Saturday, May 30, 2009

Prince Albert Shines at Indaba 2009

“Prince Albert will benefit 100 times more than we could ever imagine as a result of its participation at this year’s Tourism Indaba in Durban.” This is the view of Michael Upton, Prince Albert Tourism EXCO member who represented the town at one of Africa’s largest tourism marketing events from 8 to 12 May. Johannes Jonkers, the Central Karoo’s Regional Tourism Officer, agrees with Michael’s enthusiasm: “Prince Albert and the other towns of the Central Karoo that were at Indaba – their products, diversity of landscapes and cultural heritage – swept away the ignorance of where and who we are and what we offer.”

Indaba is one of the top three travel trade shows in the world and is a showcase for Southern African tourism products and services for the international travel trade. It draws travel agents from far and wide, conference organisers, tour operators, advertisers and the media. More than 12 000 people participated in Indaba this year despite the global economic crisis.

Michael Upton returned to Prince Albert inspired by Indaba 2009 and determined that the town should be there again next year. He felt that it was vital that the Prince Albert be marketed as part of the Central or Cape Karoo at such an event where smaller exhibitors tend to be overlooked. “I know that some Prince Alberters are against more business activity and more tourists and I understand that,” Michael told the Friend. “But, tourism offers so many possibilities to so many people in our town; it creates employment, not only in the tourism sector and offers skills to those who hold the future of our town in their hands.”

Prince Albert with Beaufort West, Laingsburg, Murraysburg and Matjiesfontein represented Cape Karoo Tourism at Indaba 2009. The region’s stall, sponsored by the Central Karoo Regional Tourism Office, was part of the huge Western Cape tourism exhibition. According to Michael, the Cape Karoo Tourism stand was very much a joint effort, with each town contributing decorative elements, local products and information against a backdrop of eye-catching, life-size posters depicting the different areas of the Central Karoo.

“But Prince Albert shone like a shining star, we stole the show; tour operators, South African and international, who came to sell their products, bought ours instead,” Michael said. “They were astounded that a “desert” offered breathtaking scenery and snow on the mountain tops in winter and they swarmed to our stall to taste our wines, cheeses, fruits, olive products, and to learn more about the farming community, the history of the town and its surrounds, and the activities we offer.”

A journalist with British Airways’ in-flight magazine, Horizon, was instructed by her editor to visit the Cape Karoo Tourism stall as preparation for an article on Prince Albert, while West Coast travel agents want the stand – as it was set up at Indaba - to tour the main towns along the coast. Many tour operators were particularly keen to discover that the Central Karoo is an ideal destination during South Africa’s winter months, when it is drizzling and grey on the Cape coastal areas.

Prince Albert’s reputation as an out of the ordinary tourism destination was also strengthened by the participation of the town’s new recreational cooking school, African Relish, at Indaba 2009. Jeremy Freemantle, CEO and executive chef, Vanie Padayachee, worked long hours promoting their new culinary tourism experience to international tour operators. Both were very encouraged at the huge interest in South African tourism products. “We’re excited about drawing tourists to Prince Albert throughout the year and that will undoubtedly contribute to the people and the economy of our town,” Jeremy told the Friend.

Residents fume over Municipal Budget Meeting

- Linda Jaquet -

Heated arguments disrupted a public meeting hosted by the Municipal Council on the evening of 13 May at the Sydwell Williams Centre when Speaker Stoffel Botes informed the over 100 attendants that he would not allow any questions about the budget from the floor. According to Botes, residents could only submit verbal input on the budget for further consideration by him and the Council, provided their comments did not duplicate those already received in writing.

Most people in the packed hall were clearly disappointed since the written invitation to residents said that the meeting was to address issues of concern related to the proposed Municipal budget for 2009/2010. A summarised report on the draft budget by Executive Mayor Maria Benjamin and Deputy Mayor April Pienaar was followed by angry exchanges between the floor and the Chair.. Councillor Botes ruled local farmer, Willem Freysen, out of order during his heated interchange with the Executive Mayor on the provision of housing for farm workers. A call for calm by a number of residents meant that the meeting could then proceed.

Representations from the floor covered the increase in councillors’ salaries and allowances, the cost of upgrading of Municipal offices, overspending on legal fees, the budget allocations for roads and the upgrading of the storm water system, proposals for youth development, income from traffic fines and the Municipality’s social development responsibilities. There was concern that the public scrutiny of the draft budget process had not been advertised in the local media, whereupon Councillor Goliath of Leeu-Gamka criticised the Friend for its negative reporting on the Municipality.

Councillor Botes informed the meeting that until recently Prince Albert had been the only municipality where councillors had not received the upper limits of their salaries and allowances as determined by law. They also had not had a salary increase in three years. Botes pointed out that councillors’ remuneration was largely met by National Government, with less than 1% derived from the Municipality’s income from rates.

The Executive Mayor responded strongly to the written representations submitted to the Municipality. She was scathing of a number of suggestions, including demands for the Municipality to create jobs and alleviate poverty, provide animal welfare and deal with complaints about the Police. Replying to a call for the Council to take action against children begging in the streets, she pointedly asked former councillors present: “What did you ever do to improve people’s lives?”

Deputy Mayor, April Pienaar, described tourism as a priority area as far as job creation in the Prince Albert Municipal area was concerned. He said that the local tourism industry should be open to all and so contribute more to sustainable socio-economic upliftment.

In closing, Cllr Benjamin called on all residents to work together with the Municipality. She appealed for racism to be stamped out and urged for constructive ideas as well as criticism. “Our doors are always open,” she said.

Residents, who spoke to the Friend, felt they had been misled about the nature of the meeting. They were critical of the weak chairing and felt that if Cllr Botes had not put a stop to questions and had been firmer in dealing with the initial aggressive and at times, racist interaction between the floor and the Mayor, the tension and anger that pervaded most of the meeting could have been avoided.

A disillusioned resident commented “I’m convinced that the councillors were on the defensive and colluded in insisting on no questions at all. If they had been open and accountable they would have disarmed their severest critics.” Another said “The Mayor made valid points about the written submissions, but did she have to talk to us in such a rude and patronising way? We all want our local government to work and now we’re going to have to find ways of fixing the damage that has been done unnecessarily and working together.”

My Christian Perspective

- André Jaquet -
Before the service began in church last Sunday, I was struck by the number of people in the congregation I knew by name. I knew where most of them lived, what they did or had done before moving to our village. I was filled with gratitude to be part of the community of Prince Albert and said a silent prayer of thanks.
As I did so, Ailsa Tudhope’s lovely voice intruded, with a quotation from Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury:

“One of the phrases that a slightly younger generation than mine likes to use a lot is 'Get a life!'... ‘Get a life' is said to people who are meshed into narrow, boring, obsessive, forms of life. People who have no horizons beyond their immediate concerns, their immediate hobbies are bores. … ‘Get a life’: let’s say that to our society…If you want to grow, to move, to expand, to be enlarged as a human being, if you want to pass on that enlarged sense of what humanity is all about to another generation, well this is the way to do it.”

At first I congratulated myself on having chosen to live and ‘Get a Life’ here and to have become part of the community. But when that smug thought came to mind, my conscience posed the uncomfortable fact that we are in fact not one, but two communities.

The Oxford dictionary describes a community as ‘an organised body of people living in the same space’. A good friend shared a better definition with me:

“Somewhere where there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. A space where a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us when we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done; arms to hold us when we falter, a circle of healing and a collection of friends, a place where we can be free”.

Would our lives not be much richer and satisfying and our consciences clearer if we worked hard to become a common community?

Starry Splendour over Prince Albert

- Hans Daehne -

In June we can enjoy the beautiful thick part of the Milky Way in all its glory again over Prince Albert and what better way to do it than with a whole night gazing session on the night before Winter Solstice at Abrahamskraal. All members of SPACE are welcome to contact Hestie for arrangements with accommodation.

Now is the time to observe the huge constellations of Scorpius and Sagittarius above our heads at night as we are looking into the direction of the centre of our galaxy. Scorpius contains the red
super giant Antares that would extend right up to the orbit of Mars (Ares in Greek ) if placed at the position of our Sun. This star is also called Cor Scorpii, the heart of the Scorpion.
The Scorpion can only be seen in the winter while we can observe the Southern Cross nearly all year round and if viewed synoptically from south to south-east it comes as a surprise every year again to see these two beautiful constellations ( the Scorpion and the Southern Cross) so close together. The reason for this is that the Southern Cross is circumpolar i.e. always above the horizon for us while Scorpius is just outside the circumpolar region.
The bright stars in Sagittarius resemble the shape of a teapot ( rather than an archer of half horse half man configuration ) that could be pouring its contents into a fine string of stars arranged in the curved shape of a crown hence its name Corona Australis, the Southern Crown.

Venus and Mars are both morning objects with Venus very bright at magnitude - 4.5 and Mars fairly dim contrary to the claims made in an annoying e-mail that is doing its rounds again and that should be totally ignored.

Jupiter at magnitude - 2.5 is becoming an all-night object in the constellation of Capricorn. It is always very rewarding to observe the largest planet in our solar system with its four bright Galilean moons through a telescope. This is among other reasons because Jupiter rotates around its axis in under 10 hours and some changes of this fast spin can be observe during the night.

