From Anysboegoe To Anysbos

It was Simon the first van der Stel, governor of the Cape, who started it. Combining his name with a forest of yellowwood trees to create a name for the settlement that would become Stellenbosch.

The land we bought near Botrivier had no name. Simply a number. 880. The original name was Avontuur. But there are probably ten Avontuurs in the Western Cape alone. So we had to find a name.

Take leaf out of Simon’s book; Johanbos or Heynsbos. Not really. Johannesbos perhaps. Or Susannasbos. But my wife had serious reservations. And her name is Sue and not Susanna.

Unfortunately, my brother had already taken the name of Gabriel, the first permanent inhabitant and winemaker of the original Avontuur. For his farm without a name.

Gabriel had a partner, Nicolaas Swart, and, in hindsight, I should have thought of that possibility. Nicolaasbos has a bit of a ring to it.

My daughter gave me John Manning’s guide to Fynbos with thousands of names of plants and flowers of our floral kingdom.

I was looking for something that grows on our side of the mountain, starts with an A and has three syllables. On page 189 of Manning’s guide, I found it. Anysboegoe. Now as you can see: Boegoe and Stel do not work but Stel and Bos do. Anysboegoe can not be the name of a farm.

But Anysbos can, and is.

Written by Johan Heyns