For the love of Loeriehof! Friends since Sub A in Knysna Primary School, Werner Lombard and Jaco Mells hope to walk to Uniondale on a Fiela's Crossing three-day trip in an effort to raise money and awareness for the plight of Loeriehof. (Photo: Tanya Lombard.)
KNYSNA NEWS - Some friendships seem to last only a season and others a lifetime.
Craftsman Jaco Mells (41) of Custom Designs and tour guide Werner Lombard (40) of Kontours, who met in Sub A (in 1977) and have been chums ever since, are two friends on a mission they have aptly dubbed Fiela's Crossing!
At 07:00 on Friday, April 5, these two daring individuals are taking off on a brisk three-day, 90km walk from Knysna to Uniondale in order to raise money and awareness for Loeriehof Old-Age Home. It is the exact route one of Dalene Matthee's most famous characters, Fiela of Fiela se Kind, had walked.
"We share a passion for our elderly citizens, but especially Loeriehof," explains Mells. "My dad Piet Mells, who passed away in 2007 was a masters craftsman and he had done all the panelling in Loeriehof. When they had flood damage a couple of years ago, I basically had to take down some of my father's work and redo the whole entrance. It reminded me with much fondness of the wonderful and hardworking man he used to be and that will always be my link to Loeriehof. We were going to walk to Uniondale some time for the fun anyway, but then the idea came to me to do it for a cause that both of us really cared deeply about."
Lombard's grandmother, Phillipina Kotze is also a current resident of Loeriehof. Mells and Lombard go on hikes together for the love of nature and are proud of the fact that they are expert packers, who even managed to take steak along on a one-day Kranshoek-trip last year.
"Sitting around in the evening at the fire, the other campers couldn't believe what we pulled out of our bags," chuckles Lombard.
The team will leave from Loeriehof early on their first day and then cover their first 27km to the overnight hut at Diepwalle. From there they will follow the plantation road over the Prince Alfred Pass to De Vlugt, a distance of 35kms, where they will overnight at the Outenique Trout Farm. On their last day they hope to cover the remaining 28kms to reach the DR Church of Uniondale by 15:00 to be picked up.
"Fiela may have walked to Uniondale and back, but we think one way is enough!" grins Mells.
"We want to say a big thank you to everyone who has already donated money, especially Claudia Pirker of Treasures4U for sponsoring our warm tops, Outenique Trout Farm for letting us stay in their hut, as well as Attie Kriek of Village Pharmacy for providing us with a medical kit. Much appreciated guys!"
Rina Snyman and all the staff and residents of Loeriehof applaud the men for their caring and effort.
Anyone wishing to make a donation or to sponsor them for each kilometre covered, are welcome to contact either Jaco Mells on 071 267 8497 or Werner Lombard on 082 569 8997 to support a great cause!