THE week ahead begins today (Thursday) with the Lower Albany Historical Society meeting at Settlers Park where Marion Whitehead will give a talk on her book, South Africa’s favourite Passes and Poorts. There is also a meeting of Friends with Compassion at the Presbyterian Church and Serenity Day Spa is holding a cheese and wine party at the Rosehill studio. And, whatever else you decide to do, go and support the Port Alfred Soup Kitchen at the Talk of the Town/Stenden Quiz at MyPond Hotel this evening. Get your swimming costume (and, might I suggest, a heated dry suit) ready for the Port Alfred High School Polar Plunge, to take place on Friday morning at sunrise (approximately 7.16am). Good luck to all those participating. Being off work on Friday I will think of you all from my warm bed. On Saturday there is the Port Alfred Sports Shooting Club which will be a bench-rest shoot. The Port Alfred Art Club also meet on Saturday morning and the Footeprints art exhibition continues this Saturday and Sunday.
THE Wharf Street soiree was a huge success last Friday evening when hundreds of people visited the historic street to participate in the activities, including having a great meal at any one of the fine restaurants, drinking beers at R10 per pint, listening to live music, viewing artwork, purchasing furniture, a painting or participating in the many games and competitions on offer (still can’t get over the incredible price of the beer). The organisers are thinking of holding another soiree as soon as July (with a Christmas in July theme). Several people have already commented that his might be a little early for another soiree, but have added that would support it anyway. What is your opinion? The shop owners in Wharf Street would love to hear from you. After all, it is for the townspeople (and visitors) that they are holding this fantastic event.
PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa is due to make the first State of the nation address (Sona) for the sixth parliament today (Thursday) and the financial institutions, business and everyone else needs to believe that the government is doing everything in its power to rescue the South African economy from collapse and, in turn, being relegated to junk status. But factions within the ruling party seem to be scuttling Ramaphosa’s dream and are making his job far more difficult than it needs to be. Ramaphosa (and the rest of his cadres) are harping on about the fourth industrial revolution, but most, almost certainly, don’t know what this actually means. You cannot take a child who lives in a shack and expect him to design AI bots when he doesn’t even own a smartphone, and might never have seen a laptop. How do we expect any child of today to take the educational system seriously when it is entirely based on an old Victorian system of teaching (like the three Rs – of which only one of the three subjects actually begins with the letter R)? We need to completely relook at our educational system and take the emphasis away from getting a university pass in matric. Children don’t need university as much as they need proper toilets, a good meal inside them and to know that they are safe when they shut their front door at night. Let’s hope Ramaphosa can shake up the reliance we have on an old and well outdated system and set up our youth with real opportunities for their futures.
AND, while on the subject of the youth, some older people around the world are disturbed by increasing radicalism over climate change. Some even deny climate change is happening. But it is, and it seems very likely that the first industrial revolution kicked off a far more rapid change in climate than would have occurred naturally. But the fact is CO2 in our atmosphere is causing the heating up of the planet, and our plastic pollution is killing sea life and will ultimately lead to the collapse of the food chain. But the youth understand these things, and they know it is they who will inherit the problem and have to fix it and observe the older generation’s apparent apathy in fixing a problem they contributed to. That is why projects like the Canadian BigM project are so important. Ndlambe is one of the municipalities selected to participate in the project that includes recycling as part of its mission.
CONGRATULATIONS to Port Alfred High School pupils, Conner Gerber and Kimberley Burdett who have been selected to represent EP Deep Sea Angling and will participate in the interprovincial competition later this year.
CONGRATULATIONS and happy birthday greetings to everyone who is celebrating a birthday in the week ahead. Special greetings and many more to James Boucher, Marie du Plessis, Cary Davies, Jennifer Groenewald, June Barnes, Emma Myburgh, Noxolo Kiviet, Jeff Earle, Lyn Harbrecht, Karel Prins, June Smith, June Hart, Dominique Willat, Helen Purdon, Amanda Ludick, Roarke Penn, Beverley Welsh, June Whittaker, Des Gallagher, Madelaine Murray, Lizzy Gouws, Fuzeka Runeli, June Keeton, Robert Godfrey, Marjorie Wilmot, Lucille Scheepers, Vaughn de la Mare, Lyndon Coltman, Pat (Paddy) Thorp, Beatrice Crawford, Lloyd Stevenson, Andrew Nell, Megan van Niekerk, Yvonne Surtees, Lee Botha, Claire Burriss, Beverly Oosthuizen, Peter van der Merwe, Matthew Dell and Delina van Heerden.
CONTINUED success and warm congratulations to the following businesses / organisations on another anniversary, especially Siliseal, Noel’s Cartage, Olofs Motor Spares, PA Art club and PA Scouts Club.
THE Sona will be broadcast today (Thursday June 20) and its content will determine if South Africa can hold its own even when the chips are down and inspire new investment. It is not the government’s job to be a major employer, but to stimulate the economy with sound fiscal policies and decisions so that the private sector pays the salaries, not the taxpayer. Let’s hope and pray that the government gets it right this time. As we go to press, and with last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand was trading at R14.53 to the Dollar (R13.72), R18.28 to the Pound (R18.04) and R16.29 to the Euro (R15.87). Gold was trading at $1,343.10 ($1,272.39) per fine ounce, Platinum at $805.00 ($899.10), Brent Crude Oil price are $62.50 per barrel ($75.33).
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, Zelda Neethling, Marian Eaten, Martin Bekker, Trish Solz, Brenda Shelton, and Theo Snyman.
OUR heartiest congratulations to all celebrating the wonderful occasion of their wedding anniversaries, especially Terry and Margaret West, Douglas and Nancy Meyer, Robert and Emily Blenkinsop, Stefan and Kelly Ferreira, Neil and Tarryn van de Linde, John and Debbie Ford, Mariane and Chris Walwyn, Cecil and Dee Jones-Phillipson.
THOUGHT for the week: “If you don’t have a plan for personal growth, then don’t expect to grow!”
BEST regards as always,