Neighbourly Notes – 2 January 2020

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: A Christmas Carol Service was held at Damant Lodge on Tuesday December 17 led by Tommy and Shalane Scott and a group of children from St James Catholic Church. Fr Francis Kaumba opened with a prayer, read from the bible, and then gave a short sermon reminding the elderly residents that Christmas is a time to be happy with their family. Pick n Pay brought cake and sandwiches for tea.

WELL, that’s the holiday season over. It just remains to clear away the empties and polish off the braaivleis and get ready for an exciting year ahead. The year, 2020, like vision, should be clear, with more jobs available, new business incentives, and a better exchange rate against international currencies. On a personal basis it is time to reflect on all the food we have eaten (or thrown away), the drink we have consumed, the parties we attended, the new friends we have made and a host of other benefits we have enjoyed. Yet these are merely pipe-dreams for many of our people who still live in abject poverty with little ope that anything good will happen in 2020. They have been awaiting change but, with five presidents into the new democratic dispensation and almost half of our people with no permanent income, they see no prospects and therefore, no future. Over Christmastime we open up our hearts and our wallets in an attempt to alleviate the plight of the less fortunate. But, as the season ends, we tend to forget that half of our population earns below the poverty line, and some don’t earn anything at all. We live in a small but caring community that gives generously to charities and there is probably going to be even less to give this year. But right on our doorstep there are the locations where many people reside in far less comfortable conditions. Money is tight for us all, and some organisations would prefer your assistance rather than your money (although money is a good start). So why not help out at one of the many soup kitchen projects, or offer transport to school children who might travel far to attend school? There are lots of things we can all do to help make 2020 the best year yet for everyone. Don’t lose that Christmas spirit so obvious during the holidays. Make a difference by donating or volunteering. You will not just enrich the lives of those you assist but your own soul as well.

WATER is still a huge problem in South Africa and must be dealt with as a matter of urgency. Eskom’s ability to supply electricity without the need of loadshedding is also a priority. Free trade among the African Union is still a far way off, but the principle of Africa supporting Africa is crucial and we must invest in “Made in Africa” products and help boost the economies of other African countries as well as our own.

THIS year should be an interesting one internationally. President Donald Trump has been impeached and his trial at the US Senate should go forward in January or early February. Unless there is a massive swing, Trump will remain president until the US November elections. Boris Johnson is firmly established as UK prime minister and he will be looking for friends outside of the EU as he and his party negotiate the free-trade agreements (this is an opportunity for South Africa to get a good deal directly with the Poms).

FOR those who have already travelled back home we hope you had a safe journey, and to those yet to leave, may your travels be without incident.

HAPPY birthday greetings and best wishes to everyone celebrating this special occasion in the week ahead, especially Brenton Spence, Peter Charter, Steve Harris, Christopher Friderichs, Kyle Jacobs, Denzil Goosen, Peter Hains, Susan Kok, Bonnie Blaine, Aiden Norden, Hans Hon, Andrew Jones-Pjillipson, Luke Beckett, Mary McGhie, Willem Horn, Glenda Huxtable, Bradley van Zyl, Sophie Bessinger, Ryan Vermaak, Chris Shaddock, Jacques van Wyk, Justine Hulley, Devon Coetzee, Angela Fourie, Ian Hattingh, Audrey Barnard, Averil Oosthuizen, Daniel Paterson, Maxi Mclellan, Tracey Butt, John Butt, Ross & Clayton Lloyd, Kelly Avis, Shaun Botha, Margie Siegers, James Charter, Dominicue Averbuch, Ivy Gulliford, Jo Wilmot, Vanessa Hilton-Barber, Russell Shelton, Anina Blouw.

ANOTHER business anniversary and our congratulations and wishes for more future success to Winston Vermaak’s Colin’s Garden Service, The Wharf Street Tab, Historic Pig & Whistle.

SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all those folk who are not well, having or have already had tests, operations and treatments. Sterkte Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, Emilene Bruwer, Jenny Groenewald, Derek Church, Jan Haig, Gavin Tessendorf and Lyn Charter.

WISHING all couples celebrating wedding anniversaries congratulations and continued happiness for many happy times ahead. Good luck to Lou and Annette Coetzee, Willem and Marlene van Rensburg, Alan and Brenda Hulley, Dean and Lorraine Samuel, Chris and Cindy de Wet Steyn, Tom and Liz Webb and Grant and Tricia Campbell.

THOUGHT for the week: “As we start the year, be kinder than necessary. Everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle and you never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life”.

BEST regards as always,
The Team.

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