Bulawayo. To the grave where Cecil John Rhodes was buried at the Matapos and went on a game drive and then took the train to Victoria Falls. We had a lovely dinner on the train – unlike the new Spoornet dining cars – here was still something left of the old former splendour. We had white table cloths and silver! We arrived in Vic Falls and went to the famous Hotel for breakfast, then to the famous falls itself, walked on the bridge and then a walk in town. The station master had promised Boon that we could use his braai! However he was away for the weekend and I bought wood and meat. We used the same train that we came in, to go back to Bulawayo. Boon asked me how would I braai the meat without a Braai-machine? I told him not to worry. I went on an expedition and found a lovely drain cover and two large stones. I made the fire near the train and fried (braaied?) the lovely Zimbabwean Steaks – however I could swear it was Rhodesian steaks! I gave the passengers their braaivleis and rolls and then I set down to braai Boon’s meat and my own! A passenger came to me and asked whose steaks I was braaiing? I told him the one steak was Boon’s and the other one mine. I felt I had to spoil Old Boon for a change! I had a beer or two while Boon has his steak with a lovely Red Wine! Boon asked me to go on the popular weekend Bosveld Rondomtalies as I was now engaged as the official braaier (or fryer?) having completed my apprenticeship in Zim! Boon was flexible – so one day it rained heavily where we were to stop and braai. I took the gas-braai to the end of the train – I knew it was against the regulations – and I braaied the steak and wors very carefully on the train and the passengers then ate in their compartments. Lovely aroma filled the train. Later I tried to get the Police’s Holiday Club interested and Mervyn Mark of Mainline Passenger Services suggested that we use a Lounge Car on the train. This became a standard fixture. We then got a bar and I acted as Barman once or twice. One day the thought struck me: Boon (and I) was selling liquor without a licence! We crossed that hurdle! Then Boon provided his own bedding and that caused its own problems – he then had to pay a surcharge to Spoornet. On one of the Bosveld Rondomtalies Piet came to see Boon and Piet became the official cook. Later he progressed to having a Staff & Baggage car to cook in. There were many problems – no electrician! Then no drivers or no traction – in spite of an “YQ” – some kind of train order. Jan came and helped from the beginning – the trains were not always clean so Jan took over the job of cleaning the train. All will agree that Jan performed his duty cheerfully and he also filled the train with water. Boon later had the whole operation running smoothly – hot water was within limits, plentiful – I still can hear him: “You must remember you are not at home, save water: shower with a friend!” 3
Many people of all walks of life were passengers! White or Black Boon had place for everybody on the train. Many of my overseas friends travelled on Boon’s trains! Many a time the train was late and passengers had to be picked up along the route or passengers had to connect with their flights on the way back – Boon always made a plan! Never in my life did I think I would be doing my shopping at Checkers by train. One Sunday we travelled from Swakopmund to Walvis Bay when Boon had the train stopped just across the road from Checkers – we all could detrain and buy the Sunday newspapers and whatever we wanted to buy. I had just bought my first digital camera when Boon phoned and asked what I was doing! I told him I had bought a new digital camera on the insistence of the late Ric Searle. His immediate reply was – I want to see you on the next train as photographer! Boon even once hired the famous Blue Train and took it on the Bosveldrondomtalie – he showed Transnet how to fill a train. I had a guest from the Belgian Police and Boon had invited me along but we only travelled from Warmbad to Pretoria! What a trip! The Belgian friend asked me very worriedly how much this was going to cost. It was first class opulence where ever one looked! It did not cost him a cent! Courtesy Boon. My father went on a trip when there was a rather nasty accident – the passenger coaches overturned at a level crossing – fortunately nobody was injured. My father was in the passage talking to somebody - he was about 87 at the time. No injuries but he said he wet his pants! Once the assistant to the driver died between nowhere and somewhere! The assistant had died while on duty outside the train. There was no communication – and again Boon took charge. Had the man put in a compartment – covered him in a blanket and a passenger who was qualified as a driver took the assistant’s place. The Police and other authorities were informed at the first place where they had communication. This is just a small glimpse in the life of Boon Boonzaaier – a man who was happy to make other people happy while travelling. He knew South Africa like the palm of his hand. Nothing could put him off – if there was an obstruction on a line he always came up with an alternative plan. Sometimes a trip ran smoothly and a few miles from Pretoria we would be halted. He knew everybody worth knowing on the railways – drivers and other staff included. He always “planned the train” for each trip – then he had the train turned so that in Durban or Muizenberg we would be able to see the sea from our compartment windows. Boon’s train brought in a large amount of revenue for Spoornet. He and other operators were paying millions to Spoornet! Our sympathy to his dear family and close friends – we will miss him but we will never forget him! Anyway this is just a small obituary on a BIG MAN - our FRIEND BOON! Salute! 4
