Neighbourly Notes – 15 November 2018

PACKED WITH LOVE: Liz Coombe-Heath, left, and Jenny Middleton of local charity Loaves and Fishes received 40 Santa Senior Shoeboxes (also packed in gift bags) from Talk of the Town’s Mauneen Charter, right, last week – part of our ongoing project to provide some Christmas cheer to struggling pensioners this festive season. TotT is grateful to all residents who have so generously donated to the project. Picture: JON HOUZET

THIS weekend is a very quiet one, but don’t forget the official opening of the Bathurst Agricultural Museum Smithy on Friday at 6pm. This is a big deal at the museum and is, quite literally, a blast into the past. Find out how the skilled craftsman of yesteryear would make tools and devices, long before mass production.

THE Talk of the Town Santa’s Senior Christmas Shoebox collection is going very well and on behalf of the team, thanks go to everyone who has contributed to this worthycause. Already the Port Alfred Benevolent Society has received more than 100 boxes for recipients in both Bathurst and Port Alfred, which they will distribute at the end of November. Also, Loaves and Fishes has received about 40 shoeboxes. But there is still a way to go, with the Diaz Old Age Home in Alexandria the next in line, so all donations of suitable items will be gratefully accepted. Special thanks to Parra, for donating R2,500.

WITH all the bad news circulating, specifically the culpability of certain municipalities in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal, our front page story of two awards won by the municipality must make everyone a little bit proud of Ndlambe. However, it is just as certain that some readers will be angry at these “successes” by our municipal officials, pointing out that the Kenton project is not yet complete and still in dispute with certain residents, and also point out the state of the roads and the fact that the island garden at the intersection of Main Street and the R72 was vandalised and has since been dug up. But it must be borne-in-mind that Ndlambe Municipality is not bankrupt as others are and, despite often slow progress, to a point has managed to keep the towns in the area fit for the tens of thousands of visitors who descend here over the Christmas season. One of the biggest stumbling blocks to maintenance is the ever-growing debt of residents who do not pay their utilities accounts. It would not be possible or any party, or even an individual, to keep the towns running smoothly with a lack of funds, so it is essential that residents pay for their services. Still, while the council is willing to commit R200,000 to a one-evening concert (for which the department of sport, recreation, arts & culture will benefit and take the glory) instead of using the money for something practical, sustainable and useful, the criticism will be quite rightly continue. Let’s hope that the R300,000 prize for the greenest municipality will go to good use in a transparent and open way.

ON a national level, the inquiry into state capture continues, and some very interesting accusations have been flying around. It will be interesting to hear from the much maligned minister Pravin Gordhan, who will shine more light on the shenanigans of our most senior politicians when he reports to the inquiry on Monday, and if perpetrators are held accountable.

ANOTHER year has passed, so it’s time to wish everyone a very happy birthday, especially to Helen Lansdell, Tyla-Leigh Keeton, Loretta Krein, Basil Terry, Wilson Makeleni, Malcolm Slater, Zoey Harris, Blake Botha, Ian Sawers, Jenny Hoseck, Amy Wilmot, Jenny Nel, Peter Godson, Andre Crous, Denise van der Merwe, Jacques Westraadt, Shelley Handley, Des Spenceley, Clive Haworth, Sandra Hayward, Fiona Timm, Ruan Cannon, Kathleen Hill, Cordelia Quma, Michael Millard, Buks de Kock, Tarryn Hickman, Lettie Plaatjie, Kayleigh Anne Parsons, Deleste van den Meulen, Lynn Roberts, Josh Alexandre, Chan Kahn, Gary Gailey, Susan Gombert, Basil Terry, Graham Strachan, Cindy Charter, Duncan Minott.

CONGRATULATIONS and even more success for the future, to all businesses celebrating an anniversary, especially the Christie’s Complex in Campbell Street, The Bathurst Farmers Market on 19 marvellous years, The Goat Shed Bush Bistro at Woodlands in Kenton.

WITH the country going through a recession and allegations of state looting abounding, it is hardly surprising that the rand has taken another nose-dive with respect to international currencies. Yet, with our mining sector is in turmoil and the recent announcements of 2,000 job losses at the SABC, the VBS scandal with many senior politicians in the spotlight, and the possibility of load shedding due to the pathetic lack of planning at Eskom, it is more surprising that we are still in a position to entice investors to our country. As we go to press, and with last year’s figures in brackets, the rand was trading at R14.40/$ (R14.37), R18.64/£ (R18.91), with the euro at R16.24 (R17.02). Commodities such as gold were trading at $1.200.18 per fine ounce ($1,285.67) and platinum is trading at $842.35 per ounce ($929.00). Brent Crude is at its lowest price for some time, now trading at $66.09 per barrel ($61.44)

SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all those folk who are unwell, having or have already had tests, operations and treatments. “Sterkte” to Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, Jenny Groenewald, Rowena Collin, Marian Eaton, Mike Hockin, Malcolm Cock and Brenda Shelton. SINCERE condolences and kind thoughts to the family and friends of Brian Meyer who passed away on Sunday, November 11. Heartfelt sympathy to his wife Ann, daughters Sue and Gillian, and their families. May you feel the warm embrace of loving memories and hear happy echoes of all the good times and many years you shared together.

OUR sincere condolences go the friends and family of Jannie du Preez who passed away suddenly on Thursday November 8. He will be greatly missed, especially in the surfing community of Port Alfred and by everyone who knew him.

OUR deepest sympathy and kind thoughts are with the family and friends of Mary Murray who passed away peacefully on October 26. She will be sorely missed by her children Miranda, Keith, Trevor, Ronald, Robert, Janet, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

IT is with great sadness that we have learnt of the passing of Merna Phillips-Page. Our deepest sympathies to Tony, Giles, Cathy, Jeffrey and family during this tragic time. Our thoughts are with you. A thanksgiving service will be held at St Paul’s Church on December 18 at 11am.

DEEPEST sympathy and special thoughts to the family and friends of Norman Gibson who passed away peacefully on Thursday November 8. A funeral will be held on Friday November 16 at Christ Church in Alexandria at 10am. May cherished memories of all the happy times spent together comfort all the family during your bereavement.

WEDDING anniversary congratulations and all good wishes for many more to all couples celebrating this special occasion next week. Especially Roly and Lorna Clayton, Mark and Suzanne Wyllie, Malcolm and Carole Christie, John and Jaida Ball. Tim and Imare Patterson, John and Sharon Dailkin, Leon and Reonette Jansen van Rensburg.

THOUGHT for the week: “Success, happiness, peace of mind and fulfilment . . . are available to all among us, without exception, who make things happen . . . in the world around them.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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