In essence the Foundation endevours to preserve the legacy of Eugène Marais on the premises where he attended school and subsequently matriculated. A number of individuals have made contributions in this regard. Here is another such case.
Dr Dawie Vorster from Hermanus writes: “I have met Eugène Marais Jnr. however… bear in mind it was more or less 73 years ago!
My father was a friend of Eugène Marais’ son who practised as an attorney in Brits. I imagine that they both belonged to the motorcycle club of which my father was an avid member. He and the other chaps raced between Brits and Pretoria to set speed records only to try and better them later.
We lived on the farm Klipkop, about 10km from Brits on the road to Thabazimbi where my father farmed tabacco and wheat.
My father met Eugène Marais while he was paying a visit to his son in Brits. At the time Eugène Marais was staying at Pelindaba with Gustav en Hannie Preller. My father was terribly impressed by the man and clung to his every word when they discussed insects, particularily termites.
My father was a keen entomologist and a great admirer of Marais and the natural scientist dr. Sidney Skaife.
When we paid a visit to my grandmother in Brits during the December holiday of 1947, my father again took me along to pay my respects to Marais Jnr. They chatted for hours on end, and as we were about to depart he decided to hand over some of his father’s posessions. He presented my father with, amongst others, a gold Lanco fob watch, a fountain pen and an inkwell, a small microscope and a silver plated cigarette holder.
It was during this time that my father started collecting books written by Marais. When my father passed away in 1967 it all came into my possession. My search continued for the next 30 years. I visited almost every bookshop in the towns and cities we visited, and when I eventually bought “Margriet van Laastelust” from a book dealer in Montague the collection was complete!
I have donated all 19 books and the memorabilia to the Foundation.”
Dr Vorster and his wife Lidia with the donations
Photograph (Vorster): Eugène Marais Foundation