Death Notice & Funeral Letter
Condolences received from friends on SAR-List Hi Hennie Sad to see such a great railway man pass away. Like many others I only had the privilege of meeting Boon once a number of years ago at a” Friends of the Rail” meeting in Pretoria. My sincere condolences go to his wife and family. He leaves a great legacy in the South African railway world. God be with him. Les Bray, Pretoria I was saddened by the news of Boon’s passing away. I never met Boon although his train visited Port Shepstone on at least once accession. Nevertheless, we corresponded and he and I discussed the South African 150th Anniversary book I have now completed. He offered to assist and we planned to exchange our respective publications. Now this will never happen… We can thank Spoornet for destroying his Bushveldt Safari trains and a lot of other good things. Boon, at least you will no longer have any sleepless nights as a result. Go well in the future. Kind regards, Allen Jorgensen. I also never met Boon but his reputation as a train host par excellence stretches far and wide. His wonderful book gives some measure of the man. My condolences to his family on their sad loss. Stan Long. It is terribly sad that Boon Bonzaaier is dead. It is a huge loss, especially for his wife Lana and his daughters, Elri and Adri. The staff of the Bushveldt Train Safaris are also suffering the loss. I was privileged to be a traveller on three Bushveldt trips. Two were to Namibia in 2005 and 2006. The third was to the cherry festival at Ficksburg and the Sandstone Estate. It was at the latter where Quentin Pendal drove one of the narrow gauge Mallets (your choice of pronunciation). He was, and still is, awesome. One the second trip to Namibia I asked Boon about the Caprivi Strip. Without a moment’s hesitation, he laid out the historical, geographic and political influences behind the establishment of the Caprivi Strip. (Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caprivi_Strip for the story.) On the first trip to Namibia, I asked about Boon’s surname. I suspected it was Dutch. He 9
confirmed the fact and told me about the time when Napoleon invaded the Netherlands in 1811. Napoleon’s custom was to tax newly conquered countries so that he could keep the taxes low at home. That, in turn, required a census. When the French clerks went to work, they needed surnames. But many of the Dutch, like farmers and workers, only had given names. For the census these folks had to choose surnames if they did not already have them. The Dutch assumed that the tax census would be temporary so many chose funny names. After the French left after seven years, the joke was on the Dutch because the funny surnames stuck. The name Boonzaaier is one example. It literally means bean sower. But any farmer will tell you that beans are not sowed, they are planted. I think the family sense of humor was passed down to Boon. The Bushveldt trips were noted for generating new romances and reviving old romances. I will not go into the details, except to note that Boon liked to call these trips the “Love Train.” He was a giant among us rail fans. He was also an entrepreneur, historian, entertainer, teacher, captain of the Love Train, master of the mechanical arts, geographer, a patriot, in short, a man for all seasons. May he rest in peace and ride forever on heaven’s trains. Jim Johnston in Illinois. We have lost a railway icon..... I also never met the great man...I visited the George platform when his train was in town, but it all looked so busy and bustling I was too scared to ask someone where he was.... Nevertheless, I drove to the 2nd last level crossing out of town and took this photo, Rest In Peace Mr Boonzaaier, you affected more people than you know. Rob Adams I didn't know the man. But I loved that livery; much nicer than the garish Shosholoza colours we have now. Frank Graham. I did not meet the man although we did exchange correspondence many years ago. He was a good man and very helpful. RIP Boon. – Carl Das Neves Vieira. R.I.P Boon – Grant Fryer I heard about him. How long ago did he pass away and hope that it was of natural causes Was he quite elderly? Bryn Morgan Reply: He was a grandfather – he suffered from muscle dystrophy - retired early as school teacher then started BTS - until Spoornet stopped it - not enough traction, they said! We saw the RSA at cheap prices and the food was just good Boerekos. What more did one want? Good train trips and Good Company! He even once hired the Blue Train! But that is special story! Hennie Heymans. 10
