Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fire me if I don’t deliver!

- Linda Jaquet -

"I’m here to make a difference and if after a year, there are no visible achievements, the Council can tell me to go.” These were brave words indeed from Prince Albert’s new Municipal Manager, Juanita Fortuin, at the start of our interview and ones that many a cynical resident of Prince Albert would laugh out loud at. Seeing my raised eyebrow, she added: “Tell you readers to call President Zuma’s Hotline if they think we are not performing. That will keep us on our toes”. She added “All of us in the Municipality will all work hard to make sure that there will be no reason for people to call him!”

By the end of our interview an hour later, I felt confident that Fortuin would not only keep her promise, but would also work very hard to meet her objectives and ensure that there would be no grounds for her to be asked to quit.

Fortuin started her new job in Prince Albert on 1 September, after four years as a senior official in the Western Cape Department of Local Government and Housing in Cape Town. There she headed the Integration and Governance directorate, which worked closely with municipalities and their Integrated Development Plans. She regards her time in the Department as a superb grounding for any job. “The Department invested a lot in teams, leadership and Emotional Intelligence. The job was high-paced and if you can survive there you can survive anywhere,” she said.

Fortuin’s negotiating and decision-making skills were also tested when she was seconded for three months to the Premier’s office early last year to manage the Xenophobia Programme precisely because of her strong project management skills. The Provincial Government has gone the Project Management route in recent years and during her time at Local Government Fortuin consistently exceeded in meeting her targets.

“The words ‘I can’t’ and ‘It isn’t possible’ are not in my vocabulary – anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I have high expectations of myself, as I have of those I work with. You have to be versatile, build relationships and trust people and of course, you have to be open and transparent”

Fortuin’s appointment is for three years – until 2012 - and she says that she has every intention of fulfilling her contract. She compliments her predecessors and the management on smoothing her path and says that she is looking forward to using what she knows and the skills that she has. “With our small cadre of management and a team that is proud of where they work, you can move development systematically and effectively with visible results and improve the level of service to all parts of town,” she says. “We have to show the community that we have the capacity and appetite to deliver; and at the same time demonstrate to the Provincial and National Governments that we have the capacity and the appetite to spend funds that have been budgeted for specific projects.”

Although less than a month on the job when interviewed, Fortuin had firm views on areas that need urgent attention. She is intent on bringing the community and the Municipality closer together and will actively implement a public participation plan. “I am fortunate to have Heinrich Mettler, a deployee from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) on board to assist with technical work and attend to infrastructural problems that have been outstanding for some time,” she said. She is determined that members of her team will have to account for work that is not done. Furthermore, Fortuin wants to use skills available in the community. “After all, that is what social responsibility is all about,” she explains.

Fortuin started her professional career as a social worker in Knysna. After six years, she undertook development studies and after some time with the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (SANCA), joined the Independent Development Trust (IDT) as a development programme manager. Here she was responsible for the Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme for the Central Karoo and got to know Prince Albert and surrounding towns well. It was here too that she became a development activist.

Four years ago she was head-hunted by the Department of Local Government. So as not to lose her to the private sector, the Department proposed that she enrol for a year-long international course in Organisation and Systems Development and funded her studies in full. She will complete the course in September 2010 and will have to travel away from Prince Albert for a week at a time to complete the remaining three legs of the course.

Fortuin has a daughter at university and a teenage son at school in Cape Town. At present, she spends the weekends with them but once she is more settled in Prince Albert will spend more weekends in the month here. Although she has little time for relaxation, when she does she enjoys reading and swimming.

Die “Ou Tol” herleef

- Denise Ohlson -

Die Ou Tolhuis, geleë naby die top van die wêreldbekende Swartberg-pas, gaan eersdaags herleef danksy ‘n strategiese vennootskap tussen Cape Nature en die privaatsektor.

Die H.O.P.E Foundation, ‘n gemeen-skaps- en bewaringsorganisasie wat in Oudtshoorn gebaseer is, gaan die Ou Tol hul basis maak en verskeie inisiatiewe gaan van daar geloods word.

Die lede en borge van die Ou Tol hoop om die gemeenskappe van die Klein en Groot Karoo direk te betrek by die bewaring van hierdie unieke wêreld-erfenisgebied wat so aanskoulik op hul drumpel lê. Die toerismegeleenthede wat in die Swartberg Bewaringsgebied opgesluit lê, is steeds grootliks onbenut, en omgewings- en gemeenskapsbewuste inisiatiewe sal groot ekonomiese insette bied vir omliggende dorpe, besighede en gemeenskappe.

Sedert 2006 fokus True South Travel (‘n plaaslike operatreur wat Eko-toerisme en Cape Nature geakkrediteer is) reeds op die ontwikkeling van Eko-toerisme binne die bewaringsgebiede en reservate van Cape Nature, deur van plaaslike spesialisgidse gebruik te maak.

Die Ou Tol sal dus nie net ‘n basis vir die inisiatiewe van die H.O.P.E Foundation wees nie - True South Travel beplan ook om vanaf die Ou Tol begeleide toere na Gamkaskloof, staproetes, 4x4 ekskursies en bergfietsritte aan besoekers te bied. ‘n Bewaringsinligtingsentrum word ook in samewerking met Cape Nature beplan, asook ‘n “Berg Kombuys” wat ligte etes en verversings sal aanbied. Die inrig van piekniekareas met braaigeriewe vir dagbesoekers word ook in die vooruitsig gestel.

Die hele projek rondom die Ou Tol gaan met hoë koste gepaard, en daar word ‘n beroep op alle plaaslike inwoners, besighede en belangstellendes gedoen om betrokke te raak met skenkings en bydraes, sodat die Ou Tol so spoedig moontlik sy “deure” kan open en die H.O.P.E Foundation met hul beoogte gemeenskaps- en bewaringsdienste kan begin.

Vir ‘n volledige uiteensetting van die dienste, toerusting, materiaal en meublement wat benodig word, word belangstellendes genooi om die plaaslike lede van H.O.P.E Foundation te kontak volgens die besonderhede hieronder aangedui.

Besoek gerus hul webwerf by vir meer inligting aangaande projekte waarby die H.O.P.E. Foundation reeds betrokke is.

Vir begeleide Eko-toere binne die Swartberg asook ander Cape Nature Bewaringsgebiede, kontak True South Travel (0440700) of besoek hul webtuiste: vir meer inligting aangaande die dienste wat hulle lewer.

Die volgende lede van H.O.P.E Foundation kan gekontak word vir skenkings en bydraes:

Zannie v/d Walt : 078 5109541
Mackie Mommen : 083 3969526
Rudi Oberholzer : 072 4838177
Jan Bester : 082 4618253

H.O.P.E Foundation se Bankbesonderhede:

H.O.P.E Foundation
ABSA (Spaar rekening)
Rek no: 921 729 5201
Tak: 334314
(632005 vir elektroniese transaksies)

Die H.O.P.E Foundation bedank graag al hul borge vir hul ondersteuning.

My Christian Perspective

- Renee Finn -

A favourite excerpt of mine from author, Susan Squeallati Florence’s book “Time Alone” is: “Our lives are so busy. Full of people and things to do. Our days are chaotic and confusing trying to get it all done. We know we need our own personal space. We ache to get away.

It can be more important to be with your own self than to be with others. It is as important to be in “your world” as it is to be in “the world.”

But it is hard to take time alone. We feel we are wasting time. There are parts of our lives we would rather not think about, so we keep busy. By taking time alone we can look at unresolved problems and be in touch with our sadness. By being with all the different parts of ourselves, we will grow and become more whole.

What we find within ourselves, when we take time alone, is enormous. We can rediscover who we really are. We look within and see the things that are precious and meaningful to our lives. We realise our hopes and dreams. We are nourished by just “being.”

I hope each day will bring you time alone with someone wonderful: Your Creator.”

Briewe / Letters

Dankie Gudrun en Bodo

Somtyds gebeur dit dat ‘n groot dankie sê nie gedoen word nie. Party keer word daar dankie gesê maar op ‘n halfhartige manier. Dit is vandag by my ‘n behoefte om ‘n groot dankie te sê en ek sê dit uit die diepte van my ouerhart.

Om en by 2001 het ek betrokke geword by Hoërskool Zwartberg se Beheerraad. Een van die eerste items op ons agenda was finansies en so was die tweede en so was die derde.

Tydens een van ons dinkskrums het iemand die opmerking gemaak dat ons nie meer geld uit ons eie gemeenskap kan genereer as wat ons alreeds doen nie, hoekom kry ons nie ook geld van buite ons eie gemeenskap vir ons skool in nie.

Bodo en Gudrun Toelstede het op eie inisiatief by die kleuterskool betrokke geword en ‘n reuse inset daar gelewer. Sommige van ons het gereken dat hulle reeds daar betrokke is en nie hulle insette sal verdeel nie, ander weer het gevoel hoekom nader ons hulle nie.

Die lot het op Kobus Snyman en die uwe geval om hulle te gaan sien. Kobus het die afspraak gereel en ons twee het met die hoed in die hand die middag by die Toelstedes opgedaag en is op kenmerkende hartlike wyse ontvang.
Ons het ons saak voorgedra en gevra of Bodo nie sy weg sal oopsien om, op welke wyse hy ook al goed dink, vir ons te help nie.

Wat daarop gevolg het, spreek van self. Ek gaan geen enkele bydrae by name noem nie want ek weet nie waar om te begin en waar om te eindig nie. Dit is ook nie doel van hierdie skrywe nie.

