• Philip Caveney gave a presentation to the Sedgefield Residents and Ratepayers Association on 16 March 2022, which was based on research for the preparation of a book about the two villages of Karatara.
  • Outing to De Vlugt on 20 March 2022. A group of members drove up the access road to Prince Alfred’s Pass to view the old houses at De Vlugt and to learn the history behind the establishment of this little village, once called Edmonton. After arriving at De Vlugt we gathered in front of the Plaaskind Padstal, at which time the party was divided into two groups, one went off the view the grave of Alice Bain, the fifth daughter of Thomas and Johanna Bain, who was born in Knysna and died at De Vlugt. Whilst this was happening the second group viewed the home of Dr Lawrence, the medical officer for the convict station, which was built during the construction of the pass. Then the second group went off to visit the grave whilst the other group visited the house of surgeon Lawrence, followed by coffee and cake, provided by Adri van Rooyen of the Plaaskind Padstal. We all then drove up to the site of the 1863 convict station to view the old home known locally as ‘Die Stasie’. Here we were hosted by Hennie Hattingh. Lunch was at the old Schoolhouse, here we were hosted by Val Franken. After lunch we visited the old Watermill and the cottage at the old staging post, a place where travellers of old rested before proceeding through the pass. Inge Vennemann, gave an interesting talk about the area.
  • AGM and talk After the long overdue AGM, which was well received, a short illustrated presentation was given of the two earlier outings to de Poort and Farleigh.
  • Martin Hatchuel gave a presentation on the early shipping history of Knysna shipping activity and shipwrecks, information which contributed to his latest historical novel: It’s pity I didn’t bring any swords. Abstracts from the book were read by Martin.
  • Allen Duff told of interesting events which occurred in the Cape Colony which contributed to his two recent books Boer War Narratives of the Cape Colony and the Story of the Millwood/ Knysna Goldfield as well as some other historical Odds and Sods.
  • Lynne Thompson gave a presentation, Snap Shots of the Almost Forgotten of WW1 in German West Africa, German East Africa and France. The photographs illustrated the harsh conditions for the South African soldiers and carriers chasing down the Germans under Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck and then even  worse conditions for the black labourers who had to battle the unfamiliar French winters.
  • Philip Caveney gave a slide show illustrating the location of the early Rivers of Knysna as documented by Thomas Bain when surveying and laying out the main roads in Knysna during the period 1858 – 1860, from the Knysna River pont to the area known as Witfontein.
  • Erick and Louise Fourie hosted the traditional Bioscope Evening (also known as the ‘popcorn evening’) with historical movies and news clips of past events in Knysna and world history, with a great touch of humour, reminding us all of the past.


  • Outing to Farleigh Forest Station on 28 November 2021. Avoiding the flooding Karatara River on this day, an intrepid group of members wound their way to the Farleigh Forest Station, in the hills above Barrington. Having arrived at Farleigh, Philip Caveney pointed out the rather remote farm allotments granted to a group of woodcutters in 1882, which were not popular. During a tea break, in front of the Forestry offices, a discussion was held concerning the tragic 1920 Elephant hunt by Major PJ Pretorius, which took place in the forests north of Millwood, with further reference to the journal entries of Forester Charlie Rabbets. Lynne Thompson then told the participants about the role the WWII Italian prisoners-of-war, based at Farleigh, played in the lives of the local families of the area and then took us through the offices and the forester’s home to view the wall murals painted by the Italians. On the way back to Knysna we stopped at a viewing point, which looked down on the village of Karatara, to listen to the history of the village. The outing ended with a drive through the village, viewing the buildings built by the Department of Welfare in the 1940’s to uplift the lives of old and invalided woodcutters. Our thanks go to Nellie Grootendorst and Sandra Taljaart of SANParks for their support of this venture.
  • Covid-19 restrictions

Due to Covid -19 restrictions no presentations were held during 2021.


  • Philip Caveney, The  Imperious Magistrate Maximilian Jackson
  • Dave Reynell, The ecology and management of the Knysna/Tsitsikamma indigenous forests
  •  AGM and talk by Murray Douglas, The old roads between George and Knysna – A history from 1752 to the 1940’s
  • Lorraine Stainer, The forefathers of Knysna
  • Belinda Gordon/ Mike de Jongh, The Forgotten Front – Anglo Boer War stories
  • Allen Duff, Southern Cape & Karoo – More Historical Odds & Sods from the Klein Karroo to the Southern Cape
  • Murray Douglas, Morning outing to the George Railway Museum
  • Jenny Wilkinson, The history of the Thesen Islands development
  • Philip Caveney, The involvement of Knysna in the 1938 centenary re-enactment of the Great Trek
  • Philip Caveney, All day outing to the Deep Walls and Pheasant Hoek Forests
    As a closing historical activity for 2019, members of the Society participated in an outing into the Harkerville and Fisanthoek forestal areas. Stopping first to view the Bracken Hill Falls on the Witels River, which were in full flood after some heavy rains (which also continued during the activity!) we proceeded to the grave of Arnt Thesen, the progenitor of the Thesen family of Knysna. After a short stop to view the grave and an explanation as to why he was buried at Bracken Hill, we departed for the Harkerville Forest Station for tea.

