Friday, February 29, 2008

Gasp - The Metal!

-Brett Bard-

The grand opening of the Kevin Hough Gallery in the old cinema at 55 Church Street on February 1st was a revelatory scene of joy and celebration as people mingled and marvelled at the magical metal sculptures on display. Flowers on the walls, torment in a chair, curiously positioned balls, and bicycles everywhere.

The collective work stands as a totem to the exuberant creative spirit of local artist Kevin Hough, who has spent the past year concocting sculptures from his eclectic accumulation of scrap metal. Kevin has always been inspired by materials found in his surrounding environment: in London, it was junk from tips in the street from which he used to make masks, and here it is old metal from local farm scrap heaps. Bizarrely, Kevin hates welding the metal together himself, so he leaves this technical aspect to Marius Steyl, welder extraordinaire, without whose help things would literally fall apart. Together, the duo under Kevin’s uncompromising artistic direction fought tooth and nail to assemble appropriate pieces for the inauguration.

Now for the first time this generous gallery space perfectly unifies and complements Kevin’s current body of work, which is predominantly metal sculpture.

The gallery is available to exhibit other suitable art, and already there is a growing list of international artists who will bring their work to view in the main hall. Kevin also plans to open a sculpture garden outside the back, and a fully operational ceramic studio on the premises later this year.

The building has been transformed into a gallery of clout, glowing pure white, both inside and out. The old double doors are now centralised and the windows have been cleaned to allow unobstructed deep interior views. A red carpet adorns the floor of the entrance which is level with the extended platform in front of the façade. Here the sun set radiantly as well wishers indulged in delicious snacks and wine supplied by friends and supporters.

Rarely do local events spark such widespread enthusiasm and encouragement across the board, which can only be attributed to a mutual appreciation for the irrepressible force of artistic expression through unshackled imagination. Farmers, in particular, are amused by the extraordinary adaptation of implements normally used in agriculture into something with an entirely different meaning and purpose.

Visitors to the town captivated by the rusted metal sculptures dotted around town can happily feed their curiosity when lured into the tranquil new premises dedicated to the arts.

John Southern has been applauded as a patron of the arts in providing the space and backup for Kevin. And so the Kevin Hough Gallery joins the many exciting new ventures that will set Prince Albert in a bigger sphere of world notice.

Letters - Briewe

Why we enjoy Prince Albert

A few years ago we had the pleasure of reading a book “Over the Rainbow” by the Scottish writer, Gavin Bell. It was a fascinating story of his travels throughout South Africa, a part of which brought him to Prince Albert.

He touched on the history of the village and some of its colourful characters as well as the mystery and intrigue of the Swartberg Hotel. Such an episode in his book enabled us to plan a visit into the region as part of our first holiday to South Africa back in 2000.

An annual holiday to this great country wouldn’t be complete without visiting Prince Albert for a few days (and of course the enjoyment of staying at the charming Swartberg Hotel.) The real purpose of this letter is to commend the people of this grand village for the ongoing improvements, recognised by us for the last few years.

We enjoy many things about Prince Albert, the charm, the character, the cuisine – and even reading about the day-to-day village life in ‘the Friend ’. But most of all we enjoy the friendliness of the people of Prince Albert.

Tony & Ann Harper
Sheffield, UK

Avis opens in Prince Albert

Last November two members of Prince Albert's Tourism Association came to see me in George to discuss whether or not we could establish some form of cooperation for the mutual benefit of both Avis and the Association.

This was an intriguing idea since, in my experience, no such joint venture exists in South Africa, and I gladly accepted their invitation to meet with Bokkie Botha, Charles Roux and Zelia Mullins in Prince Albert for further discussions.

This was my first visit to Prince Albert (I am from Jo'burg) and it was my great pleasure to discover that you have such a delightful thriving community, populated, it would seem, by so many interesting characters.

As a result, I had no hesitation in recommending that Avis should establish a booking office within the Prince Albert Tourism office, and thus, earlier this month, my colleague Di Pollard and I returned to the town to set this up with Zelia.

We at Avis wish Prince Albert Tourism every success with this new venture and we look forward to working closely with you in the future.

Gadija Jappie
Area Manager - Garden Route
Avis Rent a Car

Thanks for finding our keys

We lost our front door keys on Monday, 4th February.

They were handed in to Shirley at the Municipality, where we eventually found them.

Thank you to someone for your much appreciated help.

Michael and Mavis Aggett.

Die Vrugtefees

Die Vrugtefees georganiseer deur die NG Kerk Vrouediens op Vrydag, 1 Februarie, in die Pastorietuin was ‘n voorreg om by te woon.

As ‘n inwoner bo 60 jaar (maar nog nie oud nie) wil ek baie dankie sê aan die organiseerders, werkers en almal wat vrugte geskenk het.

Sulke geleenthede maak ons dorp, Prince Albert, spesiaal.

Ione Auerswald

Feast and festivities - the time is upon us…


That long-awaited time of year is almost upon us when Prince Albert opens its doors and heart for you to come and discover the secrets, and revel in the warm hospitality of this beautiful Karoo town. It is Prince Albert Town and Olive Festival time once again, taking place from Friday, 25 April to Monday 28 April 2008.