Lekker man! Crazy thing is Spoornet says not enough traction but they can afford to put working steam engines that could earn them revenue and fill the gap on those long scrap lines - some of them had only just been overhauled and many, many still good for thousands of miles bladdy stupid! Now it's not Spoornet complaining of traction shortage, its Transnet or Shoshaloza. All cut from the same cloth. Muscle Dystrophy is horrible! Bryn Morgan Yes Hennie, they were really good trips and that food was amazing, all prepared in a guards van. Transnet were fools to stop those trains. In fact Boon would have made a damn fine CEO for Transnet – Grant Fryer With the passing away of Boon Boonzaaier. Does anybody have a picture of one of his trains? Want to do a small piece on my blog. Craig Duckham Craig, this is the first I am hearing of this news. What a great loss. I think Boons had one of the best tour trains. I will search and see if I can find a pic. R.I.P. Boon – Grant Fryer I agree with Sue and Quintin that although he knew thousands of people, he always managed to make you feel very special when spending time with you. I met him once in the Lounge car, Bosveld train was parked on Santos at Mossel Bay and I spend the afternoon with him and it was too short. Deepest sympathy and condolences and our thoughts and prayers are with the family. Your train knowledge and experience will live forever in our memories. Danie Strydom Mossel Bay Boons’ passing has left Margaret and I deeply saddened, and our condolences go out to his family. One of nature’s true gentlemen, his passing brings to a close an era when his informality and natural friendliness touched so many lives. We, like so many others who shared the experience of meeting him on his unforgettable trips, will never forget him and his crew. His organizational ability excelled to the point of knowing more about operating than the professionals, and his intimate knowledge of even the minutest detail was infinite. The experience for us will live forever in memories and photographs, what better consolation than to draw inspiration from his published works. Thank you Boon. Peter and Margaret Sinclair Hi Quinten, Thanks for bringing back those fond memories of Boon. We are really going to miss him as 11
he was a real scholar and a gentleman. Regards, Les Smith Hi all Seeing as one of our very great friends left us, I felt it appropriate to just stand still and remember a few things, I'd like to share with you. Please don't feel obliged to read, and, use your delete key if needed. Boon knew thousands and thousands of people, and he had many, many friends, literally all over the world. Despite the fact that he had so many friends, he always managed to make you feel very special when he spent time with you. He somehow made you feel as if he had all the time in the world for you, and that nothing else mattered. I was fortunate to record many, many incidents and interviews which involved Boon. His sense of humour, his knowledge about so many things, his love for his country, his absolute love and worship for his wife, and above all, his closeness to his creator are but a handful of things that always stood out. I remember how, on all his trips, he always would say grace before every meal, not one bit ashamed of his religion. He could point out so many interesting things along the road. I guess he must have had hundreds of thousands of pictures taken of anything and everything as they travelled. It never was a problem for him to have that whole train stopped only so Hendrik or Manie could go and take a picture of a specific flower growing somewhere. I remember fondly how proud he was of his trains. He took us where no car could ever go. He showed us things that no one else could even dream about. And also, he cared for local communities. How many times didn't he just have his train stop over at a certain point so passengers could get off and buy stuff from the locals at a place? I remember how innovative Boon was, with his tours. How many people would ever be so lucky as to have a bbq1 under millions of stars, surrounded by nothing, ... Humefield? Or, what about those nights when Boon made the train park right next to the ocean at Santos Beach, Mossel Bay? 1
A braai in South Africa (BBQ)
The train were so close to the sea that, if the wind blew in the right direction, you could feel the spray of the waves come through your window. I remember fondly, and am so thankful about so many interviews i did with Boon. There was one we did, him, I, Les Smith, and the late Bob Deysel, in Boon's compartment, and, there was a 34class shunting, kept on interrupting us. How wonderful it was! Then, there was the time I just started up my audio podcast, Train Talk. My very first interview I ever recorded, was with Boon, over the telephone. I remember how nervous I was. And, funnily, after I recorded and saved the interview (of about 15 minutes), I somehow managed to delete it! :@ I remember how, when I called Boon the next day, explaining to him what happened, he just laughed and said "no problem, we can just do it all over again." And, we did, almost with more detail than the first try. I remember back in 2005, how Boon arranged 3 extra coaches to be connected to the train going to the Cherry safari in