Aberdeen VLV Beskou Argitektuur

Na die lang breuk van die Wintervakansie kom Aberdeen VLV in Augustus  weer byeen met studierigting Opvoeding en Kultuur aan die beurt.  Luise de Jager, Saamroeper Opvoeding en Kultuur, open met ‘n stukkie oor positiwiteit – in moeilike tye moet ons ons denkwyse verander en iets kry om ons op te lig.

Na afhandeling van ‘n paar VLV sake vaar lede die stofstrate in om die dorpie se unieke argitektuur te beskou, ten spyte van ‘n sterk wind wat die wêreld vaal het van die stof!  Aberdeen se inwonende argitek, Archie Norval, vertel op interessante en humoristiese wyse van die vier basiese style van argitektuur in Aberdeen.  Sommer gou is die wind vergete en leer lede hoe om die style uit te ken en hoe sommige huise verskillende elemente van verskillende style kombineer.  Daar word baie vrae gevra en Archie deel ook tuisgemaakte stokkielekkers en klein botteltjies water uit as lafenis tydens die stappie.  Die vier basiese style is die Karoo, Victoriaanse, Edwardian en Art Nouveau style en as elemente daarvan gekombineer word, is dit Eklekties.

Na die leersame uitstappie word daar afgesluit met koffie en eetgoed verskaf deur Carina Esterhuizen en Karen van Rensburg.  Die pragtige protea ranskikking en die heerlike koeksisters pas ook by die Kultuur tema.  Lucille van der Merwe wen die gelukkige trekking van die dag.

Models entertain a packed house

Nikeala Leyon won the prestigious Miss Aberdeen title at the modelling completion held on Women’s Day.

The library hall was packed with spectators, who were treated to a well-prepared show with over 30 entrants. The most entrants were received for the children’s category, Little Miss Aberdeen. Some of the contestants displayed great confidence, but some of the four-year-olds were rather nervous!

Judges Lorita Ehrke from Excelsior Hair Academy, and local teachers Cecilia Ackerman, Mellissa Saayman and Marius Frazenburg had some difficult choices to make, as all contestants had made a special effort.

The winners in the various categories were:

Naydia Louw as Miss Little Aberdeen, with First Princess Chriswudine Wit, and Second Princess Andriesher Paul. Naydia (4) was one of the youngest entrants.

Nikeala Leyon was crowned Miss Aberdeen, with runners-up Likita Du Plooy and Glynadia Minnaar.

Miss Woman Aberdeen was Ulalia Minnaar, with princesses Nosipho Jacobs and Nadine Esau.

Constance Andrews was Miss Elderly, with runner-up Salome Lammert.

The Miss Gay title was awarded to Kayleeche Roxy, with LA-Angelo Billet and Cheslynn De Bruin in second and third places.

Additional category winners were Nosipho Jacobs as Miss Personality, Shue-Anda Joseph as Miss Naturally, and Miss Legs, Nikeala Leyon.

“We were very grateful to the students from Excelsior Training Centre, who gained some practical experience and did the models’ hair and make-up free of charge,” said organiser Jesintha Williams. “Thiswas a special treat, especially for the little girls.”

Almost R2 400 was raised by the event, and three needy families, to be identified by local social workers, will receive food hampers and electricity vouchers. Williams would like to thank all those who supported the event: donors, spectators and entrants.

Anglican Youth Fellowship

A contingent of 16 Anglicans from Graaff-Reinet and Aberdeen travelled to Mossel Bay recently for the Anglican Youth Fellowship (AYF) annual Western Cape Cluster Conference.

The aim of the conference is to build better relationships between the dioceses, and to have fellowship and worship together. The dioceses work on supporting each other with their challenges, while finding ways to grow in their ministry throughout South Africa.

Maria Jacobs from Aberdeen, treasurer of the Diocese of George, said “There is much confusion in the youth, and they live in doubt and in fear of the world. They are easily attracted to drugs.” She emphasised the importance of prayer for guidance.

“A prayer from the Anglican Prayer Book, to keep the joy of the youth in God’s creation through Jesus Christ, and that all their fears, uncertainty and doubt be placed in God’s hands, was our central theme for the weekend” Jacobs continued.

Over 200 people attended the conference, and the local members from St Peter’s and St Paul’s in Aberdeen, and St Philip’s in Graaff-Reinet, returned home inspired to share what they had learned with their congregations.

New ward committee members elected

New ward committee members elected

Three new members were elected to represent the Aberdeen ward 7 community at a meeting held last week.

Lee-Ann Kekana was selected by the ladies present to represent the combined portfolio of women, the youth and the disabled. She is keen to work on drug- related problems particularly, because of their impact on so many other areas such as abuse of women and children, and general crime.

Judith Dardis was elected to represent the community on health matters. She aims to ensure that problems experienced in this field by community members or institutions will be addressed and followed up to reach a good solution.

George Ngeju, a retired teacher who is a pastor of God’s purpose Church, is keen to help rectify some of the problems in ward 7, especially those involving children begging and using illegal substances.

Ward Co-ordinator Vuyisile Jacobs commented that the meeting was well- attended. “I was pleased to see that community members participated positively and constructively,” he added.

