A convoy of bakkies and trucks arrived in Aberdeen on Saturday, bringing very welcome relief of vegetable and grocery hampers for local farmers.
The donations were collected by a group from the Gamtoos valley, spearheaded by old Aberdonian Werner du Preez. “It was an absolute privilege to come back and help in the community where I grew up,” said du Preez. Two other major donors were Gamtoos Valley farmer Leon de Koning and businessman Marius Weyers.
Farmers, businessmen and other organisations donated sacks of fresh vegetables, cases of long-life milk, sugar, eggs, non-perishables and cleaning materials, all to help those who are struggling in the drought.
The project was coordinated locally by Hantie Marx, chairman of the Aberdeen Farmers’ Association (AFA), and members of the Association gathered with eager anticipation outside the Aberdeen Club on Saturday morning. Even the children were not forgotten, and all enjoyed cooling off with ice lollies in the heat.
Donations from a separate project were also handed out at the same time.
Carel and Marietjie Peach from Middelburg, Mpumalanga brought over 300 boxes of goods for farmers’ wives, each with a selection of treats and household essentials. Marietjie and her daughter Eljana started this project to give thanks after Eljana recovered from cancer, and the ladies decided they needed to give back to communities in need.
After all the members of the AFA had been helped, there was still a surfeit of goods. Substantial donations were given to Aalwynhof Home for the Aged, a children’s feeding scheme, the school hostel, and emerging farmers who have no other income. The remaining goods will be given to those in need, identified by church leaders.
One special recipient was Harry Mgui, a 92 year old retired foreman who now lives in Thembalesizwe. Mgui worked as a shearer, travelling from farm to farm all his life, and was delighted with his unexpected gifts.