Saturn at a dim magnitude of only 0.9 is visible the whole evening with its rings getting really thin(viewed edge-on) and thus reducing Saturn’s reflectivity but now its moons can be found easier. This rare position of Saturn was last observed in 1995.

Full Moon will be on 7 June while the New Moon on the 22nd will be close to Earth.

Winter Solstice on the 21st June will mark the shortest day and longest night (good for star-gazing) and although the days will become longer thereafter it is termed as the beginning of winter in the southern hemisphere. Sunset in Prince Albert will be at 17h30 and will become later by one minute every evening from now on while only from 7 July will the Sun rise one minute earlier daily in the morning.

How successful the very fascinating undertaking of catching, refurbishing and setting free again the most famous space telescope Hubble by the space shuttle Atlantis on 11th May was, should become apparent soon with new and more detailed photographs becoming available on the internet.

These beautiful images of the vast space around us could be interesting discussion material for a whole evening and maybe we should do just that some time.

Keep the stars in your eyes!

Brett the Vet - Natural Light

The shabbiness of the human race is becoming more evident as our living planet slips into decline. Global destruction is mirrored in the deteriorating vigour of humanity. Health, elegance and pride have been replaced by growing dis-ease, sloppiness and shame. More people are starting to fully appreciate the natural world unity and recognize the fatal consequences of severing our earthly bond. The animal kingdom remains brimming with the finest examples of inherent human aspirations imaginable.

Vignettes of elegance abound on every level in our environment, some of which will not exist for future generations. A heron poised in a field, leopard draped over a rock, lone owl perched on a fence pole, silhouette of a kudu on a ridge: beacons of natural beauty, arresting allure.

Queens of the notion of cleanliness, cats, slink into the lead as bastions of hygienic zeal: always immaculately groomed and presentable, even when asleep. For swine, there is nothing more appropriate, cleansing, and fun than acquiring a protective mudpack. Geese bathe in water and chickens in dust many times a day to maintain a glistening exterior. Neglected appearance is the first indicator of illness.

Civility is seen in the organization of herds where hundreds, sometimes thousands of animals are synchronized in movement and thought, spaced according to drive and circumstance. Hierarchy and deference mould the shifting group structure of political animals adhering to their innate policies of pragmatic survival.

From anthills to weaver nests, beaver dams and rabbit warrens the architecture of animal dwellings is sustainable and perfectly attuned to the environment where planning permission is wavered with pleasure and universal admiration.

Animals under our control enthusiastically express gratitude at feeding time, either vocally or through body language. In the wild, creatures take what they need unless man has disrupted them by his greed. Deficiencies are rare in nature as animals have the freedom and discernment that allows instinctive selection of nutritionally balanced food.

We are constantly reminded about our lack of regard for instinctive decorum and mutual respect exhibited in animal behaviour, even by our own pets. When we fail to acknowledge or consider them, carelessly tread on their toes or cause injury, the gaze we receive is an expression of absolute incomprehension.

Animals can move with astounding grace: wild horses, cheetah chase, swans on a lake, midges at sunset, jellyfish at sea, even amoeba in a drop of water. Dragging of feet, lethargy, or poor posture are signs of disease.

Finesse in communication is easily observed among starlings occupying a tree in the late afternoon engrossed in mesmerizing group conversation. Whale song saturating the seas tells of transience and tragedy in another world. More obscure still are soft whispers among fishes. Infrasonic vibrations transmitted through elephant feet feeling their friends up to 100km away is a barely tangible concept. We are usually lost in translation of the subtle telepathic tidings that pass between animals using senses beyond our understanding.

We have extinguished the dignity of domestic animals by forcing them into squalid confinement to justify our condescension towards them, thereby creating enduring misery and suffering for them, and changing ourselves. When sentient beings concede the true value of life it rouses a compulsion for empathy. Waste and disease from intensive pig farms, polluting methane gas from cattle feedlots, and the violence of keeping hens in batteries, are merely symptoms of our fall from grace and the ruination of the Garden of earthly Eden.

Briewe / Letters

Ongelukkig oor plastiese pistole by Olyffees

Volgens alle berigte was ons jaarlikse Olyffees weer ‘n groot sukses maar ongelukkig kan ek nie die oomblik laat verbygaan sonder om my groot teleurstelling oor een aspek daarvan uit te spreek nie.

Dit was vir my ‘n groot skok om te verneem dat tussen al die goeie stalletjies daar een was wat lelike plastiese pistole verkoop het. Die pistole het so realisties gelyk dat dit vir my nes die ware Jakob was.

Maar wat my so ontstoke maak is dat die ‘speelgoed’ ook harde koeëltjies kon skiet en dat kinders daardeur beseer is en dat die polisie ook moes ingryp.

Ons moet in die toekoms strenger toesig hou oor wat tydens ons fees verkoop word.

Bekommerde Oupa

Museum News

Our Garden of Remembrance

On Thursday, 7 May, a special garden party was held to plant two red roses and two Confetti bushes in the Museum garden in continuation of a tradition of remembering residents who have contributed to the Museum. On this occasion, names were written on stones and placed with different plants. Lydia Barella planted the Confetti bush for Helena Marincowitz who did so much for the Museum over a long period. Her loyalty never changed. The rose for Christie Jooste was planted by his grandson, Chris. Christie Jooste got permission for our pavement garden and was a true gardener, so a rose for him belongs here.

Victoria Raft planted a red rose for George who was invaluable in the Museum library. A Confetti bush was also planted for Pat Goudie who served on the Museum Control Board as well as a Polygala for Jonathan Rolfe. Des Bernstein was visiting her sister Eleanor Peters and placed a stone for daughter, Valma, at the Polygala planted a while ago. Valma spent long hours doing voluntary work with the clothes in the Museum. Francis Olivier placed a stone for Kosie Pienaar at a rose, planted for him some years ago by his widow, Alida Pienaar,

Ione Auerswald, who convened the function, told the many residents present: “This is your garden, as so many residents have contributed to it. The new lavenders have been sponsored by Mary Sandrock and the watsonias by Jean Rossouw. Life is like a garden; we grow up and are beautiful, and then grow old, just like the plants do. But life goes on; even though it changes, as does the garden.” Ione was sure that Fransie Pienaar, Frieda Haak, Jonathan Rolfe and Helena Maroncowitz would have been delighted to see everyone enjoying the lovely morning in the garden.

Reinwald Dedekind was thanked by the Museum’s Lydia Barella for looking after, planting and planning the pavement garden, as well as caring for the natural garden started by Pat Marincowitz next to the Tourism Office

The story of the memorial garden starts in 2000, when the Museum curator at the time, Lydia Barella, asked Ione, the then chairperson of the Prince Albert Garden Club, to reorganise the garden. Lydia’s only request was that they not remove the pink roses next to the furrow as Frieda Haak, a previous curator, had planted them. The Garden Club respected her wish and today the roses are flourishing.

Ione then called on Margie Arnold for help. Margie she suggested a Victorian garden to suit the style of the building and drew a plan for the renovation. They decided to plant white standard Iceberg roses on either side of the path, with Pat Arnold making supports for the roses. Residents were asked for cash donations to sponsor a rose and support. Cynthia Cory sponsored a bench and Ken Auerswald a bird bath. Lynette Smythe said sponsored a rose in memory of Flip van Niekerk. Dr.Jan van Heerden, Bodo and Gudrun Toelstede, Cynthia Cory and Hildegard Nagel were all enthusiastic and the Thursday Group offered a rose for Pat Dean and another bird bath. Val van der Riet planted a rose for Megan, Hester van Vuuren for Dirk, and Peggy Clow-Wilson for Hal. Hugh Forsythe was commissioned by the Control Board to construct an arbour and a bridge in keeping with the Victorian style of the garden. A planting day was organised to plant these roses and photos were published in Country Life magazine. Keith Goudie officiated at the ceremony.

Support for the garden continued; the Reinecke family sponsored a bench for Mirka, who was the local pharmacist and a bench was installed for Gerry Skakal. Lewis Tilney made a bird feeder, Jeanetta de Lange planted two roses for Theunie and Pat and Margie Arnold two roses for their mothers, Sheila Collins gave two roses and two standard Plumbagos which she grew herself, making them particularly special.

The Vroue Landbou Vereeniging donated a Brush Cherry and a standard Iceberg for two tree planting days in 2002 and 2003. When the Museum gardener, Frans Adolf, passed away the Museum planted a rose for him, which has been transplanted twice, as it did not do well in its original spot.

Recently, African daisies as well as various bulbs have been planted for the people of Prince Albert to enjoy.

Many people do not realise what a special place the Museum garden is - please come and visit the Museum and take time to stroll through the garden.

