Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses.

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

Filtering by Tag: Dr Zweli Mkhize

GATHERING OF THE LEGENDS

Land of Legends - Legacy of the Zulu Kingdom

LAND OF LEGENDS
"Legacy of the Zulu Kingdom"

The late David Rattray was mesmerizing company. From the Royal family of Britain, across the waves to Los Angeles in the west and to Hong Kong in the east, he was one of the world's most welcome dinner guests, and when Cheryl Goss embarked upon her life's work, Hartford House, one of the first things we did was to engage with our old mate on the idea

of the formation of the Land Of Legends. That was 1996, and today we host a gathering of the "legends" for the first time in several years.

For those who are unacquainted with the concept, the idea behind the foundation of the Land Of Legends, was to breathe a new awareness of the offerings our region held for visitors to this country. In our hearts, we knew that this was the real Africa, that if you were visiting South Africa, and you wanted to feel its authenticity, its culture, its history and its traditions, you couldn't afford not to include KwaZulu-Natal in your itinerary. Too many travellers would "do" Cape Town and its environs, Kruger and the Eastern Transvaal, Victoria Falls and perhaps a bit of Botswana, but most of these events were packaged into relatively tight modules, and there was little or no contact with the customs, the language, the land, its indigenous architecture and its smells.

In those days, only 4% of our first-time international travellers to South Africa included KwaZulu-Natal on their itineraries, but such was the awareness created by the Land Of Legends, that today the figure is closer to 40%. This is a healthy turnaround, and comes about because the Land Of Legends is the only collection of top quality hospitality and tourism facilities in the world, which is bound by its common interest in culture, history and tradition, and its reverence for the environment.

Gathering at Hartford today are representatives of Phinda Game Reserve, The Oyster Box, The Beverley Hills, Fordoun Hotel and Spa, Rocktail Beach Camp, Hartford House and Fee Berning's celebrated Ardmore Ceramics. That's as august a collection as you'll find anywhere, and it's our privilege to have them on board, together with our recent Ingwazi awardees, the famous conservationist, Dr. Ian Player, and KZN Premier Dr. Zweli Mkhize, who are automatically welcome at any gathering of this clan, as patrons of the organisation.

land of legends

DR IAN PLAYER CALLS FOR RHINO HORN TRADE DEBATE

The Endangered Rhino / Land Rover (p)

The Endangered Rhino / Land Rover (p)

"INGWAZI HONOUR GUEST IN THE NEWS"

Sunday, the 3rd July is a big day in the histories of Hartford House and the Land of Legends. We are honouring the Premier of KZN, Dr Zweli Mkhize and Dr Ian Player, the latter of whom is remembered as the saviour or the world's rhino populations. The tireless Ian Player was in the news again this week:

Fifty years after spearheading an international drive to save the white rhino from extinction, world-renowned wildlife conservationist Ian Player has set the cat among the pigeons by calling for an urgent national debate on whether to legalise the controlled trading of rhino horns.

Player - one of the central figures in the 1960's Zululand battle to save the world's last remaining white rhinos from extinction - suggested that re-opening legal trade in horns might be the only way to save the continent’s rhinos from the recent "catastrophic" wave of illegal rhino poaching by syndicates.

"Make no mistake, we are up against some very dark forces which threaten to overwhelm us," he told business people at an anti-poaching fundraiser in Durban Tuesday.

Noting that powdered rhino horn had been used in Oriental traditional medicine for several thousand years, the 84-year-old wildlife ambassador said: "Nothing is going to stop the deep-seated belief systems in the Far East. So we need to debate in all possible forums the merits and demerits of selling these horns legally… In the end, it may be the only way to save the rhino."

Extract from The Mercury

LAND OF LEGENDS HONOURS ITS ICONS

Magquba Ntombela and Dr Ian Player / ianplayer.com (p)

Magquba Ntombela and Dr Ian Player / ianplayer.com (p)

"THE INGWAZI AWARDS"

Summerhill Stud and Hartford House have a long and distinguished record in the upliftment of our communities, and the official opening of the Al Maktoum School of Management Excellence on Investec Stallion Day at Summerhill on the first Sunday of July (3rd July) marks another significant milestone, not only for us, but for the racing and hospitality worlds in general.

It's a well known fact that Summerhill's six consecutive national Breeders' titles, owe much to a programme which has seen some 40 international scholarships awarded to members of our disadvantaged community, and that the beneficiaries have returned not only with a new retinue of skills, but with an entirely new perspective of their own self-worth and where they're headed in life.

Hartford is famously remembered for its traditional dance troupe, ranked third and second respectively in Tokyo and Hong Kong, at international competitions involving more than 140 countries. Less heralded, but just as important, is the culinary educational programme Head Chef, Jackie Cameron, has embarked upon. Some years ago, she recruited into her kitchen several young Zulu ladies of limited education, some of whom were cleaning stables as casuals before they joined her team in the scullery. These budding chefs have worked their way through the ranks, to the point that one represented South Africa four years ago at an international culinary exhibition in Zurich, another jetted to Prague a year later, and in 2010 a third carried the country's colours in Shanghai. In January of this year, Deli Nene, a third generation member of our staff, was proclaimed one of Lever Bros' twelve "Inspiring Chefs", occupying the January page of their 2011 calendar.

