St Francis College welcomes new Headmaster

New year, new headmaster for St Francis College

by Roxanne Litherland and Beth Cooper Howell

The Kouga region’s thriving private school has hit the ground running with exciting changes, an action-packed calendar – and a brand new headmaster.

Franzl Bause was warmly welcomed by parents and staff at the annual St Francis College family braai this month.

New Headmaster at St Francis College

New headmaster Franzl Bause enjoying the College Family braai celebrated recently

Enthusiastic and positive about the college’s robust future, Mr Bause implemented several positive and promising changes, including a new swimming programme at Liquid Lines in Cape St Francis with expert instructor Maria Holmes and the introduction of a Nippers Club, led by Haydn Holmes.

Swimming practice at Liquid Lines, Cape St Francis

Enjoying school swimming lessons at Liquid Lines were (from left to right): Rylan Jarvis, Troy Kennedy, Connor Von Der Marwitz and Ryan Marais.

The term got off to a flying start with the popular Grade 7 leadership camp, a bountiful harvest in the school’s vegetable patch and the first Nippers’ meeting of the season.

St Francis College Nippers Club

The SFC Nippers Club launches at Kromme River mouth.

Back to school is cool.

Photographs: Didi De Bruyn, Ezna Kennedy and Roxanne Litherland

For more information on St Francis College visit their website – http://stfranciscollege.co.za/

 

A summer evening in St Francis

The warm weather returned to St Francis yesterday and as the wind dropped late in the afternoon it turned into a most beautiful summer evening, ideal for exploring some of what St Francis has to offer. For those lucky enough to own a boat, it was a perfect afternoon for a canal cruise. Little Venice certainly was doing business and as no doubt some of those visiting the area took the opportunity of the good weather to climb aboard  for a canal experience.

Little Venice

Little Venice cruising the canals

Being a Wednesday afternoon, the paddlers too were in luck. With flat waters and no wind, a couple of dozen paddlers set off from their new base adjacent the new Quaysyde Restaurant for their weekly paddle meet. Whilst these paddlers of the St Francis Paddling Club do this as a sport it truly is a great way to explore the canals, even for those who are not into competing for the best 5 or 10 kilometre time through the canals. And certainly is a lot cheaper than running a motor boat. (Note to self – must get a paddle ski.)

Paddlers on St Francis Canals

St Francis Bay Paddle Club members getting some exercise

Watching the paddlers set off on their weekly run presented opportunity to take a look at the Quaysyde Restaurant and in spite of the many negative comments that have floated round the village since its opening in mid-December, it truly is a lovely venue. The actual restaurant is larger than it appears from the roadside but sensibly still quite small . Set close to the water it is the only restaurant in the entire area that really boast being on the water.

Quaysyde Restaurant St Francis Bay Canals

Inside Quaysyde

Taking a peek at the menu, the Quaysyde is not about to threaten the finer dining restaurants in the area and was a little disappointing. Possibly this will change when, rather than if, they are granted a liquor license for it seems to have adopted a rather “burger” choice of cuisine.  That is not to say the selection was not enticing but possibly a few lighter meal options, particularly in the salad department. With time constraints there was no time to sit and savour their fare but we shall return.

The hullaballoo over the excessive cover charge is a thing of the past and certainly it is quite normal to pay a corkage charge for bringing you own so why not go and give Quaysyde a try, particularly on a lovely summer evening. Certainly an opportunity to experience life on the canals even if you don’t own a house on the canals. So take along your favourite bottle of tipple and sit and enjoy the setting.

quaysyde--view

 

Kouga gets Unqualified Audit

In Monday’s Herald it was reported “Municipality (Kouga) receives second consecutive clean audit”. The article continues without further reference to “clean audit”, but rather an “unqualified audit”. This was followed up in yesterday’s (Tuesday) Herald with a tiny insert at the bottom of page four, easily missed, headed “Getting it right” which corrects the previous days headline stating it should have read “unqualified audit”.

