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in this month’s edition......

1. Harburg Neuenkirchen Congregation turned 125! 2. Proudly Pietermaritzburg...... 3. Architectural genius - awards and 4. reinventing, reusing and more ... 5. Giving that really does you good! 6. Laughter is good for you... 7. Our stupendous schools! Don’t forget to check our regular writers out too.....

Have A Blessed Christmas Everyone!


See You In 2012

Edition 112 December 2011


A Celebration of Faith and Community Neuenkirchen Congregation, Harburg

ecently a celebration attended by more than 500 guests took place at Harburg to mark the 125th anniversary of this community church, whose spire stands tall above the sugar cane fields and forests of this quiet farming area in the KZN Midlands.

Mr Claus Lutge, a Harburg resident of 67years, and a congregation member, documented the history of this striking place of worship, and, in keeping with the Christmas season The Meander Chronicle is privileged to be able to share some of its history with Midlands readers. “Soon after the first German missionaries from Hermannsburg, Germany, had arrived at Durban harbour in August 1854, they travelled inland to make a home for themselves. Rev Posselt, a Berlin missionary, who had arrived in Natal some years earlier, encouraged them to settle in southern Zululand, and to try to obtain permission to establish mission stations amongst the Zulu tribes. This they did and in due course they settled in the Natal Midlands. The first congregation to be set up was in Hermannsburg (1856), and then New Hanover (1858). As a result of the ‘enormous’ distances the congregants had to travel from their farms to their church, 19 families left New Hanover and the Kirchdorf congregation was founded (Wartburg). Pastor Struve conducted services for these “settlers” from time to time in the houses of the farmers. Later a number of farmers got together and formed a sub-congregation of Kirchdorf in the Harburg area, with services taking place 6 times a year. In 1886 seven of the Harburg families requested that they be given their own pastor, and, on land donated by Mr Christoph Kusel, their first chapel was built. The new congregation was named Neuenkirchen after the town in Germany from which Mr Kusel’s wife had come. The village was named Harburg after the home town in Germany of Mrs Wiese, the wife of the first resident minister of Neuenkirchen congregation, Pastor H Wiese, who was inducted on 1st Advent Sunday, 1892.Pastor Wiese served the local Zulu congregation as well, and also took over the running of the local school. The first two church councillors were elected: F Gevers and C Kusel. Pastor Dr Reiner Focke is the current pastor at the Neuenkirchen Congregation and has served the community since 1998” And so the village of Harburg was born. Many of the names in the pristine cemetery, and wall of remembrance still play a role in the current Harburg community. According to Mr Claus Lutge, the 125th celebration which took place at the end of October 2011 illustrated the faith, resilience and loyalty of the original founders of Harburg. Three grandchildren and one greatgrandchild laid wreaths on the graves of their forefathers. Despite financial upheaval, wars, natural disaster and other challenges the Neuenkirchen Congregation stands strong today and is testament to the principles of a community. It is not simply a space for worship – it has played a crucial role in educating generations with the Harburg Primary School, which closed its doors in 2005. The school buildings were revamped for use by the Harburg Retreat Centre, which offers a tranquil and restorative space for many. The community Hall remains an important gathering place for community activities such as the well-known Tour de Krantz Cycle race and Harburg fest. Claus Lutge, an accomplished historian too, has compiled a book detailing the birth and development of the Neuenkirchen Congregation in Harburg, and this article is just a glimpse of the work he has done. It’s an amazing chronicle, not just of a Church but of a village and a community. Contact him on 082 496 1105 should you wish to know more.

Brass band players at the cemetery

Congregation at lunch after the service

The Bishop H Muller, the local pastor and members of Church Synod

PROUDLY PIETERMARITZBURG "If everyone would sweep their own doorstep, the whole world will be clean" Mother Theresa


