Neighbourly Notes – 12 January 2017

GET ME TO THE CHAPEL: Marc Malan, left, and Eden Rankin celebrated their marriage at the Church of St John’s stone wall chapel in Bathurst followed by a fun-filled reception at the Royal St Andrews Hotel recently

WE WISH all the pupils who attended school for the first time, the very best year of their lives. School is not just a place of learning, but it is also a family of sorts, shared with people who one will remember for the rest of one’s life. Grab the opportunities school life presents with both hands. Get involved in your school, do your best and you will be rewarded. Not everyone will pass their matric examinations but if you always try your best, the rewards will come.

SAYING that, let’s wish all those pupils who are going to sit supplementary examinations and effectively retake their Grade 12 examinations, the very best of luck. Take the month of January to swot, and perhaps have a talk with those pupils who passed (particularly if they passed with good marks) and be prepared to learn from them. The rest of your life may rest on how you perform in the sups but (and everyone says this because it is true) this is not the end. Pass or fail you can still make a meaningful contribution to society. A degree is only one way to make a difference. For example, if my roof blows off my house, I am not going to be looking for a BCom honours student to fix it. I’ll want a roofer or carpenter or a general builder. So keep your spirits up. This is just the first step in what will hopefully be a long and interesting journey.

A SPECIAL notice to all those members of the Port Alfred Scouts and Cubs. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Scouts will not meet this Friday, but will only meet on Friday February 10. Akala, Dot Fetherstonhaugh sends her apologies.

YESTERDAY, Kenton was again up in arms as protesters closed the R72 at the Kenton/Ekuphumleni intersection and traffic was halted. The protest is in connection with the 560 RDP houses promised by the department of human settlements. So far, 75 houses have been completed and handed over, but the process followed in the allocation and the recipients are clouded in controversy. Rucon, the main contractor on the project has apparently not been paid since before Christmas, and therefore the subcontractors, numbering about 60 SMMEs, have not been paid either. This has put considerable pressure on the families of those dependent on an income from the project. Rocks were thrown at cars and tyres were set on fire before Public Order Police arrived and, after warnings, fired shots and smoke canisters at the protesters. The protest fizzled out at about 2pm when a letter was received from human settlements promising payment would be made by tomorrow.

ON Tuesday, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters announced that 1 714 road fatalities occurred over the festive season. Fully 61% occurred in Gauteng, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape. This figure does not take into account those injured or rendered handicapped by traffic incidents, just the ones that died. The figure is 5% higher than last year’s figures and, despite the hubris of the government who assured us that special plans had been made to limit the number of deaths, whatever they had planned to do obviously did not work. Although the word “corruption” is perhaps bandied around too often these days, how else can you explain such appalling statistics except saying that some drivers should never have been issued with licences?

BIRTHDAY greetings and congratulations to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead. May the year ahead bring you most of what you wish for, especially to Lindsay Wilmot Steyn, Neale McCabe, Janet Hyde, Nicky van Lavieren, Lee Howard, Leonie Beetge, Jonty Lentz, Warren Vermaak, Lindy Pieterse, Claire McKinnon, Sandra Knight, twins Connan Hill and Shannon Hawkes, Tayna Elliott, Shaun Uys, Buck Buchholz, Hugo Slater, Dee Joiner, Lora Waters, Jackie Anderson, Celia Bradfield and Jaco van Rensburg.

CONGRATULATIONS on another successful year to the following places and businesses enjoying another anniversary, with best wishes for many more years to come – The Fish River Diner, Cool Runnings, Eastern Cape Motors, The Royal Alfred Marina.

AS FOR finances, not much has changed this week, but next week should get a little more interesting as Donald Trump takes up the reins as the 45th US president. There is little doubt the markets will react to that. In the meantime, at the time of going to press and with last year’s figures in brackets, the rand was R14.47 (R17.82) to the euro. Commodities, such as gold, was trading at $1 187.98 ($1 084.65), platinum was trading at $982.50 ($846.10) and Brent crude at $54.08 ($31.15).

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, Dot Fetherstonhaugh, Ben Kember, Blake Squires, Llewellyn Wicks, Malcolm Cock, Philly Dell, Myrna Keet, Barbara Tee, Bevan Edwards and Brenda Shelton.

OUR sympathy to the family and friends of Colleen Elliott who passed away on January 6. Her memorial will be at 11am on January 18 at Inggs Chapel in Grahamstown.

OUR best wishes and heartiest congratulations to all couples celebrating another year of wedded bliss, especially Greg and Jann Kieck; and Gary and Odette Gailey.

SPECIAL belated silver wedding anniversary greetings to Charlton and Elleries Hilpert for January 10. We wish you love and happiness for the next 25 years together.

THOUGHT for the week: “The greatest guarantee you will leave the legacy you desire, is how you live every day”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team