Arthur Harvey Zeederberg, highly respected and long time resident of Vaalwater, died on 12 January 2010 after a long and brave struggle with a respiratory condition. He was 68.
The son of Harvey and Kay (Farrant) Zeederberg, Arthur was a proud descendent of important South African pioneers on both sides of his family. On his mother's side, he was the grandson of John and Rhoda Farrant, farmers who settled in the Waterberg at the turn of the last century and ultimately established J Farrant & Co. on the land that is now the Zeederbergs Centre in Vaalwater. On his father's side, Arthur was a descendent of Christiaan (Doel) Zeederberg, one of the three brothers whose famous transport business by horse-drawn stage coach in the1890s opened up the Northern Transvaal and Rhodesia to the rest of the country. Born in Johannesburg on 14 April 1941, Arthur went to Lord Milner Preparatory School in Settlers for several years. In 1959, he graduated from Pretoria Boys High School, where he was Head Boy at his boarding house and School Prefect. An active sportsman, Arthur played rugby at school, at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg, and on the junior Natal team. After a short period in the SA Police and other jobs in Johannesburg, Arthur joined his mother and stepfather Alex Furman in Vaalwater in 1966 in the family business that his grandfather had started – J Farrant & Co. Arthur was a founder member of the Spar organization in South Africa and by 1967, J Farrant & Co was converted to a Spar supermarket.
In 1970, Arthur married Shelley Black from Swaziland. The older family home and outbuildings were converted to a B&B and Backpackers by their daughter Ashleigh, and by 1989, their son James joined Arthur and Shelley to manage the Spar. Arthur and Shelley ultimately expanded their business to the Zeederbergs Centre that is so well known today.
With the growth and success of the Zeederbergs Centre, Arthur and Shelley were at the forefront of Vaalwater's modern day development. Arthur was an early and activesupporter of the Farmers Hall Association.
Arthur had a great interest in the natural world. He was a passionate and extremely knowledgeable birder. His bird egg collection, started as a schoolboy, earned him the respectful title of Ramae (Egg Man or Man of the Egg) from the local population. Arthur loved to fish in any waters, at any time, for any fish. He was a staunch supporter of the Waterberg Nature Conservancy in its early days and of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve since its inception.
Whether answering to the name of Zeeds, Zeedy, or Arthur, to any Waterberg friend or traveler who spotted him around the Zeederbergs Centre in Vaalwater, he was always ready with good humour and conversation. A most sociable man, he will be missed by his wide circle of many, many friends. He will be remembered as a wonderful gentleman, a devoted family man, and for his contribution to the development of his beloved Waterberg.
Arthur is survived by Shelley, their son James, their daughter Ashleigh and her husband Brent; grandsons Jarryd and Troy; and Arthur's sisters Joy, Janice, and Susan.
A memorial service will be held at the Zeederberg home behind the Spar on Wednesday 3 February at 10:30am.