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The Olive Branch 

May 2017


Flood damage in the Swartberg Pass 9 April 2017Many of our readers will already know that the entrance to the Swartberg Pass on our side of the mountains was extensively damaged by floodwaters on Sunday 9 April. Torrential rain fell in the Pass and because the 2016 fire had destroyed so much vegetation on the plateau, there was nothing to hold back the water, which thundered into the narrow gorge, destroying a section of the road from Malvadraai to Eerstewater and beyond, leaving debris and huge boulders and revealing foundation rocks, cut and laid by convicts in 1881.  Sadly this means that visitors cannot cross the Swartberg Pass to Prince Albert and it will be some time before we know how long it will take to repair the road. But never fear, the tarred road through Meiringspoort, a magnificent drive, is open and offers access to Prince Albert from the Oudtshoorn side of the range. (You can still reach the road into Gamkaskloof from the Oudtshoorn/Calitzdorp side of the Swartberg Pass.) Photo credit


Sadly the rain also led to the cancellation of the Swartberg100 Gran and Medio Fondo Gravel bike races, but planning for the 2018 races has already started.  


Prince Albert’s intrepid cyclists, Judith and Michael Treloar, continue their Tour d’Afrique challenge. They pedalled through Malawi and reached the Victoria Falls at the beginning of April. Michael is keeping up with his own challenge of sampling every different beer and brew he can lay his hands on, however when his bike developed a severe wobble in the back wheel it was not due to his consumption of beer but to a cracked rim. Repairs held them up for two days, but they are back on track to cycle into Cape Town on 13 May.  Follow them online here.


For those who are into runnings, entries have opened for the Fernskloof Trail Run on 17 June 2017. This takes participants across a wide variety of different terrains and provides some spectacular views of the foothills of the Swartberg. Click here for details

Fernskloof Trail Run


From 1 May Simply Saffron’s yoga classes move to their Winter times of 8.00am on Wednesdays and Fridays and 5.00pm on Mondays and Wednesdays. They are also offering a 5 week Massage course starting on 8 May and a 2 day Reiki first degree course on 20 & 21 May. Then comes the treat of a Forrest Yoga Intensive with Sandra Heider from 2 June. For further details contact Hermon 082 873 9985 or 023 5411040.


Renu Karoo Nursery are looking ahead and are selling mixed Karoo spring flower seeds. Now is the time to plant those seeds because the gentle rain at the end of April foretells a magnificent Spring. If you would like to share our Spring delight in your own garden click here to visit their website.


Renu-karoo sell Spring flower seedsThe Garden Club will meet on Wednesday 3 May at 3pm at the Kraal Yoga Studio.

Malcolm and Derryn Searle will show members and guests their extensive new garden and Malcolm will talk about the concept and design for their impressive display of waterwise plants.

Please bring your own folding chair and a mug for your tea, there is no charge for members. R20 for visitors includes a ticket for the lucky draw. Everyone is most welcome. More information from Sue 023 5411 558


Louis Botha will be offering his Introduction to advanced photography course from 18 - 21 May. Find out more here.


The May line-up at the Showroom Theatre includes renowned pianist Sulayman Human (6 May - see below) and GHOEMA 2017 Best Country Album Winner and favourite female artiste Jennifer Zamudio (27 May). Visit the Showroom booking site for details and tickets. 


Sulayman Human was born just over the Swartberg in Dysselsdorp, he started piano lessons at the age of 12 and then studied at Stellenbosch University and recently won the Fine Music Radio (FMR) Bursary Trust Music Award in the Classical category, R20000 towards further studies. Listen to him here. His return to Prince Albert with Rachmaninoff Russian Roulettepromises a musical treat.


Planning ahead, our next Moonlight Market takes place on Friday 6 June, join us for good food and good cheer. Helene de Haas offers her Calligrapic Design – Asemic Semantics course on 16 & 17 June - more info here.


Our annual Olive & Food Market / Olyf & Kos Mark provided a weekend of fun at the end of April. Congratulations to the Landbouskou team who organised the event and who are already planning our Agricultural Show on 20 & 21 October - a date for your diary.


Remember, the Showroom film club meets every Wednesday night, Parkrun takes place every Saturday morning and our Art Galleries host numerous exhibitions…  keep an eye on the on-line calendar, this newsletter and our Facebook page for all our forthcoming events. 


~ Prince Albert: peace and quiet … visit us soon ~


April 2017


Congratulations to the Fransie Pienaar Museum, best in the Western Cape.

Prince Albert has done it again, our Fransie Pienaar Museum has received the award as Best Museum in the Western Cape for 2016/2017! (This follows on the heels of our Library being acknowledged as the best in the Western Cape in 2015/2016.) Congratulations to Lydia Barella and her team of enthusiastic interns and volunteers, whose hard work and welcoming smiles have made ours one of the best curated and friendliest museums in the country. Pay them a visit and discover our heritage, from pre-historic fossils, to the culture of the early peoples, to 17th century settlement and growth from farm to village to town. 