Now whilst reading that article the word “unqualified” jumped out and immediately conjured up thoughts of impropriety, of fiddling of the books or possibly some creative bookkeeping! But NO, this is not the case at all for in fact it is just the opposite and an unqualified audit is preferable to a qualified audit.  The word ‘qualified’ gives us a sense of peace and security. “It will be okay he is a qualified brain surgeon” would make one feel confident going under the knife but sitting in 1st class of an Airbus A380 about to take off and being told “it will be okay, the pilot is unqualified” would certainly not. English is a complicated enough language without our bean counters confusing us all the more by calling a good financial report an ‘unqualified audit’ and a not so good one a ‘qualified audit’.

So for those of us who thought unqualified was a negative here is the Auditor General’s explanation of the various audit categories taken from the AG’s website.

https://www.agsa.co.za/Auditinformation/Auditterminology.aspx

  1. CLEAN AUDIT OUTCOME:
    The financial statements are free from material misstatements (in other words, a financially unqualified audit opinion) and there are no material findings on reporting on performance objectives or non-compliance with legislation.
  2. FINANCIALLY UNQUALIFIED AUDIT OPINION:
    The financial statements contain no material misstatements. Unless we express a clean audit outcome, findings have been raised on either reporting on predetermined objectives or non-compliance with legislation, or both these aspects.
  3. QUALIFIED AUDIT OPINION:
    The financial statements contain material misstatements in specific amounts, or there is insufficient evidence for us to conclude that specific amounts included in the financial statements are not materially misstated.
  4. ADVERSE AUDIT OPINION:
    The financial statements contain material misstatements that are not confined to specific amounts, or the misstatements represent a substantial portion of the financial statements.
  5. DISCLAIMER OF AUDIT OPINION:
    The auditee provided insufficient evidence in the form of documentation on which to base an audit opinion. The lack of sufficient evidence is not confined to specific amounts, or represents a substantial portion of the information contained in the financial statements.

Back to the report… Whilst the AG congratulated the municipality on the audit, which incidentally is just one away from the top, a ‘clean audit’, the article did make mention that “performance management, adherence to municipal governance laws and stability in leadership” needed to be improved.

Having attended several St Francis Bay Residents Association meetings over the past months it is this “performance management and adherence to municipal governance laws” that seems to be a regular subject of criticism of the council by the SFBRA .  Their unwillingness to respond to matters raised with the council seemed to deteriorate into a downright refusal until apparently the powers in Bisho stepped in and instructed the Kouga council to respond. Whether they, KM, have adhered to this instruction is uncertain for St Francis Today has had no feedback either way but will attempt to follow up and advise.

So from the above, apart from performance, governance and leadership, it appears our municipality is running a clean financial ship even if there are a few spots of rust here and there.

A little concerning however is the article appearing directly above the article in Monday’s Herald on the Unqualified Audit where  ANC Councillor Phumzile Oliphant has requested that municipal manager Sydney Fadi establish if officials from the local economic development department had ‘dished out’ tenders to  companies not on the municipal database. The question must be … are there other incidences that are not being investigated?

Read the article on Heraldlive

Symptoms you should never ignore

According to the statistics, men fare worse than women on virtually every health issue. They drink more heavily and are more likely to be overweight and eat badly. All of which means they pay the price – men are 40 per cent more likely than women to die from cancer, and 22 per cent of deaths occur in men under 65. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The key to staying healthy is to check out symptoms as soon as they appear. You wouldn’t ignore the warning light on your dashboard telling you that there’s no oil because you know that within 40 miles the engine will be finished. So why do that with your body when you experience symptoms which could be a warning of something more serious?’ says Dr Ian Banks, president of the European Men’s Health Forum. The good news is that a little knowledge and prompt action goes a long way, so read on to discover the essentials every man needs to keep his body in good working order.

