Keiskammahoek is a town in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. From 1981 until the end of apartheid, the town was part of the Ciskei bantustan. Keiskammahoek is a small rural town, situated some forty kilometers to the West of King William's Town in the Amahlathi Local Municipality, one of seven local municipalities that constitute the Amathole District Municipality, Eastern Cape. Keiskammahoek is surrounded by a number of villages and peri-urban settlements that support the town. Keiskammahoek is situated near the headlands of the Keiskamma River catchment area, it is located in the centre of four different biomes: Albany Thicket, Grasslands and Afromontane forest. The town was once an important commercial centre for agricultural industries; the settlement of the area since the 1800s led to the large-scale exploitation and destruction of the natural environment. The timber industry has moved towards Stutterheim and the agricultural production has declined somewhat. Just outside the town is one of South Africa's historic schools.
Founded as a mission school by Bishop of Grahamstown John Armstrong in 1854, the school was once a thriving educational centre, the large parish church is a local landmark. A hospital and training facility for nurses was opened at the site in 1923 and the secondary school began in 1926. Like other church schools, the Anglican Church withdrew from direct involvement in the school as a result of the 1953 Bantu Education Act; the state bought much of St Matthews’ land in 1970, in 1976 the hospital was taken over by the Ciskei government. It closed ten years moving to Keiskammahoek, where it became known as the SS Gida Hospital; the high school continues as a state boarding school for girls. A small clinic remains on the school site, the ruins of many of the school's buildings are everywhere evident; the economy of Keiskammahoek relies on grants from the State. The population has been declining and many villages are still without basic services such as water and sanitation. However, the town still maintains some of the remnants of the historic past and there are a number of historic buildings to be found such as the Gilead Church.
Keiskammahoek houses the medium-sized S. S. Gida Hospital, a Provincial government funded hospital for the Amahlathi area. Accommodation near Keiskammahoek can be found at Cata Lodge, located at Cata Village 17km outside of Keiskammahoek Town. Cata Lodge is a - run initiative, it offers the option of homestays, with various trained hosts in the village. Cata Lodge is the start of the Cape Parrot Day Hiking Trail, it offers mountain biking as well as flyfishing and bird watching. Marguerite Poland's Shades is set in a fictionalised version of Keiskammahoek and based on life at the mission station. Alice Pegler, born in Keiskammahoek in 1861, noted botanical collector William Greenstock, born in Keiskammahoek in 1865, international cricketer Membathisi Mdladlana, born in Keiskammahoek in 1952, a member of Parliament with African National Congress and longtime Minister of Labour Henry Taberer, born in Keiskammahoek in 1870, international cricketer Arthur Mzwandile Kobese born in Keiskammahoek in 1938, Mr. Arthur Kobese was one of the Founding members of Chess South Africa.
He was Interim President in 1994 and 1995 and was elected President from 1996 – 2001. He served as Zone 4.3 President from 1996 to 2000
Gyurme Dorje was a Scottish Tibetologist and writer. In Edinburgh he studied classics at George Watson's College and developed an early interest in Buddhist philosophy, he held a PhD in an MA in Sanskrit with Oriental Studies. In the 1970s he spent a decade living in Tibetan communities in India and Nepal where he received extensive teachings from Kangyur Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, Chatral Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. In 1971 Dudjom Rinpoche encouraged him to begin translating his completed History of the Nyingma School and in 1980 his Fundamentals of the Nyingma School - together this was an undertaking, to take twenty years, only reaching completion in 1991. In the 1980s Gyurme returned to the UK and in 1987 completed his 3 volume doctoral dissertation on the Guhyagarbhatantra and Longchenpa's commentary on this text at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. From 1991 to 1996 Gyurme held research fellowships at London University, where he worked with Alak Zenkar Rinpoche on translating the content of the Great Sanskrit Tibetan Chinese Dictionary to create the three volume Encyclopaedic Tibetan-English Dictionary.
He wrote, edited and contributed to numerous important books on Tibetan religion and culture including The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History, Tibetan Medical Paintings 2 vol. The Tibet Handbook, the first complete translation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, A Handbook of Tibetan Culture. Gyurme Dorje was lived in Crieff, Scotland, he had two daughters and Tinley, as well as a son, Orgyn. He died in February 2020. Kongtrul, Jamgon: The One Hundredand Eight Teaching Manuals; the Treasury of Precious Instructions. Boulder: Snow Lion, an imprint of Shambhala Publications. P. 736. ISBN 978-1559394604. Dorje, Choying Tobden; the Complete Nyingma Tradition from Sutra to Tantra, Book 13: Philosophical Systems and Lines of Transmission. The Complete Nyingma Tradition. Boulder: Snow Lion, an imprint of Shambhala Publications. Pp. 1–672. ISBN 978-1559394604. Dorje, Choying Tobden; the Complete Nyingma Tradition from Sutra to Tantra, Books 15 to 17: The Essential Tantras of Mahayoga.
The Complete Nyingma Tradition. Boulder: Snow Lion, an imprint of Shambhala Publications. Pp. 1–1416. ISBN 978-1559394369. Dorje, Gyurme; the Guhyagarbhatantra and its XIVth Century Commentary Phyogs-bcu mun-sel. SOAS, University of London. Gyurme Dorje Dudjom Rinpoche's The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History. Boston, Wisdom Publications. 1st edition, 1991. Tibetan Medical Paintings. Serindia Publications, London. 1992. Tibet Handbook. Footprint Handbooks, Bath. 1st edition, 1996. Footprint Handbooks, Bath. 1st edition, 2004. Tibetan Elemental Divination Paintings Eskenazi & Fogg, London. 2001. See Whiteberyl An Encyclopaedic Tibetan-English Dictionary. "A Rare Series of Tibetan Banners", in Pearls of the Orient, Serindia, 2003. Padmasambhava. Jinpa, Thupten; the Tibetan Book of the Dead: First Complete English Translation. His Holiness the Dalai Lama. London and New York: Viking, Penguin Classics. ISBN 9780713994148. OCLC 60794350; the Great Temple of Lhasa, Thames & Hudson, 2005 A Buddhist response to the climate emergency, 2009, The Guhyagarbha Tantra: Dispelling the Darkness of the Ten Directions Kongtrul, Jamgon.
Indo-Tibetan Classical Learning and Buddhist Phenomenology. The Treasury of Knowledge. Ithaca: Snow Lion. Pp. 441–613, 849–874. ISBN 1559393890. Tsadra Foundation English Translation Grantees:Gyurme Dorje Gyurme Dorje - Wisdom publications