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Rosy wishes to salute
Paul & Cathy du Toit
Their drive & passion for life has set new standards, & inspired many. Their community service will grow blossoms in a dessert of inertia - some people just march to their own drumbeat & make a difference !


Our very own and much loved "celebrity" couple

"We are a match made in heaven," says Cathy du Toit and hubby Paul nods in agreement. The winsome du Toit couple met in 1977 when Paul was a restaurant manager for a KWV project, Kleinplasie Wijnhuis in Worcester. Here Cathy worked as waitress and after starting to date Paul, "I went up the ladder quickly," she smiles knowingly.

This was during the days when stringent alcohol laws were enforced and the bookkeeping system had to detail every bottle in stock, sold as well as a broken bottles!

They were married in 1977 and moved to Phalaborwa in 1979 where Paul was appointed Sport Club Manager at Hans Merensky Country Club.

Paul has a passion for food and 3 years at Hotel School
attests to this, but his true passion is sport.

"He was awarded Springbok colours in swimming on two occasions," and also received the South African Sportsman of Year award three times," shares a proud Cathy.

During their stay in Phalaborwa, Cathy pursued one of her passions, horse riding. Riding through the bush , (Phalaborwa borders the Kruger National Park ), and following warthogs on horseback was a huge favourite.

They then relocated to Bloemfontein where they took over a family confectionary and catering business and later a steak house. The business proved to be extremely time consuming and they decided to move to Malelane in order to spend more time with their small children, Ulla and Johannes.

"Malelane was a beautiful, tropical paradise," reminisces Cathy, "I planted over 3,000 trees during our stay there on the club grounds. "Everything you put into the soil would grow," adds Paul.

It was at the Malelane Country Club that Paul lived out his passion for organising events and says: "We organised and held the banana and sugar festivals for more than a 1,000 people and these festivals were fantastic!"
Cathy was the restaurant manager at the time.

They enjoyed magnificent wildlife sightings from their stoep at the club which bordered the Kruger National Park. The Olifant's River was the border and many elephant and hippo were observed from here.  The elephants and hippo's crossing into the sugar cane fields was of course a huge problem that the farmers had to contend with.

Sixteen years ago Paul received an offer they could not refuse, the position of Parks and
Recreation Manager in Botswana.

They spent the next 5 years living and working in Jwaneng, "place of diamonds." Paul explains: "Each diamond has its own pipe signature, almost like a fingerprint." Paul worked for De Beers Botswana and Cathy for the
government as computer lecturer at the Jwaneng Vocational Training Centre. In fact, she wrote all the computer training manuals for the Botswana VTC's.
She loved teaching the students as they were like sponges, "so keen to learn." It was a priveledge for us to work and live there. " Botswana is a beautiful country with wonderful people. South Africa has much to learn from her. "

"Paul had a vision about moving to Hermanus," explains Cathy. "I had to come to South Africa to see my daughter Ulla and a series of events conspired which led to Paul following me soon after and us moving to Hermanus".

Cathy went on to work in Worcester in order to be closer to their daughter, and Paul and Johannes lived in Hermanus. "We worked hard in order to survive," says Paul and they ate perlemoen and crayfish just about every day
during the season as he went diving for their food.

During this time, Paul researched all aspects of opening the Wine Village. Being the thorough organiser we have come to know and love, this process took him just under one year! During this time he also did voluntary work
 or the Cape Town Olympic Bid Committee.

"The Farm Stall was the first store to open their doors nine years ago and we followed suit in 1998," says Cathy. "We started from very small beginnings, but the business has grown and exceeded our wildest expectations."

The Wine Village is host to the annual Hermanus Wine and Food Fair. "It is a registered name and our fair has an amazing atmosphere," tells Cathy.

After each fair Cathy says to herself: "Never again, you know how you feel after you had just given birth, never again!" And not a month has passed and she starts planning for the following year.
In the first year Cathy gave stalls away for free to fill up the tent, but subsequently it has become so
popular that people are now clamoring for a stall and the selection process is extremely stringent.
The Hermanus Wine & Food Fair has been described
as one of the best 10 wine shows in south Africa. " Together with the accolade as being of the best wine shops in South Africa. "

"We compliment one another, as we understand each other so well," smiles Cathy. Our dediation and passion for service is our motto.

They are a perfect team and Cathy is more focused on the day to day running of the Wine Village whereas Paul will focus on sales and the marketing of the Wine Village, and of course Hermanus and the Overstrand. Both always try
and see what they can do to benefit the community.

And benefit the community they have! They share a passion for nature conservation and assisted the Hermanus Botanical Society in many ways.

The Walks on Wheels project that has been the brain child of Margaret Groenewald and with the help of the Wine Village successfully completed, is all due to the efforts of Paul and Cathy. "We support worthy causes as you never know when you might need help one day," explains Cathy.

It is a fact that they are married to their job, and when they are not working or rendering assistance to charitable causes, they can be found exercising another dearly loved pastime, walking in nature and bird watching. "Paul cycles or walks regularly, and for relaxation loves reading
scientific or nature related books." Cathy can be found gardening, playing house or reading!

Their daughter Ursula is a goldsmith in Cape Town and their son Johannes is a computer programming student at the Cape Provincial University of Technical Studies.

"Johannes is a brilliant cyclist and upon arriving in Hermanus we joined the Hermanus Cycle Club," says Paul.

This led to Paul initiating the Hermanus Whale Festival MTB Rides. He explains: "The Provincial Traffic Department cancelled a road cycling race due to some difficulties and I drove up Rotary Way and looked out over the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, thinking to myself, why not race through the valley?
I traced a route and the areas I could not see, I sent Johannes out on his mountain bike to scout for me."

Exactly one week later Paul and Leon Prak of Hermanus Cycles had the entire route planned, right down to the marshalling!

Paul has been instrumental in putting Hermanus on the map with his brilliant marketing approach. Back in 2001 he put together Hermanus Adventure Season, a supplement in "Die Burger." An amazing 50 000 copies were printed. Why did he do this? "May, June and July are our quiet months and I wanted to create some interest." The Hermanus Urban Assault MTB Ride, The Hermanus Hemel en Aarde Mountain Run is but two other events initiated and successfully staged
by the Wine Village.

The Cape Epic coming to our town is yet another example of his marketing genius. He is also the master mind behind the two 'side shows' around the Cape Epic in Hermanus. Meet The Cape Epic MTB Ride and Catch The Cape Epic
Mountain Trail are two unique sporting events to give sports lovers an opportunity to be part of this magnificent happening in Hermanus.

Hermanus salute you both!! You do indeed have a heaven sent partnership!!!
 


Telephone +27 (0)28 316 3988 Fax+27 (0)28 316 3989
Hemel-en-Aarde Village PO Box 465
Hermanus 7200 South Africa
Website:
http://www.wine-village.co.za
e-mail:
wine@hermanus.co.za
 


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