For five months of last year Vergelegen, like many other establishments, was forced to close their restaurants.
However, Vergelegen, in Somerset West, decided to keep their kitchen staff at work and continue to produce food – but for the truly hungry.
During this time they prepared approximately 29 000 meals – every one of which was picked up by the Rotary Club of Somerset West and delivered to one or two chosen points, where responsible members of the various communities would take delivery and carry the food to the needy.
All in all, members of this club passed through the Vergelegen gates just over 500 times… and drove almost the equivalent of a trip to Windhoek and back. Over this period not a single delivery was missed.
However, the real hero in this show of Ubuntu was Vergelegen, and the club decided to present them with a framed certificate, signed by all the members of the delivery team.
And so, on Friday March 12, Michael Johnson and Bryan Butler met with Sharon Hosking to hand over the frame, and the Rotarians were met with scrumptious scones with cream and jams and steaming cups of cappuccino, and were joined by Sharon, the manager responsible for hospitality and HR, and taken to the kitchen to meet the staff.
Afterwards they were whisked off in Sharon’s Jeep for a tour of the upper areas of Vergelegen – as high as the top dam. It was an opportunity to see just how much Vergelegen has done since the devastating fires of 2008 which burnt not only the indigenous shrub but all the aliens as well.
The estate decided to let only the indigenous plants regenerate and to this day, they still have teams in the fields, with specially-designed machettes, cutting back and removing any sign of alien growth.
Sharon, who has worked at Vergelegen for 15 years, shared her extensive knowledge of the estate, and also showed the Rotarians the new vegetable garden where produce is grown for the restaurants, but with substantial excess for use by the less fortunate.