Kamdeboo Primary Choir

During the second term, principal Daniel Pieterse approached teacher Esteline de Jager about forming a choir at the school. Esteline, an accomplished musician and singer herself, had noticed how much the children enjoyed singing in class, and felt that many showed considerable talent.

Esteline and her husband Roberto, who is the District Music Coordinator for the New Apostolic Church, held auditions at the end of last term, and selected over 30 youngsters who were both keen and showed promise as singers.

The first performance for the newly-formed choir came rather more quickly than expected, as they were asked to sing at Aalwynhof Home for the Aged on Mandela Day, the day after the beginning of term! In the short time available, Esteline taught them two hymns, in English. When asked how the children managed to learn the words so quickly, in a language that most are not fluent in, she explained her specialt method. “When I am conducting the choir, I sing the words myself, enunciating the words very clearly with exaggerated opening of my mouth. When the children copy me, the correct sounds come out” she explained!

At present, the choir is singing with one voice, training using the tonic sol-fah system. As the children gain in confidence, Esteline hopes to be able to introduce a second voice, with harmonies.

At this stage, the choir leads the school in singing the school song and national anthem at the weekly assembly. Esteline, who teaches all classes form grades 4 to 7, spends 10 minutes of the first two periods every day singing with her classes (not just the choir members), and she finds this a wonderful way to get the children motivated to learn at the beginning of the day.

SPCA Raffle won by Aberdonian!


A beautiful hand-embroidered picture of three dogs was recently raffled by the Graaff-Reinet SPCA, bringing in some much-needed funds for this worthwhile organisation.

The picture was embroidered by Ann Wucherpfennig, who was a stalwart of the SPCA. She originally joined as a member and a volunteer, and went on to be acting chairperson before she was formally elected to the post of chairperson in 2011. She remained in this position until November 2016, and continued to work as a volunteer, remaining a loyal member of the SPCA until she sadly passed away on 1 March this year.

Ann’s daughter, Venita, donated the picture to the SPCA as a raffle prize, in memory of her mother. Well over one hundred tickets were sold, and the SPCA committee would like to thank Venita for this generous donation.

The prize was won by Tilly Beneke of Aberdeen, and was presented to her this week by committee member Manfred Hansen.

Graaff-Reinet Calendar competition

 

In the four years since it has been established, the annual Graaff-Reinet Calendar Competition has become an event that is eagerly anticipated by local amateur photographers, both young and old.

This year the calendar will be produced by Country Mouse Design and Prinsloo Photography, divisions of Karoo Marketing. The combination of well-known local photographer Charlene Prinsloo’s input with Nicola Beldon’s design skills should raise the standard of this year’s calendar even higher. Already the annual calendar has become something of a “collectable” amongst local residents, and it makes a wonderful gift for those who love the town.

There are cash prizes on offer for the top three photographs, but the prestige and honour of having one’s photo featured in such a top-quality product is even more of an incentive for most!

Photographs can be of any subject- architecture, people, landscapes- that reflect the beauty and uniqueness of this town, almost surrounded by a nature reserve.

Entries will only be accepted by email, for quality reasons, and should be sent to countrymousedesign@gmail.com. Photos should be between 1MB and 3MB (72-300dpi), and the photographer’s name, age, contact details should be included, as well as the location where the photo was taken. In order to give everyone a chance, entries are limited to five per person. The closing date is 1 October.

The judges this year are Nicola Beldon, Charlene Prinsloo, Peter Whitlock, Liesl Heunis, Anziske Keyster, and Kim Imrie.

“I would like you remind you that the competition is open to ALL amateur photographers” said Beldon. “With most people having access to a good quality cell phone camera, we are looking for a variety of entries from the horseshoe, townships and surrounding farms. We are looking for photographs representing your daily life in this area, such as the people, animals, architecture and scenery which makes us unique. Please encourage your friends, parents, children and grandchildren to take a new look at our beautiful Graaff-Reinet from a different angle – through the lens of a camera.”

Gift of the Givers donate to Aberdeen farmers

Farmers in the Aberdeen district have been blessed to be the recipients of two consignments of fresh fodder in the last few weeks from Gift of the Givers.

About two weeks ago, when the organisation was helping out the farmers in Sutherland, they received a plea from Aberdeen farmers for help. On a cold and misty morning last Thursday, 88 bales were delivered to Aberdeen, and on Monday (which coincided with the 26th anniversary of the organisation), they brought a further 40 bales, to help those who missed out on the first donation.