Die doel is eerder om vir julle twee baie dankie te sê dat julle harte al die jare op die regte plek sit vir die jeug van ons gemeenskap van Prince Albert.

Dankie vir al julle grootse pogings. Al word die baie dankie soms laat gesê, al gaan die dankie soms in die rompslomp van ‘n organisasie verlore, wil ons hê julle moet weet die dankie is altyd daar en dit is altyd opreg.

Jan Bothma

Let’s Shame Bad Drivers!

Speeding and reckless driving on our main thoroughfare, Church St, has gone from bad to worse. From my office on the street I see and hear speeding cars, trucks and motorcycles screaming along, posing a danger, especially to schoolchildren and the elderly. Why are irresponsible drivers being allowed to disobey traffic signs and rules every day?

I have expressed my concerns to the Municipal traffic officer and senior officials in the Municipality, but no decisive action is being taken.

Maybe it is now time for a column in the Prince Albert Friend, where these traffic offenders can be named and shamed? I would like to know what my fellow readers think.

Eric Ahrens

(Over the past year or so, The Friend has heard complaints of this nature from several residents and tourists. We will follow up with those concerned and report in our next edition.

Also, the Friend would like to know from its readers what they feel about Eric’s suggestion.)

School’s Kultuuraand a hit!

What a fun evening my friends, family and I had at Hoërskool Zwartberg’s Kultuuraand. None of us at our table has children at the school and my grandchildren live in another province, but we all so enjoyed the words, song and dance, and the exuberance and enthusiasm of the children.
To top it all, we had a perfect hostess and a delicious meal.

We know that it took an awful lot of hard work and dedication by teachers and parents to put the evening together.

Thank you to all of you.

Kay Howes

Starry Splendour over Prince Albert

- Hans Daehne -

In October of this year, like every year, it will be the ideal time to admire our Spring Constellation, the huge Pegasus, the flying horse of Greek mythology that gave poets the possibility for their flights of thought.

The Square of Pegasus, also known as the Spring Rectangle analogue to the Summer Triangle and Winter Triangle, can hardly be missed as it culminates over our Meridian. That means you have to look in a northerly direction parallel with Church Street and like the constellations of Orion or Scorpius, Pegasus can be recognized right away because it is in an upright position for us in the southern hemisphere.

At the lower right corner of the square of Pegasus there is a string of four stars, the hind legs of Pegasus so to speak ,but they belong to Andromeda already and it is under the middle of this line that you will find the Andromeda Nebula with the naked eye but a pair of binoculars will help.

Also known as M31 this is the closest spiral galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy in other words our neighbour galaxy at a distance of two and a half million light years and its size is one and a half times that of our home galaxy. It is the furthest celestial object that can be seen with the unaided eye but there is good news for the short-sighted because it is coming closer to us at a tremendous speed to reach us in three billion years when the two galaxies will merge.

The Moon will be fully lit on the 4th of October and new on the 18th October. Full Moon is moving closer and closer to the beginning of the month so that December will be able to accommodate two full moons.

Mercury, the fast planet , as it spins around the Sun in only 88 days, was a beautiful evening sight in August and September but is now a morning object again until November when it can be observed in the evening again.
Venus is still very bright early in the morning before sunrise.

Mars is rising earlier in the morning to become a late evening object by the end of the year.

Jupiter at a magnitude of -2.7 (brighter than any star) will be visible for the first half of the night until the end of the month.

Space shuttle Discovery has just delivered more building material to the International Space Station which is now the size of a rugby field and should become quite a sight when next seen as a satellite in the early evening. To obtain information when a visible pass of the ISS will occur at a favourable time over Prince Albert visit the web site , feed in Prince Albert as your observation site and it will supply the time and direction of visible passes for ten days in advance.

Building on the ISS must be completed by 2010 when the last three space shuttles Atlantis, Discovery and Endeavour will be scrapped to make way for more advanced space vehicles. All very exciting and the best of it all is that the Hubble Space Telescope, fitted with a new set of optics and other equipment earlier in the year should go into full operation soon. In the meantime building on the new 6,5m diameter space telescope, the James Webb, has started already.

Keep the stars, the ISS and HST in your eyes!

Brett the Vet - Gender Matters

A simplistic look at the complicated biology of gender.

Aspects of gender came up controversially in international athletics. Diverging opinions and speculation ensued on this sensitive matter. Extraordinary feats and appearances attract attention not least when ambiguous gender challenges our perceptions and assumptions.

Both sex hormones exist in humans and other animals. Usually females have more oestrogen. In males androgens predominate. There is a unique balance. Either hormone can also be in excess in males or females with predictable outward signs. Intersex or hermaphrodite is characterised by the presence of male and female organs in the same organism. This is typical for earthworms and snails. In other species it is an unusual state although normal for the individual, and constitutes the rare and fantastical third sex.

A relatively common but unfair advantage in competitive sport is the presence of an excessive level of natural or artificial androgens in the body. If equalizing properties of the male hormone responsible for improving physical strength were to be given to all contestants in equal measure it still wouldn’t constitute fair game.

When one looks at the animal world the rules in horse racing are paradoxically more egalitarian. There are age categories for colts and geldings, fillies, and also mixed events. Jockeys, who can be male or female, control and manipulate the races so the best horse may, or may not win. Of all the factors that might influence the outcome of a race, from conformation to doping, gender is the least controversial and often the most surprising. Natural competition among horses would revolve around the realities of food availability, hierarchy, or mates, rather than enforced galloping around a track.

Modified sex hormones to promote muscle mass are used in the meat industry. They are used as growth stimulants in feedlots for bulls and heifers. This is still legal in South Africa, but banned in the EU because of the dangers to human health when meat contains hormones. The advantage in farming this way is that feed conversion is greatly improved. Cattle can be slaughtered at a much younger age. As the carcasses are almost identical, gender becomes irrelevant. The exaggerated muscles are all soft and tender from fast growth and lack of exercise.

Involuntary removal of parts of the reproductive organs has become routine in farm animals and pets. The modifications make them no less male or female. In a bygone era, male singers known as castrati were deprived of their testicles at a young age to preserve their mellifluous soprano voices. Eunuchs were emasculated to reduce libido and prevent procreation. Thankfully such intervention would be unacceptable today. One cannot have a glib answer for such complex territory.

Laaste dag se lag

- Adri Schoeman -

Maandag, 31 Augustus, was Debbie se laaste dag in die Museum.

In die vertrek naaste aan die kantoor, tussen al die Kerk- en Bybelgoete, is o.a. ook twee oudae se swart Kollektesakkies aan lang stokke. Die etiket daarby lees: Geskenk deur Sarie Bason van Vyevlei.

Ek staan in die Kantoor terwyl twee besoekers met ernstige belangstelling die twee sakkies daar betrag. Toe vra hulle: “And what is Vyevlei?”, waarop Debbie antwoord: “ It’s the farm where we lived.” Toe sê een van hulle: “Did you use this to catch butterflies on the farm?”

Debbie het haar “pose” behou, maar die prentjie van die klomp Vyevleiertjies wat met langsteel pikswart Kollektesakkies agter die skoenlappers aanhol, het my onbeheersd aan die lag laat gaan!

Aan die nuwe vrywilligers wat so gaaf is om te kom help- as daar ‘n moeilik situasie opduik, is daar twee keuses, nl. Hou jou “pose”, of skater dit uit!

Museum News

- Gunda Hardegan-Brunner -

I like to go to the Fransie Pienaar Museum. Like all places it has its own special atmosphere. Walking through the Museum garden and the various rooms, one can feel that a lot of love and dedication have gone into creating what the Museum is today.

The Museum concentrates on objects, events and features that have a connection to Prince Albert and the district. One can see intriguing things there, like the result of a process including visskubbe, milk and gold thread or the coffin that was never opened.

Thanks to the care and conservation skills of Debbie Badenhorst, the Museum’s Collections Manager and Technical Officer for the past four years, the collection is in excellent condition.

The relationship with the Museum’s benefactor, the Piet Basson Trust, has never been formalised and since the beginning of September there has been no more money to pay a full time employee.
Debbie is now teaching at Prince Albert Primêr. Thank you, Debbie, for all your input and we wish you all the best for the future.

Volunteers needed
Both the Provincial Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport and the Prince Albert Local Municipality each provide grants of just over R12 000 a year to the Museum. This is just enough to pay the water, electricity and telephone bills, the gardener and the cleaner and a salary for Lydia Barella to work for forty hours a month. Lydia spends a lot more time there on a voluntary basis. To be able to open the Museum daily, volunteers are now filling the gap Debbie left – a big thank you to all involved.

The Museum generates some income from entrance fees (for locals it’s free), from membership fees of the Friends of the Museum and from its little shop where you can buy all sorts of olive products, dried fruit, witblits stooked in the Museum still, books, postcards, prints and much more. This pays for administrative expenses and cleaning materials.

If you’d like to become a volunteer, please contact the Museum on 023 5411-172 or Lydia on 023 5411-350.

HADASSA en die koei

- Jacolise Botes -

Daar woon ons toe ook die Hadassa op Prince Albert by. Ek sit tussen twee naamgenote – Delene Coetzee DC, en Dalene Botes DB. Jacolise Botes JB (néé Jacolise Conradie JC) sit tussen DC en DB. Soos `n wiskunde formule ingeplaas DC : JB = JC : DB Hierin vind ek weer my identiteit. Jy kan self die som maak; as jy elke lettersoort eweredig deurstreep, bly daar niks oor nie. Ek is NIKS sonder God in my lewe nie. Jacolise Conradie, wat Jacolise Botes geword het, wat met NIKS voor God, die Koning, se troon staan en oor en oor wag vir sy kopknik oor my lewe.

