T­ri­bu­te to an in­cre­di­ble wo­man

Suid-Kaap FORUM - - Nuus -

S­TIL­BAAI On Wor­ld He­art Day and at the end of Na­ti­o­nal He­ri­ta­ge month, 29 Sep­tem­ber, Ma­rie-Lou Roux (néé Da­mes) left the wor­ld pe­a­ce­ful­ly with an in­cre­di­ble le­ga­cy to be gra­te­ful for.

If it we­ren’t for her ef­forts in the 80’s, S­til­baai E­ast would ha­ve been a hill of hou­ses. Inste­ad, we ha­ve plants found no­w­he­re el­se in the wor­ld, na­me­ly the Pau­li­ne Bohnen Na­tu­re Re­ser­ve. She per­so­nal­ly sig­ned a con­tract with the then De­part­ment of Man­po­wer (1986-1992) to em­ploy 20 pe­op­le from Melk­hout­fon­tein to cle­ar the in­va­si­ve a­lien fo­re­sts w­hen the re­ser­ve was de­cla­red Sep­tem­ber 1982.

Had Ma­rie-Lou re­mai­ned si­lent and un­in­vol­ved, Mor­ris Point and the Wal­vis­uit­kyk S­hell Mid­den would now be ex­clu­si­ve ho­tels, inste­ad of one of the last unspoi­lt spots in S­til­baai w­he­re one can re-con­nect with our pre­his­to­ric an­cestral roots.

In 1985 w­hen she was the chief mo­ti­va­tor be­hind the es­ta­blishment of the Still Bay Con­ser­va­ti­on Trust, ‘Na­tu­re Con­ser­va­ti­on’ was not yet coi­ned. Her vi­si­on ex­ten­ded beyond con­ser­ving S­til­baai’s u­ni­que na­tu­ral en­vi­ron­ment, to in­clu­de the con­ser­va­ti­on of our cul­tu­ral-his­to­ri­cal he­ri­ta­ge and pro­mo­ti­on of sus­tai­na­ble de­ve­lop­ment. She de­man­ded pro­per pu­blic par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on pro­cess and ad­he­ren­ce to the law and facts.

She won pres­ti­ge for the Still Bay Con­ser­va­ti­on Trust with the CAPTRUST and EPPIC a­wards for En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­ti­on in 1990 and 1991, re­specti­ve­ly.

Ma­rie-Lou was a cham­pi­on fun­drai­ser; R31 500 to­wards re­sto­ring the his­to­ric Ja­gers­bos Ho­mes­te­ad to a Se­ni­or Ci­ti­zen Cen­t­re; R26 000 to­wards cre­a­ting pat­hs through Pa­ling­kloof Na­tu­re A­rea from In­fo to the Ri­ver and R500 000 for S­kul­pies­baai Na­tu­re Re­ser­ve pat­hs and a­lien plant-cle­a­ring. A bench in her ho­nour looks o­ver Mor­ris Point.

In 2010 she re­vi­ta­li­sed the his­to­ric school­room be­si­de S­til­baai In­fo and con­ti­nu­ed to ex­tend her success­ful te­a­ching ca­reer of o­ver 42 y­e­ars.

Alt­hough born in P­re­to­ria, she grew up in S­til­baai w­he­re her mom was c­li­nic sis­ter be­fo­re the­re was a doc­tor. She ma­tri­cu­la­ted at Ho­ër­skool Lan­gen­ho­ven, Ri­vers­da­le and taug­ht En­g­lish the­re in the 60’s for ni­ne y­e­ars. She mi­ra­cu­lous­ly sur­vi­ved a win­ter’s nig­ht on the rocks ne­ar the har­bour w­hen her car left the ro­ad du­ring thick mist, and coura­ge­ous­ly con­ti­nu­ed af­ter lo­sing her on­ly child sud­den­ly, her sup­por­ti­ve son A­brie in 2011 w­hen she was al­re­a­dy 80.

E­ven in her last days, af­ter bre­a­king her hip in a fall, she took her com­pu­ter with to hos­pi­tal to con­ti­nue with a long­stan­ding ha­bi­tat coun­cil court ca­se to pre­vent the Mar­tin Melck wa­re­hou­se-Lut­he­ran Church buil­dings in a his­to­ric zo­ne of Ca­pe Town ci­ty from be­co­ming a­not­her of­fi­ce block-par­king a­rea.

“Alt­hough we wish Ma­rie-Lou a well-de­ser­ved rest in pe­a­ce, I’m su­re she will re­main re­st­less if we don’t con­ti­nue with her in­va­lu­a­ble work. Con­do­len­ces to her fa­mi­ly: Her sis­ter Je­an­ne Vor­ster, nie­ce Ma­rie-He­le­ne and her hus­band Reitz who was with her w­hen she died, nie­ce De­an­ne and gran­d­child­ren Fran­cois and Mi­chel­le, as well as ot­her fa­mi­ly, f­riends and con­ser­va­ti­o­nist col­le­a­gues,” said Ja­net Nau­dé.

The la­te Tol Pie­naar, To­bie Jou­bert and Ma­rie-Lou Roux (19 Ju­ly 1931 - 29 Sep­tem­ber 2017) for con­ser­va­ti­on from Hes­se­qua Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty du­ring 2006.

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