Author Topic: Graham Corbett ~ Farm Manager and Town Agriculturist!  (Read 1686 times)

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Offline Michael Alexander

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Graham Corbett ~ Farm Manager and Town Agriculturist!
« on: January 18, 2014, 12:54:10 PM »
I was stunned to get an email from ex Oranjemunder, Graham Corbett, another one of those early Oranjemund pioneers!

Here is a man that can share some of Oranjemund's early history, in particular more to do with the "Greening" of Oranjemund.

I am a bit unsure how to layout what Graham has shared with me, so I will take the easy route out and paste his emails below. Please feel free to comment and add to the topic.

"These people were crossing the river on an old army ‘duck” when part of

The Sir Ernest Oppenhiemer bridge washed away 1953/44.

I was Farm Manager of Beauvallon at the time.

They built a detour around the break which we used until, I think 1966.

After developing the farm I moved into town and started up the Hydroponics to the east of town,

As an agriculturist I upgraded the Golf course, established the cricket field east of the school,

Laid two soccer fields, one Rugby field south of the school, 2 tennis courts and a second bowling green

And then moved to Queensland, Australia during March 1961.

I now live in Robertson, Western Cape."


On receiving the above email, I obviously had a few questions to post to Graham, needed to solve a few riddles, one being about the folk tale when the company ripped up the newly laid cricket sports field as a school pupil had picked up a diamond........

Here is my email to Graham,

"Hi Graham,

Sorry for the late response, that time of the year I guess.... Anyhow, it is really great to hear from you, I find it fascinating to hear from pioneers of Oranjemund, like yourself....

I feel that it is important to preserve the history of this unique town and especially put names to people and what they did here in Oranjemund.

Graham, do you recall what year the farm at Beauvallon was established? How long did you work there for? The farm went dramatically downhill when the mine handed it over to the previously disadvantaged folk of the Richtersveldt. This was to be expected I guess.

Do you have any photographs of your time in Oranjemund/Beauvallon?

What do you know about the farms at Daberas ?

Was there anything happening farmwise across at Hohenfels in the time that you were managing Beauvallon?

Sorry, I ask to so many questions, but there very few folk left from those day's that have answers to some of today's queries.

There was a tale that said that the cricket field had to be ripped up almost immediately after it was laid, as a diamond was found on the ground, something to do with the gravel used beneath the grass, is there any truth to this tale? or was it just folklore?


Stay strong..... and thanks for making contact..."


Graham responds,

"Thanks for your e-mail, have a good holiday.

Correction - the dates for the bridge wash away was 1953/54.

The cricket field was not ripped up for any reason until I left in 1961

The cricket field was on the dune sand and covered with silt and Cynodon grass from our old cricket field on the river bank between the golf course and the bridge.

It was levelled with a grader and watered and had a grass cover within18 months. Bill Kersten was the captain from 1958 until I left. He passed away in +- 2007.

 

Beauvallon was started (I think) in 1948/49. I was the second Farm Manager. I developed the farm (the job I was employed for) within 3 years and was then transferred into Oranjemund

to develop the Hydroponics to grow tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers.  Other developments were to build a 2nd bowling green, 2new tennis courts, a Rugby field for the town etc.

In 1961 there was nothing but a heap of rocks at Hohenfels. There was talk of putting a power cable across to Beauvallon as the power generator was a set of war tine tank GM Twin motors.

 

Its been a long time and I will be turning 83 in February this year. The memory is a bit faded around the edges. However here a few facts that cone to mind, for what they are worth.

My three sons were born while we were in Oranjemund. For 2 seasons I coached the Rugby team and for 2 later seasons I coached the Ladies Netball Team.

Stan Devlin was the GM and Val Barrel the Admin Manager. 

Dr Mac Greager delivered our first son on 28th Feb 1956

Dr Monty Montegomery delivered our 2nd & 3rd sons during 1958 &1960

Dr Stocken (a 2 handicap golfer) chief surveyer.

Venny Venskey a chief Machanical Engineer.

Claude Abrehamse  was pay master.

Mrs Pollack was the Admin Man. Sec.

Polly Pollack and Jan Steenkamp were two DDD security members I can remember.
 
I will check to see if I can find any photos.

Regards
 
Graham Corbett."


Lovely bit of the town's history here, with a mention of a few names from the past...

Thanks Graham,

OPS 1976-1982 : CBC 1982-1988

Offline Alfred Boehme

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Re: Graham Corbett ~ Farm Manager and Town Agriculturist!
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 07:52:50 PM »
Wow what a great topic keep us posted.
My father Fred Boehme came to work in O/Mund 1959 or early 1960 not 100% sure,
I was born in Oranjemund, schooled, apprenticeship, qualified and still employed today.

Thanks Graham Corbett 

Offline john wilson

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Re: Graham Corbett ~ Farm Manager and Town Agriculturist!
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2014, 10:44:58 PM »
I installed two diesel generators at Dabaras around 1970 , they poured the base for a small power house with cable ducts for out going cables which ran a series of pumps to irrigate certain areas. The generators were installed and were running just sitting out in the open, then later they built the structure around them. Polly Pollard was the farm manager at that time and spent many a hour talking about that project. If I'm correct there were over 6 to 8 pumps at that time. The generators were pretty old but worked a charm. Seems like only yesterday.

Offline Michael Alexander

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Re: Graham Corbett ~ Farm Manager and Town Agriculturist!
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2018, 07:29:42 AM »
I installed two diesel generators at Dabaras around 1970 , they poured the base for a small power house with cable ducts for out going cables which ran a series of pumps to irrigate certain areas. The generators were installed and were running just sitting out in the open, then later they built the structure around them. Polly Pollard was the farm manager at that time and spent many a hour talking about that project. If I'm correct there were over 6 to 8 pumps at that time. The generators were pretty old but worked a charm. Seems like only yesterday.

Think this is what was referred to as "The Pomphuis" , for a number of reasons..
OPS 1976-1982 : CBC 1982-1988