Intombi Stoann

Talented young designed Max Daters, originally from Aberdeen, was recently honoured for her achievements when she was selected to be part of the Pitching Den at the Standard Bank Top Women Conference 2017. This was held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Port Elizabeth in November, and gave Max the opportunity to pitch her business to potential investors.

Max, who was born in Aberdeen, attended Kamdebo Primary School, and went on to matriculate at Cillié High where she said modestly she “learned a few basics of sewing”. She later went to study Fashion Designing at Damelin College for two years, and graduated in 2011.

She started her business, under the name Max Stoann Designs, straight after graduation, and after something of a struggle initially, she has found her niche and the business is now thriving. At the beginning of this year, the company was rebranded as Intombi Stoann, which means “woman hard as a rock” –and Max’s determination has certainly proved to be rock-like!

She has a business partner, Lukhanyo Sweli who is from Graaff Reinet, and he is the marketing guru in the company. They also employ a lady on a part time basis.

The company’s biggest drawcards are the matric farewells and this year they dressed about 20 matriculants from Aberdeen, Steytlerville and Port Elizabeth. This is a field they would like to expand next year. They have a smart casual range called EVOKE that caters only for ladies, most of our garments are custom made to fit their clients perfectly. Most of the company’s clients are in Graaff-Reinet, and they order on a regular basis. They have also taken the brand to Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Max’s family is still in Aberdeen and she enjoys going home to visit when her work allows. Oftenshe has to go home for work and thus spends less time with them than she would like, but she says they are very understanding! “My grandmother’s lounge literally turns into my work studio, but she doesn’t mind” she said ruefully.

Often Max and her team pack up their machines and go to their clients to work from their homes for a few days.

Max’s goal for 2018 is to build a Manufacture House in Missionvale, in Port Elizabeth, to help the youth in the community learn various skills as well as how to run a business. They are going to be doing a lot of fundraising to raise money for machines and everything else that will be needed for the Manufacture House in 2018.

NGK carol concert


Over 100 people attended the Christmas Carols evening at the Aberdeen Dutch Reformed Church last Sunday. The church had been beautifully decorated by Christa Beyers and Joan Barnard, with elegant and colourful floral arrangements by Lydia de Jager.

As well as the congregation in the church, the concert was also broadcast through live to Aalwynhof Old Age Home, where many residents gathered to enjoy the Sunday evening’s entertainment.

Dominee Abe Beyers introduced the congregation to the group Die Stemme, three very talented men from Somerset East. Originally Tiaan Lötz and Sid Watson performed very successfully together, and then about five years ago, the group was enriched by the addition of the powerful voice of Prieur de Plessis.

The very professional concert included a variety of mostly traditional carols and Christmas songs, starting with Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, performed by Prieur. There were a few smiles in the audience at the thought of a snow-filled Christmas in the heat of the Karoo! Prieur later showed his language versatility with a verse of the traditional carol O Come, All Ye Faithful in Latin, and a verse of Silent Night in German.

There were several opportunities for the congregation to join in the carols, with the words projected onto a screen at the front of the church. A few of the songs were unaccompanied, but most featured the accomplished Sid on the keyboard.

The theme for the evening was “What is Christmas with Christ?”, and Tiaan introduced several of the items with passages from the Gospel of Luke. He also spoke briefly on the theme, encouraging those present to not be afraid, but to live a life full of joy and full of hope.

Gospel Ambassadors


Although they did not win the competition, the Aberdeen Gospel Ambassadors made a very favourable impression at the Imvuselelo Gospel Development Extravaganza Finals in East London last Saturday.

The group travelled to East London on Friday afternoon, and attended rehearsals that evening. For various reasons, a decision was made to change their competition song, to another featuring all three languages commonly used in the region, so some time was spent polishing this up.

Saturday morning was again spent at rehearsals, but the men were able to enjoy a break after lunch and spent some time at the beach.

The event started at 8pm on Saturday, and all 11 choirs were of an exceptionally high standard. Several well-known guest artists also performed in the show, and the choir very much appreciated the experience of working with established talented performers.

Next year, all the choirs who reached the finals (with the exception of the winners) will automatically qualify again.

All participating choirs received a certificate and a trophy, in recognition of their participation in the finals. Derick Erasmus received the trophy on behalf of the Gospel Ambassadors.

Garden club picnic

Members of the Aberdeen Garden Club enjoyed a wonderful end-of-year picnic last Thursday on the aptly- named farm Uitkyk. On a previous visit to the farm, it was raining- a blessing for the farmers, but a disappointment for the visitors who were unable to see the view after which the farm was named. On Thursday, however, the skies were clear, and the view from Aberdeen to the mountains bordering the flats of an enormous escarpment could be fully appreciated.

The picnic area was set up on the beautifully manicured garden in the shade of the magnificent trees, and hosts Jannie and Christelle Nel went out of their way to make the guests feel welcome.

There was a wonderful variety of food for this Michelin star Karoo picnic, including delicious home-made products such as pickles, jams, and bread, and as always when people “bring and share”, there was far too much to eat!

March for 16 days of activism

A combined programme organised by the Aberdeen Community Police Forum and Victim Support Centre saw a peaceful march recently in support of the Sixteen Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

About 40 children marched from the Masakhane clinic to the police station, carrying banners against abuse. They were accompanied by the ladies from the recently-formed Aberdeen Childcare Centre.

Yvonne Frazenburg from the VSU and SAPS Warrant Office Gradwell Ambraal spoke to the children about safety, and the need to report any incidence of abuse or violence.

