Neighbourly Notes – 26 January 2017

POOLSIDE: Michelle Smit and her daughter Mia, left, with Anita Botha were big supporters at the Port Alfred High School Seniors Splash Gala, held at the school pool on Tuesday. Picture: ROB KNOWLES

FIRSTLY, congratulations go to Steve and Kim Gardner for the Spinning Reel being voted Best Establishment in Port Alfred for 2016 by Sleeping-OUT’s annual Guest Satisfaction Awards. Hard work and dedication always pays off.

CONGRATULATIONS also go to Martin Bekker, owner of the Royal St Andrews Hotel, which ranked fourth among the Tripadvisor 2017 Travellers Choice top 25 hotels in South Africa. The hotel was listed ahead of the likes of Cape Town’s Queen Victoria Hotel, The Table Bay Hotel and One&Only Hotel, as well as the Saxon in Gauteng, and Fancourt in the Western Cape. Considering it is less than two years after reopening, this is a great feat indeed. According to Bekker’s wife, Linda, Tripadvisor also ranked Royal St Andrews among the top 25 hotels in Africa.

IT’S great to see that Pineapple Cricket is rehabilitating the Hospital Field, adjacent to the Port Alfred Hospital in preparation for the beginning of this year’s Pineapple Cricket Tournament which kicks off in early March. With just five weeks to go, the intention is to extend the width of the cricket field by about 50m, and to allow spectators to sit in comfort while they watch the game. Of course, the pitch itself needs some work, but James Fox assures us that everything will be complete by the time the first match begins. Well done Foxy, we look forward to seeing the final results.

IT was the final leg of the 2016/17 King of the Kowie competition, held at West Beach last Saturday and, after three legs, Andrew Donaghy came out tops in the open section. Cameron Reeder came in first in the under 20s, Anton Wiersma came top of the over 30s, while Richard Heny won the over 40s section. Micky Witthuhn oiled his tired joints and won the over 50s. Heny was back on the winner’s podium when he won the longboard and, as expected, SA National bodyboard team coach Clinton Millard won the bodyboarding section. Wiersma was also back on the podium by winning the kneelo section. The bottom line is that the Kowie offers great surf and thus produces great surfers. Well done to you all.

NATIONALLY, the breaking news is of the “War Rooms” that were allegedly established by the ANC to discredit opposition parties during the recently-held local government elections. Apparently, a young woman named Sihle Bolani, was employed by the ruling party to disempower the DA and the EFF election campaigns by setting a pro-ANC agenda in the media. Bolani is now suing the ANC for R2.2-million, money she says she was promised. She claims the War Room printed posters of EFF leader Julius Malema brandishing an automatic weapon above his head. The ANC has agreed that Bolani worked for them as a “volunteer”, but rubbishes her claims but agreed to pay her R1m to prevent messy litigation. Pundits are sceptical, reasoning that, if the ANC is innocent, why pay such an amount to a volunteer. The EFF and DA are considering litigation themselves and, should the ANC be found guilty of unethical conduct by the courts, the Independent Electoral Commission could prevent the party from contending in a future elections.

HAPPY birthday and all the best for the year ahead to everyone celebrating a birthday this week, especially Raymond Pearson, Shirley Oliver, Adrian Mouton, Daniel Hilpert, Logan Strydom, Ros Clayton, Nerissa von Pletzen, Warrick Beetge, Bella Metcalf, Eric Garner, Anthony Katz, Gary du Randt, Bruce Coates, Mike Brown, Kate Bendeman, Emma Thorp, Merna McCabe, Merryl Uys, Keenan Burgins, Michael Tarrant, Alex Harris, Kirsty Jooste, Heston Botha, Fransje Spieker, Denis Brummer, Mike Beaumont, Brendan Wicks, Mya Schultz, Brigette Muller, Glynn Gudzman, Louise Wiggett, Amanda Mould, Helene Taylor, Karen Elliott, Sally Davidge-Pitts, Mansard Wienand, Belinda Botha, Lindy Heny, Tracy Painting, Clair Wepener, Sas Pringle, Leon du Plessis.

FURTHER success and good luck for the future to all businesses and organisations celebrating an anniversary – congratulations to Salon Florence, Hi-Tec (Coastal) Security, Gary Grapentin’s East Cape Shotokan-Ryu Karate, First PA Sea Scouts / Cubs, Albany Vintage Car Museum. Other important dates to remember this week are the 40th annual Sun Met (previously known as the J&B Met) Horse Racing Day, which is on this Saturday, January 28. The theme for this year’s illustrious event is “Decades of Glamour”, which aims to inspire attendees by referencing different fashion eras from the 1920s to now – decades that epitomised glamour, elegance and self-expression in celebration of the Sun Met’s proud legacy.

TUESDAY’S decision by the Monetary Policy Committee of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to keep the interest rate at the current level of 7% (with a home loan base rate of 10.5%) for the fifth successive meeting was welcomed by businesses around the country. While the currency has stabilised, the December inflation rate climbed from 6.6% to 6.8%, stubbornly refusing to drop below the 6% upper target range, as set by the SARB governor Lesetja Kganyago. In presenting the news Kganyago warned that, should circumstances change, the rate will need to be reassessed. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against the Rand was trading at R13.29 (R16.41) to the dollar, R16.72 (R23.49) to the pound and R14.27 (R17.83) to the euro. Gold was trading at $1 203.21 ($1 118.89), platinum trading at $998.10 ($858.90) and Brent crude was $55.14 ($31.03).

SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all those folk 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.

SINCERE condolences to the family and friends of Tony Fella who passed away on Thursday January 19. We especially think of his wife Anne in this sad time. May you remember all the good times spent together.

WE were sad to hear of the passing of Kariega founder and visionary Colin Rushmere who passed away on the weekend. He is lovingly remembered by all who knew him, particularly his wife Twinks, his five children, 17 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. He will be sorely missed.

SPECIAL silver wedding anniversary greetings to Roger and Mary-Anne Gailey. We wish you love and happiness for the next 25 years together.

FANS of 32-year-old AB de Villiers were delighted he played in the final T20 international against Sri Lanka at Newlands yesterday evening. Unfortunately, the match took place after publication, but my guess is that the Proteas won the final match and therefore the series. De Villiers’ presence on the field undoubtedly had an impact, particularly on the youngsters, and after scoring a century in domestic cricket he seems to be in perfect nick for a great come-back.

THOUGHT for the week: “The thing that is really hard, and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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