DA Aberdeen Mandela Day


The DA members in Aberdeen were busy giving their 67 minutes of service for Madela last week.

In ward 1, twenty packets of vegetables were given to needy families, donated by a local farmer. In addition, a group of activists joined DA PR councillor Eldrige Ruiters and some CWP workers in giving the house of resident Marie Meintjies a mini make-over. In all, the group managed to paint the walls and shelves, fix electrical problems and the windows, and give the place a good spring clean. Meintjies, a single mother, has no income, but does the best she can for her daughter, and so was considered a worthy recipient of their efforts.

Cllr Rudy Jacobs, who represents ward 7, was joined by two other DA members to paint the concrete structure at the entrance to the town that used to house a tourist map, by the Dutch Reformed Church. This is one of the first things that visitors to the town see, and the freshly-painted structure is a distinct improvement!

Aalwynhof on Mandela Day


Residents of Aalwynhof Home for the Aged in Aberdeen were treated by not one but three of the local schools for Mandela Day this year.

The Aberdeen Secondary matriculants, organised by SAPS community liaison officer Cst Alicia Africa and the CPF, spent their 67 minutes spoiling the residents. Some received a massage on a painful limb, others had hair treatments and manicures, and some just enjoyed the company of the young people. The boys also swept the yard, whilst some of the girls helped in the kitchen and laundry.

Kamdeboo Primary School learners collected canned food for the residents, and also provided some entertainment. The newly-formed choir, under the leadership of teacher Esteline de Jager, sang two hymns, and one of the boys read a moving poem, written from the perspective of an older person. Different groups also performed a traditional gumboot dance, which contrasted with the flowing grace of the spiritual dancers. The school’s Soul Buddyz group distributed the tinned food. While these learners were at the Home, the rest of the school cleaned up litter in the school grounds.

Luxolo Intermediate learnes and staff also cleared their school grounds, and on the 19 July, the peer educator group visited Aalwynhof with cake for the residents, and entertained them with song.

The Home’s manager, Rene Jongkind, expressed her thanks to the schools for their contributions towards making it a time to remember for the reidents.

Ralph Krall killed in accident

Well-known Aberdeen resident Ralph Krall was killed in an accident on Thursday 19 July whilst driving to Graaff-Reinet.

According to an eye witness, about 13km from Aberdeen Krall’s Mahindra SUV went into the barrier on the left hand side of the road, skidded along it for about 30m, then swerved across the road, rolled, and ended up on its side. No other vehicle was involved.

The accident happened at about 12:15, and passing motorists, including two MTN employees from Mossel Bay who had first aid training, stopped and did what they could to help.  Members of SAPS and the traffic police were on the scene within 15 minutes, and found Krall still in the car, bleeding profusely. He was taken by private ambulance to Graaff-Reinet.

Arrangements were made for the critically injured man to be airlifted to Port Elizabeth, but tragically he died in Midland Hospital from his serious head injuries.

It later came to light that he had asked two other friends to go with him to Graaff-Reinet, but fortuitously they both declined, and he was alone in the car.

Ralph Krall moved to Aberdeen with his partner, Daniel Pechine, six years ago.

Originally from Dusseldorf in Germany, he worked in Switzerland as a hairdresser before emigrating to Cape Town in 1960 where he continued with his trade. In 1966 he opened his own hairdressing salon in Fish Hoek, and it became the “in” place to go for the stylish people of Cape Town. He moved to Cape Town CBD in 1973, where he became very involved with preparing models for fashion shoots as well as his regular clientele.

Krall always had a passion for interior design, and it was a standing joke amongst his friends in Cape Town that if Ralph came to dinner, he would always reposition at least one piece of furniture to where he considered it would be better suited!

