THE DISTRICT RECORDS BOOK
an unofficial record updated by the Magistrate and his Staff from time to time
Courts - Local Authorities - Magistrates - Town Clerks - Declaration of Monuments - Description of Monuments - Assistant Magistrates - Commisioners of the Commissioners Courts - Public Prosecutors - Small Claims Court Commissioners - UMR - Umvoti Vermin Hunt Club - Place Names - The Drostdy
On the 24th June 1854 the district of Umvoti was proclaimed and the boundaries fixed. Government Notice No 55 of 1854 appointed Mr G.G. Kelly as Resident Magistrate.
Proclamation No 43 of 1894 divided Natal into 26 magistracies and fixed the respective boundaries. The town of Greytown was appointed the seat of the magistracy of Umvoti.
By Proclamation No 302 of 24/12/1925 the local limits of the district were redefined.
The total area of the district, as now constituted, is 853 square miles. (226 317 hectares)
It is difficult to determine exactly the date when the first Court House was built, but it is said to have been erected outside the town, somewhere on the road to Mpanza.
The date of the second one is also uncertain but it is known to have been in existence in 1863. It consisted of a small building inside the space afterwards enclosed as a Gaol Yard, and it was demolished in 1925.
The third Court House was built on a site on the corner of Pine and Bell streets, and in what is now part of the garden of the present building. It was built about the year 1887 and consisted of a solid stone building, with dressed stone. This building was demolished in 1925.
The fourth Court House was commenced in 1924; two foundation stones, one in English and one in Dutch, were laid by Lady Leuchars on 14th October 1924. The building was completed in November 1925 and was occupied on the 30th October 1925.
There is only one rural location in the district, namely the Umvoti Location, in extent about 95 500 acres. About 5 000 native families reside in it, and the population is estimated at about 15 213 persons.
Private lands with an estimate population of 23 189 persons and comprised about 440 924 acres, form the rest of the district excluding the Mission Reserves at Hermannsburg, 5 800 acres, and Muden, 3 356 acres.
The greater portion of the district is covered with Wattle, Pine and Saligna plantations. The cultivation of maize and to a lesser extent of potatoes and lucern in the "Thorns", is carried on. Cattle and sheep farming is also pursued.
The Court of the Magistrate for the Division of Umvoti was established by Proclamation No 55 of 1854, when the town of Greytown was appointed the seat of the magistracy and Mr G G Kelly was appointed the first Resident Magistrate.
The Supreme Court has not held circuit in Greytown previously, but on 2/10/57 the first Northern Circuit Local Division, presided over by Mr Justice Neville James commenced.
I am informed that a SPECIAL COURT was held during 1906 for the trial of Dinizulu.
The Natal Native High Court - now abolished - also tried cases here on one or two occasions.
It would appear that a Court of Native Commissioner was established during 1928, when Mr H H R Piers was appointed the first Native Commissioner.
Establishment of Regional Division and Regional Court. North Natal. Including the magisterial district of Greytown. Established vide Government Gazette 6574 of 25/11/1960 Govt. Notice No 1918.
Commissioner’s Court established vide Proclamation 298/1928
Area of Jurisdiction GN.361/1978 dated 3/3/78 Determined as magisterial district of Umvoti.
Previous to 1897 the town of Greytown was controlled by the Resident Magistrate; then a Local Board was formed under the Chairmanship of Mr Ente and held its meetings in what is today the library. In 1915 another step in local government was taken when Greytown became a borough with Mr J C Becker as the first mayor.
Administrator’s Proclamation No 12 of 1955 defines the Municipal Area as:
From the western beacon of Umvoti Highlands No 1880; thence along the boundaries of the following properties in succession, so as to exclude them from this area: Umvoti Highlands No 1880, Rust No 1112, Groote Riet Vallei No 1131, Summerford No 9688m Lot 21 No 1827, Hartebeest Vlakte No 1355, Wonderboom No 1246 and Lot 531 Greytown Township to the south western beacon of Lot A of Landsberg No 1037; thence generally northwards along the western boundaries of Sub A of Landsberg No 1037 to the beacon first mentioned.
