Neighbourly Notes – 28 December 2017

WITH YOUR FIRST BRUSHSTROKE, YOU ARE AN ARTIST: Accomplished artist Bob McKenzie opened the Port Alfred Art Club exhibition at the library recently and told the patrons that waiting until they had produced 100 paintings was not the way to become an artist. ‘You are all artists,’ he told them. Meanwhile, the exhibition will reopen at the library on Wednesday and Thursday this week after a short festive season break Picture: ROB KNOWLES

WITH just three days to go to year-end, may we take this opportunity to extend our  heartfelt thanks to all our advertisers, contributors (from the letter pages, guest writers and photographs of various happenings), distributors (especially our reputable dealers) and our loyal readers for their investment, amazing support, participation and ongoing encouragement of Talk of the Town over the past year. We look forward to tackling the challenges of 2018 together.

A BIG welcome to all our visitors. Whether you are regulars or simply visiting our  beautiful area for the first time, you are most welcome to stay and enjoy everything we have to offer. From the beach and the beautiful Indian Ocean, to our game reserves  and the chance of seeing the Big 5, from historical Bathurst to the glorious Fish River, we have everything you could possibly desire here on the Sunshine Coast.

HAVE you managed to fulfill the New Year’s resolutions? You know, the ones you swore at the beginning of the year? Many of us will be wondering whether to re-commit to the things we said we’d do in 2017 but never got around to, while others have abandoned those plans in favour of new ones for 2018. Anyway, this weekend you will be able to sit back and relax, a favourite pastime for those living on the Eastern Cape coastline – whether on one of our beautiful beaches or in the garden, a forest or in the veld, our area has it all, so enjoy yourselves.

ALTHOUGH many people think that beach restrictions, drinking on the beach and getting drunk around town are “just once- a-year” events, and call to “let the people play”, the real issue is that many of our visitors and locals get injured during this time of the year. Whether it is people holding loud parties that go on into the morning on someone’s front lawn, or someone being run over by a car or being dragged into the riptide, dangers are all around us, so please be careful this Christmas season. Don’t take glass onto the beach (rather use plastic bottles), ensure you take your rubbish with you when you leave, and be respectful of other people’s happiness and enjoyment. It appears you are not likely to be arrested or even fined for drinking in public, as many
guilty people will testify (see our front-page picture), but you must ensure you have not consumed an illegal amount of alcohol before driving away. We want to see you next year, so abide by the simple rules and let’s ensure we all have a great Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

BY now the ANC elective conference is a thing of the past and many are looking forward to a new era with Cyril Ramaphosa the new leader of the ruling party. Many are urging Ramaphosa to take decisive action against perpetrators of corruption. They are also asking if the economy can be revived, whether President Jacob Zuma’s surprise announcement for free education will harm Ramaphosa’s plans or whether he can even glue the broken factions of his party together. Only time will tell.

AT the same time, it must have been a major concern when ANC Women’s League president and Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini decried the voting process at the conference, complaining that patriarchy still played a role in her party’s hallowed hall and that only one woman made it through to the ANC’s top six posts. When asked why the women’s league did not vote for any other women running for the top six positions, Dlamini became belligerent in front of TV cameras and rejected the question, calling it “irregular”. Let’s hope this venerable lady feels angry enough to resign from politics as she has caused nothing but anxiety (especially for social grant recipients) during her tenure in social development.

FINALLY, on the subject of politics, what a disaster at the elective conference with  respect to delegate battles before it even began and ending with the votes scandal. There being less than 5 000 delegates in attendance, if the ANC can’t organise a vote, how do we think they will cope in the upcoming 2019 general election with about 25 million potential voters?

WISHING everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead a wonderful birthday with many more years to come, especially Janet Brannon, Tristan Rissik, Craig Eaton, Nielen Marais, Alan Pretorius, Ashley Gardner, Peter Charter, Christopher Friderichs,
Mary McGhie, Elize Alexander, Rob Avis, Olive Wilmot, Steve Harris, Brenton Spence, Peter Hains, Susan Kok, Kyle Jacobs, Denzil Goosen, Bonnie Blaine, Aiden Norden, Hans Hon, Vic Goddard, Estelle Reynolds, Andrew Jones-Phillipson, Luke Probart, Essie Fick.

CONTINUED success and congratulations to all business establishments celebrating  another anniversary, especially The SA Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) in Grahamstown.

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 and Dot Fetherstonhaugh.

CONGRATULATIONS and every good wish for continued happiness for many years  ahead to the following couples celebrating wedding anniversaries in the week ahead, especially Graeme and Wanda Kelbrick, Tjaart and Audrey Barnard, Arno and Mirinda Strydom, Alec and Felix Clark, Jonathan and Vanessa Burns, Dean and Lorraine Samuel, Connan and Yolanda Hill.

AS the year draws to an end, the holiday season does too, and many of our visitors will be packing up over this weekend and next week to travel back home. On behalf of the team, we wish you a safe journey and hope you have enjoyed your stay in our beautiful Ndlambe towns. Please come back next year and share some fun with us.

MAY your 2018 be filled with many amazing, memory-making moments. May the blessings of good health, good humour and good sense be with you and your family in the coming year.

THOUGHT for the week: “Approach the new year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team.