The Great Karoo inspires the great creative spirit. History and culture are preserved with care and reflected in architecture, art and music. Galleries, gardens, food and music all tell their own tales and ghosts and ancient history reveal themselves once more.

Join us in Prince Albert for feast and festivity; enjoy the games and activities, a town meander to take in the arts, crafts, unusual shops and amazing collections. Local storytellers will entertain you with tales, fables and legends from yesteryear. Walk with ghosts or join our experts on historical, archaeological and botanical tours in this natural wonderland.

Local food is always the star - bountiful produce, organic vegetables, olives and olive oil, legendary Karoo lamb and fruit to make your mouth water.

Do not miss this opportunity to experience true Prince Albert magic. A full programme of events will be available from mid-April.

More information about Prince Albert, the upcoming festival and accommodation is available from Prince Albert Tourism Office.

Tel 023-5411-366.

Brett the Vet - The Heat is on

The Heat is On

Summertime and the living is queasy for many a hot dog, cool cat, or ostrich with no sun day hat. Intolerable heat imposed on live animals in cold blood through ignorance, greed, or negligence causes thousands of avoidable deaths every year.

Two years ago nearly 5000 ostriches were reported to have died in the Karoo during a heat wave. The birds baked to death because no shade had been provided. Farmers know that ostriches are well adapted to hot, dry conditions, and tolerate temperature extremes. Their comfort zone, however, is roughly between 4-25 degrees Celsius.

The birds seek shade when the ambient temperature rises too much (late morning in February in the Karoo). The majority of ostriches are kept in crowded, dusty, feedlot camps without a tree in sight. When there is a sliver of shade available it is occupied by the toughest birds - the rest are seen gullar fluttering in the simmering sunshine.

Even in the most publicly visible camps no attempts appear to have been made to alleviate this problem, even though there is a clause relating to provision of shade in the animal protection act. With the impact of global warming experts predict increased likelihood of deaths from heatstroke. Despite the potential economic loss, very little is being done about this animal welfare aspect by the SPCA, the Co-op or the majority of farmers.

Livestock like cattle and sheep with no refuge from the sun in the height of summer seem to be able to survive without shade. But the stress effects of heat influence success and profitability: Reduced feed intake, reduced lactation, reduced fertility levels, reduced activity, shade seeking, increased respiratory rate, increased sweating, and increased mortality. It is not unusual to see a flock of sheep all trying to cool down in the shade of one another when there are no trees.

The benefits of trees are many. Trees provide the most effective cool shade. They are used to create wind barriers. Species, like carob also provide a source of food for livestock. Others whilst giving shade produce crops of nuts or fruit. The flowers of eucalyptus are a major source of pollen and nectar for bees.

Trees recycle carbon and produce oxygen. They create conditions for rain. A different school of thought destroys every living tree that happens to be from another continent, no matter how useful, shady or reproductively inert.

Hot cars turn into ovens after only a few minutes for dogs trapped inside. Symptoms of heat exhaustion ensue quite rapidly starting with panting, followed by hyperthermia, congestion of mucous membranes, diarrhoea, stupor, coma, and death.

The primary therapeutic objective in all cases of heatstroke is to reduce body temperature by immersion in cold water.

Cool cats are the creatures to watch. On a hot summer’s day they would offer their throats to the woof with the red noses if he could find them in the deepest shade splayed. Cats are more likely to gravitate to a comfort zone simply because they can. The more relative freedom a creature has, the more naturally it will be able to cope with temperature fluctuations.

Non-human animals share with humans a capacity to suffer, and this means that they, like us, have interests. Domesticated animals whether they are farm animals, or pets, require us to take care of their interests. If we discount or ignore their interests we are guilty of cruelty, which apart from being morally reprehensible, is against the law.

Daar’s altyd iets om voor dankbaar te wees…

André Gouws skakel my een oggend met ‘n versoek: Kan ek die leerders van Maddison Primêr deur die museum neem en meer van ons dorp en sy geskiedenis vertel. So gesê, so gedaan.

Die oggend van 5 Februarie arriveer 46 kinders én fietse én 2 leerkragte by die museum. In my enigheid staan ek die besigheid só en kyk, en dink: “O-oo, die volgende uur of twee gaan maar moeilik wees.” Was ek aangenaam verras!

Opgewonde, tog bedaard, stap die kinders in ‘n ry en kom staan met afwagtende gesiggies voor my op die stoep. Vir die leerders van so ‘n klein skooltjie, is ‘n uitstappie soos dié ‘n belewenis en beslis nie ‘n alledaagse gebeurtenis nie. Ons het van vertrek tot vertrek gestap. Ek het gesels en verduidelik, ons het na die suiwer klanke van die draai-orrel geluister, aan outydse medisyne geruik, en die leerkragte en kinders het vrae gevra en aantekeninge gemaak. Die kinders was soos sponse wat al die inligting, en elke nuwe ervaring wou opsuig.

