Sunday, June 29, 2008

Rally to READ

- Linda Jaquet -

A colourful poster declaring boldly “Prince Albert Primary’s learners read every day” greeted the convoy of mud-splattered 4 X 4s as they pulled into the school’s parking lot on a cold, blustery Saturday afternoon at the beginning of June. The seven off-road vehicles had arrived to hand over several large boxes packed with books, teaching aids, stationery and sports equipment to Prince Albert Primary as part of “Rally to READ’s” campaign in the Western Cape aimed at improving the literacy levels of young children in remote, rural schools.

The learners, their headmaster, John Steyn, and teachers who had gathered to meet the rally members formally at first seemed overwhelmed by the occasion. However, in no time the youngsters welcomed the visitors with an enthusiastic interpretation of Roald Dahl’s poem “Television”, which exhorts parents to throw out “That nauseating, foul, unclean, Repulsive television screen” and “watch the slowly growing joy” that fills their children as they rediscover books and reading! Bruce Durham, the leader of the “Rally to READ” team, echoed this sentiment by stressing the value of reading from an early age – the books donated are for Grades 1 – 4.

Riette Els of the READ Educational Trust told the Friend: “`Rally to READ is in its eleventh year and is a remarkable partnership countrywide between our Trust, McCarthy Motors, the Financial Mail, and provincial Educational departments. Other sponsors also contribute generously to the Rallies and are represented by the participants who use their off-road vehicles to deliver books to rural schools. During Rally weekends, like the one to Prince Albert, we all get the chance to meet the children and teachers who benefit from our support, give our vehicles a real test and visit parts of South Africa we would seldom otherwise explore.”

Riette said that the READ Trust would return to Prince Albert Primary in a year to monitor the impact of the Trust’s “Balanced Literacy Programme”, with its focus not only on reading but also on writing and life skills. It would also donate more books to higher grades. Sadly, because Prince Albert was far from READ’s training centres the school’s teachers would not be able to attend training courses.

Headmaster John Steyn was delighted at the book donation, which will kick-start the reopening of his school’s library, closed some years ago due to a shortage of classrooms. The Western Cape Education Department provided funding for shelves and other much-needed library equipment. Linda Fodor, one of twenty teachers in the province who was selected to study this year towards an Advanced Certificate in School Librarianship, was as excited as the learners about the prospect that the brand new books hold.

“Our kids are desperate to read new stories; they’ve read and reread everything,” she said. The Education Department recently publicly acknowledged the great strides that the school’s Grade 6 learners had made in improving literacy levels. Linda praised the continuing support she had from Reinie Smit and the Prince Albert Library and hoped that one day there would be Friends of the Prince Albert Primary Library, who would volunteer in the library and share their enthusiasm for books. Recognising just how critical it was for a love of reading to be encouraged at home, both she and Steyn would like to see the library eventually open to the whole community.

The Rally to READ team that visited Prince Albert Primary was joined later the same day by six other Rally teams that had fanned out across other parts of the Western Cape for their end-of-Rally dinner, where they shared their experiences.

All-in-all 153 visitors experienced the thrill of the Swartberg Pass and the warmth and hospitality of Prince Albert’s guest house accommodation. They commented on the special meal prepared for them by Johanna Luttig and her team and on singer Brian Finch, who had their feet tapping late into the night.

Planned Golf Course Development

- Linda Jaquet -

On the evening of 10 June, Kallie Erasmus, Prince Albert-based environmental law expert, briefed a public meeting on plans to develop a new Karoo golf course, sports facilities and upmarket housing complex on the farm Volstruisvlei. The same project foresees a BEE component providing low to middle-income housing on the existing golf course.

Kallie informed an interested audience of about 60 people at the Golf Club that the developers, Prince Albert Fruits (Pty) Ltd, had employed him to co-ordinate the project through its various phases. The objective of this informal meeting was to provide local residents with information at an early stage of proceedings.

He fielded an array of questions reflecting the concerns of many in the audience about water availability, the development’s impact on the infrastructural capacity of the town, as well as employment opportunities and other benefits. Some were worried that that the proposed new suburb would become yet another privileged, gated community with the sports facilities off-limits to the townsfolk, while others wanted to understand the motive of the developers. The outcome of these concerns would depend on the findings of the legally required Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which will be conducted by a firm based in George.

Kallie agreed with Prince Albert resident, Annelie Rabie, that the community should make every effort to remain informed and when the time came, to attend formal public meetings held in accordance with the EIA. If all the many prerequisites can be met, Kallie expected the developers to be granted permission for the project within a year.

My Christian Perspective

- Renee Finn -

Eight of us from different denominations recently spent a week in daily retreats at St John’s Anglican Church. Every day, we each had a one hourly period with our Christian Spiritual Companion in prayer and meditation.

The theme of the retreat was “Come, and see”, the words spoken by Jesus when He was asked by two of John the Baptist’s disciples: “Teacher, where are you staying?”

Those, who had misgivings about their first retreat, found all such feelings dispelled after the first day with their Companion, as we were made to feel very comfortable in their presence.

Our Bible readings took on new meanings for us and we shared our lives and longings in complete trust. We were encouraged to spend time in the “Tea Room” and become creative in the “Art Corner” with soothing music in the background. It was also an opportunity to share time with our fellow “retreatants”.

I can really recommend this “daily dose” of spirituality and would like to quote from our daily prayer – “Allow surface things to fall away. Let your spirit meet the infinite love of God.”


Proposed Township Developments in Prince Albert

Two proposed housing developments in Prince Albert were publicised in the last edition of the Friend. Both raised questions in my mind about what type of town Prince Albert should be.

An advertisement, placed by Environmental Consultants from Durbanville, invited comments on a security complex/townhouse development. These comments would form a part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, required before developers can go ahead with their plans. It is intended to develop 1.919ha into 56 new erfs and to build a public road over 6 metres wide and other roads of less than 30 metres in length, and to install services to and within the site.

Unless my arithmetic is faulty, it appears that the erfs will therefore be about 270 square metres in size, which is very tiny by Prince Albert standards. I understand that the Spatial Development Framework for Prince Albert recommends that a minimum erf size of 500 square metres be maintained west of Kerkstraat. I understand also that the proposed development is to be named ‘The Olive Tree’ as one olive tree will be planted alongside each driveway. Clearly, gardens will be out of the question.

The second township development appears under the article entitled somewhat innocently “Groot Planne vir die Prince Albert Gholfbaan”, and now appears to have two parts, viz, a re-siting of the Golf Club together with a golf estate, and a re-development of the present golf club site. It is to the developers’ credit that they have decided to keep Prince Albert residents informed of their intentions even before the legally required processes begin.

Here, part one of the proposal is for a golf estate with a nine-hole golf course, new clubhouse and 150 new houses (in three phases of 50 each - is this the total number envisaged?).

A meeting – at the present golf club – was held to further explain the new development. A number of new facts emerged at this meeting: the old golf course, currently owned by the members will be exchanged for the new golf course. The re-siting of the golf course was considered necessary for socio-economic reasons and because some members of the Prince Albert community use the present facility for cutting down wood and for recreational purposes. The impression was given at the meeting that the golf club will own the new golf course. The Golf Club will be extended to include tennis courts, bowling greens, and will be a facility open to all in the Prince Albert community.

What was unclear to me was how the ‘new’ Golf Course (Country Club?) would avoid the problems which have led the present Golf Club to feel the need to swap the land.

The second part is that the existing golf course will be developed by the new owners for sale to (and ownership) by all economic sectors in Prince Albert. The number of erfs and the requirements for water and services have not yet been established.

The ‘new’ Golf Club will retain its Karoo Character, but greens and fairways will be watered with sewerage water and undrinkable borehole water.

It is encouraging to hear that public participation will be a feature of the Environmental Impact Assessment aspect of the planning of this new golf estate. I would encourage all members of the Prince Albert community to participate fully.

The questions that occur to me are the following:

1. Does Prince Albert have sufficient water to supply to developments such as these? The town’s history includes the painful imposition of water restrictions a couple of years ago, a ban on building new swimming pools, and a ban on sinking new boreholes (all these actions taken to conserve precious water). Other new developments in the town which have been permitted (e.g. Waterkop, Kweekvallei, and one other that I can think of) have not yet been fully developed and their impact on the provision of water in the future is not known and still to be experienced, not to mention vacant erfs and erfs on which building is already taking place. I am not aware of a municipal plan which predicts future water needs nor a supply plan to meet current and future needs. Does such a plan exist? Indeed, can water be supplied to all erfs not yet built on? Will public processes adequately deal with these questions, given that this has not happened during past township developments?