Ione Auerswald

Kaap na PA met ‘n ‘Scooter'

- Hennie du Plessis -

Die 74 jarige Dries Rossouw van Stellenbosch het vanjaar vir die 2de keer met sy geel Jonway ‘scooter’ die reis na die KKNK aangepak en na ‘n 3-dae besoek aan Prince Albert, sy geboortedorp, weer na Stellenbosch vertrek. In 2007 het hy ook oor die Swartbergpas gereis. Hy sê teen 80 km/u is daar net soveel meer tyd vir waarneming van jou omgewing. Hy is ‘n briljante ‘ingenieur’ sonder die teoretiese kwalifikasies en was o.a. die laaste 39 jaar voor aftrede werksaam in onderskeidelik die fisika sowel as die siviele departemente van die Ingenieurs Fakulteit op Stellenbosch. Wanneer nodig is hy nog steeds by die siviele departement asook by die WNNR behulpsaam.

Sy ouerhuis was by Kerkstraat 58 – vandag se Saxe-Coburg Lodge – vanaf 1938 tot Junie 1946 toe hul na Stellenbosch verhuis het. Sy pa, Hennie, wie se ouers ook in die distrik gebly het, was transportryer tussen PA en Mosselbaai en ook na die ‘binne’-Karoo met ‘n 3 ton Fordlorrie waarop 5 ton vrag gelaai was. Die vrag was hoofsaaklik petrol en ook groente vanaf plase in die omgewing van Eight Bells.(Mosselbaai) Wanneer hy daar aangekom het is per mond geroep en verder aangegee: Hennie is hie-e-er…! Hennie is hie-e-er…! En natuurlik was die rit altyd oor die Swartbergpas.

Daardie jare was daar nog nie ‘n hospitaal nie. Sy ma, Gerty wat as jongmeisie skoolgehou het, het blyplek verskaf aan arm mense en mense vanaf die plase wat die dokter besoek het. Nadat Dr van Wyk die pasiënte ondersoek het, het Suster Mallot dan na die pasiënte omgesien. Vele babas het ook by die adres die eerste lewenslig aanskou.

Stil rolprente is daardie jare in die Van Riebeecksaal vertoon. In 1944/45 is die eerste rolprente met klank vertoon en almal het “Talkies” gaan kyk.

Die middeldeel van vandag se Saxe-Coburg was daardie jare bekend as die ‘Dormitry’. Hennie Rossouw, wat knap was met houtwerk, het weefstoele gemaak en die dorp se vrouens wat geweef het, het daar in die ‘dormitry’ kom weef. In die linkerdeel van die huis het Laura Combrinck gebly. Sy het ook in die distrik skoolgehou.

Smoking and Cancer – A Deadly Combination

Research shows the link between smoking and cancer is very clear - smoking is the single biggest cause of cancer in the world.

Over 44 000 South Africans die from tobacco-related diseases annually and many more become ill from using tobacco products and inhaling second-hand smoke. Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, which has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers. The good news is that most of these deaths are preventable by giving up smoking in time. Smoking also increases the risk of many other cancers including cancers of the mouth, larynx (voice box), oesophagus (food pipe), liver, pancreas, stomach, kidney, bladder and cervix.

Second-hand smoke: Breathing in other people's smoke can cause cancer. Second-hand smoke can cause other health problems too, including heart disease, stroke and breathing problems.

Second-hand smoke is particularly dangerous for children because their bodies are still developing. Smoking when you are with your children can increase their risk of cot death, "glue ear", respiratory illness such as asthma and chest infections, and may cause cancer later on in life. If you are a smoker, do not expose your child to your smoke, especially in confined areas indoors and in cars.

10 useful tips to help you quit smoking:

* Decide on a date to quit smoking and do it.
* Throw away all reminders of smoking: cigarette packets, ashtrays, lighters.
* Drink lots of water - it will help flush the nicotine from your body,
* Become more active - exercise i.e. walk, jog
* Change your routine. Avoid smokers and things that make you want to smoke for the first couple of days.
* Tell your family and friends that you are trying to quit so that they can offer you support.
* You may experience some dizziness, headaches or coughing once you have stopped smoking. This is normal and should improve after a day or two and disappear within 14 days.
* The first 2 or 3 days are the most difficult, after that it gets easier. Your cravings will reduce and eventually disappear.
* If you are worried about gaining weight, eat at regular times during the day. Snack on fruit between meals. Take time for exercise. Not all ex-smokers gain weight.
* Do not use a crisis or special occasion as an excuse for "just one" cigarette. One cigarette leads to another and another, and another.

Giving up smoking is one of the most difficult challenges to overcome. Any amount of success is success all the same, even if you managed to quit for only a few hours. The achievement is equal to quitting for good. Hopefully you will have felt the benefits and are motivated to do better the next time.

PAAK hou Inligtingsdag

- Denise Ohlson -

Tydens ‘n inligtingsdag gehou by die VGK saal op Saterdag xx April, het xxx genooide gaste kom luister hoe Goliath Lottering, voorsitter van die komitee, ‘n kundige en interessante uiteensetting gee van die werksaamhede van die Prince Albert Advieskantoor wat, toe dit in September 1991 gestig, nogal groot kontroversie in die gemeenskap veroorsaak het.

Meneer Lottering het verduidelik dat PAAK se oorspronklike taak daarop gerig was om mense van Prince Albert, PA Weg, Klaarstroom, Leeu Gamka en die omliggende plase te help met hul probleme oor arbeidsake. Vandag, as ’n volwaardig geregistreerde nie-winsgewende organisasie, is PAAK ook ’n volwaardige werkgewer - gemoeid met werkskepping, ontwikkeling, opvoeding en natuurlik ook fondsinsameling. Hulle is besig met twaalf projekte om eens gemarginaliseerde gemeenskappe te help en ook om duplisering uit te skakel. Hul kernwaardes berus op eerlikheid, deursigtigheid, verantwoordbaarheid, harde werk, nie-rassisme, geen diskriminasie, konsekwente optrede en om almal met waardigheid te behandel . Daar word gefokus op die terugplaas van selfrespek en verantwoordelikheid in elke individu.

Tydens die algemene tweejaarlikse vergadering op 19 Julie 2008 is ’n nuwe komitee gekies wat met groot ywer werk. (Foto – name) ’n Groot doelwit is om teen die einde van die jaar die fondasie te gooi vir die kantoorkompleks langs die Sydwell Williams Sentrum – ’n gebou wat aan die gemeenskap van Prince Albert sal behoort.

Die kontrak wat PAAK in November 2008 met die Lotto gesluit het, se eerste vyftig persent van R1,366 mil is in April 2009 uitbetaal. Twee voertuie ter waarde van R386,000 is aangekoop en die res van die fondse gaan gebruik word om werk te skep en op opvoeding te fokus. Meneer Lottering het dit sterk beklemtoon dat die voertuie ingespan gaan word om die armstes van die armes te help en onder geen omstandighede as taxi’s gebruik sal word nie.

Dat PAAK so suksesvol is, sê Goliath Lottering, is te danke aan ’n gemotiveerde komitee wat sorg dat verslae betyds ingedien word sodat befondsing uitbetaal kan word. En hy glo aan ’n seënende Hemelse Vader, wat, as jy jou besig hou met die regte dinge, sal sorg dat daar mooi gevolge is.


Projek 1: Semi-regsake. Geen befondser, fokus op arbeidsake en maatskaplike probleme. Vir elke R1 deur fondsinsameling gewerf, kry PAAK R5 vanaf die FRIS program.
Projek 2: Gebruikersake. Befondser is die Kantoor van die Verbruikersbeskermer wat elke maand R8,000 inbetaal na ontvangs van PAAK se verslag.
Projek 3 tot 6: HIV en VIGS. Befonds teen R40,000 per maand deur SCAT, CKDM en DOSD. Fokus op aktiverings-persele, bewusmaking, emosionele ondersteuning.
Projek 7: Tuisversorging. Befonds deur die Departement van Gesondheid teen R521,000 vir die boekjaar. Fokus op kwaliteit versorging, gesinsbeplanning, tienerswanggerskappe, geweld teen vroue en kinders, maatskaplike toelaes.
Projek 8: Telesentrum. Geen befondser. Fokus op dienste vir internet, telefoon, faks en rekenaaarvaardigheid. Genereeer R1,000 per maand – wat nie die onderhoudskoste delg nie.
Projek 9: Naaldwerkprojek. Fondse van R20,000 per jaar van DODS slegs vir materiaal. Genereer maksimum R1,500 per maand tussen drie werkers. Die Prince Albert Skills Trust het hulp aangebied met reklame en opgradering van perseel.
Projek 10: Opkomende boere. Befonds deur Nasionale Ontwikkelingsagentskap. Fokus op voedselsekuriteit. R872,000 uitbetaal in sessies van 10%,40%, 20%, 20% en dan weer 10%. Veel dank verskuldig aan Hennie du Plessis en Herman Olivier vir leiding en bystand.
Projek 11: Friskies Creché. Befonds deur die Gelyke Geleenthedefonds. Fokus op kleuters van die plaas Frisgewaagd – R84,000 se toerusting is aangekoop. Geen fondse is direk aan PAAK betaal nie.
Projek 12: Lotto. Na die susesvolle toekenning van die Lottogeld, sal daar weer aansoek gedoen word vir die volgende boekjaar.

Studeer is haar stokperdjie

- Denise Ohlson -

Lettie Breytenbach het pas, net ná haar 73ste verjaarsdag, nòg ‘n mylpaal in haar lewe bereik toe die graad BA Mens- en Sosiale Studies cum laude aan haar toegeken is deur Unisa. Haar spesialitietsveld was religieë, wêreldbeskouings en etiek van die samelewing.