‘n Paar dae later, toe die museum ‘n bedankingsbriefie en meer inligting oor Maddison Primêr ontvang, het ek besluit om die interessante feite oor die skooltjie met ons lesers te deel.

Maddison Primêr is geleë te Letjiesbos, 42 km vanaf Beaufort-Wes. Die skool is in April 1945 gestig met een leerkrag, meneer J. Stander. Huidiglik is daar 2 leerkragte en 47 leerders, almal kinders van die omliggende plase.

Die leerders woon in die koshuis en gaan selde huis toe, want hulle woon tot 60 km van die skool en baie van die ouers is werkloos. Niks ongewoon nie, sou die leser dink, tog, hier is ‘n skool en koshuis met ‘n verskil: Leerkragte en leerders doen alles self, en saam. Hulle is tans besig, met die Departement van Landbou se hulp, om hul eie groentetuine aan te lê. Hul mikpunt is om mettertyd heeltemal selfonderhoudend te wees. Dink net, vars groente en vrugte, ‘n hanetree van die agterdeur af. Na skool, by die koshuis, werk almal ewe hard om alles glad te laat verloop. Man en muis maak skoon, help kosmaak, wasgoed was, en knie, sodat daar elke aand lekker warm brood kan wees.

Is daar ‘n probleem met stowe wat gedurig breek, en geld is mos altyd skaars, dan word ‘n ander plan gemaak: ‘n Buite-oond word gebou!

Die leerkragte van Maddison Primêr het een belangrike doelwit. Hul belangrikste prioriteit is om hul leerders toe te rus vir die toekoms. Die dag as hierdie kinders skool verlaat, sal hulle selfonderhoudend, verantwoordelik en self-gedissiplineerd wees, met ander woorde, volwaardige landsburgers. Hulle werk hard saam as ‘n span en die woord “vrye-tyd” bestaan nie in hul woordeskat nie. Hulle sug nie, niemand kla nie, hulle weet: daar is altyd iets om voor dankbaar te wees… die dak oor my kop, die bed waarop ek slaap, heerlike warm brood, die mense rondom my wat vir my omgee en my belange op die hart dra … kosbaarder as goud.

Maddison Primêr se leerders sal altyd welkom wees by die Fransie Pienaar Museum. Dit was ‘n voorreg om julle hier te ontvang. Aan die leerkragte: “Doen so voort.”

Debbie Badenhorst

Magtig, wragtig, tagtig!

- Lewis Tilney -

Essentially of well-known Caledon farming stock (Lady Duff-Gordon writes in her book, “Letters from the Cape”, how a young farmer Metcalf drove her over the Caledon veld at breakneck speed in his buckboard) this urge to “cross country” lives on in our local “settler-Metcalf”, Dick!

Our respective mothers, Enid Metcalf and Louis Tilney, were school mates at the Caledon Public School, I think, while the Metcalf Caledon clan were very well-known to my Ouma and Oupa Krige, also an old Caledon family and parents of my mother.

Dick and I met at stages over the years, culminating in an eventual very active “getting together” in Worcester, where Dick was employed by a prominent builder – forsaking varsity for the more practical side of things.

Dick’s wheels at that time were an ex-Army 350cc Royal Enfield bike on which he was wont, suitably inspired, to chase hares on the moonlit Worcester commonage. He “came short” only once, riding home to Mossel River, near Hermanus, for a weekend; both Dick and the horse survived their “get together.”

Our favourite Worcester summer pastimes were river-bathing, always suitably accompanied, and dancing, particularly at the Goudini Baths Hotel, of a Saturday night – great fun! We had a four-wheeled, four-seater vehicle at that stage. But, of course, these carefree days were not everlasting …

A chance encounter led to the “old firm”, Metcalf and Tilney, coming together again – many years later Dick surprised Beryl and me, stopping by for a moment at our Plett home from his Stanford farm. We told him that a small dorp, Prince Albert, had taken our fancy – we’d bought two adjoining erven for “next-to-nothing.”

Dick was immediately interested, reminding me that his Dad had been stationed there in the Standard Bank when he was a “pikkie”, and that he would certainly “gooi ‘n draai” on his return trip from Port Elizabeth.

This he duly did, visiting his erstwhile home in Luttig Street, and, spotting a “Te Koop” sign on the house next door, he immediately phoned the seller and bought the house then-and-there, “sight unseen”!

Dick and Shirley contribute ably and joyfully to local social life at No 7 Luttig Street!

Home Affairs in Prince Albert

- Christine Thomas -

Did you know that the Department of Home Affairs visits Prince Albert once a month? Those Prince Alberters who have stood in long queues in the larger towns will be relieved to know that, with a little advanced planning, inconvenience can be avoided.

Needing to renew my passport, I was horrified to discover that the Wynberg office in Cape Town was being renovated and now has to operate out of a caravan in a littered car park. Several phone calls to Oudtshoorn and Beaufort West revealed the fact that on the 31st January, Home Affairs would be operating from the library hall, Prince Albert, from 10 o'clock till conclusion of business. What a relief!