    We then crossed over the N2 and drove to the Fisanthoek (Pheasant Hoek) Woodcutter Settlements, stopping for a brief explanation of how the woodcutters came to be settled here. We then departed for the old Fisanthoek Forestry Station for lunch, after which we drove home along the 1893 Swaneberg forest road, popular amongst the local cyclists.

  • Erick Fourie,  A video history of Knysna (Bioscope evening)


  • Knut Alexander Carlson, the story of a forester by the Wästfelt Carlson Family Foundation
  • Geology of Greater Knysna presented by Professor Morris Viljoen
  • Hentie’s Botel and other Hentie Stories an illustrated talk by Martin Hatchuel
  • Thomas Bain, the old road to Storms River, a talk by Philip Caveney
  • Storms River outing, following the old Tsitsikamma route of Thomas Bain, led by Philip Caveney
  • Westford Farm and the life of Edward Bibbey, an illustrated talk by Erick and Louise Fourie
  • Historical books of Knysna, a talk by Knysna author Ian Uys
  • Boer War Cameo at Willowmore in the Southern Cape, an illustrated talk by Alan Duff.
  • Harry Reitz Water Scheme, a talk on this early 1925 scheme in Knysna by Philip Caveney.
  • Knysna in film & video, an historical record of Knysna presented by Erick & Louise Fourie.


  • Woodcutter Locations in the Southern Cape, an illustrated talk by Philip Caveney
  • Forgotten First People –the  Southern Cape Hessequa, a talk by Professor Mike de Jongh
  • Bibbey’s Hoek and the Millwood Goldfields  an outing led by Allen Duff and Philip Caveney
  • Sea Rescue at Knysna, a talk by Lorraine Stainer and Jerome Simonis (NSRI)
  • Thesen Houses of Knysna, an illustrated talk by Philip Caveney
  • Family history and some early Knysna Drifters by Dennis & Martha Woolard.
  • Virtual tour of Knysna presented by Cathie Garner


  • Stone Age Man in Knysna, an illustrated talk by Roger Murray
  • Noetzie, an illustrated  talk by Chris Everett
  • SANParks – Launch of the Rooted in Time tour at Ysterhoutrugpad.
  • Choo-Tjoe, Outeniqua, an illustrated  talk by Allen Duff on the revival of the rail line.
  • Seven Passes Road between George & Knysna, an illustrated talk by Murray Douglas


  • Knysna Heads talk , a slide show and talk by David Wightman, author of the book Heads and Tales, 50 years: 1945-1995.
  • Karatara, history of the village, an illustrated presentation by Philip Caveney.
  • Pre-Passes Road, an illustrated presentation by Murray Douglas.
  • South Western Railway, an outing to Bracken Hill led by Allen Duff
  • Cape foresters 1881 – 1899, de Vasselot and his team, an illustrated talk by Philip Caveney
  • Concrete Bridge, a centenary commemoration of the bridge led by Murray Douglas.
  • Knysna old town, Government wharf and Belvidere, an outing led by Allen Duff, Lorraine Stainer & Philip Caveney.
  • Knysna’s Heritage Homes, an illustrated talk by Philip Caveney


  • Knysna River, the saga of crossing this river, by Murray Douglas
  • Robert Hart, a character of Knysna, by Philip Caveney
  • George Duthie of Brenton and his family – The history of her life at Brenton and the building of the RN Fairmile Motor Launches during WWII, by the late Mary van Eeden (daughter of George and Lucy Duthie)
  • Western farming areas of Knysna, an all-day outing to these farming areas including Goukamma, Ruigtevlei, Karatara and Zwart-Rivier (Eastbrook) led by Allen Duff & Philip Caveney


  • Rexford House, an outing to this historical home, The Crags
  • Belvidere, a talk by the late Lexie Elliott, a veteran of Belvidere
  • Ganzvlei Farm, a visit to the home of the late David Metelerkamp, Goukamma.
  • John FV Phillips, a talk about his time in the Knysna Forest, by Philip Caveney
  • Heritage Day celebrations, 2012. A Heritage Day talk on the founding of the Millwood House Museum by Margaret Parkes
  • Bracken Hill, De Poort and Fisanthoek, an all-day outing with talks by Philip Caveney, Margaret Parkes and Lorraine Stainer


  • Belvidere Church,  a presentation & tour led by Henry Barrington, Lorraine Stainer and Margaret Parkes.
  • Turbine Hotel, a tour led by owner Geoff Engel and architect Mike Louw.
  • Friends of the Choo –Tjoe, a presentation by Fraser Howell
  • Woodcutter memories,  a Bring & Braai evening and talk by Dalena Wolmarans
  • William John Burchell, a presentation by Prof. Stan Caveney.
  • Heritage Day celebrations, a Heritage Building walk, Market Hall talk and
  • viewing of Council Chambers and Committee Rooms followed by  & Bring & Braai.
  • Deep Walls An all-day outing, presentations by Philip Caveney, Dave Reynell (retired forester) and Melaney Barrath SANParks.



Terblanche Family, a talk by Phyllis Terblance.



George Rex, a talk given by the late Vicky Williams.