A five year old boy held a candle, which was lit by W/O Ambraal, as a symbolic gesture against violence.

The children then were treated to snacks and cooldrinks, supplied by the VSC, organised by Thina Mngazi, Allison Brouwer and Yvonne Frazenburg.

Detective in the making

Constable Jean Jack started working at the Aberdeen detectives office at the end of August, helping out while Cst Elrado Kameel was away on training.

During this time, Cst Jack has worked on a variety of cases, and proved to be a real asset to the detective service. His persistence and attention to detail soon earned him the respect of his fellow detectives.

After matriculating at Aberdeen Secondary School in 2005, Jack initially went into the IT field, studying for a year in Cradock. However work was difficult to come by, and he decided to follow another career path and applied to SAPS. He attended the training academy in Graaff-Reinet for a year, completing his practical training also in the town. His final passing out parade was in March 2012.

He worked with the Graaff-Reinet detectives for three years, before transferring back to the uniform branch in Aberdeen in 2015 as he wished to return to his family.  When Cst Kameel was going to be away for over three months, Cst Jack, with his experience with the Graaff-Reinet detectives, was an obvious choice to stand in for him.  As he finishes up his time with the detective branch, Cst Jack confirmed that he has learned a lot, and enjoyed the experience.

Gospel Ambassadors from Aberdeen to represent District

The Gospel Ambassadors from Aberdeen entered its first choir competition in October, and have been rewarded with the chance to represent the Sarah Baartman District Municipality in East London this coming weekend.

The choir took part in the Imvuselelo Gospel Development Extravaganza Talent Search round held in Aberdeen, and were selected, along with the Sinelizo Gospel Group, to compete in the finals of the competition. The winning choir will receive R10 000 cash, as well as a three year recording deal worth R90 000!

The Gospel Ambassadors choir was founded in 2009, and there are currently nine members, from different churches, ranging in age from 21 to 51. Chairperson of the choir is local teacher Christo Frazenburg, and amongst the diverse group of members are a security guard, secretary, store manager, motor mechanic, a retired policeman, and some who are unemployed at present.

They are often asked to sing at local weddings and funerals, and to date the furthest afield that they have performed was George, when they joined other groups in a Gospel concert in 2011. They only sing Gospel, and always perform a cappella- unaccompanied.

The good wishes of Aberdeen will be with Christo Frazenburg, Derick Erasmus, Willie May, Arlen Jantjies, Denzil Tenteni, Theopholis Timan,  Eduan Frazenburg, Shane Klaasen and Shumalian Lamont  as they sing their hearts out in East London on Saturday evening

APTO Christmas tea


Members of Aberdeen’s Publicity and Tourism Office and friends enjoyed a special Christmas tea in the garden of Richard and Ann Davison’s house  last Tuesday morning.

A perfect shady spot was set up for tea, with assorted sweet and savoury eats provided by members of the committee. Although the organisation has been without an office building for several months now, there is still a great spirit of enthusiasm amongst the members. Chairlady Jean Watermeyer and secretary Gloria Peniston are still kept very busy helping visitors to the town, and answer telephonic queries on a daily basis.

Members were all given an updated list of the accommodation establishments which belong to APTO.

The tea was actually a two-in-one celebration, as it coincided with Jean Watermeyer’s 86th birthday! Everyone joined in to wish her a happy day with a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday. One of the committee members had baked a special chocolate marble birthday cake, which was shared out amongst the guests.

The hosts were presented with a box of luxury chocolates, and each guest was given a card and small decadent chocolate in thanks for their support throughout was has been a rather difficult year for the organisation. Despite the lack of office, the support remains, and the dedicated group of volunteers is looking forward to working again next year. The Advertiser was thanked for the positive and prolific reporting on events in Aberdeen.

Everyone enjoyed socialising in the delightful garden, and there was much movement between tables as people took the chance to catch up with their friends.

Aberdeen farmers reach out

With the Aberdeen district under severe pressure with the present drought, local farmers came together to help DG Strydom of Philippolis in the Free State who lost so many of his sheep due to the recent cold snap. The Aberdeen farmers, under the auspices of the Farmers Association, collected 155 sheep which were transported to Strydom by Chris Esterhuizen and Dirk van Schalkwyk. Some farmers, instead of giving sheep, donated towards the transport. The Farmers Association is grateful to Chris Esterhuizen, Myburgh van Rensburg and Dirk van Schalkwyk for all the arrangements.

Thandi continues to achieve outstanding results


Last year, Thandi van Rensburg was the top matriculant at Aberdeen Secondary School. This personable young lady has continued to excel, recently being awarded a certificate for being the top student of her year in her chosen field of education.

Thandi is studying towards a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Fort Hare in East London, specialising in the foundation phase. She has a full bursary under the Funza Lushaka programme.

She has always dreamed of becoming a teacher, and is thrilled to be finally on her way to making that dream come true. Despite studying at an Afrikaans medium school, she has adjusted well to working in English, although she admits it took a little getting used to! She is also learning isiXhosa.

The practical aspects of the course are proving to be particularly interesting to Thandi, who enjoys creating relevant teaching aids. The adjustment to university life far from home has not been without challenges, and uncertainty regarding accommodation (she has had to move several times) has been one of these problems.

The award, for being the best student in the faculty of education, is based on results from the first semester. Thandi is now back in Aberdeen for the holidays, and eagerly awaiting the final results from her first year of study. Her ongoing success is a fine example of what can be achieved with persistence and hard work, and her family is very proud of her achievements.