Malcolm Cock’s history tour on his 100km walk

While farmer and cancer survivor Malcolm Cock has been undertaking his 100km walk to raise funds for Hospice and commemorate the bicentennial of the arrival of the 1820 Settlers, he has stopped at places of historical significance on the way.

He sent these snippets:

Bathurst Agricultural Show Grounds: On 12th April 1848 a meeting was held, and the Lower Albany Agricultural Society was formed. From 1848 to 1903 were very turbulent years. On 25th August 1903 a public meeting was held, and the Bathurst Agricultural Society was formed, the oldest agricultural society in South Africa.  Record has it, that the very first show was held in 1850.

Cock also said from the start of his walk on Tuesday, the countryside was looking superb after the recent rains. “The lush green grass has made it look like England in summer! The very place the Settlers originated from” he said.

He commended the farmers on maintaining their farms during a difficult period of no run-off rain, and the other issues they have to deal with.

“On arriving at Rokeby Park Church he was thoroughly spoiled by charming farmers’ wives from the area, who presented me with pineapples, honey and proteas. What a wonder gesture,” Cock said.

Rokeby Park: In December 1826, George Dyson purchased land which he called Rokeby Park after Lord Rokeby of Kent England. In 1842 Dyson sold Rokeby Park. Church services were held for six to seven years in Bathurst by a Wesleyan minister Thomas Haywood, and funds were gradually being built up, which eventually assisted with the construction of Rokeby Church. In 1883 Rev Caldicott formed a building committee, and a member of this committee, Mr Wainman approached the land owner, a Mr Haw, who kindly donated the one acre where Rokeby Church stands today. The building committee with the help of church members built Rokeby Church for the sum of £163.

“I have had two enjoyable days and while walking l have been given a total of R474 in cash donations. While walking past a row of cars at a stop/go today [Wednesday], a boy jumped out of a car and presented me with R100,” Cock said.

Walking for Hospice and in celebration of the 1820 bicentennial

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