Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Heese Bursary Fund

At the family meeting on Saturday evening, 2 January 2010, family members promised contributions up to R50,000 for this fund. For more detail contact Chris Heese at

Photographs of the Heesefest

Heese family 1909

Daniel and Emma Pauline Heese


Amalienstein cemetry

Heese family festival 1959

Heesefest 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Heesefest 2-4 January 2010

One hundred and twenty three family members and twenty seven children under the age of 10 attended the Heesefest. The oldest family member was Lila Minnie (76) and the youngest member Yana Esterhuyse (16 months). Renate Meyer (Minnie) was the youngest family member at the 1959 family festival and she attended again this year. We also had family who live overseas: Joyce McBryde (Emily Wilson grandchild) from Scotland; Oliver and Willemien Iltisberger (Paul Heese great grandchild) with Lea from Switserland; Derek and Sharon Hulley (Emily Wilson great grandchild) with Tristan and Lena from London; Garth and Helene Robertson (Elizabeth Klonus grandchild) from Australia. Editha Winkler from Leipzig, Germany is a family member of the German Heese family and also attended the Heesefest. One grandchild of Grossvater Daniel is still alive. She is Gerda Leenders-Heese (89) who lives in The Netherlands and could not attend because of poor health.

The Heesefest started with an early visit to the Blombos Museum. Here they could listen to a talk on the archaeology of Stilbaai and the unique contribution of Christoph (CHTD) Heese. Later that morning they could go on a walking tour in the historical harbour area. Grossvater Daniel and his family loved going to Stilbaai and did so from about 1890. The family could also visit the beach cottages Valhalla (Emily Wilson) and Heimfrieden (Christoph Heese). They are still owned by descendants. After the family meeting they could also see the interiors of the two other beach cottages Friedensheim (Julie and Frieda Heese) and Urheim ( Elizabeth Klonus). Lots of nostalgic remarks like “This is exactly as I remember” etc were heard.

Family photographs were taken at the Lapskuit on the river. The biggest group was the descendants of Emily Wilson. We are very glad that descendants of Paula Gerneke and Carl Heese could also attend ( they really should motivate their extended family to send their genealogical information to Hans Heese). After the photo session everybody moved to the Waenhuis for the family meeting and dinner. Frieda Esterhuizen was in charge of the evening’s proceedings and invited the children to take part in a candle ceremony. Every child received a memento based on the cover of the 1959 songbook and created by Hanneli Kupfernagel Smuts. Hans Heese told some amusing and interesting stories about the family , and Chris Heese motivated the family to contribute to a future Heese Bursary fund. February 2 would have been the 173rd birthday of Grossmutter Emma Pauline and Elizabeth Wrede Klonus proposed the toast to her. There was an exhibit of photographs of Grossvater Daniel and Grossmutter Emma Pauline, the family in 1909 and 1959, paintings of the farm in Zeitlitz Poland, and the Abbe Brieul medal Christoph Heese received from the Institut de France for his contributions to the science of archaeology. We also managed to get copies from the German Africana Collection, Unisa Archives of the readers Grossvater compiled for children. The Heese women believed that idle hands inspires the devil and we included many excellent examples of their lovely crocheting, knitting, embroidery and tatting.

The church service was held in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Riversdale on Sunday morning. Pastor Grispe delivered the sermon. Hans Heese talked about the unique contributions of the Heese family to religion, the church in South Africa and about our ethos. A family choir under the musical direction of Pauline Matthee sang Ein fester Burg is unser Gott (Our god is a stronghold) in Afrikaans and German as well as the old song Let us now thank God. Marietjie Pauw, who is a well known professional flautist, accompanied them. The family moved to the cemetery where wreaths were laid on the graves of Grossvater Daniel and Grossmutter Emma Pauline by Kika Heese and Janco Heese. Martin Pauw read from John 11:25-26, did a prayer and read the words of Breit aus die Fluegel beide. This was a song sung by Grossmutter Emma Pauline when one of her children died in her arms. Marietjie Pauw played the melody on the flute.
Breit aus die Fluegel beide
O Jesu meine Freude
und nimm’ dein Kindlein ein
Will Satan mir verschlengen
und lass die Englein singen:
Dies’ Kind soll onverlaetzlich sein
The family also attended the re dedication of the Daniel Heese Hall on the Lutheran Churchgrounds. Pastor Grispe, Tommie Hollis and Chris Heese spoke at the ceremony. Hella Dockel did the last thanks and everybody enjoyed a last meal together.

On Monday morning twelve family members left Stilbaai for Amalienstein. Amalienstein is the place where Grossvater Daniel started his teaching career in South Afrikca, before becoming a minister in the Lutheran Church in Riversdale. Three of their children are buried in the Amalienstein cemetery. Paul Heese’s wife Martha is also buried there. We laid bunches of lovely floribunda roses and dahlias on the graves. We were really sad to see that the iron cross on Georg's grave was damaged and removed (stolen?). Hermanus Fourie, who is a member of the local church council, prayed and then showed us the church interior as well as the building who used to be the first house and later parsonage. Pietro le Roux welcomed us in Ladismith and opened the church so we could visit there. He showed us the pews with he engraved names of the Heese children and one Helmke (Klonus?). Grossvater Daniel’s son, Paul Heese, and his son in law, Carl Gerneke, had been ministers in Ladismith.

The local committee who organized the Heesefest were Hella Dockel, Esther du Preez, Frieda Esterhuizen, Gerhard Klonus, Lynn Kroon,Tommie Hollis and Hans Heese. We received lots of encouragement, good wishes and thanks for our efforts. We do appreciate it a lot, and hope that the young children who attended the Heesefest in Stilbaai, Riversdale and Amalienstein will organise another family festival in 2059.

Thanks a lot! Vielen Dank! Baie dankie!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Daniel Heese

Daniel Friedrich Siegfried Heese was born 12 October 1833 in Lessenthin. He came to South Africa in November 1859 as a teacher and was later ordained as a missionary (pastor) of the Berliner Missionsgesellschaft. He married Emma Pauline Kindermann on 5 May 1861. Daniel Heese died in Riversdale on 10 May 1905