Lettie se uitmuntende akademiese loopbaan het begin by die Paarl Carinus Kollege waar sy as verpleegster opgelei is. Sy begin werk op 1 Mei 1955 in die Paarl Hospitaal, daarna volg die Montague Hospitaal en later die die Plaaslike Owerheid - waar sy leiding neem in die veld van tering en gesinsbeplanning. Gedurende die sestigerjare organiseer sy die eerste plattelandse mobiele klinieke en in 1978 verwerf sy haar BA Cur.

Nou behoorlik geïnspireer, pak en slaag sy tegelykertyd Honneurs in Gemeenskapsgesondheid en Honneurs in Verplegingadministrasie. Haar volgende prestasie is die ekstra mobiele klinieke wat sy vir die Munisipaliteit van Mosselbaai tot stand bring toe Mossgas die dorp uit sy nate laat beur.

Sy identifiseer knelpunte, doen navorsing, maak opnames en skryf programme vir primêre gesondheid terwyl haar studies nie agterbly nie. In 1995 behaal sy M Cur deur UPE en daarna begin sy klas gee in gemeenskapsgesondeid by UPE se gedesentraliseerde kampus op George.

Twee jaar later tree sy af, maar dis nie lank nie of Link Apteke vra haar om Moeder en Kind Klinieke in Mosselbaai te behartig. Tussendeur doen sy ’n gevorderde kursus vir verpleegsters in Farmakologie. Sewe jaar later tree sy vir die tweede keer af.

Saam met haar man Gawie kom bly sy in 2005 op Prince Albert – oorgehaal vir die rustige lewe van huishou en “skilder” met blomme. Maar nou is sy al weer ‘n hele paar jaar lank werksaam by Huis Kweekvallei, waar sy onskatbare insette lewer in die versorging van bejaardes.

Ja, hierdie ma van drie en ouma van sewe is ook lief vir bak en brou en brei, maar sy dink soms aan haar doktorsgraad - al wonder sy of sy nie al hoe meer van al hoe minder leer nie...

Catholic Church seeks new home

-Zelia Mullins-

I would like to recall the words written by Winnie Graham in “A business deal that turned into a labour of love” from “Paths less travelled”, published in Worldwide in October 2007….

“There is a little church on a hill in the Karoo village of Prince Albert that was built by a layman. In fact, I know of no other church in this country that was built by a man in response to a deal he perceived as a blessing – but which anyone else would have seen as a normal business transaction. Eddie Gleeson is a joiner who runs a business in the village. A few years ago the wife of a friend asked him to find something for her husband to do. The couple had lost their farm in Zimbabwe and Don Erasmus was at a loose end. Eddie says the two men decided to buy a stand and build a house. “However, before we got started we received an offer for the land at double the price we had paid. We decided we had to do something in thanksgiving and settled on a small Catholic church for the village” Eddie estimated it would cost about R12 000. In fact, it cost R22 000 – but he and Don were to be overwhelmed by support from local Catholics and friends. One couple from the UK who come to the village each summer made a substantial contribution. So did a friend from Ireland. Cash donations rolled in. Then Eddie had a happy surprise. Father Kevin Reynolds who had been at school with him at CBC in Pretoria, happened to visit Prince Albert. He learned by chance that Eddie Gleeson lived there. When the friends were reunited, Fr Kevin contributed a glass picture of Christ for the main window in memory of his mother. Fr Fidgeon, parish priest of St Charles in Victory Park, Johannesburg, sent a crucifix. Joyce Gleeson designed the stained glass windows. Another friend donated statues of angels and a bell. Fr Brian Williams, the priest who travels nearly 100 kms every second week to celebrate mass with the small community provided pews that seat 30 “at a squeeze”. All manner of people contributed. In the end, Eddie says, he and Don gave their labour but the church didn’t cost them a cent. It was named St Albert’s by Fr Brian. “It wasn’t my choice.” Eddie admits ruefully. “I first thought St Anthony’s, my patron saint. Then one Sunday, when I was working on the roof I couldn’t get down because a snake had curled up at the base of the ladder. I decided it should be named after St Patrick who chased the snakes from Ireland. But Fr Brian had made up his mind.”

St Albert’s Church celebrated its third anniversary in October 2008, a landmark of love that stands out against the mountains behind Eddie’s workshop.

It seems that another business deal will now leave the Catholic community of Prince Albert without a permanent place to worship - the land on which the church stands has been sold and the new owner, who is due to take possession towards the end of May 2009, has indicated that we will not be allowed to hold services in our quaint little church any longer. We have been asked to remove all contents from the church as soon as possible but have been denied our request to remove and replace the stained glass windows, which hold sentimental value to us as Catholics, with clear glass. The exquisitely crafted picture window of Christ which holds place of honour behind the altar and was designed by Leo Theron, from Oudtshoorn in 1985 in memory of Father Kevin’s mother, may also not be removed.

We once again appeal to the generous spirit of Prince Albert to assist us in finding a new home. If anyone knows of a place that we could use as a church please contact Zelia Mullins on 072 108 1987 or 023 541-1102. Please also remember to keep us in your thoughts and prayers during this time of tribulation.

“Oh Lord, fill them with your Holy Spirit to guide them into understanding and respecting that You are the Author and Master of all creation, Saint Albert, pray for us. Amen.”

Elections 2009... Karoo-style

- Barbara Castle-Farmer -

I was infused with a burgeoning sense of patriotism in the run-up to the recent elections. So much so that I volunteered my services to the IEC. And, after a number of interviews with the enthusiastic Ismarelda Gallant, was offered the position of Deputy Presiding Officer at one of the eight Voting Stations in our district.

Training included a 2-day workshop at a local town hall. This and all subsequent workshops were conducted in Afrikaans, the mother tongue of all the delegates except me – and mine was the only white face there.

The workshop was intensive and I realised what a huge amount of planning goes into running an election that is both free and fair. We were each given a manual entitled IEC Election Guide and encouraged to familiarise ourselves with all 142 pages. It dealt in detail with the secrecy of the ballot (before, during and after), using the Zip-Zip and dealing with objections on Election Day, the counting process, party agents, and more.

My assigned station was Drie Riviere Farm Shed on the Luttig’s farm about 10km out of Prince Albert. We had around 279 registered voters, most of whom were farm workers from the surrounding area. A team of seven IEC officials was required for this little station on Voting Day.

Turning up at 7:00am outside the IEC office on that first morning of the Special Votes days, I was greeted in the semi-dark by the tireless Dulcie Claassen whose job it was to ensure that each of our eight Voting Stations received their allotted material for the day. This included pens, string, elastic bands, envelopes, gloves and tissues for the ‘inkers,’ stamps and stamp pads, black plastic bags to collect rubbish, scrap paper, and loads more. It was also her duty on the three voting days to ensure that the ballot boxes from each station, escorted by the Police Service, were secured overnight in a safe in the Town’s Municipal Offices.

Our team on the two Special Votes days comprised just four – Henry Piedt, the Presiding Officer (PO), two Electoral Officials (Lynette Claassen and Jeffrey Armoed) and me. Henry, thankfully, was calm and confident having worked for the IEC in earlier elections.

We packed my bakkie with various materials – cardboard direction signs, waterproof banners, flat-packed election booths, ballot boxes, tape and more – and got into our cars to await the police escort. I must confess to feeling hugely intimidated and out of my depth teamed with colleagues who all seemed to know exactly what they were doing. I so did not want to appear a complete ‘wally’ in the midst of my entirely competent team.

Our escort, of two police officers on scrambler motorbikes, wearing full uniform and with bulging backpacks, roared up and we set off in convoy along the dirt road that was to take us to our voting station in the heart of the Great Karoo. I presumed the backpacks were full of “SAPS stuff” like bulletproofed vests, weapons, truncheons, etc. It was only later that I discovered they contained the police officers’ packed lunches, biscuits, flasks, vats of cooldrink and sandwiches. All of which made my little bottle of flavoured water, two peanut butter sandwiches and a banana look rather naive.

The Luttigs had already had one of the farm sheds cleaned out for us. It was comfortable, with a cement floor, ostrich egg light fittings, farm implements stacked neatly in one corner, sturdy tables, riempie-seated chairs, an ancient Dover-stove and leather harnesses along one wall.

My first job was to assist Lynette in securing signs on the farm outbuildings pointing the way to our voting station. Meanwhile the effervescent Jeffrey with a couple of deft flicks, folds and clicks expertly constructed three sturdy voting booths. And our PO set about organising his area and writing up his Election Diary -- every PO’s ‘bible.’ It sets out, step-by-step, a myriad tasks from the layout of the Voting Station, staffing and security to writing up the ballot paper statement and managing the many security seals.

Visually impaired South Africans would be casting their votes secretly for the first time using a Braille ballot template, South Africa being the second country, after Japan, to produce the model. One of our three voting booths was broader, with a lower voting table, to accommodate this new option.

Things were very quiet during both Special Votes days but I was grateful for the extra time and on-the-job experience prior to the actual voting day.

