Brian Victor Bredenkamp was born on 16 April 1948 near the town of Benoni in the Transvaal province of South Africa, now known as Gauteng. He attended Belfast High
School and passed the Transvaal University Entrance Examination in 1965.
During an exuberant post-school period he worked underground in a goldmine, briefly held a clerical position, dropped out of veterinary school and had an attempt at sheep farming.
He started his forestry career as a pupil forester at Frankfort State Forest near Sabie in Mpumalanga before qualifying as a forester at Saasveld College for Foresters outside George. He holds bachelor's, honours and master's degrees in forest science from the University of Stellenbosch and a PhD in forest biometrics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the United States of America. He spent the bulk of his career in forestry research with the South African Forestry Research Institute, based in Pietermaritzburg, Natal. He resigned from SAFRI, after twenty-three years service, as head of the Site and Sylviculture Section at the Saasveld Forestry Research Centre with the rank of Senior Specialist Scientist (Deputy Director). He joined the academic staff of the University of Stellenbosch in 1991 and became Professor of Forest Management in the Department of Forest Science in the Faculty of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences in 1992 until his retirement in 2008.
He is happily married to Lani, since 1972. They have two sons, Ian and Ryan and live in Stellenbosch.
Brian was President of the Stellenbosch Philatelic Society (1992 - 2003) and currently serves as Chairman of the Tree Advisory Committee of the Stellenbosch Integrated Development Plan where he plays a prominent role in the conservation and management of the town's urban forest.
Met 'n biertjie in die hand / With a beer in the hand, 2007, revised edition 2016
Die Suid-Afrikaanse Bosbouer, 2010
The South African Forester 2011, 2012
The South African Forester 2016 Appendices (See blurb below)
Some of his books can be obtained from Brian Bredenkamp:
Blurb: The profession of the forester in South Africa has never before been honoured in such a tangible way since 1906. This second edition in a series of historical works, deals with the foresters of South Africa and was recorded by a forester. The author began his career as a pupil forester at Saasveld College for Foresters. He furthered his studies in the field of forestry and retired as professor of forest management at the University of Stellenbosch.
The information contained in both editions of the South African Forester is based on extensive research and dedication. It was a passion that soon became a hobby. Lists of names of all foresters who studied at the various institutions for forestry training, namely SACS, Tokai, Saasveld (now Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) and the University of Stellenbosch, from 1906 to 2011, are contained in the 2010 and 2011 editions.
These books are formidable historical works that should be owned and cherished by every forester and forester's child because the contents can unequivocally be classified as unique in its kind. The information contained herein should be preserved for future generations.
The author has established himself in Stellenbosch as emeritus professor, together with his spouse, Lani, who deserves much credit for her ongoing support and patience for a great cause.
Anyone fortunate enough to travel through the forest regions of South Africa is struck by the serenity created by the neatly planted plantations or the lush indigenous forests. Rarely a glimpse is caught of the men behind the cultivation and conservation of these forests: Their customs, culture and history are largely unknown. Brian Bredenkamp "stumbled" into this world in 1968 as a pupil forester and was so captivated by it that it initiated his life's journey. His literary career started with the recording of forester's tales that resulted in "With a beer in the hand" and "Met 'n biertjie in die hand".
At Stellenbosch University Brian became aware that several of his students were the sons of foresters following in their father's footsteps, thus continuing the culture. The time was ripe for a forester to write the history of the foresters of South Africa, and "Die Suid-Afrikaanse Bosbouer 2010" and "The South African Forester 2011" saw the light. The information contained in those, and this 2016 edition, reflect extensive research and dedication. These works are of historical value and are appreciated not only by foresters, their children and grandchildren but also anybody remotely related to them.
Reading about old and departed foresters bring memories of a special kind of individual. Memories of old friends and colleagues are shared and cherished, underlining the fact that being a forester is to be part of an exceptional group of people.
Forester Traps Marais's daughter - Santa Erasmus
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Geskiedenis Is Gemaak! Rolspelers In Die Bosboubedryf Opgeteken Vanaf 1906 Tot 2010
Die dinamika in die bosboubedryf en sy mense lei daartoe dat 'n bosbouer sy eie loopbaan in oënskou neem en begin besin oor die geskiedenis van die bedryf en veral oor die mense wat dinge laat gebeur het om die bedryf te laat ontwikkel tot die ekonomiese en fiskale entiteit wat dit vandag is.
Brian Bredenkamp dink en droom nie net nie, hy spring aan die werk! Hy begin om vrae te vra!
Wie is die manne wat die Suid-Afrikaanse bosboubedryf aan die gang gekry het? Waar het hulle gestudeer en wanneer het hulle afgestudeer? Wie van hulle het verder studeer en in watter rigtings? Wie was die leiers onder die studentekorps en wie het die hoogste akademiese hoogtes bereik? Wie was die manne wat as "Oubaas" opgetree en hulle juniors op Saasveld tydens ontgroening getreiter het? Wat is die byname van die bosbouers en wat is die oorsprong van die byname wat daartoe meehelp om die mense tot 'n eenheid te bind?
Die antwoorde op hierdie en ander vrae, tesame met biografiese sketse van 139 bosbouers, word vervat in 'n boek getiteld "Die Suid-Afrikaanse Bosbouer 2010". Brian Bredenkamp, voormalige Saasie voltooi sy loopbaan as emeritusprofessor in bosbestuur aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch. Hy teken die geskiedenis van die Bosboubedryf se mense op van voor 1906 toe met die opleiding van die eerste bosbouers in Suid-Afrika begin is. Voor 1906 is baanbrekers met behulp van beurse in die buiteland opgelei en het teruggekom om die bedryf te kom vestig. Dit is die eerste keer dat hierdie magdom van inligting in Suid-Afrika in boekvorm opgeteken is. Elke persoon wat op een of ander manier 'n verbintenis met Bosbou het, behoort 'n kopie te besit; dit is 'n boek oor bosbouers, geskryf deur 'n bosbouer. Alumnilyste van voormalige studente wat aan die verskillende inrigtings afgestudeer het, vorm deel van die historiese gegewens in die boek. Die boek sal jaarliks, as 'n reeks, aangevul word met nuwe en aanvullende navorsing oor bosbouers.
Irene van Vuuren
"Die Suid-Afrikaanse Bosbouer 2010" word uitgegee deur Brian Bredenkamp.