Farewell to Tzamenkomst.

It is with great heartsore, and some relief that we have decided to sell Tzamenkomst.

Tzamenkomst has been in the family since 1836, when it was bought by my great grandfather from the first owner van der Walt. It passed into the hands of my grandfather, Johan Wilhelm van Zyl about 1840. He married Emma Katie Weakley on the 24th January, 1888, and they lived together on Tzamenkomst until his death on 4th October 1908. They had seven children, four sons and three daughters, of whom five survived my grandfathers death. He left it to them equally in undivided shares.

My Uncle Johan Wilhelm (John) farmed Tzamenkomst until his death in November 1974. Christopher took over the farm, but decided to pursue his career as a Land Surveyor so Herbert took over the farm, and ran it until his death on 28th January, 1982. I (Roben) then took over the farm.

Many of you already know this, because we have told you, or you have heard on the grapevine, but I want to tell you more about it. Tzamenkomst as we farm it now is about 1/3 of the farm Uncle John had, and from being a joy is becoming an expensive hobby.

David is finding it increasingly difficult to make the farm pay. Rift Valley Fever was a severe blow, we lost most of our lamb crop, and two years of below average rainfall did not help. Our neighbour Richard de Vos on Quaggasfontein made an offer to Christopher for his portion of Elands Rivier, and Christopher decided to sell it. We have been using it as part of the farming operation, so its loss is a blow. Richard de Vos made an offer to buy our Cow Camp which borders on Quaggsfontein and is across the river from Elands Rivier, across the river from the house. I discussed this with David, and he said that with Elands Rivier and Cow Camp gone the heart would have been cut out of the farm. He added that he was increasingly finding keeping the farm going difficult, and that it was becoming a burden. I then told Richard that I would not sell the farm piecemeal. We have now reached an agreement, and if all the terms & conditions are met we will be handing the farm over by the early next year. This agreement has been changed and I have now sold the smaller portion of the farm, Elands Rivier, to Richard for cash and the process of transfer is now under way. Richard needs a loan to buy Tzamenkomst, and the final date for payment is still the end of January.

Richard has taken occupation of the farm, and is paying occupational interest. Because the farm was sold as a going concern this also means that he has taken over the livestock and implements. He has also done some major restoration of the farm house, by plastering the walls. This is the East side of the house newly plastered.

Tzamenkomst house restoration


I know that Tzamenkomst has memories for many of you. We will only have to hand over the house at the end of March next year. This is mainly so that we can decide how to dispose of 4 generations worth of furniture etc, but it also means that we can have a visitors in the new year. You are welcome to visit at any time until the end of February next year.

Christopher and Birgit are visited us from mid October to mid November. During their stay we had a very welcome albeit brief visit from the Tait family - Iola, Dennis, Elise and Sharon. We were very glad that Iola could join the party.

The cousins (Sandra, Gaynor, Diana and Rosemary) will be together in Cape Town in November.We were happy to welcome Rosemary and her partner Mike who  visited us for a short while in November before returning to the UK.

We are looking forward to a visit from Wendy, Diana, Sheldon, Joshua, Bethany, Sandy, and Tristan early in the New Year.