Grahamstown This Week

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FEAST OF ASTRO HOCKEY
TWENTY schools, hundreds of players, three astro fields, 85 matches, accommodation and meals for players and team officials, plus all the admin work and preparation involved. That’s the enormity of this year’s co-educational first team hockey festival being hosted by Kingswood College this weekend. In fact, teams start arriving from 3pm today, with the first matches being played at 4pm. The real action gets under way from 8am tomorrow, with a total of 30 matches being played on City Lords, Webster and Rhodes astro fields. Saturday is another all-action day, while Sunday sees teams playing their last matches. Among the schools taking part are Heron Bridge School, Cornwall Hill College and St John’s College from Gauteng, Glenwood High from Durban, Parel Vallei High, York High and Glenwood House School from the Western Cape, and a host of Eastern Cape schools. Grahamstown schools involved in the festival are Kingswood, Graeme, VGHS and St Andrew’s. Local schools playing early matches on Friday are: St Andrew’s v St George’s on Webster at 8am; Graeme v Hudson Park on City Lords at 8am; VGHS v Gelvan on City Lords at 10.30am; Kingswood Girls v York on City Lords at 12.10pm; and Kingswood Boys v Glenwood High on City Lords at 1.50pm.

CAMBRIDGE ON SOMERSET
Graeme College’s senior rugby teams are at home on Somerset field to Cambridge High from East London on Saturday.

THE ‘SUPERFITS’
Congratulations to all the Grahamstown athletes who successfully completed the ultra-tough Ironman competition in Port Elizabeth on Sunday. Consider that the event comprised a 3.8km sea swim off Hobie Beach, a 180km cycle ride and 42km road run and you’ll realise that each and every finisher deserves heaps of admiration and a huge round of applause. One of the local finishers even completed the Two Oceans 56km ultra-marathon two weeks before Ironman!

ART AND MORE
The art and craft market in the garden of Carinus Art Centre in Beaufort Street from 9am on Saturday April 16 will offer arts, crafts, plants, bric-a-brac, preserves and foodstuffs. ON THE FARM Appearing in the “Farming and Nature Conservation Societies” chapter of the Grahamstown 1964 Directory were the following clubs and societies. I’m wondering if any are still in existence. 1. Albany Bathurst Farmers’ League, c/o Mr Benny Bensley. 2. Grahamstown Agricultural Society, c/o Mr George Annable. 3. Koonap Farmers’ Association, c/o Mr B Smailes. 4. SA Ornithological Society, c/o Mr HR Hoyle.

VICTORY IN SOMERSET EAST
The Graeme College first rugby teams in the senior and junior schools – the first 15 and the U13A team – scored good victories over Gill College in Somerset East on Saturday. At senior school level, Graeme firsts defeated their Gill counterparts by 41 points to 31, while at junior school level Graeme under-13A beat Gill 38-5. Other results between the schools: Seconds – Graeme won 22-3; U16A – Graeme won 10-3; U15A – Gill won 14-10; U-13B – Graeme won 51-0; U11A – Graeme won 12-7; U11B – Graeme won 17-7; U9A – Graeme won 19-14.

CHAMP IN THE VALLEY
Congratulations to Elizabeth Bowker who became the very first winner of the Belmont Golf Club ladies’ open championships in the valley on Saturday scoring 41 points.

DRILL HALL DUO
Grahamstown Music Society’s next concert features Alexander Ramm (cello) and Pieter Jacobs (piano), and they’ll be performing in the St Andrew’s College Drill Hall from 7.30pm on Thursday April 21. The programme includes works by Sergei Prokofiev, Astor Piazzolla and Edvard Grieg. Tickets will be available at the door – adults R90, and society members free.

BATS AND BALLS
Appearing in the “Spor t” section of the Grahamstown 1964 Directory were the following clubs and associations. I wonder if any of them are still in existence. 1. First City Badminton Club, c/o Mr L Emms. 2. Grahamstown Lawn Tennis Association, c/o Mr RG Browne. 3. Grahamstown Rifle Club, c/o Mr NA Dennis. 4. Grahamstown Table-Tennis Club, c/o Mr RA Harrison. 5. Grahamstown Women’s Hockey Club, c/o Miss J Collins. 6. Marco Tennis Club, c/o Mrs ME Harrison. 7. Park Tennis Club, c/o Mr GW Randall.

CARING POLO: Grahamstown Hospice recently received funding from the National Lottery, some of which was used to purchase a new Volkswagen Polo sedan for their home-based care service. Every month Hospice cares for about 300 patients in the communities of Makana and Ndlambe, and depends on fundraising and the generosity of the community. Seen with the Polo are, from left, Charmaine King (Market Square Volkswagen), Trish Gillies (direct o r, Grahamstown Hospice) and Janine Peinke (Hospice administrator)
CARING POLO: Grahamstown Hospice recently received funding from the National Lottery, some of which was used to purchase a new Volkswagen Polo sedan for their home-based care service. Every month Hospice cares for about 300 patients in the communities of Makana and Ndlambe, and depends on fundraising and the generosity of the community. Seen with the Polo are, from left, Charmaine King (Market Square Volkswagen), Trish Gillies (direct or, Grahamstown Hospice) and Janine Peinke (Hospice administrator)

