Kommetjie then and now

The False Bay Echo is celebrating its 70th anniversary and to commemorate this milestone, readers can look forward to a souvenir edition in September. In the run-up to our birthday, we will publish a four-page pull-out every month as well as a “Then and Now” picture page, which will commemorate the rich history of the far south. We invite our readers to share their memories of the past with us by sending in old photographs, letters, or stories to our acting editor, Simoneh de Bruin, at simoneh.debruin@acm.co.za

The Kommetjie Hotel circa 1910. The original building, pictured, was one of the oldest in Kommetjie and was initially owned by Gustav Lund, according to A Century of Kommetjie, compiled by the Friends of the Kommetjie Library. Mr Lund came to Kommetjie in 1905 from the old Orange Free State after the Anglo-Boer War. His shop, post office and bakery stood on the site of the present remains of Swan Lodge, and later became a boarding house. In 1911 Willem Kirsten took over the Boarding House, where a number of the wireless station personnel stayed. Kirsten and his wife Annie ran the boarding house until 1921, when Adolf Napparel bought it. He had previously owned the Wiener Bakery in Cape Town. Napparel demolished the old building and built a residential hotel, the present Swan Lodge, with a bakery behind it. Picture: Cape of Diab.
According to The Story of Kommetjie by by Roger Bain, Marilyn Metcalfe, and Duncan Duffett, Swan Lodge was sold by auction to Mr and Mrs Jos Engelbrecht (a retired policeman and his wife, a social worker), in the 1950s and it became an old-age home for destitute people. The current owner, Pierre Oosthuizen, had bought the complex in 1970 and converted it into a mix of residential and commercial units, of which the Kommetjie Superette was one.
Tragedy struck on November 20, 2021 when Swan Lodge was destroyed by a fire. This picture was taken the day after the fire. Picture: Graeson Haw.
The current ruins of Swan Lodge taken on Friday June 23.
An undated picture of the then dirt road to Kommetjie. Picture: Cape of Diab
A recent picture of the now tarred road to Kommetjie.