year ago some committed Pietermaritzburg citizens pooled their energy to assist in getting this city back onto the high road. The objectives were two-fold: to clean up the city streets and to form a BID (Business Improvement District) in the CBD. Proudly Pietermaritzburg was born out of that initiative. Bank accounts were opened, auditors appointed and steps were taken to form a Section 21 Non-profit Company. The rationale for this initiative evolved from sound business principles. Most of the 70odd initial donors own properties or businesses in the city. It is in the interest of all to see Pietermaritzburg back on track, clean and functioning. BIDs have proved life-savers for cities worldwide. Cape Town is a case in point with numerous BID districts and a radically improved CBD. With the recent public launch of “Priority Zone” in Durban (see article) there are stimulating examples of how cities can begin a process of regeneration. Pietermaritzburg can and should be regenerated as urgently as possible and Proudly Pietermaritzburg is a start. Two Proudly Pietermaritzburg local business people have taken on the challenge of getting public buy-in - they’ve spent two weeks in Cape Town seeing what has been achieved there. They know it can be done and are ready … Meet Clive Lawler and Gill Bure: Clive Lawler: A year ago I was ready to leave Pietermaritzburg having migrated here from Durban in 1985 in order to raise my children and family in a homely clean beautiful environment. I had become despondent with the recent events in the city. However, we changed our minds and decided to stay

Clive Lawler and Gill Bure want to be proud of PMB.

and make a difference instead of complaining. When the opportunity arose to work with Proudly Pietermaritzburg I took it because I would make a difference. My inspiration came from a wise man who said: “When good men do nothing evil increases”. It was time to make a difference and to bring change. The invitation to you is : Will you join us or will you stand back? You choose. Contact me on: 033 8189181 and cell 084 557 0888 Gill Bure: I have lived in PMB since 1989 - and have seen how things have changed in the city. Overgrown pavements, parks, more and more potholes, litter and crime - things just seemed to have got out of hand.  I want you to join me and let’s make a difference! Please pledge a monthly amount for two years - every small drop will cause a flood - contact me at 0827729310. Log onto  Bank account: VNH Clean City Project, Standard Bank, Branch No. 05 75 25, Acc No: 052 301 095

Don’t stop here, there’s more to be proud of!

18 KwaZulu-Natal Projects Recognized



Design Quality

urban’s iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium, key beachfront nodes, Moyo on the Pier at uShaka Marine World and the inspiring Seth Mokitini Methodist Seminary in Pietermaritzburg were just some of the projects that received awards at the 2011 KwaZulu-Natal Institute for Architecture (KZNIA) Awards for Architecture. The Folie house at Gowrie Farm, Nottingham Road was recognized by the institute for exemplary design. According to Saunders (KZNIA) and respected architect and academic Professor Walter Peters, the one building that stood out and received immediate unanimous approval from all six judges was Pietermaritzburg’s Seth Mokitini Methodist Seminary. Described as “a dynamic African architectural interpretation of the theological outlook of the Methodist Church”, the seminary has already become something of a landmark in Pietermaritzburg.

School of fashion awards...

CEO - Pmb chamber of businessMelanie Vaness, Mayor of Umgungundlovu the Honourable Yusuf Bhamjee and the director of the school of fashion, Priscilla Bhika, were amongst the vips present at the successful school of fashion style awards 2011.

RePurpose -


architecture in public space

n invitation to the opening of RePurpose, on the evening of 29 November in Durban’s CBD promised to be a stimulating evening – designers, architects, hot topics, grand ideas … it was all of those and more. The Midlands was represented unexpectedly by the supply of Rawdons Pie-eyed Possum lager, and on enquiring how “our” lager got to be at the event The Meander Chronicle,I was directed to Charli Denison … A born and bred Maritzburger from Hilton who has a passion for coffee, urban farming, and African adventure, completed his Master thesis on smallholder coffee production. He is currently in Durban working with the Priority Zone for the duration of COP17.  Charli was involved in building the organic food tunnels on the rooftop.  He heads off to Kenya next year to work with coffee farmers in promoting their crop and enhancing their production. Charli studied at Hilton College, the University of Cape Town and Charli denison the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. Involved in the marketing of The Priority Zone (PZ), Charli explained more about it.. “ The Priority Zone is a facilities managed area within the Durban CBD, tasked at transforming the inner-city into a safe, clean, and beautiful place for all.  Within this zone is the PZ headquarters which houses an eco-building and rooftop garden, street-side vegetable gardens, and urban food tunnels.  Food landscaping and urban farming have been utilised to showcase to the public how easy it is to grow some of their own food in a limited space.  The

