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spent happy holidays at this Magaliesberg nature camp will
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Wednesday, 02 May 2007

Speech by Kiff, Magaliesberg, 2002 reunion

Kiff Holland: Magaliesburg, April 21, 2002.

Happy Acres is about my mother’s private fantasies that became shared property. For some of you, it was a scheme that Janet and I had. But it was a scheme that was passed down from the foresight of my parents.

I wish I was cleverer and a wordsmith to put down all the things that came into the mix of influences that came to bear on the people that you all are. Influences that, after 30 years, you can get together and have these wonderful relationships, based on a common grounding in your lives. It is much more than an esprit de corps.

You’ve expanded on everything Happy Acres taught you. All of you had the potential to be more than you could be. My parents started the camp that could help you do this. Some of it rubbed off onto me. And it gave you the chance as well.

Happy Acres was not about Ma and Pa Holland, or Kiff and Janet. It was an honest bringing together of a group of young people who, through all our combined efforts, were willing to go for a goal, and to make the place work. If it had not have been for you, Happy Acres would not have existed. So this occasion today is not for me, but for you. Thank you.


Tony Bradford said...

Hi - what a great idea.

I was a member of staff at Happy Acres in 1985/86 over from the UK. I worked there with Harry and Brenda Cauldwell, LLoyd ??? Kerri ??, Claire ?? and Neil ???.

I got engaged to my wife (now of 20 years) Ruth and have many fond memories of staff, kids and councilors; I have tons of pics and slides too.

It was a real surprise to see this blog - it is in my Bookmarks already and I will look in frequently to catch up and add stuff.

Best souvenir of my time in SA (other than Ruth)? My Happy Acres t-shirt festooned with Holiday Camp motifs.

Guy Berger said...

Hey Tony

Great. please add some pix. And how about taking one of your t-shirt to post as well. You could challenge anyone else to match the number of stamps on it.


Simon Hayes said...

About time we had something where we can share our memories and catch up with long-lost friends! Tony, I remember you very vaguely, being totally in love in Ruth. I went on a hike to the Wild Coast with Kerri and Claire and my friend Mark Ashworth. Neil was there for quite a long time, living in the Old Mill where he met (and married) Louise. Everyone is now living in the UK!

The counsellors in my era included Mark, Gavin, James, James's brother, John (van Blerck?), Anya, Zelda, Natalie and her brother and dozens more whose faces I remember but whose names I have forgotten. That was also the era of the twins and Jon Cauldwell and Gijs was going out with Sally.

Anonymous said...

I used to b a camper at happy acres, but never had the chance to participate in CIT due to age and the fact that I moved to the States when I was fourteen. I have been here now ten years and have a beautiful wife an wonderful five month old daughter, but still, some of my fondest memories are from Happy Acres...

The iron man competition, camp "stamps" that were printed on the back of your camp shirts, the pool games we played in the summer, the monkey bridge, and all of our young theorizing as to whether the old house by the river was haunted.

I hope to be able to come back and see the place. I hope that Sally and all the other staff might still remember me. Does anyone know if they still have the geunie pig cages and monkey cages? so many memories!!!