Men’s choir at Aberdeen NGK

The Despatch Men’s Choir gave an outstanding performance last Sunday morning at the Aberdeen Dutch reformed Church.

The choir consists of 12 men from all walks of life, who love to sing and spread the Gospel. The Aberdeen church had wanted to have a special service that was something different to mark the end of Pentecost, and the performance of the choir certainly provided that. The one-hour performance was almost a “sermon through song’, with many very moving moments.

After the service, the men and their lady accompanist joined with members of the congregation to enjoy a light lunch. A large variety of interesting soups were on offer, with a selection of bread and spreads, provided by members of the congregation.


Alicia Africa (30) from Aberdeen has recently completed her studying for Bachelor of Arts: Police Science, and graduated on 19th May in East London.

After matriculating at Aberdeen Secondary School in 2005, Alicia spent some time at home before joining the SAPS in May 2007 at the age of 19. She was initially stationed in Aberdeen, and sent some time as the Community Police Official.

She was then transferred to Paarl Police Academy in 2015, where she commenced her three years of study. The final months of her degree course were spent at the SAPS Academy in Graaff-Reinet. Although this is a UNISA course, she studied full-time through the police.

Alicia is the daughter of Christiaan and Eva Africa of Aberdeen, who both attended the graduation ceremony. According to her father, the last three years have not been easy for her parents, her child or Alicia herself, but they are very proud of her perseverance to achieve her goal.

At present she is serving as a constable at the Aberdeen police station, where her friendly smile and dedication are proving a great asset both to the SAPS and to the community she is serving.

Bambinos planting seeds for the future


Last Friday, the Aberdeen Bambinos were treated to an inspiring talk by Jean Watermeyer on the value of growing vegetables.

Watermeyer talked to the children about the advantages of growing vegetables, not just for their own families, but also to donate to others or even sell. She took along some seeds and seedlings for them, and several of the children were keen to show off seedlings they had grown in recycled containers such as old cooldrink bottles and yogurt pots.

The children enjoyed a meal of meat, rice and vegetables, courtesy of the Aberdeen branch of the VLV, followed by yogurts, donated by Pick n Pay Graaff-Reinet.

The organisers are very grateful to the principal of Kabouterland Creche, who allowed them to use their premises.

NGK mother’s day lunch


A real feast awaited the 80 or so who attended the Mother’s Day lunch at the Aberdeen Dutch Reformed Church last Sunday.

A team of 8 chefs prepared a delicious meal of chicken, lamb pie, a selection of vegetables and a tasty pudding of assorted sweet treats. Many families took the opportunity to give Mom a break from cooking, and a social and relaxed atmosphere was evident, with good fellowship between friends and family.

The décor was arranged by Estelle van Wyk, with flowers by Naomi Motley and fragrant lavender supplied by Annelie Lategan.

The organisers would like to thank all of those who donated food, as well as those who gave so generously of their time in the preparation and serving of the meal.

CARE street sale


The animal rescue organisation in Aberdeen, CARE, held a very successful street sale last Saturday, May 12th, in the town square.

A wonderful variety of baked goods was sold, including cup cakes, muffins, koeksisters and milk tarts. A few items of bric-a-brac were also sold, helping to raise a total of almost R1 400 on the day.

Maureen MacAndrew, who is the main force behind CARE and its activities, would like to thank all those who baked for the day, and helped at the sale, as well as those who so eagerly came along and bought items – the cakes were all sold out within two hours.

The CARE volunteers do a wonderful job working with low-income households and providing pet care. Since the beginning of the year, CARE has had a spate of seriously injured cats and dogs. Most of these sick and injured animals are taken to the vets in Graaff-Reinet by willing volunteers. Sadly, many also have to be taken to be put down.

CARE desperately needs dog crates to transport medium-sized dogs to the vet. Anyone who has spare pieces of light-weight wood that they no longer need is asked to contact Maureen MacAndrew on 072 812 4879, as these can be used to construct new crates.

Garden and social club clay day


On 3rd May, eight members of the Garden and Social Club of Aberdeen were treated to a pottery workshop under the guidance of Estelle van Wyk.  Estelle firstly explained about different types of clay and how they are used, and showed examples of pottery styles and shapes.  She advised how the clay can take weeks to dry to a fit state for firing in a kiln, and how patterns and colours can be added at different stages of the process.

As a former art teacher, Estelle studied pottery as part of her training, and taught classes with art students. She also studied with Greek pottery masters in Wellington and did pottery for a few years with a friend, exhibited some of her pieces. It was very obvious that she not only knew what she was doing, but was able to inspire her novice “students” for the day with her talent and enthusiasm!

