At midday on 1 November 2023, a ceremony took place in Wilderness, but in fact it was a celebration. The focus was on Leentjie, but the effect went well beyond the legend of her despair. There was a welcome vibe of wholesomeness to it all, maybe propelled by the Springboks victory. It was an event for and by the Wilderness community, yes, but with an enduring impact. The Wilderness Ratepayers and Residents Association is committed to maintaining the Leentjiesklip area as a municipal Adopt-a-Spot so there is every expectation that it will be squarely on the list of destinations for Wilderness visitors (and locals). Like the Map of Africa, maybe not the most compelling reason to spend time in Wilderness, but a nice addition.
WRRA ExCo committee member Joletta Eichweber, who had the idea and made it happen, was the lively and enthusiastic master of ceremonies. Aubrey Kritzinger, dressed to the nines, played her saxophone with spirit as the crowd gathered. George Mayor Leon van Wyk paid tribute to the personal tragedy earlier in the year when the ocean surged over the parking area. He reminded us that nature and change have always and will continue to affect our environment, and us. Hugo Leggatt, our local historian (i.e., physics teacher) recounted Leentjie’s tale, making clear that the legend might well have gone in many other directions, but that the narrative of her misfortune has endured. Koos van der Merwe sang his mournful new composition, Leentjies’s Klip while the young Rhythmical Seeds Dance Group performed. Sculptor Ian Visser spoke of his honour, as an artist, to contribute his work to the public. Simon Jamieson – WRRA Chair for a full two weeks – expressed his hope that the event itself would encourage yet more community spirit and involvement.
If at this stage you still don’t know Leentjie’s story, you must visit the site and read the placard now in place. Click here for more as well.
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