Met die uitgedeelde profetiese sakkie en my wit oor-en-oor gestreepte spiraalskulp daarin, bevestig hy oor en oor dat Hy aan my `n lewe van oorwinning gee. Oorwinning oor siekte, onvermoë, geografiese omstandighede, vrees vir verwerping en twyfel.

Ek mis Innes Benade se grappie oor die koei – weet net dit het geëindig met ‘jy sê nie vir `n vrou sy is `n koei nie’, want hy besef as ons almal koeie is, dan maak dit hom op ouderdom 50, `n os!

Daar was so `n lekker atmosfeer by die Hadassa. Ons was elkeen so uniek, maar met die rooipers mantels om ons skouers- dieselfde. Vrouens uit al die windrigtings bymekaar: Beaufort-Wes, Laingsburg, Merweville, Leeu Gamka, Oudtshoorn, Rietbron, Prince Albert.

Dis met Innes se Josh Groban ‘You raise me up’ wat ek ook voel ek wil my mantel `n vlag maak en tot die Here se eer waai, maar om my is niemand wat waai nie, nog net daar voor so hier en daar iemand. Delene Coetzee vroetel met haar vingers haar mantel se knoop los en fluister “kom ons waai” - en daar waai my vlag. Bevrydend vier ek my oorwinning!

Saterdagoggend vind mense hulleself en vind mense mekaar. Hulle breek oop en vind heling oor grense; dorpsgrense, rasgrense, kerkgrense, ouderdomsgrense. Die Here se Gees werk! En Hy gaan groot dinge doen in elkeen wat daar was, se lewe. So tussen trane en blydskap; woede en vrede, bokspring ons teen middagete se kant nes die kalwers in Mal. 4 v 2 om finaal daarna stil te word voor God se troon en Hom as Koning van ons lewens te bevestig.

Op die 70km terug huistoe pad kry ons `n kalf op die N1 by die Dwyka brug. Dit is òf ons buurman s’n, of dit is Lukas (my man) s’n. Eers toe ons verby is, besef ons die dier is mos in gevaar. Bel vir Buurman, ja dit is sy kalf, maar hy sit in Stellenbosch by `n troue. Lukas sal dus van voor af kom en kom uithelp.

Ons draai terug na koeitjie toe- dis nou ek en dogter Dalene alleen op die gevaarlike N1 met die groot, swaar vragmotors wat jaag. Ons moet hulle stadiger laat ry, maar hazards sien hulle nie raak nie en rooi vlae het ons nie. Al wat ons het is die rooipers mantels.

En daar waai die mantels weer! Ek onthou Innes se grappie en met skok kyk ek mooi en sien dit is nie `n verskalf nie. Ek hoor die wrrr van vragmotor ‘exhaust brakes’ en in my geestesoog sien ek`n matador in Spanje – Dalene en `n bul in die middel van die N1 met `n reuse vragmotor wat aangeraas kom. Sê nou net die bulkalf is al groot genoeg om die rooipers lap te begin uitdaag en met my halwe asem skree ek windop, “Dalene , gee liewers pad, kom net uit die pad uit– dit is `n bul!” Sy hoor my nie.

Genadiglik bied eers `n verbyganger in `n, ja, rooi Golf ons hulp aan en kort daarna daag my Lukas op soos `n gestuurde om te kom red. So dink ek by myself, die Here het ook humorsin en met die wegry sê ek “Suster, as hierdie vlag van jou vandag nog nie gewaai het nie, het hy nou sy werk gedoen!”

Gideon Botes sterf op 80

- Denise Ohlson -

Gebore op 14 Januarie 1929 as die tweede oudste van tien kinders, word Gideon Christoffel Botes groot op die plaas Vergenoeg in die Weltevredevallei. Hy gaan eers plaasskool toe en daarna is Prince Albert se dorpskool sy voorland. Hy slaag standerd 8 en verruil die Vallei vir die stad om by die Spoorweë as kelner te gaan werk. “Maar sy liefde vir boeke,” vertel sy broer Jan, “lei hom na CNA en later vind hy sy nis by Nasionale Boekhandel in die Kaap.”

Vir hierdie broer van hom was ‘n boek “soos ‘n diamant” en met sy waardering vir boeke kon hy vir hom ‘n loopbaan in die uitgewersbedryf uitbeitel. Tot op 75 jarige ouderdom, en sy noodgedwonge aftrede, het hy vir Nasou Uitgewers gewerk.

Beatrice Smit, die Kaapse meisie met wie hy getrou en saam twee kinders grootgemaak het, is dertig jaar gelede al oorlede, maar Gideon het nooit weer getrou nie.

Twee jaar gelede het hy in Prince Albert kom bly as inwoner van Huis Kweekvallei. Al het hy ‘n hartomleiding en twee rugoperasies agter die rug gehad en boonop een been afgestaan aan gangreen, het hy nie gemurmureer nie. Ook toe hy sy ander been verloor het en in ‘n rolstoel moes regkom, was kla nie ‘n opsie nie. Hy was dankbaar vir die vryheid en selfstandigheid wat die elektriese stoel hom gegee het en hy het graag in die strate rondgery – soms tot verontwaardigde ontsteltenis van die personeel. Hy was ‘n gesellige man, gou met ‘n glimlag en met ‘n goeie verstand. Hy het graag met ‘n stout vonkel in die oog vertel hoe “poeliesieman Moolman” hom gewaarsku het dat hy “reflectors” sal moet kry, anders gaan hulle hom “skryf”.

“Op skool,” vertel sy broer Jan, “was sy bynaam A1. Al ons huiswerkboeke moes altyd oorgetrek wees – al was dit dan ook met koerantpapier. So moes Gideon op ‘n dag ‘n opstel skryf, en gou besef hy dat die koerantstorie op die agterkant van sy boek handig te pas kom by die onderwerp. Sy onderwyseres was besonder ingenome met sy poging. ‘Pragtig, het sy hom geprys, sommer A One!’ En so was die koeël deur die kerk en die bynaam het bly steek...”

Hierdie seun van Matthys en Maria (Miem) Botes was trots daarop dat sy pa bekend was as die “koning van die Weltevredevallei” in die dae toe hul plaas nog wyd en ver gestrek het en luiperds nog volop in die klowe was. Die heerlike nartjies, vye en lemoene was toe al “uitvoerprodukte” en die skape was gesond en vet. Hy het later wel ‘n deel van die oorspronklike plaas teruggekoop en daar gaan woon na sy aftrede, maar die plaaslewe was nie meer dieselfde nie en die eensaamheid het hom gevang. Hy het die grond verkoop en na so twee jaar se verblyf by sy kinders in die Kaap en Gauteng, maar weer die Karoolug kom opsoek.

Vandag is net twee van die vyf oorblywende broers nog Botesse wat as grondbesitters kan “koning kraai” in die Weltevredevallei.

Gideon Botes is op 13 Augustus vanuit Huis Kweekvallei begrawe en die diens is gelei deur ds Chris Briers. Hy word oorleef deur sy kinders Marietjie en Matthys, en vyf kleinkinders.

Nuwe Prokureurs

- Sara-Mari du Plessis -

Madri du Plessis het haar matriek op Hoërskool Zwartberg in 1997 klaargemaak en in die regte gaan studeer. Na voltooiing van haar LLM by die Universiteit Stellenbosch vertrek sy in April 2004 saam met haar nuwe liefde, Donovan Cooper, na Engeland. Donovan het vroeër sy LLB voltooi. Albei moes eers studieskuld afbetaal.

In September 2006 het hulle spesiaal na Suid-Afrika gekom om ‘n Lentetroue in Prince Albert te vier. Na nog twee jaar (en genoeg van die Engelse koue) keer hul in Februarie 2008 terug om hulle klerkskap op Suid-Afrikaanse bodem te kom doen. Madri was 2008 die top student in haar praktiese opleidingskursus in die Regsfakulteit by die Universiteit van Kaapstad.

Op 7 Augustus 2009 is Madri en Donovan amptelik as prokureurs tot die regbank toegelaat. Hulle het aangesluit by MA Cooper Attorneys & Conveyancers van Kaapstad en help opbou aan hierdie jong firma.

M A Cooper se webblad is:

Ngunivelle, leerskoene, sterre en webwerwe

- Denise Ohlson -

n Kêrel wat eerder doen as praat, is die veelsydige Kerneels Mulder. Op die ouderdom van 27 is hy al vyf jaar lank eienaar van sy eie besigheid, het hy ‘n Nasionale Diploma in Inligtingstegnologie deur Unisa voltooi, is hy lid van die Astronomie Assosiasie van Suid-Afrika en die geregistreerde eienaar van – waar daar tot 80,000 mense per maand kom kyk na die ruimtefotografie wat hy saamgestel het.

Tydens sy studie het hy webwerwe gebou vir praktiese take, en so het ‘n stokperdjie ontstaan wat ‘n groot hupstoot gekry het toe sy Space wallpaper webwerf op BBC World se program “Click Online” genoem is. Nou kan hy enigeen help met die bou en instandhouding van ‘n webwerf.