|G G Kelly||1854 - 1863||Miskeli||Zulu for Kelly|
|A S Wyndham||1863 - 09/09/1867||Miswindi||Zulu for Wyndham|
|J W Shepstone||10/09/1867 - 30/06/1876||Misjana||“Quick” Zulu for Shepstone|
|M Stuart||01/07/1876 - 30/01/1877||Mcopela||Careful of possible danger|
|W D Wheelwright||01/07/1877 - 30/01/1879||Roqoza||Dragging feet whilst walking|
|J C Jackson||31/01/1879 - 31/03/1880||Jekiseni||Zulu for Jackson|
|W D Wheelwright||01/04/1880 - 31/05/1887||Roqoza||Dragging feet whilst walking|
|J E Fannin||01/06/1887 - 30/06/1899||Makanda||Heads|
|H C Koch||01/07/1899 - 31/07/1900||Miskoro||Zulu pronunciation for Koch|
|J Y Gibson||01/08/1900 - 31/01/1904||Mzimulo||Fattener|
|J W Cross||01/02/1904 - 31/08/1907||Dhlovunga|
|A J Shepstone||01/09/1907 - 12/08/1909||Mango||A steep hill|
|D G Giles||13/08/1909 - 30/06/1913||Mjwayeli||Zulu pronunciation of Giles|
|G W Adamson||01/07/1913 - 31/07/1919 l||Mpangele||Guineafow|
|G B Warner||01/08/1919 - 30/03/1923||Mashayemhlane||One who strikes backs|
|T A Jackson||01/04/1923 - 31/03/1927||Jekiseni||Zulu for Jackson|
|H H R Piers||01/04/1927 0- 31/05/1929||Mpikanelanga||Daily worker|
|H E Wallace||01/06/1929 - 31/07/1930||Impunyuka||One who slips away|
|E T J Stower||01/08/1930 - 31/12/1932||Tshisiwe||One who burns|
|F H C Behrmann||01/01/1933 - 31/08/1936||Nkondhlo||A poem|
|R G Camp||01/09/1936 - 30/04/1939||Ngezwani||Not getting on well together|
|C E Lugg||01/05/1939 - 31/07/1942||Pelepele||Hot chillis|
|E N Hobson||01/10/1942 - 30/04/1951||Uduzeayikhahlele||Just about to kick it|
|W A Burton||01/05/1951 - 31/03/1955||Mangotobana||Intelligent guesser|
|E J M Durr||01/04/1955 - 30/06/1957||Mbobozewovo||Holes in a beer sieve|
|L J J E Bester||01/07/1957 - 31/07/1964||Inkunzenkulu||A big bull|
|I J de Villiers||01/08/1964 - 31/10/1968||Mashesha||One who moves quickly|
|L E Mostert||01/11/1968 - 14/10/1969|
|J van R Pietersen||15/10/1969 - 31/10/1974||Mkonto||Spear|
|E D Hickman||01/01/1975 - 31/07/1986||Snqamu||A piece cut off|
|V V Smit||01/08/1986 - 30/09/1991||Somnyanya|
|GH van Rooyen||01/02/1992 -|
1920 Mr L C Becker
1924 Mr W T Walker
1935 Mr A A Vial
1954 Mr A G Milne
1955 Mr D B Magennis
1/8/55 - 31/1/59
1959 Mr C kockemoer
9/2/59 - 17/1/61
1961 Mr K K Kupferman
1/5/61 - 31/1/64
1964 Mr A E Heyne
1/3/94 - 30/6/66
1966 Mr A M Clare
1/7/66 - 15/1/73
1973 Mr A R Ferguson
1/4/73 - 14/6/78
1978 D C Ongley
PROTECTION OF MONUMENTS
Under section eight of the Natural and Historical Monuments, Relics and Antiques Act, 1934, No.4 of 1934, I Richard Stuttaford, Minister of the Interior, do hereby proclaim the objects set out in the Schedule below to be monuments in terms of paragraph (a) of that section.
Birthplace of General Sub-division "B" of "GG" of Hartebeeest
Louis Botha, Greytown, Natal Vlagte No. 1355, in the County of
Umvoti, Natal, in extent one (1) rood,
Twenty-five point five two (25.52)
GOVERNMENT NOTICE No 1357 dated 30th August 1939.