He travelled extensively for many years, and during a trip to India in 1982 he was told that he would soon have a major change in his life. This was fulfilled more quickly than he expected, as on his return to Cape Town, somebody walked into his hairdressing salon and wanted to buy it. He then decided to open an antique and décor shop, originally in Kenilworth and then centrally, and was often asked by customers to design and arrange a room or even their whole house. As he never really enjoyed being a shopkeeper, he soon gave up the shop and worked full-time as an interior designer. Krall had no formal training, but just a natural eye for design and placement. He was responsible for the décor in all the Royal Portfolio group of luxury hotels, as well as many other upmarket establishments. The house that he shared with Pechine on the slopes of Table Mountain appeared in magazines, and was even featured on Top Billing. He was known by most influential people in Cape Town, and the couple moved in social circles including people such as the late Professor Christiaan Barnard and his wife.

Krall’s work was known internationally, and he completed commissions all over the world, including Shanghai, New York, Los Angeles, Florence, the French Riviera and Dubai. In recent years however his health had deteriorated, and he had to decline invitations to Los Angeles and Jaipur this year.

When Krall first saw Carmen Villa in Aberdeen, he thought it would be perfect to hold all the wonderful pieces of furniture and art that he had collected from all over the world. He worked on the house for six months before moving to Aberdeen, establishing a garden and rewiring the house completely.

He did not tolerate mediocrity, and soon after his arrival in Aberdeen he expressed his displeasure vociferously at inefficiency and slow service delivery that he saw in the town. He was outspoken and in Pechine’s words, “totally larger than life”, and made his views known in no uncertain terms.

About four years ago he opened a gallery in Graaff-Reinet to display some of his treasures, but his heart was not really in it and he closed the shop last year, preferring to allow potential customers to view items in his home, by appointment.

As well as his design commissions, he also drew, and was working towards an exhibition later this year. He was vehemently against fracking and other environmental pollutants, and expressed this in his work. Pechine now plans to hold an exhibition of Ralph’s works, in his memory, in Cape Town.

Krall loved the Karoo, the serenity, the scenery, his garden, his dogs, and the kindness he found in so many people.

He was frustrated by his failing health, and according to his partner had said many times in the past year that he was ready to die. His body was beginning to fail him, and he would have hated to become an invalid dependent on others.” In the end, he died as he had lived- spectacularly” said Pechine.

He leaves a niece, Judith, who lives in Cape Town, with whom he has always had a very close relationship, and another niece in Germany. Krall did not want any memorial service, but Pechine and Judith will scatter his ashes over the ocean in Cape Town.

“He was the most considerate, loving, outrageous and unusual man” concluded Pechine.

Zileke back from World Cup

Zileke de Jager of Aberdeen recently returned from America, after representing the senior Protea team in the 5-gated saddle horse world cup in Lexington, Kentucky.

Both Protea teams acquitted themselves very well, winning silver medals in the 5-gated (Zileke’s event) and the 3-gated championships.

After arriving in Kentucky, the riders spent four days practising on various horses, with the mount that they would be riding in the championships being drawn randomly only the day before the competition started. This is really a test of the riders’ skills, as they have to compete on an unknown horse, and have very little time to form a partnership with the horse.

After the championships, Zileke spent some time in California with some of the other competitors, relaxing and enjoying some of the tourist sights of San Francisco and Los Angeles, before returning home for the start of the new school term.

Garden and social club painting

Continuing the arts and crafts theme, the Aberdeen Garden and Social Club’s July meeting last week was dedicated to painting with acrylics.

The meeting was hosted by Marianne Meijer, who only took up the hobby herself last September, but since that time she has developed a real passion for the craft. Her original mentor, with whom she paints on a regular basis, has even said that her painting is of such a high standard that she is now teaching him some skills and new ideas!

Most of the members who attended last Thursday’s session had no experience at all, although one or two had obviously dabbled a little beyond the “paint by numbers” stage. About half of the novice painters took inspiration from Marianne’s magnificent winter garden, whilst the others chose to do a traditional Karoo landscape. Most came with some ideas in their minds, and if necessary, they were given help to draw the initial outline. All received some guidance and advice where necessary from the experienced artists, but certainly managed to add their own individual flair and interpretation.

One of the novice painters created a very impressive red hibiscus in the Thursday session, with good use of shading and tones to create depth in the centre of the flower. She was so inspired by her success that she joined the experienced painters on Tuesday, and started an ambitious oil painting of a Karoo scene.

