THE annual Universities Boat Race takes place this weekend, and it’s going to be a good one. Already the town is full of rowers and their families who spend their hard-earned cash in our shops and help the local economy. But it is also an exciting spectator event – with locals and hordes of students rooting for their crews as the rowers drain every last drop of energy from tired muscles in order to walk away with the coveted trophies. Today sees the students vying for seeding in their various categories, while tomorrow will see the first races taking place to determine the pecking order and establish the finalists in both the men’s and women’s finals. Tomorrow is therefore the rowers’ last chance to show why they are worthy of the title of champions. The atmosphere is festive and the spectacle impressive, and there are plenty of places along the river bank and at the various eating and drinking establishments to make a day (or a few days) of it.
AND, while on the subject of the Kowie River, the state of the riverbank is a disgrace, according to Shirley Pheasant, who said she takes her dog for walks each morning and has noticed the “Old Man” who has been living there for the last few months. “[The man] lived in the “oyster man’s” building on the riverbank with his female friend and a small child.” Pheasant complained that, when the municipality could not remove the man from the premises, they rather demolished it. “This was, to my mind, an historical building”, wrote a disgruntled Pheasant. The man’s furniture, including a sofa, a small cupboard, mattress, pots and plastic buckets, were then placed across the towpath under some trees. “He and his buddies used to sit there and drink, passing the bottle between them.” He has not lived there for many months, and the furniture slowly disappeared, probably taken by others. But the rubbish he accumulated is still there and, at a time when our town is under scrutiny by visitors, the municipality should do something to pick up the rubbish that has been left behind.
IT is with great sadness we heard of the passing of Grahamstown resident Chris de Clercq recently. Chris had been in a motor vehicle accident alongside Hendrik Olivier on September 2 where the two men hit a tree traveling on the R67 towards Grahamstown. Hendrik passed away at the scene while Chris had been in a coma since then. Chris is survived by his wife, Sandi de Clercq, and daughter, Hayley. Taken too soon, never to be forgotten. May you rest in peace.
WITH the hurricanes that have hit the US, along with flooding in south-east Asia, it is perhaps time we worked on better ways to combat such disasters. The main problem is not the flooding itself, but what is left when the water once more recedes. Bacterial and viral infections, destruction of crops and farm animals, as well as other related illnesses kill more people than the hurricane and floods themselves, and more attention needs to be paid to recovery after such events. The US, having suffered from Hurricane Katrina some years ago, is far more alert now to the dangers post-hurricane conditions can cause, but developing world countries, such as Bangladesh, do not have the same resources or experience. A considerable amount of humanitarian aid will be required to re-establish the affected cities, towns and villages – not just in the form of money but in terms of “hands-on” assistance. We wish everyone affected by the disasters well, and hope that they have survived it with at least their health, if not their personal possessions.
GREETINGS and birthday wishes to everyone enjoying another special day in the week ahead, especially Tony Versfeld, Anne McCreath, Nigel Difford, Val Thorncroft, Robyn Cock, Karen White, Robyn Solwandle, Dean Charter, Jenna Pretorius, John Mobbs, Selby Tarr, Karen White, Jamie Kleinhans, Jenna Rowe, Dillan Dugard, Carole Hill, Nancy Meyer, Jacobus Nel, Kathleen Sansom, Amy Bennett, Su Reed, Gillis de Korte, Edwin Randall, Doris Emslie, Glenda Jakins, Norman Whale, Carl Haller, Van West, Isobel Meyer, Jan Pearson, Alec Clark, Dennis Crowther.
BUSINESS anniversary congratulations and may success continue to grace your doors, is the wish we send to all businesses and organisations celebrating such an occasion, especially Kowie Key, Pick n Pay Liquors, the DA Office and Diaz Cross Bird Club.
WHAT a tangled web we weave . . . You know the rest. Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is being accused of plotting, together with the president, to change the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank to protect the people rather than its current mandate to protect the currency. Allegedly they conspired to get Absa to pay back a R1.125-billion apartheid-era bailout of Absa’s predecessor, Bankorp. Although her order was overturned by the High Court, people are now asking why the meetings Mkhwebane held with President Jacob Zuma were not disclosed. At the time of writing, Mkhwebane’s actions have once more had serious implications for the local currency. With last year’s figures in brackets for comparison, the rand was trading at R13.12 to dollar (R14.36), R17.41 to the pound (R18.96) and R15.72 to the euro (R16.13). Gold trading at $1 333.17 ($1 321.13), platinum at $988.80 ($1 037.70) and Brent crude at $54.28 per barrel ($47.27). Watch out for another hike in the petrol price in the next few weeks.
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, Dot Fetherstonhaugh, Ben Kember, Barbara Tee, Dr Jerome Boulle.
DEEPEST sympathy and special thoughts to the family and friends of Clive Cockcroft who passed away on September 9. A memorial service will be held at the Kleinemonde Church today at 11am. May cherished memories of all the happy times spent together comfort all the family during your bereavement.
WEDDING anniversary greetings and congratulations with wishes for many more wonderful times ahead to Mark and Tracy Deenik, Ian and Erna McPherson, Chris and Janice Housten, Andrew and Tonia Walker, Erica and Chris Alexandre.
GOOD luck to the Boks for Saturday’s game against the All Blacks. Go Bokke, go!
THOUGHT for the week: “Success is peace of mind, a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming”.
BEST regards as always,