Trip Down Memory Lane
Memories flooded back when I read your article about Modderfontein Reserve (May 2018).
Somehow my parents got to know John Dobbs, the resident manager of the wild area that has become the reserve. I think there was some Irish connection. He lived in a house with a red, corrugated-iron roof on the edge of Dam 4, which is probably the Fish Eagle Dam of your story. We used to drive out there to picnic at the dam by invitation of John. This was in the late forties and early fifties. I had a Granta foldboat that came in three bags of bits and pieces, all of which fitted together to form a canoe that would take one moderately sized man, or two small boys with a squeeze. We paddled around the dam and wandered all over the park. Obviously we were not allowed to go near the magazines where the dynamite was stored.
Of course, we eventually got thirsty and on one occasion came across a pipeline which was dripping water, so we drank from it. My mother was horrified at what the origin of the water might have been, so, in the middle of the night I was woken to be dosed with castor oil. I can still taste it today. (edited)