Aberdeen VLV Erkenning

Tydens Sirkel Middelland se Konferensie op 20 Maart 2019, in die Sun Boardwalk Internasionale Konferensiesentrum in Port Elizabeth, het die Tak op verskeie maniere erkenning gekry.

Behalwe die Dankiepersoon, Jean Watermeyer, wat aangewys is, het die Tak het die trofeë ontvang vir Uitstaande Administrasie, sowel as 3de meeste nuwe lede.  Annalie Lategan het ook 3de plek in Woordkuns verower en kry 89% vir haar prosa getiteld “Niemand het dit verwag nie”.

Verder is Aberdeen se Voorsitter, Lea van der Vyver, reeds sedert 2017 Sekretaris van Sirkel Middelland en is sy tydens hierdie konferensie ook as Visepresident verkies.

Aberdeen VLV nooi vroue in die dorp en omgewing wat nog nie betrokke is nie om as gaste by te woon of te kom aansluit.  Die organisasie bied die geleentheid om ander vroue beter te leer ken en saam iets nuuts te leer, om jou talente te ontwikkel en om in die gemeenskap betrokke te raak.  Enige huidige VLV lid kan genader word in die verband.

Kamdebo Primary’s new teachers

Kamdebo School Management Team (SMT) has been delighted to welcome some dedicated and talented new teachers to the school this year.

In the first term, Janaine Pieterse moved across town from Aberdeen Full Service School to teach grade R, Stephanie Mathews from Graaff-Reinet joined the school as a grade 1 educator, and Irené van Schalkwyk, also from Aberdeen, took up a School Governing Body post with a grade 2 class.

At the beginning of the second term, Kamdebo Primary welcomed Hilldene Vermaak from Kleinpoort as a grade 3 teacher, Chené Muller from Jansenville for grade 4, and Cecilia Ackerman from Secunda as a grade 5 teacher.

Aberdeen welcomes new SAPS station commander

Capt Vernon Minnaar, who was recently appointed as Station Commander for SAPS in Aberdeen, is no stranger to the town as its residents.

He spent 15 months in the town as Acting Station Commander, from March 2014 until May 2015, during which time he got to know the area, and gained the respect of the community for his integrity and commitment.

With the appointment of Capt Advocate Qashani as Station Commander, Capt Minnaar returned to the Graaff-Reinet police station as a relief commander. In September 2016 he transferred to the cluster office, as coordinator for the Visible Police (Vispol) crime prevention section.

Capt Advocate Qashani left Aberdeen at the beginning of this year when he was promoted to the post of Lieutenant Colonel at the police station in Libode, 28km from his home town of Umtata, creating a vacancy in Aberdeen.

During February, Capt Minnaar requested a transfer to Aberdeen to take up the post, looking for the challenge of more responsibility for a wider field of operations. He was appointed as Aberdeen Station Commander on 4 March.

As well as visible policing, his responsibilities now include the oversight of logistics, finance and the staff, including the detective branch. Aberdeen SAPS has five warrant officers, three sergeants, ten constables and four administrative clerks, as well as four warrant officers, two constables and an administrative clerk at the detective branch.

Capt Minnaar commented that there is a shortage of staff, but he is determined to work with the people available to give the best service possible to the town and surrounding farms. He plans to move to Aberdeen  as soon as possible to be on hand for the community, and to attend to complaints with improved professionalism.

One area that he will be working on is to take better care of state resources, such as the vehicles, as vehicles in good running order are essential to be able to get to the community when needed.

Mielies donation for farmers


Some 38 Aberdeen farmers were thrown a small life line last Wednesday when three links of mielies arrived for them, made available by the Department of Agriculture.

After making application for assistance for drought aid in March 2018, and the intervention of Agri EC who negotiated with the Department to assist the farmers, the aid eventually became a reality.  A total of six links were sent.  Farmers from Aberdeen, Willowmore, Rietbron and Steytlerville were all recipients of this assistance. 

The beneficiaries would like to thank Agri EC and the Department of Agriculture for coming together to assist the farmers.  These areas are still reeling due to the effects of the prolonged drought, and it is hoped that more assistance for these farmers will be forthcoming.

