Part of the furniture
Boetie Isaacs hasn’t just worked at Uitsig for 46 years, he was raised here too. Along with the vineyards he so carefully tends, Boetie has grown and flourished on this farm – possessing a humble confidence and a shy smile that lights up the room. So in honour of all things that keep on getting better over time – here’s more about our beloved Boetie…
Named Isaac Isaacs, but called ‘Boetie’ by his mom for as long as he can remember, he was born just down the road (behind Peddlars on the Bend) to Japie and Christina Isaacs (back in 1950).
“My father was driving an old Ferguson tractor here at Uitsig – with one leg! My mother worked in the Lategan’s house.”
Having gone to the school that used to be on the same premises as Uitsig’s Open Door Restaurant, Boetie is as much part of this farm as the Blue Gum Avenue and the old Hanepoot vines he helped to plant. Indeed – it was here at Uitsig that Boetie wouldn’t just grow up and eventually find work, but love too. Maria (a fellow employee at the time) and Boetie married and went on to have five children together – four boys and one girl. While two of Boetie’s sons work on neighbouring farms, one of his sons now works alongside us here at Uitsig.
Boetie tells me that before the vineyards at the front of the estate were planted, ‘groot’ watermelons and potatoes were grown here, as well as pasture for about 100 dairy cows who’s milk he used to take to Epping early every morning.
But one of his most poignant memories of Uitsig life, was when old man Mr Lategan (the owner of Uitsig at the time) drove up to Boetie’s house on a Friday afternoon in the late 70’s.
“He came to say to me, ‘Boetie – you must look after this farm…’ That was on a Friday – and on the Sunday, he died.”
Over the past 4 decades, Boetie has certainly taken the late Mr Lategan’s words to heart. He tells me with pride that he’s never late for work, and when I ask him what his favourite part of the farm is, I expected him to share a geographical spot close to his heart, but instead it’s the whole that he cherishes.
“I love this place and the work I do here. All of it. Every now and then, I’ll remember what old Mr Lategan said to me… ‘Boetie, you got to take care of this farm.’ ”
And Boetie – you have, and you do, and you will continue to. Thank you for being such a shining example of diligence, integrity and commitment to all of us.