This is a bronze plaque on a cairn at the top of the Ecca Pass, 12 km South of Grahamstown. It was erected in 1964 by the Historical Monuments Commission in honour of Andrew Geddes Bain, (1797-1864) pioneer geologist, explorer, hunter, writer and road-builder, who constructed: the Ouberg Pass; the Van Ryneveld Pass; the Montagu Pass; the Michell's Pass; the Gydo Pass; the Bain's Kloof Pass and the Ecca Pass, as well as reconstructing the Houwhoek Pass and starting the Katberg Pass. There is also a bronze plaque in his honour on the Summit of Bain's Kloof Pass, 7 km North of Wellington. His son Thomas also went on too follow in his father's foot-steps!
Andrew Geddes Bains was a fervent letter writer of satirical sketches of contemporary life, transport entrepreneur, military man, farmer, builder of bridges in the dry stone walling technique, autodidact, discoverer of the "Blinkwater Monster" fossil, as well as dramatist of "Kaatje Cuckoo". Andrew Geddes Bain's journal (1949) offers insights into a fascinating life in the Eastern Cape at the beginning of the eighteenth Century. The journal of Bain reconstructs not only his own life, but also the multi-faceted daily life and interactions of the various communities in the Colony. His sense of humour, intelligence, innovation and inquisitive mind make him an unforgettable colonial character, and his writings fascinating and enduring monuments, like his passes and bridges still standing in the Eastern Cape to this day.
New Dictionary of South African Place Names by Peter E Raper