Neighbourly Notes – 10 February 2022

SCENE OF DESTRUCTION: Sunbeams stream through the windows and roof of Centenary Hall in Bathurst, which was gutted by fire in the early hours of Monday morning.

BY now, most locals know about the fire that gutted Centenary Hall in Bathurst in the early hours of Monday morning. It is tragic that SA has lost yet another historical building, more than 100 years old, to fire. Community members suspect arson, but no one has yet come forward as a witness to seeing people running away from the scene of the blaze. The photos we posted of the fire, shared by a Bathurst resident, attracted an incredible amount of reader response on our Facebook page – mostly anger and sadness.

THE circus was in town on Tuesday evening, for two shows only, and both were nearly full. Clearly locals have been hungry for entertainment and the shows drew young and old alike who were delighted by the animals, acrobats, jugglers and clowns, among other acts. There were also a few protestors at the Gluckman Road intersection. The use of animals, especially lions and tigers, in circuses has been a contentious issue for some time, but you will still find many more people paying to attend the show than protesting it. McLaren Circus is SA’s last remaining touring circus and harkens to a bygone era. It may fill older people with a sense of nostalgia about when they were children and visited the circus, and for some youngsters it may be the first and last time they see such a thing. Whatever your views on the animal acts, McLaren has also suffered loss of income and had to lay off people after not being able to tour for eight months during the lockdown, while still needing to care for and feed their animals. Co- owner David McLaren said during those eight months they were confined to the farm they own in Meyerton, not a single SPCA inspector or animal activist came to check on the animals but as soon as they started touring again, the inspections resumed.

THE winners for Talk of the Town’s Valentine ’s competition are Carl Wantenaar and Natalie Okonski-Wantenaar who won a hamper from Pick n Pay, in second place were Shane and Mary-Anne Lang who won a hamper from Joba Eatery, in third place were Marcel Mey and Erica Fouche who won a Rosehill SuperSpar hamper and a voucher from Joba Eatery, and in fourth place were Brandon and Melissa Marais who won a voucher from Halyards Hotel. A big thank you to our sponsors.

HAPPY birthday greetings to everyone celebrating a birthday in the coming week. We hope the year ahead will bring you all good health and happiness, especially to Melanie Elliott, Jenny Le Roux, Michelle Swanepoel, Leonie Fourie, Sally Thompson, Roy Bowles, Jack Malan, Brandon Wicks, Jeremy Elliott, Blessing Nkosi, Megan Sharrock, John-Luke Collyer, Eben Groenewald, Jenni Waters, Wendy Pieterse, John Forster, Anelisa Yoli, Cornelle Coetzee, Ryan Heathcote, Sylvia Gwebile, Jenny Louw, Val Williams, Matt van Eeden, Chelsea van Eeden, Ashley Bamber, Nonyameko Siyolo, Whitty Strydom, Joy Smith, Carl van Heerden, Marizka Burgess, Karel de Jaeger, Peter Lear, Hendrick Koekemoer and Russell Kearney.

BUSINESS anniversary congratulations, plus further success and good wishes to Fresh Stop at Andy’s Service Centre and DP Engineering.

WITH last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, and at the time of going to press, the Rand was trading at R15.34 to the US Dollar (R14.77), R20.79 to the British Pound (R20.35) and R17.50 to the Euro (R17.88). Gold was trading at $1,827.50 per fine ounce ($1,839.98), Platinum at $1,029.00 per ounce ($1,164.00) with Brent Crude Oil at $90.30 ($60.34) per barrel.

WITH the hint of romance in the air and the celebration that another year of marriage is lovingly added, it’s congratulations to all couples on their anniversaries. Vaughn and Carla de la Mare, Jona and Mel Arnott, Devon and Kelly Brittle, James and Lindy Robinson, Malcolm and Kathy Robinson, John and Karen Fletcher.

TO all romantics – have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. To those who are not (romantics) – enjoy all the special offers provided by the many businesses.

THOUGHT for the week: “The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team