BLOMPARK

Blompark is located in the heart of the Gansbaai Area, surrounded by fynbos vegetation and only a short walk on the gravel road to Romansbaai, traditionally the beach for the people of Blompark. Many of the inhabitants of Blompark are descendants of the earliest residents of the Gansbaai area. Up to 40 years ago, the community now living in Blompark had their traditional home more or less immediately on the doorstep of Romansbaai, next to the old municipal stores, called the “Old Location”. Today the Blompark people call their former home the “Nets Court” to pay tribute to the fishing tradition that was established there.

The “Old Location” stretched in the shape of half a moon down to the ocean. It existed out of about 50 stone and clay houses with thatched roofs. There were walking passages between the houses and in the center of the small community was a lawn with one water tap. There was a small primary school with Justus Smit as the first school principal. In the evenings people gathered on the lawn with their guitars, singing, drinking and telling stories.

The people made a living from the sea with fresh roasted fish and griddle-cake on the table every night. During special occasions chicken would be served. Some of the old fisherwomen who grew up at the “Old Location” described their daily habits as the cleaning and selling of fish. According to them these were good times; the money was little but life was of great value. They said that the fishermen used to go out very early in the morning so that -when leaving shore- they could hear the sound of the chicken in the milkwood trees, announcing the start of a new day.

During the Apartheid rule – the people of the “Old Location” were moved to a new settlement. Their animals were taken away and their houses demolished. A beautiful story told by the old fisherwomen is that during the evenings they would go back and steal their own things back.
The new settlement was known as “Groenewaldskema” (The Scheme of Groenewald). It was named after the building contractor, Hendrik Groenewald, who built the first houses. Hendrik built 15 duplex houses – each accommodating 30 families. These original “Groenewald houses” still exist today.
After a meeting being held by the Municipality and attended by a minority group of residents – the new settlement was changed to “Blompark”. Most of the streets are named after a flower, like for example Roos-, Madeliefie-, Gousblom- and Dahlia Street.
Nowadays the community of Blompark has changed – there are several church denominations; a pre-school facility; the Blompark Primary School has several learners; Silwerjare has been established to look after the old-aged and good sport facilities are available for the community.
Most of the men still make a living from the sea or work at the abalone-farms in the region while many women are employed at the fishmeal factory situated in the old Gansbaai Harbour.

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