Neighbourly Notes – 15 February 2018

WHO LUVS YA BABY? Little Liam Cannon’s photograph, being held here by his mom, former TotT employee Danielle, was the most voted for in the recently held Foto First Baby competition. Helping to present the prize of an instant camera was manager Anet Fraser, left, and TotT’s Rob Knowles

THERE is so much going on nationally we should probably sit down, relax, and find out what’s going on in our area, just to settle the nerves. The Lower Albany Historical Society
meeting is scheduled for this morning at Settlers Park with Robin Binckes presenting a talk on The Battle of Blood River and the significance of December 16. If you are mourning a loved one, you can get assistance with your grief at the Presbyterian Church Port Alfred this afternoon. And, for an adrenaline rush, why not get to MyPond Hotel this evening for the Talk of the Town/MyPond Hotel Quiz in support of the Port Alfred Soup Kitchen? Tomorrow late afternoon, there is a prayer meeting for rain at the Presbyterian Church in Port Alfred. And, to finish off the work week, relax with a sundowner social at the Port Alfred High School clubhouse for all past pupils, parents, staff and friends of the school on
February 17. Saturday sees the Sea Scouts South Africa Adult Training team at the Port
Alfred High School sports fields who will be running a one-day Water Awareness Course for scouts and scouters in the Eastern Cape Region. There will be training, plus awarding of badges to qualified persons at the NSRI. The PA Art Club will also meet on Saturday morning at St James Hall. And the Port Alfred Floral Art Group is meeting at Settlers Park Hall on Saturday afternoon. So, there’s no excuse to be bored this weekend! For more details, see the Diarise This section, below.

ON the subject of scouting, I was a member of the 21st City and Toxteth Wolf Cubs (yes, it was still called “Wolf Cubs” in the days when I was a kid) in Liverpool in the 1960s. I later joined the 1st Port Sunlight Boys’ Brigade when my family moved across the water,  becoming an officer when I left school. I mention this because these organisations are a great help to kids; teaching them discipline as well as skills they might need and will be
pleased to have when they grow into adulthood. Swimming, sailing and lots of other skills are freely taught by dedicated adults who give of their free-time to pass on their skills – and knowledge. They are not paid and being a leader in these organisations, is like having a full-time part-time job. Scouts and the BB, as well as other youth organisations, get our kids off the streets and learning new skills, so please support their efforts.

HAPPY birthday greetings to everyone celebrating a birthday in the coming week. We hope that the year ahead will bring you all good health and happiness, especially to Jenny Louw, Harold Bodill, Val Williams, Chelsea van Eeden, Ashley Bamber, Carl van Heerden, Herma Purdon, Shirley Pheasant, Marizka Burgess, Tiffany Gudzman, Gillian Rautenbach, Jill Dickie, Bess Radue, Don Wood, Arthur Haig, Lindsay Drew, Marilyn Michau, Mandy Pretorius, Debbie Duncan, Edmund Hall, Grant Keeton, Brendan Welsh, Cole Gailey,
Tracy Willemse, Chloe-Anne Rademan, Lisa-Jane Bezuidenhout, Sue Bradfield, Karel de Jaeger, Peter Lear, Joyce Webb, Sonia Nginase, Karel de Jaeger, Hendrick Koekemoer.

BUSINESS anniversary congratulations, plus further success and good wishes to Fresh Stop at Andy’s Service Centre, DP Engineering and Pic-Kwick’s Restaurant in Bathurst.

POLITICS cannot be avoided when dealing with the financial markets as machinations in parliament – and among the various political parties – have a massive impact on our local currency and stock market. If we appear unsure, then the markets are unsure and investor
confidence declines, The current state of the nation (not the postponed Sona) is such that investors and ratings agencies are waiting in the wings to see how this all plays out before making any definite decisions on the country’s financial future. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa may be playing a canny political game in South African terms (although that is
disputable) but his apparent reluctance to finalise the issue of President Jacob Zuma is not giving much comfort to the wider world. Also, many have lauded the apparent 1% drop in the unemployment rate, but this is a mere drop in the ocean compared with the economic growth rate which is estimated at a measly 1%. It will take years of about 5% (minimum) to equalise the system, so we still have a very long way to go to get us back in the good-books of the investors. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, and at the time of going to press, the Rand was trading at R11.85/$ (R13.02), R16.43/£(R16.22) and R14.64/euro ( R13.74). Gold was trading at $1 331.33 per fine ounce ($1 226.20), Platinum at $974.75 per ounce ($1 002.70) with Brent Crude Oil at $62.49 ($55.97) per barrel. This is the lowest Brent Crude has been for a while, so the promised reduction in the petrol price (that didn’t happen last week) should be imminent.

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.

SINCERE condolences to the family and friends of Brian Sullivan who passed away last Saturday. A Requiem Mass will be held on Saturday at 10am at the St James Catholic Church. May cherished memories carry you through these sad times.

CONGRATULATIONS to the following couples also enjoying their anniversaries this week – Mark and Jacquie Kieck, Rodney and Myrna Keet, Jona and Mel Arnott, Simon and Clare du Plessis, Devon and Kelly Brittle, John and Lodene Pohl, James and Lindy Robinson, Malcolm and Kathy Robinson, John and Karen Fletcher.

ON the sporting front, the big news this week is the Proteas’ series loss against India in the six-match ODI series. We could say that the loss of several key players has caused this reversal of fortunes, with the Proteas already having won the test series, but that cannot be. Surely South Africa does not have to depend on Faf, AB et al to win? Surely there is enough talent in the country to field a world-beating team? We will just have to wait and see how Proteas coach, Otis Gibson, gets the team motivated for their final ODI encounter against India as the time is drawing near for the World Cup.

THOUGHT for the week: “The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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