Legendary Karoo storyteller passes away

Rose Willis, legendary story-teller of the Karoo, whose work has featured on Toverview, has passed away. Toverview founder Maeder Osler last visited her in Bloemfontein in 2023.

Rose was the author of the prized historical monthly newsletter Rose’s Round-Up, with a focus on the Karoo. To access some recent editions, clich here.

More recently, in response to the Forgotten Highway initiative, Rose launched The Forgotten Highway Express, a newsletter with snippets about the Karoo and the Forgotten Highway, and sponsored by the Karoo Foundation. To access some of this research of Karoo towns, click here.

Rose was also the author of the popular Karoo Cookbook (published by Struik in 2008), and co-author of Yeomen of the Karoo: The Story of the Imperial Yeomanry Hospital at Deelfontein, published in 2016.

Maeder recalls: ‘When I visited her last year, she was still recovering from injuries sustained after being attacked on a farm in the Free State. She was a captivating person. She gave her blessing to our Toverview project, and we began to feature some of her work on the Karoo. She loved my gift of Blueberry muffins. She told me about how she had begin to  walk again – very slowly – after a worker at the recovery home had insisted: ‘Mevrou, jou knie is in jou kop!”

Toverview salutes the life of a unique figure who worked to convey the charm and magic of the Karoo to a wider audience.

For a previous post on Rose Willis by Maeder Osler, click here.

For an article about Rose Willis by Julienne du Toit on the Karoospace website, click here.

FEATURED IMAGE: A recent picture of Rose with her latest book, ‘Secrets of the Enchanted House’.

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