After the first delivery, Aberdeen farmer Brian Geard expressed his heartfelt thanks to the organisation on their facebook page, on behalf of all the farmers in the Aberdeen district. “We would like to thank all at Gift of the Givers, all the farmers involved in organising and donating feed, and all the people involved in the transport of the fodder to us. We are tremendously grateful for the fodder, but above all it is the hope that gives us the strength to get up in the morning and carry on. I believe that with the help of our Lord God we can make a positive impact on this nation.”

Ali Sablay, a spokesperson for Gift of the Givers, told the Advertiser that they see the need increasing day by day, and give as much support as possible to the agricultural sector. “We realise the importance of the agricultural economy” he said. “If we can save a farmer, we save not only his family, but all his workers and their families, and the whole community”.

Recreational soccer

Last Saturday, 4 August, a team of Penny Farthing employees took on Mloza United, one of the local Aberdeen veterans’ teams, at the Thembalesizwe soccer fields.

Although it was a friendly game, it was very competitive, and the participants enjoyed displaying some well-remembered skills. Penny Farthing won the game 3-0.

Many of the Penny Farthing employees are not from this area, and find themselves with nothing to do at weekends. Wellness champion Sabelo Mbi, together with site agent Lawrence Lekgari, harnessed the employees’ interest in soccer, with the aim of providing a healthy recreational activity for them.

A braai was held after the game for both teams, sponsored by Penny Farthing.

Plans are underway for the Penny Farthing team to play regular games against other local teams.

Youth Brigade

About a year ago, the Uniting Reform Church in Aberdeen started the Christian Youth Movement (CYM) Brigade with youngsters from the church. The brigade caters broadly for those between 13 and 30 years, with a few older members for support. Brigade members war a black and white smart uniform, and the discipline of drill marching it taught, usually supported by a brass band. At this stage, the Aberdeen branch has not been able to afford any instruments, but the members are certainly benefitting from the other activities.

The annual festival for the CYM brigades in the area was held recently in Aberdeen, with brigades from Jansenville, Middelburg and Graaff-Reinet hosted by the Aberdeen group for the weekend, along with a group of Gospel singers and spiritual dancers from Murraysburg.

On Friday, there was a social event and Mr and Ms Brigade were chosen, Renaldo le Roux and Caitlin Bacon.

The combined groups marchedthrough Lotusville and the town on Saturday morning, with a drill practice in the afternoon. That evening, a variety show was held in the Kabouterland Creche hall, and the packed hall thoroughly enjoyed the talented performers.

The main event of the weekend was a march in full uniform from the Sopkombuis in Lotusville to the church in Hoffman Street, accompanied by the combined brass band, which was a very impressive sight and drew many spectators along the way.

The organisers of the Aberdeen brigade would like to thank those members of the community who responded so generously to requests for food donations, and also those who hosted the visiting children.

Socks handover

 

At the beginning of July, the Advertiser reported on a campaign initiated by Sabelo Mbi, Wellness Champion at Penny Farthing, to collect school socks for needy learners at Aberdeen’s three primary schools.

On Tuesday of this week 143 pairs of socks were handed over to the principals of Aberdeen Full Service School, Kamdeboo Primary School and Luxolo Intermediate School during a short ceremony at the Penny Farthing Offices. Mbi, together with Traffic Safety Officer Leonard Rogers and SMEC Consultants’ Route Manager Danré Gerber and Assistant Route Manager Mèran Arnolds, presented each principal with over 40 pairs of socks for their learners.

About half of the socks were donated by members of the community in response to Penny Farthing’s appeal, and subcontractors and consultants of the company were also keen to participate. One SMEC consultant was actually the biggest donor, adding 13 pairs of socks to the collection!

Jan Mathiale, principal of Luxolo intermediate School, spoke on behalf of all the principals and thanked Penny Farthing for organising the project. He acknowledged that many of the learners at his school are from poor families, who cannot afford to buy such a basic necessity for their children. Mathiale added that he hoped that having a pair of warm socks to wear would encourage the children to come to school during the very cold weather.

The principals agreed that each would ask his school’s Learner Support Agent to allocate the socks –these staff members deal with the social needs of the learners, and would be in the best position to decide on the most needy and deserving children.

Those members of the community who had also supported the project were thanked by the principals and the organisers.

Mbi is keen to organise more outreach programmes into the community, and is very willing to receive input from residents to identify areas of need.

Mandela Day at Aberdeen Full Service School

For their Mandela Day celebrations, Aberdeen Full Service School created a festive atmosphere with colourful balloons. The grade seven learners spelled out a birthday message in the garden to Madiba with white stones, and the whole school sang Happy Birthday before releasing the balloons.

The day was organised by the Learner Support Assistant Hillary Saaiman, who arranged for retired principal of Kamdeboo Primary and ward 1 councillor Willem Safers to speak to the children about Nelson Mandela and the lessons that he taught everyone

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!