The history of Cape Bonsai Kai is enriched by the many bonsai artists who have over the years of its existence contributed in some way to what it is today. Individuals appearing in the following pages will remind many of cherished memories, to others they remain legend. Unfortunately those of us who were not around during the early years will never have the opportunity of meeting many of these individuals, but through these pages it is hoped they will learn a little about the person behind the name.


Bob Richards

by Neville Coxon

Robert vas Dias was born on 20 January 1922 of Dutch parents living in Borneo, Indonesia. Speaking only Dutch and Malay at the age of seven, he was sent to school in England. When his parents divorced he lost touch with his father and later at age 14, he joined his mother and stepfather in South Africa and finished his schooling here. His name had also changed to Richards, his stepfather's name. It was to be many years later before he made contact with his father again, who was then living in Holland, and happily they were able to establish a close relationship.


Melba Tucker

by Lionel Theron

On the 10th of September, 1999 we received an email from Mariana Haug, the daughter of Melba Tucker, informing us of the death of our wonderful friend.


Bernard Coetzee

Bernard had his first contact with Bonsai in 1960 after reading a book on the subject from the Claremont Library. On one of his collecting trips along Boyes Drive he came across the Bonsai Society and promptly joined them. He was later one of the founder members of the Cape Bonsai Kai and later became Oyama Bonsai Kai's Vice President.


Alf Jones

Alf started growing Bonsai on his own and joined the Eastern Bonsai Society in 1972 where he was Vice Chairman and then Chairman for three years. In 1981 with others, he helped form Shibui Bonsai Kai and acted as Vice President, and President of Shibui. Alf lectured and demonstrated on Bonsai countrywide from around 1975 and held regular workshops at his home for members of his club.


Tony Harrison

Tony started growing bonsai under the tutorage of Bob Richards in 1978 when he was a member of the Cape Bonsai Kai of which he has happy memories. He was inspired by the variety of Bob's collection and the excellence of the olives grown by Kai members.

More Articles...

Contact Us

We would be happy to hear from you should you like to find out more about the club, meetings or bonsai in general.

Send us a mail

Year Programme

We have an exciting calendar of club meetings, events and public exhibitions planned for 2017/8.

Learn more


Maple leaves turning

red-gold in the Autumn sun

falling..... falling..... gone

Random Bonsai Tip

Wick watering - Support your tree or pot over a container of water. Place one end of a piece of rope (approx 20 cm long and one centimeter diameter) in the container and bury the other end in the pot of soil - you can now go away on holiday.