Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News

RN 293 - Madelaine Senekal brings the local children from the church for a day of steam

14th December 2006

Madelaine Senekal, her husband Jan and their two sons brought their church group of 70 underprivileged children to Sandstone to enjoy a day of steam! Madelaine's thank you letter explains it all!

Dear Mr. Mole,

From myself, Jan , our two boys and 70 other children we would like to thank you very much for the wonderful opportunity to visit Sandstone Estates on 4/11/06. I think it was better than the children's wildest dreams, definitely not what they had in mind at all.

There was a little boy that went to the reverant and said:
"Sir I have a train too, but only a toy one, but today I am very glad I could have a ride in a real locomotive".

Our youngest Jano, was very excited as we came near to the farm. Some of the children were riding with us in the car. He could not stop telling them about Pandora, Kommandoberg, Drakenstein, the silo's, the oxen, the steam tractors etc, etc.
One little girl said to him, "Jano it looks like you know everything about the farm?" and he proudly answered that of course, this is where I grew up, then he just chatted away telling them with his two eyes so big, remembering everything that he could remember about the farm.

Our church has got an orphange house that we must look after with regards to food, clothes and cleaning materials. Our ladies each get a chance quarterly to give a bithday party for 14 children. 9 of the boys were also at the farm. One little boy who was in our carriage did not say much, he just stood wondering away as the locomotive steamed along. We who have more than enough dont realise everyday how fortunate we are. This little boy is probably not even 10years old, and has ahad so many awful things happen to him in his life. So we could place the little stars back in his eyes, although it was just for the moment.

A small token of appreciation will be delivered to the farm as well as a cd with some pictures on.

For Hester, Gert, Derick and Petrus who organised and handled everything we also want to say thank you.
It was really nice seeing all of you again.

I myself left the farm with tears in my eyes

Thank you very much once again.

Lots of love, Madeleine, Jan, Morne and Jano Senekal
All the happy kids in front of the Waenhuis
Smiling in fron of the Kalahari's tender
Gert Jubileus with Derrik van Zyl in the background on the Kalahari's footplate
While the church group's visit was complimentary (Sandstone Estates hosts many such educational children's groups throughout the year) it is nonetheless good to remind everybody that certain things are "the right thing to do".
The Kalahari off to a steaming start
Hanging out of carriage windows is a great way to pass the afternoon!
Mmm... I'm not too sure about this... will this thing hold?

Tenelle & Lenka Papenfus in front of the Kalahari, with Gert Jubileus and Derrik van Zyl

Enjoying the view