Saturday, September 29, 2007

Letters - Briewe

Klaarstroom se Populierbos

Klaarstroom is ‘n klein plekkie met sy pragtige rotsrandjies rondom die wit geboue en die mooi natuurskoon.

Tot ons grootste teleurstelling is die pragtige natuurskoon in die agtergrond – die populierbome – so verwoes dat dit lyk of daar ‘n orkaan sonder naam deur die mooi-ste deel van Klaarstroom is. Die bome lê plat verwoes.

Dit is baie, baie teleurstellend om te sien hoe lelik dit lyk. Die inwoners van Klaarstroom het dit nie verwag nie. Op Maandagaand, 27 Augustus 2007, was daar ‘n gemeenskapsvergadering te Klaarstroom gehou. Die inwoners het gevra dat inwoners ‘n verduideliking moet kry hoekom die bome gesaag word. Ons het gevra dit moet gestop word want ons weet nie die hoekoms en die waaroms nie en ons het geen terugvoering gekry nie.

Die bos het ‘n doel in die gemeenskap gehad. Al die jare het die gemeenskap hout gaan haal in die bos, veral in die winter. Toe die ouer garde kinders was, is die skoolpieknieks altyd daar gehou. Ons kinders het daar geswem en die koelte geniet. Vroeg in die oggend het dit gelyk die blare blink, so pragtig was dit. ‘n Pragtige lowergroen en blink bos!

Mense, Klaarstroom lyk nou soos ‘n woestyn. Die pragtige lang, groen bome is weg – die mooiste deel teen die rivier af. Dit was die bome wat eerste raak gesien was as jy deur die Poort ry in die rigting van Klaarstroom.

(Skrywer se identiteit is aan die Vriend bekend.)

Common Sense Guidelines for Building in the Karoo

I would like to sincerely thank Mary-Anne and Debbie for reviewing my booklet in last month’s Friend. The book seems to have been well received and is selling well at the Fransie Pienaar Museum.

I have received constructive feedback from a number of people and am now gathering together material that may be included in some future re-print. There is, however, one item that I think I should share with readers now, rather than later, as in my opinion it could be a matter of life and death.

I refer to the fitting of security bars over windows and doors. In the course of my work I have measured over eighty existing houses for clients in Prince Albert and in many cases have been horrified to find that every window and door in the building has been fitted with security screens.

The last house I measured in Nuwestraat would have made the Department of Correctional Services proud – no one without major tools or equipment could have broken into the building. But what is even more significant to me, is that there is no way anyone could escape in the event of a fire. When questioned the occupants invariably argue that they would simply make their way to the front or back door. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way, especially at night when a person awakens to find themselves in total darkness, disorientated and unable to breathe properly due to smoke inhalation.

I urge residents to seriously consider the means of escape from their premises in the event of an emergency. It is recommended that if a person decides to install security bars they limit them to the opening portions of windows only. At lease one window in every room should be able to broken open, either by rescuers from outside or by a person trapped inside. Should an emergency occur the trapped person may be able to smash open the unprotected window using a chair or similar piece of loose furniture.

John Whitton


It is sad to witness the brutal treatment of our historic 126 year old Blue Gum trees! Planted in 1881 by the magistrate, George Rainier, they have given much needed shade in summer and character to our town all these years.

What is even sadder is that our Town Council does not adhere to its own APPROVED Tree Policy!

In October 2001 the Aesthetics Committee which had advised the Council since 1992 was disbanded. In May 2002 they appointed the Heritage Advisory Committee to advise them on ALL aspects of heritage in our town and district.

At that time we experienced some severe storms and large branches of the blue gums were ripped off and caused serious damage – in one case a whole tree was uprooted and fell on a house. It became clear that these much loved blue gums were at the end of their life and that they presented a real danger. As a result of this the Council requested the Heritage Advisory Committee to look into the matter and to come up with a Tree Policy for the town.

It was clear to us that sadly, because of their age, the blue gums had to go. We spent hours and days walking up and down Church Street, consulting with Sue Dean, other specialists, nurseries and the Council as to what the best route of action would be. Finally we came up with a Tree Policy which later formed the basis of a draft document tabled by the former Mayor, Mr Dawid Rossouw. This was approved by Council and serves as the town’s existing Tree Policy. It does not, however, include all the original recommendations, which inter alia proposed a phased-in replacing, but not full-scale removal, of the historic blue gums, as well as planting of trees on both sides of Church St.

The trimming of the blue gums is not mentioned anywhere in either Tree Policy and is a futile and very expensive exercise costing us rate payers. In ten or fifteen years time these trees will have sprouted new branches that will interfere with the electrical wires and will again have to be trimmed at great cost.

Why does the Council not remove the cause (blue gums) of the problems and implement their approved Tree Policy?

Lydia Barella

PS: I would like to appeal to all Prince Albert residents to be vigilant. Please watch all community notice boards in Prince Albert and read all notices published in the Prince Albert Friend. If anything that concerns you, make further enquiries and talk to your friends about it. The Municipality did publicly ask for tenders for the trimming of the blue gums – nobody took any notice!
(A copy of this letter was sent to the Acting Municipal Manager just before our printing deadline and too late for him to respond in this, edition should he so wish.)

Totsiens van Leeu-Gamka

Na meer as 20 jaar op Leeu-Gamka het die Here met ons ‘n nuwe pad begin loop en skuif ons nou na Sasolburg. Dit is moeilik om jou wortels op te trek en te skuif, maar ons weet dat die Here hierin is, en daarom is ons ook opgewonde oor die nuwe pad saam met die Here.

Ons wil ook graag vir die gemeenskap van Prince Albert baie dankie sê vir al u liefde, ondersteuning en gebede in hierdie jare. Die tyd wat ons by die skool, Huis Kweekvallei, die hospitaal en ook die gemeente van Prince Albert betrokke was, bly steeds vir ons kosbare herinneringe.

Ons wil ook graag vir u dankie sê vir u gesindheid oor die jare by die kerk se kwekery. U ondersteuning het gehelp dat dit vandag ‘n Artikel 21 maatskappy met ‘n eie direksie, betuurder en personeel is. Onsself was in die laaste maande feitlik glad nie meer betrokke nie, en ons glo dat hierdie projek net van krag sal gaan.

Dankie ook vir u ondersteuning by die gemeente van Leeu-Gamka se dankfeesbasaar en ander funksies. Moet asseblief nie ophou by die gemeente betrokke te wees nie – hulle sal steeds in die jare wat kom u ondersteuning en gebede baie nodig hê.

Dit is ons gebed dat die Here u sal seën.
Willem en Sanette Burger


Ons Marincowitz familie wil net dankie sê aan die gemeenskap van Prince Albert en al ons vriende en kennisse vir hulle oproepe, en besoeke en woorde van verstroosing na die afsterwe van Helena Marincowitz.

The Marincowitz Family would like to thank the Prince Albert Community, friends and acquaintances for their telephone calls, visits and support after the death of Helena Marincowitz.


Thank you for thinking of us during Jonathan’s untimely passing. Thank you for the words of comfort, all the flower arrangements that arrived at our home, (everyone remembered how Jonathan loved flowers), the lovely, delicious cakes, cheese and whole complete meals.

Your love is appreciated. We will never forget the support and consideration given to us at this time.

Fondest love,
Joy, Trish & Zara Rolfe

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