Greytown Museum Declared National Monument
GN 1079 dated 26/05/78
Fort Ahrens Declared National Monument
GN 2309 dated 24/11/78
Greytown Town Hall GN 1702 dated 22/08/80
Hermannsburg Lutheran Church G N 1930 dated 10/09/82
J B K Farrar 02/04/1906 - 04/02/1907
A D Graham 05/02/1907 - 03/07/1907
J J Graham 04/07/1907 - 29/09/1912
Post converted to FIRST GRADE CLERK
G F van Rooyen 30/09/1912 - 31/10/1915
H Sangmeister 01/11/1915 - 30/04/1920
W R Boast 01/05/1920 - 31/01/1924
C E Lugg 01/02/1924 - 31/05/1929
G Whittaker 01/06/1929 - 31/08/1933
A J Wood 01/09/1933 - 31/01/1936
J C Minter 01/02/1936 - 01/11/1937
Post converted to SENIOR CLERK
H F Cleaver 02/01/1937 - 30/06/1942
A Brink 01/07/1942 - 31/03/1946
J W van der Watt 01/04/1946 - 31/10/1947
C H Badenhorst 01/11/1947 - 30/09/1952
B J Schmidt 01/10/1952 - 30/11/1955
C J Erasmus 01/12/1955 - 28/02/1957
J H C Goosen 01/03/1957 - 31/07/1957
Post converted to SENIOR LEGAL ASSISTANT
J H Goosen 01/08/1957 - 30/11/1960
A D J Delport 01/12/1960 - 31/10/1969
P F du Plessis 01/11/1969 - 31/03/1972
J H Loubser On and off 1970 - 1971
P J L Venter 01/04/1972 - 30/11/1972
J de Bruyn 01/12/1972 -
NATIVE COMMISSIONERS and ASSISTANT NATIVE COMMISSIONERS
NAME DATE REMARKS
H H R Piers 1/10/28 SNA letter dated 30/10/1928
H B Wallace 1/07/29
E T J Stower 1/8/30
F H C Behrmann 1/1/33
R G Camp 1/9/36
H F Cleaver 2/1/37 Assistant Nat. Com.
C E Lugg 3/5/39
A Brink 1/7/42 Assistant Nat. Com
E N Hobson 1/10/42 - 30/4/1951
J W van der Watt 1/4/46 Add. Nat. Com.
C H Badenhorst 1/11/47 do - 30/9/52
W A Burton 1/5/51 Transferred to Pmb. 1/4/1955
B J Schmidt 3/10/52 Asst. Nat. Commissioner
E J M Durr 1/4/55 Transferred Lichtenburg
J H C Goosen 1/3/57 Transferred Ladysmith
L J J E Bester 1/7/57 - 31/7/64 to Ladysmith
A D J Delport 1/12/60 ANC on 1/11/59 to Durban
I J de Villiers 1/8/64 T./d New Hanover 1/11/68
L E Mostert 1/11/68 T/d Roodepoort 15/10/69
G S van Biljon 11/11/68 Acting Assistant for Marriages only
J van R Pietersen 15/10/69
P F du Plessis 1/11/60 Acting Assistant BAC
J H Loubser 1/1/70 Acting Assistant BAC
F C Silk 01/07/1928 - 29/12/1928
E H Pells 02/01/1929 - 31/12/1930
F C A Wessel 01/01/1931 - 30/01/1932
S J Erasmus 01/02/1932 - 31/03/1933
G B Beattie 01/04/1933 - 31/08/1933
S M Rossouw 01/09/1933 - 31/07/1934
F R Muller 01/08/1934 - 31/03/1936
E A Reichardt 01/04/1936 - 31/08/1937
A H de Wet 01/09/1937 - 31/03/1938
L G Adendorff 02/08/1941 - Acting
L M Kotze 01/06/1942 - 31/11/1944
L G Adendorff 01/12/1944 -
D C Creese Broken Periods
T R Maxted do
D C Buss do
W Hambridge 01/01/1947 - 30/04/1947
A B Tait 01/05/1947 - 1948
R T C Vermaak 03/01/1949 - 31/03/1951
J L van den Heever 02/04/1951 - 31/08/1954 (to other duties)
D J de Villiers 02/08/1954 - 03/04/1956 Transferred
P B Maritz 01/08/1956 - 01/08/1957
Post converted to JUNIOR LEGAL ASSISTANT w.e.f. 01/08/1957
P B Maritz 01/08/1957 - 30/09/1960 Nongoma
W Breunissen 01/10/1960 - 30/05/1961 Other duties
A J Vermaak 01/06/1961 -
KOMMISSARISSE VIR HOF VIR KLEIN EISE : GEBIED - UMVOTI
1. Thomas Herman Erich van Rooyen 23/10/1990 -
2. Warren Otto Yendall Stevens Bedank 05/08/1991
3. Mauritz Christiaan van Rooyen 18/11/1991 -
4. Barry Kruger 23/10/1990 -
5. Carl Brunt Groenewald Bedank 22/08/1991
6. Roy Anthony Harris 18/11/1991 -
ADVIESRAAD - HOF VIR KLEIN EISE: GEBIED - UMVOTI
1. B Kruger
2. C. B. Groenewald Bedank 22/08/1991
3. L. Ntombela
4. G.H. van Rooyen Met ingang van 24/08/1992
5. T.H.E. van Rooyen
MONUMENTS IN UMVOTI DISTRICT
There is a monument in the Greytown Town Gardens, erected to the memory of the men from this District, who lost their lives in the Great War between 1914 and 1918.