It is of concern that, although funding has been made available by National Government for drought relief, it is not reaching the farmers in need.

Kamdebo Primary benefit from the Botter Ossies

The Aberdeen Botter Ossies, who in March completed their second long walk for charity, were delighted to be able to hand over the amount of R9 000 to the Kamdebo Primary School’s Governing Body fund on Monday.

Hannelie van der Westhuisen,  Umelda van Rensburg, Debbie Barnardt and Lizemari Jordaan walked a distance of 25km this year to Grootvlakte farm, raising a magnificent R37 000 for local charities and projects.

Debbie, who is in her second year of study towards a Bachelor of Education, spent the first term this year helping out at Kamdebo Primary, teaching grade 3 learners in a governing body post. The teachers were very supportive of her determination and commitment to the walk, and themselves contributed an amount of R3260 towards the fundraiser.

It is fitting then that Debbie was the representative of the Botter Ossies to hand over the donation to the school, and that Niel Pienaar, who acted as a second and general “encourager” to the ladies during the walk, was one of those to receive the gift. Principal Daniel Pieterse was delighted to accept the generous donation, and assured the ladies that it would be spent wisely.

Garden Club visit Doorndraai

A small but enthusiastic group of members of Aberdeen’s Garden and Social Club enjoyed a wonderful relaxing trip to visit Dickie and Colleen Ogilvie on their farm Doorndraai.

The farm is situated about 50km from Aberdeen, the last 28km of which is a well-maintained gravel road.

The Ogilvies welcomed the group warmly, and there was much informal chat and socialising in the garden over tea, coffee and snacks.

Dickie then gave a brief history of the farm, which was bought by Colleen’s father in 1965. The area was experiencing a dreadful drought at the time, very similar to the current situation. The veld had been overgrazed by the previous owners, but with a great deal of hard work, it was restored and Colleen’s brother Alex took over the farm when her parents moved to Four Winds, just outside Aberdeen. He was very keen on game farming, and was responsible for the introduction of fallow deer to the area. Sadly, in 1986 he was diagnosed with cancer, and passed away in May the following year.

After much soul-searching and consideration, Dickie and Colleen gave up their teaching careers in Port Elizabeth and came to the Karoo at the end of 1987 to run the farm. Although Dickie is from a farming family, his family’s farm was very different to Doorndraai, and he relied heavily on his father-in-law for help and advice for the first few years.

After 32 years of farming, he is now very well respected in the area, holding leadership positions in the farming community, and he has built up his breeding stock to produce top quality mohair and wool. During his time at Grootfontein Agricultural College he became a Springbok Kop, a qualification only awarded to those who prove to be expert wool sorters. Every year the farm’s wool and mohair achieve top prices at the international auction in Port Elizabeth.

The boundaries of the farm stretch over a large area, roughly 37km long and 12km wide, covering about 14 000 hectares. Two additional farms have been added on to the original Doorndraai to make one large unit.

Dickie then talked eloquently about the devastating effects of the current drought, now in its fourth year. With only 40% of the usual rainfall in this time, the farmers in the area have been very hard hit, and all available funds have been used to feed the depleted stock. Like most others, the Doorndraai stock has been reduced to a nucleus of sheep and goats as a breeding herd. This particular area seems to be in “dry belt”: thunderstorms are seen, but circle the area and seem to follow the same route, which is not over the farms in part of the region.

Many extremely generous donations of feed have been received by farmers in the area, some free and some at a reduced price, but transport for this is extremely expensive. As the drought bites harder, more and more farmers are affected, with some being virtually on the breadline. The Garden Club members present were obviously aware of the drought, but few had realised just quite how critical the situation is.

Colleen the provided a delicious lunch of lasagne and salad, which was an unexpected treat. She then took the guests to see the dam, in the hope of spotting some fallow deer. Only one was seen, in the distance, but after a seemingly precarious trip along the top of the dam wall, the goats grazing nearby all rushed to the bakkie, expecting to be fed. There was much clicking of cameras!

