ArchiveheritageLegacyPhoto GallerySANAE

A Legacy preserved – Chris de Weerdt – SANAE 1

The Antarctic Legacy of South Africa is saddened that Chris de Weerdt, a friend, a colleague and team member has passed away at the age of 90. Chris de Weerdt’s legacy within the Antarctic Programme of South Africa will live on. Chris de Weerdt was one of the members on the first overwintering team on Antarctica SANAE I

Above Left: SANAE 1 on PolarBjorn leaving Cape Town Harbour  3 December 1959. Right: SANAE 1 official photo. Back: André van der Merwe, Dick Bonnema, Hannes la Grange, Marten du Preez, Blackie de Swardt. Middle: George Strauss, Niek Erasmus, Chris de Weerdt. Front: Victor von Brunn, Theo van Wijk. Cover Picture: Chris de Weerdt in front of S.A. Agulhas II at East Pier on 3 December 2019.

In commemoration of this first journey – Chris de Weerdt, diesel mechanic of SANAE 1, and Mettie La Grange, wife of leader Hannes La Grange – visited Cape Town harbour on the 3rd of December 2019 exactly 60 years after the departure of the Porlarbjorn left Cape Town harbour with SANAE 1 Overwintering team on board . During this visit, Chris de Weerdt and Hannes’ daughter, Karen Hechter, toured the S.A. Agulhas II. Visiting the new vessel was a long-time wish of Chris. His daughter mentioned that it was one of the highlights in the past years.  Read more

Chris de Weerdt has been invited to the launch of the Sentinels of the South exhibition at Iziko museums in Cape Town, where the history of South Africa’s involvement is displayed. (Left: Chris De Weerdt with Mettie La Grange and Ria Olivier)

John Cooper presented a copy of The White Horizon to the three remaining team members of SANAE 1. L-R: Marten du Preez, Chris de Weerdt and Theo van Wijk.

The launch of the English translation – The White Horizon was on 14 April 2018 in Pretoria, at the National Library of South Africa. This was a memorable event as the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa was able to have the three remaining members of the first South African Antarctic expedition to attend the launch – a written diary of their adventure and endurance in the most extreme continent on earth. Read More (Right: l-r Marten du Preez, Chris de Weerdt, John Cooper, Theo van Wijk)

Click here for his contribution to the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa archive

Chris de Weerdt with his family Salomé (wife) Hanecke (daughter and Michael and Alomé (grandchildren). Photo: Hanecke de Weerdt

Cover Picture: Chris de Weerdt at East Pier on 3 December 2019

Join the discussion