Pub clo­su­re marks ‘end of an era’ E­den­hof hou vol­gen­de na­week ba­saar

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Voorblad -

NIEU-BET­HES­DA — T­his wee­kend mar­ked the end of an era in Nieu-bet­hes­da as ‘Die Ram­stal Pub’ clo­sed its doors to the pu­blic af­ter a bu­sy 13 y­e­ars of food, drink, mu­sic and me­mo­ries. Proprietors Ian Al­le­man and Ka­trin Kun­dig re­cent­ly sold ‘Die Ram­stal’ and ‘The Ka­roo Lamb’ re­stau­rant and will sett­le in­to a ‘qui­e­ter’ li­fe in Nieu-bet­hes­da, con­tinuing with their ac­com­mo­da­ti­on in­te­re­sts in the vil­la­ge. Twen­ty y­e­ars ago, af­ter ex­ten­si­ve tra­vel through A­fri­ca, in­clu­ding ex­plo­ring the Con­go and An­tarcti­ca, set­ting up a back­pac­kers in Port E­li­za­beth, Ian practi­sing as a vet and ad­ding their vi­va­ci­ous daug­h­ter Lynn to the fa­mi­ly, they de­ci­ded that Nieu-bet­hes­da was the pla­ce to start ‘a li­fe less or­di­na­ry’ and boug­ht a pro­per­ty which be­ca­me the first back­packing es­ta­blishment in the vil­la­ge. S­wiss-german by birth, Ka­trin broug­ht ef­fi­cien­cy and good bu­si­ness sen­se to the vil­la­ge, te­a­ching so­me vil­la­gers to ma­ke bre­ad and es­ta­blis­hing va­lu­a­ble wor­king re­la­ti­ons­hips with craf­ters and ot­her bu­si­nes­ses in the vil­la­ge. Ian soon be­ca­me syn­o­ny­mous with the art of pot­jie ma­king, and his ba­re­foot form, top­ped with an old tin hat, was seen out­si­de in the s­treet most e­ve­nings as he cook­ed up va­ri­ous gas­tro­no­mic de­lig­hts. The pot­jies them­sel­ves we­re fas­ci­na­ting gui­ne­a­fo­wl, af­fal, har­te­beest, os­trich and rab­bit all found their way in­to Ian’s vo­lu­mi­nous black pots o­ver the y­e­ars. Slo­w­ly pur­cha­sing ot­her buil­dings which they trans­for­med in­to guest­hou­ses, Ian and Ka­trin re­a­li­sed that the­re was al­so a need for a pub in the vil­la­ge. They took o­ver ‘Die Wa­en­huis’ from Sak­kie Re­tief for a few y­e­ars, and slo­w­ly a cul­tu­re of lar­ge pints of Black La­bel in a con­vi­vi­al, smoky at­mos­p­he­re was born. The pub be­ca­me a week­ly meet­ing pla­ce for lo­cals - a spot to wa­tch rug­by and ‘kui­er’ a­way in­to the nig­ht, and soon Ian and Ka­trin pur­cha­sed E­li­ze Pie­naar’s beau­ti­ful old barn o­ver the ro­ad from the Owl Hou­se which they re­no­va­ted in­to a sty­lish, ai­ry re­stau­rant. The old sta­ble tuc­ked be­hind, be­ca­me ‘Die Ram­stal’ - the charm of t­his pla­ce being that it was rough and re­a­dy and au­then­ti­cal­ly Nieu­bet­hes­da – and the pe­op­le who fre­quen­ted it we­re true Bet­hes­dans too. W­hat ma­de the re­stau­rant and the pub such a success was that it was al­ways open and was fre­quen­ted by cha­rac­ters. Un­der the ex­cel­lent ma­na­ge­ment of Ro­nel Vy­wers and C­har­mai­ne Ed­din who took book­ings, ser­ved cu­s­to­mers, cook­ed food and ma­na­ged the re­stau­rant, the pla­ce flou­ris­hed. Ro­nel and C­har­mai­ne al­so le­a­ve the food bu­si­ness and will con­ti­nue to run the ac­com­mo­da­ti­on af­fairs and both say that they are look­ing for­ward to a slo­wer pa­ce of li­fe! Bar­man, Boe­tie