Every member was provided with a lump of raw clay and Estelle guided everyone through the working of the clay and the making of a small “work of art” using the pinched method.  It turned out to be more difficult than anticipated to work the clay to a consistent thickness and to retain a shape which would not collapse in on to itself, but everyone produced something special.  These items have been set aside to dry, and will in due course be sent to Nieu Bethesda to be fired and returned to their owners.

All present expressed their enjoyment and were indeed so keen to continue that the next garden club meeting, to be held on 14 June, has by popular demand been set aside for a further pottery workshop using the slab method, which will involve rolling the clay.

Aberdeen Secondary matric ball


The matriculants of Aberdeen Secondary School celebrated their final year of school recently with a night to remember.

The theme was Winter Wonderland, which lent a blue tinge to the photographs due to the themed lighting. The outfits were all stunning, with most couples matching the colour schemes of their partner’s outfit.

Elize Webb, wife of the school’s principal, gave an inspiring speech, quoting from the well-known poet Maya Angelou.


Luxolo choirs


Luxolo Intermediate School participated in the South African Schools Choral Elimination Programme which was held in Somerset East on 25th April.

The school participated in three categories or age groups. The first was infants, which is Grade R-Grade2. This group sang a Western piece called “The Ash Grove as a Welsh Traditional”, conducted by Ms. N. M. Holmes.

The second category was for foundation or Junior phase, Grade 3 and 4. They rendered an African piece “Siyikusasa Le AfriKa”, by Themba Madlopha under the conductorship of Mrs N. Kwini.

The third category is the Intermediate Grades 5-7. They sang a beautiful African piece, “Shizedze”, by DC Morivadi, conducted by Ms N. Cetyiwe.

As for the results, the schools have not yet received the score sheets from the Department of Education. The principal and staff  are very proud of this wonderful milestone that the school has achieved, as the last time that the school participated in such an event was 34 years ago. They would like to thank the educators and parents for their support and understanding in implementing the vision that they have for for the school and community, but more especially each learner.

SPCA visit to Aberdeen


CARE Aberdeen invited Graaff-Reinet SPCA to give an educational talk to some of the learners of Luxolo Intermediate School on Tuesday 24th April. SPCA representative Hillary Chaplin, together with her assistant Jean Pieterse, gave a very interesting presentation to the grade 3 learners, concentrating on how to care and handle pets. The children listened attentively, and it is hoped that they will spread the word and help educate the rest of their families on this vital aspect of pet ownership.

CARE hopes to give educational talks at Kamdebo Primary and Aberdeen Full Service School in the near future. These visits will be conducted by CARE volunteer Manfred Hansen, who assists Maureen MacAndrew with daily animal welfare work.

After leaving Luxolo School, the SPCA team had a successful dipping and deworming programme for the local township dogs and puppies. A total of 121 animals received this vital treatment.

CARE has a charity shop, run by MacAndrew, at 8 Andries Pretorius Street, where many bargains can be found. Proceeds from sales go towards veterinary expenses for township animals. Donations of household items and bric-a-brac are needed so that this sterling work of helping sick and injured animals can continue – please clear out your cupboards!

Karoo wedding

The beautiful spacious garden and clear sunny weather on 31st March were perfect for a joyous Karoo farm wedding, when Megan Jean, daughter of Dickie and Colleen Ogilvie from Aberdeen, married O.J., son of Otto and Yolande Moolman from Loerie.

The lawn, with all the covered hay bales, was reminiscent of the weddings of Megan’s aunts and uncles, as well as her own christening, all so many years ago. This set the tone for a very happy gathering of family and friends from far and wide, all delighted to be present to wish the couple every happiness as they start their life together.

Megan arrived, looking so beautiful, on the arm of her father, to join O.J. under the arch of greenery where he was waiting with Ds Louw and the bridesmaids and best men. After the most important part of all weddings, everyone gathered around the bread tables, laden with home-made breads, butter balls and a huge variety of spreads.

There was a great deal of laughter and “catching up” for the rest of the afternoon, until everyone moved to the barn where so many friends had spent days setting up the décor, tables and kitchen. Metal horse cut—outs made by Lohine and Charles Fitzhenry were admired by everyone, and added a really special touch.

Speeches and toasts to the grandparents and parents started the evening festivities, followed by the most important toast to the bride and groom by Ina-Lize Senekal and Gerhard du Toit. The main meal of steak, chips, and vegetable bakes was then served and enjoyed by all, before the beautiful cake was cut by the bride and groom.

Megan’s godfather Neil Thomson and his daughter Lyn were responsible for the music, which started with a swing and went on later than any of the guests could actually remember!