I arrived promptly at 10 to find the hall lined with chairs and a long table set up, ready for business. People were already settled comfortably in groups chatting. There seemed to be no order of queuing, so I sat down next to a couple who introduced themselves as newcomers to Prince Albert. The minutes ticked by and we swapped stories. By the time the two Home Affairs officials finally arrived we were on friendly terms.

Documents for collection were dealt with first and then problems related to I.D.s followed. My friends were soon seated at the long table chatting to the friendly Home Affairs official who made numerous phone calls to sort out their problem.

When a chair became available at the table my new friends waved me into the vacant space where I had a ring side seat to observe all that was going on. Photographs and finger prints were being taken on my right while on my left a mini-drama was unfolding. A feisty lady wearing a scarf, topped with a cowboy hat, required an I.D. With no birth certificate to prove her identity, other avenues were being explored by the official. The lady's off-the-cuff replies raised ripples of laughter around the hall. Eventually it was agreed that the Primary School in Calvinia would be approached. Her birth date was announced and we all counted on our fingers to work out in which years she attended school.

"En dan het ek ook gedruip."

More counting, more laughter.

"Ag wat ek sal seker moet dood gaan sonder 'n I.D.," said she philosophically with a shrug of the shoulders, now sure of an appreciative audience. The reality of running your life sans I.D. is not funny, however, and the Home Affairs official promised to do her best to help.

Dates for Home Affairs visits for March were not available at the time of going to print, but to confirm all future dates, telephone 023-4148360.

Starry Splendour over Prince Albert

- Hans Daehne -

The rainy summer weather is limiting the visibility of the bright summer constellations but the stars will be there forever while the rain is very necessary right now for the Karoo and all its inhabitants.

In March the Autumn constellations will become more prominent, especially the Lion in its supine position harbouring the beautiful Saturn "above" its belly. Then it will be the turn of Corvus, the Crow, Virgo and Libra.

While the Red Giants of Summer Betelgeuse and Aldebaran move towards the West they will be replaced by the red Arcturus that is just as striking in the north.

You can still try to find the equilateral triangle of red objects made up of Mars, Aldebaran and Betelgeuse at the beginning of the month, as well as the summer triangle of Betelgeuse, Sirius and Procyon i.e. the hunter and his two dogs but now all in the West.

Venus and Jupiter were very close together as brilliant early morning objects at the beginning of February which I hope you did not miss. Venus is now on its way towards the Sun from the West which means it will rise later and later, cross the Sun and become the evening star on the eastern side of the Sun in August, when it will set after the Sun and be visible from Gordon’s koppie.

Mars will remain an evening planet, dimming as it moves towards Gemini.

Jupiter rises after midnight and will remain close to the Teapot in Sagittarius for the rest of the year.

Saturn moves closer to Regulus in Leo and should really be observed through a telescope because at the moment it is seen with its rings edge-on which happens very seldom.

The Moon is new on the 8th and full on the 22nd.

On the 20th of March it is already Autumn Equinox again which means that the Sun will cross the equator into the northern hemisphere and our nights will become longer than our days, but the star-gazing time will also become longer!

Looking East and South will become a real pleasure again because the crosses and the Centaur will be higher above the Swartberg and display all their gems found in the Jewel Box, Omega Centauri, Alpha Centauri and around Eta Carina.

Keep the stars in your eyes!

‘n “Half en Half” waarstorie

- Adri Schoeman -

Onlangs word iemand een oggend teen skemer wakker en kry iem-and anders se hoenders in haar werf-tuintjie, besig om lustig tussen die plante te skrop. Sy maak haar hek oop en jaag die hoenderjies sonder seremonie weer werf-uit en straat-in. Ewe rustig gaan die hoenders toe straat-uit en werf-in – die werf aan die oorkant van die straat. “No problem.”

Hierdie petalje laat my toe terugdink aan meer as vyftig jaar gelede in Oudtshoorn. Die man met die mooi blomtuintjie was raad-op en het skertsend gesê dat hy maar sy blomtuin tot niet sal moet maak, want SY blomme is gedurig tussen die buurman se hoenders! En hy het geen bewyse nie – dit moet die blomme se fout wees, want die buurman sê sy hoenders kom nooit soos in nooit uit sy werf uit nie.

Maar soos dit goeie bure betaam, het ‘n ander buurman se ondeunde seuns besluit op ‘n oplossing. Al wat hulle nodig gehad het, was ‘n handjievol mieliepitte, presies net soveel garingdrade en ook net soveel gevoude papiertjies.

Op ‘n sekere laatmiddag toe die buurman sy hoenders vir die nag in hulle hok gaan toesluit sien hy dit: by elke hoender se bek hang ‘n briefie uit – “Ek is ‘n stoute hoender.” En soos dit goeie bure betaam, het geen haan ooit weer na die storie gekraai nie. They all lived happily ever after!

High Speed Internet For Prince Albert

- Linda Jaquet -

Our Sally Arnold and Anton Joubert have spent the last year lobbying Vodacom to upgrade their local cell phone antennas so that residents of Prince Albert and surrounds can have 3G high-speed, wireless Internet access and 21st century technology. Sally and Anton arranged a petition last year by local residents and made numerous telephone calls and submissions to Vodacom. Their tenacity has paid off.