Ficksburg, for all the SAR listees. Ironically, that trip Boon himself couldn't make, due to illness. On his trips, when he had a hard time walking, Boon used to sit in the lounge car with a microphone, and this way, he could still communicate all kinds of info to all the passengers. I remember I afternoon, after lunch, when most people were eaten to the brim, how Carin and I went to lay down in our compartment. Carin tried to take a nap, but, somehow, Boon had the microphone on in the lounge and he wasn't aware of that, so, all the jokes and stuff somehow came through on the speakers, for all to hear. I remember how I decided to go join Boon and the laughter in the lounge, how Carin got a bit irritated, and, said to me "just go kill that microphone!" Upon arrival in the lounge, I told Boon jokingly what she had said, that the microphone was also on. He just laughed his usual way and said "Well, you can't fight a guy with a microphone. Ha ha ha." Then there was, on that same trip, the Currie Cup final between the Bulls and the Cheetas. Boon, as you know, was a die heart Bulls supporter. I on the other hand, supported the Cheetas. I remember how we were all in the lounge car, travelling back from Springfontein to Bloemfontein, and how Boon had a little portable radio, which he held the microphone against, so all in the train could listen to commentary on the match. When the Bulls scored, 13
Boon and the bulls supporters chanted and cheered. When the Cheetas scored, the rest of us freaked out. Ironically enough, that match ended in a draw, 28 all. But, during these train trips, things weren't always moonlight and roses. Sometimes there would be impossible passengers on the train, moaning and groaning about anything and everything. Boon always managed to handle situations and people like those with the utmost gracefulness. I remember Toorwaterpoort. That must have been the single place that left the biggest impression on me of all the places I ever went to. If it wasn't for Boon, I would never ever have been able to experience that place. Then there is Sandstone Estates. If it wasn't for Boon, I would never ever have been privileged to be exposed to, and to experience it. I remember back in 2006, when the struggle was on to keep the contract trains running. Boon stayed positive about the future of these trains right to the very end. When the railways told him that they were going to shut them all down, Boon remained positive, despite the devastation. I can clearly remember how angry and rebellious I was towards the railways. At the time I felt like i would take them all on, blow them all up or something drastic. I was so, so bitter towards the railways, and yet, Boon always, always managed to let one see things from a different perspective. He always looked for new opportunities to bring the railways to people. Those of you who are lucky enough to have his book, Tracks Across the Veld, will know exactly what Iâ€™m talking of. Back in 2007, Carin and I were lucky enough to visit Boon and Lana up in Warmbaths for a weekend. Late the Friday night, while I was in the bath, Lana discovered a snake in the kitchen. Naturally, she was very frightened. Now, remember, at the time, Boon were mostly lying in bed, it was very hard for him to move. Despite all of that, Boon reassuringly told his wife "Don't worry about the snake, Quinten and I are here to protect you". I on the other hand, am soooo afraid of snakes, I decided to just lock myself up in the bathroom, just in case that snake could find a way of coming for me. Ha ha ha. So, there they were, Carin and Lana, fighting the snake, while the 1 guy was lying in bed, 14
unable to move, and the other (blind guy), locked up in the bathroom. I remember how, when Boon said that he and I would protect the women, I thought to myself "Speak for yourself". Ha ha ha ha. The very next day, all Boon's staff from the train came to see him, his wife had organised a meal and a get together. When it was speech time, a very emotional Lana thanked everybody for taking such good care of Boon while he was on the train. She said that, with Boon being in such good care and being helped to live out his dream, she, Lana, could also live out her dream of teaching. Boon on the other hand, said to everybody present there, that the picture of the trains was completed, but, that they were on the brink of starting something new. He assured every one of his staff that he was going to try and find some means of accommodating them all. And that was just one of the many, many virtues of Boon: how he always cared for the next person, never bothered to put his own interests first. And let's not forget Lana. The last few years must have been tough on both Boon and her. Yet, Lana always stood by Boon, she always was positive, always practical. Boon trusted Lana so much; he relied so much on her. As I said earlier, i think he worshipped the ground Lana walked upon. Those occasions when Lana could join him on his trips, he was always so proud and delighted to have her with him. The last nine months or so must have been extremely tough on both Boon and Lana, what with Boon unable to move, always being connected to that oxygen thingie. Yet, when you came to see them, Lana always was prepared for you, you were always welcomed, and Boon always looked fantastic. She took such good care of him. And when she wasn't around, then old Jan was. I must spare a thought for Jan, who was Boon's right hand on the trains. On a serious note, I remember how, until very, very recently, when I had problems with family and other matters, how I could phone or email Boon, how he would spend all the time in the world, listening to you, and, how, almost fatherly, he would come up with such practical advice. I remember how he would always make you see things from a positive angle again, how he made each and every problem seem manageable again. The last time Carin and I went to visit them, him and Lana spent so much time with us, 15
