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C Louis Leipoldts Grave

C Louis Leipoldts Grave

The Blomkerk, or Old Dutch Reformed Church in Clanwilliam is home to the Obelisk which was erected in 1926 in memory of the Rev CF Leipoldt, a former minister of the church, but this is not the only memorial in Clanwilliam with the Leipoldt name on it. Seventeen kilometers from Clanwilliam there is a sign on the left, indicating Leipoldts Grave, but this is not the grave of the minister but rather that of his son, C Louis Leipoldt who was born in December 1880. C Louis Leipoldt was also the grandson of Johann Gottlieb Leipoldt, who founded of the mission town of Wupperthal.

Although C Louis Leipoldt trained as a doctor, it was not this profession that would bring him recognition, but rather his writings. He wrote in both English and Afrikaans and as a leading poet of the Second Afrikaans Language Movement, wrote poetry, drama, travel books, detective stories, and books on cookery. Ironically Leipoldt also wrote about romance and relationships but never got married. Leipoldt has also been recognised for his writings being ahead of their times and this is clearest to see in his book, Bushveld Doctor, with regards to education, health care and other important matters.

Living in this part of South Africa it is not surprising that he was also known as a botanical explorer and that several plants were named after him. He also named the three peaks above the top of the pass Faith, Hope and Charity. C Louis Leipoldt is buried in a small shelter overlooking the peaks which he named and there are still visible traces of San rock paintings at the site.

C Louis Leipoldt will go down in history for his Afrikaans poetry, like the verse below.
"Viooltjies in die voorhuis- viooltjies blou en rooi: viooltjies oral op die veld en oral, ai, so mooi."

For more information please contact:
The Clanwilliam Information Office
Tel: +27-27-4822024
Fax: +27-27-4822361
Or email: cederberg@lando.co.za

Clanwilliam can be found by travelling north along the N7 for approximately 230 kilometres from Cape Town, towards Namibia.

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