Be­ster, al­so now steps do­wn from his per­ma­nent post be­hind the bar w­he­re he too ma­na­ged af­fairs with a qui­et, ef­fi­cient dig­ni­ty, me­ti­cu­lous­ly car­rying the ‘skuld’ list o­ver to e­ach new pa­ge at the end of e­very e­ve­ning’s fes­ti­vi­ties! Ian and Ka­trin be­lie­ved in gi­ving back to the vil­la­ge that sus­tai­ned them. Their an­nu­al ‘Mid­win­ter’ par­ty was held on the sol­sti­ce e­ach y­e­ar and pe­op­le ca­me from far and wi­de to in­dul­ge in com­pli­men­ta­ry pot­jies, booze and mu­sic. They al­so ma­de it their mis­si­on to fill the val­ley with re­al­ly re­al­ly good mu­sic. One would so­me­ti­me ha­ve to pinch on­e­self as one was part of a re­la­ti­ve­ly small au­dien­ce lis­te­ning to le­gends such a Koos Kom­buis, Vu­si Mahla­se­la, S­te­ve Ne­w­man, The Ra­dio Rats, Lau­rie Le­vi­ne - and most re­cent­ly the Sto­ne Jets, to na­me a few! Boe­tie Be­ster’s Gar­lic fes­ti­vals will al­so not be f­or­got­ten as well as the fact that the pub be­ca­me the hub for the an­nu­al Pump Pa­looza. Ian and Ka­trin we­re in­te­gral in set­ting up both the Com­mu­ni­ty Tou­rism Or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on as well as mo­re re­cent­ly a Neig­hbour­hood Wa­tch. But it is the fel­lows­hip of the pub that will be mis­sed the most - be it t­ho­se who fre­quen­ted it of­ten, or t­ho­se for w­hom it was an a­no­ny­mous spa­ce w­he­re e­ver­yo­ne accep­ted the ot­her and vil­la­ge po­li­ti­cs mos­t­ly si­de-li­ned. The pub will be mis­sed by the four-leg­ged vil­la­ge dogs who ca­vor­ted and snif­fed and greeted as if for the first ti­me. Yet the sto­ries will re­main e­t­ched as ma­ny a me­mo­ry – ta­les of b­lood­loss and bre­aka­ge, the fee­ling of be­lon­ging, a pla­ce to vent, to lis­ten to laugh, to mourn. So as the old door c­re­aks clo­sed for the last ti­me, and the pos­ters of e­vents go­ne by sway in the smoky raf­ters, the vil­la­ge thanks Ian and Ka­trin for the good ti­mes and the me­mo­ries and the mu­sic, and the pla­ce w­he­re so ma­ny found a sen­se of be­lon­ging, and wis­hes them well in their dif­fe­rent en­de­a­vours in the fu­tu­re. E­den­hof Diens­sen­trum, ‘n af­tree­oord in Graaff-rei­net, se jaar­lik­se ba­saar sal op Sa­ter­dag, 3 No­vem­ber ge­hou word. Die ba­saar sal 09:00 die og­gend af­skop op die te­huis se per­seel op die hoek van So­mer­set- en Cra­dock­straat. Vol­gens Mar­tie Bek­ker, be­stuur­der van dié te­huis, sal daar op dié dag heer­li­ke kos te koop wees vir mid­dag­e­te. “Daar sal ver­skil­len­de ta­fels wees met klein­koe­kies, groot koe­ke, roos­ter­koe­ke, ba­saar-poe­dings, ker­rie­vis, ker­rie-en-rys, vars vleis, kof­fie en tee, en ve­le meer te koop wees,” sê Bek­ker. Al­le ver­ko­pe op dié dag is ten ba­te van die te­huis. Al­mal is wel­kom om die ba­saar by te woon en die te­huis te on­der­steun. Vir meer in­lig­ting oor die ba­saar, kon­tak Mar­tie Bek­ker by e­den­hof22@ of 049 892 3440.

Proprietors Ka­trin Kun­dig and Ian Al­le­man Ro­nel Vy­wers and C­har­mai­ne Ed­din. with

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