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Rosy wishes to salute
Paul & Cathy du Toit
Their drive & passion for life has set new standards, &
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
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
Paul has a passion for food and 3 years at Hotel
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,"
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The Hermanus Wine & Food Fair has
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
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
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
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!!!
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