Vodacom has let them know that it has already installed its 3G antennas outside Prince Albert. Telkom should complete the necessary construction work by early March.

According to their contact at Vodacom, this means that that by the middle of April at the latest, local residents should be able to access this exciting mobile technology and all that it offers.
3G (Third Generation) is one of the latest technologies that enables mobile devices, such as cell phones to offer high-speed Internet access, data, video and CD-quality music services.

It also is a means that allows Internet and e-mail users to transfer data up to seven times faster than using a dial-up connection. You are not dependent on Telkom telephone lines and will have an Internet connection wherever you are – provided there is cell phone reception.

Most people find 3G Internet access affordable because you only pay for the data you transmit and the information you receive, rather than the time you are online. You also can be connected to the Internet 24 hours a day.

Sally and Anton are excited at the benefits that high-speed Internet access will offer Prince Albert. “With 3G you can do everything you do now, but you can do it much better, a lot faster and from almost anywhere!” said Anton. Anton and his wife, Ellen, telecommute daily from Prince Albert to their respective jobs in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

Sally, who runs a design business from home, added that “It will save residents and local businesses, no matter their size, time and money and will broaden horizons and open opportunities for all. The world is really now our oyster!”

Both prepaid and contract subscribers will have access to the technology provided that their cellphones support 3G or HSDPA.

Prices start out at R2 per Megabyte for out of bundle users. Data bundles can be purchased for more frequent usage. These start out at R9.25 for 5MB and range to R389 for 2 GB (as little as R0.19 per MB!).

Stripping Off the Covers

- Derek Thomas -

The Prince Albert Writers’ Guild invited newcomer to Prince Albert, Colin Bower, to be the guest speaker at their January get together.

Colin is a published writer of some note himself and has reviewed the writings of J.M. Coetzee with impressive thoroughness. Coetzee basks in the light of his two Booker Prize awards (1983 & 1999) and Nobel Prize in Literature (2003).

Nevertheless, Colin’s incisive peer-reviewed critique appears in the UNISA Journal ‘Scrutiny’ in 2003, which raised a storm in the literary establishment. To Colin, who enjoys open debate, this was a response he relished.

The discussion was attended by 18 enthusiastic writers and readers, some of whom have read all of Coetzee’s books.

Views ranged widely, from endorsement of Coetzee’s writings, with accolades such as the “language is exquisite like a surgical operation, structurally interesting, philosophical and intellectual” to robust criticism, such as “Coetzee installs the reader in the mould then undermines it, and he writes by numbers – where is the living connection? He writes from no creative or lived experience, and lacks humour. He just fills the page.”

Deciding on the Nobel Literature Prize is inevitably a subjective affair. Prescribed by Alfred Nobel, the Award winner should be awarded to the “person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”. The issue is whether this criterion has been satisfied in the case of JMC.

Whichever position is taken, Coetzee’s enigmatic rise to fame remains controversial. Is he of the Post Modern genre, who, “once [they] have been ushered into the contemporary pantheon, we will lie to ourselves to keep [them] there” (B. R. Myers, US critic)?

Colin Bower was thanked sincerely for provoking a stimulating debate.

As is the custom with the Writers’ Guild, divergent views are welcomed and remain open-ended rather than needing a conclusion.

A spider, a howling dog and an evening with Bob Dylan…

- Johnny Breedt -

The other day whilst visiting Prince Albert, I was invited by William and Colleen from "Prince Albert Country Store" to attend a live show at the Bergwater wine farm, where local musician Brian Finch was presenting a "Bob Dylan" evening.

After a really great meal and some wine we moved into a small barn where the show got underway. I had propped myself up against a wooden bar and was enjoying the music when I felt something crawling under my shirt, but thought it might just be the vibration of the loud amplifier that was next to me.

Next thing a Red Roman spider the size of my hand, popped out of my T-shirt collar! I’m not sure who got the bigger fright, the spider or me, but after taking one look at me, he jumped onto my legs (I was wearing shorts) and disappeared under the musician’s feet.

The spider kept going round in circles, continually running over my legs, which made me feel really uncomfortable. I sat on my haunches for a while but the moment I sat down again – there he was, terrorising me.

By now some of the ladies in the front seats had noticed my run-ins with the hairy fellow and they seemed to be growing a little apprehensive. Finally, I plucked up the courage to give him a brush to one side and he decided to head off straight towards the front seats, causing absolute havoc.

It was the funniest thing I have ever seen: all the ladies with their feet in the air screaming their heads off whilst the little beast ran for his life at their feet. Meanwhile Brian was belting out Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind" and judging by the expression on his face, couldn't understand why his audience was behaving so weirdly.

There must have been something blowing in the wind because there was a dog lying sprawled out at the door and every time Brian finished a song, he would howl as if in appreciation.

The evening was almost a surreal experience for me, one that I will never forget. The event was a roaring success and I probably met more locals that night than I have met in all the years that I have been coming to Prince Albert.

Now that Yvette and I are about to become permanent residents I look forward to meeting everyone again soon.

