Super Fun At Fundraiser

Super Fun At Monte Carlo Royale Fundraiser

Super Fun At Monte Carlo Royale Fundraiser

The St Francis College community put on the Ritz as they turned out in numbers to support the Monte Carlo Royale evening at St Francis Links on Friday June 23rd.  The event which raised approximately R50 000.00 for the College saw keen punters revelling in the entertainment at the poker, roulette and black jack tables, while enjoying the  delicious food prepared by the Links team, the music and dancing.

A highlight of the evening was the silent auction of various artworks including creations by St Francis College students. Those students whose artworks were chosen were Ruby Tovell, Grade 4, Jeanne Steyn, Grade 5, Keano Dukai, Grade 6, Hope Jack, Grade 6, Lily Malherbe, Grade 7, and Joss Hempel, Grade 7. The auction contributed an amazing total of R3160.00 to the College fund.

The event was facilitated by Gaming Events – a Kleinmond based croupier company. Each ticket of R250 included dinner, a glass of champagne, entrance into a lucky draw and some ‘funny money’ to get the evening started.

Shaun & Tracy Kennedy were delighted to win the lucky draw prize of a night away to Zen Guesthouse in Jeffreys Bay.  Our mini poker tournament winner, Dirk Ellis took home a Jameson whiskey hamper and Justin Ackerman won the Johnnie Walker Blue Label on raffle.

A  big thank you must go to the generous sponsors. Table sponsors included Moore Stephens, Kathea Energy, The River Estate, and The Store/RVCA. Thank you too to Tops at Spar who sponsored the superb Olive Brook champagne.

Our grateful thanks to our MC, Liezl Clause and our auctioneer, Jeff Clause as well as Wayne Fairman Photography for the fabulous photos!

Last but not least a huge thank you to the St Francis College community for throwing their support behind this memorable evening!

Super Fun At Monte Carlo Royale Fundraiser

Article: Lyn Aitken
Photographs: Wayne Firman

Sand River Bridge

Update of progress of Sand River Bridge

The Sand River Bridge is on track to carry traffic over December holiday season but construction will continue well into 2018.

St Francis Today was invited along with Nigel Aitken of SF Property Owners Association to visit the new Sand river bridge construction for a full update on progress. Well we are pleased to be able report back with good news.

Barring an unprecedented flood, an earthquake or strike by a falling meteorite it appears that the bridge will be partially open in time for the December / January holiday influx. Good news for the expected holiday makers and St Francis at large.

Within the next few weeks the construction team expects to start pouring the concrete slab that will span the support pillars already constructed to form the roadway over the bridge. A mammoth undertaking. Whilst the contractor indicated that this would offer two lanes to the expected holiday traffic the bridge itself, would be far from complete as there will still be work to be done before commissioning of the bridge late in the first quarter, possibly in the second quarter of 2018.

After donning all the required safety gear we joined the contractor on the perimeter of site rather being allowed access to the heart of the construction for obvious safety reasons. Having the contractor explain what would have still have to be done once the bridge is opened to vehicle traffic certainly gave us a better understanding as to what has been achieved thus far and what still needs to be done. Because of the ‘temporary’ causeway it has been impossible to extend the bridge foundation to its full required width. This can only be done once the main section of the bridge is open to traffic and the temporary causeway, presently the only thoroughfare in and out of St Francis has been excavated.  Once the causeway has been removed work will commence on extending the foundation, increasing the width of the support pillars as well as the width of the bridge.  The main water pipeline from the Churchill dam will also be incorporated into the structure of the bridge.

The photograph below illustrates just how close to the causeway is to the bridge with sandbags seemingly all that is preventing the causeway falling into the bridge excavation area and why the causeway will need to be excavated before the final foundation can be completed.

As the foundation is extended so too will the bridge so as to incorporate pedestrian walkways on either side, guard rails et al which will be missing when the bridge is initially opened to vehicle traffic. Actually standing above the construction site and having the contractor explain the progress and further development it becomes evident the need for the tons of reinforcing steel that protrudes from various parts of the bridge construction.