Talking history… have you ever wondered how our name came to be on the hill to the North of our little town? In an article in the April edition of the Prince Albert Friend/Vriend local resident Dick Metcalf took us back to 1934 to reveal why it’s there: “…dad drove us kids down in our Chrysler/Plymouth to see the airfield being built. I distinctly remember the dust from the harrows pulled by many teams of donkeys. The whole population of PA seemed to have turned out to help. While up on the koppie a party of those more agile painted the town’s name on rocks to help the South African Air Force find PA… Navigation in those days was mostly by “R&R” meaning Roads and Railways. Pilots would swoop down on a railway line and check the name of the station to confirm their route!” The first planes, three Wapiti biplanes, landed a few days after the airfield was completed.  Our little newspaper is a treasure trove of information about past and present and you can subscribe here to receive it.


Michael and Judith Treloar are still pedalling South in the 25th Anniversary Tour d’Afrique and it seems that Michael is on a mission to sample every brand of commercial beer and brew he can lay his hands on down the length of Africa! For more on their adventures read the April issue of the Prince Albert Friend or follow them online


The Easter weekend and the school holidays offer an ideal opportunity to come and enjoy the peace which Prince Albert offers. The heat of Summer is over and we have even had a little rain. The days promise warmth as you laze beside a pool, explore our shops and galleries, visit the Karoo Donkey Sanctuary, take a hike or go on a scenic drive. In the evenings you’ll find you need a jacket when venturing out for sundowners on Gordon’s koppie, for stories on the Ghost Walk, to Villa Kruger Art, to see the stars with Astrotours or when heading to the Showroom Theatre or your restaurant… use our on-line calendar or our app (see links below) to discover all our forthcoming events.  Remember, a number of accommodation providers offer a 5% discount when you book on-line at


The next Garden Club meeting will be held on April 5th at 10.00am and visitors are most welcome. Prof. Sue Milton-Dean will lead a conducted tour around the Renu-Karoo farm Nursery, situated 2km outside town (on the road to O for Olive ). She will give advice on the advantages of growing succulents and share many interesting facts about them. Plants and seedlings will be on sale. Refreshments will be served in the shed, please bring your own folding chair. R20 for visitors, which includes a ticket for the lucky draw. More information from Sue: 023 541 1558.


During March Liezel and Daniel Malherbe of 9 lives blog escaped city life to pay us a visit, experience Prince Albert through words and wonderful photographs by clicking here.


Local resident, Peter Jonsson will be performing his requiem "Forti Nihil Difficulius"(For The Brave Nothing is too Difficult) in the NG Kerk at 9.00am on Good Friday, 14 April. This 30 minute work was composed for full pipe organ and soprano soloist over the period of five years, the words are in Latin. Everyone is most welcome to attend this recital.


Looking towards the end of the month, our annual Olive & Food Market / Olyf & Kos Mark takes place on 28 & 29 April at the Prince Albert Showgrounds.  For more information contact Madri 083 383 2591 or Laetitia 083 310 2984.  Town is fully booked for that weekend with the Swartberg100 Gran Fondo and Medio Fondo Gravel bike races taking place on 29 April, but we hope lots of day visitors will drive over the spectacular Swartberg Pass or through Meiringspoort to join us as we celebrate our olive harvest with excellent food and good company in the peace and harmony symbolised by the olive branch. 


The April line-up at the Showroom Theatre includes Deca – A Violin & Guitar Duo on the 8th and the one hander ‘Die Man Jesus’ in Afrikaans on the 15th - visit the Showroom booking site for details and tickets. 


There will be lots of visitors attending the KKNK in Oudtshoorn from 8 - 15 April and we hope that if you are one of them you might spend a night or two in Prince Albert for a breather after all the excitement.


~ Prince Albert: gentle Autumn days, cooler nights and always … the stars ~



For more information & accommodation bookings 

contact Henriëtte

phone: 023 5411 366, fax: 023 5411 788 


or visit


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The Olive Branch is compiled for distribution by the Prince Albert Tourism Association by Ailsa Tudhope, The Story Weaver

Here's an encouraging response to April's newsletter:

From: Marilyn Scott []
Sent: 01 April 2017 09:01 AM
Subject: Congratulations!


So well done on your super museum being awarded ‘Museum of the Year’.   It is so true that visitors are made very welcome and aren’t in a hurry to leave.   I can’t wait to visit again …

I was surprised to read in the Olive Branch that your Library had also won an award.  Wow – you chaps really work hard – there’s a lot of competition out there.

Living in PA is on my bucket list.   Every month I read the newsletter I become more determined that this is the place that has stolen my heart.   Ailsa does an amazing job writing the Olive Branch – it must go a long way to driving the passions in people who find the goings-on in PA irresistible.

The residents of the town of the Prince must be commended on their co-operation with those who promote its well-being.  Without the working-together of everyone in every corner of the town PA would be just another little Karoo town.   Interesting but not awesome!


Marilyn Scott