almost like our parents, hearing us out, trying and trying to help, to give advice, to give us courage. I will never forget it. Yes, I probably could go on and on, cause there is just so, so many things one can say about Boon. And, Iâ€™m sure that, once I posted this email, I will have forgotten to mention this and that and this and that. But, now, with that old body finally giving up on Boon, I'm sure that where he is now, he is free, he is a very, very happy man now, able to walk normally again, able to breathe normally again, and, very close to his Creator. Thanks for hearing me out. All the best - Quinten Pendle As I had never met the man and only seen the respect that list shows towards the man, Quentin, your account is a great accolade to him. My thoughts and prayers are with Boons family at this time. Terry Rowe Quinton, Thank you very much for that wonderful anecdote about Boon. As mentioned, I had never had the good fortune to meet him, but your e-mail describes him exactly as I would picture him. I have read parts of his book and now when I read some more I will picture Boon up there smiling down at us. Richard Gillat. Fellow Listees I generally just lurk in the background on this list and read it for the interesting notes; history, current climate and more recently the wonderful photos that are being posted that have invigorated this list (special thanks Oom Les, and a bonus for us Aussies now that he lives with us here in Australia). I have been a member for many years and watched all the events good and bad that have paraded through its columns over all this time but I have never been affected by the loss of someone I have never met as I am today! I used to read Boons updates and I wanted do much to be there to experience it. I could hardly believe that someone could run a rail tourist business and then offer rail enthusiasts on this list free travel on his trains just for the asking. I mean, come on!!!! You know the old saying, "if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is..."
How could you run a business, then give some of it away and still expect it to thrive? Then I read the entries from listees that travelled with him, but with family commitments limiting my travel opportunities, all I could do was drool!!! I found myself reading "between the lines" and through this list began to feel I knew this man and what he could give of himself jumped off the screen and into my life. The forced closure of his rail touring business by things outside his successful business must have been a hard thing to come to terms with. Quinten I appreciate very much your mini 'euology' of Boon for this list. You are lucky to have known him and for him to have been your friend. Your words are inspirational and if his wish is to be close to his creator then that is what I will pray for before I shut my eyes tonight. May he rest in peace and may we hold his memories close to us. David Honer Sydney Beautifull words. Thank you . Amen trainman - Nathan Berelowitz Hennie, I'm deeply saddened to learn of Boon's passing away, please convey my condolences to Boon's family - we were in regular correspondence when I worked on the maps for his book "Tracks across the Veld". Bruno Martin Victoria Point Queensland Australia Dear everybody, South African Railways have just lost one of its greatest supporters and many of us have just lost a true friend. I only met Boon the once, but he was such a great man (in every sense) that it seems as though i had known him for ever, and I get the feeling that every listee has the same sense of belonging to Boon. Dear Boon, we are going to miss you more than words can ever say, but it is some relief to know that your sufferings are now past and that you are now chartering trains in that great railway in the sky, bringing delight to countless ghostly passengers. Boon, may you rest in peace. We all loved you. Sue Lawrence 17
