How time flies

go! Platteland - - ENTREPRENEURS -

1966

Af­ter 20 years as a block­man at the Roel­cor group, Mathys Smit and his wife, Christina, rent premises at Gou­dini Sta­tion, where they start Gou­dini Butch­ery and work be­hind the counter them­selves. (Their youngest daugh­ter, Elis­a­beth, is born in the same year.)

March 1967

The Gou­dini premises are get­ting too small, and the Smits use the prof­its they’ve saved – R2 000 – as well as a first (and last!) loan of R10 000 to buy a butch­ery in Raw­sonville from the Roel­cor group. They re­name it Chrisma. (Their el­dest son, Boelie, takes over the reins at Gou­dini Butch­ery. That is where a teenager named Paul Laver­lot starts to work at the age of 14 or 15. Paul moves over to Chrisma in Raw­sonville in 1978.)

1972

The Smits buy an­other butch­ery in Raw­sonville, called Raw­sonville Vleis­mark, and re­name it Boelie se Slaghuis af­ter Boelie, who heads it up.

1979

Af­ter com­plet­ing ma­tric and a year of nurs­ing, the el­dest Smit daugh­ter, Mag­gie, and her hus­band take over the man­age­ment of Gou­dini Butch­ery. It is sold about two years later.

21 July 1987

Mathys Smit dies at the age of 60 on Elis­a­beth’s 21st birth­day. His wife and two daugh­ters con­tinue to work at Chrisma, but de­cide to sell the other two butcheries, mainly be­cause Boelie’s health is de­te­ri­o­rat­ing due to se­vere di­a­betes. Christina asks her youngest son, Ockert, who is serv­ing in the South African Po­lice at the time, whether he’d be in­ter­ested in join­ing the busi­ness.

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