In the golf club estate development it is stated that it is intended to ‘green’ the new golf course possibly using sewerage water, but no mention is made of the provision of water to the new township, nor to the development on the existing golf course..

2. Will these developments add to the aesthetic appearance of Prince Albert? We do not currently have tiny plots of ground and the construction of these types of development in other towns and cities does little for their aesthetic appearance. We look forward to details regarding the appearance of the golf estate and to the development on the existing golf course.

3. What will the real impact be on Prince Albert? Maybe the developers could be persuaded to show ‘models’ superimposed on photographs of Prince Albert to give us a preview of what to expect.

4. Does Prince Albert need ‘security’ complexes? I find it abhorrent to imagine our town developing big city attitudes to security.

5. These types of development are often aimed at ‘older’ citizens. If this is so, are facilities being provided for frail care?

Bokkie Botha
Ambulans: Prince Albert

Ek verwys na die brief van mev Willemse in u Mei uitgawe.

Hiermee betuig ek my opregte medelye met die afsterwe van ‘n geliefde.

Die diensrekord toon dat ‘n noodroep om 19:27 ontvang is, dat ‘n ambulans om 19:31 uitgestuur is, en dat die ambulans die toneel op die Prince Albert-weg stasie om 20:14 bereik het ( d.w.s ‘n reaksietyd van 45 minute ).

In die lig van die groot afstande tussen bestemmings, twyfel ek of die ambulans enigsins vinniger kon reageer.

Uit die brief blyk dit ook dat probleme ondervind is om die ambulansdiens te kontak en dat vertraging in die reaksie van die ambulansdiens grootliks daaraan te wyte is dat die diens nie dadelik die boodskap ontvang het nie.

Die noodnommers wat geskakel kan word in geval van ‘n mediese noodgeval is 10177 vanaf ‘n Telkom-lyn en 112 vanaf ‘n selfoon. Gebruik asseblief hierdie telefoonnommers in die toekoms om te verseker dat u die toepaslike reaksie kry.

Wees verseker dat ons daartoe verbind is om te alle tye daarna te streef om ‘n kwaliteit mediese diens te lewer.

Pierre Uys
Minister van Gesondheid in die Wes–Kaap

Starry Splendour over Prince Albert

- Hans Daehne -

In the ice-cold grip of winter the stars shine at their brightest, because we look in the direction of the centre of our Milky Way Galaxy where the celestial objects are densely packed and thus obscure the centre itself, which as in any galaxy is a big Black Hole.

The area around the easy to find Scorpius and the complicated Sagittarius is full of celestial surprises as viewed through a pair of binoculars and through a telescope, like open and globular clusters, nebulae and double stars.

All the stars that we see are in our own galaxy and any galaxy that we see is far beyond our own galaxy. This gives you a little more perspective of the huge size of our galaxy.

After the Winter Solstice on the 21 June, the Earth will only be at its furthest distance from the Sun (aphelion) on the 4th of July namely at 152 million km; but at the speed that we are travelling along our orbit (107,000 km/h ), there’s hope that the winter will be over soon.

From 7 July, the days will grow longer by one minute in the morning and one minute in the evening – Summer is on its way!

New Moon is on 3 July, with the Moon at its closest to Earth (perigee ) on 1 July , a combination that favours rain in the north. Full Moon will be on the 18th, while on the 6th the Moon will form a lovely group with Saturn, Mars and Regulus.

A very bright Venus will become the evening star again in July just after sunset and on the 6th form a line with Mars, Saturn and Regulus.

As happened two years ago, Mars is again in Leo because it takes two years for our outer neighbour to orbit the Sun and he will speed past Saturn in the middle of the month indicating the line of the ecliptic in the process.

Jupiter is still in retrograde movement in the Archer moving westwards towards the Scorpion and will do so until September after which he will move in normal direction again towards Capricorn. Jupiter will be at opposition with the Sun on the 9th i.e. at “Full Jupiter” position and at his brightest for the whole month. Ideal to observe since he will be the brightest object in the night sky!

Saturn in Leo will be visible in the evening sky until Leo disappears from the night scene which will be at the end of August.

July is a good month to observe some meteor showers especially on the 13th (23h00 +), the 28th (21h00 +), 29th (22h00+) and the 30th from 20h00 onwards.

Keep the (shooting) stars in your eyes!

Brett the Vet

Behind Closed Mores

Random acts of kindness juxtaposed with cruelty impose a chaotic tryst of twisted loyalties on our society. Guilt and loathing can emerge as macabre vaunting, haunting defenceless victims in their own homes, public places, and even desecrating open spaces with traces of malice.

In our town a dog was bound and strung up in a thorn tree, beaten and stoned until it died while decent people took tea and biscuits under a fading cerise sky. Cries and laughter, sighs and after sundown, come down, sink to earth and search for selfless hints of honour in this wilderness, waterless, tearless, full of rage and hate.

Orphaned calves bellow below a seething sun, pleading, and needing care. A pair of helping hands not in pockets free to feed, water, slaughter. Mercy killing is quick and blameless, no evidence from mute victims of shameless neglects by savagery behind a beer and braai veneer.

Five fast cats in a week were crushed on our quiet village streets. Screaming motors, steaming rotor blades chopping and grinding, winding out life on our roadways where people meet and children play as before. In the way, out of the way, shift swift. Wait, too late. Stop. Rushing, crushing features, creatures delicate and true.

What dogs cower in human company? Obedience training through fear is clearly the dastardly tactics practised under a suppressive regime. Praise and reward for good behaviour is nonsense when violence is anticipated in a stroke. Consider a London Park teaming with proud and playful hounds bounding boldly past cyclists, joggers, toddlers, and bloggers. Well socialised, responsive, obedient, trusting: never struck. There are no short cuts. But through knowledge and admiration something understood about the good nature of man's best friend commands reverence for these guardians of humanity.

Money for airtime, quad bikes, speeding fines, and labour strikes, saved by using ropes to cast and castrate the epitome of freedom that is a stallion in spite of the light offered by anaesthesia and medicinal pain relief for slashed flesh.

Men hunt to kill for pleasure and thrills, the beautiful treasure roaming our hills, yet savour the bliss of a kiss, filled with fear and cowardice.

Floating around town the disarming sounds of sweetly singing birds escaping bloodshed elsewhere convey innocence revealed through nature, unravelling our limited view of the world.

Museumnuus: “Holy Cow – Time Travels are great!”

Op Dinsdag, 3 Junie, vertrek twee van my kollegas, Mary Ann en Lydia, om ‘n museumsim-posium in George by te woon. Die dames het hulle vooraf geestelik voorberei vir ure se stilsit en luister: Museumregulasies en baie ander dingetjies sou bespreek word…

Hulle kom drie dae later terug, en lyk glad nie soos mense wat ‘n vervelige tyd agter die rug het nie! Inteendeel, hulle vertel opgewonde van al die nuwe verwikkelinge in die wêreld van museums en die groot taak wat op óns wag. Verbeel jou!

Ons kinders leer elke jaar, graad vir graad, ‘n bietjie meer van ons land en sy mense, later van ander lande en húl mense se geskiedenis. Die meeste leerders vind dit uiters vervelig en verloor iewers langs die pad belangstelling. Datums, name van groot leiers, oorloë wat reeds verby is, name van verre lande en dorpe waar geskiedenis gemaak is, álles moet gememoriseer word sodat die arme bloedjies daaroor eksamen kan skryf … nie baie aangenaam nie! Selfs die ouers wat help om hul kinders se koppe vol inligting te stop, is senu-wrakke!

Kan die probleem opgelos word?

Museums van regoor die wêreld span nou saam om die “dooie verlede” weer vir kinders ‘n lewendige, interessante ervaring te maak. Sewe stappe sal gevolg word, en glo my, harde werk lê voor. Daar gaan nie ‘n ekstra vak aangebied word nie, slegs ‘n ander metode van onderrig sal gebruik word om die vak vir leerders genotvol te maak.

