07/31/2018 - 00:00

The following remarkable details were taken from the official nomination for the Cape Winelands District Municipality Mayoral Tourism Awards:

In 2004 Jayson Augustyn-Clark established Cape Dutch Quarters as a collection of owned, managed or rented historic houses which were then used as boutique heritage accommodation. At the time, Tulbagh was a quiet backwater and there were only a handful of accommodation options in the valley. Over the next years, Jayson bought out the remaining shares of the business so that by 2013 he owned 100% of the Cc shares. Currently Cape Dutch Quarters manage 17 rooms/units in six buildings in Church Street, three of the buildings also belong to Cape Dutch Quarters. CDQ continues to receive certificates from online tourism agencies (TripAdvisor & Booking.Com) for their high standard of customer service and for going the extra mile for tourists. Their competitive advantage being their authentic buildings with period interiors which provide guests with a very unique ‘living museum or ‘step back in time’ experience at very reasonable prices (see www.cdq.co.za for more).

Cape Dutch Quarters has always been an ardent supporter of the local Tulbagh Tourism Association and Jayson was for many years on the Tourism Committee as a board member and deputy chairman.

In 2008 Jayson completed a S.A. tour guide course and was subsequently registered as Tulbagh’s first official guide. Since then he has given a walking tour of historic Church Street and its four museums to hundreds of groups of visitors, tourists, schools, media and educational groups almost on a weekly basis.

In 2009 CDQ opened a privately run tourist information centre in the centre of Tulbagh’s main road. From here friendly advice is offered, recommendations made and free maps of the valley handed to passing locals. The official municipal tourism office in Church Street is often missed by visitors to the town, who are very grateful to find the private centre open and a warm Tulbagh welcome inside.

In 2009, Jayson also initiated the Tulbagh Valley Heritage Foundation with a committee of likeminded architects, heritage professionals and business people. The foundation was registered by Heritage Western Cape in 2012 and thus recognised as Tulbagh’s official local heritage organisation. Since then the organisation has consulted on many building developments in the village. As consequence of its influence and consultation with property owners, the organisation has overseen the architectural transformation of ten historic buildings in Tulbagh’s main road. Considering that there are only some 40 buildings in the main road, these restorations, which were financed with private money, have significantly improved the historic character of Tulbagh’s streetscape.

In 2010, Jayson initiated a public open space by taking down fences and clearing alien vegetation and decades of illegal dumpling on privately owned open land along historic Church Street. He then went on to establish the Church Street Peace Park, later purchasing one of the eleven plots that currently make up the park. This half hectare park has an expansive green lawn and is open to both locals and visitors to the valley. For many of the people who come this is the only green space they have access to and trees under which they can enjoy a picnic. The park is used extensively by the local community, from the local orphanage to happy families and provide a setting to romantic wedding photographs.

In 2011, Jayson was appointed by the Minister of Arts and Culture - Western Cape as the Minister’s representative on the Tulbagh Museums Board of Trustees. Currently he fills the role of Deputy Chairman on both the board and Friends of the Museum Organisations. As one of Jayson's passions is gardening, he has been instrumental with the reestablishment of the four museum gardens and well as the large scale fundraising and renovation of the historic graveyard behind the Old Church. As part of a fundraising initiative for the museums, Jayson resurrected and ran the Tulbagh Arts Festival for three years before the festival was handed over to a committee to manage.

In 2012, Jayson researched, designed, fundraised and had printed and installed 40 permanent information boards that are still displayed outside all of the historic buildings in both Church Street and Van der Stel Street. This has greatly improved the accessibility of historic information to all visitors and Tulbagh locals alike who take a pride in the town’s status as a tourist hot spot.

In 2014, Jayson with the support of the Dream Tulbagh Organisation, first initiated the Church Street Kitchen Gardens. By creating an additional tourism facility in Tulbagh, food security was improved by growing some 40 varieties of vegetables, salad, herbs and fruit. The project was made possible by substantial fundraising from both private and public sources. The gardens which are enthusiastically received by visitors, employ three gardeners and grow about R12 000 of vegetables a month, supplied to the local restaurants and markets as far as Cape Town.

In 2014, Jayson was invited by the Mayor of the Witzenberg to represent the municipality as their cultural representative as part of a good will trade mission in China.

In 2015, Jayson voluntarily drew up and submitted to Heritage Western Cape a complete Heritage Inventory for historic Church Street as part of a proposal towards the declaration of a Heritage Area. The inventory and proposal was approved by Heritage Western Cape and is currently with Witzenberg municipality waiting council approval and implementation of the SPF and special overly zone.

In 2017 Jayson completed a Masters degree at U.C.T. in Architectural Conservation. His thesis broke new ground in its exploration of the restoration of historic Tulbagh after the 1969 earthquake as well as the largely unknown effect of this destruction on the non-white communities of the valley.

In 2018 Jayson recorded and released a VoiceMap app version of his Church Street walking tour in order to make the history of Tulbagh more accessible to visitors.

In 2018 Jayson and his voluntary Tulbagh Valley Heritage Foundation, submitted the second phase of their Tulbagh Heritage Conservation Area to Heritage Western Cape and await approval from Witzenberg Municipality of a heritage overlay zone on the special planning map. The second phase extends the protected historic area from Church Street to cover the whole of Tulbagh’s main road, Van der Stel Street. Phase three of this project would extend the conservation area up into the rest of the village.

Sun, 05/06/2018 - 13:12

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