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Ballots Bay, George Accommodation

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Ballots Bay, George

Tucked away between steeply falling green hills, lies Ballots Bay, a small beach carved out of the rugged Southern Cape coastline. Sheltered from most winds it is the perfect retreat for angler, beach lover or nature enthusiast (not naturalist). Ballots Bay is a place where yesterday and tomorrow are said to blend into today, a place where time doesnt matter at all.

Originally known as Christina Bay, Ballots Bay was renamed after Ds. J.S.S. Ballot. Cape born Ds. Ballot served the community of George and district for 35 years, from 1827 till 1862. It was his first and only church parish, and on retirement he stayed on, eventually to die in the area he so much loved. Ballots Bay was part of his special dream for the area and he hoped it would become a harbour for George. He also wanted to develop a self sufficient fishing village there to help uplift the Coloured community. One of the oxcarts used to transport fresh fish for sale to George is now in the town Museum. Ds. Ballot was a man of energy and foresight. Just as he had himself supervised the building of the first NG Church in the face of tremendous financial stringency, so he built the stone road down the steep hillside to the little bay, using his own funds to make his dream a reality. He even had a township Ballotsdale, the plans of which can still be seen, laid out above the Bay. Near bankruptcy, lack of experienced anglers, small boats and strong currents lead to the eventual abandonment of the indefatigable ministers plans, but individual fishermen still find the area a paradise, as yet completely unspoiled.

The old saying has it that all true happiness is touched with sorrow, and Ballots Bay also has its sad memories of fishermen drowned and even memories of boats such as the Mabel Young, which foundered outside the Bay. Seven of those on board drowned trying to reach shore, others were given shelter by the kind people of Sandkraal, one of the historic old farmsteads at the top of the hills. Pieces from that wreck were washed to shore and are still memorials to the power of the sea, as are the little graves in St. Marks Cathedral grounds in George. Ds. Ballot while he had the academic advantages of theological training at Leiden, was obviously a man of practical talents and a man willing to take a chance. Happy memories of Ballot abound, such as the time when the shocked the traditionalists by inviting a brass band to play at the conscecration of the church, but he won the day when all agreed to finding their music as spiritually moving as any organ.

Ballots Bay retains something of the spirit of its early developer. It is not for the person who only wants to follow the stream. It is a place of powerful beauty and great tranquility. Its unspoilt simplicity is its special charm. New development will take all this into account and Ballots Bay will continue to share its timeless joys with all those who respect and love Natures uncompromising patterns.

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Ballots Bay, George Accommodation, Garden Route
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