Elke museum gaan met sy omliggende skole saamwerk. Historiese plekke in die omgewing, naby die skole, sal geïdentifiseer word vir die verskillende projekte.
Die museum doen navorsing met behulp van sy eie argief.
Lees en vertolk die landskap vir historiese gebeure wat hom leen tot die leerplan van die skool.
Onderwyser onderrig leerders oor die onderwerp wat gekies is.
Lig onderwysers en helpers in oor wat van hulle verwag word.
Gaan nou op reis, die verlede in, met die hulp van ‘n toneelstuk, geskryf vir dié spesifieke tyd en gebeure wat vooraf gekies is.

Voorbeeld: Hoe het die mense van Prince Albert in 1778 geleef. Hoe het hulle aangetrek, gepraat, hoe is die kos voorberei? Die leerders trek die klere van daardie tyd aan, en verrig die take wat kinders van daardie tydgleuf moes kon doen, bv. help om seep te maak, water aan te dra, iets vir die pot te gaan skiet, knie en brood bak in ‘n buite-oond, diere versorg, die koei of bok te melk, en vele meer.

-Evaluering. Kinders wat die geskiedenis “geleef en beleef” het, kan nou hul huidige lewenstyl vergelyk met dié van kinders wat in 1778 geleef het. Hulle het nou geleer deur “te doen”. Vaslegging!

Die reaksie van kinders regoor die wêreld, waar hierdie metode reeds gebruik is?

“I must say I learnt ten times more in one day about life of a family a hundred years ago, than I learnt from ten lessons of meaningless talk at school. Holy Cow – Time travels are great!” (Leerder, 15 jaar oud)

Daar is baie talentvolle mense in Prince Albert wat mettertyd vir hulp genader sal word. Saam kan ons ‘n verskil maak. Dit is tog belangrik dat ons kinders belangstel in die verlede en kennis dra van hul voorgeslagte. Die verlede vorm die fondament waarop ons kinders hul toekoms moet bou.

Debbie Badenhorst

LIFE IN KAROO COUNTRY….or, the answer to Juliet’s question

- Elizabeth Storey-Lawson -

With due deference to Watson and Crick, my own double-helix is sorely bereft of family talents! My father had ‘perfect pitch’, spoke and/or read 12 languages and played the violin beautifully. Mother was a National Spelling Bee Champion. My Scrabble Club cohorts will attest to the fact that I am hardly sure whether the word ‘spelling’ has one “l” or two

My siblings all learned foreign languages with the ease of a 3 year old. One sister became a simultaneous translator at the United Nations and my 6’5” brother, blond and blue-eyed, was an awesome oddity in Japan with his flawless pronunciation.

Collectively, they mastered the cello, harp and piano. I never advanced beyond “Chopsticks”. Their voices always landed them the lead roles in school musicals whilst my Choir Master tempered his appreciation for my enthusiasm with the strongest suggestion that I ‘lip-sync’ all songs.

I have a decided ‘tin ear’ – (I am not sure why tin should have deserved this ignominious honour: why not bronze or pewter?) Attempts at speaking in a different tongue have been known to reduce the most jaded waiters to gales of laughter and totally unintended entrees. I have been assured by various railroad ticket sellers that my desired destination, in spite of being a city thousands strong, did not exist and hardened bureaucrats have been rendered helpless by my risible inability to explain either my purpose or myself.

Communicating in what is supposed to be my Mother Tongue is oft no better. A soft voice and propensity to mumble causes listeners no end of confusion. Attempting to import a small stained glass window for my house in Cape Town elicited great sympathy from the Customs Officer that I should be installing a dirty pane of glass.

My quadrilingual husband laments that my Afrikaans has not progressed much beyond lekker and skelm (although it was his suggestion that I learn these first). My new Karoo companions are eminently tolerant of my language-mangling but I am acutely aware of my limitations.
Recently, on the dirt road to Leeu Gamka, I came across a disabled lorry and distressed driver. Without a cell phone, he was caught in the classic quandary of staying with his entrusted cargo or seeking help. Using a bit of pantomime, I conveyed my willingness to call for help on his behalf.

Sighting what I took to be the owner’s name and number on the side of the vehicle, and reverting to the manner of address in which I was schooled, I asked to speak with Mr Thomas Vervoer.

To whatever degree confused, or bemused, by my malapropism, the gentleman nevertheless patiently listened to my information and kindly assured me that he would arrange rescue for his driver and truck.

After at least five more times of my using this erroneous ‘name’ during our conversation, he kindly offered his services should I ever need them in the future. Karoo forgiveness is most gracious: without a hint of recrimination, my generous and appreciative Mr Vervoer proffered: “Just call Thomas Transport anytime and ask for me…, my name is actually Jannie Coetzee”.

Daar was maar één Anthonie Steyl

- Dr Isak Steyl -

In sy huldeblyk tydens die begrafnis van sy broer Anthonie het Isak Steyl die volgende gesê: “Ek dink die bekende woorde van die Afrikaanse digter Jan Cilliers is baie gepas by hierdie geleentheid: “Stil broers. Hier gaan ‘n man verby. Daar was maar een soos hy.”

Anthonie Steyl is 97 jaar gelede gebore in die Prince Albert distrik en daar het hy arm – baie arm – grootgeword as een van ‘n baie ruim maar hegte gesin. Hy het die voordele van ‘n liefdevolle ouerhuis en die warmte van meelewende broers en susters geniet.

Op ‘n jong ouderdom het hy sy ouerhuis verlaat om ‘n heenkome op Prince Albert te vind. Al het hy teen ‘n geringe salaris as winkelassistent begin werk, het hy groot ideale gekoester. Hy was baie opgewonde toe ‘n tante op Beaufort-Wes vir hom ‘n werk gekry het teen £1-10-00 (R3) per maand, en hy losies kon kry teen £2 (R4) per maand. Sy pa moes egter vra: “Is jy verspot, hoe kan jy vir minder as jou losiesgeld werk?” Isak vertel dat sy broer se antwoord was: “Ek het geglo as ek net ‘n begin in die lewe kon kry, sou ek regkom.”

Ja, Anthonie Steyl het in homself en in die toekoms geglo en net ‘n geleentheid gesoek om homself te bewys. Hy was suksesvol as winkelassistent en het na ‘n aantal jare sy eie besigheid begin – sonder geld, maar met die vermöe om hard te werk. Hy het eers ‘n slaghuis geopen, daarna ‘n algemene handelaarswinkel, toe ‘n busdiens bedryf en uiteindelik ‘n tabakfabriek oorgeneem en ‘n welgestelde en suksesvolle sakeman geword.

As gevestigde sakeman het hy sy dienste met oorgawe aan die gemeenskap beskikbaar gestel. In die Munisipale Raad het hy etlike jare gedien, in 1955 as onderburgemeester; in die Afdelingsraad het hy sy bydrae gemaak vanaf 1964 tot 1987; in die Skoolraad het hy sy plek volgestaan; hy was voorsitter van die Nasionale Party van Prince Albert vanaf 1950 tot 1967; in die Kerkraad het hy groot belangstelling getoon in die kerktoring-horlosie, waarna hy omgesien het vanaf 1971 tot 1992. Hy het selfs op die ouderdom van 81 jaar nog dikwels met die trappe tot by die horlosie geklim ...

Sy stokperdjie was duiwe vlieg, maar ook dié tydverdryf het hy só ernstig aangepak dat dit in ‘n goed-georganiseerde telery ontwikkel het! ‘n Tyd lank het hy chinchillas op groot skaal aangehou en die velle bemark. Daar was selfs tyd om gereeld te gaan skyfskiet.

Anthonie was ‘n ware steunpilaar vir sy ouers en het later sy vader se besigheidstransaksies ten volle behartig en vir sy hele familie was hy ‘n stewige anker, veral in die dae toe die eens groot gesin al kleiner en kleiner geword het.

Daar was mense wat hom as ongenaakbaar beskou het, maar hy was ook hard en eerlik teenoor homself. Hy het self besluit die tyd is reg om te verhuis na Huis Kweekvallei, al was dit baie moeilik om die vryheid en ruimte van ‘n eie woning prys te gee. Toe sy oë verswak het, het hy self besluit om van sy motor ontslae te raak, al was dit hóé traumaties vir hom.

Anthonie het tot op die einde ‘n skerp en helder brein gehad. Hy kon probleme korrek analiseer en logiese oplossings vind, nie met ingewikkelde formules nie, maar met gewone “common sense”.

