NGK Aberdeen has record attendance

The service of song held in the Aberdeen Dutch Reformed Church on Sunday was a most moving occasion. Close to 700 people filled the church, eager to share in the experience – more than double the largest congregation previously recorded this century!  As well as local folk, many had travelled from surrounding towns, and even as far as PE, Beaufort West and Cape Town. They were not disappointed!

Annelie Botes and her team from Port Elizabeth interspersed traditional Christmas carols and the nativity story with thought-provoking excerpts on the sadness and futility of war.

A group of local children participated as shepherds and angels, under the guidance of Joan Barnard, and retired teacher Dick van Wyk was the narrator for the event.

Several people joined in the theme of wearing a uniform, with local farmer Freek Janse van Rensburg’s impressive collection of medals on his army uniform standing out. The service opened with a parade of those in uniform, led by the haunting sound of Amazing Grace on the bagpipes, played by Russell Mitchell from PE.

Singers Deon MacKay and Talitha Kotze held the congregation spellbound with their magnificent voices, often accompanied by Jaco Rademeyer on the recorder and Annelie Botes on the organ.

One part that brought many tears was a video of scenes from the Angolan border war, and a reading from Botes about the pain experienced by families left behind, desperately waiting for news of their menfolk. A story of a mother and how she lost a child moved many people, resonating with all who had lost a loved one from whatever cause.

Minister Abe Beyers explained that the vision of the Aberdeen NGK congregation is to bring peace and healing in the footsteps of Jesus. “The Christmas song service led by Annelie Botes on Sunday embraced this vision beautifully,” he said. “During the service, many people were able to relive their pain and suffering from the past, and then experience some liberation and feel the sorrow lifted away. We are very grateful that this wonderful opportunity was able to bring so much peace.”

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 He thanked organisers Christelle Nel and Miems van Loggerenberg, as well as all those who worked together to make the day a memorable event. “Annelie Botes promised that the church would once again be full for the service, and we were sceptical: how were we going to motivate people to come to Aberdeen? And yet it happened,” concluded Beyers.

Kamdebo grade Rs graduate

Last Friday Kamdebo Primary School held a graduation ceremony for the grade R classes.

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As well as some songs from the children, the parents were treated to a slide show of photos of the learners busy at work and play, which they thoroughly enjoyed. During one item, a group of grade 7 girls had candles to illustrate that the grade R learners are the light for the future.

After the event the learners were given party packs, drinks and cake, and refreshments were provided for the parents and guests.

Happy ending for Optel

When Aberdeen resident Frans Diedericks went to offload garden rubbish at the local dumping ground last month, he did not expect to end up with a rescue dog.

Whilst at the tip, he noticed an extremely thin and dirty brown dog, running around loose and desperately searching for food and water. The dog’s plight touched his heart, and on his return home he told his wife Bets what he had seen. They went back to the tip three times that same afternoon, trying to locate the dog, without success. The people in the area all claimed to know nothing about the dog, and there was no sign of any owner.

Very early the next morning, the couple went back, and found the dog scratching around in the area where rubbish was being burned. They caught it and put it in the back of their bakkie, and took it to Maureen MacAndrew, who runs the local animal welfare charity.

“The dog was badly affected by mange, and must have had at least a hundred ticks on it,” said MacAndrew, who immediately cleaned up the dog in a dip bath. The tips of both of the dog’ ears were missing, and it is thought that they had been burned whilst it was scavenging.

As it was so badly infected with mange, the Diedericks’ were reluctant to take the dog home initially, for fear of infecting their other dogs. For two weeks, MacAndrew kept it isolated in her kennels, dipping it every day and making sure it ate the nourishing food which the Diedericks’ supplied. The dog responded well to the treatment, and the couple decided to adopt her. The Graaff-Reinet SPCA arranged for the dog to be sterilised at welfare rates, and she was returned to her new home yesterday.

“We called her Optel, which means ‘pick up’, and she is such a clever dog,” enthused Bets Diedericks. “She has a lovely nature, and has settled down nicely with our other dogs. She no longer attacks her food bowl!”

Kamdebo Primary debs

The Kamdebo Primary School Debutantes raised a record amount of over R100 000 for school funds this year.

The Aberdeen library hall was transformed into a tropical paradise for the Debutantes’ Ball last week, with vibrant- coloured drapes flowing from the ceiling. The children were all dressed according to the Hawaiian theme, and many of the teachers and parents also sported bright garlands and even a few ‘grass’ skirts.

Teacher Janaine Pieterse led the debutantes in a selection of energetic hip-shaking dances, greatly enjoyed and appreciated by the parents and guests. Graaff-Reinet band La Petit provided music, and also stayed on for the parents’ dance afterwards.

All the debutantes received a gift bag in appreciation of their efforts, before the climax of the event, the announcement of the top six debutantes.

Janiel Pieterse, who brought in R20 000, was crowned Debutante of the Year. The runners up, in order, were Ezra Jacobs, Chelsea de Vos (the winner in 2017), Embruche Mesimela, Lucia le Roux and Indibabale Jacobs. These top six together raised almost R65 000, and with the addition of all the money raised through the year by the 34 debutantes to the ticket sales for the event and other donations, the total came to just over R103 000.