En dan is hy ook nog die redaksielid wat agt jaar lank al maand vir maand swoeg en bloed sweet om die blad-uitleg en advertensieontwerp van die Prince Albert Vriend betyds in plek te kry sodat die koerant elke laaste Vrydag van die maand kan verskyn.

In sy winkel oorkant die hotel, die Tanner and Leather Trader, staan Kerneels reg as jy Green Cross skoene of ‘n egte leerhoed wil aanpas, ‘n lieflike Ngunivel of skaapvelpantoffels wil koop, ‘n band, beursie of selfs ‘n ordentlike vlieëplak wil aanskaf.

As jy ‘n afspraak wil maak om saam met hom sterre te gaan kyk, deel hy graag sy kennis. Kerneels sê Prince Albert se nagdonkerte is net so belangrik soos ons historiese geboue en natuurskoon as dit kom by eko-toerisme.

Sterrekykers uit Europa staan oorweldig voor die feit dat hulle die melkweg so pragtig en duidelik vanuit sy dorpsagterplaas kan sien. Hy reken die munisipaliteit, besighede en ook private persone sal wys wees om oordadige geel ligte te vermy, en alle buiteligte met ‘n bo-skerm te bedek sodat lig afwaarts skyn en ons dorp se ligbesoedeling beperk word. So sal Prince Albert al meer bekend word as ‘n plek waar toeriste na die nebulas in Orion, die ringe om Saturnus en die stormbande op Jupiter kan kom kyk.

“As jong seun het ek al op my rug op die gras gelê en kyk na die sterrebeelde. En gewonder: Hei, wat gaan alles daar bo aan? As ek vandag deur my gerekenariseerde 8” SCT kyk na Omega Centauri se miljoene sterre - so 15,800 ligjaar weg – vervul dit my met oneindige verwondering. Sterrestof is in my asem en my bloed.”

So sê Kerneels Mulder, jongste van vyf kinders uit ‘n polisiefamilie. Sy pa was jare lank polisiehoof in Prince Albert, sy broer Francois is tans inspekteur hier en sy suster Juliana is hoof van finansies – en, soos sy ander twee susters ook met ‘n polisieman getroud!

Ngunis in the Prince Albert Valley

- John Southern -

Auctions are dangerous places. Before I knew it, I had purchased the second Nguni cow on sale and by the end a small herd - by my standards anyway. Now, all eleven, including a bull, are at Kredouw Farm at the end of the Prince Albert Valley and they appear to be happy there. Perhaps you will be able to see them as you fly by on your way to Oudtshoorn.

Ngunis are an ancient African cattle breed making them hardy and adaptable. They calve easily in the openare protective of their calves. They are low intensity feeders able to feeda variety of landscapes; in other words,"low maintenance cattle".

A study by the University of Fort Hare found that Ngunis have a better growth performance than other breeds under limited grazing conditions. According to the study, they have a capacity to retain nutritionally-related metabolites in blood during difficult times. The cattle have a high resistance to ticks, tick-borne diseases, and internal parasites. They are docile and less stressed than other breeds. The finding also states that Nguni meat has a better flavour, equal to exotic breeds.

There is an Nguni Breeders Association and all Nguni cattle and their breeders are required to be registered through the South AfricanBook. Records need to be kept and regular inspections applied for.

There are Nguni cattle clubsover South Africa, which hold regular auctions. I purchased my Ngunis in Grahamstown where six breeders from the Eastern Cape Nguni Club put upof their cattle for sale .They claim that they breed tough cattle in the area from the rugged sour veldt of the Amatola Mountains to the coastal plains.

Please contact us on 023 5411 101 or 072 4032651 should you wish to come and see the herd.

Ou vriende bly altyd vriende

- Sara-Mari du Plessis -

Na lang wik en weeg besluit Hennie du Plessis in Januarie dat Hoërskool Zwartberg se matrieks van 1966 nou mooi groot is en dat dit tyd is om te sien of die meisies nog so mooi is. Op tuisfront was Jan Bothma, Hester de Wit en Samie Luttig, maar dit het ‘n geruime tyd geneem om die res van die 23 oud-klasmaats op te spoor. Met elke oproep, en daar was baie, het die entoesiasme gegroei vir die moontlikheid van ‘n reünie. Die eerste naweek in September het meeste gepas.

Op 4 September ontmoet 16 van die klas mekaar by die skousaal vir ‘n vingerete. Vir meeste was dit ‘n eerste weersiens na 43 jaar. Dit was asof die lag en gesels sommer net weer hervat is waar dit einde matriek opgehou het. Op die ‘klasfoto’ moes elkeen weer staan soos op die matriek-klasfoto.

Drie van hulle was ‘Damkinders’. Rondom 1960 het Waterwese begin met die bou van die Gamkapoortdam. Al die werknemers het in ‘n padkamp wes van die dorp langs Magrieta Prinsloostraat gebly. Hoërskool Zwartberg se getalle het ‘n hupstoot uit hierdie kamp gekry. Die aand het oud geword en die gades het gemaklik deel geword van die reünie.
Saterdagoggend het hulle mekaar by die Swartberg Hotel ontmoet vir ‘n laat ontbyt. Almal het daar aangekom met klein albums om te spog met kinders en kleinkinders. Die volgende paar uur is die dorp verken, ou bekendes opgesoek en rugby gekyk. Drie-uur het hulle mekaar by die skool ontmoet vir ‘n vlugtige verkenning van die skool. Ongelukkig was die saal gesluit. In die hotel se konferensiekamer ís fotos uit die matriek-albums op ‘n skerm vertoon en hier het elkeen sy/haar storie vertel oor die jare tussenin. Hierdie ervaring is so verwoord: “Ons het besef ons is ‘n groep mense wat mekaar nodig het en mekaar nog steeds kan ondersteun.”

Saterdagaand was hulle weer by die skousaal – hierdie keer vir ‘n braai met heerlike slaaie, tuisgebakte brood en nagereg. En aansit by keurig gedekte tafels. Die kuier het tot laat aangehou. Teen die einde het Hennie se seun, wat help opruim het, gesê: “Ons jong mense ‘party’ op ‘n ander manier, maar julle wen ons.” Sondagoggend het almal saam die erediens in die NG Kerk bygewoon en daarna vir tee en koek na Lah-Di-Dah gegaan.

Uiteindelik was dit tyd vir groet. Die ervaring van die naweek is so saamgevat: “Ons is nederig dankbaar vir die voorreg om mekaar weer te kon herontdek. Almal is gebeitel deur die jare, maar kwaliteit en Christenskap het gehelp dat ons nie gaan lê het nie. Almal kon na die naweek verryk weggaan met die wete: ou vriende bly altyd vriende.”

Christmas in September

- Sonja Mckenna -

Yes, we are known to do things a little differently in Prince Albert! Christmas in July, yes, so why not in September?

What a treat it was for 30 Prince Alberters to sit down to a full Christmas dinner without having to contend with the heat. The Lazy Lizard clan certainly did themselves proud on the evening of 12 September and proved not only to be superb cooks, but hosts and entertainers too.

Watching them move slickly from one activity to another in a confined space was entertainment itself. One moment we were sitting in Baker Street listening to Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson solving a diabolical crime, the next, the same area was transformed into a buffet area with a splendid spread of traditional Christmas fare.

And so it went on throughout the evening, moving from song to theatre to more song then to dessert. Time flew and sadly the evening came to an end. What a talented bunch those Patchwork Theatre youngsters are! I hope there were some of those delicious roast potatoes left over for them; they more than deserved them.

Congratulations, Lazy Lizard! Sherlock Holmes would have been proud of you. Your Christmas in September and the reason for holding it were far from being “elementary.”

The evening raised nearly R7000 towards a fund to assist Richard Rein-ders cover his medical bills.

Outa Lappies gee “notice”

- Denise Ohlson -

In November,” sê Jan Schoeman - in elke hoek van Prince Albert en sommer al om die wêreld bekend as Outa Lappies - hou ek ‘n uitverkoping. Die opbrengs is vir ‘n trust vir my oudag.”

Nie dat hy presies weet wanneer hy “oud” gaan wees nie. Mense het al van die kant en daai kant opgedaag vir ‘n begrafnis, maar dan maak hy nog hout in die bos, en dan vertrek hulle ewe vies oor al die “verniet moeite”. Maar diegene wat wil graf toe kom vir die “valse verleiding” van ‘n erfporsie, moet maar weet sy hele boedel “gaan terug na die natuur” toe.

Wat hy wil agterlaat, is ‘n paar lewenslesse. Dat kinders besef dat jy net op die windpomp se platform kan sit en die wêreld aan jou voete kan hê as jy die sporte een vir een geklim het. Dat elke mens sy eie besluite kan neem en dat vryheid die waardevolste skat is wat jy ooit kan besit. Dat goeie maniere die beste en mooiste geskenk is wat jy ooit kan gee. Dat sonneblomme jou lewe verhelder, dat boontjies en mielies goeie kos is wat in enige tuin groei, en dat iets uit niets jou ‘n ryk mens maak.
Op 16 September het hy vir Byron Lodewyk en Winnefred Skaarnek beloon vir hul poging om hom te “beskryf” deur elkeen een van sy kenmerkende blikwerke te gee.

As hulle verstandig is, sal hulle hierdie handjie en arend goed bewaar, want in Outa se besit is ‘n argief briewe en artikels wat sy lewensfilosofie en handewerk besing.

