GEORGE NEWS - In celebration of the Old Car Show and all things transport related, Gerda Stols, chairperson of the Friends of the Toll House in the Montagu Pass, welcomed the grandson and great-grandson of the first toll master, John Kirk Smith, in George.
After the opening of the Montagu Pass in December 1847, a toll of two pennies per wheel and one penny per ox had to be paid. Smith junior brought some pennies along to share with Stols and Siwe Gqaleni, toll house ambassador and researcher. Gqaleni entertained the Smiths with tales of the toll house and the four passes among which it is nestled. Smith senior said Gqaleni's passion for the toll house and his (Smith's) family heritage was heartwarming and humbling at the same time.
The historic toll house, a national monument, was gutted during the recent George veld fires.
"The Friends of the Toll House have been working tirelessly to ensure that this grande dame will be restored to her former glory, thus not only preserving this important heritage, but also creating a platform for the making of beautiful new memories," said Stols.
She welcomed the support of the Smiths and shared with them about the generosity of the Friends of the Toll House and in particular the George business community.
"Many donations have been received but there is still a long way to go. We have also started a Backabuddy campaign to enable international friends to support us."
Information on this campaign can be found here.
Stols invites everyone to the coffee and pancake mornings at the toll house every Saturday from 09:00 to 12:00 where visitors are entertained with history and anecdotes relating to the toll house, Montagu Pass and surrounds.
For more information, contact Gerda Stols on 083 772 8252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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