In sy laaste jare het hy baie meer getemper geleef en ‘n rustiger lewenshouding ontwikkel. Nou, skielik, is hy weg – sy stem is stil; dit is ‘n einde van ‘n era.

Anthonie Steyl se nalatenskap aan sy familie en die gemeenskap waarin hy geleef het is tydloos.

Munisipale Nuus


‘n Klagte wat met tye ontvang word is probleme rakende die onbeheerde uitloop van gryswater.

Gryswater word deur sommige persone aangewend vir die natlei van bome en plante om sodoende water te bespaar. Dit dien egter vermeld te word dat die uitloop van gryswater ’n potensiële gesondheidsrisiko, asook reukoorlaste, kan meebring indien die uitlaat daarvan nie goed bestuur word nie en poelvorming, ens. gevolglik sou voorkom.

Inagenome die “uniekheid” van ons streek, plaas die Grondwet en toepaslike gesondheidswetgewing egter ’n verpligting op elke landsburger om ’n omgewing te skep, in stand te hou en te bevorder wat nie skadelik vir die gesondheid of algemene welsyn van die publiek is nie.

Prince Albert Munisipaliteit rig ‘n versoek dat indien daar wel van vermelde praktyke gebruik gemaak word, dit egter goed bestuur moet word om poelvorming te voorkom en die windrigtings, t.o.v. reukoorlaste, in gedagte gehou moet word.

U samewerking in die verband sal waardeer word.


Klagtes word met tye ontvang van hope tuinvullis wat in gemeenskappe voorkom. In sekere gevalle word tuinvullis gebruik vir die maak van kompos. Daar moet dan egter van korrekte komposteringspraktyke gebruik gemaak word en dit moet goed bestuur word.

Prince Albert Munisipaliteit is ten gunste van goedbestuurde komposteringspraktyke, maar nie ten opsigte van die ophoping van tuinvullis waar sodanige hope aanstootlik is, ‘n potensiële brandgevaar is of as broeiplek vir vektore / plaagdiere kan dien nie.

Die Grondwet en toepaslike gesondheidswetgewing plaas ’n verpligting op elke landsburger om ’n omgewing te skep, in stand te hou en te bevorder wat nie skadelik vir die gesondheid of algemene welsyn van die publiek is nie.

Om potensiële oorlaste en gevare te voorkom, versoek die Raad dat tuinvullis wat nie gebruik word vir kompostering nie, na die munisipale stortingsterrein verwyder moet word waar dit op ‘n geskikte area gestort moet word.

U samewerking in die verband sal waardeer word.


Verskeie klagtes is die afgelope tyd ontvang vanaf ongelukkige inwoners. Hulle kla dat omliggende inwoners vullis en buitebande onwettig brand steek binne hul erwe. Dit veroorsaak baie rook en is onaanvaarbaar vir die gemeenskap, aangesien dit ook hul gesondheid mag beïnvloed.

Hierdie verbranding van vullis en buitebande in die woonbuurte, asook deur die publiek op die vullisstortingsterrein, is vir Prince Albert Munisipaliteit ‘n groot bekommernis. Die rook skei giftige gasse af wat baie skadelik mag wees vir persone wat dit gereeld of in groot hoeveelhede inneem. Verder veroorsaak dit ook “Green House”-gasse wat skadelik is vir die omgewing en globale aardverwarming (Global Warming) aanhelp.

Prince Albert Munisipaliteit vra asb. alle inwoners se samewerking in die verband. Indien u bewus is van enige persone wat hul nogtans skuldig maak hieraan, kan u die Munisipale kantoor kontak, waarna die saak opgevolg sal word en ooreenkomstig opgetree sal word, indien nodig.

Kom ons werk almal saam om te verseker dat almal in ‘n gesonde, skoon en veilige omgewing lewe! Nou en ook in die toekoms!

Fraserburg and Williston explored

- Sonja McKenna -

Mid May a group of fifteen locals and two out-of-towners joined Judy Maguire on her two day cultural outing to Fraserburg and Williston. On the road to Fraserburg she explained that the “Hot Spot” which had resulted in the outpouring of the Drakensberg lavas, had also pushed intrusive dolerite sills and dykes as far as Fraserburg, the weathered remnants of which today looks like wool sacks of various sizes. The group could see clear examples of these on either side of the road.

From the top of Theeberg Pass (1,500 m high) the group looked back in the direction of Prince Albert at the Karoo basin formed between Theeberg and Swartberg (Die Top also 1,500 m high) which was once the Karoo Sea - with its deepest part at Prince Albert.

Looking over the Theekloof gorge, Judy told the story of young Van der Merwe who died on his way to his wedding in Oudtshoorn when his horse-drawn cart plunged into the gorge taking a casket of his wedding sovereigns with them. A monument was erected for the unfortunate young man but whether the money was ever found no one can tell…

Everyone admired the old inn and farmstead at Steenkampsvlakte built with horizontally packed stones. Judy pointed out the absence of adequate beams and joists: no trees grow in the area to provide wood. The pear trees on the site were most probably planted 200 years ago.

In Fraserburg the group stopped briefly to look at the Voortrekker monument in the form of a wagon wheel on a stone plinth in the main road. A peculiar kink in the road was pointed out: The first main road used to run past the Jewish trading stores but, with the establishment of the co-op, its course was altered to pass the co-op and the Jewish traders were bypassed. The very monument the group was discussing was recently flattened by a vehicle whose driver did not observe the dangerous kink!

There was no time to sample the ‘meerkat burgers’ at the local country restaurant but Judy did make time to show the group the failed tomato tunnel project – hoping to find an answer to her question: What are we doing wrong? For the tomato-growing project also failed in Williston. The lively discussion that followed did not supply her with an answer.

The immaculately kept farm Groot Wagenmakersvlei was the next stop where farmer Olivier entranced the group with his graphic accounts of the encounters between the Bushmen and the trekboers in the area. In the early 1700’s they had co-existed peacefully sharing the spring water. But by the 1750’s competition for the water and grazing (wild game also required these) led to stock thefts resulted in the killing of hundreds of Bushmen.

In 1809 – after the murdering of an entire trekboer family – a commando was formed and systematically every San (Bushman), woman and child of the group responsible was killed. The trekboers were finally able to settle in the area after about 1815.

A combination of ‘saaidam’ agriculture, their substantial herds of horses, donkeys and cattle slowly destroyed much of the habitat of the riverine rabbit. Mr Olivier was delighted to tell the group that the reeds had re-established and that the almost extinct rabbits are returning. It also interested the group to hear that a farmer could buy a brand new bakkie six years ago by selling ninety sheep – today he needs to sell 300!
Next on the itinerary was the visit to Kerkplaas, the second mission station established in South Africa – the first was Genadendal.

The man who chose to evangelise the Bushmen encamped at the Sak River was a Dutchman by the name of Kicherer. He started his mission station in 1799, largely supported and subsidised by the local farmers who hoped that the San, who had made permanent settlement almost impossible, would be pacified. A fair amount of the 60 x 30 foot church still stands today, plus some kraals and small buildings, all beautifully built with horizontally packed stones.

Kicherer struggled with the Bushmen and had on occasion to resort to handouts of dagga, tobacco and livestock to try and convert them, or at least to get them to stay. His mission lasted four years and in the end he only succeeded with the Khoi (Hottentots) who were more amenable to being converted.
The Williston Hotel was the final destination for the day. Well fed and rested the group travelled the one kilometre to the edge of the town to inspect the fort with its incredible visibility that was set up there during the Anglo Boer War. The strange looking structure resembles a maze built from various sizes of rounded stones. Most of the gun rests (crudely made of corrugated iron) are still to be found in the walls.

The subsequent visit to the town cemetery revealed a few soldiers’ graves, some (fenced off) Jewish graves with distinctively polished granite, and headstones inscribed on the back for an unknown reason. Outside the fence are the graves of the Coloured folk, but inspanned into the fence is the grave of Caroline Lutz, wife of Reverend Lutz, who died at the age of 42, giving birth to her 11th child.

En route the R353 back to Fraserburg a restored corbelled house was viewed at Jan Klaasleegte where our hostess for the day, Cora Steenkamp, explained that the first trekboers built these beehive structures from stone and that they are a unique heritage as they are only found in this part of South Africa.

