generous donation allows for spays in Aberdeen


Thanks to a generous donation from a lady in Gauteng, Camdeboo Sterilisation Initiative (CSI) in Graaff-Reinet was able to sponsor a sterilisation campaign in Aberdeen last week.

Dr Hildidge Beer and Sr Hilda Mills from EberVet pet care group in Cape Town spent two days in Aberdeen, and during that time, 37 dogs and 19 cats were sterilised at the Sopkombuis in Lotusville.


The local arrangements were all made by Maureen MacAndrew and her team from CARE, and a great deal of work was needed behind the scenes leading up the event as well as on the days concerned. Maureen would like to thank Manfred Hansen for transporting the dogs and cats to and from the venue, Val Denham and Zola Miller for administrative duties and general assistance, Ursula Snydert who helped at the pre-op tables and Wilfred Deysel for his invaluable assistance in field work and identifying the needy animals in the townships. The gentle strength of Andries Williams was also greatly appreciated.


One man, Anthony Frolick, brought his dog for sterilisation, and then stayed on and volunteered his help – those present were very grateful for this, as he was able to manage the few aggressive dogs with confidence. He has now been recruited as a member of the CARE team for future projects.

Aberdeen Secondary salutes top achievers

The annual prize-giving ceremony for Aberdeen Secondary School was held in the Library Hall on Thursday 25 October.

Guest speaker was Willem Säfers, retired principal of Kamdebo Primary School, and councillor for ward one in the Dr Beyers Naude Local Municipality.

Several outstanding results were rewarded, with the top learners from each grade receiving certificates and trophies.

The overall dux learner, for the top academic from grades 10, 11 and 12, was this year awarded to a girl in grade 11. Marinda Maarman received diplomas for achieving the top marks in Afrikaans home language, English first additional language, business studies, history, and life orientation, as well as for being the top achiever in her grade.

Valentino Saayman, who was the top learner in grade 12, received diplomas for Afrikaans home language, business studies, and history.

Shamier Riettels in grade 10, who was the top achiever in his grade, was awarded diplomas for Maths Literacy, History, and Life Sciences.

SAPS Charity Fun Run


The Fun Run/ Walk held in Aberdeen last Saturday was a great success, with over 80 entries received.

There was a great spirit seen among the competitors, particularly those who were walking, and everyone was happy to support a good cause. A group of four ladies from Graaff-Reinet who came to support the event looked very relieved when they had finished!

As it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there was a colourful banner to also show support for this cause. All funds raised from the event were used to buy sanitary towels for school girls, who often have to miss school due to lack of funds to buy these essentials. These have already been distributed to the four schools in the area.

Every participant received a medal, sponsored by the Department of Safety and Liaison, who also sponsored the refreshments at the end. Water points along the way were sponsored by Foodzone.

Prizes were sponsored by members of the community, and the first three ladies and men all received generous cash prizes.

Romario Saayman was the first man home, and he won R500 for his efforts. Second prize of R300 went to Jan Fick, and in third place was Pieter Witt, who received R200.

The winning lady was Wilke van Zyl, followed by Claudia Bam in second place and Adema Africa in third. As the event was organised by a woman, to support a charity for girls, it is only fiting that the prizes for the women were the same as for the men!

The first junior runner to finish, Maurice Vywers, was also awarded a prize of R100.

One very special prize was given by an anonymous donor to Evelyn Jacobs, an older lady who is a breast cancer survivor, and who managed to complete the full 7km.

Organiser Cst Alicia Africa, Community Police Official, would like to thank all the local shops in Lotusville and Thembalesizwe who sponsored the event, as well as Pick n Pay in Graaff-Reinet, for giving an extra donation of pads.

Santa’s shoebox in Aberdeen


Some children in Aberdeen were the lucky beneficiaries of the Santa Shoebox campaign last Friday.

The impeccably-behaved children sat quietly and listened to a Christmas story read by  one of the leaders of the group, and then the excitement built as each child was called by name to receive a present from Santa’s “elf”, in the person of Kitty Viljoen. Assisted by Jessie Wilderman, Kitty handed out a personalised gift to each child in the group. The children had to wait until everyone had their gift before they were allowed to open them, and the eager anticipation could be seen on their faces as they clutched this precious shoebox tightly.

Once Kitty gave the magic word, the respectful quiet suddenly became a cacophony of excited young voices as each one eagerly took off the lid of their box to see what was inside.

Something as simple as a bar of soap or a brand new toothbrush was held up in wonder, and a 14 year old girl who received a scientific calculator was almost in tears of amazement and joy. Soccer balls and toy cars were excitedly shown off by the boys, and even a small packet of sweets of their very own was something new for some of the children. Clothing was eagerly held up to show their friends –for some of the youngsters, it was the first time they had ever received brand-new clothing, chosen just for them.

Kitty interacted wonderfully with the children, and even the shyest ones were keen to show off their gifts to her.

Each child was given a cupcake, and then the precious gifts were very carefully put back into the shoeboxes to be taken home. One little boy of about six spent a long time carefully retying the original ribbon around his box, trying valiantly to replicate the beautiful bow that was there before!

One Shoebox party had already been held the previous week in Graaff-Reinet, and there will be two more at different facilities in the town in early November. With the addition of virtual shoeboxes, it is hoped that even more children may be able to be privileged to be part of the programme next year. This is the first year that rural towns have been able to receive virtual shoeboxes, a way for donors who are not near a drop-off point, or don’t have time to shop for the goods themselves, can make a donation and volunteers will pack a shoebox for a needy child.

