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History of Die Oog

Die Oog is a natural spring or "eye" around which a dam was built 250 years ago to supply the Bergvliet Farm with water.

In 1685 Simon van der Stel was granted all the land from the almond hedge on the top of Wynberg Hill to Muizenberg on which he established the farm of Groot Constantia. After he died in 1716 the land was subdivided, and one third became Bergvliet Farm. The first homestead and the dam were built around 1726. The dam is clearly shown on the Surveyor General's map of 1764 survey. The portions of the original land were sold off over the years to make other farms including Buitenverwachting, Sweet Valley and Klein Constantia

In 1883 a surveyor A Ackerman described the "ancient dam" as being very strong and substantial with a wall 15 ft high and 200 ft long and an island built of ironstone.

In 1904 Dr Frederick Purcell, Curator of the South African Museum and his suffragette wife Anna moved into Bergvliet Farm. He collected over 600 species of indigenous flora which are now in the Bolus Herbarium.

In 1982 Bergvliet Farm was subdivided for housing development and the dam and the surrounding area was designated as a Bird Sanctuary and named Die Oog by the City of Cape Town. The land was overgrown and cleared by the Bergvliet and Meadowridge Ratepayers Association who formed "Die Oog Project" to care for Die Oog.

In 1989 Brian Gripper, retiring Chairman of the Bergvliet Meadowridge Ratepayers Association, was concerned with the overgrown state of Die Oog and in1992 formed the "Die Oog Project Committee" under the auspices of the Ratepayers Association and started the renovation of the area and in 1995 the architect Alwyn Lubbe, joined the project.

In 2002 Brian Gripper donated a self-closing dog-proof gate.

In 2003 Professor Dennis Davey was elected chairman and the name was changed to the "Friends of Die Oog" and a new constitution was drafted. The Critical Environmental Partnership Fund in the USA donated a substantial sum for rehabilitation of Die Oog. A "Die Oog Partnership" was formed with representatives of the Department of Parks and Biodiversity Management of the City of Cape Town to help manage Die Oog.

In 2005 The Rowland and Leta Hill trust made the first of several grants for upgrading and maintenance of Die Oog and associated wetland. The Lions Club donated a bench and table. The Protea Sub Council R30 000 for pathways and repair of the dam wall and fences.

In 2006 Brian Gripper built and installed a new entrance sign and notice board.

In 2007 Alwyn Lubbe designed the wooden viewing platform overlooking the wetland.

In 2009 Brian Gripper resigned and both he and Alwyn Lubbe are now life members. The electric gate became faulty and Brian Gripper arranged a new cable supply. Patrick Williams donated a 12v supply to operate the gate magnet.

In 2010 Professor Dennis Davey resigned as chairman and Malcolm Pearce was elected.

In 2014 Malcolm Pearce resigned from the committee and Anne and Mark Shaw were appointed as Chair Persons. Professor Dennis Davey has been re-elected as treasurer.