Absa Appoints a New Manager

-Linda Jaquet-

"I have worked hard for everything I have achieved and I have never stopped dreaming,” Rose-Marie Ewerts told me when I congratulated her on being appointed by Absa as their new manager. Prince Albert is a one-bank town, so it is important that the right person be the manager of that bank. Absa has certainly made a smart move.

“I was as surprised as the next person at my promotion, but at the same time, I’ve always tried to give of my best and worked hard and loved a challenge,” Rose-Marie told the Friend soon after hearing of her appointment in early February. “I am over the moon at starting in my first managerial position here and who knows where the future may lead!” she said.

Rose-Marie’s selection came after two days of tough assessments in Port Elizabeth, with twenty-two other banking colleagues from the Eastern Cape – she was the youngest in the group – who had also applied for the same position. “I felt that everything went wrong from the start, but that just spurred me on!” she says with a twinkle in her eye. She has the same attitude to The Grumblers, who feel not up to the job.
Anyone who has ever dealt with Rose-Marie at the bank will attest to her professionalism and self-confidence even under trying circumstances. These are qualities she will have to draw on even more in her new role, with her increased responsibilities and exposure to diverse clientele, as well as the demands of the banking world. Rose-Marie stresses that humility is also important when working so closely with staff and clients.

Rose-Marie began working as a teller for Absa in Oudtshoorn, her home town, in 2001, after she’d completed a Business Management diploma at the Peninsula Technikon. She was sent to Absa’s Prince Albert branch on relief for two weeks over the Christmas period in 2002 due to a shortage of personnel. The two weeks have since stretched to over five years! While she found that her teller’s job did not really test her, looking back she is very grateful to former Absa bank manager, Hein van Huyssteen, for pushing her to reach her potential. She told the Friend: “It is because of Hein that I am a bank manager today.” He was the first person she called after she’d been told of her appointment.

“In recent years, Absa in Prince Albert hasn’t been able to fulfil its social investment commitment to the community because, quite simply, we have just not had enough hands and therefore not enough time. But this is going to change, in spite of our tiny budget for such things,” Rose-Marie told the Friend. She has already pledged the bank’s support for a local soccer tournament to be held in March.

Rose-Marie practises what she preaches: she serves on the board of ABET, an NGO that provides skills training for adults and is also involved with the local business women’s forum. She is also conscious of maintaining a balance between her professional and private lives and is the proud mother of eight-year old, Heinrich.

Restourasie van NG Kerk Kerkgeboue

-Magriet Engelbrecht-

Het u miskien die afgelope tyd iets vreemds opgemerk wanneer u in Kerk-, of Markstraat verby die kerkgeboue gery of gestap het? Nie?

Wel, dan word u nou uitgenooi: Kom kyk gerus: Ons kerkgebou het ‘n heel spinternuwe baadjie aan!

Meeste van Prins Albert se inwoners/gemeentelede onthou seker nog dat ons in 1997/1998 die kerkgebou laat restoureer het. Ongelukkig het die kontrakteurs nie by hul belofte van ‘n 10-jaar waarborg gehou nie, en moes ons die afgelope tyd sien hoedat die verf afdop en die houtwerk verwaarloos.

In 2007 het die Kerkraad dus besluit dat daar dringende aandag hieraan gegee moet word. Tenders is gevra en daar is besluit om dié van W Penfold “ Building Restorations ” (inwoner van Prins Albert) te aanvaar. Die volgende werk moes gedoen word:
Vervang en installeer nuwe geute en aflooppype/herstel die bestaandes; Verwyder verf van mure, seël mure en verf (buitekant); Herstel, vernis/verf vensters, deure en hortjies;
Algemene herstel- en verfwerk aan die kerkkantoor (binne en buite); Verf toringhorlosies; Algemene herstelwerk aan padjies; Installeer dreineringstelsel aan agterant van kerk om te keer vir vogtigheid wat vanaf die straat deursyfer.

Die totale tenderbedrag is R343 280.68 ( moet tog nie die 68c vergeet nie! )
Huidig is die werk aan die kerkgebou en kerkkantoor byna afgehandel; die horlosies is pragtig geverf en van oraloor laat weet die mense dat hulle nou weer kan sien hoe laat dit is! Ons het verneem dat die feit dat die kerkhorlosie sedert middel Desember nie geloop het nie, veroorsaak het dat mense wat leibeurte moes verander, horlosie moes dra - so ook die stappers…..! Ons is dus baie jammer vir die ongerieflike toedrag van sake – maar dit was alles die moeite werd, of hoe?

Wil u dalk nou gou-gou gaan kyk hoe dit daar uitsien?

En waar het die geld daarvoor vandaan gekom, sal u vra? Twee beleggings van die NG Kerk is losgemaak om ‘n bedrag van R275 390 beskikbaar te stel. Dit laat ons dus met ‘n bedrag van R67 890 wat nog van iewers vandaan gekry moet word om die “boeke te laat klop”! Ons glo egter dat hierdie bedrag deur bydraes vanuit die gemeente en gemeensap gevind sal word.

‘n Groot dankie aan William Penfold en sy span van slegs 5 werksmense (onder die bekwame leiding van Pikkie) vir die hoogstaande gehalte van die werk wat gedoen word.

