Lanie Farrelly (Bornman)

                     Cobus Bornman 

My long involvement with Obereisenheim started in 1999 when I met two young guys from Obereisenheim at a wedding in Hogsback, South Africa.  They were Christian Wägerle and Berti Krämer.  They were on a 6 month holiday in South Africa and were visiting an uncle in Hogsback. We became friends and in 1990 I took a trip to Germany and visited them in Obereisenheim.  I met their families and friends and was overwhelmed by the hospitality of this little village.  I went back for a visit in 1995 while on a two month backpacking trip to Europe.  This time I did not want to leave because the people, the village, the beer and wine completely bowled me over. Since then I've visited Obereisenheim as often as I could and made some wonderful friends there. 

I always knew that our family originated from Germany and understood that the name of the village was Overeisenheim.  Although the spelling is different I started to suspect that it could be the same village.  In 2002 I received the genealogy records and to my absolute delight I saw that the village was indeed Obereiseneheim.  Now wonder I felt so at home there!  The confirmation came from Marion in Obereisenheim and I can now proudly say "Ich bin ein Obereisenheimer!"  In 2004 I visited Obereisenheim with my husband Paul and looked with different eyes at the church and the baptism font.  I was lucky to handle the very old record book in which the entry of Hieronymus' birth was found.   We also found the street where the Kleinschrott family lived. Marion told me about the Church Cronicle project and that she would like to use my story in the book.  I was honored and  delighted to receive a copy of the Cronicle in 2009.  It surpassed all my expectations and I was totally gobsmacked!

The highlight of all my visits was in 2007 when we visited Obereisenheim with my dad, Cobus, for his 80th birthday.   It was very special to have him there with us in our ancesteral village.  More family and friends from South Africa and Ireland joined and we all had a good time at the Strassenweinfest on Saturday and attended a church service on the Sunday.  I think his comment says it all:  "How could Hieronymus leave this beautiful place?  And to think if he stayed I could have been a wine maker in Germany instead of a farmer in South Africa."  

My thanks to the people of Obereisenheim to always make me feel so welcome and at home. From my heart I can say that the friends I have there are not just friends, they are family.

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