Volume 5, Acknowledgements

In some cases acknowledgement has already been made in respect of some of the populations discussed in these chapters.  New acknowledgements are Mr. Artho Saayman of Platkop, Mr. and Mrs. Wilhelm Zietsman of Kruis Rivier, Mr and Mrs. Coetzee Uys of Morning Star, Messrs Chris and Pieter van Deventer of Kransriviermond, Johan Groenewald of Buffeljags, Clive and Duprecia Stramrood of Kadies Landing, the Uys brothers  of Sandfontein and Meerlus, the Steenkamps of Appelbos,  Annatjie and Jaap Viljoen of Swellendam, Hector Odendaal of Dankbaar, Ryno Stander of KomseRandte, Tineke Kraaij and Carli Venter of Bontebok National Park, Anne Lise Vlok and Rhet Hisemann of W Cape Nature Conservation Board, Stiaan Conradie of Lower Breede Conservancy.  Others such as to Mr. and Mrs. Anna and Arno Steenkamp of Anna’s Farm (Oudekraalkop) for their generosity and hospitality, Mr. and Mrs. Hennie van Deventer of Koppies, Mr. Dirk Papendorp of Voorstekop and Uitvlugt,  Mr.  Uys Willemse of Goedverwagting, need repeating.  We are most grateful to Dr. Paul Taylor for an albeit failed excursion to the west bank of the Duiwenhoks River and similarly to Nico DeJager of Victoriasdale for an interesting but fruitless search of the Wankoe Randte and a little more success on Klipheuwel, Mr. H. Eksteen of Grootkloof and Mr.  M. Dippenaar of Diptka for so kindly allowing us access to their properties.  There are many other landowners and people we contacted with less significance in respect of places actually visited or in terms of plants found but no less in respect of  the universal kindness and helpfulness of landowners.

There are many other peripheral and significant contributions from people (not necessarily agreeing with what I say nor how) such as Prof. Richard Cowling, Dr. Syd Rhamdani, Diederik van den Abbeele and even people who have no connection to Haworthia, but who share the same passion for nature and for plants … Mrs. Hettie Conradie of Worcester who makes us feel as though it is we who own her home and Mrs. Anso LeRoux who may both be housewives, but biologists by nature.  Gordon Rowley has demonstrated the value of humour in a field where there seems naught else to do but tear hair out.  Etwin Aslander in his quiet and effective way has been a great friend.

Then there is Gerhard Marx, whose dogged refusal to blindly accept anything at face value, has been most helpful in so many respects.  Kobus Venter has always been a great friend and mentor in relation to the ways of the world and I am extraordinarily grateful for his unwavering support and kinship.  He and Mirna, in graciously allowing us the use of their holiday home at Stilbaai facilitated this work.  Steven Hammer has been another remarkable personage in my life and I am most grateful for him being the sensitive, perceptive, empathic and remarkable man he is.

Lastly where I have used the term “we” I have included my wife, Daphne.  This is actually with great reluctance because anything to do with taxonomy and nomenclature brings with it a cloud of derogation and negativity – what to say of the negative attitudes that surround the word “collection”.  It seems that in past civilizations there was great respect for nature and many of the rites and rituals were an appeasement to nature for the benefits she bestowed in terms of what she provided in the way of food, clothes and shelter – the basic needs of man.  Daphne has provided me with the trust and support of a true companion and I regard her very dearly.  There is no need for her to remind me, as she seldom does, that few other housewives would traipse so blithely and happily through the wilderness with someone who does not seem to know where he is going or what he is doing next.

I feel a need to explain again that I became a taxonomist by default where there are also systematists and nomenclaturalists and I would not wish to be any of these.  We as individuals are all inclined to make bold and general statements based only on what we know and ignore the very much greater body that we do not know at all.  I would say that it is depressingly sad that information is processed and distributed as knowledge often from a very limited experience and limited data base.  After 45 years of this I actually am painfully aware that there is still a lot that I do not know about.  I make no apologies for a revision that is precisely the sort of product that comes from constant testing of a hypothesis.  I take it very remiss of a publisher that did not honour the integral part of a contract to further research and validate the work.  I am extremely grateful to Harry Mays for publishing a vast series of articles that were originally intended for a home based publication but mindlessly lost in a mire of conflicting interests.