Neighbourly Notes – 1 August 2019

FOND FAREWELL: One of the teachers at Port Alfred High School, Benjemi Barnard, bade a sad farewell to the children at the school at the conclusion of ‘The Greatest Show’ on Friday evening. Barnard is moving to teach overseas and was presented with flowers and gifts at the end of the show. Barnard also worked at Talk of the Town for a period a decade ago. We wish her well in her new venture. Picture: ROB KNOWLES

THIS weekend begins on Friday with the 136th Port Alfred High School Founders Day Assembly. It’s an exciting time when pupils at a school can look back on 136 years of history so we wish all current and past pupils a great Founders Day. Also on Friday, it’s the Kenton-on-Sea Primary School Fiesta at the top school grounds.

ON Saturday it’s the Christian Men’s Association breakfast at 7.30am at Tash’s Craft Bar with Vernon Jakins. And what a lot of people have been waiting for, is the Damant Lodge annual morning, with gates open to the public at 9am. Don’t forget, if you are a gun-owner, get to the Port Alfred Sport Shooting Club on Saturday to learn the best way to handle a weapon. And then it’s the PAHS Founders Derby Day at the school grounds, followed by the Back to School Bash a 7pm at the PAHS Hall. For details of these and other events in the area, see our Diarise This section, below.

IT was truly one of the best school shows I have seen in my 10 years as a reporter in Ndlambe. The Greatest Show by Port Alfred High School last Friday evening was amazing. The set design, the lighting, the voices, the dancing – all were just right to present two hours of family entertainment that had the whole town talking last Saturday morning. Well done to show director Annelize Potgieter and the rest of the team. I’m anxious to see how you beat that with your next show.

KARATE returned to the Fish River Resort on Saturday with the Sunshine Coast Karate Open. Speaking to organiser, Gary Grapentin, he said that the Fish was a special place to hold the competition, and it felt like karate had come home on Saturday. The kids who participate in the competition can certainly handle themselves (a good thing considering the dangers many children face on a day-to-day basis), but they are also very respectful and careful not to inflict damage to anyone until they are on the mat and facing an opponent.

ROTARY e-Club and the Port Alfred Lions donated two water tanks to the Port Alfred High School on Monday and wanted to say a sincere thank you for the support they received at the school’s latest Swimathon.

FRIDAY, Eastern Cape premier Lubabalo Mabuyane, along with rural development and agrarian reform MEC Nomakhosana Meth, will meet with stakeholders and individuals working in the cannabis industry in East London to find ways to develop the industry for the province. Maybe it’s a good thing that we are throwing off the shackles of our Calvinistic past and looking to create an industry that has been neglected. The health benefits alone are worth the effort, although many worry about the proliferation of marijuana, especially among children. Many see cannabis as a gateway drug, forgetting that alcohol is almost always the first experience anyone has of mind-altering chemicals, not marijuana. And Meth is possibly the best name for someone who is negotiating with the industry about drugs!

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone celebrating a birthday in the week ahead and may you all be blessed with lots of good things in the future, especially Leonard Smit, Greg Reed, Juan Bessinger, Glen Henning, Eileen Denis, Peter Thorp, Melinda Frankenfeld, Kerynn Dahl, Ben Timm, Simon du Plessis, Megan Wright, Ivor Phillips, Maureen Truscott, Louise Swanepoel, Andre Laas, Marin Johnson, Lyneth Gradwell, Janet Collett, Paul Thorp, Rachel-Ann Strachan, Edith Miskin, Angus McDonald, Adie Wilkins, Cecil Swartz, Biff Todd, Margaret Ganter, Tracy Lloyd, Burg Naude, Hazel Hawkin, Anthony Skipper, David McCowen, Kye Macgregor, Stina Baker, Elaine Browne, Jacobus Grove, Taryn Lee, Petro Pretorius, Linda Edwards, Thandukolo Vaaltein, Tanya Adams and Magda Mugge.

BUSINESS anniversary congratulations and continued success for many years to come to Kekkel and Kraai, and Inspired Movement.

THE unemployment figures were released on Tuesday and showed the official unemployment figures the highest in 11 years and stand at 29%. That is the percentage of people who are actively seeking employment. The extended unemployment figure (the unemployed together with people who have abandoned all hope and are no longer seeking employment) is much higher and stands at 38%. Youth (teens to 24) unemployment figures sit at 56.4%. Generally that means that almost two out of every five adults eligible and capable of working have no job, along with over half of the youth. How is it possible to sustain a country’s economy when so many are unemployed? Don’t worry though, the ratings agencies (S&P, Fitch and Moody’s, will let us know what they think shortly be dropping us to sub-investment level (S&P and Fitch already have). The Eskom losses, also announced on Tuesday, were less than expected (R20.7bn rather than closer to R30bn), but this is not good news. To get this figure into perspective, a billion seconds is more than 31,500 years: it’s a very big number. With 2018’s figures in brackets to compare against, the rand was trading at R14.19/$ (R13.29), R17.25/£ (R17.43) and R15.81/ß (R15.52). Gold was trading at $ 1,430.24 ($1,222.46) per fine ounce, platinum was $875 ($834.90) and Brent Crude Oil at $65.17 per barrel ($ 73.89).

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, Brenda Shelton and Dave Young.

OUR sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Gerry Loxton who passed peacefully away Sunday July 28, especially his wife, Wanda and children Stuart and Louise, his grandchildren. May the wonderful memories left behind sustain you at this very difficult time.

SINCERE condolences to the family and friends of Ken Holt who sadly passed away on Sunday July 28. He will be sorely missed by Paul, Elsabe, Michele, Lance, Sharleen, Sankie, Len and Llewellyn. A memorial will be held on Saturday at the Kingdom Hall at 11am.

FRIENDS of the recently departed Bill Hill paid tribute to him on Friday July 19, with a small get-together at Nyala Valley as per his request. Hill was a well-known and loved figure in Port Alfred, in the municipal world as well as at Sunset Park. He spent many years as ranger at Nyala Valley Game Farm.

SORRY to hear of the passing of former Ndlambe councillor Sphiwo Funde on July 26. A memorial service took place earlier this week at Marselle and we offer or sincere condolences to his family and friends.

WEDDING anniversary greetings and best wishes for many more years to enjoy together to all couples having such an occasion, especially Claude and Susan McLellan, Bev and Bess Radue, Larry and Colleen Elliott, Erica and Neels Snyder, Bevan and Linda Edwards, Dale and Leonie Wepener.

THOUGHT for the week: “How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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