Rudy Jacobs, Ward Councillor, gave feedback on the IDP Review. Most of the priority listings from 2016 still have not been rectified. Some of these matters drew further discussion, such as the ongoing problems experienced due to the lack of public toilets in the town.

Cllr Jacobs also said that a motion has been submitted to privatise certain assets such as the caravan park and netball and tennis courts, as the municipality is unable to maintain these facilities.

A liquor licence application was submitted for comment, and the unanimous verdict was that this should not be granted. There was some concern that two other applications, earlier this year, had been granted by the Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB), despite very mixed feelings from the community.  Cllr Jacobs explained that he had submitted a report to the ECLB, but had no further influence on the granting of the licences.

Women’s Day spoils at Aalwynhof

The Control Board of Aalwynhof Home for the Aged organised a special morning tea for Women’s Day last week, as a combined fundraiser and social occasion for some the residents.

The tea started off with the staff of Aalwynhof, some of whom wore traditional dress, winding their way through the tables, while singing Xhosa songs. The organisers were thrilled that even members of the staff who were not on duty came in voluntarily to join in the singing.  The audience thoroughly enjoyed the performance, and resident Donnie Erlank thanked the staff, not only for the singing, but also for the care and attention shown to all the residents on a daily basis. Each was given a small gift.

Guest Gina de Beer was given a small present by Chairlady Diane Nel, and thanked for her involvement with Aalwynhof over the years. De Beer, herself in her 80s, is a frequent visitor to the Home, and is often seen seated at the piano, leading a sing-a-long.

Louise Vosloo read a hilarious story written by the late Jan Spies about a hunting trip in the Kalahari, which caused much amusement.

Immediately after this, the name of this year’s Woman of the Year was announced.  The award was given to Louise Vosloo, for her spiritual involvement with the residents and help with exercises to stretch their aching limbs. She was presented with a beautiful protea by Wilhemien Caricator.

Dr Olive Muller, who was the Woman of the Year for the last two years, was named Patron of Aalwynhof.

Dainty tea-time cakes were served, provided mostly by the ladies of the Board, with an added donation from Nico Kemp and Archie Norval.

Whilst the guests were enjoying the festivities, the staff choir members were not forgotten. A small surprise party was held for them in their lounge, with a big chocolate cake slab with the words ‘Baie Dankie’ written on it. Chairlady Nel explained that the Board wanted to publicly thank the staff for the long hours they work, often in difficult circumstances.

Local MP makes her mark

Samantha Graham-Maré, newly-elected Member of Parliament, has already made her mark in her first few months in office.  

She has been assigned to the Portfolio Committee of Public Works and Infrastructure.  Debates on the budgets of every department took place over two weeks in Parliament, and Graham-Maré had her first opportunity to prepare a speech on the budget and present it in Parliament on 10 July. “It went very well, despite my extreme nervousness,” she said.

Also within this term was Questions to the Deputy President which was on Thursday, 25 July.  The Deputy President is provided with six written questions from various parties which he is given in advance in order to prepare a response.  Graham-Maré was one of the few on the Speaker’s list and got to ask the Deputy President a question on EPWP. In this, she suggested that “EPWP is nothing more than a social security programme, despite it being used as a measure for government’s ability to create work opportunities.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the fact that EPWP participants are paid at 55% of the minimum wage.”

“It was almost more terrifying than doing my budget speech,” she admitted.  “It was an incredible honour for a new MP -there are many MPs who have been in Parliament for a number of years who have never had the opportunity to ask the President or Deputy President a question.”

She has settled into her house in Acacia Park, one of the Parliamentary Villages, located in Goodwood.  Although only 16kms from Parliament, with the heavy Cape Town traffic it usually takes close to an hour to get to Parliament in the morning.  This is somewhat of a change after Graaff-Reinet traffic!

For recreation, she has joined the Parliamentary Squash Club and plays in the C Team. She has played in three matches so far, and is thoroughly enjoying the experience.

MPs were recently on a Constituency Break, which gave her a chance to spend time working with councillors and activists within the Dr Beyers Naude constituency.

The next parliamentary term commenced on 20 August, and that term is only five weeks until 20 September. After this, there is another two week Constituency period before the final term of the year. Residents of Dr Beyers Naude Local Municipality can rest assured that although Graham-Maré is no longer a councillor, she is still very actively concerned with local affairs.

Farewell to a true educator

Isak Job, a teacher at Aberdeen Secondary School, passed away peacefully on 16 July after a short illness.

Job was a true Aberdonian, born in the town in August 1963. He was educated at Kamdebo Primary School in Lotusville and Spandau Secondary School in Graaff-Reinet, before training as a teacher in Oudtshoorn.

He taught at his old school, Kamdebo Primary, for six years, before being appointed to the staff of Aberdeen Secondary School in 1994. He taught life sciences and mathematics at the school for 25 years, dedicated to his subject and the learners.

Job enjoyed helping others, and spending time with his children, friends and extended family. He was an active member of the community with a particular interest in sport, being involved in both school and club rugby, as well as pool. He also served on the School Governing Body at Kamdebo Primary School.

