Culture, FreeState Style (and Counter-Culture)

At the Harrismith se Hoerskool, we were taught “sang” by Eben, well-known HNP lid of the Harrismith Tak who we thought fancied himself as a singer and ladies man.

HARRISMITH HS TEACHERS 1967 Eben

He tried his best, but we were not an easy task.The RIGHT way was very clear in ou Eben’s mind: Die Volk, Afrikaans, Die Voortrekkers, Die FAK Sangbundel, no “anglisismes” and no Engels. And modern music was the work of the devil. Clearly. No room for doubt.

He announced one day that we would now sing “Heb je al gehoord van den silveren vloot” (which actually wasn’t Afrikaans, being Hoog Hollands, but that was kosher in his world), followed by the pure Afrikaans “Wie is die dapper generaal? DE WET!” and Skottie Meyer sighed audibly: “O, jis, sing ons al weer vir Vokken Vaderland?”

Rugby HY 1972 Skottie

Well!! Despite his protestations that he had said “Volk en Vaderland”, he was despatched by a puce-faced Eben to the headmaster’s office, but he must have forgotten to go all the way because he appeared at the window behind Eben a minute later and proceeded to have us stifling grins the rest of the session.

He has since shuffled off this mortal coil. Actually, they both have.

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