Neighbourly Notes – 10 November 2016

FETED TO WIN: Port Alfred Methodist Church recently held a fete and wishes to thank the community for their support. First prize in their raffle, won by Bronwyn Dorrington, left, was a beautiful hand-made quilt made by Di Long.
FETED TO WIN: Port Alfred Methodist Church recently held a fete and wishes to thank the community for their support. First prize in their raffle, won by Bronwyn Dorrington, left, was a beautiful hand-made quilt made by Di Long.

AS is always the case at this time of year, the calendar of things to do over the weekend in our area is quite busy. First we have a James Bond theme party at Barmuda on Friday for the Stenden students, where they are bound to rock the night away (let the neighbours be warned). Then, on Saturday we have the Port Alfred Sports Shooting Club’s AGM and prize-giving. At 1.30pm, there is the Aquathon at the Port Alfred Indoor Swimming Complex, as well as a High Tea at the St Paul’s Anglican Church in aid of sending young Kirsten Julie to the USA. Then, on Sunday, we have various events commemorating Remembrance Day, including a service at St David’s Church in Kenton, a sing-along at the Wesley Church in Port Alfred and a parade at the Moths Shell Hole (next to the Port Alfred Ski-boat Club) starting at 3pm.

CONGRATULATIONS to Tshilidzi “Chilli” Matshidzula, whose story is our lead in this week’s issue. His story is an inspiration to local farmers as well as a vision of a much richer future for South Africa in general. Good luck to Chilli in the future.

AND congratulations to finance minister Pravin Gordhan on winning this year’s Business Leader award at the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies Award ceremony, held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Tuesday evening. That must be one in the eye for National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams, who seems to have been gunning for Gordhan over the last few months, and who now may be asked to step down from his post and personally apologise to Gordhan and the country for the impact his actions have caused.

THE Port Alfred Ratepayers and Residents Association (Parra) held an open public meeting on Monday evening and experienced a very low turnout. Although the session turned out to be a report-back of the organisation’s latest initiatives, there was virtually no one there to hear the news. Is this an indication of the apathy of Port Alfred (including Nemato, Thornhill and Station Hill) residents, or was the lack of attendance due to a lack of awareness? If problems around the area are to resolved then Parra and similar ratepayers and residents organisations require support. You cannot change things from the outside so, to make this town work, residents must consider attending such gatherings and sharing their opinions. A report on the Parra AGM will be included in next week’s issue.

WE cannot ignore the fact that President-elect Donald Trump has been given the mandate of the American people to go forward with his policies vis-a-vis the great wall of Mexico, a purge of the bureaucrats on Capitol Hill and “making America great again”. The rand began strong on Tuesday evening but, as the votes were counted, it lost 2.5% of its value. Whether it continues to fall will depend on Trump’s views on South Africa and Africa in general. However, a complete shake-up of the US political establishment may not necessarily be a bad thing. Maybe we need a Trump-like shake-up here in our country?

HAPPY birthday and every good wish to everyone celebrating such an occasion. Congratulations especially to Mike Reed, Karen Marais, Roy Somers, Twin brothers – David and Bradley Springer, Hugh Taylor, Gordon Gill, Jenny Wallace, Johannes Roos, Paul Probert, Kerri Katz, Malcolm Slater, Clive Pearson, Nelo Stötter, Sharon Thackeray Dove, Ann Green, Loretta Phillips, Margaret Stas, Harold Dodd, Emke Klopper, Craig Griffiths, Catherine Bakaqana, Anne Coleman, Loretta Krein, Raymond Holcroft Helen Lansdell, Gordon Long, Louise Hoyle, Wilson Makeleni, Tyla Leigh Keeton, Blake Botha, Melodie Garner.

BEST wishes and congratulations to the following businesses on their anniversaries and may these lead to even more success in the future. Good luck to Andy’s Service Centre and 24-hour Fresh Stop, Volcanik, Dr Brian Olivier (dentist), Sunshine Juice and Gems and Jewels at the Anchorage.

AS mentioned earlier, the policies of new Trump-led America with majorities in both the senate and the house of delegates will greatly affect South Africa, but there is no way to know the extent or whether it will be positive or negative until early next year. Along with Brexit and the immigration/migrant problems, South Africa has to cope with our own government machinations. Ratings Agency Fitch is due to reassess the rand soon, and the current climate is not particularly conducive to a positive outcome for the country. With last year’s figures in brackets for comparison, the rand was trading at R13.58/$ (R14.18), R16.87/£ (R21.48), R15.08/E (R15.23). Commodities such as gold were trading at $1 305.56 per fine ounce ($1 089.41), platinum was trading at $1 008.80 per ounce ($911.50) with Brent crude oil at $45.58 per barrel ($47.24).

SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all those who are not well, who are having or have already had tests, operations and treatments. “Sterkte” to Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, June Hart, Linda Hulley, Ben Kember, Blake Squires, Llewellyn Wicks, Philly Dell, Myrna Keet, Barbara Tee, Bevan Edwards, Jonathan Walker and Brenda Shelton.

WEDDING anniversary congratulations and best wishes to all couples celebrating this special occasion, especially Roly and Lorna Clayton, Mark and Suzanne Wyllie, Athol and Cynthia Canny, Paul and Stacey Botha.

ON November 14, the moon will appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter than the average moon as it comes closest to earth since 1948. Although December brings another Supermoon, the next one of this proportion, as close to Earth, will only be seen in 2034. Although the Supermoon phenomenon provides viewing pleasure for all, last year, a Supermoon brought with it disastrous consequences as unexpected high tides swept through some of the favourite Kalk Bay restaurants. And, if the sky is cloudy we could miss the phenomena altogether.

WITH a convincing demolition of the Australian batting line-up last week, it’s well done to our boys down-under for winning the first of three test matches, supplementing the ODI series whitewash (5-0) when the Australians toured to South Africa last month. The second test will be played at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart, beginning on Saturday. Let’s keep up the pressure and secure the test series win.

THOUGHT for the week: “To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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