At their farm Rietfontein Cora and her team demonstrated how to bake bread in an outside oven, how the horse powered flour mill worked and how the threshing floor operated. A feast of traditional content and proportions was served on the lush lawn after everyone inspected the farm’s fountain and found the miraculous bubbling spring water irresistible.

Several of the party went on with Judy to visit the fossil site at Fraserburg and everybody returned to Prince Albert full of praise for the incredible work she does. Judy has built an amazing relationship with the farmers and convinced them to share their historical treasures with interested people.

Thank you, Judy, you are our treasure.

Ons Nuwe Dominee

In ‘n klein dorpie soos Prince Albert is die ontvangs van 'n nuwe Dominee ‘n besonder nuuswaardige gebeurtenis. Die Vriend het onlangs lekker gesels met die VGK se ds Nico Cloete:

Baie gemeentelede was moedeloos en hartseer na die afsterwe van ons geliefde ds Cyril Afrika, "Wie kan in sy groot voetspore trap?" was die algemene bekommernis. Ek is bly om die gemeenskap te kan gerus stel dat ds Afrika se opvolger deeglik bewus is van die groot taak wat nou op sy skouers rus.

Op William en Romy se stoep gesels ek en Nico oor sy nuwe roeping. Op die oog af is hy 'n vriendelike, kalm, selfbeheersde en gemaklike mens, ten spyte van die stres wat enige oorplasing noodwendig veroorsaak. 'Kan dit so wees?' vra ek vir myself. Toe tref dit my dat Nico te jonk is om stres ernstig op te neem en selfs om 'die nuwe Dominee' te wees! Met 'n glimlag stel hy my gerus, asof hy my gedagtes kan lees.

Nico is op Saron naby Porterville gebore en het ook daar skool gegaan. Sy vorige gemeente was in Montagu. Hy is begeesterd oor plekke waar mense mekaar ken en waar hulle nog tyd het om die belangrike dinge in die lewe te waardeer. Sy vrou, Kelly, wat nog besig is met haar studies aan die Universteit Wes-Kaap, hou ook baie van die lewensstyl op die platteland en sal haar binnekort by hom aansluit.

Op my vraag oor wat hy as die uitdagings van sy rol op Prince Albert sien, antwoord hy dat dit sy benadering is om die gemeenskap te dien en nie andersom nie. Hy sien sy eerste uitdaging om aan te gaan met ds Afrika se uitstekende werk. Verder wil hy liewers by die gemeenskap self hoor wat hulle behoeftes is. Sy eerste waarneming is dat daar, soos in baie ander plekke in Suid-Afrika, 'n ernstige nood is om die omstandighede te skep waar jong mense goeie onderwys en leiding kan kry om werkloosheid te bekamp. Daarsonder word probleme soos kriminaliteit, alkoholisme en ander onwenslike en vernederende sosiale probleme al hoe groter, verduidelik hy.

Die goue draad wat deur ons gesprek loop, is sy respek vir mense en vir die individu. Hy huiwer om mense in kategorieë te plaas, maar wil liewers dien waar die gemeenskap vir hom wys dat daar 'n nood is. Sodoende sal dit moontlik wees om 'n holistiese gees in die gemeente en in die breër gemeenskap te bevorder. Nico is getref deur die warm verwelkoming deur die gemeente en veral die jong mense in Prince Albert en is begeesterd deur die werk wat ons jong mense hier doen. Hy sien dit as sy taak om hulle aan te moedig in hulle pogings om almal se lewensomstandighede te verbeter.

CJV toe op ’n ligte noot

- Tannie Daddie -

Toe ek nog ‘n jong skoolkind was daar op Weltevrede, was daar maar min afleiding vir groot of klein. Behalwe nou vir ons CJV byeenkomste. Een keer per maand het ons in die aand in ons plaasskooltjie bymekaargekom - in die ou taal so ‘n „halfmyl“ van ons Boplaas se mense af en ook vir Onderplaas se mense omtrent ‘n halfmyl - want die skool was so min of meer in die helfte van die plaas Weltevrede geleë. Almal, van die grootste tot die jongste, het so ‘n byeenkoms getrou bygewoon. Vir niks in die wêreld het ons dit gemis nie.

Dit was in die tyd voordat ons flitse kon bekostig. My Pa was die draer van ons lantern as enigste lig. Hy was die voorsitter en tant Suse Swanepoel was die een wat die notule gehou het. So loop ons almal dan saam in die donker; my pa loop voor, en ons stap dig teen mekaar om darem iets van die lantern se lig te hê.

Dit was in die dae dat die seuns sulke oulike gestreepte belts - vandag glo gordels genoem - begin dra het wat voor met twee goue gespetjies vasmaak. Sy belt het my broer Pieter aan ’n slang laat dink – en dit het hom ’n blink plan besorg. Hy het ‘n lang tou aan sy belt gebind en dit op ‘n skerp draai in die pad neergelê. Ons neef Willem het hom gehelp. Toe ons so saamgebondel in die lig om die draai in die pad kom, sleep my broer die “slang” oor die pad vlak voor die voorste twee mans se voete en skree: “Pasop, slang!”

Oom Awie, wat langs my pa geloop het, het so vinnig omgespring dat hy amper die lantern uit my pa se hande gestamp het en ons klomp, wat agter was, is skoon op ‘n hoop gehalt. Mense waar was julle! Dit was ‘n groot konsternasie. Oom Awie was vir lank baie kwaad vir broer Pieter, maar ons ander het ná die skrik tog te lekker gelag oor alles.

Vandag, na soveel jare, leef nie een van daardie aand se mense meer nie. Nog net ek het oorgebly om die storie te vertel.

Stoep Talk: The Crock in the Crocs

Having recently returned from a two-week break away from Prince Albert, my system went into instant shock with the cold. Oh, for the warmer weather I’d left behind and where’s everybody? Are they hibernating? “Be positive,” I said to myself and proceeded to draw up a two-page list of tasks and projects that could occupy me over the next few weeks.

I looked forward to starting them the next morning, but this was not to be. As I got up and made my way to the kitchen, my lower back went into spasm. For the next couple of days, I could only stand vertically or take a horizontal position.

Much to the amusement of my husband, for the first time in our married life, “Miss Independent” had to ask him to dress her. I made sure the clothes he put on were crease proof – in case I had to sleep in them for a few days while he was away on a business trip. The Crocs of course were critical for the “Crock” as they could be slipped on standing up.

I was distressed to discover that I could not get on with 95% of my “to-do” list.
This led me to think about all the people, particularly the elderly, who live in Prince Albert and who because of their infirmities are unable to do simple tasks. An elderly friend came to mind. She fell in the night in her home and broke her hip, but couldn’t crawl to the ‘phone to call for help. Thank goodness, because of our caring ways in Prince Albert, a neighbour who routinely visited her each morning, found her.

I am one of the fortunate ones, whose back is on the mend and my list will be completed; but how many are there out there who cannot complete or even start theirs because of their frailty, age, economic situation or whatever. Let’s be on the lookout and see if we can do something, no matter how small, about it.

Designer Labels

Designer Labels
Die Jeug is tog nie so verkeerd nie!

- Lettie Breytenbach -

Almal wat met kinders/jongmense winkels toe gaan is sekerlik oorbekend met die missie van…designer labels. So ‘n inkopietog kan in ‘n nagmerrie of gesinskonflik ontaard as Boetie nou nie daardie korrekte etiket tekkies, Sussie nie die Hip-Hoprokkie (meeste van die tyd ook maar virtueelwerklik) kry nie!

As Pa dan nou ook nog aandring op daardie Wrangler-jeans–en nr!, maar intussen het die omtrek gerek, Ma soek net daardie spesifieke onderlaag en Kleinstetjie wil die nuutste in Nintendo-tegnologie, en niks anders nie, hê; is Something Fishy regtig something fishy.

Pa, Ma en Kleinstetjie mag moontlik nog “tot later” oorreed word … maar die tieners nooit en die labels is belangrik … al lyk Boetie se skoensole soos trekkerbande wat deur hoogwater moet loop en Sussie se skoenpunte goed vir goggas doodtrap in die hoek! “Almal dra dit Ma…moet tog nie so outyds wees nie!”

