Bertie started making knives as a hobby in 1979, his final year at school.
He is a member of the Knife-makers Guild of Southern Africa, since 1982 and served as Chairman (1997 to 1999.)
Member of the Italian Knife Guild. (Corporazione Italiana Coltellinai) since 2000, and exhibits at their Milan show annually.
He started forging his own Damascus in 1991 and is the first producer of Stainless Steel damascus in South Africa, having made his first stainless steel Damascus in 1997.
He established an engineering company, Batavia Eng. in 1988, (having studied mechanical engineering), manufacturing belt grinders and contact wheels. This business was downsized in 2000 so that Bertie could spend more time on his passion for knifemaking.
The contact wheels still persisted due to strong demand and eventually in June 2006 this came to an end in favour of full time knifemaking.