Blue Gill Village:- The History of the Farm - Blue Gill Waters

The Developer of Blue Gill Village, being the firm NBS Developments (Pty) Ltd., bought the working farm from Mr. & Mrs. Canin during the 80’s. the farm was then known as Blue Gill Waters Nursery, as Mrs. Canin a horticulturist and well known landscape architect., operated a nursery from the premises. Mr. Canin farmed the Estate as a going concern, having divided the ± 110 HA property into ± 8 camps, or feedlots, on which he fattened cattle for the abattoir. Mr. Canin also had a factory in Spartan, manufacturing wooden products. The entire Estate was irrigated by means of a huge pump, situated at the dam from where the entire Estate could be irrigated. The dam water was pristine and clear of all impediments as it was fed by a spring, originating near the current Avion Park. Blue Kurper were abundant in this clear water, hence the name Blue Gill.

The Canin’s had three children, two of which emigrated to the USA and are practicing in the Central Florida area one as a Town Planner and the other a Marine Biologist, with the youngest, Harold, in charge of the factory in Spartan.

Mrs. Canin, amongst other projects, established on Blue Gill a medical clinic for farm workers in the area. This facility, which had a thatch roof, was struck by lightning after they left the farm and was burnt down to the ground. The plaque, displayed in the current Clubhouse, is all that remains of this facility.

Mrs. Canin was also instrumental in establishing a school for farm workers children on the adjoining farm where Glen Erasmia was subsequently developed. This was a private school, funded by the family and friends. The first pupil to enter this school was eventually appointed as its first official Head Mistress, after the Government took over the running of the school as a going concern.

The current Clubhouse was the main residence and it is interesting to note that the roof shingles were imported from Canada by Mr. Canin, and all internal woodwork (ceilings etc.) from Sweden.

The story of Haroldene, the hippo who traveled from Loskop Dam in Mpumalanga to Blue Gill is well documented and its story is told elsewhere on the web-site.

NBS Developments (Pty) Ltd., bought the farmland from Mr. Canin and the contents of the nursery from Mrs. Canin.

The White Stinkwood trees from the nursery were planted in the road reserves of Cormorant Drive and the remainder of the trees elsewhere on the Estate.

The Development

In designing the Village, the developer endeavoured to create a “Life cycle” Estate – for young and old, from apartments to clusters to family homes, from young newly weds to established families all living together in harmony, hence the marketing slogan “Perfect Harmony for the Privileged Few”.

The entrance (guardhouse) was built as well as the perimeter wall and a Homeowners Association established to manage the affairs of the community.

During these years (1990 – 1994) crime was not an issue and the perimeter fence was not electrified.

Homeowners Association

The Homeowners Association was established on 21st of October, 1991. The first Directors appointed were: Messrs. D.B. Basson, J.A. Pelser, D.J. van der Merwe, T.M.van der Merwe, J.A. van Eck, D.G. Gorven, C.J. Mountford.

The following year (1992) the first residents were elected as Directors and they were Messrs. A. Harrison, A. van Heerden and E. van der Merwe.

During the years 1993 – 1996 the Developers gradually withdrew from the Board of Directors and in 1996 the entire Board of Directors were elected at the AGM.

Facilities

During 1994 it became clear that the wall was no longer effective as a barrier to illegal entry and house breaking. Regular, consistent patrols by the service provider and selected residents could no longer guarantee the safety of the residents. At any one time up to 40 houses were under construction and control of access and egress became extremely difficult. Thus, the Chairman of the Security Committee (1994)

Mr. Quinten Lindeman of Cormorant Clusters tabled a proposal to have the entire perimeter wall electrified. The monthly levy was only R50 per household at the time and to raise the capital for this purpose a “Special Lvey” of R100 became payable. Since then the fence has been upgraded as well as the gate controls.

During the years, various requests for facilities were entertained by the Directors and the requests accommodated at suitable spots.

A volley ball court was built for the youngstersA BMX track was constructed and maintained by the users. However, when the participants and committee members left school, this fell apart.Braai facilities were built at the dam’s edge, and the old pump house was renovated and expanded to provide cover against the elements.A Fishing and Wildlife Club was established, primarily to control fishing in the upper dam and protect the lower dam which was, and still is a bird sanctuary officially recognized as such by the Bird Life organization.Arbour Day was and still is celebrated yearly and in 1998, trees were planted along Veld Street, with the tree of the year, the Boerboon, being supplied by the then Kempton Park Municipality – Parks Department.Later on it became necessary to install stop streets and traffic calming devices.At the request of golfers in the community, special Blue Gill golf shirts were designed and manufactured to be worn by all and sundry who were proud to wear these garments as residents of Blue Gill.A Library, with full time Librarian Maureen Fourie, was established and situated in the Clubhouse.A Senior Citizens tea was established by the energetic Val McLeod and the club is still going strong after many years. Val also started a Book Club and monthly meetings are held.

Historical Facts

  • The original, levy was R50 per household.
  • The average selling price of a 1000m² stand was R62,000
  • The last stand sold fetched R1,000,000.

With the development of adjoining suburbs the water quality to the dam deteriorated and silt was deposited. The entire top dam was de-silted in the 90’s, the dam wall strengthened and the island, built by the Developers as a bird breeding facility, enlarged.More than 60% of the wall between Blue Gill and Glen Erasmia was washed away during a 1 in 100 year storm in the 90’s at the time that services were installed at

Glen Erasmia and this wall had to be rebuilt by Blue Gill, strengthened and re-equipped with electric fence. Whilst repair work was done on this fence the entire 200m stretch had to be physically guarded by security and residents alike.It is envisaged that specific water reeds will be introduced into the top dam to assist with the filtration and improvement of the water quality.

The first child born on the Estate was Danie Basson, who turned 21 in March 2009. He is the son of Neil and Bessie Basson who reside at 12 Goshawk Lane, Neil is a Director of the H.O.A.