I came to South Africa from the UK with my husband Terje in 1967, planning to spend 5 years there until the last nappy was off the line! In those days White River was whispered in hushed tones – rather like Plettenberg Bay, as one of the two most desirable places to be in South Africa. And so after some 30 years in Johannesburg, when searching for a tranquil place to retire, we decided to move to White River. In those early days there really was only one street, but the highlight of a Sunday was to watch cricket being played on the green where Pick n Pay now stands. Sitting in our deck chairs under those wonderful old trees, sipping our beers and wine! We did not know a soul, but that did not matter at all!
We bought some land, planted some Avo trees and sat back to watch them grow. We were told this was armchair farming, but anyone who grows Avos know they are anything but that. Then we ventured into Macadamias- in all we had about 11000 trees, and wondered how two little old people who knew nothing could manage all that!
But that is how we met the wonderful people of White River. Everyone was so helpful, inspiring, innovative, friendly. There is something so special about the community of White River – everyone knows everyone and very soon you become part of the family. Now 22 years have passed and it would be unfair to select the special people who have come into my life, they know who they are – because each and every one has added something magical for which I will be eternally grateful. I dont know of anywhere on earth that is quite like White River. There is a great depth of community spirit, love, innovation, talent, inspiration, commitment, pride, passion….. I could go on, but you too must feel that very special bond that White River has.
Now the wheel has turned again and I find myself in New Zealand – another beautiful country, so different from White River, but the possibilities are there to make new friends and do new things. I still think of White River often though and Facebook keeps me up to date with many of you. Please keep posting!
– Viv Rossaak