Tuesday, 16 May 2017



Art # 252


A belated one penguin

Text by Stefan Rust
Photos by Astrid Mendel, Diemo Jaenchen, Frank Fischer und Stefan Rust

(In terms of the Geneva Convention the copyright of these texts belongs to Stefan Rust)

Impressed by the bird life around Conny’s Restaurant, on the road that goes past Klein Aub, BirdsConTour decided to reward the owner Conny (Catherine van Heerden) for her support in bird conservation in her periphery.

                                                        Conny (Catherine van Heerden)       Diemo Jaenchen

With the last lunch stopover at Conny’s restaurant on the 2nd of March, Conny told the guests about her life. Oversea guests were always fascinated of hearing about people’s life living in such solitude. Originally she and her husband started this business as a fish & chips shop in 1978. It then developed into a general dealer, the only one in the area, and in 1987, after the copper mine in Klein Aub closed down, the general dealer couldn’t survive. What well survived until today is the restaurant. Even after her husband passed away, Conny continued with serving homemade meals, cookies and a cup of tea or coffee to travelers, because that is what she promised her husband.

                             Stefan Rust                                              Frank Fischer

After telling her history, she pointed to the ceiling of the veranda, where a pair of Speckled Pigeon had their nest with chicks and said: “Those pigeons are my pets”. She said that she cares for the birds around her restaurant because she enjoys watching and listening to them. The guests were impressed and took photos of the pigeon chicks.
Just when BirdsConTour kicked off with another group of guests down to Sossusvlei, intending to stop over for lunch at Conny’s and rewarding her with a one penguin-rated Bird & Birder friendly Award, sad news reached that Conny died in a car crash.

                                         Astrid Mendel

Her daughter will take over the Conny’s Restaurant and BirdsConTour handed over Conny’s Bird & Birder Friendly Award to her to preserve the memory of Conny’s efforts in bird conservation.

Bird & Birder Friendly Award is a sub-project of the BirdsConTour Aiding Wings program. Conny (Catherine van Heerden) is listed in the electronic Birds in Words newsletter (www.birdscontour.blogspot.com) article 71. 

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