Bonny baby

This time last year, Aberdeen residents Athiphila Nomandla and Nellie Douws were thrilled to welcome baby Philasande Sibabale Douws to their family.

Philasande was a real miracle baby for the couple, as Nellie had miscarried during her previous two pregnancies. She is diabetic, and the couple believe that this, coupled with high stress levels, was the reason she lost her previous two babies.

Nellie’s diabetes is also thought to be the cause for Philasande’s size- he was a whopping 6.2kg (nearly 14lbs) at birth! Due to his size, he was born by Caesarian section at full term. He has continued to grow, and at a year old he now weighs 19kg. He can stand on his own but not yet walk –probably due to his size- and his father described his way of getting round as “shuffling along on his bottom”!

Despite his weight, he is a healthy baby, and his mother takes him for check-ups at the Masikhane Clinic. Every time they attend the clinic, staff and fellow patients are amazed at his size.

Philasande’s birthday was on 25th August, and his parents are still hoping to organise a belated celebration for him.

Dog statue recovered

Some time in the early hours of a Sunday morning, in June 2015, a heavy stone garden statue of a guard dog was stolen from the verandah of a house in the centre of Aberdeen.

About twenty cars and bakkies were parked outside the nearby bar that evening, but there was no sign of any disturbance. It was only the next morning when the owner discovered that the dog statues were missing from their usual positions either side of the verandah. One was subsequently discovered by the main gate –it appeared to have been dropped, and the nose of the dog had broken off. Each statue weighs about 120kg, and it would seem that whoever took them must have climbed over the front gate to get in. It was the owner’s opinion that at least four people must have been involved, to carry the statue and to lift it over the high gate.

The statues are of great sentimental value to the owner, who bought them about twenty years ago, and he offered a reward of R500 for information on the whereabouts of the missing statue.

Just over two years later, the reward has been claimed. An intelligence-driven operation was conducted, and the statue, fortunately undamaged, was found on a farm in the Aberdeen district at the end of last month. The statue has been returned to its owner, who has now withdrawn the case.

Clash of the Choirs


The main event that the Dr Beyers Naude Local Municipality will be holding to celebrate Heritage Day this year will be a Clash of the Choirs in Aberdeen on Saturday 30th September.

The event will be held at the Aberdeen Library Hall, starting at 10am. Choirs from all areas in the DBNLM are welcome to participate, and as many as possible will be contacted by the municipality with a formal invitation.

There will be three categories: community-based choirs; church choirs; and school choirs, which will be further divided into primary schools and secondary schools. The theme is “The Year of OR Tambo: Celebrating South Africa’s living human treasures and legends”, and choirs are encouraged, if possible, to choose songs to reflect this.

Registration should be made with Lucricia Jackson, Special Projects Unit Co-ordinator, by email to , fax to 0865008781 / 0498922166, or phone 0498075908 or 0735537935/0766524333.

Entries close on Wednesday 20th September at 4pm. No late entries will be able to be accommodated, due to transport and catering arrangements.

Aberdeen farmers association receives donations

Aberdeen farmers got together on a cold and misty Monday morning to off- load the second link of maize which was organised through the Aberdeen Farmers, Wool and Mohair Growers Association with the generous assistance of SAWAMBA (South African Wool and Mohair Buyers Association).  Agri EC also made a very welcome contribution towards the transport, for which the farmers are very grateful. A third link will be arriving on Wednesday for the next group of farmers.

The Chairman of the Farmers Association, Dickie Ogilvie, would like to thank both SAWAMBA and Agri EC for assisting the farmers.

Members of the Aberdeen farming community at this stage are in dire straits with the production of wool and mohair being adversely affected by the lack of rain. Stock losses are high, and in particular the lambing and kidding have been reported to be at their lowest percentages for many years.  The knock -on effect of this will affect the entire community.

It is difficult for farmers to remain optimistic under these conditions but the Aberdeen farmers are known to be a resolute bunch.  “We can only hope and pray that we receive relief in the form of rain in the near future” said Ogilvie.

Women’s month event in ward 1

The DA in ward one (Aberdeen) held a special event on Thursday 31st August to celebrate women’s month. The theme of the day was “Women- building each other up”.

Women officials representing SAPS, the traffic department , social development, health and education were invited to speak to the members of the community.  Andrew Mentoor read the report sent in by teacher Eleese Darries, as she was unable to attend. Beverley Tentenie from SAPS,  Sindy Dumakude from the Department of Social Development, and Sr Gogo from the Masikhane Clinic spoke about the work of their departments.

Prudence Jacobs from the traffic department gave an informative talk on personal development, drug and alcohol abuse.

After the talks, the 80 women present were divided into five groups, with the officials as group mentors. They discussed how women specifically can impact in these areas to improve the departments, and reported back to the gathering after their discussions.

At the conclusion of the event, all present were treated to a wors roll or hamburger, with a drink.

Aalwynhof bazaar

Taking advantage of the mild spring weather, the organisers of this year’s bazaar at Aalwynhof Old Age Home decided to spread the stalls between the car park area and the main residents’ lounge. This proved to be very successful and helped avoid some of the usual congestion which occurred in the past when everything was crammed into the lounge.

The bazaar was officially opened by Ds Abe Beyers at 10am, but as always happens, visitors started arriving well before then and indeed did brisk trade from soon after 9am!

In the shade under the carports, tasty curry and rice, the ever-popular bazaar puddings, and a group of volunteers manned the braai fires, keeping a regular flow of cooked meat going for the braai platters. A small amount of frozen meat was also available for purchase.

