IT has now been 231 days since the national lockdown was imposed and, though many of the draconian restrictions have been eased or lifted, we are warned that a second wave of Covid-19 is likely to strike, and may already have. This is worrying for a number of reasons in that if the previous restrictions are re-imposed, it would likely destroy the economy and put even more lives at risk. A reintroduction of restrictions in Europe has already been implemented. But SA, and particularly the Eastern Cape relies, aside from the all-important task of farming, on the tourism industry to inject much-needed cash into the area. Having lost out during the year on some major events, the Bathurst Agricultural Show being a prime example specifically during this bi-centennial year, as well as the Amanzi Challenge, The Bathurst Country Affair and others, we need as many tourists as we can accommodate to arrive and (to paraphrase US President Trump) “make the holiday season great again”. CRIME in the area appears to be lessening but it seems that there are a number of criminals inspecting properties, jumping over walls and causing alarm to residents. Though relatively few incidents involve violence or even successful burglary, it is critical residents work together to ensure our entire area is safe. Looking out for your neighbour is critical if crime in the area is to be curtailed. Report all incidents where you suspect criminal activity as the police and security companies cannot act unless they are alerted to crimes.
GREAT news, the 112th Bathurst Agricultural Show is scheduled to take place from March 26 to 28 next year, and already the BAS (Bathurst Agricultural Society which organises the event) is active and plan to make this event bigger and better than ever. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s show was cancelled, leading to a dramatic loss of income for BAS, specifically with it being the 200-year anniversary of the 1820 British settlers arrival. It was originally planned to highlight the arrival of the settlers in the Eastern Cape and many planned events had to be cancelled this year. The Bathurst Show is always a great place to meet friends, enjoy good food and see the excitement of the children at the dog and animal shows or their joy at the funfair. Watch the procession of animals and vintage cars, enjoy the equestrian events, watch the sit-on lawnmower races (Danny Wepener might even finish this year’s race) and just relax. Tell your friends and family and get there (Covid-19 restrictions a lowing).
TO all pupils who are currently sitting their examinations, good luck. Mind you, swatting for exams during lockdown, with many pupils having to self-study, has made this year’s exams much more difficult. Now, the fifth day of examinations, nothing should distract you from doing your best. Specifically for the matrics: if you pass, then people will applaud the effort you must have put in and congratulate you on your achievement. If you fail it is not the end of the world. Firstly, you can always retake the exams (though that means even more work), or you can enroll at a private college to retake your matric exams. Finally, you have all been through a lot this year (as have we all) and the effort you put in now will set you up for the rest of your life.
ANOTHER year has passed, so it’s time to wish everyone a very happy birthday, especially to Clive Pearson, Nelo Stötter, Sharon Dove, Ann Green, Loretta Phillips, Craig Griffiths, Stella Heunis, Catherine Bakaqana, Ann Coleman, Gordon Long, Louise Hoyle, Helen Lansdell, Tyla-Leigh Keeton, Emke Klopper, Harold Dodd, Loretta Krein, Wilson Makeleni, Malcolm Slater, Zoey Harris, Blake Botha, Ian Sawers, Jenny Hoseck, Amy Wilmot, Jenny Nel, Peter Godson, Andre Crous, Denise van der Merwe, Jacques Westraadt, Shelley Handley, Des Spenceley, Clive Haworth, Sandra Hayward, Deleste van den Meulen, Lynn Roberts, Josh Alexandre, Chan Kahn, Gary Gailey, Susan Gombert and Matthew Collin.
CONGRATULATIONS and even more success for the future to all businesses celebrating an anniversary, especially Christie’s Complex in Campbell Street and The Bathurst Farmers Market on 21 marvellous years.
THE rand is looking strong at the moment and is at its best rate against major foreign currencies for some time. Yet, before we get carried away, let’s remember that big things are afoot in Europe (Brexit, coronavirus, new terror attacks), and the US elections and other happenings also have had an impact on the global economy. We will just have to see how things pan out when the dust settles and Covid-19 is under control. As we go to press, and with last year’s figures in brackets, the rand was trading at R15.56 to the dollar (R14.94), R20.64 to the pound (R19.20), with the euro at R18.33 (R16.45). Commodities such as gold were trading at $1,879.47 per fine ounce ($1,462.23) and platinum is trading at $888 per ounce ($873.01). Brent Crude is trading at $44.66 per barrel ($61.73)
SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all who are not well, having or have already had tests, operations and treatments. Sterkte Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, Jenny Groenewald, Jan Haig, Bev Young, Fred Golombick, Graeme Sunny Hill and Jenna Coetzee.
CONDOLENCES to the family and friends of Gene French, well-known for his long service to the SAPS, including being the former head of detectives in Port Alfred. Gene passed away recently after a long battle with cancer. He was a true gentleman.
WEDDING anniversary congratulations and all good wishes for many more to Jan and Yvette Eloff, Roly and Lorna Clayton, Mark and Suzanne Wyllie, John and Jaida Ball, Tim and Imare Patterson, John and Sharon Dailkin, and Leon and Reonette Jansen van Rensburg.
THOUGHT for the week: “Success, happiness, peace of mind and fulfilment … are available to all among us, without exception, who make things happen … in the world around them.”
BEST regards as always,