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Our Favourite Old Joe

Our Favourite Old Joe

Our Favourite Old Joe

If you are not a Lowvelder, you might wonder who “Old Joe” is when you pass by on your way to Nelspruit.

By Elaine Bezuidenhout

The old rock was named after Johannes (Joe) Barabas, the foreman who supervised the construction of the first road through Schoemanskloof in 1927.

The rock was erected on the side of the road and named Joe, in honour of Joe Barabas who dedicated himself by ensuring that the construction of the road went ahead quickly and without any major glitches.

It certainly became a landmark on the Patatanek Pass on the Schoemanskloof road of the N4 highway to Nelspruit.

Almost from the moment it was erected people started painting the rock known as Old Joe. Pictures from way-back-when show very simple designs and even some very complex details.

One local artist took charge of Old Joe, namely Wouter de Witt also known as ‘Ghost’. He has certainly become a celebrity as many people wait in anticipation to see the next Old Joe character usually featuring a newsworthy event.

Wouter became Old Joe’s guardian along with TRAC and has given him a fresh look every few months. Each new look uses about a litre of paint and takes about 6 hours to complete.

Old Joe has been a cat, a cricket player, the Webb Ellis Cup and even a Puma mascot but he is and always will be Old Joe.

📍 Follow the coordinates: S 25° 23.096′ E 30° 32.395′ to find Old Joe.

*Photos are from Google search.

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