The local donations this year were swelled by a very generous offering from the Buffelshoek Farmers Association, who gave 15 boxes –one for each member.

Kitty is the inspiration behind Santa Shoebox in the Graaff-Reinet area, having started it for the first time last year in this area. About 100 boxes were donated this year by local residents, but the bulk of the boxes for the Graaff-Reinet area were sent from Cape Town. Debbie de Klerk from Graaff-Reinet Postnet very kindly arranged transportation of the boxes from Cape Town, at no cost, through Biddulphs removal company, and Postnet handled the local delivery to the collection point.

For the protection of the children, the facilities involved cannot be named, nor are photographs of the children’s faces allowed to be published. It does not take much imagination however to picture the joy and wonder on the children’s faces!

An inspiring video, made by a school in Villiersdorp, can be seen on

Blessing the animals.

Blessing the animals

The festival of St Francis of Assisi commemorates the life of the Italian Catholic monk and friar, who lived in the 13th century. He later became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, and it became customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of 4 October. He is often remembered as the patron saint of animals.

This year, on 11th October, the rector of St James Anglican church in Graaff-Reinet visited the Aberdeen area to perform a blessing over animals. This was organised in conjunction with Maureen MacAndrew who runs the animal welfare charity CARE, and is also a member of St Mary’s and All Saints Anglican Church in Aberdeen.

Rev Dr Mark Marais visited a farm in the district, as well as pets in town and Lotusville. Jonathan Adams and Wilfred Deysel from Lotusville were particularly proud that their well-cared-for donkeys were able to receive this blessing.

National Garden Day

This year, National Garden Day in South Africa fell on Sunday 21 October, and the Aberdeen Garden Club celebrated the day in style with a high tea in the delightfully green garden of Dick and Estelle van Wyk.

Members were asked to dress for spring, and most (of the ladies at least!) managed to incorporate some flowery item into their outfits.

The snacks and socialising were enjoyed by all, and the members were very grateful to the Van Wyks for opening up their home and garden. Each person was given a small plant to take home, in a brightly painted tin.

Luxolo learners at Social Sciences event in PE


Two learners from Luxolo intermediate School in Aberdeen were chosen to represent the Graaff-Reinet District at a map quiz social sciences competition held in Port Elizabeth last week.

Luxolo HOD Christo Frazenburg is a facilitator for this subject in the District, after undergoing specialist training a few years ago. The school was asked to nominate two learners to compete in the event, and Anosipho Fraai from grade 9, and Ahlumile Spayer (grade 6) were chosen.

The learners were accompanied to the event by Frazenburg, and stayed in the Summerstrand Hotel, a great experience on its own for the children!   Although somewhat overawed by the competition, as it was the first time they had been exposed to such an event, the learners acquitted themselves well, and Frazenburg is very proud of their efforts.

Th event was held in the interesting South end Museum, and during their stay, the children were also able to enjoy a visit to Bayworld.

Garden and Social club visit to Montego

Members of Aberdeen Garden and Social Club recently paid a visit to the Montego pet food factory. “A tour through this factory changes one’s perception about pet food for ever” said chairlady Estelle van Wyk, who, along with the other visitors, was impressed by the high value the owners put on hygiene and security.

“All the ingredients used in the manufacturing the dog food, is fit for human consumption, and some of the members even sampled some pellets!”

Montego delivers an excellent service in Graaff Reinet providing jobs, sponsoring so many causes and giving support to many. To have such an outstanding business in this area made all of the members proud.

Those who went on the tour found it highly informative and most enjoyable, and would certainly recommend it to all pet owners

Tony Cox at Georg Restaurant

The recent concert by acclaimed guitar maestro Tony Cox at Georg restaurant in Aberdeen was greatly enjoyed by all who attended.

The Saturday afternoon opened with owner Georg Ritschl and Ross MacLennan playing some tunes as an introductory act while all the guests were settling in, enjoying their snacks and drinks.

Then the master took the stage. Tony played for more than 90 minutes, with songs from his new album Enormous Flowers and some of his powerful classics. All the listeners were absolutely smitten, asking for many encores.

Although maybe not very well known in the Karoo, Tony is one of the undisputed greats in the folk rock scene of South Africa, and has been for decades. It was a real treat to have a performer of his calibre in Aberdeen.

On Sunday Tony taught some basic blues skills to the five students who had gathered for the workshop, and this concluded with a spontaneous jam session.

Georg restaurant will be bringing great artists to the Karoo at irregular intervals. Live music performances by the talented singer and guitarist Ross MacLennan are often featured, sometimes accompanied by owner Georg Ritschl on Fridays and Saturdays. The events can be found on

Solar day


Many people from as far away as Beaufort West, Murraysburg, Pearston and Cradock enjoyed the Solar Day, hosted by the Aberdeen Farmers’ Association last week.

There were seven exhibitors showcasing a wide variety of goods and services, from George, Port Elizabeth, Addo and the local area. Interesting and in many cases thought-provoking demonstrations were enjoyed by the 80 people present.

The exhibitors, as well as the visitors, all found it to be a very worthwhile day.

Certificates were handed out to several local people to show appreciation from the Farmers’ Association for what they have done, and in many cases continue to do, for the community.

The Farmers’ Association is very grateful to Hennie and Joan Barnard for hosting the event.