This proved to be a most enjoyable and enlightening visit, with everyone leaving a little more aware of some of the problems facing the farming community.

Aalwynhof autumn bazaar

This year, Aalwynhof’s annual bazaar was held early in the year for the first time, instead of the usual September or October, and the event last Friday proved to be a great success.

There was a variety of stalls, offering braai meat, frozen meat and venison, a popular cake table with a selection of home-baked treats, and the irresistible typical bazaar puddings.

Christa van Rensburg looked after an assortment of items on the white elephant stall, and the ever-popular pancakes sold out when the team ran out of batter, despite having made enough for 500 pancakes!

The vegetable stall was well supported, with vegetables picked by members of the Board the previous day on Thabo van Rooyen’s farm.  Cabbages and onions were also kindly donated for this stall by Toesie Slabbert.

The cherry on the top was the Café, which was run this year by relative newcomers to the town, Archie Norval and Nico Kemp. Despite only returning from a trip to Dubai the previous evening, the pair managed to conjure up a wonderful selection of dainty cakes and savouries, tea, coffee and their trade mark gingerbeer floats, all sold at extremely reasonable prices.

The Board of Aalwynhof would like to convey a huge vote of thanks to all the convenors, workers, buyers and donors.

Residents’ cleaning team in Aberdeen

The first clean-up event for Ward 7 and Revivify Aberdeen took place on last Saturday, assisted by some members of the Garden and Social Club.

Cleaning up Aberdeen (and this means all the different suburbs and not only town centre) is a priority for the Revivify campaign, and indeed for the community as a whole. “A clean town creates a renewed sense of pride among residents” explained Archibald Norval, one of the founders of Revivify.

The first volunteering helping hands clean-up crew were out in Aberdeen to pick up litter in town, by doing so supporting the health of the community. There is a need for groups like this because of the lack of service delivery by the proper authorities, but members of the group stress the need to work together with the local community and municipality to share the idea with all the people of Aberdeen. Ward Councillor Rudy Jacobs was one of the organisers, publicising the campaign, and certainly did his fair share of getting “down and dirty” cleaning furrows!

The area tackled in the first session included the blocks in front of Foodzone and USave, the empty lot next to Foodzone, and the furrow from the butchery to the road. The volunteers also cleaned the area outside the Aberdeen Club, and along Rabie Street all the way to Aalwynhof.

Some casual labourers, arranged and paid for by one resident, cleaned the building detritus and rubble near the supermarket on the corner of Grey Street.

One of the people working that day expressed her disappointment that so few people had turned up to help, although some who were unable to attend supported in other ways with donations of black bags and cooldrink for those working. A major cause of frustration was that the furrows outside Foodzone and Usave were so dirty, with a great deal of litter causing both an eyesore and health hazard.

Saturday’s helping hands clean-up crew was small but did amazing work. The litter that was collected filled 25 refuse bags: “Imagine what a few more of these clean-up crews could do to clean up all the suburbs of Aberdeen” said Norval wistfully!

Walking along the streets to pick up litter along the way gave some the opportunity for chatting and mingling with pedestrians and residents sitting on their stoeps, as a useful but informal way to meet the town dwellers. Others had a rather more mucky time, ankle deep in water and picking up used condoms from the furrows!

The next clean-up day will take place on Saturday 11 May. All residents of ward 7 and ward 1 will be very welcome to join in, as the amount of litter collected in the time will be directly proportional to the number of volunteers.  The meeting place this time will be between the two parks in the centre of town.

Hairdressing course starts in Aberdeen

Through SETA, a learnership programme has been launched in Aberdeen for aspiring hairdressers.

The programme is being run by Lorita Ehrke from Gauteng, director and principal of Excelsius, the Skills Development Provider. Lorita has been involved with shorter skills programmes in rural areas of Mpumalanga and Limpopo for many years, and is excited about imparting her vast array of skills and knowledge to the enthusiastic students in Aberdeen. This will be the first rural area where the company will be hosting a full qualification, which will be achieved after three years of training.

