Annual Sports Meeting

St Francis College Vs Hermitage House Annual Sports Meeting

The annual sports meeting, a two day tradition of sports and comradeship between these two schools took place on Friday and Saturday 19 and 20th May this year with the school teams challenging each other to hockey, netball and rugby as well chess.

Headmaster of St Francis College (SFC), Franzl Bause described how the annual fixture came into being. “Mr Hilton Keeton, present Headmaster of Hermitage House, and I have a long standing friendship which started out in 2007 when we were first cricket team coaches; Hilton at Kingswood Prep in Grahamstown and myself at Cordwalles Prep in Pietermaritzburg. Hilton and SFC’s former headmaster,  Alan Campbell (2010 – 2015) agreed on this fixture and when I took over from Alan, we vowed to continue the tradition. So we now have a winter sport fixture every year hosted by SFC, and this year we will return for a senior primary summer tour to Addo on 20 and 21 October to play boys and girls tennis and cricket matches.”

Ten mini hockey games were played with the SFC winning seven and Hermitage House three. On the netball court, SFC won the Under 8 and Under 9 matches after losing all the matches last year, and the U13A put up a gallant effort losing 6-14. On the rugby fields, the Under 13 seven a side game was won by SFC 30 – 5 while the Under 9 ‘Bulletjies’ match was a 25-25 draw.

The chess hall was a popular gathering point for those waiting for their turn on the fields. Many games were played and it seems Hermitage House had the edge

On the Saturday morning, the senior hockey (boys and girls combined teams) on Saturday, the Hermitage House under 11 team won 1-0 in their first game and drew the second 1-1. However, the two SFC U13 teams beat Hermitage House U13 team 6-0 and 7-1 respectively.

“Both schools did our tradition proud this year and are to be congratulated,” said Bause. “Such is the tradition that long after the scores have been forgotten, lifelong comradeship will have been forged between the pupils of both schools.”

St Francis & Hermitage House Undar 12 Rugby

The Under 12 rugby teams played to a 10-10 draw. They are seen here with Mr Rob Clarke – coach for Hermitage House, and SFC coaches, Mr Waldo Kapp and Mr Franzl Bause.

Article & Photo – Lyn Aitken

Website: St Francis College

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New municipal valuers

Public meetings to introduce Kouga’s new municipal valuers

With the compilation of Kouga’s new General Valuation Roll set to commence in July 2017, four public meetings have been arranged to explain the process to property owners.

Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the meetings have been set for June.

“Property owners will have the opportunity to meet the new valuers and to interact with them regarding the valuation process to be followed,” she said.

Valuators for General Valuators Roll

The two valuators will be wearing identity tags in the interest of security

“The new General Valuation Roll will determine how much property owners will be expected to pay for rates and taxes from the 2018/2019 financial year. We would, therefore, like to encourage them to attend the meetings as the outcomes of the process will affect everyone.”

Van Lingen said the new roll would be finalised and advertised for objections by 31 January 2018.

The public meetings will start at 18:30 and have been scheduled as follows:

* On Monday, 12 June, the first meeting will be held at the Newton Hall in Jeffreys Bay. The meeting will focus on the Jeffreys Bay area, including, Aston Bay, Marina Martinique, Pellsrus, Mandela Bay, Tokyo Sexwale, Ocean View and Paradise Beach.

* The second meeting will be held at the Katrien Felix Hall at Thornhill on Tuesday, 13 June. The focus will be on Thornhill, Loerie, Hankey, Patensie, Gamtoos, Crossways, farms in the Hankey and Patensie areas, as well as those Uitenhage farms that fall under Kouga’s jurisdiction.

* On Wednesday, 14 June, a meeting will be held at the Humansdorp Country Club for Humansdorp town and surrounds, including, Kruisfontein, KwaNomzamo, Vergenoeg, Vaaldam and farms in the Humansdorp area.

* The fourth and final meeting will take place on Thursday, 15 June, at the St Francis Links Clubhouse. The focus areas will be St Francis Bay, the St Francis Links, Kromme River, Sea Vista, Cape St Francis and Oyster Bay.

DDP Valuers has been contracted to conduct the valuations for the new roll. Information about them will be available on the municipal website

Further information about the valuation process is available from the municipality’s Valuations Department. Contact Marinda van der Merwe on 042 200 2157 or valuations@kouga.gov.za;  Regardt van Vuuren on 042 200 2157 or valuations2@kouga.gov.za or Wendy Jonkers on 042 200 8543 or valuations3@kouga.gov.za

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Seeff Properties - St Francis Bay

 

General Valuation Roll

Data collectors start gathering info for new General Valuation Roll

The official municipal valuers will be collecting preparatory data in Kouga towns for new General Valuation Roll from 24 May to mid-June 2017.

Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the data collection would lay the groundwork for the compilation of the new General Valuation Roll for the period 2018 to 2023.

“There will be two data collectors taking photographs of properties. They might also have to enter some houses,” she said. “We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, however, these preparations are important if we are to compile a credible valuation roll.”