After the painting session on Thursday, all enjoyed some hearty soups and very welcome sherry, to ward off the winter chills.

Botter Ossies work continues

Back in March of this year, three friends who walked short distances together regularly for exercise took on the challenge of a 21km walk to raise money for charity.

Some of the money raised was earmarked for a clean-up campaign in Aberdeen, and in March, 67 black bags full of rubbish were collected in just 3½ days. This campaign is not over, and last Wednesday a further 22 large bags were collected from the area coming into Aberdeen from the Graaff-Reinet side, at the entrance to the industrial area. All this was achieved by one person, in just four hours!

Umelda van Rensburg, who is running this part of the project, is thrilled with how much has been achieved. Her little lime green Datsun 1200 bakkie, which is almost 40 years old, has certainly earned its keep, and repaid several times over the R6 000 she paid for it 20 years ago. A familiar sight outside her Superstore business for many years, the bakkie  has been officially “pensioned off”, but is still pressed into service for this worthy cause!


Bakkie laden with 22 bags filled with litter, collected in a small area in just 4 hours.

CARE raffle raises desperately-needed funds

The vet bills for Aberdeen’s CARE animal rescue organisation are mounting, and founder Maureen MacAndrew is kept on her toes trying to find new ways to bring in some much-needed funds .

CARE is involved with treated sick and injured township animals, and often this involves trips to the vets in Graaff-Reinet, incurring not only petrol costs but also veterinary bills. Most owners are able to pay only a fraction of the costs, if indeed anything at all.

For the latest fundraiser, Aberdeen resident and animal lover Glynis Luiters offered to sponsor a voucher for a meal for two at Georg, the new restaurant in Aberdeen. This was well supported, bringing in a substantial percentage of the outstanding account. The prize, a R400 voucher, was won by local resident Ian Reed.

Anyone who would like to contribute directly to CARE’s veterinary account at Camdeboo Vet clinic can do so using the reference CARE 463. The vets’ account is at Standard Bank, account number 082528799.

Maureen would like to thank all of those who supported the raffle, as well as those who quietly “do their bit” to help in so many ways.

NGK Thanksgiving Festival

The annual ‘Dankfees’ of the Aberdeen Dutch Reformed Church, which is so eagerly anticipated by local Aberdonians as well as those from surrounding towns, took place on Saturday 7 July.

For those who arrived early, there was hot tea and coffee with roosterkoek for breakfast, which was much appreciated on the chilly morning.

The day soon warmed up, and it was a wonderful occasion, with people from all sections of the community arriving to support the function and socialise together.

This festival has become renowned over the years for the large amount and variety of affordable, quality meat that is available. This year was no exception. The tables groaned under the mutton, lamb, beef and even ostrich meat and biltong.

Other tables were laden with a variety of cakes and biscuits, frozen meals, vegetables, curry and rice, pancakes, the ever-popular bazaar puddings, and treats for the children. As always, the chops and boerewors that had been freshly braaied outside the hall drew a big crowd, with the salads available to accompany the meat.

The tables set out as an indoor tea garden were soon full, with the café doing brisk business with hot drinks and cake. The pancake cooks also were kept very busy!

Despite the drought and weak economy the church raised more money than expected, with an increase of about 20% compared to last year. All the goods sold had been donated, and the church is extremely grateful to all the donors, workers and supporters who contributed to the success of theday.

“Our greatest thank you goes to our Heavenly Father for the wonderful day, with all the blessings and the opportunity to socialise together”  said Ds Abe Beyers


Local teacher weds

On30 June, local teacher Karla Rheeder was married to Pieter Weideman at the Arabest wedding venue in Despatch.

Karla, who is originally from Humansdorp, moved to Aberdeen in March 2015 to take up a position at Aberdeen Full Service School. Pieter is from Kareedouw, and came to Aberdeen to be with Karla last October, working at the local branch of BKB.

The couple met through a mutual friend in 2016, and started dating later that year. After their engagement in May 2017, they were counting down the days until their wedding during Karla’s school holidays!