My standpunt was altyd: “Dare to be different”, moenie so konformerend wees dat jy in die bondel verdwyn nie. Jy is uniek geskape, met besondere gawes en talente, gebruik dit om ‘n verskil te maak. Gesagsfigure in die Bybel en deur die geskiedenis het juis dit gedoen. Maar…die gelykenis van die groot maaltyd in Matt.2.1-14/Luk.14.15-22 konfronteer hierdie denke.

Dit was die gebruik dat die gasheer sy gaste elkeen met ‘n bruilofskleed voorsien by die deur, sodat almal feestelik eenders sou wees; geen verskil tussen ryk en arm. Die enkeling wat binnegesluip het met sy eie unieke kleding het soos ‘n groot puisie uitgestaan…het nie ingepas in die omgewing nie. Die kruks van die saak is, vir die fees saam met die Koning moet jy designer label klere dra; klere wat wit gewas is in die bloed van die Lam (Jesus) (Open.7:14). In die storie was baie uitgenooi, maar min het die uitnodiging aanvaar, daar was so baie geldige verskonings.

Uitnodigings word nou nog gerig. In Open.5:4-5 lees ons dat die wat hulle uitnodiging aanvaar geklee word met wit klere. Meer nog, hulle name word in ‘n gasteboek, die Boek van die Lewe, verewig.

En die menigte wat die fees bywoon is vrolik, hulle is bly dat hulle die uitnodiging aanvaar het, “redding kom van God” roep hulle uit en waai palmtakke, die designer labels was reg … merk van die Lam.

Die jeug is reg. Designer labels is belangrik…baie belangrik. Gaan net na die regte shopping mall en kry die gratis specials by ‘n eerlike boetiek, Jesus en sy Kerk.

RSG kom Prince Albert toe

Die SABC-radiostasie, RSG, kom op Saterdag, 12 Julie, Prince Albert toe. Die program, Brekfis met Derrich, word dié oggend van 10h00 tot 12h00 vanaf die Môremarkie uitgesaai. Saam met die aanbieder, Derrich Gardner, sal die omroeper, Johnny Davids, vir ‘n onvergeetlike oggend sorg. Die geliefde sangeres, Jennifer Zamudio, en hip-hop ster, D’Low, gaan ook optree.

Stasiebestuurder, Magdaleen Kruger, sê buite-uitsendings soos dié is ‘n kans om eerstehands kontak te maak met luisteraars en moontlike nuwe luisteraars aan die radiostasie bloot te stel. Sy sê benewens die Karoo, gaan RSG verskeie dorpe in die Noord-, Oos-, en Wes-Kaap, asook Namakwaland, besoek vir buite-uitsendings van programme soos Brekfis met Derrich, Oggend op RSG, Sê Wie, Tjailatyd en Praat Saam. Intussen word ook druk gewerk vir die Gariepfees in Kimberley in Augustus.

Heritage and Progress

- William Penfold -

HERITAGE - A word much bandied about these days. Some are afraid of it, some pooh-pooh it and some don’t grasp the real importance of it. What does it really mean and what is the significance to the residents of Prince Albert?

Webster’s refers to ‘inheritance’, a ‘legacy’, a ‘tradition’. The Oxford English simply refers to ‘the things that one has inherited’. The Readers Digest Great Encyclopaedic Dictionary (yes, really!) refers to ‘what is or may be inherited’.

Whichever word or words of description you prefer, the meanings really are all the same. Eve Palmer, the author of that wonderful book, ‘The Plains of Camdeboo’, sums it up pretty well on the very first page. For us, we look at the truly mighty Swartberg with its dainty clear perennial stream, our lifeblood; the glorious indigenous flora in the kloof, spilling out towards us; the bird life that this water and the flora supports; the old gnarled quince, pomegranate, lemon, apricot and other trees in our gardens and hedgerows; the rural open spaces between the houses; the town farms with their beautifully proportioned quaint barns and sheds, and; of course, the unique architecture, from the grandest gabled houses to the humblest brakdak huisies, some with old koffie blikke for chimney pots.

This, dear reader is our collective heritage. The implication is that whether you have actually inherited a property by descent or have acquired a property of your choice as a newcomer to town by purchase, the onus is really upon you to carefully consider the history of it and the reason you were attracted to it in the first place, before wanting to rush in and make changes that you and the townsfolk may well later regret.

Most of the people who live in Prince Albert are born and brought up here. Many of them have never been much beyond the boundaries of the town. For them, the very town itself is their heritage. Many residents are newcomers from the city; some to retire, a few to open businesses of a variety of natures.

Of these newcomers, several have a good idea of the need to maintain the ‘heritage’ that they acquire. There are others, however, who, in their quest to relieve themselves of the stresses of the city by relocating ‘to the country’, seem to do their utmost to bring the city to ‘the country’ in order to maintain their urban lifestyles with city architecture, city interiors, city gardens, city security lights, city alarms etc, all of which entrenches the continued lifestyle of which they really cannot let go.

This ‘foreign’ style may soon induce our original inhabitants to change their heretofore ‘quaint’ lifestyle and to follow suit with inappropriate changes which will gradually change the landscape of the village, reducing its original appeal which attracted the city dweller in the first place!

Another worrying potential landscape change is the strong possibility of city-inspired mass developments on a scale not known before to the town. Without touching on all the potential infrastructural problems that these proposed developments could cause, it is the change to the heritage landscape of the town, which is its very attraction to the tourism industry and the main reason for the town’s survival that is the issue at stake.

Developments of this nature that bring short term instant gratification to certain sectors, in the long term can be the death knell of the town through loss of visitor revenue, having already lost so much of its past revenue through the partial demise of the farming industry which once was its mainstay.

Whilst it is said that ‘one cannot stop progress’, it is most important to understand that ‘progress’ could be defined as ‘remaining as much the same as possible’ and preserving our heritage. This in itself will help promote the tourism industry, which will mean that we do progress and have economic growth for all our inhabitants.

So many of the visitors to our town say; ‘Wow, what a quaint town you have here!’ ‘It’s so nice that little has changed, only a few inappropriate alterations’ and ‘We will definitely come again and stay for longer’ and ‘We didn’t even know about this place or what to expect.’ These are the people who enjoy our ‘heritage’. These are the people who will continue to help our town to survive and, hopefully, thrive.

But, the most important aspect of this is that we should learn to understand and appreciate our heritage because we live here and we want to enjoy it. We all want to be ‘Proudly Prince Albert.’

The Karoo mermaid now in print

- Zelia Mullins -

The elusive Karoo mermaid or watermeid has caused many to travel untold dusty routes in search of her, Rose Willis writes in her June edition of Rose¹s Roundup. One investigator was Wendy Hardie, who last year with a TV crew made a trip through the Karoo in search of this legendary creature. They found traces of her in many places, some in arid areas and others near pools in places like Meiringspoort. This led to an interesting and popular documentary, ‘Searching for mermaids in the Karoo’. Prince Alberters will remember that part of it was shot in and around our town.

They’ve now followed it up with a booklet and DVD explaining how to get to these spots, where to stay, who to contact and what to look for. “We hope those who enjoyed the documentary and stories behind the legend will be inspired to investigate and do the journey themselves, and here and there pause to enjoy a cup of tea, or maybe something stronger, with the locals,” Wendy said.

This is exactly what Wendy and her colleagues did when they reached Prince Albert, “where the mix of sophistication and village-in-the-middle-of-the-Karoo made it such a highlight of our journey.” In spite of almost being persuaded by Judy Maguire that the mermaid rock paintings at Ezeljagdspoort, a private property, were in fact swallows, Wendy remains a firm mermaid believer. “Those arms holding flutes and skipping ropes in the painting ...and those stories of mermaid sightings from the elderly people in Amalienstein and other places absolutely captivated us.

During our filming we met other mermaid supporters - like Anita Holtzhausen in Oudtshoorn - and so the mermaid/swallow debate in fact added intrigue to an already fascinating subject, which allows everyone to decide for themselves.”

The booklet and the DVD of the documentary are on sale at the Prince Albert Tourism Office -­ (023) 5411366 - from the end of June or can be ordered from Wendy ­

Growing firewood for everyone

- Richard Dean -

Firewood is often the only affordable source of warmth and fuel for cooking for the unemployed of Prince Albert. It is affordable because people collect it themselves from the veld and cheaper than buying electricity or gas.

But there are not many trees in the semi-desert landscape, and most of them are on privately-owned land.

Wood can be grown if water is available, and there is available water if the "clean pond" sewage water is used. Prince Albert needs a woodlot, or even several woodlots.