Veggies anyone? A busstop garden in the CBD

eco-building incorporates solar electricity, rainwater harvesting, solar geysers, worm farms, a recycling project, a seedling nursery, an indigenous succulent garden and nine food tunnels producing food for the needy within the zone.  The rooftop garden, which only three months ago was an empty urban space, has seen the return of numerous species of birds, butterflies, as well as bees.  The 1300m2 rooftop garden utilises numerous recycled products, from old tyres to build the gardens, between the eThekwini Municipality and Drake & Scull.  The projects release to the public has coincided with COP17, but will continue for years to come, and the public are encouraged to come and visit the rooftop, eco-building, and parks & streets within the zone by organising a free tour through the Priority Zone anytime.  Until 15th December 2011, the RePurpose exhibit will be hosted at the Priority Zone ecobuilding, incorporating four exhibits looking at repurposing urban space and buildings with a focus on architectural aspects.  Rooftop and Zone tours will be running, while a film festival showcasing relevant films will take place every evening.  Drinks and snacks are available. rebuilt shipping pallets for the walkways, cut drums for the herb garden, and benches made from recycled plastic.   The Priority Zone project has been in place for nearly two years, with the hope that its success will allow for the expansion of the zone, as well as showing other municipalities what can be done with a public/private partnership such as this one

On a rooftop in Durban’s CBD, the editor admires the tunnels on the rooftop garden that forms part of the Re-Purpose exhibition, an initiative of The Priority Zone. Pic: Rogan Ward

Laughter is the best medicine


ictor Hugo, the French poet, said that “laughter is what drives winter from man’s face”. The king of laughter Charlie Chaplin maintained that “a day without laughter is a day wasted!”. Two days spent at the relaunch of The Quarry Centre Hilton (you MUST go and see the sleek shiny new version …) had me, and many others laughing more than we’ve done in a long while! How so? Kimbo the Clown was there … and we decided to trail him…and like all good clowns, his following just grew and grew. Kimbo managed to be serious for 15 minutes and told The Meander Chronicle how he got to spend much of his spare time “taking the winter from people’s faces”. “I originally and still am a Maritzburger. I left school in Pmb and went to Jhb for a short period to study Civil Engineering in the early 80’s which is still my current career path (Civil Engineering Technician).  There my life radically changed as I became a born again Christian and also discovered an interesting way to express my new found spiritual lifestyle to others through short dramas, mimes, and so on. When I met my wife Nicky, also a Maritzburg girl from Carter High, we continued to perform together.  Our main audiences were church groups, old age homes, children’s homes, institutions and charity organisations. With our love for kids we also started presenting the Gospel to younger audiences through illustrative tricks and mime.  When Nicky fell pregnant with our first son she stopped working full time. It was at that same time that I was asked to entertain at a private children’s party, which is when I created my Kimbo the Clown character.  Over the next few years Nikki and I developed many character themes for children’s parties as well as for adult, commercial and corporate events.  Nicky focussed more on the girl’s characters like the fairy, princess, mermaid and Nixie the Ragdoll Clown. I developed the army, survivor, pirate type character.

Over the years we have presented close to 50 different characters for a wide range of private functions (obviously our Gospel dramas included many, many more characters. We also developed many theatrical skills along with our characters, like, magic tricks, illusions, stilt walking, mime, puppets, unicyling, juggling, poi, storytelling, face painting, and balloon sculptures. What motivates us the most in our line of work is our love of people (young and old), theatrics, comedy, fun, performing skills, the wide range of interactive exposure to all walks of life coupled with the interesting and wonderful friends it has brought us. It is very rewarding to you arrive at an event that may be flat and boring, and leave feeling that you have significantly changed the atmosphere with humour and made it a success.  We both love the wacky side of life, and our hobby brings a refreshing change to my left brain working environment. Our fascination with physics has lead us to present fun physics shows for schools, and my childhood hobby of studying snakes has lead us into informative snake shows.. We now have three sons, Simon (15), Dillon (14) and Jason (10) who have joined in the fun and have done clowning, tricks, unicycling, juggling, and poi at various functions.  At this stage of their lives it’s hard to foresee to what extent this will continue in their future.

