The Man Who Brought Light And Love To Beaufort West

A young man who brought light and love to Beaufort West In 1883. He was a Mr Boye and in September, that year he “imported” an electric lamp and had it installed outside his shop.   Dolly dug about in her bag and unearthed one of her many newspaper cuttings this one from The Beaufort West Courier, of September 28,1888.

Boye had had the first electric light in the village installed outside his shop.  The newspaper had reported. “It’s small but it does shine brightly in the dark, so villagers are stepping out at night just to see it.”  A week earlier Boye had taken Beaufort West by storm when he married the beautiful Miss Maddison by special license at the home of her parents in Donkin Street. He quite literally swept her off her feet. Friends said their love developed at such a pace that there was no time even to send out wedding invitations.  Nevertheless “a goodly number were there to toast the handsome couple before they departed in a shower of rice and orange blossoms for a honeymoon on Peter Rose’s Nuweveld mountain farm.

“Townsfolk said the couple dashed off very quickly after the ceremony. This, however, did not bother their friends, they partied well into the night enjoying an excellent wedding cake provided by a friend of the groom,” said Dolly.

She had a sadder tale of a bride left at the altar.  This story was attached to a spot still reflected on maps as  Bruidegomsberg (Bride Groom Mountain.) .  Legend had it that a young Nuweveld farmer was engaged to be married to a lovely lass from Stellenbosch.  The wedding date was fixed and the guests all invited.  A few days before the event he set  from the Beaufort West district with his best horses and Cape cart.   On the way he had to negotiate a  steep pass.  Halfway down, at the most dangerous spot, a dassie darted out and startled the horses.  They shied, lost their footing and plummeted down the embankment,  dragging cart and bridegroom with them.   The young man and his horses were killed.   It was, however, a lonely road and days passed before his body was discovered.   Meanwhile, under the oaks, in Stellenbosch, the bride waited and waited until all hope faded and the guests left.   She imagined she’d been jilted and was totally inconsolable.  Two weeks later she received news of the accident and her fiancés death.

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