HISTORY OF THE KEURBOOM PARK ASSOCIATION

In mid 2003, Peter King read a book called "Bringing Nature Back to Your Garden" wherein the authors noted that "it will be difficult to find too many of these trees there amongst the host of exotics". In fact, at that time there were no Keurbooms in Keurboom Park. About the same time, a former Mayor of Cape Town invited residents to write in with ideas for improvements within the City. Peter wrote in pointing out the absence of Keurboom Trees in Keurboom Park.

In September 2003, the local office of City Parks contacted Peter to indicate that they would plant 12 Keurboom Trees on Arbour Day. These together with one donated by Peter were ceremonially planted by school children and Councillor Ian Iversen.

Peter had agreed to look after the trees. Initially the water had to be carried in a bucket from the toilet block. The planting of the first trees elicited a lot of interest from users of the park. Peter contacted the Newlands office of City Parks and persuaded them to supply a number of trees for planting in Arbour week in 2004 again with the promise that we would look after the trees. Peter managed to persuade City Parks to extend the water supply system in the area between the pink path and the river. In Arbour Week 2004, some fifty trees were planted with a large percentage of these being donated by users of the park and the rest supplied by the City.

During Arbour Week 2005, 2006 and 2007 the City supplied trees, supports and tarred twine to support the trees. Numerous donations of trees and money to buy trees helped swell the number of trees planted to over 200.

With a change in the Ward boundaries, Alderman Owen Kinahan took over from Ian Iversen as our Ward Councillor. It was suggested that a Friends Organisation be formed to act as a contact between the users of the park and the City Council.

While working with the trees Peter met Justine Thornton and others and together they started the preparations to hold the introductory meeting held on 27th November 2008. Here Alderman Owen Kinahan explained the purpose of forming a Friends Organisation. An Interim Committee consisting of Peter King (Chairman), Roy Andrew, Suzie Brownlie, Liz McDaid, Rina Nel and Justine Thornton was formed. During their term they drew up a Constitution, opened a bank account and developed a plan of action for improving the park.

The Inaugural Meeting of the Keurboom Park Association was held on 21st May 2009 where the Constitution was adopted by the attendees of the meeting. The Interim Committee was re-elected with Peter King as Chairman and Justine Thornton as Treasurer. Committee meetings were held during the next 12 months.

The current committee consists of Justine Thornton, Roy Andrew, Angela Jacobs, Hannelore van Ryneveld and Philip Flockton.