Areena Residents for over 30 years Roy and Maureen Stagg share their story beginnings.

Roy and Maureen Stagg arrived at Areena 1st February 1990. They have lived here permanently for over 30 years and this is how it all started for them:

We arrived to meet with Ed & Karen at the end of January 1990 walking across the field to pick out our site for our Cabana home.  The site we chose was the one we are on now, situated opposite the dam, which we love.

Our Cabana home had to be transported from Glen Navar on a Low Loader, which we had to hire from Johannesburg, as East London did not have one long enough.  We entered from the Schafli Road onto Ted & Nola’s property at the top of the hill and so slowly negotiated our way down the sloping ground.  Arriving safely at our site. 

It was a work of art to get the Cabana home off the trailer, as it does not have wheels like a park home.  Hydraulic jacks went underneath and lifted it high enough off the low loader so it could pull away and then lowered onto jacks on the ground. ” It was so high I could stand underneath it.  It was certainly a very harrowing experience!

After two weeks and still settling in to our new abode at Areena, the rain started and did not stop for two whole weeks.   Our car could not drive off our site and Ed had to tow us out.  After that we parked outside his workshop, and to get to the car, to go to work, we had to walk across the muddy field in bare feet, where, we sunk in the clay, which at times came over our ankles.  The next lunch hour I went and bought wellington boots, so we could walk from our home to the car at the workshop to go to work. 

During this two week period of torrential rain, our garage was flooded out with over 6 inches of water all over the floor.  At first we could not understand where the water was coming from and it was only when we looked under the cottage that we saw the water was coming up through tunnels, which had been created by “moles”. 

The first 10 years we were still working and commuted to East London each day.  In the beginning the N2 was under construction so we had to use the “Old Transkei Road” quite an adventure with even more pot holes than we have seen since.

Roy and Maureen were residents at Areena when Abby arrived as a baby giraffe, which the Areena staff hand reared. We have also adopted him as our pet giraffe, feeding him when he stands at the fence opposite our gates and persists until Maureen goes out with apple and bread. What a privilege to have this majestic animal part of our lives.

In the evenings, from our lounge, we enjoy watching the zebra; impala; wildebeest giraffe and the many other animals that have a wonderful home at Areena Riverside Resort.  Hearing the birds singing in the mornings and evenings; the fish eagle calling and the many sounds that make up Areena Riverside Resort.

We were very blessed to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary at Areena Quays Restaurant in October 2004 and Roy’s 70th Birthday celebration in 2010.  We have five grandchildren, each one of them has learnt to swim in the swimming pool at Areena.

Starting from small beginnings, working together through all the growing pains, to now being a top Resort, what Ed and Karen have achieved over the years is absolutely amazing.

Areena is to us our “little piece of heaven”. 

areena, areena history

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