IT’S been a tumultuous week in the news, with some feel-good stories, a lot of hope but also some traumatic incidents.
LET’S begin with some good news in that Stephen Penney, son of our Grahamstown Festival City columnist Sid Penney, has been appointed marketing and communications officer at St Andrew’s Collage. Stephen worked for Grocott’s Mail for almost 20 years, where he was sports editor and senior photographer. It has been quite a year for him – he ran and completed his 25th Two Oceans Ultra in Cape Town earlier this year. Sid and Marion are very proud and we wish him all the best in his new career.
IF you are a former player in the Port Alfred Rugby Club, defunct since 1991, you should be aware that the club is holding a reunion of its members on Friday and Saturday evening. There will be a general reunion at the Port Alfred Country Club tomorrow and a reunion lunch at the Port Alfred Ski-boat Club on Saturday.
WE were stunned to hear of the death of Lee-anne Lombard while working in Dubai as outlet manager of Girders and the Garden at the Ocean View Hotel. She won many accolades and awards for her outstanding work. Lee-anne will be remembered in the Kowie for her work on the erstwhile Kowie FM. A former Port Alfred High School pupil, Lee-anne was also a schoolgirl beauty queen. She will be sincerely missed.
LARA’S Eatery in Bathurst is moving to new premises and will reopen opposite Morley House tomorrow evening. A place for a fine dining experience, we wish Lara all the best at her new venue.
THE Eastern Borders Farmers Association is 100 years old this year and will be celebrating its centenary this Friday evening at the Shaw Park Hall. Our farmers are the lifeblood of the area and must be acknowledged for all the hard work they do to keep us fed, even under very stressful and trying circumstances. Congratulations, mense!
NOW on to international news and, unless you have been living under a rock, former and long-standing president of our neighbour Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, finally surrendered to the wishes of his people (not to mention the Zimbabwean army) on Tuesday evening and resigned his post. The scenes of jubilation seen on TV and in the newspapers at the announcement were an echo of the celebrations 37 years ago when Mugabe became the first democratically elected leader of the country in 1980. Former Zimbabwean vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was sacked by Mugabe (apparently to make way for Mugabe’s wife, Grace) is touted to become the country’s interim president, at least until the national elections, scheduled for mid- to late 2018. Yet the Ndebele people have no love of Mnangagwa and the security establishment in general after the Gukurahundi atrocities they committed. Neither do the opposition, who regard Mnangagwa and the military with mistrust after they committed the bloody 2008 run-off elections. We hope this is a new era for Zimbabwe, but indications are that while things have changed in the country, many things will remain the same.
WE send bright thoughts and warmest birthday wishes to everyone celebrating a birthday and hopefully may it be the best ever. Congratulations, especially to Lynette Keeton, Jacquiline du Preez, Gladman Sontsonga, Geofrey Duruwe, Richard Rudman, Barry Allen, Peter Reed, Barbara Carolan, Martin Neethling, Mo Goff, Shalmedine Brooks, Gavin Keeton, Tyrone Dixon, Lindi Garner, Cecilia Paul, Anthony Stevenson, Mikayla Patterson, Denise Beresford, Michelle Rowe, Delene Deenik, Craig Dickie, Francois de Klerk, Carol Mentz, Jacques Tarrant, Benjamin Arnott, Val Kilian, Omica Ngqowana, San Marie Vorster, Bruno Menin, Matthew Evans, Marion McPherson, Lodene Pohl, Danica Steyn, Ilse Wicks, Anita Thompson, Anneli Collyer, Hal Snyman, Bernadine Probart, Liz Gouws, Claude McLellan, Lance Miller, Toni Metcalf, Gareth Turner, Kim Gardner, Kerry Charter, Sylvia Strydom, Mariane Wessels, Juan Southey, Emma de Jager, Brandon Handley.
CONGRATULATIONS and continued success to the following businesses celebrating another anniversary especially to Mildek Garden Services, Cherrywood Nursery (Kenton-on-Sea), Kekkel en Kraai, Mabini’s Coffee Shop and Restaurant (Kenton-on-Sea), Try Me for Tours, The Corner Gallery (Bathurst), Rosehill Mall opened on November 27 2008.
THE rand is still floundering on international markets who await the ratings agencies decisions regarding the status of our currency. Having been downgraded to non-investment (junk) status, along with a technical recession, South Africa is really in crisis when it comes to rating agency assessment. Worse still is the on-going consternation over the allegations and denials regarding state capture. The international market is also in a state of flux and has been for more than a year now, having begun with the Brexit decision and Trump’s hard-line attitude to the concessions and agreements of his predecessors. With the price of Brent Crude having escalated to more than $60 a barrel mark a few weeks ago, there is very little fiscally to celebrate as we head into the festive season. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against the rand was trading at R13.93/$ (R14.08), R18.44/£ (R17.43), and R16.40/ß to the euro (R14.94). Commodities were trading with gold at R1 283.16 per fine ounce ($1 211.32), platinum at R954.10 per ounce ($941.70) and Brent crude oil at R63.26 per barrel ($49.09).
SINCERE condolences to the family and friends of Alan Pote who passed away peacefully on November 21. Service at St Saviour’s Church, Walmer at 11am tomorrow.
HAVING reached her milestone 100th birthday, our thoughts are with the family and friends of Sheila Wilson (nee Vroom) who passed away on November 15.
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, Howard Dredge.
WEDDING anniversary congratulations and may there be many more years of continued happiness to Garth and Jenny Kieck, Matthew and Casey van Niekerk, Vic and Beryl Goddard.
AND a special shout-out to Luke and Cindy Charter on the birth of their daughter, Olivia, on November 22. Welcome Olivia, another member of the Talk of the Town family!
THOUGHT for the week: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.”
BEST regards as always,