There were many more applicants than the 30 places available, o candidates were accepted on a first come, first served basis. Lorita already has plans in the pipeline to accommodate those who were disappointed in a later course, and is applying for more grants for Aberdeen. Each student will receive a stipend of R2 000 per month.

The opening event was held last week at Pagel House, and classes will start at the same venue on 15 April. The course is a mixture of practical and theory, and Lorita will be in attendance every month to monitor the standards.

The students are naturally keen to get started with some practical work, and in their first lesson will be taught the correct way to wash a client’s hair, practising on each other, and about reception duties.

Aberdeen VLV Dankiepersoon Jean Watermeyer

Sirkel Middelland se Konferensie op 20 Maart 2019 was ‘n swierige geleentheid in die Sun Boardwalk Internasionale Konferensiesentrum in Port Elizabeth.

Tydens hierdie konferensie is Dankiepersone aangewys – dit gee erkenning aan ‘n VLV-lid wat passie het, wat ander inspireer en ‘n wat verskil maak in die gemeenskap. Jean Watermeyer is deur Aberdeen Tak nomineer en was in persoon daar om haar toekenning vanaf Sirkelpresident, Lynette Martin, te ontvang.  Alles is in die geheim met haar dogters, Colleen Ogilvie en Helen Harris, gereël en sy was totaal onbewus van die eer wat haar te beurt val.  Sy het elke oomblik terdeë geniet en was so dankbaar vir die gebaar.

Die volgende motivering is voorgelees by konferensie :

Jean Watermeyer – waar begin en eindig mens om so ‘n vrou se deugde en bydrae te beskryf?  Jean is ‘n volle 87 jaar oud, maar van rustig wees is daar geen sprake nie.  Nie alleen is sy nog ‘n aktiewe lid van VLV nie, maar sy is betrokke by talle organisasies en bedrywighede op Aberdeen.  Sy leef regtig vir haar medemens en het ‘n passie vir Aberdeen en al sy mense.  ‘n Toekenning is ook deur die Aberdeen Boerevereniging aan haar gegee vir haar jarelange bydrae in Aberdeen en sy boeregemeenskap.

Sy is lid van VLV vir die afgelope 36 jaar, het ook op bestuur gedien en woon nou nog feitlik elke vergadering by, ten spyte van die feit dat haar man John versorging nodig het.  Vir elke vergadering bring Jean interressante inligting, handwerk, ingelegte produkte of steggies saam om met lede te deel.  Sy moedig jong vroue, sowel as nuwe intrekkers, aan om VLV by te woon en aan te sluit.  Sy deins ook nie terug vir werk nie en ons moet net keer of sy skuif selfs tafels rond om reg te maak vir vergaderings!

Wat ander organisasies aanbetref, is Jean na 20 jaar steeds die voorsitter van Aberdeen Toerisme Vereniging.  Sy kry gereeld navrae oor die dorp en het ‘n passie om die dorp en sy besighede te adverteer.  Verder is sy Aberdeen se verteenwoordiger op die Kankervereniging van Graaff-Reinet Distrik en is persoonlik betrokke by elke geval wat aangemeld word.  Sy besoek die pasiënt en die familie en behalwe emosionele ondersteuning sorg sy dat enige fisiese behoeftes ook aangespreek word.  Jean het die hospitaal se tuin ook onder die vlerk en sorg vir aanplantings in en versorging van die tuin.  Dan het sy ook ‘n passie vir die verwaarloosde kinders in die arm gemeenskap en ondersteun die Bambino Sopkombuis projek met leiding en raad, asook om kosbydraes vir hulle by besighede soos Pick ‘n Pay te kry.  Sy besoek gereeld die projek en het die kinders ‘n ruk gelede gewys hoe om hulle eie groentetuine te maak.  Die munisipaliteit kry ook gereeld met haar te doen oor swak dienslewering, aangesien sy nie stilbly as dinge in Aberdeen nie reg verloop nie.

Aberdeen VLV lede het eenparig besluit om Jean Watermeyer met hierdie toekenning te vereer en te bedank vir haar passie, toewyding en voorbeeld van voluit leef vir elkeen wat haar pad kruis.