THIS weekend begins on Friday evening with Festival of the Arts that starts at 6.30pm at the Port Alfred NG Kerk. It is billed as “a fun-filled evening of music and dance, acting, poetry, prose and improvisation by young aspiring actors”. On Saturday, the PA Art Club meets at 10am at the St James Catholic Church Hall and the Port Alfred Sport Shooting Club also meets on Saturday for sport and Hunting shooting. Also on Saturday the Port Alfred Floral Art Group meets at Don Powis Hall in Settlers Park at 2.30pm. Then, on Sunday, American cellist Caleb Vaughn-Jones and pianist JF Viljoen will perform at 3pm at the Richmond House Museum-Music Room for the latest Classics at the Castle performance. And, don’t forget, My Favourite Things, a selection of hits from the great musicals and beloved tunes with father and daughter musicians Norbert and Elisabeth Nowotny at Don Powis Hall at 3pm.
BETWEEN sand mines, developments on the Bathurst Commonage and sewage spills, the area has certainly a lot to discuss this week. The proliferation of sand mining applications in the area has increased over recent years with companies and individuals from outside town proposing to mine sand (and stone) from the area. It is proposed that such companies would bring much-needed employment to the area, yet this is countered by the effect that dust and other pollutants caused by sand mining that will become a serious problem, and the contamination of water (dams, reservoirs and groundwater may also have an impact on scarce water resources in the area. There will also be a requirement for new roads or the resurfacing of existing ones. Many of the proposals are also close to sanctioned nature reserves. Some of the proposals submitted seem only likely to be of benefit to the companies involved and offer little or no benefit to those living in the area. Jobs created by opening sand mining operations are mostly transitory and will evaporate when mining operations cease. The promised rehabilitation of the land at the site of the mine will not compensate for potential pollution problems that could persist over the entire lifecycle of the mine and into the future. While some of the applications may have merit, the municipality, in consultation with residents and all interested parties, needs to seriously assess the longer-term benefits and disadvantages of sand mining in the area.
PORT Alfred Rotary and Lions Clubs, in conjunction with Kenrich Motors, Rotary eClub and Multi/Atlas Security, are presenting a new specially fitted-out wheelchair for young AJ Behr at a ceremony to be held at the Port Alfred High School at 7.30am on Monday. Nelita Behr, AJ’s mom, said she was very grateful for all the support she has received from the community in general and the service organisations and business in the area in particular. AJ is a special needs child who requires specific modifications to the standard wheelchair design (which was brought over from the UK) and EC Mobility in Port Elizabeth assisted in the necessary modifications. Nelita also expressed her gratitude to them.
JUST had to mention that Melanie Walker was the guest speaker at the Port Alfred Garden Club last week, and she is still looking as good as she did when she would jump from helicopters on SABC’s Skattejag and Treasure Hunt TV programmes. Her talk on garden designs and trends was well received and, although she started off by saying she was no expert in horticulture, she certainly knew her stuff when it came to the subject at hand and everyone present benefitted from her talk. As this was her first visit to Port Alfred, let’s hope it is not her last (full story on page 3).
OUR back page story this week is about “Rugger Buggers”, and the impressive steps St Elmo Wilken has taken to bring the game of rugby to the boys and girls of the area. The children learn how to play the game (although, for the younger ones, the rules seem very flexible), work together as a team, consider safety toward others and discipline. Wilken emphasised that the main point was for the children to have fun and, going on the games we have witnessed in the past, fun seems to be high on the agenda. Well done to Saints Ruggers (the official name of Wilken’s organisation).
HAPPY birthday greetings to everyone who is another year older in the week ahead. Congratulations to all, especially Callum Timm, Gavin Ormandy, Allan Sheridan, Caylee Snyman, Gordon Todd, Jenna Rowe, Tracy Lloyd, Campbell Westcott, Marion Bartlett, Hester Vorster, Neil de Villiers, Roger Coates, Thelma de Waal, Brian Hayward, George Morgan, Ian Macpherson, Dale Waters, Shirley Evans, Raymond Kelbrick, Mary-Anne Goddard, Marge Timm, Beryl van Wyk, Jurie Swart, Thanduxolo Jika, Gary Human, Tracy Hancock, Sute Sülter, Connor Thorp, Amy Bennett, Carole Hill, Nancy Meyer, Gillis de Korte, Karen Kew, Sipho Tandani, Peter Colywas, Chandra Knowles, Eunice van Rooyen, Lezle Broodryk, Teago Pone, Rhonda Swanepoel, Rob Gimbel, Jennifer Fullarton, Gail Kember, Patrick Cull, Lionel Nel, Sinesipho Siyolo and Geoff Brown.
WELL done, congrats and further success for the future to the following businesses who are having an anniversary, especially Spinning Reel Family Beach Cottages, Chalets and B&B on their 56th anniversary.
THE bottom fell out of the rand this week and saw it hit record lows against major international currencies. The announcements by the government do not seem to have quietened international uncertainty and, in some cases, have actually exacerbated the problems. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s dispute with public protector Busisiwe Nkhwabane has certainly not helped and the ANC’s reluctance to make leaked documents of campaign fund contributions officially public has only led to suspicion that something underhanded has occurred. We need complete transparency in government if the new push and enthusiasm exhibited by the ANC, termed “Ramaphoria”, is to win the hearts and minds of South Africans. With 2018’s figures in brackets to refer to, the rand was trading at R15.22/$ (R14.27), R18.36/£ (R18.14) and R16.99/ß (R16.17). Gold is trading at $1,501.77 ($1,187.65), platinum at $864.55 ($804.65) and Brent crude oil at $60.83 per barrel ($72.30)
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 sympathy and special thoughts to the family and friends of Basil Mauer who passed away on Wednesday August 7. May wonderful memories of time spent together bring comfort to you in your sadness.
WEDDING anniversary congratulations to all couples enjoying this wonderful occasion, especially Mike and Sue Soroczynski, Jan and Pippa Sowtus, Dean and Juanita Jakins.
THOUGHT for the week: “One must marry one’s feelings to one’s beliefs and ideas. That is probably the only way to achieve a measure of harmony in one’s life.”
BEST regards as always,