Cove Rock Country Estate
Cove Rock Country Estate Grapevine October 2011 - Number 016
“The Cove Rock Grapevine” is a newsletter for residents of Cove Rock Country Estate. It is published every month and your input is welcomed.
The aim of the newsletter is to: * Inform residents of happenings around the estate * Share advice and general information * Talk
about wonder of the environment we live in * Get to know fellow residents through residents profiles – a resident will be featured
in each edition.
If you have some input or would like the newsletter emailed to other residents or family, simply send an email to Werner Illgner at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 083 6020296 / 043 736 8980/011 787 2953. Website: http://coverock.pbworks.com
Know your neighbour
Cove Rockians – Through and Through
Well-known residents, Tony and Dawn White built
their home at 33 Coral Crescent way back in 1998.
Their decision to join the then small Cove Rock
Country Estate was based on Tony having spent
many happy holidays on the nearby Fothergill‘s farm.
Dawn, too, comes from an old East London family,
the Goldschmidts, so she also experienced the magic
of Cove Rock when she first met Tony.
Tony went to Selborne College and stayed at the
hostel. His grandparents lived in East London. His
mother had worked at Selborne College during the
war and this influenced his parents to send him to
Selborne. Tony matriculated at Selborne and was
very active in all forms of sport at school.
After school he joined Whiting and Griffin as an
articled clerk and qualified as a CTA. During this
time he met Dawn at a Church Youth guild dance
and they married in 1965. Dawn worked as a
secretary, firstly at the EL Board of Executors and
then at CDA. Tony then joined the Southern
Building Society which, over time, transitioned to
become part of the giant ABSA.
Tony and his brother, sister and, we believe , Nevelyn
Van der Walt (Fothergill), bathing in the Kalashe.
There were many moves between Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth over the years for Tony and Dawn.
During this time Tony served as Branch Manager in Randburg, Sandton and Port Elizabeth.
Of course the couple were not idle and produced three sons – Gary who lives in America and was active in
the IT industry; Jody who is Deputy Headmaster at a private school in Johannesburg, while their youngest
son Brad, an ex-provincial and professional cricketer, is now a cricket coach and umpire based in
Tony himself is a talented sportsman, having played cricket and hockey at provincial level and first league
rugby and tennis. Today golf is his passion.
Dawn was no slouch at sports either and played provincial hockey. In fact, her father played rugby and
soccer and on one occasion represented Border in both sports on the same day. Dawn is also a keen golfer.
Tony and Dawn were President of the West Bank Golf Club women‘s and men‘s sections respectively at the
same time. Dawn also enjoys playing bridge.
The Whites love Chinese food but don‘t entertain as much as they used to. Of course a delight for them is
the frequent visits of their children and grandchildren.
Tony maintains that living at Cove Rock is like being on a permanent holiday with their actual holidays
being spent either visiting their children in the USA or Johannesburg.
Tony has served as one of our Estate‘s two Executive Managers for some ten years, focusing on the
financial management side.
As a family the Whites have such a long association with Cove Rock that they have even identified a certain
rock and pools as being family favourites.
They like the fact that children are safe to play on the Estate and love being close to nature. If he could
change anything, Tony would upgrade the fence to make it more substantial – but admits that this would
cost many millions.
Tony believes that ―the way you treat people is the way they will treat you‖. He admits that he is prone to
―call a spade a spade‖ and he sometimes gets carried away, but he does not mean any harm.
A thoroughly nice and talented couple – the Whites.
All about our environment
The Cape Bulbul, Pycnonotus capensis, is a member
of the bulbul family of passerine birds. It is an
endemic resident breeder in coastal bush, open forest,
gardens and fynbos in southern South Africa.
This species nests mainly in the southern spring from
August to November. The nest is built solely by the
female in about 2-10 days, while the male watches
intently. It consists of a sturdy but messy cup built of
twigs, grass stems and rootlets, built on a foundation
of larger twigs and lined with finer planter material. It
is typically placed on a horizontal branch near the
edge of a bush's or tree's foliage.