It is for this reason that the Prince Albert Municipality, Renu-Karoo, the Plant Conservation Unit at the University of Cape Town, Prince Albert Primary School and Working for Water are collaborating to plant and care for a community woodlot.

Providing firewood for the future needs some skills. Working for Water has the expertise to provide training in woodlot management, including how best to prune trees to get the best yield of firewood. Prince Albert Primary has many young learners who would like to care for trees that will later provide their families with wood, and Renu-Karoo grows indigenous plants including soetdoring trees.

On 5 May Prince Albert Municipality appointed two men to dig 500 holes on the closed rubbish tip near Rondomskrik. Renu-Karoo donated 500 soetdoring trees which were carefully planted in these holes over the next two weeks under the supervision of Richard and Sue Dean, Meraai Isaacs and Caroline van der Ross and watered by the sewage truck. This is the start of the wood lot which in five years time will have trees large enough to be cut for firewood – that is, if the trees are well cared for. The trees will need to be regularly watered, at least until they have grown a bit and established efficient root systems, and they need to be pruned so that most of their growth is put into the main stem and not into thin side branches.

So much will depend on support from the local community, from the school, from the Municipality and of course, from Working for Water. Thanks to all for their support. Let’s hope this project is a great success!

Retreat in Daily Living at St John’s

- Ailsa Tudhope -

During the first week of June, St John’s congregation were hosts to Mary Przybojewski and Lindsay Wakeford, prayer companions from the Centre for Christian Spirituality in Cape Town.

The Centre was established in 1987 by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as an ecumenical organisation which seeks to facilitate spiritual growth through contemplative prayer, meditation and spiritual direction. By assisting groups and individuals to risk the journey inwards the Centre strives to contribute to the healing and wholeness of our society.

On Sunday 1st June Mary and Lindsay were delighted to meet the Albert College children, who conducted the Morning Prayer service: singing, playing the piano for the hymns, reading from the Bible and leading the prayers.

Instead of an address we enjoyed their environmental awareness play, which they performed at both Hoërskool Zwartberg and Prince Albert Primêr during that week. One of the hymns they had chosen was “Jesus loves me, this I know”, which was an ideal introduction to the theme of our Retreat.
Eight people from Anglican, NGK and Roman Catholic traditions came together that afternoon to discover where their week of Retreat in Daily Living might lead them.

If we study the Gospel stories we often see Jesus calling His Disciples to come aside with Him, or He would send them out in the boat to be away from the crowd. They would spend time alone with Him, where they would learn from and be nurtured by Him and so be equipped to serve. This is essentially what the Retreat in Daily Living was about - a drawing aside from being busy to fully appreciate how Jesus loves us.

Each participant committed themselves to 30 minutes of silent prayer each day and a further 30 – 45 minutes with their prayer companion, which provided an opportunity to discuss their personal prayer life, their journeys of faith and to be directed towards Scripture passages which could enrich their experience of living with Jesus.

The Mission School Hall at St John’s became a tea room and art centre for the week, with participants spending time together, or on their own, enjoying calming music, a cup of tea and having fun with pastels, crayons and clay, as each allowed their inner child to blossom.

The experience of having a personal, gentle companion with whom to discuss one’s prayer life was deeply rewarding for all who took part. Each participant experienced their own retreat, custom-made by God and grew in their intimacy with Him.

The closing session on Saturday gave us an opportunity to share some of the lessons we had learnt and to thank Mary and Lindsay for accompanying us on this short interlude in our ongoing journeys with Jesus. We look forward to their return early in 2009 and hope that other people will join us for what proved to be a deeply enriching spiritual experience.

If anyone would like information about the Centre for Christian Spirituality they can contact Andrew and Ailsa Tudhope on 023 5411 211 or visit the website at

Prince Albert Biblioteekweek / Library Week 2008

- Reinie -

Soos gewoonlik was ons biblioteek-week vol bedrywighede vir oud en jonk!

Gedurende die week van 19-23 Mei het ons weer ons lesers bederf met boeksakke, boekmerke en lekkers ( net vir die kinders! ).

Dinsdag, 20 Mei, het ons vir ons bejaardes/gestremdes by die Bejaardesorgsentrum ‘n teedrink gegee, saam met ‘n program van sang en voordrag. Woensdag is ons na die kleuterskole met ‘n poppekas – vertoning.

On Thursday we held our Tea Party for our “Over 60s” reading public. More than 80 joined us to be entertained by the talented Albert College Children and enjoy the delicious refreshments. Readings, a presentation about books and food and a quiz kept everyone happy.

Leerlinge het deelgeneem aan verskeie kompetisies wat dan ook gedurende die week uitgestal is in die biblioteek.

Baie geluk aan al die pryswenners! En ‘n groot dankie aan almal wat gehelp het om ‘n sukses te maak van die week

Klaarstroom se Senior Burgers Wys Hoe

- Sharon Witts-Hewinson -

Die ou gesegde, “In grysheid is daar wysheid” is baie waar hier by ons op Klaarstroom en ons besef dat ons aktiewe senior burgers die jonger geslag kan leer hoe om die meeste uit die lewe te put.

Oom Andries Claassen is die leier van die groep seniors en hy vertel dat hulle elke week bymekaarkom om ‘n uitstappie of ‘n geselligheid te geniet.

In Junie het hulle by die Klaarstroom Gastehuis kom kuier en ons is bly om te rapporteer dat ons, en die melktert, hulle goedkeuring weggedra het.

Dit was wonderlik om te luister na al die ou herinneringe en ondervindings van vroeër dae.

Dit was inderdaad 'n voorreg om hierdie wyse mense net so bietjie te kan bederf!

Lah-di-dah – ons fênsie nuwe padstal

- Denise Ohlson -

‘n Gedugte span maak 28 Junie die deure oop van lah-di-dah – ‘n fênsy plaasstal op die bodraai van Kerkstraat. Eienaars Johnny en Yvette Breedt kom bou‚ saam met Yvette se ma, Martie, ’n hele nuwe toekoms op die pragtige perseel met sy leidam omsoom met Wilgerbome en mooi uitsigte.

Uit die asse van die ou Sampies gaan ʼn feniks verrys wat met sterk vlerke gaan vlieg onder leiding van die drie eks-Johannesburgers en die twee plaaslike aanstellings Sophie Isaacs en Lucinda Booyens.

Johnny is en bly steeds ’n produksie-ontwerper van (meestal) internasionale films, maar sal elke sekonde wat hy kan afstaan, in hul padstal wees om sy bydrae te maak. Yvette, wat die koöperatiewe wêreld vaarwel toegeroep het as gesoute persoonlike assistent van die besturende direkteur van die reuse Sasol Synfeuls International, borrel oor van idees en planne vir die stal en Martie van der Merwe se werkywer en onderskraging voltooi die trio.

Johnny en Yvette het reeds in 1998 ʼn huis in Markstraat gekoop as vakansiebestemming, maar van einde Junie is hulle sakelui op die dorp en ʼn permanente wins vir Prince Albert.

By lah-di dah gaan daar aandag gegee word aan detail, en woorde soos heerlik, interessant, vrolik, energiek, smullekker, vriendelik, en (veral!) bekostigbaar, gaan die motto wees. Geskenke, allerhande dinge en goeters, ingemaakte en vars produkte, gebak, koffie en tee, ligte middagetes, ontbyte – gaan loer maar in, luier en kuier en snuffel gerus!

Leeu-Gamka vier Biblioteekweek

Gertruida Deelman en haar personeel het uit hulle pad gegaan om Biblioteekweek vanaf 19 tot 23 Mei vir almal op Leeu-Gamka 'n heerlike ervaring te maak.

Sy het op 20 Mei die Babbel en Krabbel Kleuterskool besoek, waar sy vir die jongspan 'n storie gelees en lekkernye uitgedeel het. Op 21 Mei het sy weer die Bejaardesorgsentrum besoek en heerlike tee en koekies is aan die senior burgers bedien. Op die 22ste Mei het die leerlinge van Leeu-Gamka Primêr die biblioteek klasgewys besoek. Daar is aan hulle 'n lesing gegee oor hoe om 'n biblioteek te gebruik. Gertruida het ook aangebied om stories aan die kinders te lees wanneer hulle die biblioteek besoek.

