At dusk one evening a few weeks ago, my wife and I were sitting in her car watching the waves breaking at Gearing’s Point when we noticed a small car with a Stellenbosch number plate refusing to start, no matter how hard the young man at the wheel tried to get it to do so.

This young couple were in serious trouble and far from home on a Sunday evening, so I strolled across and told them that if they were prepared to wait, I would go home to fetch a jump lead in my own car and return to help them. On my return, the young driver used the jump lead to start his car and after a short ‘test run’ came back to thank us before driving home.

Exactly one week later at virtually the exact time and precisely the same spot at Gearing’s Point, my wife and I prepared to drive home when the engine refused to start. A young man sitting with his girlfriend in a nearby car strolled across and said that if I was prepared to wait, he would fetch a friend with a jump lead who could help us.

While waiting as it got darker and darker, a nearby motorist came across and told us that he is with the police and would stay there with us until the people with the jump lead arrived, which they did shortly thereafter (we later found out that he is Sergeant Bekeur). In a trice our car’s engine was ignited and purring happily, thanks to our rescuer whose name we learnt is Heinwill Jannecke, who by chance is also with the Hermanus police.

What makes this story so special is that we, a white couple, helped a black couple and were in turn helped by coloured couple. As I say, Heaven must be a place where everyone is nice. And Hermanus cannot be very far from that.

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