Valuators for General Valuators Roll

The two valuators will be wearing identity tags in the interest of security

She said DDP Valuers had been awarded the tender to compile the new roll. The data collectors are Tjaart Venter and Bernardt de Klerk.

“They will be wearing identity tags in the interest of security,” the Mayor said. “However, if someone knocks on your door and you are not certain if it really is them, we ask that you call our Valuations Department at 042 200 8543 or 042 200 2157 so as to verify their identities before allowing them access to your premises.”

She said the draft valuation roll would be table to Council by the end of January 2018. Property owners will then be informed of the new valuation of their property and will have the opportunity to object should they believe the valuation is incorrect.

The new valuations will determine how much property owners pay for rates from July 2018. Properties will be valued according to their market value as at 1July 2017.

A series of public meetings will also be held in June to introduce the valuers and valuation process to property owners.

The public meetings will start at 18:30 and have been scheduled as follows:

  • On Monday, 12 June, the first meeting will be held at the Newton Hall in Jeffreys Bay.
  • The second meeting will be held at the Katrien Felix Hall at Thornhill on Tuesday, 13 June.
  • On Wednesday, 14 June, a meeting will be held at the Humansdorp Country Club.
  • The fourth and final meeting will take place on Thursday, 15 June, at the St Francis Links Clubhouse

Further information about the valuation process is available from the municipality’s Valuations Department. Contact Marinda van der Merwe on 042 200 2157 or valuations@kouga.gov.za; Regardt van Vuuren on 042 200 2157 or valuations2@kouga.gov.za or Wendy Jonkers on 042 200 8543 or valuations3@kouga.gov.za

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Romantic night at Cape St Francis Resort

Final team arrives

Final team arrives and the party is on

Team Flud arrives after 150 hours on the raos

It is almost inconceivable the mental strength the back runner teams on the Expedition Africa must have had to keep going, knowing they were never in the prizes, yet they did. Two teams in particular must be congratulated for their fortitude. Team Cape St Francis team made of two ladies rather than just one as with the rest of the teams, finished late on Friday night after some 134 hours on the road with Team Fluid, the last team to cross the finish line on Saturday afternoon after over 150 hours on the gruelling course of this year’s Expedition Africa.  These are the real heroes of the event for they were not racing for glory but just the reward of achieving what must have seemed impossible at times. But they persevered and finally achieved their goal – to finish.

As written in a previous post last week, it is those who make up the back runners that make events such as this the success they are. Be it the Comrades, the Dusi, King of the Kromme or a community fun run, they don’t make up the numbers; they are the heart and soul of these events.

With the ending of this fantastic event many locals will be left with a void in their lives for a few days for there is no doubt it captured many of our lives for seven days. So many joined in by volunteering their services by manning the many control and transition points on the challenging course through some of the wildest and beautiful parts of the greater Kouga. These volunteers must be thanked for without their help this event could never have been the success it was. Camped out in the cold of night waiting hour after hour for the next team also must have had them wondering what they had gotten themselves into but they too persevered and stuck to their posts.

A word of thanks must got out to Stephan & Heidi Muller for bringing Expedition Africa to our region and for brightening our lives with such an exciting and prestigious event. Almost a year in the planning, their organisational skills are quite honestly, incredible. The logistics of planning and running such an event are quite simply mind boggling! Moving kayaks and cycles from one transition point to another in time alone was amazing.  So too was their reporting on the progress of the teams with their live tracking and continuous stream of news on social media. To see some of the great video of the event go to the official website expafrica.live.

Tired bodies and no doubt minds, gathered along with volunteers and locals to celebrate the event  at Cape St Francis Resort for the Prize Giving on Saturday evening.

First prize and free entry into the AR World Championship to be held in Colorado, United States later this year were, if you don’t already know, Team Skylotec Adventure from Sweden  with second place going to Team Thunderbolt AR from Australia and in third, the leading SA team, Team Nevarest Jabberwok.

Fasie Malherbe added to the occasion with a surprise where he offered a team voted for by the other competitors, a choice of a 10-day holiday for 10 people at any one of his properties – Cape St Francis Resort, Casa Malcampo situated in the small fishing village of Tofo, in Mozambique or Villa Tapenade in Croatia. The teams voted Team Cadena Challenger from Mexico as the lucky recipient of the prize.

Thankyou Stephan and Heidi for bringing Expedition Africa to our shores. It is an event that will live long in many of our memories and certainly many of us will be glued to social media next year when you repeat the event for the fortunate community of the Namaqualand Coast.

Expedition Africa Finish Line in site

Expedition Africa Finish Line in site

It is almost inconceivable that some of the teams that just 72 hours ago set off along the beach at Cape St Francis on the epic 500 kilometre Expedition Africa will soon be crossing the finish line at Cape St Francis Resort. To travel 500 kilometres by kayak, foot and bike  in just a little over three days seems  implausible yet a few of the teams will achieve just that in a few hours time.