13 warning signs you should never ignore

If you notice any of these symptoms – particularly if they persist – then it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor.

Pain in your Calf

  • Pain when you walk, which may also affect your thighs, hips and feet. The pain always affects the same spot, eases off when you stop and may be worse in cold weather and also when you walk uphill.
  • Intermittent claudication, which is a condition where the arteries in your legs have become blocked with fatty deposits. This results in a lack of blood to the muscle, hence the pain.
  • See your doctor – if the arteries in your legs have become blocked, there may also be problems elsewhere in your body, which could leave you vulnerable to a heart attack or stroke. Your doctor will advise you to stop smoking, to walk more in order to condition the muscles and may prescribe medication aimed at improving circulation.

Increased thirst

  • Thirst and tiredness, needing to urinate a lot, especially at night, and experiencing itchiness around the genital area.
  • Type 2 diabetes. Symptoms tend to creep up on you, so it’s easy to attribute them to getting older, but diabetes is a dangerous condition, which significantly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke and can cause severe complications, including blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage. Your risk of type 2 diabetes is greater after the age of 40, if you are overweight, sedentary, or have a family history of the condition.
  • Get your blood glucose levels checked. The doctor may give you a fasting glucose test (where you don’t eat for eight hours beforehand) and a glucose tolerance test. If you do have diabetes, your GP will suggest lifestyle changes and can prescribe medication to increase your body’s insulin production, or help your body to make better use of the insulin it does produce.

Erectile dysfunction (ED)

  • Problems getting, or maintaining, an erection.
  • Although ED is likely to affect most men at some time in their lives, when it happens repeatedly it could well be a symptom of a more serious underlying disorder – possibly diabetes, high blood pressure, or narrowed arteries.
  • Many men resign themselves to their situation because they’re too embarrassed to talk about it, or because they think there is nothing that can be done. While it is probably one of the hardest things for men to talk about, it is absolutely vital that you talk to your doctor. Only a quarter of all cases are purely due to psychological causes but, whether your underlying problem is physical or psychological, treatment is available and ED can nearly always be treated.

Urinary problems

  • Difficulty passing urine, weak flow, urgency, increased frequency especially at night.
  • An enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)) or, more rarely, prostate cancer. BPH affects 50 per cent of men by the age of 60, and 80 per cent of men in their 80s.
  • Explain all your symptoms to your doctor, who will perform a digital rectal examination – using a gloved finger to feel the size and the texture of your prostate, which may give clues as to what is causing the problem. He may also suggest a PSA test – this test measures levels of a protein (PSA) in the blood stream. A raised PSA level can possibly be a symptom of cancer, but it may also be caused by infection, or by an enlarged prostate.

Change in bowel habits

  • Bouts of diarrhoea or constipation, changes in the consistency of stools, bleeding or blood in stools – which persist for longer than a few weeks.
  • Bleeding can be a sign of piles, other changes in bowel habits may be symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and other bowel conditions. But these symptoms could also be warning signs of bowel cancer, which affects more than 21,000 men every year.
  • See your doctor as soon as possible. You’ll be asked about your family history and the doctor may do a physical examination and refer you for tests, usually a colonoscopy which involves examining the inside of the bowel.

Other symptoms that should be checked out

  • Sores that don’t heal
  • New unexplained lumps anywhere on your body
  • Recurrent pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Blood in the urine
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Nagging cough or hoarseness
  • Unexplained weight loss

 

Your DIY well-man checklist

Just doing these simple self-checks and making some changes, if they’re needed, can make a real difference to long term health

