Neighbourly Notes – 7 December 2017

HARTY CANOEING: Taking the Kowie River Canoe adventure from the Halyards Hotel recently, were, from left, Eleanor Thomson with Jessica and Jarryd Harty who would be travelling with their father, Alan. The trip comprises of a canoe journey 18km up the river, camping overnight and then canoeing the 18km back to Port Alfred. Picture: ROB KNOWLES

IT’S the school’s boat races this weekend, and the town will fill with visitors who are either rowers or their parents, and it’s a one of the key indicators that Christmas is on its way. Once again the schools will row along the Kowie River in an attempt to wrest the title from last year’s boys winners, King Edward IIV School (Kes) and the girls (who have won the title three-years in succession) St Mary’s School. With the roads still causing delays in and out of the town, the Heritage Mall being upgraded (and the consequential encroachment into the car park) and the uncountable number of potholes spread out throughout the town, they already have a lot to contend with. So let’s make our weekend visitors feel welcome so that they come back to visit us again next year.

ALSO, it’s the Rotary Tree of Joy at the Rosehill Mall on Friday, so go and get into the Christmas spirit. The Wesley Methodist Church in Hards Street starts at 8am on Saturday. Get there for some great bargains. Don’t forget Red Leaf Nursery’s Christmas cracker workshop from 10am to 11am on Saturday. The Port Alfred Duck Pond craft market will also carry on for a second week on Saturday. So, if the weather holds (it is predicted to be cloudy but a warm 26oc on Saturday) get out of bed early and take a walk around town and enjoy the markets and the boat races this weekend.

PRETTY soon the workers on the R72 through town will pack up their equipment to take a break over Christmas, but will return in the New Year to complete the work. The large truck that managed to break-down on Southwell Road on Tuesday afternoon, just one of many over the years, proves that this incline is often too steep for large heavy vehicles to negotiate, and one wonders why they continue to use this road when there alternatives. Will five sets of robots make them change their minds? Of course, those delivering to shops and businesses in Port Alfred have no choice but to travel through town, but other heavy vehicles could choose alternate routes. Remember, although there will be two lanes going up the hills on either side of town (Albany and Southwell roads) the incline will remain the same and there is a bottleneck at the Nico Malan Bridge where the road will go back to one lane either way at that point.

THE race for leadership of the ANC is heating up and no one knows what will happen on December 19. But, I learnt an interesting fact about how the elective conference works that you may not know. The ANC comprises of some 4 000 branches located around the country. The delegate list is proportionally divided based on the number of member in good standing in each branch. Some branches may have, say, 50 members which would not give them a delegate whereas a branch with 300 members would get to send three delegates (one delegate per 100 members) plus another for having more than 250 members; in other words, four delegates. Now, when provinces collect information from branches this does not necessarily reflect the size of the branch. For example, three branches, each with 30 members, could vote for candidate A, but have no delegates at the conference. Another with 300 members would vote for candidate B with four delegates. The province would say Candidate A wins the provincial vote with 3 votes to one, but the delegates’ votes would reflect four votes for Candidate B and none for the provincial choice, candidate A. So, with this in mind, and the fact that ANC leagues and other structures also have voting rights, we will just have to wait and see what happens at the conference. We live in South Africa, not Syria or Nigeria. Gun-toting intimidators are not welcome here, so let’s hope there is no more violence leading up to the conference.

CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead, especially Dylan Brown, Nicholas Dempers, David Steck, Brad Taljard, Annie Pike, Riekert Moller, Janine Groenewald, Paul Griffiths, Roy Leming, Daniel Drennan, Stewart Evans, Rudi van der Merwe, Loren Hilpert, Merna Philips-Page, Gary Jones-Phillipson, Denise Gunn, Mike Loewe, Nico Scheepers, Carol Behrman, Daniel Ross, Gregory Gudmanz, Mia Mary de Aroujo, Jean Botma, Donné Piquet, Jeanne Cloete, Vivienne Reid, Renette Marx, John Dresner and Akhona Qunta.

WELL done and continued success to all businesses celebrating another anniversary. Good luck for the future to Kenny’s Sports Bar.

NEWS that Cyril Ramaphosa is leading the election race for ANC president (whether that is, in fact, accurate or not) have had an effect on the local currency, albeit a short-lived one, with the rand strengthening against the dollar and the British pound as the week draws to a close. Also, Brent Crude is falling back to around $60 a barrel. How long will the respite last? Who knows, but we should be grateful for small mercy from wherever they come. Of course, the massive petrol price hike on Tuesday at midnight will mean increased prices on the supermarket shelves and, according to the Automobile Association (AA) we can expect some more harsh petrol increases early in the New Year. With last year’s figures in brackets the Rand it is trading at R13.56 to the Dollar (R13.57), R18.12 to the Pound (R17.14) and R16.03 to the Euro (R14.56). Commodities are trading with Gold at $1 268.19 per fine ounce ($1 171.75), with Platinum at $935.30 ($937.20) and Brent Crude Oil at $62.62 ($53.86).

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, Tom Hartzenberg.

 SINCERE condolences to the family and friends of Boetie Holtzhausen from Kenton on Sea who passed away recently. May cherished memories of all the happy times spent together comfort all the family during their bereavement.

OUR condolences also go to the family and friends of Douglas Daniel Meyer who passed away peacefully on December 5.

OUR heartiest congratulations and good wishes for continued happiness to the following couples celebrating their wedding anniversaries in the week ahead, especially Neville and Tilly Handley, Mike and June Jones,  Eben and Janine Groenewald,  Chris and Irene Snyman,  Russell and Kerry Bartlett, Derick and Dominique Bamber, Des and Sybil Kopke, Clayton and Kim Lloyd, Keith and Sherle Hackart, Brandon and Alexa Calitz, Andrew and Carlyn Smith, Ray and Glenda Hicks, Dave and Carina Elms, Martin and Kim Nel, Marcel and Laurie-Ann Raven-Fabe and Michael and Kathryn Kimberley.

AN annual special event which should not be missed, is the switch-on of the Hospice Tree of Lights and Carols by Candlelight service which will be held at the Hospital grounds on Thursday, December 14 at 6.30pm, and which is a wonderful outing for the entire family. Bulbs may be purchased in memory of loved ones at R20 each and can be purchased from Sunshine Coast Hospice office at 1 Alfred Road (behind the Magistrate’s Court), Halyards Hotel and at the door on the night.

THOUGHT for the week: “If you want a limitless, abundant, loving life, make sure that all that you believe is limitless, abundant, compassionate and loving”.

BEST regards as always,

The Team.