Saturday midday on 6th December 2014, saw the Mountain Club members, friends and families started to make their way up through Vergelegen Farm past the snake trap and up the very well-constructed road towards the parking area on the foot of Hottentots Holland Mountain with tempera-tures in the mid-thirties.
We started our day with a dip in the freezing water of the famous pool and then settled into getting ready for the very informal official AGM of the Hottentots Holland Mountain section of the Mountain Club of South Africa (about 30-40 people).
Before we knew it proceedings were over and there was reminiscing about bygone years from when the hut was built, when it was opened and the adventures that were had in-between. It seemed that only Mrs. Wilson and I (with late parents Joe and Betty Rowswell) were relics from when it all began.
The movie that Heather Kok (my cousin and daughter of Jim Imrie, who took most of the footage) gave me was transferred from the 8mm video camera to DVD which was admired by all during the afternoon. The braais were lit, the Batavian theme took gear, the bratwurst and bagels were supplied and the music started which was very appropriate for everyone’s enjoyment which created a relaxing festive atmosphere.
Some could not stay but the “brave hearts” did it again. There was a beautiful sunset over the bay which many admired. Then the serious stuff started when sleeping spots were allocated….
I warned all about my snoring, so some found it safer to bare out the elements of a hectic gale force gusty wind (76km/hr was measured at our weather station at Vergelegen and only 31km/hr near Helderberg College). It must have been a katabatic wind off the mountain.
Those lucky enough who were up during the early hours of the morning had the pleasure to witness the beautiful bight full moon over the Helderberg, the wind had completely died down and provided the campers with a calm and stunning morning.
As people got up, some went for a walk, some took a dip in the pool to wake. Then it was time to clear up, pack up and trek back with braai drums and all.
It was a memorable occasion to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Johnson hut with others that treasure the history and those that will pro-tect it for future genera-tions. It was truly a mile-stone to remembered.
By Dudley Rowswell
Edited and compiled by Priscilla Rowswell
Johnson Hut_50_06Dec2014 (pdf, 1.52 Mb)