A monument erected by public subscription many years ago, also stands in the Town Gardens, in the shape of a sundial in memory of the late Peter Hallet, a brother-in-law of the late Gen. Louis Botha. He was a public spirited man and was thought a great deal of by all he inhabitants of Greytown. He died in 1874.
An old cannon also stands in the Town Gardens. It was brought here by a Capt. McClean, brother-in-law to Mr A S Wyndham, who was one of the first Magistrates of Greytown, being here as far back as 1860. The gun, I gather , was brought here in the early sixties, and intended as a present for the Swazi King. When he found that the presentation would not be sanctioned by the Government, McClean left the gun with one of the Greytown residents, and it was afterwards presented to the Corporation . In the early days, the cannon used to be fired to announce the arrival of the English mail, and also on the Queen’s birthday. It is thought to be even older than those at the Fort in Durban.
Fort Dartnall, which stands on a rise just out of Greytown, between the Maritzburg - Greytown main road and the railway, and which is used at present as the Police Camp, was built during the Zulu War or just after, probably in the early ‘eighties, and named after General Sir John Dartnall, O.C. commanding the Natal Police at the time.
In a wattle plantation on a rise to the left side of the bridge over the Heine Spruit just out of Greytown on the road to Maritzburg, can be found the site of a house in which the late General Louis Botha was born, but I understand there is only a tumble-down shed to mark the spot now. This is on the farm of Mrs A.M. Martens, "Honeyfontein", P O Greytown.
There are a number of old gum trees on the Greytown Hill (Town Lands). This marks the spot where Chief Sigananda had his kraal and the trees were planted by him, while he was attached to the Magistrate’s Court here as a headman. Sigananda afterwards became a Chief over the Cube tribe in Zululand (Nkandla Dist.) And was three times in rebellion against the Government. The 1st time was in the Native Rebellion of 1906, when he was captured and died in Gaol at the estimated age of 102. He was a contemporary of the Zulu Kings Mpanda, Cetshwayo and Dinizulu.
There is an old stone laager situated on a hill by the Umvoti Bridge on the main road to Maritzburg, which can easily be seen from the road. In 1879 after Sandlwana, the inhabitants of Greytown went into laager there. It was known as Menne’s laager. I understand this on Mrs H.J. Martens’ farm, Sophiadale: Postal address; Seven Oaks.
The Lilani Hot springs are situated about 12 miles, as the crow flies, to the east of Greytown, but the intervening country is so rough that in order to get there a journey of about 18 to 20 miles has bo be undertaken. The Springs are on the side of a very steep hill. The Springs were developed by the late Dr Matthews. A large house was built and the water led into bathrooms, and many people visit Lilani to enjoy the healing properties of the waters, which are very soothing to sufferers from rheumatism, gout and similar complaints. The property is now leased by Mr H J Comins, of Seven Oaks, who sub-lets apartments to visitors.
There are also Hot Springs in the Tugela River, just out of this District, in Krantzkop District, below the Krantzkop Mountain. These are visited during the winter months, when the water in the river is low. Tents are sometimes pitched in the river-bed itself.
