The be­gin­ning of a new life abroad

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO NEWS - Tam­lyn Jolly

AF­TER vir­tu­ally a life­time in sunny Zu­l­u­land, long-time Richards Bay res­i­dents Hans and Julie Olden­burg will make the tran­si­tion to the Nether­lands, to be closer to fam­ily.

For his 60 years in South Africa, Nether­lands-born Hans has, through his work as a chemist in met­al­lurgy, seen much of Africa, hav­ing worked in Malawi, Mozam­bique and Kenya among oth­ers.

One of the many high­lights of Hans’ ca­reer was his lab­o­ra­tory which, merely a con­verted farm­house, was con­sid­ered the most ac­cu­rate lab­o­ra­tory for analysing min­er­als.

Re­al­is­ing the value of min­er­als found in the ground, Hans’ ca­reer hinged on heavy min­er­als anal­y­sis, the knowl­edge of which he passed on to many of his em­ploy­ees.

Both lovers of the out­doors, Hans will surely miss his fish­ing while Julie will no longer need to keep an eye out for hip­pos and croc­o­diles on the golf course.

‘We have tremen­dous mem­o­ries of days on the beaches, fish­ing, spend­ing nights sleep­ing on the beaches as well as nu­mer­ous fish­ing trips to Namibia and other won­der­ful places,’ said Hans.

‘Other peo­ple, es­pe­cially those who have never lived in South Africa, are con­vinced we ex­ag­ger­ate our sto­ries of wildlife en­coun­ters, but that is not the case, we will miss it all but have many won­der­ful mem­o­ries.’

Fond farewell

A long-stand­ing mem­ber of Richards Bay Coun­try Club, Julie re­calls help­ing plant grass on the golf course dur­ing the early days of her mem­ber­ship.

‘Back then, the green fees for 18 holes were just 60 cents.’

Hans and Julie’s son Jo­han and daugh­ter Ronelle both live in the Nether­lands and they are look­ing for­ward to be­ing closer to fam­ily for the next chap­ter in their lives.

‘This is a bit­ter­sweet good­bye, one that is sad, scary and emo­tional, but at the same time we have a lot to look for­ward to,’ said Julie.

‘This is a big move at this stage of our lives, but we have spent much time in the Nether­lands over the years, so we know what we are get­ting our­selves into.’

Rem­i­nisc­ing on the 45 years in their Bream Hill house in Meerensee, Hans and Julie speak fondly of the days when there were no fences to the roads, only bound­ary fences be­tween prop­er­ties.

‘We have been ex­tremely happy for the du­ra­tion of our time in Richards Bay, the crime rate has been vir­tu­ally zero and we have noth­ing to com­plain about,’ said Julie.

‘We would like to say a fond farewell to all our friends – golf­ing friends and fish­ing friends – as well as ev­ery­body else we have en­coun­tered along the way.

‘We will miss them all, but look for­ward to the next chap­ter in our lives.’

Back then, the green fees for 18 holes were just 60 cents

Tam­lyn Jolly

Hans and Julie Olden­burg with their dog Snippy

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