We have done many memorable events including flashy, large scale parties such as the New Year’s party at the Lost City, but the special occasions are often at the opposite end of the scale. Bringing joy and hope to deprived and impoverished audiences is most rewarding.  Our special memories are also small magic moments like making a sick kid in hospital laugh and forget their situation for a while, or leaving a bored car guard laughing and shaking his head in absolute amazement at how a single coin became a handful of change. I also find it absolutely fascinating how from time to time I have had young adults in their mid-20’s approach me and describe in detail a show that I did at their childhood party.  Many of the details I have long forgotten.” Thanks for sharing that Kimbo. We all need a Kimbo in our lives … I am still smiling days later, and his remark that if I wanted him to have my face painted (like all the children around me) I mustn’t forget my polyfilla …didn’t even hurt! I belly laughed…. KJ: 0834592815 and Nicky : 0848276922

Feel-Good Gifting


By Nikki Brighton

ess than 20 days left until Christmas. That’s 20 days to panic about presents and spend money you don’t have on things your friends and family don’t want or need – things that often end up in landfill. Let’s just stop and think about other ways to show our love for each other and our planet. Give a donation to a good cause instead of buying gifts. Some funky local options are: Everyone likes to feel good. Funda nenja relies entirely on donations and volunteers to run their Friday afternoon dog training classes in Mpophomeni. Your feel good gift gives dogs the chance to feel special and kids the opportunity of saying “good dog”! A personalised e-card will go to the recipient of your kindness. Perfect for family and friends who are far away, and saves a fortune on postage too. Adopt-A-Dargle-Dassie – an initiative of the Dargle Conservancy to strengthen the food web by re-introducing rock hyrax to areas where they are no longer found. A great gift for anyone with happy memories of the Midlands, or would like to contribute to conservation. Recipients receive a quirky dassie certificate designed and printed in the Dargle. Visit the online B.U.G Shop where you can make a gift to the Midlands Meander Education Project. Your donation will be used to toward creative environmental lessons in local rural schools. Check out for a catalogue and an order form. Shopping with a conscience will offer a child the chance to learn more about the amazing planet we all share. Buy a Brick for the KZN Crane Foundation’s new Wattled Crane Breeding facility in Nottingham Road. An eco-friendly green design using local materials and low energy options to raise chicks of this extremely endangered bird (only 240 left in KZN) to release back into the wild. 078 599 0212 If you really need a physical something to hand over: Go local – support the guy down the road who is making tea trays or garden furniture, rather than the big stores. Shop at craft markets for individually created items made with love. Everyone needs to get their hair cut or car tuned, give vouchers for services nearby and boost your community economy. Ban food miles - Make your festive meals a celebration of local, seasonal food, this is one of the easiest ways to

reduce your environmental impact and is so much fun with all the delicious markets we have about! Buy drinks in returnable glass bottles. Think secondhand – pre-owned stuff is pretty cool, has a low carbon and probably a curious story to tell, too. Hospice and SPCA shops are full of treasures and we have an abundance of antique shops to explore. Buy recycled - Dovehouse Organic Farm Shop stocks the Bugged range of recycled tshirts. Perfectly good tshirts are rescued, given a bit of bug love and wild embroidery to make them better, highly individual and extremely covetable. A new t-shirt produces 4 to 6 kgs of Co2 during manufacture, so by extending the life of those already on Earth, we can save tons. (Supplied by Midlands Conservancies forum,

The Official School Page Michaelhouse

On Friday 25 November, Dr Ian Player was received Ad Portas at Michaelhouse in recognition of his sixty year crusade in defence of our rich natural heritage. This accolade is the most recent in a long and distinguished career during which time no fewer than seventeen national and international awards for service to conservation; along with honorary doctorates in Philosophy and Law have been bestowed upon him. Rector Bushell introduced this very special ceremony to honour distinguished personalities who have made invaluable contributions to the life of the School and the Nation. Since the Right Rev. Baines, who was most instrumental in the early growth of the School, was received in 1928, 13 more dignitaries have been received Ad Portas. Dr Ian Cedric Audley Player became the fifteenth recipient, joining the ranks which include men of the calibre of Jan Smuts and Dr Player’s close personal friend Colonel Sir Laurens van der Post, who was admitted Ad Portas in 1986. The award, which is tantamount to having the Freedom of a City bestowed on its recipient was made in the Main Quad of the School, before the assembled boys, staff and guests. Dr Player was met at the gate to the School by the Rector, Mr Guy Pearson, from where he was lead, to the accompaniment of a carillon of the School Bells, to the Quad. Christopher Brits, the School’s Senior Prefect for 2012 presented Dr Player with an illuminated scroll following an Oration. The Guest of Honour then addressed those present, focusing his message in particular on the 450 boys gathered in the Main Quad. He reminded them that it is not only their duty and responsibility to make full use of the Education with which they are privileged, but also to engage in Leadership. The Main Quad then echoed to the traditional six cheers as a dignified and momentous occasion which will be remembered by all present, drew to a close.

