Dog Walking on the Golf Course

Golf Course to allow dog walking under strict conditions

Here is correspondence between St Francis Bay Golf Club Captain Willie Uys and past St Francis Bay Residents Association chairman, Nigel Aitken who has been negotiating with the golf club on the matter of walking dogs on the old golf course.

Willie has kindly relented on the clubs decision to ban dog walking and the club has agreed to allow dog walkers to walk their dogs on the 12th and 13th holes only but on condition that the dogs are kept on leashes, no exceptions

Here is a synopsis of Willie’s note to Nigel

  • Before the Golf Club purchased the ground from the Municipality the area was demarcated as Public Open Space;
  • We entered into negotiations and acquired the ground for the purpose of expanding the golf course to 18 holes;
  • Before this happened all the adjoining home-owners were contacted and no objections were received;
  • The ground was transferred to the Golf Club with only one proviso and that is that we are not allowed to alienate any part of it and that it shall only be used for the purpose of a golf course;
  • There is NO mention that the public can continue to make use of it after the purchase and the fact that the Club has over the years allowed people to make use of the grounds to walk or to walk their dogs, was out of a sense of doing something for the community.

As mentioned before, this privilege has been abused by some of the users on a regular basis and this has led to the Club making the decision of no longer allowing people to walk their dogs. Your comment regarding people not wanting their dogs on leashes is noted but it is exactly the fact that the dogs are running free and chasing birds and leaving their “Visiting Cards” in places where the owners do not see or are unwilling to remove this, that has prompted the decision by the Club.

As mentioned before, the ball is in the court of the owners of the dogs but if they do not want to make use of the offer, the Club fully understands. We will however act much more strictly in future and trust that the people will also understand our position on this matter.


Amd whilst on the subject of dog walking don’t forget to bring your dogs to St Francis Links on Easter Monay (26th March)at 07:30 for the Open Your Eyes – Sterilize WALKIES Dog Walk / Run.

Wlakies at St Francis Links with the Open Your Eyes - Steriliize fund raiser

Greenland Adventure

Mike Stark tells of his canoeing trip on Greenland

Open your Eyes - sterilize

The Open Youe Eyes – Sterilize team. Back: Bernice, Sue, Heidi – Front: Verna

On Thursday Mike Stark gave a truly interesting and informative presentation of his paddling (canoeing) travels to Greenland to a full house audience at Dune Ridge Country House. The event organised by Sue Rae Fox and her team of Verna Couper, Bernice Katakuzinos and Heidi Penfold who make up the ‘Open Your Eyes – Sterilize’ initiative was held to raise money for the wonderful work being done by St Francis Animal Rescue’s Stephanie Ernsten to stem the number of puppies and kittens being born each month in the greater St Francis region.

Now why anyone would venture into the icy climes of Greenland, even in summer is beyond many but the wonderful photographic illustrations certainly would have put Greenland on the bucket lists of some of those present. Greenland is the world’s largest island, wonder how many knew that, and the term green is a total misnomer for Greenland is in fact covered in ice. Folklore gives the naming of the island to a group of Vikings who fled Norway during one the many skirmishes that Vikings seem to thrive on and discovered a green island. Fearing that their enemies might follow them they sent back word that their island was actually an ice-land but that another island — more distant and larger  was more a habitable green-land although it was actually covered by ice. And so the green island became Iceland, and the icy island became Greenland.

Mike Stark

Mike Stark talking on his Greenland canoeing adventure

The true story of Iceland’s founding is more complicated and had something to do with Ingolfur Arnason a Norse chieftain who founded Reykjavik (capital of Iceland) in 874.

Greenland, meanwhile, was not “discovered” until a century or so later, when a Norwegian who was sailing to Iceland was blown off course. It was later named “green land” by Erik the Red, another Norwegian, who really was fleeing from Norway and first went to Iceland before settling in Greenland. He wanted to bring more settlers and was obviously good at marketing hence Greenland.

An extremely interesting part of Mike’s talk was the effect of global warming where in just two years huge glaciers had receded by over two and a half kilometres and were visibly melting causing their guide to warn them not to paddle anywhere close the face of the glaciers as huge shards of ice broke away from the glacier.  Those of us living in warmer climates possibly don’t really appreciate how serious global warming is but Mike’s description of the realities certainly makes  one more aware.

Another interesting point that Mike spoke of was the total lack of garbage disposal and rubbish is simply dumped in the back yards of homes, one would imagine a bit like the mess adjacent China Town on the R330.  The talk included snippets of good humour and when a question from the audience asked about ablutions whilst on out on the ice, Mike was understandably a little embarrassed but his answer certainly raised more than a few chuckles but we won’t pursue this matter in print if readers don’t mind.

Tourism is limited by the short summers access is almost by air only, mainly from Denmark and Iceland although cruise ship do occasionally visit  but don’t spend much locally, since the ship provides accommodation and meals. Some would no doubt think it madness to venture into such a forsaken freezing environment when one can paddle the canals of St Francis without freezing one’s butt off but some are born to venture into the unknown and Mike and his party were, according to his guide, the first South Africans he had ever encountered in Greenland.

Thanks for a really worthwhile 45 minutes Mike, it certainly was an interesting introduction to a country which we are willing to bet very few South Africans have much knowledge of.