I would have loved to have travelled on some of Boon's safaris. His book will serve as a lasting memory. Rest well, Boon. Noel Foster in Perth. Hi Hennie, Very sorry to hear about Boon â€“ a railway legend in South Arica. He must have clocked up more rail miles than most of us put together. My condolences to his family. Trevor Staats. I would like to add my condolences to Boon's family on his tragic passing. You meet all sorts of people in the railway world and Boon was one of the very best. He can best be described as an old fashioned gentleman who built a successful business despite everything thrown at him by the railway authorities of the day. He brought many parts of South Africa to a whole new audience and I know his passengers and friends thought the world of him. Rest in peace dear Boon. Regards Geoff Pethick Today we stand, humbled by the fact that a dear, dear friend, a great guy, had to take that last train. For many years, Boon showed us all the most beautiful places around the country. Not only did he help us experience life and beauty in a dimension way beyond anything else, but the knowledge he had, the knowledge and love he shared for places, for people, was unmatched. Now my friend, it's time for you to take that last train, it's time for you to go and experience something out of this world; it's time for you to feel a greater love than what you could ever show us here. God chose you to ride His train, a train with everlasting peace, love, and not a single moment of pain and discomfort. Ride that train with pride, go in peace, go home, and know that the legacy you left us, will live forever, if nowhere else, then in our hearts. Good bye, Quinten Pendle 18
I never met BOON but I have his amazing book and when I re-read it I will offer a silent prayer for this wonderful man’s soul that it may rest in peace eternally. He deserves it. Dave Fortune. Hennie, I am so sorry to hear of Boon's passing. A truly great and good man. My condolences to his family. Robert GMAM
Hi Hennie, I never got to meet or know Boon but just by all e-mails on this list I got to know Boon as a man on integrity who had a very deep love of trains. Our condolences to his family and loved ones. Richard Gillat. Boon, Deepest sympathy. At least where you are, the trains run on time. Bon Voyage. OnedownTrainman (Nathan Berelowitz)
Hi All, My sincerest condolences to Adrie and other members of Boon’s immediate family. THERE GOES A GREAT MAN……….A TRULY GREAT MAN! He will be missed. Sad greetings. Joe Neethling Boon - May you find peace in the great eternal railway station in the sky. You will be missed by everyone whose lives you touched. My condolences go to Boon's family and also his great extended family all over the world. You will be missed........ Glen & Rosemary Landsberg Atlanta GA USA Hennie, Sterkte aan die familie hier van Blouberg af ook. 19
Regards, AndrĂŠ, Cape Town To Boon's Family: Our Deepest Sympathy and Condolences. To Boon Your service to the rail tourist industry - both enthusiast and tourist alike, will not be forgotten! You have left your mark in South African railway history - Big Time my friend! R.I.P. Carol and Les Pivnic Hi Hennie, Please pass on our sincerest condolences to Boon's family. Kind regards, Les & Sandy Smith.
Deon de Beer From another friend of Boon we received the following photographs:
Boon loved the flowers of Namaqualand 20
The beast parking spot in South Africa – Santos at Mossel Bay.
Boon and Staff pictured in The Hell – a place in the Cape Province
Oom Trevor Attwell after a 100 trips on BTS
Toorwaterpoort Toor Water poort â€“ Boon loved the place!
Die kokerboomwoud in Namibie
A tribute to Boon in Photographs by– Hennie Heymans
33-465 between Windhoek and Rehoboth – Hennie Heymans Tulbagh Rd on 28-12-2003
33-441 trek BTS reg vir die Hooflyn te Holoog 22-3-2004 HB Heymans
34-925 en BTS te Ariamsvlei met sononder. 21-3-2004 HB Heymans 27
Laataand by Ausnek - Arriving late at Ausnek with 33-460 on 22-3-2004
34-064 @ Kroonstad on 3-1-200
Somewhere in the Western Transvaal on 3-10-2003 while Boon & I enjoy a sundowner. 28
6E1 1823 & Van Rensburgskop (Racing Car Mountain) nr Swinburne between Van Reenen and Harrismith.
Without doubt the most difficult shot in my filming career â€“ thanks to Boon!
A model of Blue Train coaches in Botrivier Museum
Boonâ€™s mother Mrs Boonzaaier at Botriver
35-054 nr Botrivier
Boon and I once follwed the train between George & Knysna â€“ he taught me to take pictures of steam! Here is 19D 2698 Boon wanted me to take the picture of 19D 2698 on the bridge â€“ to late! Never the less a great day chasing the train to Knysna!
One of my best under Boonâ€™s guidance!
My first early morning shot of Toorwaterpoort â€“ Boon gave me many instructions to keep in mind! The second shot was on top of a rock on the right. 34
Another favourite stop was Kanfersdam, nr Kimberley!
Another view of train parked at Santos nr Mosselbaai â€“ another favourite!
Tsumis Park - Namibia
Rooikranse, 34-014 & 34-109 with BTS on 4-2-2004 HB Heymans
Limpopo Safari – a stolen pic of Boon & Lana – note the reading!
My first front cover! Thanks to Boon!
Port Shepstone - The view from Boon & my compartment! It was one of those WOW days! Here, below, is the last picture I took of Boon when the last train of Bosveld Train Safaris â€“ departed! That was the day I met CP Lewis!
Rob Adams sent this memory:
Denny Trueman sent in this photo of Boon:
The last BTS departing Pretoria â€“ Totsiens!
Conclusion - Slot We had the privilege to attend Boonâ€™s funeral in Warmbad now called Bela Bela! All his family and friends were there. Thank you Lana en family! We salute a brave and determined man who lived his dream! May God bless and keep his family! Thank you friends, dankie vriende, Hennie Heymans