Thursday, January 1, 2009

Letters / Briewe

Villa Kruger?

Groot was ons verbasing toe ons tydens ‘n uitstappie na Skapies-einde se kant ‘n groot uithangbord met dié opskrif aan die heining van die voor-malige Aloe Cottage gevind het:

Villa Kruger
Sterfteplek van die Boerepresident
Paul Kruger

In geskiedenislesse in hoërskool in Duits-land het ek geleer dat hierdie volksheld, wat ook in Duitsland hoog aangeskryf word, na driejarige ballingskap in 1904 in Clarens, Switzerland, oorlede is. Die fraaie Vrystaatse dorp Clarens is hierna genoem.

Dit is te bevraagteken of die woord “Villa” vir hierdie huis van toepassing is.

Lutz en Veronika Diegel

Brilliant Prince Albert Police

On Monday morning 12 January at about 8am, we received a call from our neighbour to say we had had a burglary at our house in Prince Albert. Distressed by the news we then contacted the Police in Prince Albert. They proceeded to tell us that not only were they aware of the break-in, but that they had already apprehended the suspects, as well as recovered all our stolen household goods!

We were overwhelmed! Overjoyed and amazed!

At 5am on Monday morning, a patrol vehicle had stopped a suspicious vehicle, discovered the stolen goods, and arrested the two thieves. All this happened before we even knew we had been robbed!
We cannot express enough gratitude and thanks to all the staff involved both on the ground, as well as at the Police Station. Their regular patrols, sharp its,and prompt action certainly contribute to making Prince Albert one of the safest towns in South Africa.

Our sincere thanks once again.

Gordon and Caroline Midgley

Save Our Leopard Tortoises

On Monday 12 January, travelling the R407 into Prince Albert, a guest to the town witnessed a Blue 4x4 with GP registration plates travelling at high speed intentionally drive over a Leopard Tortoise crossing the road. Their words to me were “they had ample space and time to move across the road and not harm the tortoise”.

I ask myself - why in the world would anyone do such a heinous thing to a creature that hurts no man or beast. How wonderful it would be if the Department of Roads and Cape Nature Conservation chose to do something about the protection of these gentle giants of the Mountain by placing warning signs along the road.

Although Leopard tortoises (Stigmoc-helys), commonly known as a Mountain tortoise or Bergskilpad, are a familiar sight in our area and are not presently threatened, the day will come when they are on the endangered list – last year travelling the R407 each day I counted over 30 tortoises ranging from hatchlings to older ones that had been killed and maimed by vehicles & trucks.

According to Tortoises, Terrapins and Turtles of Africa by Bill Branch, a hatchling Leopard tortoise weighs approximately 23 – 50 grams, at 7 years old itwill weigh about 1kg; thereafter the body mass will double every 2 – 3 years so you can work out the average age of the ones we take for granted.

So please when you see a Leopard tortoise on the road, take 5 minutes to stop and ensure it crosses the road safely. It is not recommended that you pick up the tortoise - they know where they have to get to. If you see a vehicle damaging a tortoise, take the registration number and report it to CapeNature Conservation.

If not you then who – If not now then when…….

Lisa Smith

Words of Wisdom

Stemming from recent correspondence in our local paper – may I share with you a few lines from the Farmer’s Weekly of about 1960.

“When buying a new farm:
Lay in a good supply of coffee.
Get a comfortable chair.
Sit on your stoep and watch your neighbour – for a year.”

Dick Metcalf

Have Passport … Will Travel?

Queen Vic’s “Quest for a Passport” in October’s Prince Albert Friend reminded me of my own recent request to renew a nearly-expired Passport, a slight difference being the long wait of six months for the renewal.

There were three different venues, the first adjacent to the Library, the second unexpectedly far of. The kindness of Mr Riaan Coetzee saved me the very long walk by giving me a lift in his car, and the third when a friend offered to find the venue indicated in North End.

At the venue opposite SPAR I sat alone in a large room containing stacked tables and chairs, but was joined, briefly, by a woman who chose the very next chair to mine, proceeding to rub her tummy and said “I am hungry, will you give me R3.00?” The Home Affairs official arrived, took my fingerprints (which had been forgotten on the previous visit) and I then asked, politely but firmly if my Passport could be posted. The reply was equally polite but firm, “No”, but, a few weeks later I received a personal phone call advising me the Passport would be available for collection at a certain date and time. As I now have a valid passport for the next ten years … QUO VADIS?

Beryl Rimes

The People Shall Speak

Sorry, Mr Speaker, but you (November/December 2008) appear to have missed the point of my letter about the Council’s lack of performance. Our elected Councillors should stop their petty political postulating and instead act for the good of the people they are supposed to be representing. Ms van der Mescht and Mr Rossouw can confirm that I tried – to no avail - to meet with a Council representative after the first two totally unproductive Council meetings. Hence my letter to the media.

In a democracy, people should be able to disagree freely with the party line and voice their disagreement in public and in the media. This is a vital principle and the cornerstone of democracy. However, I agree that in his final article in the Sunday Times, David Bullard pushed the boundaries of press freedom a bit too far.

I must say that I am really proud of how our new 15 year old democracy is maturing, with people expressing their dissatisfaction with non-service delivery and how corruption is being exposed. The recall of the President and the formation of a new political party, COPE, in readiness for the forthcoming general election in March or April 2009 are also positive developments.

Our Councillors throughout the country had better take note of the voice and the will of the people and start giving a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay or they might find themselves out of a job. Let’s put Prince Albert first and make us all “Proudly Prince Albert”!

John Mckenna

Thank You All

To all my wonderful family and friends, a huge thank you for being there for me, for your love, comfort and amazing support at this very sad time.

Victoria Raft

Ugh, Off Olive Oil

We have just returned from yet another wonderful trip to Prince Albert. We dined at our two favourite restaurants on the main road. Wonderful food and great service as always. What I could not believe was that when we asked for olive oil at the table, we were served with rancid oil on both occasions.

This is not good for the town that strives to be the Olive Capital of South Africa.

Kobus Pool

Cats, cats, cats

Many people are complaining about the problem of too many feral cats in Prince Albert. Lynette Brand, our local animal welfare volunteer was telling me how people pitch up on her doorstep demanding to know why she has not sorted out the problem. The perception is that Lynette’s work is funded by the Municipality.

Here are the facts:
  • Lynette operates purely on a volunteer basis.
  • She operates from her home.
  • She offers a basic clinic service where she tends to sick animals and provides vitamins, de-worming and dips.
  • She has funded all her work out of her own personal savings, which are now depleted.

What Lynette does receive, is R2000 a month from the Municipality for the sterilization of dogs only from under-privileged homes. There is no funding whatsoever for the sterilization of cats.

Cobus Ferreira (Animal Health Technician) and Brett the Vet have been very helpful with diagnosis and suggesting treatments. Brett also did a lot of sterilizing of stray cats covering the costs himself as the promised funding was never forthcoming.

Lynette would love to extend her clinic and is currently looking for premises. If anyone can help out in any of the following ways, she would be most grateful:

  • Premises for her clinic.
  • Cages to keep the animals separate from each other.
  • A safe cat trap to capture the strays for sterilization to prevent further breeding.
  • Any donations towards her work.
  • And most of all, some understanding from the public.

Next time you want to ask ‘What has someone done about the cat problem in Prince Albert?’ first stop and ask yourself, ‘What have I done to assist with the cat problem in Prince Albert?’

Yolande Singery

No comments: