Stoep Stories No 31
Saturday, 31st May 2014
Stoep Stories - Tales from the Karoo
Published by the Graaff-Reinet Heritage Society
In the cemetery of the Free Protestant Church in Stockenstroom Street among other well-known names such Maasdorp, Neser and Hobson is the grave of Frank Sharpe born 1896 in Hampstead London and who died in Graaff – Reinet 1983.In 1921 he came to South Africa with his wife Mary ernigrating from England under the auspices of the 1820 Settlers Association.He describes “One remembers the first arrival. The first sight of Table Mountain is worth much. The white – helmeted fairy godmother (did fairies wear a white moustache) takes us in hand and everything is done for us. A memory of kindliness and general knowledge.”From Cape Town the Sharpes moved to the district of Graaff – Reinet. Here by arrangement Frank Sharpe was given a job as a Learner farmer first with the Probarts on Glen Harry and soon afterwards by Bill Murray on the The Lands. But this turned out to be disastrous for both employers and their “rooinek” employee and soon the Sharpes moved on to Westbrook farm of Mr Fred Luscombe Two years later and feeling much more confident about farming practices in the Karoo Frank Sharpe bought Kaaimansgat. This is a border with Cradock and Middelburg North East of Coloniesplaas and quite near to Blue gun House as the crow flies. His son Sutton Sharpe remembers seeing large bright coloured lizards on the rocks in the area and their presence may be where the farm gets its name from. Today the last bit of road to Kaaimansgat can be undertaken only in a four wheel drive vehicle.