In the interim residents are reminded to drive with care when navigating the bridge area and in the coming months expect a few delays as the construction reaches the critical stage of laying the roadway slab. Calming devises will no doubt remain in place even once the bridge is opened for it will still be a construction site and as such present its own dangers, particularly for those who choose to ignore speed limits.

 

Sand River Bridge

Illustrattration of how close to the causeway is to the new bridge cnstruction

Sand River Bridge

Mid-winter madness

Mid-Winter madness in St Francis Canals

Mid-winter madness

Ready to swm (note OB on table to numb the pain)

Coinciding with the shortest days (longest nights) of the year we also experienced what were certainly the coldest days of the year thus far. With temperatures dropping into single digits and the wind chill factor further lowering the temperature, most of us sought refuge indoors around fires and heaters warmly wrapped and sipping either hot chocolate or red wine.

But there were a group of ’22 crazies’ who decided to test their fortitude by ignoring the freezing temperatures and icy waters of the St Francis Bay Canals for the St Francis Open Water swimmers, Winter Solstice mid-winter swim. Sensibly most donned wetsuits, well 20 of them did whilst two young swimmers (Abrielle and Taya) decided that their speedos would suffice in keeping the cold at bay (oh to be young).

Start of mid-winter madness

Ready to start the mid-winter swim (note the lass on the right with out a wetsuit)

It is reported that all those participating completed the one kilometer course required to receive a Mid-Winter Madness certificate presented by Kouga Print although two swimmers, Haydn Holmes and Amica de Jager decided an extra one kilometer lap might warm them up. There were also reports that a few of the oldies cheated by consuming glasses of Old Brown before the swim. Whether this was to warm them up or numb the senses is uncertain but after the swim Richard Arderne (Pam Golding Properties) provided gluhwein to those who required assistance in thawing out.

If you are a little crazy and would like more information or want to join this brave, even if a little crazy group, visit the St Francis Open Water swimming Facebook page.

Mid-Winter madness participants

Some of those who competed along with the certificates presented by Kouga Print.

Mid-Winter madness swim times

Photos supplied aby Garth Perry

 

Humanitarian crisis

Humanitarian crisis brewing at Longmore

A humanitarian crisis is brewing at the Longmore village where residents have been without electricity and water since the weekend.

Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said 80 households were affected by the service interruption, caused by fire damage to electrical infrastructure.

“Longmore is situated in the Kouga region, but Nelson Mandela Bay is the supply authority for electricity. The Metro had hoped to have the power restored by today, but the damage was more extensive than anticipated,” she said.

“The burnt line also supplies electricity to the Loerie Dam and pump stations, hence, the interruption in the water supply.”

She said Kouga Municipality was carting water to the area and that 25 mobile toilets were being delivered to the village today. Generators are being brought in to try and get the pump stations up and running again.

“We are also collecting ready-made meals for the 204 people of the village because it has been difficult for them to make their own food.”

She said the full extent of the fire damage had not yet been determined but that early estimates put it at hundreds of millions of rands.

“Sixty percent of the Longmore Plantation, as well as the saw mill, burnt down. The cost of this damage will be immense.”

She said the Department of Social Development was working with local farmers and farming associations to assess the damage to farms in the area.

“We are concerned that hundreds of farm workers are going to be without work. It could take as long as three years or more for affected farmers to rebuild what they have lost.”

She said Social Development and the Jeffreys Bay Trauma Centre were continuing with counselling support.  Eighteen children from the affected areas have already received counselling.

She appealed to non-profit organisations that work with poor communities to contact Sarah Hugo from the National Lottery at 086 006 5383 to see how they can assist those traumatised and affected by the fire.

Ready-made meals can be dropped off at the Thornhill Hotel, the Kouga Municipal offices at 33 Da Gama Road, Jeffreys Bay, or at the Kouga Fire Department on the entry road to Humansdorp from the N2.