But back to the purpose of the event!

Rebecca Tilders

Rebecca Tilders

Introducing Mike Stark to the gathered audience, Susan Rae Fox briefly explained how the wonderful work done by Rebecca Tilders with the April Olive Blossom Fund over the 13 plus years of its existence had undergone some changes since Rebecca retired from carrying out her amazing work with animals throughout the Kouga district.  With the retirement of Rebecca, retired vet, Stephanie Ernsten stepped into the breach and now runs a veterinary clinic for the residents of Sea Vista with the accent on looking after the needs of the many pet owners in the township. This has given rise to the name change from the April Olive Blossom fund to St Francis Animal Rescue.

With the assistance of Nerine Botha of Aloe Veterinary Clinic in St Francis Bay who treats the more serious conditions, Stephanie and her team of helpers see to the dipping of dogs, deworming, registering of pets names to create a medical history to ensure animals inoculations are kept up to date and treating minor wounds and health conditions and most importantly, encouraging pet owners to have their pets sterilized.

Stepahnie Ernsten - St Francis Animal Rescue

Stephanie Ernsten -St Francis Animal Rescue

So far this year Stephanie has been instrumental in having some 53 pets, dogs and cats, neutered, a major achievement that has Stephanie making regular trips to both Dr Botha as well as to Dr Barker’s surgery in Humansdorp in the early mornings to have pets sterilised, returning to Humansdorp in the afternoon to collect the pets and return them to their owners by evening.

Obviously this activity requires funding and Susan thanked all those in attendance for their support of the Open Your Eyes – Sterilize fund raising efforts for without this support St Francis Animal Rescue would not be making the difference that it is. Closing off the morning before taking tea and coffee and a wonderful spread of weet and savoury nibbles prepared by Dune Ridge, Susan presented Stepanie with a beautiful bouquet of roses.

In closing …  it was really great to see a few men in the audience and it is hoped that more men will attend future events organised by Susan and her team.

A busy pre-Easter weekend and more to come

Easter in St Francis

Open your Eyses - Sterilize event

Open your Eyses – Sterilize event

St Francis really busied up towards the end of last week starting with a very successful and interesting Open your Eyes – Sterilize function at Dune Ridge Country House on Thursday morning . This was followed on Thursday evening with an excellent Beer / Wine – Food Pairing at St Francis Brewing Company where once again Chef Dan Hoffmann showed his pedigree as one of the most creative and talented chef’s in the region.

Friday saw the opening of the new Rock Lily

in Cape St Francis where the opening celebration stretched on through the weekend supported by a huge crowd on Friday night with revellers rocking the night away through to the early hours of Saturday morning. Saturday night had Wendy Oldfield back visiting Cape St Francis entertaining the crowd. Also on Friday night whilst revellers were “wetting the baby’s head” at Rock Lily, Dune Ridge Country House was holding their own fully booked, food – wine pairing that had proved so popular that Sarah Swanepoel of Dune Ridge arranged a repeat pairing function for the Saturday night where diners again enjoyed what is has become a well-supported event on the Dune Ridge dining calendar.

Rock Lily

And there is more to come over the next week.

On Thursday evening (24th), Dune Ridge will be open for dinner bookings and you will need to call Sarah on either 042 294 1560 or 082 500 to secure a table as well as for their Easter Sunday Lunch. St Francis Links of course will serving up their curry at the ;Famous Wednesday Curry Night’ and they too are offering an Easter Sunday Lunch so call The Links on 042 200 0045 to book for either one or both of these popular events.

The Brewery will be offering live music to go with their great beer on Saturday 25th and of course their not to be missed Sunday Roast which Linky whispered in our ear promises to be as good as ever with maybe a little something extra but we will let readers know more about this later in the week but don’t wait if you want to experience the best Sunday Roast, call the brewery on 063 274 3743 to book for Sunday as it is bound to be fully booked in no time.

Travelling down South, Rock Lily will have the very popular Francois Hugo and Rob Thompson entertaining the crowd on Wednesday evening and the Looker Reunion Band performing on Saturday night.

Easter Egg HuntOn Sunday at the Links the Annual SuperSpar ”Big Easter Egg Hunt” starts at 10:00 so bring the kids to meet the Easter Bunny and to search for the hidden Easter treasure.

Easter Monday kicks off with the Open your Eyes – Sterilize “Walkies” Dog Walk or Run also at St Francis Links at 07:30am. Entry is R50 per dog so bring your mutts and join in the fun and give your pooch a little Easter exercise and social interaction. At 9:00am the draw for the R12000 Trolley Dash Olympics takes place at The Village Square Superspar so get your tickets this week so that you can be in with a chance. With Jo Brown MC for the event it is bound to be a lot of fun with more than a few laughs.

For paddlers, the annual ‘King of the Kromme’ starts from the St Francis Bay Paddling Club’s new headquarters at Quaysyde Restaurant at 10:00 on Easter Monday with the King raced over a 20 kilometre course through the canals, up the Kromme and back to finish at Quaysyde. A shorter event of just 12 kilometres is also be held for those not wishing to race in the main event and a wonderful opportunity for biginners to get their paddles wet.

We will keep you advised on any other events as the week progresses.