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11 January 2021

Rustenburg – Friends and family gathered outside the Rainhill Farm chapel on Thursday 31 December 2020 to celebrate the life of a much-loved and remarkable man, Henry Hartley. Sixty-five years ago, on the same day, Henry and his wife Berna had married and started a full and adventurous life together which included hiking, traveling, music, literature, and Rainhill Farm on the Donkerhoek Road.

Rainhill Farm is known by Rustenburg residents for its farmers' markets, T-bone steaks and magnificent natural surroundings used for photoshoots. It all began when Henry, who was born and bred in Rustenburg, decided he wanted to do more than run two pharmacies and so purchased Rainhill in 1978 and settled there with Berna, and their four children, Susan, Henry, Mark, and Simon. Henry Jnr eventually moved to the United Kingdom with his family and over the years Henry and the remaining family developed the farms' assets. 

Henry helped many organisations and served on several committees including the Fields Primary School, Hoërskool Rustenburg (his Alma Mater), Rustenburg Town Council, Round Table, the 41’ers, Hospice Rustenburg and CANSA.

Henry would have celebrated his 88th birthday on 11 June 2020, but without warning, his heart stopped in the early hours of the morning on 2 April 2020 while on vacation in Sweden. The COVID-19 pandemic placed many obstacles in the way of his travel companion who persevered even after contracting the virus in Istanbul en route back to South Africa with his ashes. 

The family unveiled a granite plaque set on a quartz bolder and scattered Henry’s ashes on the mountain as the sun set over the Magaliesberg on the day of the memorial. Henry helped to heal many physical ailments with the medicines he dispensed but just as important are those that he helped by encouraging them to be in nature and to learn a little about the plants and animals that exist there.

RIP Mr Hartley: you have left the world a better place and will live on in the hearts of many!

 

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