Neighbourly Notes – 11 November 2021

Rob Knowles

IT was with heavy hearts that we worked on this edition of Talk of the Town after learning of the sudden death of our colleague, Rob Knowles. Rob passed away quietly at home over the weekend with heart failure. His family were notified and are planning to have a memorial service in the near future. Rob was our colleague and friend for the past 11 years. I remember the first time I met Rob was when he worked for the Kowie Bugle and we both attended a Kowie Striders annual prize giving at the Port Alfred River and Ski-boat Club. Shortly after that Rob left the Kowie Bugle and after seeing his writing potential in a story about the Soup Kitchen’s visits to the Port Alfred dumpsite, I offered him a job at Talk of the Town, as we had an opening. Rob, an immigrant from Liverpool who had lived in SA for the past 30 years (by that time), was an unusual hire in that he was already over 50 and had no journalism background. But he was enthusiastic and teachable. In his past life he was a computer engineer and also had s me experience building timber homes in Port Alfred. Over the years he met many people, forged lasting relationships and produced a body of work of which he could be proud. In his spare time he wrote novels, one of which has been published, called Fractured Time. One of the memories I have of Rob imprinted on my mind, early in his time at TotT, is when he accompanied me and Daily Dispatch journalist Dave Macgregor to a community meeting in Kenton-on-Sea with former Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti. After the meeting, when I approached Nkwinti to ask him questions about his family connections to certain beneficiaries of a land reform project, he rebuffed me and two ANC heavies physically removed me from the Kenton town hall. While Macgregor snapped photos of the incident, Rob was more concerned with the violence towards me and how he could defend me. We got photos from Macgregor, but Rob was there for me. When I first heard that my mother had terminal cancer as I sat with her in the doctor’s office, she was calm but I wept. When I got back to the TotT office Rob asked me how it had gone. I told him and he said I should just take the rest of the day off. Then load shedding happened as if to confirm his advice. He invited me to come have a beer with him at Kenny’s to ponder life and just be. That is a treasured memory. Rob was well-known in the community and will always be remembered for his engaging nature, humour, love of music and the opportunity to perform in various local shows over the years, as well as telling his personal quirky anecdotes to anyone who had a listening ear. We will miss him.

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, twins David and Bradley Springer, Hugh Taylor, Gordon Gill, Jenny Wallace, Kerri Katz, Wilson Makeleni, Malcolm Slater, Margaret Smith, Zoey Harris, Blake Botha, Ian Sawers, Jenny Nel, Peter Godson, Andre Crous, Denise van der Merwe, Deleste van den Meulen, Lynn Roberts, Josh Alexandre, Chan Kahn, Gary Gailey, Susan Gombert.

CONGRATULATIONS and even more success for the future, to all businesses celebrating an anniversary, especially the Christie’s Complex in Campbell Street, The Bathurst Farmers Market on 22 marvellous years. As we go to press, and with last ye a r ’s figures in brackets, the rand was trading at R15.07 to the dollar (R15.56), R20.39 to the pound (R20.64), with the euro at R17.44 (R18.33). Commodities such as gold were trading at $1,824.29 per fine ounce ($1,879.47) and platinum is trading at $1,048.00 per ounce ($888.01). Brent Crude is trading at $83.76 per barrel ($44.66).

WEDDING anniversary congratulations and all good wishes for many more to all couples celebrating this special occasion next week. Especially Jan and Yvette Eloff, Roly and Lorna Clayton, Mark and Suzanne Wyllie, John and Jaida Ball. Tim and Imare Patterson, John and Sharon Dailkin, 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,
The Team.

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