In haar eie handskrif skryf Cherie Blair onder die wapen van Downingstraat 10: “Thank you for the wonderful piece of art – keep up the good work.” Daar is vele begeesterde briewe, soos die een van Paul de Vrees uit Amsterdam oor sy “heel bijzonder bezoek” aan die lappiesman en indrukwekkende foto-artikels, selfs in Duits en Deens…

Op die oomblik is daar ‘n hartlike uitnodiging na Akra in Ghana, maar Outa reken die mense moet hom nou sy vrede gun sodat hy sy “laaste dae op hierdie aarde” kan deurbring sonder om ooit weer so ver te reis soos in die dae toe hy sy string ligwaentjies agter hom aangetrek het op sy omswerwinge deur die wye Karoo.

Hierdie wyse man met sy rare insigte in die mensheid, is al afgemaak as aarts-kommunis, mal aktivis, dwarstrekker en moeilikheidsoeker… Maar hy het nog altyd net volgens sy eie unieke filosofie gelewe, en nou wil hy net in vrede “notice” gee wanneer die tyd aanbreek.

Apiesdoring: Tree of the Year

- Richard Dean -

If you have ever called in at the Galpin's farm "Mosdene" near Naboomspruit, or wandered around Matobos Research Station, near Bulawayo, or walked along the Shashi River in Botswana, you would have seen tall (up to 25 m), pale barked, light to medium-green foliaged trees with rather nasty hooked thorns. These trees are the monkey thorn or apiesdoring, Acacia galpinii, and currently the South African tree of the year.

The man after whom the tree was named - Mr E.E. Galpin - was a banker and a very diligent amateur botanist who collected many species of plants in southern Africa. Galpin was born in 1858, and joined the Oriental Banking Corporation (later to become the Bank of Africa) in 1879.

He retired from banking in 1917 and purchased a farm near Naboomspruit, which he renamed "Mosdene". It was here that he collected a species of acacia that was "new" to science, and the tree was subsequently named Acacia galpinii by Joseph Burtt Davy, a botanist at Kew Gardens in England.

The monkey thorn, probably much more widely known by its Afrikaans name of apiesdoring, is a tree of the northern savannas of South Africa, the eastern savannas of Botswana and the southern, western and northern parts of Zimbabwe. It usually occurs near water (river banks are popular), is hardy and able to handle a fair amount of frost. It makes a fine garden tree - if you have a large enough garden - and would probably survive and thrive in Prince Albert, but would need to be given lots of water in the summer, at least initially when small, but larger trees are reputed to be able to deal with hot, dry conditions.

Small trees suitable for planting out are unlikely to be available from nurseries in the Western Cape, but you can grow your own from seeds (if you can get them), which germinate easily after being soaked in hot water.

And talking of trees …

Why not think about planting an indigenous tree or large shrub suitable for this area?
Consider some of the following when choosing the right tree:

  • Purpose (shade, screen, wind protection, colour, bird or butterfly food, edible fruit, pioneer for other slower growing trees)
  • The space you have, and therefore the expected canopy size of the mature tree
  • Root character (you need to know the expected root depth, of the tree, in view of proximity to buildings and potential interference with water pipes and sewerage)
  • The habitat from which it originates, so that you can be sure it will survive the conditions you have planned for it.
  • Last but not least, consider the neighbours! (Yours and the tree’s.) Consult your neighbours when planting things on your boundary that may block out their precious views, darken their living space, or disturb their buildings or drainpipes.

Alien Watch Corner

Our Farms, Veldt & Gardens at Great Risk

- Carol Tissiman -

Families that have been farming in our part of the Karoo for generations and newcomers know that scarce water is the biggest threat to agriculture and horticulture in our region. Contributing to the scarcity of water is the growing invasion of alien plants. Of the over 9000 alien or exotic plants growing in South Africa, 198 of these are now listed as invasive aliens and more than 150 species are soon to be added to the list.

Over the next few months the Friend will be running a series of articles to highlight some of the alien plants which we find in the Prince Albert area, and which should be removed. We plan to give guidelines on best methods of removal, and we will provide a list of some suggested plants with which to replace these aliens.

Why are invasive aliens a problem?
According to the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry’s (DWAF) Working for Water programme, aliens
  • Are highly adaptable vigorous growers
  • Have invaded ten million hectares of land (about the size of KZN)
  • Use 3,3 billion cubic metres of water more than their indigenous counterparts
  • Threaten our rich biodiversity (which affects insects, and hence also birds, reptiles, mammals that feed on them)
  • Invade land, better used for crops and livestock grazing
  • Increase the probability of fires, flooding, erosion and siltation
  • Are often toxic to humans or mammals.

Removing aliens helps to conserve our local natural heritage, its sustainability being so much under threat. Human interventions have destroyed certain aspects of the natural environment, upsetting the balance and reducing its diversity, and ultimately its health.

What can we do as Prince Albert town dwellers?
One of the things we can do is use appropriate indigenous plants in our gardens, those that will survive with less water and benefit other species such as other indigenous plants, and birds. This has become an important issue, with the expansion of our built up environment.

If you’d like to join in removing invasive aliens growing in the public spaces – e.g. cactuses invading our very special Gordon’s Koppie – please call Carol or Dorrien on 023 5411-093.

This month our alien watch has noticed literally thousands of tecoma stans (yellow bells, geel klokkies) in Prince Albert. This ornamental densely leafy evergreen shrub/small tree has abundant long seed pods, and large bunches of beautiful yellow bell-shaped flowers. It possibly originated from Mexico or South USA. This is a Category 1 weed- this means it is prohibited and officially must be removed if it occurs on your property.

Nuwe fokus op MIV/VIGS in Prince Albert

Dit is weer Oktober maand, ‘n nuwe seisoen wat aangebreek het. Nuwe verwagtinge word geskep in Prince Albert. Nuwe uitdagings wat ontstaan veral met die probleem wat ons gemeenskap beinvloed soos bv armoede, tienerswangerskap, resessie, mishandeling, dwelmmisbruik, kindermishandeling, tekorte aan klinieke en konfidensialiteit, pessimistiese houdinge wat kwelpunte is, maar daar is hoop, hoop wat nuwe moed en ywer bewerkstellig.

MTC (Media & Training Centre for Health) is ‘n projek wat tydens September deur die Prince Albert Advies Kantoor (PAAK) geloods is en wat oor die volgende elf maande sal strek. Hierdie projek fokus op die gemeenskap en die klem val op MIV/VIGS wat hand aan hand loop met al die probleme wat in Prince Albert die gemeenskap affekteer en die gemeenskap tot op hede na antwoorde laat soek. Die projek konsentreer direk op die gemeenskap en die bewusmaking om op te tree en nie net te praat van MIV/VIGS nie.

Die projek is in 12 programme opgedeel wat beteken 12 temas gaan behandel word. September maand was daar op mishandeling van vrouens gefokus. Vrouens is ‘n baie belangrike anker in ons lewens. ‘n Vrou is ‘n moeder, dogter, suster, vriend, berader, verpleegster, matrone, huisvrou en ‘n kuis vir haar man. Maar vrouens word mishandel, misbruik en geviktimiseer en dit hou mishandeling teen vrouens lewendig. Daarom word daar gevra dat die gemeenskap moet optree en die stilte breek om huishoudelike geweld stop te sit. Ons het mense nodig om te praat en nie stil te bly oor hierdie mishandeling wat in ons gemeenskap voorkom nie. Dit is ons gemeenskap se verantwoordlikheid om ‘n gesonde en veilige omgewing te bou.

In Oktober val die fokuspunt op behandeling en ondersteuning aan MIV-positiewe persone. Behandeling en ondersteuning speeel ‘n baie belangrike rol in die gemeenskap wanneer daar direk gefokus word op MIV positiewe persone. In Prince Albert ervaar ons nog altyd mense wat diskrimineer en stigmatiseer teenoor mense wat MIV positief is. Die gemeenskap en selfs familie lede aanvaar nie die mense wat MIV positief is nie. Familie lede gee nie die nodige ondersteuning nie en dit het die neiging om op die strate verkondig te word dat mense MIV positief is. Dit het as gevolg van negatiewe uitlatings ‘n effek dat baie mense wat worstel met die besluit om hulle te toets vir MIV, beïnvloed word. Dit maak ook die risiko groter vir mense wat MIV positief is en nie weet daarvan nie, om ander persone te infekteer en sodoende die kringloop wat daarmee gepaard gaan lewendig te hou.

Prince Albert toon steeds ‘n opwaartse kurwe in MIV positiewe gevalle, maar dit gee ons nie die reg om te stereotipeer, diskrimineer en te stigmatiseer nie. Die hospitaal en die klinieke kan nie alleen die verantwoordelikheid neem om mense wat MIV positief is te ondersteun en te behandel soos ons konstitusie dit voorskryf nie. Die gemeenskap dra ook daardie verantwoordelikheid. Kom ons tree op teen stigmatiseering en diskriminering. Kom ons oordeel nie mense nie en ons vat hande en maak Prince Albert die ideale plek om openlik en vrymoeding na mekaar uit te kan reik. Kom ons word deel van ‘n opbouende gemeenskap.

Kom ons vat hande en maak ‘n verskil saam met hierdie projek. Onthou dit is jou liggaam en as jou liggaam verniel word, word jou hele lewe verniel. Ons bou aan ‘n toekoms vir ons nageslagte en ons kan dit vir hulle makliker maak.

Temas vir die volgende drie maande.