As a founder member of the renowned Land of Legends, (the only collection of its kind comprising properties whose "glue" is their celebration of history, tradition and culture), Hartford House is proud to be hosting the first of the "Legends" Ingwazi (Warriors) Awards, in conjunction with Stallion Day at Summerhill. These awards were originated to honour their contributions to life in KwaZulu-Natal of icons of the province, and the first of these goes to Dr Ian Player, one of conservation's most famous sons, and a man who shares our passion for education. The other goes to the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Zweli Mkhize, who presides over the opening of the School of Excellence on the same day. For the purposes of this article though, we will confine ourselves to Dr Player, who founded the Wilderness Leadership School as long ago as 1963, a foundation which has benefited the lives of people across the racial, cultural and social divides.

The Wilderness Leadership School's origins date back to 1955, however, when the American concept of "wilderness" was first introduced to Dr. Player by a senior game ranger, Jim Feely.

By 1958 half of the Imfolozi Game Reserve (now the Imfolozi-Hluhluwe Game Reserve) and a part of Lake St Lucia, were proclaimed wilderness areas. Access to these places, the first in Africa, was limited to foot, horseback or canoe.

The first group of schoolboys taken on a wilderness trail dates back to 1957, when Dr Player was first acquainted with his colleague and mentor, the late Magqubu Ntombela, a Zulu chief and game guard. They attracted people from across the world to experience the significance of wildlife and its conservation. His career with the old Natal Parks board commenced in 1952, and whilst he was warden of the Imfolozi Game Reserve, he spearheaded two key initiatives : 

  • Operation Rhino; which saved the last few remaining White Rhino in the world.
  • He protected the status of the Imfolozi Wilderness areas, now incorporated into the Smangaliso World Heritage Site.

Hail, Dr Ian. Your presence at the Ingwazi awards, marks a singular moment in the histories of the members of the Land of Legends, which themselves have contributed substantially to the tapestry of the region's heritage.

Proud members of the Land of Legends :

Phinda Private Game Reserve
The Oyster Box
The Beverly Hills
Hartford House
Fordoun Hotel and Spa
Rocktail Beach Camp
Ardmore Ceramic Art

land of legends

THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE...

Al Maktoum School Of Management Excellence / Summerhill Stud (p)

Al Maktoum School Of Management Excellence / Summerhill Stud (p)

Winter School Of Excellence
Summerhill Stud, 4 - 6 July 2011

The Al Maktoum School of Management Excellence is the only one of its kind in the World. The first students, representing some of the Nation's top farms, are already ensconced, though for the formal opening, we shall have to wait for the KZN Premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize, to do his thing on Investec Stallion Day, Sunday the 3rd of July. Already, there

are of the order of 17 different countries represented, an indication of the significance of the occasion in the pantheon of the racing industry's great events. The upliftment of people and the opportunity to become what few had ever believed they could, is a crucial element in the future of our business, and this school marks a watershed moment in Racing's distinguished history.

Summerhill Stud has solicited the services of some of the World's leading authorities on their respective specialities for a Winter School, beginning the day after their stallion day, and this column will be providing readers with weekly flashes of what's on offer. A visit to "Winter School of Excellence" will provide you with details right away of the full panel of lecturers, their topics and the programme, but for today's purposes, we're going to focus on the presence of Professor Justin Craig, who heads up the faculty on Entrepreneurship and Family Business at Australia's Bond University. This is a subject that touches almost every one of us, and Professor Craig is one of the World's two authorities on family-run enterprises.

His PhD in Behavioural Science, Masters Degree in Counselling and Psychology Honours Degree all explored challenges faced by individuals involved in either a current or future ownership capacity in a family-controlled business. His subsequent family business and entrepreneurship research, which has examined a wide range of topics including individual valued outcomes that drive behaviour, trans-generational entrepreneurship, strategy, innovation, governance, public policy, branding, and managerial attitudes towards the natural environment, has appeared in leading international academic journals. He leads the entrepreneurship and family business group of scholars and instructors at Bond University and teaches subjects at undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr Craig has also jointly developed Bond University's Executive MBA in Family Business and is engaged with the family business practitioner community through his work with Family Business Australia (FBA), where he has jointly developed and delivers the FBA Family Business Directors' Course and the Strategic Planning for Family Business Leaders Course.

Imagine for a moment, a three-day seminar embracing the world of finance and economics, investment in Thoroughbreds, Mike de Kock on his international escapades, the country's leading exponent on Bio-farming, and any number of the most recognisable figures in our industry, and you soon understand the heading to this column. The Memorial Theatre's capacity is limited though, so if you're an aspirant attendee, please get in touch with Heather Morkel on heather@summerhill.co.za, as soon as you can. There is accommodation available at Hartford House, though the organisers can arrange alternatives in the district once Hartford is fully booked. The daily rate includes a luncheon prepared by Eat Out's Most Popular Restaurant of 2011.