Egg-laying season is from August to March, peaking from September to November. It lays 2-5 eggs, which
are incubated solely by the female for about 11-13.5 days. It leaves the nest about 20-40 times a day to go
foraging – in fact, it only spends about 60% of the day incubating.
For the first few days the chicks are mainly fed arthropods, but thereafter fruit dominates their diet. Both
parents feed the chicks, who leave the nest before they can fly, at about 10-13 days old.
They fledge a few days after leaving the nest, but remain dependent on their parents for food for at least
two weeks more after leaving. They eventually become fully independent at about 50 days old, at which
point they start to sing and call.
The Cape Bulbul is 19–21 cm long, mainly dull, blackish brown with a
diagnostic white eye-ring, and yellow undertail coverts. The head has a
small crest. The short, straight bill, legs and feet are black and the iris is
dark brown. The sexes are similar in plumage.
This species is much darker than the other South African bulbuls, and
differs in the eye ring colour and brown lower belly, whereas the other
dark bulbuls have a pale lower belly. The dark belly helps to identify
juveniles, which lack the distinctive eye ring of the adult.
The Cape Bulbul is a common and conspicuous bird, which tends to perch at the top of a bush. It is active
and noisy, usually seen in pairs or small groups foraging for fruit, nectar and insects.
The most typical call of this species is a liquid whistle of two or more varied notes pit-peet-pitmajol, piet-
In part of its range, it gets parasitized by the Jacobin cuckoo.
For your Information
Harpephyllum caffrum (Known locally as the umGwenya tree)
Family: Anacardiaceae (mango family)
Common names: wild plum (Eng.); wildepruim (Afr.); umGwenya (Zulu, Xhosa); Mothekele (Northern
Sotho) South African Tree No.: 361
This is an attractive evergreen tree that is useful as an
ornamental garden tree and for attracting birds and
butterflies into the garden. It is popularly planted as a
street tree in a number of South African towns and cities.
With its thick crown and somewhat drooping leaves, the
wild plum is a good shade tree in the garden.
The wild plum is a large, evergreen tree that grows up to
15 m tall, and is usually found in riverine forests. The main
stem is clean and straight, but the forest form often has
supporting buttress roots. The bark is smooth when young,
becoming rough, dark grey-brown as it grows older.
Branches are curved bowed upwards, with leaves crowded towards the ends, forming a thick crown at the
top of the tree. The shiny dark green and glossy leaves are pinnate with sickle-shaped leaflets, and are
sometimes interspersed with the odd red leaves. The whitish green flowers are borne near the ends of the
branches with male and female flowers on separate trees, throughout summer (November to February).
The tasty plum-like fruits first appear green and then turn red when they ripen in autumn; they contain a
single seed and are enjoyed by people, mammals and birds.
The wild plum may be confused with the Cape ash (Ekebergia capensis) but is distinguishable by its sickle-
shaped leaflets and the leaves that are crowded towards the end of the branches.
The Harpephyllum caffrum grows from the Eastern Cape
northwards through KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, southern
Mozambique, Limpopo and into Zimbabwe. This is a
popular tree in frost-free areas.
Derivation of name and historical aspects
The generic name Harpephyllum is of Greek derivation,
meaning sickle-like leaves, referring to the shape of the
falcate leaflets. The specific name caffrum is derived from
its place of origin, Kaffraria, now part of Eastern Cape.
This word also means 'indigenous'.
H. caffrum belongs to the Anacardiaceae (mango family), which is the fourth largest tree family in southern
Africa, boasting approximately 80 tree species and many shrubs. Commercially grown members of the
family include mango (Mangifera indica), cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale), and pistachio nut (Pistacia
vera). Locally, the fruit of wild plum and marula (Sclerocarya birrea) are well utilized and the latter is well
commercialized. Some species that belong to this family are considered to be toxic, for example the
rainbow leaf (Smodingium argutum).
Uses and cultural aspects
The fruit of H. caffrum is widely utilized by birds, animals, insects and humans. They are commonly used
for making jams and jellies. With their sour taste, they are also good to make rosé wine. The tree has some