On the 22nd we reported at the Municipal Office by 5.15am. Fresh material was checked and crosschecked, ballot papers were made secure and ballot boxes escorted with reverence. Our team swelled to seven and a Morning Prayer was delivered with humility. Then we all took up our stations and were at the ready when the first farmer drove up with a bakkie-full of voters at 7.00am sharp.

During the rest of that day, for much of the time, I wished that fat cat MPs could have visited our little farm shed. It was humbling to see the hope in the eyes of the poorest of the poor. It was overwhelming to see the wariness in the eyes of the halt, the lame and those who could not read. It was heart wrenching to see the bewilderment of those charged with looking after sheep or ostriches or fruit trees when faced with those lengthy ballot papers.

What did the elderly lady, with slippers and walking stick care, know or need to know about the Women Forward Party or the Keep It Straight and Simple Party? All she wanted was to be taken care of in her final years, to be warm in the bitter cold of a Karoo winter and perhaps have at least one good meal a day.

Thankfully I can report that there was no trouble of any sort at our little farm shed Voting Station... apart from a flock of ostrich chicks that pushed over their fence and ran into the designated voting area. Of course they weren’t old enough to vote and so had to be rounded up amid much squawking and flapping and returned to their pen -- voteless.

Apart from that little fracas there was only care and kindness from my colleagues for the elderly, the bewildered and the over-awed. It was a privilege to have served my country with the likes of them.

It’s Official: Our Lamb is the Best!

- Sue Dean (Renu Karoo Veld Restoration cc) -

Many visitors to Prince Albert and other Karoo villages make a point of buying “Karoo lamb” to take back to the city. Why go to this trouble when lamb is readily available in supermarkets in every city? The problem is that a number of meat packers and food producers label their products “Karoo lamb”, but the consumer cannot be sure that the meat really originated from the Karoo. To protect the consumer and the Karoo sheep industry a consortium of farmers and economists is working with the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape Departments of Agriculture to define and obtain legal protection for a “Karoo” meat brand name.

Product branding is a complicated business. The region of origin needs to be defined, as well as the characteristics of the product that make it distinctive to that region. The first phase of the research into branding was led by Prof. Johann Kirsten, head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, extension and Development at the University of Pretoria. The findings have recently been made known in a research report ( and presented at the Karoo Development Conference in Graaff-Reinet as well as in the Landbouweekblad (article by Theuns Botha, May 2009) and Farmers Weekly (Roelof Beszuidenhout, 24 April 2009).

After much debate on the geographical boundaries of “The Karoo” the experts defined the region on the basis of the distribution of seven common Karoo shrubs. These little grey bossies are silwerkaroo (Plinthus karrooicus), ankerkaroo (Pentzia incana), skaapbossie (Pentzia spinescens), kapokbossie (Eriocephalus ericoides), Rivierganna (Salsola glabrescens); geelbuchukaroo (Pteronia glauca) and perdebos (Rosenia humilis). The Karoo, according to the bossies, cover a vast area from the western part of the Northern Cape, through the southern Free State, Eastern and includes Prince Albert, Laingsburg and Beaufort West in the Western Cape.

Popular belief has it that Karoo lamb is more tasty – but is this perception real? And does the taste reflect the aromas of typical Karoo plants? To answer this question, a panel of meat-tasting experts was assembled. First they were served hot “bossiestee” brewed from the shoot tips of all the little grey bushes listed above. The next course was cubes of Dorper of Merino lamb and sheep meat from five regions of origin (De Aar, Carnavon, Kalahari, Free State and Namibia). Each cube was individually wrapped and labelled, and panel members wrote a description of the taste of each sample next to its code on their evaluation forms. The verdict was that Karoo lamb and mutton, regardless of breed, differed in taste from that raised on the grassy plains of Namibia. Karoo lamb had a herby flavour compared with a “musty” flavour of the more tender lamb from Namibia and parts of the Kalahari.

Essential oils are the basis of all perfumes and are fat soluble, in this way becoming part of the sheep. The lingering aromas of the Karoo bushes, especially ankerkaroo, geelbuchukaroo kapok, perdekaroo and skaapbossie, and others with such common names as boegoebossie, buchukaroo and laventelbossie are derived from essential oils in the leaves. This property was appreciated by the indigenous Khoi people of the Karoo who used crushed leaves to make perfumes, medicines and insect repellents. Currently the oils of both Eriocephalus and Pteronia are in demand for the international perfume industry. So it is true: sheep are what they eat; the fragrance of Karoo veld permeates the meat.

Leeu-Gamka Biblioteekweek

Die Leeu-Gamka Biblioteek het hierdie jaar sy tweede Biblioteekweek tussen 4 en 8 Mei angebied. Daar was aktiwiteite vir kleuters en skoolgaande kinders en heerlike tee en koekies vir die bejaardes. Op die foto geniet die Sweet Sixteens die kuier in die Biblioteek. Die Sweet Sixteen's is 'n groepie bejaarde dansers wat bekend is vir die Volkspele wat hulle op konserte doen.

Biblioteek wil graag vir Mnr Klaas Romp, Sr Jeanette Rossouw, Me Susan Esterhuizen en Me T. Barnard bedank vir die donasies en skenkings wat hulle aan die Biblioteek gemaak het. Daar sonder sou die Biblioteekweek nie 'n sukses gewees het nie.

Library News

Prince Albert Public Library
This book I recommend…

Chris Marneweck

Shepherds & Butchers

The story:
Leon Labuschagne’s livelihood depends on death. At 19, he is a Death Row warder at Maximum Security Prison in Pretoria: a shepherd who cares for the condemned – and a butcher who escorts them to the gallows. In the summer of 1987, after 32 men were hanged in two weeks (all real cases), Leon loses control, with tragic results. And now he’s the one facing the death penalty (fiction). Chasing a defence, his advocate trawls the deepest recesses of life in the Pot – the twilight world of Death Row – in order to determine the effect of multiple executions on his young client.

Why I recommend this book:
Because it’s a gripping courtroom drama steeped in the factual. It’s a part of South African history that most would prefer to forget… or not know about altogether.

Shepherds & Butchers portrays legal execution in unprecedented detail, revealing its devastating impact on all those involved. At the same time, it exposes the callous violence on the other side of the noose, where murderers reign.

It should be read, with an open mind, by anyone who calls for the return of the death penalty.

Other books by the same author:
This is Chris Marneweck’s first novel.

Barbara Castle-Farmer

Make believe – Tevye in a kilt!

- Renee Finn -

Chrisna Smit and Peter McEwan presented an evening of “Make Believe” at St John’s Church on the 16th of May. The programme included music from MacFadyn, Ketèlbey, Mendelssohn and a selection from the musicals Paint your Wagon, Show Boat and Fiddler on the Roof.

Peter, appropriately clad in the kilt, opened with I MacFadyn’s Scottish Soldier, bringing back memories of Andy Stewart, whose version of this evocative song was very popular during the 1960’s.

Chrisna followed with the first of four works from Felix Mendelssohn’s “Songs without Words”, a challenge to any pianist, since they demand neatness and agility. Chrisna more than met the challenge!

Ailsa Tudhope donned a headscarf to become Tevye’s long-suffering wife Golda as she and Peter gave a tender rendition of “Do you love me?” from Jerry Brock’s Fiddler on the Roof. Peter remained in character to sing “If I were a Rich Man”. We’d love to see you perform this in peasant costume with the Tevye-shake next time, Peter.

Albert Ketèlbey’s “In a Chinese Temple Garden” was sensitively played by Chrisna. This piece is rarely heard and embraces seven parts, including an incantation from Cantonese priests, a melody of two lovers, a wedding procession, a coolie disturbance and a lovers’ song. A wonderful piece of make-believe.

As a treat Ailsa told us a love story, based on a 19th century lover’s poem discovered in the de Wit’s family Bible in March 2004. Despite extensive research she had not been able to find out anything about the lovers, so used make-believe to create an unfinished story, based on the facts we have of the Prince Albert of 1849. The audience was left to work out their own ending to this gentle tale over a glass of wine during the interval.

Peter came back strongly after the interval with “Stand up and Fight” from the musical Carmen Jones, based on the Toreador’s Song from Verdi’s Carmen. Chrisna returned to Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words for No. 4, which revealed the composer’s quest for the picturesque, the rain adding its own applause at the end of the piece.

Romance blossomed as Peter and Chrisna sang “We Could Make Believe” from Jerome Kern’s Show Boat. Chrisna leaning towards Peter as he sang of “a phantom kiss”, lowering her eyes and suggesting there might be “two or three” more.

Another of Mendelssohn’s songs allowed Peter time to cool down a little but he returned with “I Talk to the Trees” from Lerner and Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon. In the last verse he sent the servants off to bed and “asked” Chrisna for a dance. Sighs from the audience and we in the front row heard a distinct “I wish” from Peter! He was so inspired that he immediately set off in a rousing rendition of “They Call the wind Maria.”

The evening ended with that lovely old fashioned cameo piece “The Keys of Heaven” in which Ailsa would only agree to Peter’s invitation to join him for a walk, once he had offered her the keys to his heart. He stood there with his knees shaking at the thought of marriage. Dame Clara Butt first sang this song with her husband in days gone by, but it could never have sounded as special as it did this cold winter’s night in the Karoo with the rain pelting down.