Ter Wille van 'n groener toekoms

- Richard Dean -

Ons gebruik almal produkte wat in glas, plastiek of blikkies verpak en in plastieksakke vervoer word. Ons ontvang briewe in koeverte en pakkies toegedraai in bobbelplastiek, papier, karton of al drie. Ons word daagliks gekonfronteer met die problem van wat ons te doen staan om ontslae te raak van hierdie en ander items wat nie werklik gemors is nie, maar wat ons nie wil hou nie.

Hoe kan ons van hierdie material ontslae raak op die mees ekologies verantwoordelike manier? Herwinning! Glas kan gesmelt en nuwe houers daarvan gemaak word. Baie soorte plastiek kan gesmelt en hergebruik word, metaal wat herwin word kan gebruik word as aanvulling in die vervaardiging van metale uit grondstowwe en papier kan gepulp en gebruik word vir die maak van “nuwe” papier.

‘n Groep besorgde inwoners van Prince Albert het aan die munisipaliteit voorgestel dat die herwinningsprojek weer ingestel moet word. Die herwinning van herwinbare afval moet versigtig bestuur word, maar ‘n suksesvolle projek is afhanklik van die samewerking van huishoudings wat aan die projek wil deelneem sodat die regte afval herwin word teen die maksimum beskikbare volume. Die voorgestelde projek behels die kolleksie van herwinbare material – glas, plastiek, blikkies, papier en karton – deur die munisipaliteit op ‘n gereelde basis van alle huishoudings wat sulke items in ‘n spesiaal voorsiende sak uitsit. Die herwinbare material sal tydelik gestoor word voordat dit deur Retain Recycle Re-use CC van Oudtshoorn verwyder sal word.

Die vervoer van herwinbare materiale is duur en dikwels die rede dat sulke projekte nie ekonomies is nie. Daarom word voorgestel dat genoeg materiaal ingesamel en vir ‘n tydperk geberg word om dit vir Retain Recycle Re-use die moeite werd te maak om na Prince Albert te kom vir die afhaal van die material. Na ‘n paar siklusse sal daar genoeg inligting wees oor die volume en waarde van die materiaal asook die tydperke nodig om ‘n voldoende volume op te bou, sodat die moontlikhede wat die projek vir entrepreneurs inhou bepaal kan word.

‘n Tweede projek, verwant aan die herwinningsprojek, is ook aan die munisipaliteit voorgestel. Ook hierdie projek het die samewerking van huishoudings nodig. Die projek behels die wegmaak van “groen afval”, gesnyde gras, blare, takke en heel plante wat daagliks weggegooi word en daartoe bydra dat die munisipale stortingsterrein besig is om spoedig maksimum kapasiteit te bereik.

‘n Voorstel is aan die munisipaliteit gemaak in terme waarvan die groen afval gebruik word om kompos te maak. Groen afval wat na die stortingsterrein gebring word sal daar sorteer word in takke en ander fyner materiaal. Die takke sal opgesaag word vir vuurmaakhout en die blare en ander groen materiaal sal in ‘n “chipper“ fyngemaak en in komposhope gestort word.

Hierdie projek sal ook goeie bestuur verg – slegs organiese materiaal kan in die “chipper” gevoer word en die komposhope moet gereeld gedraai en natgespuit word en uiteindelik in sakke verpak word. So ‘n projek sal egter werksgeleenthede skep en kan later, nadat dit gevestig is, deur ‘n entrepreneur oorgeneem word.

Beide voorstelle is by die munisipaliteit ingedien vir goedkeuring deur die raad. Met die ter perse gaan van hierdie artikel is ‘n finale besluit ongelukkig nog nie geneem nie, aangesien nie alle raadslede teenwoordig was by ‘n vergadering op 13 Februarie 2008 waar die voorstelle gedien het. Die voorstelle sal weer op 28 Febuarie deur die raad oorweeg word. Hopelik sal die raad die twee projekte ondersteun as maniere om ‘n groener toekoms vir ons dorp te bewerkstellig op ‘n manier wat ekonomies volhoubaar sal wees.

Three generations on the Zwartberg campus

- Ailsa Tudhope -

Many schools can turn to their class records and discover that one generation after another of a particular family has trod their corridors, raised their voices in song in the school hall, dashed around the sports fields and sweated over comparable examination papers.

Not many can boast three generations dashing off to the same school at the same time every morning.

In January Hané Smit started her Grade R year at Wildekanisland as her mother Chrisna and grandfather Chris Gouws began another year of teaching within shouting distance at the High School. To add to the family presence, young Jan-Stephan Smit began his school career at Die Meernes in the school grounds.

Chris has recently moved to Prince Albert and returned to teaching intermediate phase learners. Chrisna dedicates her time to teaching English to the high school masses and the younger generation have the long haul through to Matric ahead of them.

May their involvement with Hoërskool Zwartberg be richly rewarding for years to come.

‘n Ster het verskiet !!!!

