IT’S just 124 days until the end of 2019 and the start of a year that marks 200 years since the British Settlers arrived in the area. It is a time for us to reflect on the enormous changes over the subsequent 200 years and to celebrate our diversity as South Africans and the rich blending of cultures that has developed since then. Bathurst, specifically, will be commemorating the entire year of 2020 with special celebrations, shows and events intended to unite the people of the area and attract tourists from far and wide. A special committee has been established to oversee the Bathurst 200 celebrations and members are being selected to represent all the communities in the area and make 2020 a year to remember.
WHILE on the subject of Bathurst, don’t forget Historic Bathurst’s Music and the Mill event due to take place, al fresco, at the Bradshaw Mill on September 22. Local musicians will be giving their free time to entertain the anticipated crowds that will arrive at the mill with their picnic baskets from 1pm when the gates open. The concert will begin at 2pm. Entrance is free, but a hat will be passed around to contribute to Historic Bathurst funds, so make a plan to be there.
BACK to this weekend, and on Saturday it’s the Port Alfred High School’s Colour Run at the school’s sports field where participants will run (or walk) either 5km or 10km and, while running, will be pelted with washable coloured powder paints. This is a very colourful event and can be quite spectacular with participants running through clouds of coloured powder. The race starts at 9am sharp.
ALSO on Saturday morning, get to Rosehill Mall and purchase a cake from the Community Policing Forum (CPF) who are holding a cake sale there from 9.30am. Supporting the CPF and the police is the duty of every citizen and the benefits are a reduction in crime. The CPF has implemented many measures to assist residents, such as WhatsApp groups, neighbourhood watches and the like but, in order to offer these services, they require funding. So, please support the CPF Cake Sale on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, it’s the Spring Paws Parade which starts at 11am from Guido’s on the West Bank. You can choose either a 3.2km or a 4.7km walk with your dog(s), on leads. This is a fundraiser for the SPCA, so support them.
THE trees along Southwell Road, the roots of which could have undermined the new paving and concrete footpaths that are currently being laid have been removed. Well, at least the trunks are gone and the remaining stumps poisoned. However, aside from this being done as an after-thought – and only when councillors and the public began enquiring about the issue with the Sanral team – it seems as though the road crew have not considered potential problems. For example, a new road sign (that indicates the direction of Main Street and Makhanda) was placed behind one of our protected milkwood trees. The Sanral solution was to cut down the milkwood, a perfectly healthy tree that has stood at the top of the steps leading down to Stocks Avenue for many years. Perhaps more thought should have been given to the potential damage to the walkways and the position of this largely irrelevant signpost during the planning phase of the project.
LET’S take this opportunity to wish all our 2019 matrics the best of luck with their preliminary examinations and wish them all the best in their finals. Still, for those who are struggling, bear in mind that the country needs artisans and people with a technical knowledge if we are to recover from the current financial crises crippling the country. When we need houses, or sewerage, or fresh water, or food, no one ever calls the university and asks for an academic to fix the problems. We need to take the stigma out of those who choose a less academic path (university) and rather explain that artisanal skills will be those most prized in the future. Having said that, always do your best, as no one can expect any more from you than that.
CONGRATULATIONS and every good wish for the coming year to everyone who is having a birthday this week, especially Jake Lacey, Mollie Seeney, Wendalyn Kelbrick, Lionel Timm, Reay Squires, Megan Hobson, Elna Barnard, Bronwyn Fick, Luke Charter, Charlene Oosthuizen, Errol Jacobs, Celine Hilpert, Dennis Coghlan, Ros Oliver, Lynne Costa, Magda Rieger, Malcolm Evans, Charles Frederichs, Charles Randall, David Bradfield, Adrian Moss, Stasha van Rooyen, Judy Paterson, Syd Dugmore, Kathy Riddin, Dimitri Papa, Mirinda Venter, Jason Odendaal, Erica Burnette, John Ford, Gideon Thiersen, Fanie Fouche, Daniel Botha, Sallie Jane Edwards, Val Pote, Cameron Kretschmann, Kirsty Clayton, Carol Ford, Dawn Hains, Charles de Bruin, Donne Kolesky, Sanume Esterhuyse.
BUSINESSES enjoying an anniversary at this time of the year are the following – and we congratulate them and wish them many more successful times in the future: Sunshine Coast Hospice, Kenton Primary School.
EVERY week I tend to fall deeper and deeper into despair as I see the rand bouncing around but above the R15 to the dollar mark. At this rate, living in SA becomes more difficult as the dollar has the greatest influence on prices globally. With the US and China still locked in a battle for control of trade and the G7 conference in France stutters around issues of climate change, renewable energy, pollution of landfills and the ocean. What was really amusing was when President Cyril Ramaphosa (who sits on the periphery of the conference), pleads with the West to take responsibility and assist Africa with pollution caused by fossil “fuels”. Especially when South Africa is attempting to complete two enormous coal-guzzling power stations at the failed Kusile and Medupi sites, and when Mpumalanga’s Kriel power station was recently determined as the second-worst polluter of sulphur dioxide gas in the world. With 2018’s figures in brackets to compare against, the rand was trading at R15.28/$(R13.04); R18.66/£ (R16.84) and R16.97/ß (R15.58). Gold was trading at $1,542.58 ($1,309.65), platinum was trading at $873.51 ($992.90) and Brent Crude Oil at $59.43 per barrel ($51.96).
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, Laura-Kate Laguz and Dave Young.
OUR heartiest congratulations to all couples who are celebrating another wedding anniversary in the week ahead, especially Jim and Maureen Truscott, Trevor and Winsome Collett, Willem and Sue Horn, Paul and Maureen Ramsay, Rudi and Ava Beukes.
THOUGHT or the week: “Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well”.
BEST regards as always,