Behandeling en Ondersteuning
Staat en Institusie
Wêreld Vigs Dag en mense regte

Ferdi Willemse
Community Caregiver
(023) 5411 722/ 076 3366 898

Miller’s Restaurant Re-opens

- Yolande Singery -

Food lovers will be pleased to hear that Mike Upton and Tim Rowson of the Prince Albert Garden Guest House re-opened Miller’s Restaurant in September and have received rave reviews from foodies in Prince Albert and beyond.

Miller’s now concentrates on home grown, home cooked food, which will change from week to week and season to season. At the moment casseroles, curries and oxtails will always be the type of dish on the winter specials menu. In summer, light meals, salads and pastas will be served al fresco. On Sundays, they serve a three-course set menu and a children’s menu, both of which have already proved to be popular with families. And they have introduced afternoon tea.

Unknown to the chef and staff, three friends dropped in unexpectedly to see whether the promising nods of approval of some in the town who had already been there were justified. That was a good move indeed.

One of my well-travelled friends had the Thai green chicken curry, which she described as ‘the real McCoy.’ Another raved about the phyllo pastry starter, as well as a really worthwhile haddock dish. They both enjoyed the Meringue Chantilly.

The third foodie tackled one of his favourite winter dishes, oxtail. He explained that he had been ‘met beesstert in my mond gebore’ and knew the real thing when he came across it. Miller’s presentation was by far the tastiest he had ever had. He ate every scrap of the deliciously tender meat and, to the polite discomfit of his companions, he proceeded to gnaw and suck every last bone noisily. He ended off his performance by licking his fingers and between grunts of pleasure and sighs of satisfaction, he sucked the last morsels from his fingers!

Over coffee the three were heard contentedly solving the problem of politics and waterbeurte in Prince Albert and when presented with the bill, they commented on how reasonable it was and what a pleasure it was to have another elegantly casual restaurant in the town.

Mike started cooking when he was only 8 years old and later learnt how to feed crowds when he did national service and had to cook for 4000 troopies! He later bought the oldest restaurant in Kwa-Zulu Natal, The Valley View, which had been going for 75 years. He ran it for a further 12 years and specialised in supper theatre, weddings and functions. He has also worked in restaurants in Cape Town and cooked in Wales for a wealthy landowner.

Tim has always had the urge to travel and after some time in Kenya became a highly-skilled theatre design artist and travelled with Walt Disney’s The Lion King in Australia, South Africa and China. He painted Prince Albert scenes to give the restaurant a local flavour and so by default, it has become a gallery space for his artworks.

The new Miller’s is a welcome addition to the number of quality restaurants that is sure to lure travellers and local folk alike.

Miller’s is open for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner from Wednesday to Saturday and for lunch on Sunday. To make a reservation, call 074 3401706.

Garden Club News

- Dawn Viljoen -

Indigenous herbs and their uses
The Garden Club’s October meeting will be at Malachite Nursery at 15h00 on the afternoon of Wednesday, 7 October. Owner, Carol Tissiman, will talk about indigenous plants and herbs and their various culinary, medicinal and household uses. A scrumptious tea will form part of Carol’s demonstration.

As usual, members pay R5 and guests, R10. Everyone is welcome to join us, whether you are an armchair gardener or someone who takes gardening a lot more seriously. Please bring along a folding chair and a mug for tea. Access is through the nursery entrance at the left of the property, which is wheelchair friendly. Carol has kindly donated a plant for the Club’s monthly lucky draw.

Our September meeting
Peter Rissik’s private clivia nursery was the venue of the Garden Club’s September meeting. Peter, who has grown clivias for many years, demonstrated their propagation and cultivation in an entertaining and easy manner to the nineteen Club members and visitors. After a tour of his garden, filled with hidden delights, he presented everyone with a clivia in a pot.

Refreshments in Sue Goosen’s garden included a plant sale to raise funds for the Garden Club and the launch of the Club’s Arbour Month raffle. Sandy Bower won the lucky draw - an attractive collection of lavender plants donated by Lorna Verran.

If you would like to learn more about the Garden Club and its activities, call Sue Goosen on 023 5411-558 or Dawn Viljoen on 023 5411-832

Is our Municipality Performing?

- Linda Jaquet –

A recent survey has revealed that the majority of Prince Albert residents are unhappy about the lack of communication between the Municipality and the community and the limited options for interaction between two.

Other overriding worries were partisanship in the allocation of work in job creation projects and the lack of employment opportunities. Most interviewed did not think that there was corruption in the Municipality.

Between 7 and 11 September, teams of around 300 Departmental officials visited all the municipalities in the province and went door-to-door to hear first hand from poorer communities how they experience their local governments’ service delivery. This was an assignment, to all provinces, from the National Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Sicelo Shiceka.

Prince Albert residents, as elsewhere in the Western Cape, were asked eight questions covering challenges faced by the community, where the Municipality could improve on service delivery, the role the community could play, and corruption in the Municipality. The Mayor, Cllr Magdalena Benjamin and Speaker, Cllr Stoffel Botes, were also interviewed.

At a press conference in Cape Town on 21 September, Anton Bredell, the MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, discussed the results of the assessment, which provided a snapshot of the state of municipal governance, its provision of basic services and its perceived impact on the community. Bredell said that the critical link and biggest challenge that emerged across the board in all the interviews was the lack of communication “between all role players that form the critical mass of municipalities.” Other problems included governance issues – only four municipalities in the province are governed by an outright majority.

The assessment also found that there was a large gap between how councillors perceive themselves and their role and how the communities regard them. According to Bredell, generally communities felt disconnected from their councillors and complained that they were ineffective and unavailable. People complained of limited public participation and a lack of administrative and political will to make ward or area committees work.

Minister Bredell undertook to stimulate robust debate with municipalities on the role and the effective management of the Community Development Workers (CDWs) and ward committees. He said that this would pave the way for informed decisions about areas where municipalities were lacking in service delivery.

He also announced several concrete steps, including, sharing and discussing each municipality’s assessment and developing a specific municipal action plan; developing a performance plan for councillors; each Speaker implementing and monitoring a municipal public participation and ward committee support plan; investigating allegations of corruption and nepotism; and each municipality developing a socio-economic profile of all its wards.

The Friend intends carrying more about the assessment in its next edition.

New Tourism EXCO

Tourism in Prince Albert faces both exciting times and challenges in the next year. We’re all affected by the economic slump but there are also exciting prospects as we encourage new members and look at how to market the town more professionally and adventurously. We also have to consider ways to attract more tourists – both international and local - to visit Prince Albert and to stay longer,” Di Steyn, the newly-elected Chairperson of the Prince Albert Tourism Association EXCO, told the Friend.

At this year’s AGM of the Tourism Association on 20 August, three serving members of the EXCO, Steyn, Mike Upton and Jeremy Freemantle, agreed to stay on for a another term. Elise Senekal and Linda Jaquet are new EXCO members. Elise Senekal will serve as Treasurer, while Jeremy Freemantle will be responsible for Marketing. Linda Jaquet fills the Development portfolio and in due course a sub-committee to manage festivals in the town will be set up.

Outgoing Chair, Bokkie Botha, reviewed the activities of the previous year. Some of the urgent issues that the new committee will have to deal with are the relationship between the Tourism Association and the Municipality, the parlous state of the Swartberg Pass and the festival programme for 2010.

Di Steyn thanked Bokkie and the other outgoing EXCO members, Charles Roux and Mark Steyn and appealed to members and others who had the town’s interests at heart to come forward with constructive ideas and advice.

R U TB Free?

During September, Sussan Coetzee and Winnie Mgudiwa (centre), of the project, TB Free, trained members of the Prince Albert community to go door-to-door to inform residents of the warning symptoms of tuberculosis (TB) and to encourage them to give sputum samples.

TB Free, which is a joint initiative of the Nelson Mandela Aventis Project for Combating TB, also conducted a TB awareness and screening campaign in the town. In one day, assisted by the staff of the Prince Albert Hospital’s Primary Health Care Clinic, they screened 410 people and tested 115, who they suspected might be infected.

TB is a major health problem in South Africa – in 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked South Africa fourth among the world’s 22 high-burden TB countries. It is a contagious yet controllable disease and according to TB Free, the cure rate in South Africa is just over 57%. However, the number of TB cases in South Africa is likely to increase over the next few years due to HIV/AIDS.

Gesinsgeweld: SAPD loods bewusmakingsveldtog

- Linda Jaquet -

Vanaf 12 tot 15 Oktober gaan die SAPDleiding van Inspekteur Eddie Hattingh ‘n bewusmakingsveldtog oor gesinsgeweld begin.

In samewerking met BADISA, die Prince Albert Vroueforum, die SAPD se Gesinsgeweld, Kindermishandeling en Seksuelegeweld eenheid in Beaufort-Wes, gaan hulle van deur-tot-deur gaan om almal in ons gemeenskap in te lig oor die kommerwekkende euwel van gesinsgeweld wat besig is om hand uit te ruk in ons dorp. Daar sal ook spesifiek aandag gegee word aan lede van die gemeenskap wat al voorheen slagoffers van gesinsgeweld was.

Die SAPD se eie Vroue Netwerk en die beraders van die Slagofferondersteuningsgroep sal ook deel neem. Inspekteur Hattingh is dit eens dat alles moontlik gedoen moet word om veral die weerloses soos vroue en bejaardes te bemagtig deur aan hulle hul regteverduidelik Kennis is mag en hulleweet wat hul te doen staan indien hul die slagoffers van geweld sou wees.