Ailsa hauled Peter down the aisle to the strains of the Wedding March but he returned for an encore, choosing “My Way” to end a most delightful evening.

Great Karoo represented at Mighty Men Conference

- Tobie Gouws -

Four busses carried 220 men from the Great Karoo towns of Prince Albert, Leeu-Gamka, Merweville, Beaufort West, Loxton and Fraserburg to the Mighty Men Conference 2009, held on the farm of Angus Buchan in KZN. These men had the desire to make a difference in their own lives, in the lives of their families and in the lives of the people of their towns.

The trip was well organized by Norman Scheun, Hennie Niehaus and Jacques Strydom, who pitched a big tent in advance for all to sleep in. The food was excellent – from the scrambled eggs to the braaivleis. Everybody had everything they needed and were there to enjoy the weekend with fellow Christian believers. With a count of almost 170 000 men attending the conference on Shalom, the Buchan family farm, it was an experience that none will ever forget and, to quote one of the team: “No photograph or video will do justice to what we experienced there. The presence of the Lord was evident in the peace that prevailed between all those present - thousands of men from different countries and even different cultures; old and young; fat and thin… Just to have been there was awesome.”

They returned, knowing that this country is in revival and that the Lord is working with the fathers of families and with future leaders. Icons such as the Springbok coach, players of the Springbok team and leaders of political parties were in attendance.
Four services were held over the three days of 17, 18, and 19 April. The eight storey high stage, massive big screens and an excellent sound system made it a truly great event. The services were broadcast over God Channel to over two billion people - even in China the message of inspiration and hope was heard.


To us, they’ve always been Clive’nGay – an indivisible twosome - and in that spirit, I’d like to add a few words to Ingrid Wolfaardt’s in honour of the van Hasselts and as a tribute to Clive from our family.

We met Clive’nGay in 1993 when we bought Dennehof. As an urban émigré, accustomed to Cape Town reserve, I was completely captivated by their casual, easygoing hospitality, kindness and generosity. I began to understand the real meaning of “salt of the earth.”

I think we all loved Clive’s signature jerseys with frayed, holey elbows, and the familiar sight of Clive’nGay and family arriving at Chris Vis in their sheepskin slippers for supper. But that didn’t stop me from sometimes also visualising Clive in a dinner jacket – he would have looked magnificent. I think the only time I ever saw him “dressed up” was at one of Tessa’s dinner parties.

Once, when he asked me – with that small, inscrutable smile of his - to do a quick writing job for him, he was so modest that it was years before I found out it was for a huge event: he’d won yet another international mohair award, and been invited to visit Italy as a guest of Ermenogilda Zegna – a name that belongs in the upper stratosphere of global fashion.

We loved his stories, expansive, rambling tales that usually ended with a laugh at his own expense. He gave his time generously, and lavished praise where it was due. When he decided you were his friend, it was not negotiable. For his employees who called him “Seur” the term conveyed a deep respect.

But that affable exterior was occasionally deceptive and anyone who tangled with him on issues of ethics and integrity came off worst. Clive seemed to me one of the most authentic people I’ve ever met –comfortable, as they say, in his own skin.

To have had Clive’nGay as neighbours and friends for 16 years has been a privilege.
And even though his large, comforting, amiable presence is no longer here, it will always be Clive’nGay in our very fond memories.

The Hurford Family

And the Winners Are...

Huis Kweekvallei – Best food stall

Prince Albert Olives – Best stall of the festival

During the Olive Festival a competition was held to judge the best food stall and the best decorated/designed stall. Our panel of experts judging in the street were Hilary Biller – Food editor Sunday Times Travel & Food and Jo and Brian Dick – owners of Cheese Gourmet in Johannesburg. They commented that although there were fewer food stalls than last year the final decision was very difficult as the standard was higher. After much deliberation they decided that the prize should go to Huis Kweekvallei for their warm Sago pudding topped with home-made apricot jam. Hilary commented that this was such an original idea and it gave comfort food a whole new meaning and was a deserved winner. The standard of the food during this year’s festival was outstanding and many positive comments were received from visitors and locals alike regarding the quality and variety on offer.

Many stallholders went made a great effort to decorate their stalls, which made a positive contribution to the overall carnival atmosphere of the festival. A few in particular stood out and were extremely eye catching. The unanimous decision of the judges went to Prince Albert Olives for their outstanding stalls. The entire frontage of the Swartberg Hotel was converted into a virtual olive village. The design and use of photographs was beautiful and the effort that went into the finer detail of decorating the stall was outstanding.

Congratulations to Anobé and Fred Badenhorst and Essie Esterhuizen from Prince Albert Olives and to Huis Kweekvallei for their contribution to making our festival another great success.

Jeremy Freemantle, Chair, Festival Organising Committee

Patchwork Theatre at the Festival

Patchwork Theatre produced another exciting programme for the 2009 Town and Olive Festival. Here are some reflections from members of the cast:

Practice went on until the last possible moment, costumes were grabbed from their neatly folded piles. There was a buzz in the packed hall, some stifled giggles from behind the backdrop and suddenly it was “lights, cameras, action” and we opened with a cheerful song, “Froggie went a-courting,” the audience happily joining in with the “a-hums.”

Jack and the Beanstalk was next, with Christopher Mullins in the lead role. There was a technical hiccup at the second performance when the axe went missing, just as it was desperately needed to prevent the Giant from reaching the stage. Mother (Abigail) used her wits, grabbed Froggie’s sword and ad-libbed: “Here’s your father’s old sword,” saving the day!

“Lilli” proved to be a great hit and the costumes were incredible. Hannah starred as shy Lilli, Caleb as the charming, smooth-talking Raynardo the Fox, Sandy as the stupid but adorable giant Gogo, Rebekah as vain Marguerite and Christopher as cheeky, friendly Carrot Top.

Matthew and Joshua stole the show as Roald Dahl’s Aunties Spiker and Sponge from James and the Giant Peach. They caused great mirth simply by their appearance. Rod-thin Aunt Spiker in her blue dress was a perfect foil for the XXXL Aunt Sponge, who was bursting out of her red blouse.

The Jeremy Taylor classic, “My dog’s bigger than your dog” had the older members of the audience singing along and the reference to the President caused much laughter.

Matthew made a wonderful MC, Sandy, as prompt, helped out with the odd lost line, the cast had a terrific time and the audiences really appreciated the show. The morning performances were scheduled for the same time as the circus, which was a pity because we didn’t get many people and we couldn’t go to the circus, but perhaps there’ll be better planning next year. The afternoon performances were packed and people even had to sit on the counter at the back of the hall.

Congratulations to Tracy our drama teacher for co-ordinating the whole thing and making sure the shows ran smoothly. We hope to stage the production again for those people who were too busy to be able to attend during the Festival. To anyone that was at our shows, WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT YEAR or sooner if you come to our performance of Wind in the Willows later this year.

Abigail Modra, Caleb & Joshua Swanepoel and Matthew van Heerden

Story Telling at the Festival – after the event.

- Ailsa Tudhope -

The Ghost Walk proved even more popular than last year and those visitors who came on the walk have gone home with a novel perspective on the village! The new Festival route along Bank, Klip and Nuwe Streets was ideal, offering a graveyard, shadows, stars, a deathly hush when required and, best of all, no traffic. Some of the walkers got into the spirit of the event and wore ghoulish masks. Many carried torches which helped us negotiate the route and allowed three ladies with red torches to stick them up their jumpers and do ET impressions. Great fun was had by all!

“Notes form Prince Albert” drew a small audience on Friday but the Saturday performance was well attended. Chrisna at the piano lends wonderful atmosphere to the stories. Each is based on an extract from a famous writer’s journals, letters or notes and was introduced or followed by an appropriate musical offering. All have a Prince Albert theme. In good old “Words and Music” tradition, we ended with a lively song. Several locals have phoned to express regret that they were too busy with festival responsibilities to attend, so we’ve decided to do a repeat performance in July – watch this space!

Onbekend word bemind

- Ronel Tolken -

Was my verbasing groot toe ek die week voor die Olyffees die radio aanskakel op RSG, en daar praat Prince Albert se eie Hennie Boshoff.

Die onderhoud het my laat besef ons het hier met ‘n groot kunstenaar te doen. Ek kon my ore nie glo nie: Hennie stel sy huis oop vir ‘n feestelike besoek!

Ja, hy was mos “ iets vreemds vir ons plattelandse dorpie”, amper iets boos... Was dit bloot omdat die groot kunswerke wat almal oor die heining beskou het, die onbekende was?

Ek was egter oortuig hierdie besoek is ‘n moet.

Hennie het my nie teleurgestel nie. Een van die kunswerke is ‘n uitbeelding van die eerste drie woorde in die Bybel: “In die Begin...” en ek het dit as volg opgesom:

In die begin het Hennie ons almal gedwing om ons weer te besin.
Ons het gewonder, gedink en geskinder.

Later was dit al hoe minder, maar steeds het ons bly wonder.

Hy stel toe sy huis oop met ‘n glasie wyn teen sononder.