A monument was erected to the memory of the Police, who were killed by the rebels in 1906, near Impanza, in the District. It is situated on the farm "Olivefontein", belonging to Mr P R Botha, and can be seen from the main road to Tugela Ferry from Greytown.
On the farm Welverdiend, belonging to Mr G L Martens, Greytown, and overlooking the main road to Tugela Ferry about 10 miles distant from Greytown, stands a huge natural buttress, which is about 150 ft. in height. This buttress is separated from the krantz behind , of which it must originally have been part, by a gully 100 yards broad. In the distance this rugged mass of rock resembles a castle. It is flat-topped and cut up by crevices several feet wide, into sections representing the turrets of a castle. This a quite a remarkable phenomenon, and people travelling along the Tugela road must always be struck by the magnificence of this sight. The property at one time belonged to the late Mr P R Botha, M L A for Natal, and uncle of the late General Botha.
In November 1856, a small school was started at Hermannsburg in the district, by a German Missionary, Rev. H Holhs, from Hermannsburg in Germany. The School started with only three boys but rapidly developed from a day school t a boarding school, and the number of pupils also increased. In a few years it was considered the best school in Natal; children, English, Dutch and German, being sent there from all over the country, even from the Transvaal and Free State. In 1869 a cadet corps was formed under the command of an ex-soldier, Mr Mangold. It was the first cadet corps in Natal, and the government supplied rifles and ammunition. The school progressed favourably until 1870, after which time the attendance began to fall off, probably due to other schools being opened in Natal. But the Hermannsburg School is still in existence as a Government Aided School.
Among the men who attended the school as boys, may be mentioned
Sir Geo. Leuchars, Sir Fred Moor, Sir Ch. Saunders, Dr. Campbell, and
SHORT HISTORY OF THE UMVOTI MOUNTED RIFLES - Col. Fannin
In the early days of Natal when the country was sparsely inhabited numbers of small Volunteer Units were formed. Among these, in 1864, the Greytown Mounted Rifles were brought into being and were commanded by Capt. Ashe Smyth Windham.
The following year, a second Unit under the name Natal Huzzars was formed under the command of Major T F Eastwood,
These two were amalgamated in 1869, and took the name of Natal Huzzars. In 1887, this unit, then commanded by Major T. Menne, amalgamated with the Natal Carbineers, under the title Left Wing Natal Carbineers and became a unit of its own, taking the present name UMVOTI MOUNTED RIFLES.
Shortly after Union when the defence force was re-organised, the Zululand Mounted Rifles and Northern Mounted Rifles were amalgamated with the Umvoti Mounted Rifles.
The Regiment has taken part in all the wars since its inception the first being the Zulu War, when, under the command of Capt, P Norton, it was brigaded with five other volunteer units, commanded by an Imperial Officer, Major P H S Barrow.
With Col. Pearson’s column advancing to Eshowe it was attacked by a Zulu Impi at Nyesane on 22nd January 1879. This impi was decisively defeated.
On 29 September 1899 the regiment was mobilised for service in the Anglo-Boer War, and sent to Tugela Ferry with a detachment of Natal Police. Major George Leuchars, then commanding officer, was in command of the force and prevented the enemy crossing the river. When after the siege of Ladysmith General Buller’s main force advanced, the U M R with the other Volunteer Units was disbanded on reaching the Transvaal border. On 22nd February 1906 the Regiment, still commanded by Lt.Col. G Leuchars, CMG, was mobilised for operations in the Natal Native rebellion. After various engagements the Unit was demobilised on 31st July.
The Natal Volunteers were again mobilised on 1st December 1967 and proceeded to Nongoma where the Zulu Chief Dinizulu was arrested.
The next mobilisation took place on the 26th October 1914, when the Regiment was under the command of Lt.Col. Sam Carter, D.S.O., and proceded by sea to Luderitzbucht in S.W.A., brigaded with the Natal Mounted Rifles (8th Mounted Brigade commanded by Col. Arnott) it advanced with Brig.Gen. Sir Duncan McKenzie’s column in pursuit of the German forces and decisively defeated them at Gebeon on 27th April, after an exhausting march. The advance continued to Windhoek when the enemy surrendered and our troops were sent back to the Union and disbanded.
