Hairdresser walks 26,000 miles to work

Farmer who is serving the public on Saturdays

Stanford, 7th Nov  (1945/6)

On the footpath that runs from the Hartebees River on the Caledon side of the high Klein River Mountains range, over the mountain to Stanford, a distance of 12.5 miles, a record has been set that will be hard to beat.

Since Stanford does not have a full-time hairdresser, the public of Stanford and surrounds owe their thanks to Mr Jan Willemse who, for the past 20 years, has troubled himself to serve Stanford in such a way.

Mr Willemse is a garden farmer on part of the large family farm, Hartebeesrivier, behind the high Klein River Mountains and next to the footpath that winds over the steep mountains from his farm to Stanford, a distance of 25 miles there and back, where Mr Willemse is busy setting up a record.

Without being absent for one single day, Mr Willemse has travelled those 25 miles on foot every Saturday for the past 20 years, to provide the public with his indispensable service. Thus, he has already walked 26,000 miles, the distance around the globe, through weather and wind, wet roads and full rivers, winter and summer, day and night.

He declared that he had never been ill in the past 20 years. He is 41 years old and his desire is to remain fit and healthy enough to continue to give his services to his supporters for a long time.

Before Mr Willemse began hairdressing here 20 years ago, several hairdressers tried to make a living here, but they could not survive, because in those days there were about nine private hairdressers that served each other over and over again, and then someone outside the circuit also sometimes helped. Mr Willemse, however, when he started here, used fine tactics. For the private hairdressers’ supporters he charged a fee starting at just 3 pennies for shaving, with the result that today he is the only hairdresser in Stanford, and everyone pays his fixed fee of 1 Shilling.

He now finds himself so busy every Saturday that he cannot serve all his customers, and he is now being persuaded to consider serving the townspeople on Fridays and the farm people on Saturdays.

21st March 1950, Die Transvaler

Stanford, a hamlet in the Cape, near Caledon, has no hairdresser. Only on Saturdays do the residents get the opportunity to get a haircut, because then South Africa’s unique hairdresser visits the little village. The hairdresser is Mr Willemse, from Damskloof, the other side of the mountain from Stanford. For the past 24 years Mr Willemse has, every Saturday – he has, as far as he can remember, only skipped twice – travelled the distance of 25 miles between his farm and Stanford to cut Stanfordians’ hair for one shilling per head. Hairdressing is a hobby for Mr Willemse: he wanted to be a hairdresser from childhood. He makes his sacrifice for the love of the cause. The Stanfordians also support him due to a more practical consideration: there are no other hairdresser in Stanford. The above photo shows Mr Willemse with a Stanfordian in his chair.

Haarkapper Stap 26,000 Myl Werk-Toe

Boer Wat Saterdae Op Die Dorp Die Publiek Bedien

STANFORD, 7 Nov.—Op die voetpad wat krenkel van Hartebeesrivier aan die Caledonse kant van die hoë reeks Kleinrivierberge oor die berg na Stanford, ‘n afstand van 12½ myl, word ‘n rekord opgestel wat beswaarlik in die skaduwee gestel sal kan word.

Aangesien Stanford nie ‘n voltydse haarkapper het nie, is die publiek van Stanford en omgewing baie dank verskuldig aan mnr. Jan Willemse wat homself die afgelope twintig jaar reeds die moeite getroos het om Stanford op so ‘n wyse te dien.

Mnr. Willemse is ‘n tuinboer op ‘n deel  van die groot familieplaas Hartebeesrivier van hier net agter die hoë Kleinrivierberge en dis langs die voetpad wat oor die steil berge kronkel van sy plaas na Stanford, ‘n afstand van 25 myl heen en weer, waar mnr. Willemse besig is om ‘n rekord op te stel.

Sonder om een enkele dag afwesig te wees, het mnr. Willemse elke Saterdag in die afgelope twintig jaar daardie vyf-en-twintig myl te voet afgelê om die publiek sy onmisbare diens te kom lewer. Sodoende het hy reeds 26.000 myl, ‘n afstand rondom die aardbol, deur weer en wind, nat paaie en vol riviere, winter en sonier, dag en nag afgelê.

Hy verklaar dat hy in die afgelope twintig jaar nooit siek was nie. Hy is 41 jaar oud en sy begeerte is om nog lank sy liggaamskragte te mag behou om sy dienste aan sy ondersteuners te gee.

Voordat mnr. Willemse twintig jaar gelede as haarkapper hier begin het, het verskeie haarkappers probeer om ‘n lewe hier te maak, maar kon nie bestaan nie, omdat daar in daardie dae sowat ‘n nege private haarkappers was wat mekaar oor en weer bedien het en dan iemand buite die kring ook soms nog gehelp het. Mnr. Willemse het egter toe hy hier begin het, fyn taktiek gebruik en van die private haarkappers se ondersteuners se hare teen ‘n fooi van drie pennies begin skeer, met die gevolg dat hy vandag die enigste haarkapper op Stanford is en elkeen betaal sy vasgestelde fooi van 1s. Dit gebeur nou dat hy elke Saterdag so besig is dat hy nie al sy klante kan bedien nie en ‘n agitasie is nou ops tou gesit om hom te oorreed om Vrydae die dorpsmense en dan Saterdae die plaasmense te bedien.—(Eie Berig.)

Die Transvaler, Dinsdag 21 Maart 1950

Stanford, ‘n gehuggie in Kaapland naby Caledon, het geen haarkapper nie. Slegs Saterdae kry die inwoners die geleentheid om van hul langerige nekhare ontslae te raak, want dan besoek Suid-Afrika se unieke haarkapper die dorpie. Dié haarkapper is mnr. Jannie Willemse, van Damskloof, oorkant die berge, van Stanford af beskou. Dit is nou al 24 jaar dat mnr. Willemse elke Saterdag — hy het, vir sover hy kan onthou, nog net twee oorgeslaan —

die afstand van 25 myl tussen sy plaas en Stanford aflê om die Stanfordiete se hare te gaan bewerk teen een sjieling per kop. Die haarkappery is vir mnr. Willemse ‘n liefhebbery: hy wou van kindsbeen af graag haarkapper word. Hy doen sy opoffering dus uit liefde vir die saak. Die Stanfordiete ondersteun hom weens ‘n meer praktiese oorweging, ‘n Ander haarkapper het hulle nie. Op bostaande foto het mnr. Willemse ‘n Stanfordiet op sy stoel.

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