Daar was ook heelwat aktiwiteite rondom die biblioteekweek. Die kinders het hul self oortref met die maak van boekmerke uit roomysstokkies, spaarbussies van ou blikkies, 'n kat uit 'n appel, 'n krimpvarkie uit 'n aartappel, botterblomme van papier en wurmpies uit eierdosies. Heerlike pryse is gewen. Elke persoon wat die biblioteek besoek het, het 'n sak en 'n stokkielekker gekry.

Die biblioteek spog ook met 'n splinternuwe grasperk, 'n rotstuin en 'n tuinbankie, en is voorwaar 'n wonderlike toevoeging tot Leeu-Gamka.

Scrabble News

- Peter McEwan -

It is now almost two-and-a-half years since the start of our scrabble group which meets at Café Albert every Wed-nesday morning at 9:30am. During this time we have played 294 games on one or sometimes two tables. To date, our champ-ion is Adri Schoeman with a tally of 101 wins. Her sister Magda Mostert who only started over a year ago has already won 33 games. Another strong contender is Elizabeth Lawson – also a late starter with 41 wins. So far she is the only player to have won three consecutive games in one day.

Yours truly, who started the group, has won only 51 games. André Jaquet follows with 50 games and has the distinction of achieving the highest score in a game, namely, 276 points in our record scoring game to date of 769 points. Sonja Mckenna - soft hearted Sonja - another late starter, is trailing with 12 games won. Occasional Players: Kallie Erasmus - 4 games and William Mathews - 2 games.

Ons karatekas lewer uitsonderlike prestasies!

- Diana Koorts -

Saterdag 31 Mei was dit weer die Goju Ryu Suid-Afrikaanse Karate kampioenskappe wat te Paul Roos op Stellenbosch gehou is. Die kompetisie was - soos in die verlede - baie sterk en van ’n hoë standaard.

Prince Albert se karatekas het vanjaar nie aan die Wes- Kaap se Kampioenskappe deelgeneem nie, aangesien dit op die skool se sportdag geval het. Ons het dus ’n spesiale vergunning gekry om direk aan die SA’s te mag deelneem. Die senuwees het maar geknaag, want niemand het insae gehad van hoe die teenstaanders van die Wes Kaap lyk nie!!!

Anchen Marais het haar bes gedoen en elke moontlike tydjie die kwartaal ekstra met die span geoefen. Sy was egter baie optimisties en het sommer die hele span – 11 karatekas – ingeskryf vir die kompetisie. Van vroeg af het ons karate-kas begin deelneem en almal het kennis geneem van dié span wat die een na die ander medalje inpalm. Aan die einde van die dag kon ons ons eie oë nie glo toe ons met 4 goue, 3 silwer, 2 brons en 1 vierde plek kan huistoe kom nie.

Baie geluk aan sensei Anchen Marais – met sulke puik uitslae kan sy nog vele hoë hoogtes bereik!! Ons wens haar alle sukses toe vir die volgende 2 jaar se harde oefening wat voorlê. 2009 word die SA’s in Namibië gehou – hul vier dan hul 30-jaar lange onafhanklikheid. In 2010 word die Wêreldkampioen-skappe hier in Suid Afrika gehou – voorwaar iets om voor te oefen en ’n GROOT geleentheid vir ons kinders.

Baie geluk aan al die karatekas – jul hou Prince Albert se naam sommer hoog en al hoe meer mense neem goed kennis van ons pragtige dorp. Anchen – Jy weet nou presies waartoe jy in staat is. (Indien iemand ’n bydrae wil maak om ons karatefonds te verstewig – kontak Anchen by die Koöperasie gedurende werkstyd).

Schools tackle town’s litter

- Imke Maeyer -

Prince Albert Primêr and Hoërskool Zwartberg have joined forces to start what will hopefully be an ongoing process of picking up and sorting litter.

After some valuable lessons taught in play form at both schools by the Patchwork Theatre and a poster competition with the theme of recycling and not littering, the children got into the swing of thinking about our planet, and set forth with great enthusiasm on Friday, 6 June, to try and make a dent in the vast amounts of litter that decorate our town.

250 schoolchildren met at the VGK hall where they had a snack and were briefed on what to do. Our aim was not only to collect litter, but also to separate it.

We divided the children into four main groups; each allocated one area of town to clean up.

They set off with their teachers, a handful of parents and even a couple of volunteers from the community! Each group was accompanied by a bakkie on which to load the bags as they were brought in.
The children were fantastic; they managed to separate the litter with even the smallest participants (Wildekanisland Nursery School) almost getting it right. They spent just over one hour on their mission and collected 4 bakkies full! The loads were driven to the Municipal storage where they now patiently await the building of the new recycling depot.

The teachers and children in the meantime gathered again in the VGK hall for a prize- giving ceremony. Five Grade 1 children picked up the most litter – 23 farmers feed bags full! They won a glorious chocolate cake and an olive tree each.

Due to the generosity of many Prince Alberters, who opened their pockets and also gave of their precious time, this event was a great success and we have money left to continue with the campaign.

The next step in the direction of making a change is to get permission from our respective headmasters to let us do a rubbish round once a month, and to introduce a system at the schools where the children will bring their recyclable litter from home. For every bag they bring, they will earn points which will be converted to stationary prizes.

The feedback has been interesting: not many people can see a difference, but for the children it has made an impact; they are seriously thinking twice about throwing their litter on the ground, because in all probability they are the ones who will have to pick it up! Soon they will hopefully see the long-term benefits but in the meantime, at least, their minds are on the subject!

We would like to thank the following for their support: Anton Joubert of Remote Meter Solutions, PA municipality, Denise Ohlson, Bergwater Vineyards, Marlene and Laurie Knowles, Koggelmander, Rudi Maeyer, Weltevreden fig farm, Dorrien Tissiman, Karoo Slaghuis, Ria Steyn, Charles Roux, Lazy Lizard, Gay’s Dair,Essie Esterhuizen, Lorna Verran, Renu-Karoo, Mavis Aggett, Seeff Properties, Andrea Badenhorst, Di and Jeremy Freemantle, P A Tourism, Pam Golding Properties, Laetitia Van Dyk, Pam Wessels, P A Gallery, , Prins-Kem Pharmacy,Fransie Pienaar Musuem Sandy Bower, Helene Smit, Mark Steyn, Jeff Armoed and Café Albert.

First Swartberg Half Marathon

- Linda Jaquet -

Zwartberg Runners held their first official event on Saturday, 24 May: a 21.1km Half Marathon, a 10km race and a 5km Fun Run. 88 runners from various parts of the Western Cape entered the three races, which started in the chilly, semi-dark that morning and ended on the sports fields at Hoërskool Zwartberg. The Half Marathon and 10km race included running via Tweedewater on the Swartberg Pass.

The winner of the Half Marathon was Vuyo Witbooi of Outeniqua Harriers in a time of 1:13.01.936. The first woman home, in twelfth position overall, was Johanna Claassen of Nedbank Running Club in George. Her time was 1:33.46.768. Petrus Bostander was the first Zwartberg Runners’ participant to finish, in a respectable eighth spot.

Prince Alberter, Hendry Olivier, won the 10km race in a time of 0:34:39.20. Lana van der Berg, in twelfth place, took the women’s honours finishing in 0:54:57.23. Fifteen year old Joshua Swanepoel did the Zwartberg Runners proud, in coming home in sixth place.

Marie Zwiegelaars and Lampies Lamprecht, the official race referees complimented Zwartberg Runners on the superb organisation of the event, a comment that was echoed by many of the runners. Marie told the Friend: “They made no mistakes,” while Lampies commented on the “marvellous route” that the races took. Many participants said that they would be back next year and would bring more runners with them.

Terry Barnato praised her organising committee for the hours and effort they had put in and also thanked Prince Alberters for rallying to support them: 30 Hoërskool Zwartberg learners volunteered as race marshals, as did Zwartberg Runners’ members and other local enthusiasts, who also manned the water tables and acted as time-keepers.

Terry paid tribute to the sponsors of the race, Koggelmander Kos- en Kunshuis, Bergwater Vineyards, K3 Water and Energy Sachets, Lazy Lizard Internet-Café, Weltevrede Fig and Guest Farm and Vrisgewaagd Landgoed and to the SAPS for their sterling support and assistance. “We were bowled over at how well the day went and could not have pulled it off without the warmth and backing of the community,” she said.