It was nearly a hundred years after Nelson Mandela and the end of apartheid and during the school holidays when the water in the weir was flowing nice and slow, the weir pool would be full of black, brown and white children splashing and shouting. His boss Arny Jonker was like a benign grandfather watching on and keeping the peace when needed. His short grey beard jutted forward and his ample belly was held in by a thick leather belt. Around his neck hung a whistle that he would blow when he saw any misdemeanour. Meanwhile Stafford’s eighteen-year-old self would be carefully making his way along the lip of the weir pulling out debris and checking for damage that would need to be repaired later.
That was 300 years ago and here he was on Franton03 gazing across a river that he had named Jonkers River after his old boss and the weir he had built across it soon after he arrived on the planet fifty two years ago. As he gazed across the weir pool the water sparkled in the light of the alien sun and where the water tumbled over the lip of the weir it formed eddies in the lower pool before the river flowed on toward an alien sea.
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