...‘one who can stand his man’
Ben Pretorius was a section ranger in the services of Sanparks for more than 35 years before his retirement in 2001. He began his service with the then National Parks Board on April 18, 1966 in the Golden Gate National Park where he was appointed as section ranger as well as camp manager for the Park. In the same year he was transferred to the Tsitsikamma Coastal Park, where he remained until January 1, 1967.
A lifelong dream was fulfilled when he was appointed as a section ranger in the Kruger National Park, Skukuza section. During this time he married Quarta, who left her teaching post in the Free State to join him for the rest of his career. In January 1968 Ben was transferred to the Shingwedzi Section where he remained until August 1977. During this time he successfully completed the national diploma in nature conservation at Pretoria Technikon.
He was transferred back to Skukuza where he remained until August 1981. From there he was transferred to the Olifants Section of the Kruger National Park, where he remained until his next transfer in August 1984 to Punda Maria. The follow 13 years at Punda Maria was where he was happiest and can be considered the highlight period of his career.
Ben was well skilled in technical matters and had a great deal to do with the initial planning and developing of the different wilderness trails camps in the KNP. He almost single-handedly built Napi Trails Camp during 1991. Sadly the camp burned down completely 10 years later.
In April 1997, he was transferred to Pretoriuskop Section in the South of the park. This is where he ended his career in June 2001, having to take early retirement as a result of restructuring in the KNP. Ben settled in 2001 in Naboomspruit, where he passed away on September 5, 2002.