- Diana Koorts -

Die jaar het op ’n tragiese noot begin vir die Maartins-gesin asook Hoërskool Zwartberg. Rivaldo is ernstig beseer in ’n ongeluk op Nuwejaar. Hy is dadelik oorgeplaas George toe, maar is kort na sy aankoms oorlede as gevolg van inwendige beserings.

Hy was verlede jaar in gr. 2. Rivaldo was ’n lieflingskind... net elke dag ingestel om almal om hom te plesier en goed te doen.Hy was die enigste een in sy klas vir wie daar reg deur die jaar nooit moes aangepraat word soos: bly stil/doen jou werk/voltooi jou taakkaart/ens.Rivaldo was te alle tye op sy plek,besig om sy werk netjies en korrek te voltooi!

Hy was ’n stil seuntjie, baie gehoorsaam—werklik ’n droom leerder vir enige onderwyser/es! Hy het nooit hals oor kop vrae beantwoord nie- alle vrae is altyd goed oordink en dan beantwoord.Hy het ook ’n spesiale aanvoeling met diere gehad en hul so goed en getrou versorg.

Rivaldo sal onthou word as die pragtige seun met die groot ronde oë en die vriendelike glimlag. Vir ons wat agterbly is dit baie swaar, want sy plekkie in die klas is leeg en sy stem is stil.Hy is verseker geroep tot Hoër Diens – sy aardse werk was voltooi.

Aan sy ouers – wees getroos daarin dat julle ALLES opgeoffer het om vir hom die beste 9 jaar moontlik te maak.Julle is wonderlike ouers—‘n “bloudruk” wat almal kan navolg.

Uit die mond van ons Gr 4 leerders...

- Verlé le Grange -

Die Gr.4’s van Zwartberg leer tans van die Geskiedenis en ontstaan van Prins Albert. Ons het die Fransie Pienaar Museum besoek en ‘n bietjie meer van ons dorpie geleer.

Die kinders het die volgende te sê van hul dorp, Prins Albert (Die skryfwerk is onveranderd gelos):

Janine McDonald

Ek hou van Prins Albert, want hy is klein en mooi, ek hou ook van al die Museums en Hotelle wat ons dorpie ondersteun. Ons het ‘n berg waar teen ons kan vas kyk. Ons kan in ‘n sloot loop. As mense van ander plekke af kom, kan hulle sien wie se dorp die is.

Claudia Hannies

Ek hou van Prins Albert omdat dit ‘n baie mooi dorpie is. Daar is ‘n baie mooi kerk en museum en baie huise. In Prins Albert is daar baie mense wat ons ken. Hier in Prins Albert is donkies, bokke en koedoes. In die somer is dit baie warm. Die dorp is baie spesiaal. Die besoekers kom baie na Prins Albert.”

Gerhardt Bezuidenhout

Ek hou van Prins Albert want dit is ‘n baie mooi dorp vir my. Ek hou van dit reën min. En ek hou ook van die berge is baie mooi vir my. Ek hou van Prins Albert dit het baie mooi huise en hotelle. Ek hou van die dorpie en baie mooimense in die dorp. Dit het ook ‘n lekker skool. Ek hou van die besoekers wat van ander lande af kom.

Germari Steyn

Ek hou van Prins Albert, want hy is baie kosbaar en mooi en hy het baie goed waarna jy kan kyk. Hy het ook lekker waterslote waarin jy kan loop. Hy het ook ‘n lekker groot Museum waar jy na al die ou goed kan ky. Hy is ook ‘n vriendelike dorp met baie mense en mooi berge om na te kyk.

The View from the Medical Tent

- Terry Barnato -

Saturday, 26 January 2008, may not have been the hottest day this year, but it certainly was a stinker! It also happened to be Hoërskool Zwartberg’s Sports Day.

Called upon to “man” the medical tent for a second year, meant stocking up on lots of Deep Heat and filling the freezer with water and ice blocks the night before. It meant arriving at the school field laden down with cooler boxes and any other available bags to meet the steady demand for ice and water!

We were pleasantly surprised however.... this year, the parents had remembered, or perhaps the children reminded them of the need to wear hats and drink lots of water. As a result, our vast ice stores were waiting to be carried home again at the end of the day!

So the morning was surprisingly uneventful. In the beginning, with the long distance running, the young runners had forgotten that starting off at breakneck speed was not exactly a good idea or something they could maintain for longer than half a lap!

As a result, we doctored some cramped muscles and nursed some stitches.... and the casualties recovered well enough to compete in their next event.

On this note, I should add that cramp due to sudden, strenuous exercise will almost always be a problem if the person has not trained enough and has also not warmed up a little before the event.

Tight muscles and a relaxed heart rate plus a burst of strenuous exercise equals cramp.

The treatment is very simple. Instead of running around grabbing every tube of available Deep Heat (or any similar salve for that matter) and rubbing it on furiously, all one should do is sit quietly next to the track and massage the area (without cream) and after a few minutes the cramped muscle will relax itself. Finally, remember to warm up well before each event!

Well, it was a good day, passing without any major medical catastrophes for which we were very glad. It was lovely to see such a good spirit in all the teams. Well done to the Gold team for bringing home the silverware!