In the War 1939-1945 the Regiment was commanded by Lt.Col G.E. L’Strange, D.S.O., and proceded to Egypt, forming with the 2nd R.D.L.I. and Kaffrarian Rifles, the 4th S.A. Infantry Brigade. Various operations were performed, including the surrender of the enemy forces in the Helfaya Pass area, Bardia, Tobruk and to the Gazala Line. Left to hold Tobruk the garrison there was captured and except for a few who escaped taken prisoner. The survivors were attached to I.L.H.-KIM Regiment where they did good work and later with the 6th Armoured Division went to Italy. While there various members escaped from Italian P.O.W. Camps and joined up with other Units for with Partisans.
The Regiment is affiliated with the 7th Queens Own Hussars.
The Battle Honours of the Regiment are:
S.A. 1899 - 1902
Relief of Ladysmith 1900
Laings Nek 1900
The Regiment was presented with "King’s Colours" by H.R.H. Princess Christian on behalf of H.M. King Edward VII on the 4th October 1904 and bears the inscription "In recognition of services rendered in Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902".
Also it was presented with Regimental Colours by two elderly ladies, Mrs G W Newmarch and Mrs Plant, whose husbands and sons had been members of the Unit.
On Thursday 14th October 1954 the Regiment was presented with the Freedom of the Borough of Greytown.
The Cadets of the Greytown, Vryheid and Eshowe Schools are affiliated with the Regiment.
UMVOTI VERMIN HUNT CLUB
Established by A.N. No. 188 of 1956 dated 3/5/1956; In terms of Section 7 Ordinance 16 of 1952.
AREA: The area comprised of all properties within the following boundaries, but exclusive of any Crown Lands and any area which is a national park, game reserve or nature reserve under and in terms of Sections 2 and 3 of the Natal Parks, Game and Fish Preservation Ordinance, 1947 (Ordinance No. 35 of 1947):
BOUNDED: Commencing from the most westerly beacon of the farm Rust No. 1112 common to it and the farm Landsberg No. 1037; thence along the boundaries of the following farms so as to include them in this area: Rust No. 1112, Klipfontein No. 3764, Overvloed No. 1338, Berning No. 2097, Witte Krantz No. 1808, Berning No. 2097, Uitkyk No. 1086, Keerom No. 6216, Mount Allard No. 1870, Aangelegen No. 1201, Impanza River No. 843, M.G.B. No. 8745, Wintershoek No. 1108, Nels Rust No. 1857, Wintershoek No. 1108, and Landsberg No. 1037 to its most easterly beacon, the point of commencement.
UMVOTI: Or Mvoti, a river named after Mvoti Ncashange, a headman of the Lala clan called amaPhumulo (The People of Rest) which settled on the banks of this river in the Natal Midlands. The river rises in the Karkloof and enters the sea near Stanger. The district was first mooted in 1847 and in 1850 Thomas Okes surveyed a town on the farm of L.J. Nel - Greytown, though at first there was a move to call it Pretorius.
DIE GREYTOWN DROSDY:- DIE OUE EN DIE NUWE
Dit is nie moontlik om presies vas te stel wanneer die ou Drosdy opgerig is nie. Dit wil voorkom asof dit ongeveer 1880 was. In die jaar 1886 het dit aan die plaaslike geneesheer, Dr Birtwell, behoort. In die Greytown Museum wat tans in die ou Drosdy gehuisves is, is ‘n foto van die geneesheer en sy gesin wat op die voorstoep van die huis staan.
Dit was eweneens nie moontlik om vas te stel van wanneer die huis as ampswoning van die Landdros gedien het nie. Mnr. Brydon Giles, ‘n boer van die distrik, is gedurende 1910 in die huis gebore terwyl sy vader Landdros Giles se voorgangers egter ook die huis bewoon het.
In die vroeër jare was dit, met sy groot vertrekke, ongetwyfeld ‘n pragwoning. Die tuin het 3½ akker beslaan en dit word vertel dat die Drosdy se tuin soms van die fraaiste in die dorp was. Algaande het dit egter nie meer voldoen aan meer moderne vereistes nie. Van tyd tot tyd is vertoë gerig aan die Departement in hierdie verband.