In the last six months, Job developed kidney problems as a complication of his long-term diabetes, and after a sudden deterioration, he passed away last Tuesday in Aberdeen hospital, from kidney failure.

He was from a large family, and is survived by three brothers and seven sisters, as well as his 13 children and 16 grandchildren. He will be sadly missed by his family, friends, colleagues and learners.

A memorial service was held at Aberdeen Secondary School on Wednesday 24 July, attended by teachers from all Aberdeen schools, a representative from the District Education Office, parents and pupils of Aberdeen Secondary, as well as his family and friends.

His funeral service was held at the same venue on Saturday 27 July. Mourners travelled from as far as Cape Town to pay their last respects.

A sugar high for the Garden Club

As the weather in July is not very conducive to gardening and outdoor activities, a slightly different meeting was held this month where the members of Aberdeen’s Garden and Social Club were introduced to the intricacies of making doughnuts.

Host Richard Davison started work in the baking industry at the age of 15 in Torquay, England. He moved to South Africa with his wife Ann in 1972, and for many years the couple ran their own bakery in Mayfair in Johannesburg. From there they moved around the Eastern Cape and KZN, where Davison was a regional manager of Pick ‘n Pay, a bakery consultant for Unilever, a bakery technician in Durban, and had his own consulting company for three years.

 In 2009 they retired to Aberdeen, where Davison has always been willing to share his expertise (and delicious products!)

On arrival at the Davison’s home, guests were welcomed with sweet Danish laminated doughnuts. A new batch of these spicy treats was the first delicacy to be demonstrated and fried, followed by fresh apple doughnuts.

Throughout the morning, Davison patiently answered the many questions from members.

Jadre Lategan then gave a short informal demonstration of finger knitting, using mega chunky solid wool. The ladies were amazed to see how quickly a knitted strip took shape and grew.

After the demonstration, a selection of hot soups was enjoyed, accompanied by French bread.

There will be no meeting in August, but interesting “away” trips have been lined up for spring, including a braai in the Camdeboo National Park and a visit to a local farm.

The Clean-Up Squad

Since the beginning of this year, there has been a revived effort from residents of Aberdeen to uplift the town, and one area that has received particular attention is cleaning up the litter.

In recent weeks, the townsfolk have been joined by a team of enthusiastic youngsters, under the leadership of Lotusville residents Rolavian (Lollo) Jackson, Zettie Darries and Octavius Coetzee. “We wanted to get involved to do our bit to help, as we are all part of Aberdeen,” explained Jackson.

The men were put in touch with Cornelia Cronje, who has worked with some of the local primary school children on painting and litter projects in the town. At the end of last month, Jackson and his friends recruited 24 children from Lotusville. They met up with Cronje and fellow anti-waste warrior Ian Reed on a Saturday morning, and spent several hours cleaning the streets in the centre of town. The children were thrilled to each be given a warm hand-crocheted beanie, donated by a group of Reed’s friends in Durban.

Last Sunday, Jackson took most of the children to work on one of the traffic islands, clearing up litter and repainting the kerbstones.  Each child proudly wore a reflective safety vest, provided by the men. Cronje brought along white paint and brushes, and after sweeping away the dust, the children set to work. Meanwhile, Darries took a small group of younger children to the centre of town, where they collected several bags of litter.

As well as the obvious benefits of the litter being cleared, Jackson explained that they also wanted to give the children something positive to do, to keep them from just wandering the streets. The team spirit and sense of achievement experienced by the children was clear to all who watched them work, as was their delight at the simple reward of a sucker and personal word of thanks at the end of the day.

Donations towards the renewal project can be made to Wilhelm van der Vyver Trust, ABSA, account number 4073811959, using reference AH 0039.

 “We are thrilled that the Lotusville men have joined in our mission to clean the town and educate the youngsters,” said a delighted Cronje.

Brigade anniversary

The sounds of a brass band marching through Aberdeen drew many curious spectators last weekend.

The annual festival for the Christian Youth Movement (CYM) Brigades in the area was held in the town, with Brigades from Middelburg, Jansenville and Graaff-Reinet hosted by the Aberdeen group for the weekend.

On Friday, there was a social event and Mr and Miss Brigade were chosen at a fun modelling evening, with Elzandro Koopmans and Godney Williams as the well-deserved winners.

The combined groups marched through Lotusville and the town on Saturday morning, with a drill practice in Lotusville in the afternoon. That evening, a variety show was held in the Sopkombuis, 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 Aberdeen Brigade is still very young, celebrating its third birthday this year. The driving force behind it is Maggie Joubert, and with very limited resources she has managed to make a huge difference in the life of the youngsters involved. Run under the auspices of the Uniting Reform Church, the Brigade caters broadly for those between 13 and 30 years, with a few older members for support. Brigade members wear a black and white smart uniform, and the discipline of drill marching is taught, usually supported by a brass band. For the first year, the Aberdeen branch was not able to afford any instruments, but the members certainly benefitted from the other activities. Now the Brigade boasts two trumpets and two trombones, one base drum and one side drum. Gradually they hope to acquire more instruments so that more of the approximately 70 active members of the brigade can get a chance to play.

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.