THINKING OF GRAHAMSTOWN
Each week I send a copy of my column, via e-mail and PDF or whatever it’s called, to about 40 former Grahamstonians now living all over South Africa, from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town to Jeffreys Bay, Port Elizabeth and East London. plus a couple more living abroad. Readers of this column might be interested to know where they are now and what they’re doing. Over the next three editions I am going to mention some of them. A regular visitor to the offices of Grahamstown This Week when the newspaper was still in print some years back was sales consultant and office administrator Rory Gardner. He would drive up from Port Alfred and visit Grahamstown businesses with a view to procuring advertising. I, for one, was disappointed when he left the company almost eight years ago, and greatly surprised when I heard he had been appointed dive instructor on the island of Koh Nangyuan in the Gulf of Thailand, about 600km south of Bangkok. The privately-owned island he lives on is called Koh Nangyuan Dive Resort, with the resort being the only settlement on the island. Rory has been there seven years, and started working as a dive instructor. He’s been the dive centre manager for the past five years. His duties include scheduling courses and dive experiences, managing room bookings for diving guests, being in charge of the retail section and managing instructor staff. Rory looks forward to his weekly copy of the Grahamstown This Week column when he reads about the people and happenings of Grahamstown.

NEGLECTED
A year ago the Grahamstown Golf Club – t h at ’s the one next to the aerodrome – was in pristine condition, well maintained and attracting hundreds of members and visitors each month. Then the move was made to Belmont Valley to the south of Grahamstown and the club became the Belmont Golf Club. I drove up Cradock Road at the weekend to have a look at the ‘old’ course. Not only are the fairways overgrown with grass and weeds, so too are the once immaculate greens I was able to view from the road. Wonder what’s happening as far as the housing development planned for the course is concerned.

LAST FESTIVAL
Ismail Mahomed, artistic director of the National Arts Festival for the past nine years, announced last week that this year’s festival will be his last. He said he believes that the festival needs constant refreshing, and the festival will benefit from the energy and focus that a new artistic director will bring. Mahomed will announce his future plans “in due course”. RUBBISH GALORE Not once, not twice, but on several occasions I have mentioned in this column the indiscriminate dumping of garden refuse at the Hillsview Road entrance to the lane that leads to Beadle Street in Sunnyside. Walking past the lane at the weekend I was horrified to notice the huge amount of rubbish dumped there over the past fortnight.

OVERGROWN: The cemetery between the N2 and the industrial area is in an unkempt and overgrown state as this photo, taken at the weekend, illustrates. The photographer walked gingerly through the dry grass on a very hot day, aware there might be snakes lurking in the grass. Some graves even had shrubs a metre or more in height growing on them Picture: SID PENNEY
OVERGROWN: The cemetery between
the N2 and the industrial area is in
an unkempt and overgrown state as
this photo, taken at the weekend,
illustrates. The photographer walked
gingerly through the dry grass on a very hot day, aware there might be snakes lurking in the grass.
Some graves even had shrubs a metre or more in height growing on them Picture: SID PENNEY

THEY’RE GONE
By now, residents will be aware that certain garden refuse containers have been removed from their sites in the suburbs. Gone are the containers at the northern end of Oatlands Road (across the road from the tennis courts) and the corner of Taunton and Glastonbury Roads in Somerset Heights. Quite rightly so, reckon residents, as they were becoming an unsightly mess. However, the good news is the container at the western end of Worcester Street is still there. With the removal of some containers, the question arises: “Where in town do residents dump their garden refuse now?”

AN ECLECTIC MIX
The National Arts Festival, now in its 42nd year, runs from June 30 to July 10 this year, is the largest and longest-running celebration of the arts on the African continent. For eleven days an eclectic mix of drama, dance, music, performance art, visual art, street performances and family fare will be presented. This year almost 80% of the Main programme is either written, directed, curated or headlined by women.

OAKDENE ON SOMERSET
Fifty years ago the property situated at 15 and 17 Somerset Street was occupied by Oakdene Private Hotel, and run as a boarding house by Mr and Mrs GR van Rensburg. Later, Rhodes University acquired the property and it became a male student residence, Oakdene House. The buildings were already on the oldish side when Rhodes took them over. Many years later the university needed space for the School of Languages, and Oakdene House fitted the bill, as it were. But due to various by-laws the buildings could not be demolished, resulting in the renovation of these structures and the construction of new buildings on an adjacent vacant plot. I walked along Somerset Street at the weekend and noticed the construction is complete. And, well done to Rhodes.

OLD-TIMER IS HUGE
There’s a huge tree – as in gigantic – st a n d i n g guard in front of the Old Provost building between Lucas Avenue and the botanical gardens. Residents and former residents may remember that the Old Provost was once a prison, but that was a long time ago. Now, back to that tree. It looks like some kind of bluegum, but I wonder what its girth is, and how long it has stood at attention at the entrance to the circular building – I reckon at least 100 years.

Sid Penney – sidp@imaginet.co.za

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