Is Nuclear really the answer?

Thyspunt obviously has its detractors and its supporters and “nere the twain shall meet”. Whichever side of the horrible fence that has just been erected on the Cape St Francis road, one sits on, the fact is that South Africa simply has to either generate or purchase more power.  We can live with load shedding in our homes as inconvenient as it is but South Africa won’t attract investment nor create much needed jobs without more capacity.

Eskom (government) obviously feels the answer can be found by building more Medupi’s and Thyspunt’s but are they considering the many alternatives being developed by other countries who face similar generating capacity as they  grow their economy’s into the future.

The following article puts an interesting spin on whether these multi- billion Rand monstrosities really necessary or are they simply to “reward the empowered few who wish for centralisation of the energy system so their dominance might persist, against the disempowered many who wish to claim back their autonomy”. READ MORE

Vodacom Origins of Golf at The Links

It’s all happening at St Francis Links as perfect weather yesterday gave the professionals and amateurs a great look at one of South Africa’s best courses. 116 golfers teed off at 11am yesterday morning with local favorites Titch Moore, Wallie Coetsee and Lyle Rowe joining 11-time Origins winner, Jean Hugo to headline the Pro-Am field.

With a bit of rain forecast for today but clearing later tomorrow for the main event that will be played over 54-holes from tomorrow through to Saturday, it certainly is worth a trip up to the links to watch our young pro’s in action.

Join us for the action.


Photo’s courtesy St Francis Links


St Francis College pupils brought dinner theatre to the village for one night only as they wowed parents and guests at the school’s annual concert – Reach for the Stars, You just might become one! , which doubled as a rousing farewell to much-loved headmaster Alan Campbell and his wife Janet.

Hosted by St Francis Links, which provided a delicious dinner before the show, pupils performed various skits, dances, songs and well-scripted one-liners. Written and directed by talented Grade 3 teacher Annie Carpenter, choreographed by artistic Dance and Movement teacher Jenny Davis and music by creative Music teacher Natasha Brown, the event was a great success.

St. Francis College Grade 3-7 Concert- Reach for the Stars, You just might become one!

St. Francis College Grade 3-7 Concert- Reach for the Stars, You just might become one!

Grade 7 pupil Dean Brooker bids farewell to Headmaster Alan Campbell on behalf of all the children of St. Francis College.

Grade 7 pupil Dean Brooker bids farewell to Headmaster Alan Campbell on behalf of all the children of St. Francis College.

Photographs : Alan Campbell and Gail Brooker


Spring Day launched the first day of the last term for St Francis College pupils. Once the stormy weather had passed, Grade 2 pupils were eager to get outdoors – so to celebrate the season and welcome the sun, the class held a Tea Party Picnic to discuss the wonders of Spring. Teacher Caroline Anderson said : “Many great insights were shared and lots of laughs had. Pupils learn so much through fun, creative discussions.”

Kyle Heim

Grade 2 pupil Kyle Heim demonstrates ‘pinkies up’.

drinking tea

Grade 2 girls drinking tea, sharing snacks and having a chat.


Photo : Caroline Anderson

Personality of the Month – Rebecca Tilders

Rebecca Tilders

Rebecca Tilders – Dog Carer Extraordinaire

The choice of  being a chef aboard a luxury game fishing boat chartering out of Cairns, Australia or walking the dusty streets of local Kouga townships caring for the needs of malnourished dogs would be an easy choice for many. And no doubt Rebecca Tilders, in her wildest imagination never foresaw her life taking this latter road when love blossomed when the late Helmie Tilders of Cape St Francis decided to go on a fishing charter in Australia some twenty years ago.

During the cruise Helmie reeled in a monstrous 1000lb marlin realizing the dream of many a fisherman of landing the ultimate prize of the sea. Rebecca had no doubt seen other monster fish being caught but with this one her caring of those creatures that share our planet came into play when she asked Helmie to release the fish back to the ocean. No doubt sensing there was something far more important happening in his life Helmie relented and so back went his prize to explore the ocean deep once more. And so begun a romance that was to see Rebecca give up her job on the fishing boat and eventually settle in Cape St Francis with Helmie. As most know Helmie sadly passed away earlier this year.

After finally moving to South Africa and marrying Helmie, Rebecca taught at Sea Vista school for a while and it was at the school where her work with dogs started. Some three years after settling on our shores and whilst working at the school, a heavily pregnant dog walked into the school. Finding out who owned the dog, Rebecca realized she would have to take charge so after seeing the dog through its pregnancy and finding homes for the litter, Rebecca started on her crusade that was to set her on a path as “dog-carer extraordinaire”.

Working townships of the Kouga district, Sea Vista, Humansdorp, Patensie,  Thornhill and others, she initially funded most of her work herself before starting the “April Olive Blossom Fund”  so she could continue her work. As a ‘foreigner’ and not speaking a word of Afrikaans says much for the courage it must have taken to enter the townships and whilst Rebecca says 95 percent of those she dealt with were pleasant and co-operative, there were those who did not take kindly to an uitlander interfering in their lives. Added to this, the occasional unfriendly dog didn’t make the job any easier – quite recently being attacked by a pit-bull.

Relating a phone call received recently from someone who had a dog given to her by Rebecca two years earlier truly illustrates how little compassion some people have for their pets. The caller wanted to give the dog back to Rebecca and the reason …. “we have two new puppies and don’t want the dog any longer”. It seems this is a common problem having heard similar stories from the SPCA. Surely a dog is a commitment to the dog’s lifetime not something you give back when you tire of its company.

Rebecca was adamant that I include in this article mention that, without the help of others her work would not have been possible. Most notable was Humansdorp Vet; Dr Barker for her unstinting support and patience for without Dr Barker little of what was achieved would have been possible.  She also thanked those who have supported the “April Olive Blossom Fund” that has made it financially possible to cover some of the costs incurred.

During the chat with Rebecca, her passion for dogs was tangible and tears were seldom far away when talking of her her work. Not every story could have a happy ending and those dogs that were beyond help or she could not find homes for had to sadly be euthanized and one cannot imagine the emotions Rebecca experienced having to make such decisions. But there are many, many dogs that Rebecca rescued that have brought joy to so many in St Francis, and further afield, thanks to Rebecca and her efforts.

The St Francis Bay and surrounding communities will truly miss you Rebecca when you leave us to settle in the UK. Thank you for the thirteen and a half years you dedicated to the welfare on our canine friends.  No doubt it won’t be long before you embark on another cause whether it is caring for animals or the elderly for some are simply born to care.

Parting words from Rebecca – “Of all the jobs I have ever had, including paid jobs, this was the best job ever and I was never paid a penny for doing it” – that is called passion.


Whilst Rebecca prepares to move on to the UK she is no longer actively involved in the day to day work that has kept her busy these past thirteen and a half years. Stephanie Ernsten has taken over some of the work done by Rebecca so will need the support of donations to the April Olive Blossom Fund to ensure that Stephanie too, can make a difference. (Hopefully we can chat with Stephanie in the very near future.)

Should you need assistance please call Stephanie Ernsten on 071 392 5530

It would be so very interesting to see comments from the many people who have received loving pets from Rebecca over the years and we ask readers to submit your comments below. There must be so many happy stories to tell.