NIEU-BETHESDA NEWS - In the days before Nieu-Bethesda was inhabited, there were probably not many trees growing naturally in the Karoo veld.
Celtis Africana are the only indigenous trees which grow in areas protected from frost and freeze, and these usually grow only in the canyons.
The natural vegetation that occurred there was more than likely aloe, rhus bushes, some acacia and low shrubs.
It was, therefore, the vision of the forefathers of the village, who designed the ingenious system of furrows which lattice the alluvial plain, who planted the historic trees in Nieu-Bethesda.
In 1947, Gardner van Niekerk, then eight years old, planted an oak tree at the New Street home of his maternal aunt, Lettie Kritzinger.
This home has recently been renovated by Lettie’s granddaughter, Christa Scholtz and her husband Piet.
It was a special moment when, last week, they asked Gardner – 72 years later – to cut a commemorative ribbon around the old oak tree which stands proudly in the newly re-established garden.
Read more in Thursday's Graaff-Reinet Advertiser as well as online.
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