Hennie en Rossetta het ons harte gewen en my raad aan almal wat hulle nog nie ken nie: Maak seker jul is geboek vir die volgende besoek.

Hennie en Rossetta, baie dankie vir die geleentheid – en dat julle bereid was om julle blyplek vir ons oop te stel. Julle kunshuis is onbeskryflik, goed, pragtig; ek glo elkeen wat daar was, is met geïnteresseerde geesdrif huis toe.

Prince Albert Primêr geniet die Olyffees!

- Linda Fodor -

Vroeg op 1 Mei het die opgewonde leerders van Prince Albert Primêr voor die skool bymekaar gekom om reg te maak vir die Olyffees optog. Heel voor het die pragtige trompoppies onder leiding van Sara Sass geloop. Narzeem Delport, die voorlopertjie het grasieeus die pas aangegee. Na hulle het die skaak en sportspanne gestap, terwyl die tweelinge en Mnr en Mej PAP heel laaste in die splinternuwe bus gevolg het.

Na die roete deur die dorp waar hulle deur die mense toegejuig is, het die tweelinge by die verhoog afgeklim. Daar was 12 pare tweelinge en selfs ‘n drieling van Prince Albert Primêr en ook 3 pare tweelinge wat besoekers was wat aan die Tweelingkompetisie deelgeneem het.

Die beoordeelaars het ‘n baie moeilike taak gehad! Mej. Rose-Marie Ewerts, Victor Mhlongo en Felicity Berold het saamgestem dat Charmoney en Charmonita Coetzee en Nadia en Nadine Jansen almal die eerste prys moes kry vir die tweelinge wat die meeste na mekaar lyk. Christopher en Wilfred Paulse het die tweede prys gekry. Die eerste prys vir die tweeling wat die minste na mekaar lyk het aan Fernando en Felicia Nimmerhout gegaan. Amalinda en Elise Aspeling van George het die tweede prys verower. Al die deelnemers het ‘n boeksakkie met geskenkies binne in ontvang. Die wenners het almal gaan uiteet by Koggelmander of Lazy Lizard. Baie dankie aan Kallie Erasmus en die span van Lazy Lizard vir jul vrygewigheid.

Prince Albert Primêr het ook ‘n stalletjie gehad waar ons die heelikste breyani verkoop het. Baie dankie aan Hanna Hesqua, Deel Windvogel en Elizabeth Windvogel wat so hard gewerk het om dit voor te berei.

Om die fees af te sluit het Hennie en Rossetta Boshoff hul huis aan die publiek oop gestel vir ‘n kunsaand. Daar was slegs 41 kaartjies beskikbaar gestel en dit was gou opgeraap deur nuuskierige Prince Alberters en besoekers wat nie 'n oomblik langer kon wag om te sien wat nog te siene is by Villa Kruger nie! Baie dankie aan Linda Jaquet en Denise Ohlson wat al die reëlings getref het en die wyn voorsien het. Ook baie dankie aan Hennie en Rossetta vir al hul moeite en die donasie van die toegangsgeld aan Prince Albert Primêr se biblioteek.

Young Views of the Festival

Grade 6 and 7 learners at Hoërskool Zwartberg who study English (First Language) were given an assignment during the Olive Festival: interview people at the Festival and write up a report. Below you can read for yourselves their interesting and varied approach to the task.

Olive Festival 2009

I went and did research about the Olive Festival and found out interesting things.

Two out of three said they heard about it from friends, one read about it in the Prince Albert Friend, two said they will come again definitely and one said maybe.

What do they want at the Olive Festival? More live shows by local artists, more fresh produce from the area and more stalls with art and ceramics. How far did they drive to come to the Festival? 400km, 1100km and 90km.

Wow! Hope the next Olive Festival will be just as good.

Anri de Wit (12), Gr 6

Our Food Stall - A Good Cause

I interviewed my Mom about the school’s stall and found out that the school has got good teachers but the school doesn’t get enough school fees to pay their salaries so they have to work hard raising funds.

This year’s Olive Festival worked quite smoothly. Everything wasn’t so rushed so in a way it was better then previous festivals. They made just a little bit less profit this year because there were less people. They ran a food stall because food is a necessity and not just a luxury, so everybody has to eat, even if they have very little money.

Oscar Maeyer (12), Gr 6

Hendrik Mostert – the witblits tamer

During the Olive Festival I had an interview with Hendrik Mostert, known as Oom Hendrik Hoed. He told me he was a child from The Hell and his father and grandfather taught him to make witblits. He is already 66 years old and he is still making witblits.

He had very interesting stories to tell me and one of them is if they are finished distilling the witblits the percentage of alcohol is 60% but they have to make it lower because they may not sell it if it is over 43% alcohol. Oom Hendrik also told me that his son will go on making witblits in the future.

Renaldo Tolken (13), Gr 7


Looking for something mysterious or exciting this Olive Festival! Well this is perfect for you. Ailsa Tudhope, the Ghost Walk guide, can tell you all sorts of ghost stories in Prince Albert. Most of the ghosts are friendly so bring your children along. They’ll enjoy it just as much as you will. CALL her any time, any day but most important: CALL her please! It’s amazing!

Ismari Le Grange (12), Gr 6

Thumbs Up for Kredouw Olives

We know they sell some of the best olives in Prince Albert, but what do we know about Anthony Mullins on Kredouw olive farm?

I did an interview with him during the Olive Festival to give Prince Albert a better chance to get to know him.

Anthony’s favourite olive product is spread. He assures us that they try to make the best product by tasting them first. The secret to Kredouw Olives is that they use three steps which are: (1) they make sure it is a good firm olive; (2) use different recipes to see which one works the best; (3) taste the product to make sure it’s the best ever.

These steps from olives on the branch to bottles happen in the olive press room. Anthony used to work on an ostrich farm and decided to take a break and the olive job was available. They would like to say thanks to the local people for being such good supporters.

If you are interested in buying olives from them, you can buy them at the market on Saturdays where they sell other products too. Go and support them!

Eloise Gouws (13), Gr 7

The Best Meals in Town!

I visited the Hoërskool Zwartberg’s kiosk at the corner of the main street (Church St) and local market next to the Museum opposite Seven Arches.

It was open from 8am Friday the 1st of May until 10pm Saturday the 2nd May.

We offered a healthy breakfast from 8 – 10am and local produce, lamb and roosterkoek. At the best prices in town. Thanks for supporting us! It’s for a good cause.

Izak Vorster (12), Gr 6

The Fransie Pienaar Museum

The 35-year old Fransie Pienaar Museum in Prince Albert has many things inside, like the history of the people of Prince Albert and the town itself; the first loan-farmer, Mr de Beer, the 1000 claims during the gold rush, household items and furniture dating back to 1800. The history of Rooikamp and the forced removals to Noord End are all on exhibit.

Only four people work at the Museum: the collection manager is Debbie Badenhorst; a cleaning lady and a gardener; the archivist is Lydia Barella. The Museum first opened in 1974. They get two to ten visitors per day. Debbie Badenhorst has worked there for four years. I would suggest you to go and visit the Museum.

Lauren Mauritz (13), Gr 7

Good Food, Karoo Style

The Olive Festival of 2009 was held on the 1st and 2nd of May. It was a long weekend so many could attend the Festival. Hoërskool Zwartberg was the top food-stall where everyone could get the best value for his money. The stall was run by 130 people during the weekend. They sold roosterkoek, chops, chips, sausages, breakfast, etc. Everything was in typical Karoo style.

It was a very good fundraiser for the school and boosted its budget. Thanks to everyone who supported the stall!

Nelius Koorts (12), Gr 6

Passion for Paintball

At the Olive Festival I interviewed the guy from the Paintball Game. He was born in Sweden and is now living in George.

Paintball is a passion and he would do it forever if he could. He said it is a dangerous sport but if you stick to the rules, it is not. He sometimes travels a lot.

Louis Nel (12), Gr 6


Prince Albert had a little dance treat this Olive Festival. JazzArt came to visit! It is the oldest and most successful dance company in South Africa. Fourteen dancers came to dance for us. Spo and Gordon were the people in charge. They do shows in Namibia, Clanwilliam and now also in Prince Albert.

JazzArt was born in the 70s. They perform at the Artscape and Baxter theatres and have been doing street performances for ten years. They made the most of the beautiful stuff for their performance, “The Mermaid of the Karoo.” The people of Prince Albert would like to thank JazzArt for their great performance.

Junaid Griebelaar (13), Gr 7

My Mom, the Fundraiser

My mother assists the school with their fundraising by baking and selling chips on sports days and at the Olive Festival.

She needs about 16 pockets of potatoes, 20 litres of cooking oil, 5 litres of tomato sauce, 1kg of salt and 2 litres of vinegar to bake and sell the chips. She loves doing it because of the enjoyment of the buyers by eating the chips.

André Kleynhans (12), Gr 6

Magical Marimbas

During the Olive Festival, Principia College brought their marimba band. They entertained the people with their fantastic rhythmical music.

The type of music they play is a mixture of Jazz and African music. The instrument they use is called a marimba and is manufactured in Grahamstown. It is handmade. A marimba looks like a xylophone but there is a difference, because a xylophone doesn’t have a sound box like a marimba.