Inside the lounge, a few tables were set up for the café, which served a selection of snacks with tea and coffee. A long table was filled with whole cakes to buy – not filled for long, as these were snapped up quickly! A team was busy cooking pancakes, and had been given many orders ahead of time. Twice, the batter ran out and more had to be made, and eventually at midday the team called it a day. The two tables of handicrafts included many knitted goods and hand-painted wooden ornaments, which also proved popular.

Well over R21 ooo has been raised so far, with more donations still to come. Organiser Buks van Niekerk and her team all worked very hard, and would like to thank all who contributed towards making the day a success- not least the people of Aberdeen who came to support on the day.

Hannelie’s 50th

Hannelie van der Westhuizen, well known to Aberdeen residents as the proprietress of the popular Kamdebo Stal, reached her milestone 50th birthday on 7th September. Whilst a 50th birthday of itself is not an unusual or particularly difficult target to reach, what made Hannelie’s celebration newsworthy was the fact that close to 130 people joined her for the party!

More than half of the guests had travelled for many hours to come to Aberdeen for the birthday celebrations last weekend, including about fifty family members from as far afield as Groot Marico in the North West province and Cape Town.

The birthday dinner was held at the Aberdeen Club, which was beautifully decorated in true Karoo style by Hannelie’s son Dirk, assisted by her sister Rietta. The meal started with a bread table with an assortment of spreads, which was followed by Karoo lamb chops and boerewors with hot vegetables and salads. The meal was rounded off with a selection of sweet treats.

Another noteworthy event is that Hannelie herself did most of the catering, with a little help from some close friends. She is well known locally for her baking, and in the five years since she has been running the Padstal (as it is known locally) she has gained a reputation in particular for the traditional boerekos menu served on a Wednesday lunchtime.

Hannelie was born in Rustenburg, but moved with her family to a farm in Skuinsdrift in the Groot Marico area in the early 1970s when she was a young child. She moved to Aberdeen in 2006 with her husband and sons, when her husband bought the local Verspreiders supermarket, and in 2012 she brought her culinary talents to the Padstal.

Colour run at Aberdeen Secondary

To celebrate the first day of spring, learners and teachers at Aberdeen Secondary School took part in a Colour Run, organised by teacher Bianca Gerber and the grade 12 group. No great level of fitness was needed, as they just ran around the block, but everyone had tremendous fun as the runners were bombarded with paint! The pupils were delighted with the great spirit shown by their teachers, all of whom took part with enthusiasm.

After the run, snacks and braaivleis were sold on the grass, and the learners enjoyed some dancing and generally had fun.

The purpose of the day (other than having fun!) was to raise money for the special day coming up when the matrics will receive their exam numbers.

IDP meeting Aberdeen

Last Thursday, a few dedicated residents of Aberdeen’s Ward & gathered at the library hall to hear a most interesting review of the Ward Development Priorities, as identified in the municipality’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP).

The meeting was chaired by ward councillor Rudy Jacobs, with the IDP presentation given by the municipality’s IDP Manager Leonie Fouché. Reflecting on the poor attendance, Fouché started off with an apology on behalf of the municipality. Requests had been made to the Aberdeen office for the meeting to be widely publicised by means of notices distributed to households and loudhailing, but this had not been done.

The presentation started with a map showing the full extent of the ward, which stretches from Adendorp in the east to Aberdeen in the west. The development priorities and critical issues that had been identified by the small group of concerned residents last year, and some feedback on progress (or lack thereof) was given. Those present were asked to consider the priorities of the issues, which included the state of the streets and stormwater drains, the cemetery, traffic control measures, the provision of a children’s play park, tourism and traffic signage, and public toilets. After some discussion, the order of priority for some of the issues was adjusted, with the three most important matters being the streets, cemetery, and public toilets, in that order.

The absence of a ward committee in the area was highlighted as a problem by Fouché, and it seems that as yet there is still no date set for the election to take place, nearly six weeks after the original election was abandoned. She commented that by this stage, the ward committee members should be familiar with the problem areas and able to give their input.

It was of great concern that in general, very little progress has been made in any of these areas. Fouché explained that some of the problems, with roads for example, are not always the municipality’s responsibility. The huge debt of R91m that was inherited when the municipality was established last year also obviously has a profound impact on all areas.

The clarity and professionalism of the presentation was greatly appreciated by those present, and Fouché kept the meeting on track and focussed.

A few other matters of local interest were relayed to the community by Cllr Jacobs after thhe presentation and discussion.

Celebrities in town

Clement Pedro, Chef and Food Stylist on SABC 3’s Afternoon Express show, was in Aberdeen last weekend to attend Hannelie van der Westhuizen’s 50th birthday celebrations with his partner, food stylist and blogger Megan Daniels. Van der Westhuizen’s son, Dirk, is the set designer and floor manager on the show, and invited his friends along to experience some true Karoo hospitality!

They travelled from Cape Town to Aberdeen on the bus, and hired a car in Graaff-Reinet. Clem was thrilled to have the opportunity to cook for the extended van der Westhuizen family on Friday night, preparing a delicious and tasty lamb and springbok curry for 30 people, using all local ingredients. This was greatly appreciated by all.

This was the first time that Clem had visited the Karoo area, and he really appreciated the stillness and tranquillity. The clear starry sky was a sharp contrast to the skies over Cape Town! He also appreciated the distinctive and varied architecture of Aberdeen, and was most appreciative of the friendliness of the people he met.

Megan had travelled through the Karoo as a child, but had no recollection of the trip, so it was like a first-time experience for her too. She also loved the peace and quiet after the frantic pace of city life, and the couple is determined to come back and spend more time in the region. They were able to spend a few hours at the Valley of Desolation, and are looking to explore more of the area on their next trip.

She will no doubt be featuring the Karoo in an upcoming post travel blog on