The school would like to thank all the parents and children who worked so hard to raise the funds, as well as the sponsors and those who attended the function.

Aalwynhof reaches out

Aalwynhof resident Piet Vers likes to keep himself busy, and about two years ago he started making small simple wooden crosses, with a view to selling them to raise funds for the home. This innovative craftsman used the dead wood from an old palm tree in the grounds of the home, adding a leather thong to some, and painting others in bright colours. “I can make four or five in a day,” he said proudly.

As a way of reaching out to the community, manager Nico Kemp and chairperson of the board, Diane Nel, decided to donate a box of the crosses to the local Uniting Reformed Church (VGK), which has one of the largest congregations in Aberdeen.

“We have almost 600 members, including about 130 children” explained church elder Bettie Saaiman. On Monday, Vers presented Saaiman a box containing 150 crosses, which she said will be given to the children at a special service, before Christmas.

The management of Aalwynhof were delighted to be able to support such a vibrant and growing church, and hope that in turn, members of the church will support the work of Aalwynhof.

Santa’s Shoeboxes for Aberdeen children

There were many smiling faces when Kitty Viljoen, Graaff-Reinet convenor for the Santa Shoebox project, distributed boxes of delight to the recipients recently.

The individual centres and children may not be named, but 45 children from Graaff-Reinet and 50 children from Aberdeen were thrilled (and a little overawed in some cases) to receive what was for many their first personalised Christmas gift. A basic hygiene product such as their own tube of toothpaste was greeted with almost as much delight as a cuddly animal or toy car.

“One little girl tried so hard to get her presents back in the box afterwards, but she just couldn’t get them all to fit,” explained a smiling supervisor. The child solved the problem by putting her tiara on her head, and clutching her teddy bear under her arm!

About half of the boxes were given by local residents, who carefully selected the gifts according to their chosen child. The remainder received boxes as a result of the ‘virtual shoebox’ drive, whereby those in other areas were able to make a cash donation to enable local volunteers to shop and pack the boxes on their behalf.  A voucher for clothing from Pep Stores was included with each virtual shoebox, and the children are eagerly looking forward to choosing a new outfit for Christmas.

This is the third year that Viljoen has organised Shoeboxes for local children, and although it is a lot of work, she is already looking forward to year’s parties. “The joy and excitement on the children’s faces make it all worthwhile,” she said.

Aberdeen Primary Full Service School prefects for 2020

The prefect group for 2020 for Aberdeen Primary Full Service School was announced recently.

The school will be led by Head Prefects Gushwin Davids  (deputy head boy), Oyena Ngalo (head boy), Macbonay Nel  (head girl) and Wendoline Martens (deputy head girl).

The prefect group:

Patrishane Chenga, Jenai Karelse, Anele Pipes, Christail Skaarnek, Christolene Jaer, Beaudre Jantjies, Christiano Le-Roux, Kevin-John Motley, Gushwin Davids,  Adrian Jacobs, Evelyn Jaer, Ashwin Josef, Wendoline Martens,  Stoffel May, Thurdo Mdwane, Amor Mostert, Macbonay Nel, Oyena Ngalo, Bramuche Sedras and Rudene Stringer

Aberdeen Primary Debs Ball

Elrich Johnson, a grade 7 learner, was crowned as Debutante of the Year for Aberdeen Primary Full Service School at a glittering function held recently in the Aberdeen library hall.

Elrich, who was a clear winner, brought in an impressive amount of over R9 000. Anele Pipes (grade 5) was first runner up, and Caylib Baartman (grade 3) was the second runner up. Charlton Ellis in grade R won the prize for the most tickets sold.

A total amount of R40 550 was raised by the 26 Debutantes, and the school is very grateful to the parents for their support. The prizes for the winners were donated by local businesses.

Kamdebo Primary prefects 2020

Head boy Kevin Minnaar, deputy head boy Maurizio de Jager, head girl Abigail Kalaka, deputy head girl Juanique Klaase.

All the prefects:

Kevin Minnaar, Maurizio de Jager, Abigail Kalaka, Juanique Klaase, Sara-Lene Gouws, Amber de Jager, Andriesher Paul, Ana Stacia van Wyk, Georgian de Jager, Nicorash Saaiman, Junavan Coetzee, Elrico Cedras, Joe-junior Breda, Udrin de Bruin, Junay Lourens, Mandrelene Williams, Trulicia Afrikaner, Vonique Dace, Donnolene Frazenburg, Julain Priem and Triston McQueen

Aberdeen Full Service Primary School Diplomas

The school’s diploma ceremony was held recently in the school hall.

Sportman of the year: coaches Jaco-Dean Jonas and Brendon Flippies with sportsman of the year Ralton Heynse

Soccer awards to Hughqrin Plaatjies and Uwelthing Darries, with coach Brendon Flippies

Netball awards: coach Catharine Petersen with Amy Frolick – player of the year, Donadine Beyers – most progressed player, and Shakina Fortuin – best goal shooter.

Rugby: coach Jaco-Dean Jonas with Thulani Martins and Stefaans Jafhta

Top academic in grade 7: Mactroline Nobles with principal Johan Minnaar