  • Check your weight– two thirds of men are now overweight or obese, but many aren’t aware of it. You can find out which category you fall into by calculating your Body Mass Index. Divide your weight in kg, by your height in metres squared. An ideal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9; 25 and over is overweight; 30 and over is obese. The risk of conditions like diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers starts to rise once you’re into the overweight category and escalates when you become obese.
  • Measure your waist– health-wise it’s probably as important as your weight, because your abdomen is the most unhealthy place to carry extra weight. Use a tape measure rather than relying on your trouser size. A waist measurement over 94cm/37ins increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and the higher the measurement, the greater the risk.
  • Feel your testicles– and do it regularly, so you will notice any lumps or changes. Although testicular cancer is most common in men under 35, it can affect men of any age.
  • Have your blood pressure monitored regularly– your doctor will advise you on how often you need to go for check-ups, depending on various lifestyle factors.
  • Know your family history– it pays to know whether conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes, or certain cancers run in your family. If there is a history, particularly if any close relatives developed the conditions at a young age, it may be important for your health, so always tell your doctor.

Saving St Francis

Recalling the St Francis Bay Residents Association (SFBRA) AGM held at St Francis Bay Bowls Club on December 17th where over 180 residents gathered for the associations AGM and election of a new committee, the high-point of the evening was undoubtedly the overwhelming support for the “Saving St Francis” initiative presented to the audience by Wayne Furphy and Chris Gray.

Following up from the December meeting the newly elected SFBRA committee met on January 8th where Wayne Furphy was elected Chairman with Chris Gray Vice-Chairman. The balance of the committee is made up of Paul Pezarro (Treasurer), Jacky Green (Secretary), David Truter, Louis van der Merwe, Richard Foulds (Riparian Chairman) and Norman Dyer (Joint River Committee Chairman). St Francis Today takes this opportunity of wishing the new committee every success in their efforts over the coming year.

To ensure continuity of the SFBRA efforts, Furphy and Gray have met with their past Chairman and Vice-Chaiman, Nigel Aitken and Tony Moore to ensure a comprehensive handover of all matters. A meeting was then also held with Councillor Ben Rheeder and Aitken to be briefed on the Joint Beach Committee (JBC) which has oversight responsibility for the BAR (Basic Assessment Report) submission to DEDEAT (Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism) for the Spit and Beach repair work . Frank Silberbauer remains responsible for preparing this submission.

New Chairman Wayne Furphy outlined the following as the immediate focus of the new committee:

  1. Help the JBC and Frank Silberbauer submit the BAR by the 11th February. DEDEAT then have 30 days to complete their review and hopefully authorise the BAR to allow us to start work on the repair of the Beach and Spit.
  2. Meet with Kouga Municipality to begin the SRA (Self Rated Area) application process.
  3. Complete the registration of the Schedule 1 Company, open its bank accounts, and ready it for taking over the work of the JBC once the BAR has been authorised.
  4. Update and improve the accuracy of the database of property owners and residents in the greater St Francis Bay area with accurate email, cell phone and telephone details.
  5. Step up communication with all stakeholders, but especially, communication to all property owners and residents.
  6. Encourage all property owners and residents to join the SFBRA. St Francis Bay needs a strong Residents Association whose members represents all of our property members and residents.
  7. Raise money through donations to repair our infrastructure ie. the Spit, Beach, River, Roads, Stormwater Drains and Sewerage.

Furphy stressed the importance of having a well-supported association and has asked all property owners and residents joining the SFBRA.  “We need you all to be part of ‘Saving St Francis’” said Furphy!

Membership is R450 per annum and R300 per annum for Pensioners and payment can be made to:-

Account name: St Francis Bay Residents Association
Bank:   Standard Bank Humansdorp

Account number:         08 249 9276
Branch code:    050015
Reference to use:         Please quote your name and Erf. No. as reference

Those wishing to contribute to the “Saving St Francis” fund can make the donations to :-

Account name:             Moore Stephens Trust
Bank:                          ABSA Humansdorp
Account number:         1940 141 962
Branch code:                632-005 or 334-115
Reference to use:         The  Erf No. and the name of the entity to which the payment relates
Please email a bank proof of payment to contact@sfbresidents.org

 Edited from report supplied by SFBRA