MOST of our holidaymakers have returned home by now and, although residents breathe a sigh of relief that the shops are no longer full to overflowing and there are once again plenty of parking spaces available at our tourist spots like the beaches, we really did appreciate all those folk who came and visited us on the Sunshine Coast. There is a certain amount of sadness as many of us realise that another year has begun and we will only see our visitors again at Easter time. Yet, with the Amanzi Challenge and the Bathurst Show happening around that time, we might see a lot more than the usual number of visitors this April. A note to Ndlambe Municipality; as there should be a great deal of media coverage for the Amanzi Challenge, including Multichoice’s Supersport channels, it is probably a good idea that we present the town in the best possible light if we are to attract even more visitors. Keeping our seaside towns clean is a priority, but not just the responsibility of the municipality. We must all do our part to make our towns neat and litter-free. IT was back to school yesterday for schools in our area, and there were lots of excited children and a few who were upset as they left mom (or, less often, dad) in the playground and lined up for their first day at school. Other children where excited to be in “big school” after their first six years in primary classes while the rest got back into the swing of things after the Christmas holidays. Good luck to you all and may your academic studies be successful in the year to come.
ON Thursday last week the Independent Examination Board (IEB) results for the 2018 matric examinations were released and showed an improvement on the already impressive 2017 figures. Nationally, the overall pass-rate for the 12, 342 pupils that sat the examinations was 98.92%, up from 98.76% for 2017. Locally, our IEB schools once again fared well with El Shaddai Christian Academy, St Andrew’s College, Diocesan School for Girls and Kingswood College all receiving 100% pass-rates. However, things at some of the government schools in the area did not go as well. The biggest disappointment for many came from a school that usually does much better, Port Alfred High School, that only managed a 82.81% pass-rate, down from the 2017 results of 88%. At the same time Nomzamo High School and Kuyasa Combined School made significant improvements on last year’s results. But the school at the bottom of the list, Nompucuko Combined School, only managed a 22.22% pass-rate with only 4 of its 18 matriculants passing their final exams. But surely the time has come when we need to not just adjust but completely re-look at the educational system as this is still working on principles established over a century ago. The world has subsequently changed and our old ways of doing things will not work in a future where information (not all of it true or correct) is available at the touch of a button. We need a serous overhaul of a system that favours people with enough money to send their children to private educational institutions where the standards appear to be much more conducive to learning the curriculum. Still, perhaps it’s the curriculum that needs to be reimagined along with the way we teach our children.
BIRTHDAY greetings and congratulations to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead. May the year ahead bring you most of what you wish for, especially to Debbi Reed, Michelle Jones Phillipson, Wade Cox, Dudley Callaghan, Janice Shelver, Ronelle Botha, Bob Hobbs, Marlene Bowdler, Nola Johannsen, Lindsay Wilmot Steyn, Neale McCabe, Janet Hyde, Nicky van Lavieren, Lee Howard, Leonie Beetge, Jonty Lentz, Warren Vermaak, Lindy Pieterse, Lora Waters, Jackie Anderson, Celia Bradfield, Jaco van Rensburg.
CONGRATULATIONS on another successful year to the following places and businesses enjoying another anniversary, with best wishes for many more years to come – The Fish River Diner, Eastern Cape Motors, The Royal Alfred Marina.
WITH THE US government partial shutdown and the Brexit vote in the UK parliament yet to place, the trade war between China and the US and instability in Europe; these factors all play a part in market fluctuations and not much can be read into the figures until some of these issues are sorted out. However, the price of Brent Crude is on the upward path once more and that might not be a good thing in the longer term. At the time of going to press and with last year’s figures in brackets, the rand was R13.95 to the dollar (R12.38), R17.76 to the pound (R16.74) and R15.95 (R14.80) to the euro. Commodities such as gold were trading at $1,281.46 ($1,314.49), platinum was trading at $834.90 ($964.80) and Brent crude was trading at $59.86 ($69.18).
SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all those folk who are not well, having or have already had tests, operations and treatments. ‘Sterkte’ to Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, Jenny Groenewald, Rowena Collin, Marian Eaton, Malcolm Cock and Brenda Shelton.
SINCERE condolences to the family and friends of Helen Dell who passed away on Wednesday January 2. How fortunate we all are, that in our hearts we keep forever the wonderful memories of those we love and the time we shared together.
OUR condolences to the friends and family of Bill Hill who passed away on January 7 after a short illness. The memorial service will take place in the Moth Hall next Friday January 18 at 11am.
OUR best wishes and heartiest congratulations to all couples celebrating another year of wedded bliss, especially Greg and Jann Kieck, Rob and Maureen Edlmann and Gary and Odette Gailey, Charlton and Shireen Hilpert.
TICKET sales for days four and five of the final of three cricket Test between South Africa and Pakistan at the Wanderers this weekend are probably not in high demand after the Proteas once again thrashed the visitors by almost an innings at Newlands. Having won the first Test by six wickets and the second by nine wickets the South Africans are complaining that they just aren’t getting in enough batting practice.
THOUGHT for the week: “The greatest guarantee that you will leave the legacy you desire, is how you live every day”.
BEST regards as always,