1967: Property was proclaimed Private Nature Reserve in terms of the nature Conservation Ordinance (Administrator’s Proclamation No. 282 of 1967)
1988: Peter le Sueur Milstein, a conservationist qualified in agriculture and zoology with 20 years of nature conservation experience was taken to visit the then Fauncap Kwaratynplaas (PTY) Ltd which was in liquidation by an old friend, Lolly Sussens( from Tshukudu). He was “tremendously impressed with its potential”, although the farm was severely poached. - The farm was purchased for R1.1million on a deed of sale. Purchase price was fractionally over R750/hectare!
- It was proposed to sell 30 shares at R50 000 each. Peter Milstein and his partner, Henry Radford (Harry) Savage would each receive a share each as the “founders and drivers” of the initiative.
- The game on the farm was valued at R21 000. The game estimates were; 90 Impala, 21 Blue Wildebeest, 16 Burchell’s Zebra, 4 Giraffe, 6 Kudu, 20 Warthogs, some Waterbuck, Grey Duiker, Steenbuck and Bushbuck.
- Property registered as Vienna Game Farm (PTY) Ltd.
30 April 1988: First formal meeting held at 07h30 for 08h00 at Irene Primary School. The purpose of the meeting was to formally constitute the Company, draft the Articles of Association and the Shareholders Agreement.
14 June 1988: Alan Ross submitted first guarantee. - First Executive Committee elected; Frank Douwes(Chairman), Gerrie Griffieon, Barry Kraut, Dieter Mandlmeier, Peter Milstein, Harry Savage, Mike Snaddon, Keith van Heerden. Alan Ross co-opted onto the committee.
17 June 1988: The guarantees of purchase finally presented to the liquidators.
20 June 1988: First Executive meeting held in Glenfurness at the Snaddon residence. Two important matters were discussed: the recruitment of new members and the allocation of the sites.
Aug 1988: Johan du Preez surveyed the sites. - Alan Ross “facetiously” named the main access road, the N1. To this day, the name has stuck!
- One of the initial Aesthetic guidelines was agreed upon: sites to have one corner of the house within 50 m of the specific numbered peg.
- 186 bird species recorded on Vienna
- Side striped jackal, Aardwolf, Civet ,Large spotted genet, Scrub hare, Bushbabies, Honey Badgers sightings recorded. Evidence of lion and leopard found. Various lizards recorded.
1 Oct 1988: Price of unsold shares increase to R55 000.
20 Oct 1988: Sites finally allocated to shareholders.
Nov 1988: Helmuth Wessels (Site 24) erects first dwelling on Vienna, an old army tent.