Dikwels is die slagoffers so getraumatiseerd dat hulle nie daaraan dinkvir hulp te vra nie. Inspekteur Hattingh wil hê dat die slagoffers moet weet dat hulle regte het en dat die polisie hulle sal help. Ook moet die geweldadigers weet dat die polisie nie met hulle gaan speel nie en dat regstappe geneem sal word.

Die veldtog sal op 15 Oktober om 18h00 by die Sydwell Williams Sentrum afsluit deur ‘n vergardering waartydens die Staatsaanklaer, Waomi MacClune, aan die gehoor sal verduidelik hoe om ‘n interdik te kry en hoe die regsproses sal verloop.

Insp Hattingh nooi almal uit om die aand te ondersteun: “Ons hoop van harte dat almal die geleentheid sal bywoon, nie net om inligting te verkry nie, maar ook om ondersteuning te wys aan die lede van ons gemeenskap wat as gevolg van ekonomiese of emosionele afhanklikheid dit moeilik vind om los te breek uit die kringloop van geweld.”

Hattingh verduidelik verder: “Ons kan nie die probleem van geweld oplos sonder om te kyk na drankmisbruik nie, want die twee probleme loop gewoonlik hand-aan-hand. Dit is ‘n skreiende skande dat die “Allpay” geld van kinders en bejaardes gebruik word om drank mee te koop, in plaas daarvan om die geld aan te wend vir kos en ander behoeftesen dat dit dan juis hulle is wat onder die geweld deurloop.”

Nic Muller vier sy 90ste verjaarsdag

- Magriet Muller -

Nic (Nicolaas Hendrik) Muller het op 19 September saam met vriende en familie sy 90ste verjaarsdag by die Lazy Lizard gevier. Sy vrou, Babsie (Ma Babs), het die volgende dag 74 geword.

Die dag was uit die boeke uit. Die Lazy Lizard se kos was uitstekend en almal het dit baie geniet. Nic en Babsie se gaste het vanaf Beaufort-Wes, Port Elizabeth, Kaapstad en Gauteng na Prince Albert toe gereis om die feesvieringe saam met hulle en hul Prince Albert-vriende te geniet .

Nic is op 4 September 1919 op die plaas Klipheuwel, Fraserburg, gebore. Hy het sy matriek in Oudtshoorn voltooi en het by Santam vanaf 1939 tot 1987 gewerk. Hy trou op 28 Desember 1958 met Babsie Smit. Nic en Babsie het onlangs hul 50ste huweliks-herdenking in Prince Albert gevier. Hulle het vir 40-jaar in Bellville gebly en woon sedert 2001 in Prince Albert. Hulle het ook in 2004 as ambassadeurs vir Suid-Afrika opgetree met die 100ste bestaansjaar van die Kanadese dorp, Prince Albert.

Veels geluk, Nic en Babsie!


- E M Delport -

Op Vrydag 4 September het graad 4a en hulle klasonderwyseres, me E M Delport, die Prince Albert Primêre Skool verteenwoordig by die Nasionale Boomplantdag. Die dorp se burgemeester het almal teenwoordig verwelkom. Daarna het ‘n jeugkoor van Oudtshoorn almal stil gesing met hulle opgewekte en pragtige sang.

Dr Sue Milton het oor die verskillende boomsoorte gepraat en die leerders het omtrent aan haar lippe gehang. Van die leerders wat reg geantwoord het, het boompies gekry om by die huis te gaan plant.

Al die sprekers het hulle goed van hulle taak gekwyt en aan die einde van die seremonie is daar ‘n hele paar bome geplant op die Odendaal Stadion. Daarna het elke leerder ‘n waterbottel, ‘n pot en boekies oor bome en woude van Cape Nature ontvang.

Dit was regtig baie lekker om in die ope lug soveel interessante dinge van bome en veldbrande te leer.

Nuwe Kleuterskool op Leeu-Gamka

- Charlotte Bothma -

In Leeu-Gamka is ‘n nuwe leer-sentrum vir kleuters op 24 Maart 2009 as ‘n nie-winsgewende organisasie geregistreer.Hierdie sentrum is binne die Bitterwater Woonbuurt geleë en spog al met elf ingeskrewe leerdertjies wat wissel van 3 tot 6 jaar.Hier leer juffrou Amenda Anthonie hulle rympies, sing hulle liedjies en lees hulle heerlike stories. Hulle teken en verf ook te lekker.Die staatsondersteunde kleuterskool, wat oorkant die N1 geleë is, hou vele gevare in vir jong voetgangertjies. “Amenda se Skool” is binne veilige bereik, maar is afhanklik van ouers en ander vrywilligers se bydraes en insette om suksesvol te kan funksioneer.Ouers wat ‘n vaste inkomste het betaal R40 per maand en ouers met ‘n “All pay” inkomste betaal slegs R20 per maand. Die kleuterskool het nog geen staatsbefondsing gekry nie.

Amenda het ‘n diploma in Vroeë Voorskoolse Ontwikkeling (NQF level 4) en het ook ‘n basiese slagofferondersteuningskursus gedoen.Haar man, Filemon Antonie, is baie bekend vir die pragtige draadkarre wat hy elke jaar op die Prince Albert Olyffees verkoop.Hulle het ook twee pragtige kinders naamlik Chantelle en Nathan.

Amenda bly al 13 jaar op Leeu-Gamka. Haar energie en entoesiasme, haar kennis en ervaring/liefde vir kinders ploeg sy nou in hierdie projek in. Indien enigiemand wil help om hierdie sentrum verder uit te brei, hoor Amanda graag van hulle by 074 2388532.

Patchwork Theatre at the George Eisteddfod

- Ailsa Tudhope -

The Little Theatre in George was the venue for the 2009 Eisteddfod. What a treat for our children to be able to deliver their pieces on stage in a real theatre. The Patchwork Theatre team took part in a wide range of categories and acquitted themselves admirably. We are very proud of them indeed.

It was great to be able to watch children from other centres performing and we picked up lots of ideas. The judges were extremely encouraging and their comments will assist us in planning for future eisteddfods. Well done, Bobby and Nicky (Grade 1) and Sarah (recorder) for doing so well at your first eisteddfod.

The following week the children performed their items for their families and teachers at the Lazy Lizard – what an evening! Congratulations everyone!

Poetry: Abigail Modra B+, Joshua Swanepoel A; Matthew Van Heerden A++;

Group Poem: Abigail Modra, Joshua Swanepoel & Matthew Van Heerden A;

Poetry: Nadia Lerm B+ , Caleb Swanepoel A, Christopher Mullins A++, Alexander Swanepoel A+, Hannah Modra A+, Rebekah Swanepoel A++, Sarah Modra B+, Michelle Mullins B+, Dustin Myburgh B+, Nicolai Pastrana A, Robin Swanepoel A+;

Dialogue: Christopher Mullins & Alexander Swanepoel A;

Choral Verse: Christopher Mullins, Alexander Swanepoel, Hannah Modra & Rebekah Swanepoel B+;

Vocal solo: Caleb Swanepoel A, Rebekah Swanepoel A;

Vocal duet: Caleb & Rebekah Swanepoel A;

Instrumental: Sarah Modra B+.

Ina Paarman se geure trek sterk deur ons dorp

- Diana Koorts -

Hoërskool Zwartberg wil weereens BAIE dankie sê vir een en almal se goeie ondersteuning met die aankope van Ina Paarman speserye. Ons leerders het werklik baie fluks verkoop en het ’n baie goeie bedrag ingesamel. Die totale verkope behels R28 276,50 die meeste ooit! Daarvan ontvang die skool ‘n volle R7069,13.

Ons is so bly almal besef dat hul werklik goeie waarde vir hul geld ontvang – aangesien hierdie produkte GEEN MSG, kleurmiddels of preserveermiddels bevat nie. Gesondheid is gelukkig deesdae vir almal belangrik.

Die leerders het regtig skouer aan die wiel gesit en groot bedrae geld se speserye verkoop. Siemon Joubert – Gr.2 - was ons topverkoper met R1051,50, Jana Koorts – Gr.1 was 2de met R989,80 en Shaun van Zyl Gr.3 was 3de met R863,70. Daar was nog 10 leerders wat meer as R600 se produkte verkoop het terwyl Hentie du Plessis, Awie Kellerman en Driekus Marais aan die meeste persone produkte verkoop het. Die Graad 6-klas het baie ywerig verkoop en het die rekordbedrag van R4473,20 verkoop .

Baie geluk aan al die verkopers en weereens ’n groot dankie vir almal se ondersteuning.

’n Groot dankie ook aan al die besighede wat so ruimhartig pryse geskenk het sodat ons al die vlytige verkopers kon beloon.

Koggelmander het ons 3 top verkopers geborg en die volgende besighede het ook ruim bygedra : Prickly Pear, Wimpels , Lazy Lizard , Lah –Di –Dah, Konings, Swartberg Slaghuis, Karoo Slaghuis, Omkom Stoor, Home and Hardware, OK Grocer, Prins-Kem en Prins Albert Motors. Baie, baie dankie!

Die snoekkoning van Prince Albert Primêr

- Linda Fodor -

Hoe braai ‘n mens 800 stukke snoek? Dis baie maklik, vra net vir mnr Mark Rockman, beter bekend as Pappie. Begin om 04h00, nog lank voor die son opgekom het, die vure te maak sodat die kole teen 06h00 reg is, en dan begin jy braai.