Their spokesman, Michaela Steyn, said that their trainer, Mam du Preez, let them practise during breaks and every Wednesday after school for two hours. Their outfits/uniforms match the African music they play.

I enjoyed their lovely music and hope to see them again in the future.

Zanri Moolman (13), Gr 7

Muscle Cars at the Olive Festival

If you like cars, you should have been there. It was magnificent: V12s, V8s galore. The biggest was the BMW V12. All you heard was cars roaring and tyres spinning. There were more than five and they were awesome.

Francois Mcknight (13) Gr 7

A Jewel between the Stalls

Amongst the stalls, I found a very interesting one. It was called the Honey Jewellery stall. There were handbags, purses, chains, bangles. Everything you could think of! A woman called Amanda du Plessis was working at the Honey stall.

I asked her a few questions and she answered them perfectly. She loved jewellery since birth and liked wearing it because the Egoli stars wear them. Mrs du Plessis was born in Barrydale but married and now lives in Prince Albert with her husband, Corné, son, Hentie and daughter, Yvandré. She thought the Festival could have been better because there were no rides or toys for children and most people were drunk.

The jewellery comes from a factory in Joburg. Mrs du Plessis heard of the Festival at the information centre. Her favourite places are the Prickly Pear (for eating) and Lah-di-dah (with pretty stuff).

Aneske E van Eeden (12), Gr 6

Skaakproewe toets jong spelers

- Neville Claassen -

Vroegoggend op 9 Mei het een na die ander skoolbus in Kerkstraat af gery oppad na die skaakproewe by die VGK-saal. Spelers van die Hoërskole Bridgeton, Morestêr, Oudtshoorn, Gimnasium, Outeniqua, York, Langenhoven, Zwartberg, Gerrit du Plessis en Oakdale was teenwoordig. Die laerskole wat deelgeneem het was Colridge, Prince Albert Primêr, George-Suid, Dysselsdorp, P.J.Badenhorst, Van Reede en Foundation Christian School.

Daar was 200 spelers en die ouderdomme het gewissel van o/9 to o/19. Mens kon die spanning in die saal aanvoel, daar was doodse stilte en net so af en toe kon jy die sagte voetstappe van die amptenare hoor. ‘n Sagte fluister van ‘n TD (tegniese direkteur) het nou en dan ‘n geskil besleg.

Die eerste ses spelers in elke ouderdomsgroep het sertifikate ontvang. Maurice Claassen het 5 uit 6 rondtes gewen en ‘n tweede plek vir o/13 gekry.

Prince Albert Primêr se volle span kwalifiseer vir die volgende rondte. Die volgende proewe vind op 23 Mei te Outeniqua Hoerskool in George plaas. Na afloop van hierdie proewe word die SWD-span saamgestel. Die SWD-span sal deelneem aan die SA Junior Kampioenskappe te Kaapstad in Desember.

Learners are Sunday Times Fans

- Jowene Willemse & Kirshinie Scheepers, Grd 6 -

One of the skills you have to learn in Grade 6 English (Second Language) is to write a letter. What better way to learn this than to write to The Sunday Times? All the Grade 6 learners wrote letters and Mr Steyn posted the huge stuffed envelope.

We never really expected an answer so we were very surprised when one day a huge box arrived at our school. Inside the box was a book bag, a spaghetti pencil and a membership card for all the Grade 6 learners – over 120 of us! We also received some lovely books.

If you read The Sunday Times Magazine you will have seen our photo in the 3 May issue. We love reading and if you have finished reading your Magazine we would love to have it. You can drop it off at Spar or at the Library. A big thank you to Mrs Connie Delport at Spar who always saves the surplus Magazines for us.

Lucky Number 8!

- Linda Fodor -

Goliath Lottering won this month’s teacher’s raffle at Prince Albert Primêr in support of the school’s library. Each teacher bought a R20 ticket to stand a chance of winning a hamper of biltong and droë wors from Karoo Slaghuis and beautiful gifts donated by Lah-di-dah.

Daar was doodse stilte in die personeelkamer toe mnr Steyn, ons hoof, die lootjie getrek het. Dit was nommer 8, mnr Lottering s’n! Ons hoop die Lottering-gesin geniet die biltong en die pragtige décor items. Mnr Lottering het ook sy verjaarsdag gevier op 14 Mei – so dit was sommer ‘n dubbele geluk!

Nogmaals baie dankie aan al die onderwysers wat ons Biblioteeklootjie ondersteun het. Baie dankie aan Karoo Slaghuis en Lah-di-dah wat so vrygewig was en ons geborg het.

Die leerders van Prince Albert Primêr sien met groot opgewondenheid uit na 8 Junie wanneer hul lootjies getrek sal word. Weereens is daar pragtige items wat deur die gemeenskap geskenk is.

Yes, You Can Collect-a-Can!

Hoërskool Zwartberg has entered the annual Collect-a-Can competition. The competition that runs throughout the country and serves two purposes for us. One is to raise awareness with regards to pollution and the environment, and the other is, yes you guessed it: to raise some money!

We collect food and beverage cans, such as Coke, Beer, Redbull and Appletiser cans.

Our tins get transported to AAA recycling (registered agents of the project) in Oudtshoorn, where they get weighed and the data is forwarded to Collect-a-Can head office.

There are various cash prizes awarded to the schools that manage to collect the most cans at the end of the year. To receive one of those prizes would be a wonderful boost to our mighty fundraising figure that we need to earn this year.

We appeal to anybody that is interested, individuals, but also restaurants and coffee shops to collect their cans in a separate bag for us. It will cost you nothing, only a phone call to let us know that you would like to join!!

Many people in our village support us all the time, we appreciate it tremendously! It is understandable that it gets a bit much at times, but in this case, it is only tins that we are looking for and it is a positive thing to do for our environment.

If you would like to join us, start collecting straight away and contact one of the following to arrange for your cans to be collected:

Sharon Witts Hewittson on 023 5411474 (after hours only) or
Imke Maeyer on 023 5411184

Prince Albert spog met Argus wenner

- Denise Ohlson -

Chris Jooste, geborg deur The Bike Shop van Plettenbergbaai, het vanjaar sy eerste Pick & Pay Argus Fietswedren met groot entoesiasme aangepak.

Hy het reeds verlede jaar in Mei begin voorberei deur die kwalifiserende wedrenne te wen, naamlik die Knysna Oesterfees en die Burger Sanlam. Met sy goeie tye daar, het hy ‘n baie goeie wegspringgroep verseker vir die Argus-wedren.

Die wedren was ‘n groot uitdaging en is herdoop tot die “Tour of Storms“ toe stormwinde van tot 120 km per uur veroorsaak het dat ryers nie goeie tye kon aanteken nie. Vele kon nie eens die wedren voltooi nie.

Chris het die 0/14 seuns, wat bestaan het uit 124 ryers, met gemak gewen. Sy naaste teenstander het hy met ‘n hele sestien minute geklop!

Verlede week het hy sy prys in Kaapstad in ontvangs geneem by ‘n spesiale geleentheid by die Canal Walk Winkelsentrum.

Another Successful Swartberg Half Marathon

- Brian Modra -

On Saturday, 16 May, the Zwartberg Runners hosted their second annual Swartberg Pass Half Marathon – a course of 21.1km. The event also included a 10km race, and a 5km fun-run. Over 100 runners and walkers from various parts of the Karoo and the Garden Route participated. Prince Albert was well represented in all events, with several local runners performing particularly well.

Vuyo Witbooi of Outeniqua Harriers won the Half Marathon again and improved on his time of last year. He completed the race in 01:12:37.62 and was followed just under a minute later by Principal Fana of Nedbank (George). Salman Bool of Run/Walk for Life ran in third. The first woman home was Lorraine Fieuw, followed by Zwartberg Runners’ Johanna Mokoaqo, who was placed 11th overall.

Prince Albert’s Hendry Olivier took the honours in the 10km race in a time of 00:34:30, followed by Mihan and Kerry Roos of the Knysna Marathon club, in second and third place, respectively. Sixteen-year old Joshua Swanepoel of the Zwartberg Runners did very well to finish in fourth position. Well done too to the club’s Anton Joubert and Louisa Mokoaqo who finished in ninth and tenth place, respectively.

All the results and photographs of the participants are on the Zwartberg Runners web site:

Participants had high praise for the smooth organisation of the race and enjoyed the beauty of their surroundings. Terry Barnato, Chairperson of the Zwartberg Runners, was grateful to the various people who had made an extra effort to make the day the success that it was. She said: “In addition to our main sponsors, Lazy Lizard, Koggelmander, the Municipality, and Bergwater, others helped too- Johan Mulder of Lewis Stores, and Prince Charm, Lah-di-dah, Prins-Kem, Die Klerekas, Karoo Slaghuis, Aardvaark Cottage, Café Albert and Spar, who all provided spot prizes for the runners. Weltevrede donated naartjies for the runners along the routes. Thanks too to Therene Fourie for entertaining us at the finish and to the Police for help with the route. There were even people from out of town who helped! A special thank you to the Club’s committee and to all the townsfolk who rallied to help in all sorts of ways on the day.”