Waiting at T9 at the Gamtoos river mouth yesterday morning to see the first teams complete the long 25 kilometre haul by kayak down the Gamtoos I had a chat with race organiser Stephan Muller  about the progress of the race. Interestingly he explained the front runners had lost significant time early late Monday night and early yesterday morning having had to traverse the course in the pitch dark. Asked if this meant his prediction of the finish time would be a lot later than anticipated, he explained it was very much swings and roundabouts. What was time lost in the dark would mean that these teams would now traverse a section of the race intended to be done in the dark on daylight allowing them to catch up those lost hours.

Standing on the banks of the Gamtoos one of the group assembled at T9 spotted movement on the river. Straining old eyes I finally spotted a spec in the distance that ever so slowly drew closer and closer. Finally looking no worse for wear Thunderbolt AR, an all Australian team landed their kayaks, carried them up the steps of the jetty and set them aside for collection by the race logistics team to collect. Now one would expect them to rush to the inviting spread of the refreshment table but not so, they immediately set about preparing for the next leg, a run to T10 in Jeffreys Bay, showing almost no evidence that they had just covered some 300 gturling kilometres in just over 53 hours with virtually no rest with Bernadette Dorman, the lady member of the team (pictured below) looking as ‘fresh as a daisy’.

Bernadette Dorman

Bernadette Dorman, the lady member of Thunderbolt

Whilst all the attention is naturally on the athletes, thought and thanks must be given to the many, many volunteers for without them giving so freely of their time, this race would not have been possible. Some of these volunteers have been at their posts at control points through the cold nights and long days waiting for the very last team to pass their station before packing up and no doubt heading for home, a warm shower and a good sleep. Well done and thanks to all those who gave of their time.

Thought must also be given to the amazing logistics team that brought this amazing event to the Kouga region but more on that in a later post.

Bu the time you read this there may be a change in the standings but at present Team Thunderbolt leads narrowly from Team Skylotec with East Wind and Nevarest Jabberwok  a distant third. It appears from the liv tracking that the two leading teams have finished the final cycle leg and are heading on foot for the daunting sand dunes of Oyster Bay.

If you can take a bit of time off work or are in the Cape St Francis area this afternoon, it would be great to gather on the Wildside or near the lighthouse to cheer these amazing athletes home.

Team Skylotech (Sweden) approach the old Gamtoos River bridge

Team East Wind (Japan)

A wave from Team East Team East Wind (Japan) as they pass under the old Gamtoos River Bridge

Expedition Africa opening eyes

Expedition Africa opening eyes to the beauty and history of our area.

Following Expedition Africa has not only been a rather interesting exercise in managing one’s social media activity but also renewed this scribe’s interest in the beauty and history of an area where I have roots dating back to the 1800’s. Although aware of these roots I really never paid much attention to the history of the Gamtoos valley, wonders of the Baviaans or indeed the entire surrounding area. That was until Expedition Africa that has made me so much more aware of just what an amazing area we have on our doorstep.

The short article on Expedition Africa ‘s website yesterday on the natural phenomena of the Bergvenster natural arch created by natural weathering of the Enon conglomerate and the manmade Philips Tunnel, the first tunnel scheme in South Africa certainly piqued my interest to start exploring a little more. https://fireflyafrica.blogspot.co.za/2013/11/phillips-tunnel-in-hankey.html

Although Natal born & bred I have ties back to the Gamtoos area where my great grandparents must have farmed (I wonder if I can make a land claim) and where my grandfather CJE ‘Charlie’ Smith’ was born. Schooled in Cradock,  Charlie went on to play cricket for the then Transvaal earning his Springbok colours at Wanderers against Australia in October 1902.

But I digress so back to the race.

The ‘dark zone’ in the Baviaans was always of major concern to the organisers and it seems for good reason for one of the leading teams. Skylotech. The Swedish team, one of the favourites for top honours had an encounter of an African kind when they came face to face with some buffalo. There was no danger as a patrolling buffalo watch team were there to intervene and the Swedes were able to continue unscathed but with a story to tell their childern and grandchildren in years to come about their encounter in the African bushveld.

Several teams managed to get through the dark zone before it was shut down to ensure team safety so those who beat the clock certainly have a huge advantage. Thunderbolt (Australia) seems to have grabbed the lead from Skylotech (Sweden) with East Wind (Japan), Nantes (France) and the leading South African team Nevarest Jabberwock in hot pursuit.  The leading teams will have started Leg 8 by the time you read this post. Leg 8 sees the teams having to do some rope work before getting back onto their kayaks for a paddle down the Gamtoos. No doubt we will see the leading teams jockeying for position over the next few hours. My money is on the Swedes starting the run ahead of the Aussies on the run into Jeffreys Bay.

To see the route that Expedition is following there is a very informative video on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaM9D3NZh4k

that will give you a better idea of where they have come from and where they are going when read with the live tracking http://www.kineticgear.org/gps-tracking/