‘n Hele span onderwysers, personeellede en ouers het gehelp met die voorbereiding en braai. Ons getroue kombuistannies wat elke dag honderde honger magies vol maak, het gesorg vir die heerlike slaaie. Die enigste probleem was dat 800 stukke vis nie genoeg was nie! Elke bordjie snoek en slaai is teen R30 voor 12h00 uitverkoop!

Baie dankie aan almal in die gemeenskap wat ons ondersteun het. Onthou volgende jaar, die eerste Vrydag in September is Visbraaidag by Prince Albert Primêr!

Debbie Badenhorst deel van Primêr se span

- Delene Coetzee -

Prince Albert Primêr is in die gelukkige posisie dat die skool sedert 2008 ‘n leerderondersteunings opvoeder het wat spesifiek op agterstande in geletterdheid en gesyferdheid by leerders konsentreer. Delene Coetzee gee drie dae per week by Primêr en twee dae per week by Hoërskool Zwartberg klas. Daar is egter nog baie leerders wat intensiewe hulp nodig het.

Nadat ons hoof, John Steyn, herhaaldelike versoeke aan die departement gerig het vir ‘n eenheidspos, het mnr FM Tallie van die Onderwysbestuurs-en-ontwikkelingsentrum op George dit uiteindelik reggekry om so ‘n eenheid aan Primêr toe te ken.

Nou kan daar meer daadwerklik aan kinders met kognitiewe agterstande se behoeftes voorsien word en kry hulle weer individuele aandag in ‘n goed toegeruste klas. Dit is ‘n gerusstellende wete vir ouers dat hul kinders nie meer op ‘n jong ouderdom na ‘n vaardigheidskool op Oudtshoorn gestuur hoef te word nie, maar wel tuis hierdie spesiale onderrig kan ontvang.

Debbie Badenhorst is aangestel as eenheidsopvoeder en met haar baie jare ondervinding in soortgelyke poste, weet ons dat sy ‘n groot aanwins vir Prince Albert Primêr sal wees.

Na vier jaar se betrokkenheid by die Fransie Pienaar Museum kan Debbie haarself weer uitleef in ‘n klas vol kinders – haar eerste liefde. Ons wens haar alle sukses toe!

Wilfred Reed, provinsiale rugbyafrigter

- Linda Fodor -

Prince Albert Primêr is baie trots op mnr Wilfred Reed wat gekies is as afrigter vir die SWD O/12 B rugbyspan. Mnr Reed is beslis ‘n besige man want behalwe sy vol dag as wiskunde onderwyser, is hy ook in beheer van ons rekenaarlokaal en studeer hy vir ‘n B.Ed. Honneurs

Ons sien uit om die resultate van die toer, wat vanaf 22-25 September in Oos-Londen plaasgevind het, te sien. Die SWD-span het kragte gemeet teen WP, Grens, Boland, OP, Vrystaat en Grens Platteland.

Sterre Kyk

- Dirk Visser -

Op Vrydag die 11de September is Prince Albert Primêr se personeel Sutherland toe om te gaan sterre kyk by die observatorium. Die geleendheid is ook gebruik om as ‘n spanbou-sessie te dien.

Agv Sutherland se reputasie as een van die koudste plekke in ons land is die bus tjok-en-blok vol komberse en slaapsakke gelaai. Die rit tot by Sutherland het vlot verloop en dit was reeds duidelik dat hierdie spanbousessie baie geslaagd sou wees. Ons het so teen 17h00 in Sutherland gearriveer en ens geskop in Sutherland Hoërskool se koshuis. Dit is nou werklik ‘n interessante dorpie met hope karakter.

Die mans het dadelik weggespring met die vuur en die dames het die slaaie aanmekaar geslaan. Ons eerste uitstappie het omstreeks 20h30 begin by die sterrewag. Die ete moes natuurlik wag tot ons terugkeer.

Die observatorium is so 29km buite die dorp. Met die kwik wat reeds naby vriespunt gedraai het, het ons die duister aangedurf met ons vriendelike toergids. Dit was werklikwaar nie eers nodig vir die groot teleskope nie aangesien die sterre so onwerklik groot die hemelruim omspan. Jy kan dit as te ware nie beskryf nie maar moet dit self ervaar. Die gids het ook baie interessante inligting met ons meegedeel. Ons is almal gereed om ons leerders meer oor astronomie te leer. Die belangrikste ding was egter dat ons almal besef het hoe nietig ons is en hoe groot die skepping is.

Na die uitstappie is ons terug om te gaan eet maar dit was egter net die aanvang van die gesellighede aangesien ‘n potjie begin is. Daar is tot laatnag gesels en al die daaglikse uitdagings van die onderwys is vir ‘n wyle eenkant geskuif.

Ons is Sondag vroeg uit die vere vir nog ‘n begeleidige toer. Van die mans het gebrom omdat hulle kwansuis die rugby sou mis, maar die uitstappie na die groot teleskope was ongelooflik.

Ons was baie bevoorreg om die SALT (South African Large Telescope) te sien. Die teleskoop is so sterk dat dit selfs ‘n kers se lig op die maan sou kon waarneem!

Dit rit terug was weereens baie voorspoedig en baie van die personeel stem saam dat ons dalk nog ‘n dag kon gebly het. Dit is regtig die moeite werd om Sutherland te besoek en ek glo dat elke lid van Prince Albert Primêr se personeel werklik verryk is deur hierdie ongelooflike uitstappie.

Wildekanisland feeds hungry cyclists

- Imke Maeyer -

On Tuesday, 8 September, the group of 54 cyclists on the KKK tour (Kus-Karoo-Kus) that has made Prince Albert a stopover on their tourthe last seven years, arrived yet again. This was the third time that Wildekanisland benefited from the generosity of this group of enthusiasts.

Arno Botha, a Cape-Town based lawyer, is the energy and organising spirit behind the KKK mountain bike tour. His interest in Prince Albert was piqued after hearing a radio interview with the late Albert Odendaal of the Swartberg Hotel in 1992. Since then he has visited regularly and started bringing cyclists to the town in 2003. Arno married his wife, Vanessa, here in 2007 and his parents-in-law, Joan and Trevor Dean, have since retired to Prince Albert.

The riders arrived in town just in time for delicious buns and other goodies prepared for them by the hard-workingladies at theLizard.then had the afternoon to relax, before proceeding to the Bush PubRia Steyn and her team from Dennehoffirst cleaned and scrubbed and then had cooked them a delicious dinner.

Wednesday the 9th wasrest day for the cyclists, which meant zooming around our town andbeautiful surroundings on their bikes. After all, if you are a serious cyclist you need to get your daily fix of exercise!

That night, the parents and teachersof Wildekanisland transformed the Golf Club into a festive spring venue, and at 18h00 the cyclists arrived, courtesy ofërskool Zwartberg, who loaned us thebus for the occasion. They were fed a delicious dinner, and fun was had by everybody.

Two things struck me; onethe interest that these sportsmen andtook in our little nursery school and our town in general. Because they were aware that it was a fundraising event, when a tin was handed around, they emptied their pockets. We were amazed that at the end of the evening they had contributed over R1400!

The second was that we do live in a very special community. Wherever we turned to for help in preparation for this event, it was gladly given. The Golf Club shared theirWednesday club night with ustheir friendly barmen did more than their share of tidying up and helping. The Lazy Lizard jumped in, when at the last minute we were let down by the local supermarket, and baked over a hundred buns for us.

It would also be really nice if there wasa lot more parent involvement, as they form such a vital part in a child’s life. But maybe in time, this too will happen! In total, from the lunch, and dinner, we raised over R7000,is a wonderful boost to our funds.

It is so important that as many children as possible have an opportunity to attend a good nursery school, so that they may have a much better chanceadapting to the demands of "Big School".is the basic building block in any child’s life, and if we want our children to have a better future, this is the place to start.

Any money raised by Wildekanislandused to payteachers and maintain the school and to try and expand in such a way that we can accommodate more children.

Mountain Bike Challenge for Prince Albert

- Linda Jaquet -

About 180 mountain bike riders will participate in the first Cape Pioneer Trek from 19 to 24 October. Starting in Oudtshoorn, the bikers will stop over in six towns in the Karoo and the Garden Route. Hoërskool Zwartberg will host the cyclists when they arrive in Prince Albert from Calitzdorp on the afternoon of 20 October, providing their meals and washing and storing their bikes. The school’s rugby field will be transformed into a tented camp where the riders and the support staff will spend the night.

Katot Meyer, an Oudtshoorn-based expert on pioneer routes and Henco Rademeyer of Drylands Events Organisers, who surveyed the challenging route said: “Many farmers, Cape Nature and MTO (Mountain to Ocean) Forestry worked hard on the preparations. We are now ‘rearranging nature’ slightly to make it more accessible!”

According to Jan Greyling, Liaison Manager of Klein Karoo International, which with Toyota is sponsoring the challenge, the route is designed to pose a tough physical challenge while riders enjoy the scenic beauty of the Karoo and Garden Route. Each day the cyclists will ride an average of 100kms. “There will also be time to appreciate the local cuisine, the region’s top wines and the breathtaking views from the top of the Swartberg and Outeniqua Mountains,” he said.

Mountain bikers from all over South Africa will be joined by cyclists from Australia, Switzerland and Italy, who will participate in the challenge in teams of two riders each. Registration is from 10h00 on Sunday, 18 October, at the Civic Centre in Oudtshoorn. For more information please see their website at

The Friend is sure that our community joins us in wishing all the riders courage, strength and good luck, and may the best team win!