Who is Boekoe?
Barend Bastiaan Jansen van Rensburg was born in 1953. He was known, to his family and friends in the Vereeniging area,as Ben.
As was common place in those years, he left school in Grade 10 (Std 8), to join the army. After 2 years in the army, he married his high school sweetheart, Magda and started working for Iscor (Newcastle) in the Quality Control Department. Ben and Magda had two sons, Jacques born in 1973 and Sean born in 1976.
In 1980 it all began when Ben started making knives as a hobby. Ben, being nicknamed Bennie Boekwurm (Bookworm) is where he got the shortened version “Boekoe” from. On most of his earlier knives a small worm emblem will appear.
In 1980 he was a founder member of the Newcastle Knife Makers Club.
Knife making was only one of his passions, he was also an avid painter and hunter as well as doing a lot of scrimshaw work. Unfortunately most of this work was lost during his relocation to Johannesburg in 2003.
In 1983 he became a member of the Knife makers Guild of South Africa, and became a professional hunter in 1993.But due to circumstances never managed to pursue it as a career.
Making knives was a hobby that he loved and going to all the various knife shows in South Africa was always a highlight for him.
Sadly Boekoe passed away in December 2011.