NSRI Bridge Charity Day Competition

Geoff Ellis, President of the St Francis Bay Bridge Club, presented a cheque for R6300, the proceeds from their Annual Bridge Day Charity competition, to Station 21 of the National Sea Rescue Institute. Marc May, representing NSRI Station 21, accepted the donation which took place at a ceremony at the St Francis Links.

NSRI Donation from St Francis Bay Bridge Club

Photo: Marc May of the NSRI with Geoff Ellis, President of the St Francis Bay Bridge Club.

May expressed sincere thanks on behalf of the NSRI. He said that the funds donated would be used exclusively by Station 21 and gave a brief outline of the work done by the dedicated and selfless volunteers who provide assistance to those in trouble on the seas. They give of their time and skill without any form of remuneration. He emphasized that the work they do is hard, selfless and sometimes, inevitably, ends in tragedy. He explained how he warns new volunteers that they will inevitably have to cope with difficulties and failures but will also have deeply gratifying rescues and successes.

Fundraising days for the NSRI were started over 30 years ago by Dinks Liebenberg, founder of the St. Francis Bay Bridge Club. She was passionate about the work done by the NSRI and initially started fund raising luncheons among friends. When she founded the Bridge Club, she incorporated an annual charity bridge competition. Even though Liebenberg has retired and moved away from St Francis, the Club now continues the tradition she started.

These competitions have gained in popularity and attract bridge players from far and wide. Unfortunately Liebenberg (who is now aged 93) was not able to attend this year’s gathering but sent her best wishes to the Bridge Club and to the NSRI. Support for the 2015 event was tremendous with 88 players from Port Elizabeth, Somerset West, Knysna, Jeffreys Bay and St Francis Bay competing in a really friendly and happy atmosphere. Eileen Ellis and Judith O’Hara from St Francis Bay were joint Tournament Directors and everything went like clockwork. The venue and assistance provided by the Links was excellent. Businesses in St Francis Bay and members of the club donated generously and thanks were expressed to them all.

North/South Winners were: Gabrielle Lonsdale and Eileen Ellis (St Francis Bay). In second place were Jeanne Williams and Jacques Labuschagne (Jeffreys Bay) and in third place were Stephanie Kemp and Sam Fourie, also from Jeffreys Bay.

In the East/West section, the winners were Karen Gillanders and Di Hobson from Port Elizabeth. In second place were Ginty Tagg and Theonie Kirton (St Francis Bay) and third were Jenny Blackwell & Marietjie Lategan (Jeffreys Bay).

Photo supplied – Edited by Collo

South African Energy

Article from Richard Arderne

I asked my son Chris, studying engineering masters in Stockholm, specialising in energy, what he thinks SA should do to solve its energy problems, and this is what he replied:

Basically I think the discussion is quite simple:

1) Increase energy availability
2) Drastically reduce carbon emissions

1) Decommission coal plants
2) Replace them with something

1) Useful energy storage is further away than the lifetime of renewable sources
2) South Africa has no neighbours with whom to trade electricity

1) Build renewables up to a practical limit for grid reliability (maybe 30%, we’ll have to see)
2) Build nuclear
3) Decommission coal plants as the economy and grid allow

1) If energy storage becomes practical and economical in the future, to the point that it is competitive with nuclear, then build more renewables.


Bridging the Gap?

Many say we should push for wind and solar, and presumably keep using coal and gas to fill in the gaps. But when 18 GW (40% of the country’s current capacity) has gone offline by 2030 (rough planned decommission timeline), what happens? There’s no way any energy storage technology will be cost-competitive yet (in South Africa) to replace that.

The other frequent suggestion is to replace the coal with gas, which would lead to marginal carbon improvements (although great air pollution improvements), with much higher prices and no significant domestic gas resources. It’s possible I’m wrong and storage technology improves more quickly (there are some promising CSP concepts), but the scale that would be needed and the inefficiencies in any storage system, means it would have to build perhaps four times the capacity.

South Africa is basically an island, and most comparisons from the US/Europe are not valid. Germany has gone all out with wind, and is suffering, but it hasn’t been a complete disaster, because they’re connected to a huge European grid. And they’re busy planning 27 new coal plants, which is the last thing anyone should be doing. And in that case it’s difficult to get more than maybe 30% from intermittent sources, and already then we’ll be seeing many instances of excess production. Renewables have grid priority, so the coal plants will have to shut down, which is expensive and damaging. Or the electricity price falls hugely, or even goes negative, as has happened in Germany and parts of the US. Both of these are bad, and will cost Eskom millions.

I think the current wind and solar trend in South Africa is probably great. I’m not sure what the overall effects are on the coal fleet (efficiency and breakdowns) but the rate of renewable installation is probably slow enough that it can be monitored before anything drastic happens. So although the renewables increase the carbon/kWh of the coal plants, they decrease the overall country’s carbon/kWh, and appear to be profitable. So keep going with that, but don’t expect it to be a majority contributor any time soon.

The anti-nuclear viewpoint often ignores two things: the need to hasten the decommissioning of the coal plants, as well as the fact that the relationship between demand and supply is not unidirectional. The renewables being installed are reducing overall carbon emissions, but do not allow Eskom to decommission any coal plants. And that should be a big priority: shut down the older, more polluting plants as soon as possible. Additionally, South Africa is suffering energy poverty and it is impacting the economy in a huge way.

So while nuclear probably isn’t critical to restoring a balance, having more capacity allows one of two things: more supply and thus more incentive for industry growth, or the possibility to shut down old plants.

Another job created in St Francis Bay

A very big thank you goes out to the Rotary Club of Poynton and District in the UK and their sister club – The Inner Wheel for another wonderful knitting machine for Nomvula’s Knitters!

Inner Wheel member Anna Bissell literally carried it out from England with her when she came to visit her family in St Francis this October.

On accepting this donation, Rotarian Frances Becker, the founder of Nomvula’s Knitters thanked both clubs and particular Rotarians John and Anna Bissell adding that this new knitting machine would mean another job created in our small town where work opportunities are so limited.

This knitting machine is the fifth machine to have been donated from Rotary Clubs internationally. Other machines have been donated from Rotary Clubs of Nimes Arénes in France, and Lymington, and Marr Dyke Valley in the UK. This is the second knitting machine to be donated by the Poynton & District Club.


Rotary donate knitting machine

Seen at the hand over are (l to r) Anna Bissell holding a mohair scarf presented in thanks by the knitters, Rotarians Pinky Stokwe and Frances Becker and Anna’s daughter Jo Brown.

An “UNLIKE” button on Facebook?

How often have you seen something on Facebook that absolutely appalls you and the only way to show your support is to “like” it when your true feelings are to “dislike” it. Well users flooded Zuckerberg’s official Facebook page with nearly 3 000 comments largely about the dislike option. While some said they would use Facebook more if the button were introduced, others said it would lead to cyber-bullying and more negativity on the site.

But possibly a better option and one that is being tested are adding animated emotive buttons such as “Love”, “Sympathy”, “Anger” or “Sadness”. Certainly being able to express “anger” when we see posts where there has been cruelty to children, animals or other despicable acts instead of “liking” a post would be great but one has to consider the “unlike” as certainly this is very likely to be abused.

Tell us what you think in the COMMENTS below.

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Animated Emoticons