Skrywer het op 14 Oktober 1969 diens aanvaar en die Drosdy betrek. Hy was erg teleurgesteld oor beide die toestand van die gebou en die gebrek aan nodige geriewe. Die Departement is in kennis gestel van skrywer se sienswyse dat die huis volgens heersende standaarde nie bewoonbaar was nie. Die vertoë is simpatiek ontvang. Die Departement is in kennis gestel van skrywer se sienswyse dat die huis volgens heersende standarde nie bewoonbaar was nie. Die vertoë is simpatiek ontvang. Die Departement Gemeenskapsbou het onmiddelik ‘n ondersoek gelas en binne ‘n maand is die woning as ampswoning onttrek. Intussen is ander huisvesting bekom en op 25 Oktober 1969 is die huis vir die laaste keer deur ‘n Landdros bewoon. Die plaaslike owerheid het belang gestel in die aankoop van die gebou om sy museum te huisves. Terwyl onderhandelings voortegesit is, het die kringinspekteur van Bantoe-onderwys die huis vir ongeveer 12 maande bewoon. Daarna is die gebou opgeknap en huisves sederdien die Greytown Museum.
Die oprigting van die nuwe Drosdy op ‘n gedeelte van die bestaande perseel het intussen by die Departement se bouprogram voorrang geniet en agt maande nadat die ou woning onttrek is , het bouwerk aan die nuwe in aanvang geneem. Die boukontrakteur was Mnr. Louis Fourie, destyds burgemeester van die dorp.
Vir baie van die dorp se inwoners wat verwag het dat ‘n imponerende woning vir die Landdros opgerig sou word, het die nuwe gebou ‘n groot teleurstelling ingehou. Met tye het dit soveel kritiek uitgelok dat skrywer kwalik sy verleentheid kon verberg. Dit ten spyt, bied die woning in die geheel gesien, tog ‘n bewoonbare eenheid vir ‘n gemiddelde gesin.
Die gedeelte van die perseel waarop die nuwe Drosdy opgerig is, het hom uitstekend verleen aan die uitleg van die tuin. Etlike gevestigde struike en bome was goed geleë. ‘n Pragtige ou akkerboom pryk aan die westelike kant. By die oostelike kant, langs die motorhek, staan ‘n baken. Hierdie reuse wildevyeboom is een van die grootste van sy soort in die provinsie. Sover vasgestel kan word, is dit reeds ongeveer 100 jaar oud. In deursnit span dit 40 meter.
Die ontwerp en ontwikkeling van die tuin is uitsluitlik deur skrywer se eggenote onderneem. Dit is in ‘n baie kort tyd in ‘n pragtuin omskep. Hierdie groot taak is met liefde en toewyding verrig. Tans bied dit ryke belonging vir harde werk.
Aan die suid-westelike hoek van die huis is ‘n kanabos-struik deur skrywer se eggenote aangeplant op 7 Julie 1972. Dit is gedoen ter nagedagtenis aan ‘n dierbare wat ‘n jaar vantevore die lewe gelaat het. ‘n Beroep word op elke bewoner van die huis gedoen om hierdie struik te versorg in die gees waarin dit aangeplant is. In die noordwestelike hoek van die tuin staan ‘n kafferboom (Erythimas Kaffra) van die geel variëteit, aangeplant om die Jaar van die Groen Erfenis (1973) te herdenk. Die boom is deur Mnr E.L.Handley, ‘n inwoner van die dorp, gekweek van ‘n saad wat hy van die moederboom by die Botaniese Tuine, 1820 Setlaars Gedenkteken, Grahamstad, gepluk het. ‘n Tweede een wat ook aan skrywer geskenk is, is in die Landdroskantoor se tuin geplant.
Skrywer en sy seun Eben se bydrae is die grasdak voëlhok in die vorm van ‘n rondawel. Dit is gedurende 1971, terwyl die huis in aanbou was, deur hulle eiehandig opgerig. Dit is gedoen uit dankbaarheid aan die Departement van Justisie vir die daadwerklike stappe wat geneem is om behoorlike huisvestiging aan skrywer en sy gesin te voorsien. ‘n Vriendelike versoek dat ook dit netjies bewaar sal word.
24 Maart 1974