Dr Ian Player addresses the boys at Michaelhouse.

Treverton’s Top Guns

At Treverton College’s annual Prize Giving the top matric students were honoured by being awarded several prestigious prizes. The DUX student has Charlotte Roman, who achieved six A symbols in her trials examinations. In addition to the Dux Prize she also won the Grade 12 prizes for Physical Science and Life Science. She received Academic Honours this year. She was also a School and Dorm prefect and played for 1st Hockey and 1st Soccer teams and was a member of the Student Representative Forum. She attended Treverton Prep and was DUX student in 2006, since coming to College she has retained the position in first in her grade every year. She has been accepted to study medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2012. Kathleen Buchanan was placed second in Grade 12, she also won the Life Orientation prize, she also received the Prize for the College All-Rounder of the Year. She obtained 7 A symbols in trial exams and her Colours for Academics in 2011. Among her achievements; she was the Swimming Captain, Chairperson of the SCA Committee, in the team for Adventure Racing 1st (KZN Champions), the Head Day Scholar Prefect and a School Prefect. She is planning to study Veterinary Science. The Sportsman of the Year award went to Travis Timm together with the Horseman of the Year Award. He was a member of SA Polocrosse World Cup Winning Team in the UK 2011 and is also a member of the S.A. Men’s Polocrosse and Polo teams. He was the boys’ 2011 1st Hockey Captain and played for the 1st Cricket XI, as well as being a Day Scholar and School Prefect. Photo Caption: LR: Charlotte Roman, Travis Timm and Kathleen Buchanan. All thre learners have attended Treverton Prep and College.

The Official School Page TWC Tennis Stars

Weston’s referees of the future

Jemma Veensta and Samantha Yeats from The Wykeham Collegiate won the Durban Girls College Tennis Tournament held recently. This is the second consecutive year that The Wykeham Collegiate has won the tournament.  Well done girls! Left to Right  :  Jemma Veenstra and Samantha Yeats

Weston has three learners who have attended the Midlands Rugby Referees Courses in Pietermaritzburg this year: Anovuyo Mbande, Rhys Boast and Nhlanhla Dladla. The annual prize-giving was held at Voortrekker on Friday 21 October. Congratulations guys, we will look out for you at the next Rugby World Cup! From left to right - Anovuyo Mbande, Nhlanhla Dladla and Rhys Boast.

Hilton Pre-Primary

Hilton Pre-Primary’s Grade R’s entertained with a delightful nativity Play.

The Midlands is gifted...


This card, designed by Tracey Joubert, is one of many beautiful images in Simon Joubert’s catalogue of photographs. The image is available as a fine art print or photo canvas in a variety of sizes.

Visit our website: or blog

c AFROmacro 082 9244278 Printing: PictureBox 033 3423681

AfroMacro range of our six best selling butterfly cards and the second series a range of floral cards by local design and photographer duo, Tracy and Simon Joubert. All the cards are 120mm square, blank on the inside and come packaged individually in a cellophane wrapper. R15.00 each for retail sale.

Here’s a WOW gifting idea – gifts with soul, proudly South Africa, made in the Midlands by the Midlands community …


Charaxes bohemani (male) Dive-bomber Emperor

Belts, bottles, balls of wool… all at Country Company Snapped

by Karen E,


Shop now at www.iphephabeads. Each item of jewellery is as individual as the beader who made it, and we can guarantee that by purchasing an iPhepha Beads item of jewellery you will be receiving a striking and superior quality piece of jewellery, while supporting the livelihoods of some amazing people in the misty Midlands of KwaZuluNatal, South Africa. Our beaders are proud of their work and are committed to hand-making beautiful and unique items of jewellery. Just to make sure of the quality of our products, before any item is put out for sale, they are thoroughly inspected for defects and if a bad bead is seen, it is rejected or the whole necklace is restrung. Warning: The paper beads have been varnished so will survive a rain shower but they don’t like to go swimming or to do the washing! Thank you for supporting iPhepha Beads!

Just for fun The most beautiful kids in the world are the Midlands kids cos they wear locally designed and manufactured Hedgrow Clothing

Funtasy for kids and cycle lab for cycling!




A classic – Melvill and Moon bags from Rugz & Things Nottingham Road


Totally Local

Meander Chronicle December E-Paper  
Meander Chronicle December E-Paper  

Meander Chronicle December E-Paper