Press release from Laura-Leigh Randall
Kouga Municipality Media Liaison Oficer
084 2055 388

Firefighters on alert

Kouga fire-fighters on high alert

Fire-fighters on alertKouga fire-fighters are on high alert, with strong winds having been predicted for tomorrow.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said two helicopters from the SA National Defence Force arrived this afternoon to water-bomb areas that could flare up.

“A 100 fire-fighters are also on the ground, busy with mop-up operations between Loerie and Thornhill.

“We would like to ask the public not to panic should there be flare-ups in the wind tomorrow. The situation is being monitored and managed carefully,” she said.

“If it becomes necessary to issue an evacuation alert, this will be done officially by the municipality. We ask people not to spread false rumours.  The municipality will publish relevant information on its Facebook page.”

She said the fire at Longmore was under control at the moment but still smouldering. Tree stumps are also still smouldering in the area between the N2 and R102 where fire crews extinguished fires yesterday.

“We would once again like to appeal to motorists to reduce their speed when travelling past the Van Stadens and Thornhill areas. There are a lot of animals, both livestock and wildlife, wandering into the roads because of the fences having burnt down,” she said.

The Mayor said Sanral had already started replacing damaged road signs and fencing but that the damage was extensive.

She appealed to the public to report any fire-related incidents, including trees and obstructions that have fallen in the road, to Kouga’s all-hour emergency number at 042-291 0250.

Press release from Laura-Leigh Randall
Kouga Municipality Media Liaison Oficer
084 2055 388

 

Kouga fire update

Herewith an update on the Kouga fires from Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen:

LOCAL STATE OF DISASTER DECLARED

Prompted by the widespread destruction caused by fires that have been burning in the region since Wednesday (7 June), the Kouga Council this afternoon declared a Local State of Disaster.

The declaration, made at a special meeting at Jeffreys Bay, will now be promulgated in the Provincial Gazette. This will allow the municipality to apply for additional funding from provincial and national government so as to address the impact of the fires on the local infrastructure and communities.

HOTSPOTS

Two hot spots are still burning in the Kouga region. These are in the vicinity of Loerie and Crossways. There is no immediate danger to property. We are grateful to the local farming community who has also been helping with mop-up operations in these areas.

LONGMORE PLANTATION

About 50% (roughly 10 500ha) of the Longmore Plantation has burnt down. A total of 110 fire-fighters are still fighting fires in the plantation. Longmore MTo

ROAD SAFETY AND ANIMALS

Motorists are cautioned to reduce their speeds when travelling along the N2 and R102 in the vicinity of Van Stadens and Thornhill.

Visibility has been poor, especially along the R102 in the vicinity of Thornhill.

Many animals, both livestock and wildlife, have also been wondering onto the roads because fencing either burnt out or had to be cut so that the animals could escape from the fire.

Sanrail has been asked to put up temporary road signs to warn motorists.

ELECTRICITY: THORNHILL AND LONGMORE

Nelson Mandela Bay Metro was able to restore the electricity supply to Thornhill yesterday and has undertaken to have the power restored to Longmore by this afternoon (Monday, 12 June). The Metro supplies electricity to Thornhill and Longmore even though these areas are located within Kouga Municipality’s boundaries.

TRAUMA COUNSELLING

Trauma counselling is being offered to residents affected by the fire through the Department of Social Development and Jeffreys Bay Trauma centre.

COMMUNICATION SUPPORT

We would like to thank MTN and Vodacom for helping to boost the signal in the Thornhill area for improved communication.

DONATIONS

We are very grateful to everyone for the donations and support that have been streaming in since the crisis started on Wednesday.

We have sufficient supplies for affected communities at present. We also have enough prepacked meals for fire-fighters at present, but will send out an alert should there be any further requirements.

OTHER NON MUNICIPAL REQUESTS:

APPEAL PLEASE: Woodridge is desperately looking for building material to get temporary facilities up for students and staff that lost everything. There are currently no kitchen facilities on campus and many staff who have lost homes. If you are able to help please whatsapp Godfrey Paul Carter on 0715197760. Please start your message with BUILDING SUPPLIES so they can respond quickly. Many thanks. Shannon

Woodridge College Fire

Photo Shannon Momberg