Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Profile on Terence Barber

Our next member of the St Patrick’s congregation to profile is Terence Barber. Terence is an East Londoner, having been born in the Mater Dei hospital in 1958, the son of Noel and Colleen Barber. His schooling was at Selborne, from Sub A to Matric where he showed great talent at gymnastics. Of interest, is the fact that Terence was taught by Ann in Std 1 and taught by Trevor in Matric in 1976.

As a 7-year old Terence imagined himself as a muscular lifesaver; today he has proved himself in many different ways

A major influence on his life was attending Hobbiton in Std 2. The nature and freedom of Hogsback made an impact on him which he hankered after throughout his life. He realized how much he disliked city water. Terence learnt many plumbing and mechanical skills from his Dad. After school he joined the Merchant Navy in Cape Town and went to sea. He had two trips across to Europe but became upset with the style of life  - too much drinking and, anyway, it was boring. His adventures continued on the sea in a different way. He did ship repair work and was the skipper for the flamenco boat in Simonstown, shown below. His adventurous spirit resulted in his sailing solo across the Atlantic in a flamenco, an 8m boat without an engine.  He then moved into long-distance trucking across the country.

 The flamenco boat he skippered across the Atlantic; the truck he drove in long-distance trucking parked in front of his old school, Selborne College

Terence’s daughter, Candice Cotterill, lived with him while he was at Hogsback. She now lives in East London and has a daughter, Katherine, who is 8 months old, making Terence a grandfather.

Terence was able to fulfil his dream of living at Hogsback in 2002. He spent seven years in a rented cottage with his daughter.  He was able to do jobs in plumbing and building and kept horses. He was devoted to the horses which multiplied to 13. Unfortunately, in 2008, they were stolen while grazing near the microwave tower.  He spent 6 months in 2015 in Mozambique where he planted fruit trees.

His present home is in the veld at Bold Point which was a farm and is now commonage. Sinjani and the Bold Point residents are happy for him to stay there and no one bothers him.  In fact, like a 19th century trekboer, he can’t see his neighbour’s fires!  Previously, he spent three years here. He loves the setting with the Elandsberg close by and the vista across Michell’s Pass and the Kat valley. The natural surroundings offer a spring close by where he is able to drink the pure, clear water.

The area Terence occupies is a km from the road in the open grassland where a pine forest has been cut down. As one travels on the tracks to his home one passes beautiful crowned cranes.  He has chosen a spot with an unused rondavel reservoir which he is repairing and roofing. He has two small boats to remind him of his sea cruising past. He lives in a tent close by under a tree. What a simple, natural and awesome home! 

A typical day starts when he wakes to the splendour of the magnificent sunrise.  He works on the rondavel to erect a roof and drives to the village to do odd jobs. He is happy, satisfied, his ‘own-man’. Is he lonely? No, he is content. He described the lot of the sailor who  has left his boat, he is ‘on the beach’, waiting for his ship to come in.

Terence’s temporary home is a tent in the veld where he is able to fulfill himself in the beauty of the Hogsback nature

 Terence’s future home which he is building in the rondavel where he will grow vegetables and enjoy God’s beauty uncluttered by human ‘progress’

I came away from my visit to Terence absolutely awed by his humility, courage and his acceptance of his lot.

Trevor Webster
April 2018

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