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About Our History

Morgenzon is situated on a portion of the original farm, De Onderstepoort. 496, Title Deed dated 3 January 1859. This farm was re-numbered to Portion 3 of the farm De Onderstepoort no 300 in 1904, when this farm was subdivided.

From Title Deed no’s 6886/1904, 3839/1905 and 3840/1905 NJ de Wet, PFJ Pretorius, Jan Christiaan Smuts and J de Villiers Roos (Jimmy) became owners of some of these portions.

 

PLACO PIPER in SOUTH AFRICA PRETORIA FLYING SCHOOL

In 1951, PETER AND MYRTLE CYNTHIA VAN DER WOUDE  the new owners of the farm. Peter van der Woude was born on April 25, 1909 in Germany from Dutch parents. In 1935, he left Holland for England where he started flying, eventually completing his Private Pilot’s Licence in South Africa. Peter met Myrthle Irvine and after knowing each other for three months, they got married on the 19th of December 1938 in Pretoria.

He met Arthur Turner, an Aircraft Engineer, and together they started a flying company called PLACO (Pretoria Light Aircraft Company) at Slangnek, outside Pretoria. In 1938 Peter opened the Pretoria Flying School (Pty) Ltd,and was involved in flying training, sales and servicing of aircraft. Slangnek became a military base, later called Zwartkop Air Force Base, so Peter relocated PLACO to Wonderboom Airport. He entered into a contract with the Pretoria Municipality to hire Wonderboom Airport for £1000 per year on the maintain the runways, sell the fuel condition that he would and hire out hangars and premises for aircraft maintenance for a remuneration of £1000 per year, so in fact he got the airport free of charge. Peter and Myrtle, with their 2 daughters and son, lived in a red brick house at the airport.

In 1945, Peter went to the Piper Aircraft Corporation in Pennsylvania, America to procure the agency to distribute Piper aircraft in Southern Africa, which he obtained. When he returned to South Africa he started selling Piper aircraft in earnest.

In 1951, Peter bought a 64 morgen farm across the road from Wonderboom Airport, which he named “Cynthiavale”, after his wife Myrtle Cynthia. He paid £5 a morgen. He did extensive renovations and additions to the front of the original farmhouse and called it “Morgenzon”. The gable depicts the early morning sunrays. In 1952, the family moved to their new home. 

In 1958 Cynthiavale was sub-divided into 24 agricultural holdings, approximately 2.5 morgen each. (S.G Plan Nr A 827/58)The family lived there until 1969.

The original windows in the front of the Manor House came from Mozambique and have a very unique way of opening. The fireplace in the lounge, finished in red copper, is very impressive.

 

 

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Tielman Roos served as the first Chancellor of the University of Pretoria until 1932

Jimmy Roos was a well-known figure during the early 1900’s and there was a good relationship between himself and Jan C Smuts. During 1902
Jimmy came to Pretoria as an attorney at the firm Stegmannm Esselen & Roos, which also was the conveyncing firm who did the transfers of the abovementioned Title Deeds. Jimmy had a very strong relationship with his half- brother’s son, TIELMAN JOHANNES DE VILLIERS ROOS, born on 8 May 1879 in Cape Town.

The firm Stegmann Esselen & Roos became so overloaded with work and Jimmy could not keep up with the pace. He convinced young Tielman to come to Pretoria as new partner of the firm. Jimmy invited Tielman to board with him in Pretoria.

This is why it is mentioned in rumours that Tielman Roos, during the early 1900’s, lived on De Onderstepoort-farm; in the then middle part of the current Morgenzon Manor.


Tielman qualified as an advocate and was a Judge and Minister of Justice in the Hertzog Cabinet from 1924 -
1929. He became the leader of
the National Party of Transvaal and was known as “die Leeu van die Noorde”. After the Transvaal University College, now the University of Pretoria, had became independent in
1930, Tielman served as the first
Chancellor until 1932.

Tielman Roos passed away on
March 28, 1935.

Tielman’s descendants are Tielman, Illse and Louis Roos. They are the owners of the Mooiplaas Wine Estate near Stellenbosch. Illse Roos is a well-known actress.

 

DANIËL  WYNAND STEYN,  a Minister in the previous government, and his wife Hermana, bought Morgenzon (Title Deed no T3145/1978) and moved in at the
 end of 1977.

Danie extended the Manor House on the northern side, a mirror image of van der Woude’s extension on the southern side.

He made the windows out of teak, drawing on the theme of the arched windows throughout the house. He also replaced the old slate roof of the house with the current tiled roof. He added a garage and a one-bedroom flat, which became the Chapel of Morgenzon.

Danie Steyn served in Parliament for 15 years, from 1974 – 1989. With every portfolio he held as Minister, money came streaming into the country, which is why he was known as the “Golden” Minister. He ended his political career as the Minister of Economic Affairs and Technology.

Danie and Hermana have 5 children, two boys and three girls. Emmerentia is a chemist in Pretoria, Anina teaches mathematics in George, Bertus is a eletrical engineer in Canada, Irma Roos is a well-known  photographer and Rossouw is a broker.  The slave bell was donated to Morgenzon  by Danie Steyn, who  received  this  bell  as  a  gift from  Alexander Bay Development corporation during his time in Parliament.

 

Footnote

The current owner of Morgenzon is MAARTEN & HERMA SCHALEKAMP. Herma (close to the name “Hermana”, wife of Danie Steyn), has a CPL(A), CPL (H) and she is currently (2020) the chief flight instructor at a helicopter flying school at Wonderboom Airport. They are the proud owners of a Piper Archer – thus creating a link to Peter van der Woude, who had the first Piper agency in Southern Africa. They have 3 children, Janien who is a teacher (Maried with Jaco van der Walt), Kobus, a chiropractor (married with Leandi) and Maarten, a network hosting engineer (married with Adri). Maarten and Herma is currently the grandparents of 5 beautiful girls and an awesome boy.

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