The Final Resting Place For The White Bushman

Discussion in 'Articles' started by NamStay, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. NamStay

    NamStay AH Fanatic

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    Hi guys
    Saw this on FB and thought to share it with those interested.

    Source: Gondwana Collection Namibia FB Page


    The final resting place for the White Bushman

    Dirk Heinrich

    Six years after Peter Stark, the White Bushman, passed away on 7 May 2013, his six children from two marriages gathered for the first time, in Etosha National Park. The children met on 30 June 2019, to fulfil their father's last wish on the edge of the Andoni plains, where it borders the Etosha pan. The close family circle with three close friends, journeyed to scatter the ashes of the former Chief Conservation Officer of the famous Etosha National Park, into the vast landscape. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism had given permission and two conservation officers secured the site during the brief ceremony. Subsequently, a memorial stone was unveiled and the urn was buried next to the tombs of Ella (1888 - 1965) and Rudolf Böhme (1885 - 1970) and their grandson Hanko (1948 -1949) at Onguma Game Park next door.
    Peter Stark was born in Windhoek, on 18 April 1929. He worked on Onguma for “Löwen-Böhme”, where he had to sometimes shoot a few lions, which prayed on cattle. He also followed several cats into the national park and shot them illegally. Finally, the poacher became a respected nature conservation officer, who was also an exceptionally good rider and who won a few national dressage championships in what was then South West Africa. He taught his park employees, the Hai//om Bushman, how to ride horses and together they herded elephants back from the adjoining farms into the park.
    The four sons, Udo, Ingo, Heiko and Nico from his first marriage with Elke Stark, grew up in Etosha National Park. "We grew up in the bush of Etosha and it was like being in the zoo for us," the brothers said during the evening after they fulfilled their father's last wishes and sat together with their brother and sister from the second marriage of Peter Stark in Tsumeb. Ingo (59) is the only one currently living in Namibia, Tsumeb, which is less than 100 km from the park. His brothers travelled with their relatives from South Africa. The oldest, Udo (60) had not been in the Etosha National Park for over 33 years, Nico (54) the youngest, visited 41 years ago, Heiko (56) visited with his father 24 years ago. Meanwhile, Konrad from his marriage to Leona Stark was once in the Etosha National Park, 24 years ago and Connie, who has made a name for herself as an excellent Horse-rider in South Africa, visited for the first time, the place where her father left deep tracks.
    The parents, according to the four sons and especially their father, were carefree, as the Bushmen kept a watchful eye on the children. The Stark brothers said: "We were wandering in the bush around Okaukuejo, catching lizards, scorpions, spiders and occasionally snakes to place them in a bucket. Of course we were excited when we saw a fresh lion trail, but that did not scare us." Sometimes one of the Bushmen had to call the children back because lions were dangerously close. This happened too, when the family drove into the bush and spend a few days there. "We slept out in the open on the floor. Sometimes we were allowed to sleep on the open horse trailer, but again this was not safe. We were pretty scared some nights." they said.
    At the Starks home in Okaukuejo, there were always some foster animals to raise. The animal varied from lions to rhinoceros, flamingos, a bat-eared fox, Southern yellow-billed hornbills and zebra. Nico often rode a rhino calf and was once thrown off one and attacked. Peter Stark then ordered that the rhino had to leave and it was placed in a boma with a fully grown rhino.
    Often they camped at Ekuma, the main watercourse leading into the Etosha pan at the northern edge of the park. There was almost always water in the estuary and it was a great experience catching catfish there. There were often lions in the area, the then four and five year old Ingo and Udo had to once climb a tree after their father had warned them that a lion was discovered in close proximity. The three year old Heiko had climbed on a nearly one metre high stump and told his brothers that he was safe, while the few months old Nico was in his basket and oblivious to the danger. One of the many experiences from the childhood years of the Starks.
    The memories came to life during the last weekend of June 2019 as the spirit of Peter Stark is back in Etosha. Perhaps the children and their grandchildren will return to the Etosha National Park and to Onguma often, as the legend of the "White Bushman" will live on. Those who knew, worked or met Peter Stark were intrigued by a man who first entered the park illegally and later did everything to protect the animals and people living there. Times have changed, but the protection of wild animals is more important than ever. Peter Stark recognized this early and changed his whole life. He taught this to his children, who journeyed together to his final resting place.

    Photo credit to:
    Dirk Heinrich

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    edward, gesch, Vanguard2279 and 3 others like this.

  2. ve7poi

    ve7poi AH Enthusiast

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    Thank you for sharing
     

  3. Tucketed

    Tucketed SILVER SUPPORTER AH Member

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    Thank you, nice read
     

  4. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Very interesting and what a life he must have had!
    Thanks!
     

  5. Rob404

    Rob404 AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks for posting this
     

  6. Nyati

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    Thank you !
     

  7. CAustin

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    Interesting to know!
     

  8. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Great read. A legend in his time that lives on today.
     

  9. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
     

  10. johnnyblues

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    Interesting. Some life I’ll bet.
     

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