History of the McGregor Village Website

The severalty of "village" and "tourism" websites in McGregor has given rise to no small confusion.  It's not for us to describe them all here, though the McGregor Tourism Bureau site is mentioned in brief.  This is our story.

McGregor.Org.Za, as the site was until recently, is the original McGregor website, being founded in 1999 by Rob Phillip. Rob, son of Barry and Margie of McGregor Country Cottages, and a tourism operator in his own right, could see the value of a competent village website. But how to get one......

Fortuitously, Rob had a regular visitor to his guesthouse (McGregor B&B, now McGregor Country House), Mike Hardaker. Mike was editor of Computing SA, one of the largest IT magazines in the country. Together, probably after one of their much-loved sing-songs, they came up with the idea of running an article on "How To Build Your Own Website". And so MOZ was born - as an example of how to build a website - with a professional standard we have strived to maintain ever since!

Rob and Mike eventually moved on and, in 2001, the ever capable Caroline Barnard became webmistress. Caroline believed that the site would be best run by a village organization and asked McGregor Tourism to become the owners. They turned the offer down, and she continued to run it at her own expense. Caroline developed the site extensively, brought in new subscribers, and is largely responsible for the high traffic we see today.

She left McGregor for Cape Town in 2004, driven by a necessity to return to corporate IT. She now owns novanilla.co.za (a web development site), burningblue.co.za (a fascinating collection of stories from her father, Squadron Leader D W Barnard's, time in the SAAF and RAF), dogzone.co.za (for her dog behaviour and training consultancy based near Cape Town) and other sites

But before she left she, once again, sought a home for the site. McGregor Tourism decided that, as the site was now so successful, they did want it. However, a poll of the site's subscribers voted for keeping the site independent, and they were rejected. McGregor Tourism subsequently started their own site.

The McGregor site was instead donated to the McGregor Waldorf School where the then volunteer, Adam Lewis, became webmaster with Caroline as Technical guru and Denese Sinclair interacting with the school children and running sales. The first task after the Waldorf took over ownership was a full rebuild. The original technology (MS Front Page - ouch!) was dated and so Caroline and Adam began a 7 month project to convert the site to the Mambo Content Management System.

The McGregor Waldorf School, and in particular Pieter Holloway, had an excellent vision for the site, running it for the community and as a marketing tool for small businesses, as well as for tourism. However, time and resources were limiting, and this could never be fully realised. Never underestimate what it takes to run a professional site!

In 2008 the School decided to pass the site on and, despite competition for what was now a very desirable property, they kindly decided that the webmaster, Adam Lewis, should have it. Adam subsequently became well known in the area for IT work and as the McGregor agent for the BreedeNet Wireless Internet Service provider. Mighty IT, as his business is now known, has recently updated all the content and rebuilt the site using Joomla 1.5.