Prime Timers visit The Belfry

The Belfry Kitchen where cash is not essential!

Twenty three Prime Timers booked for their second outing that saw them visiting the Belfry Kitchen in Twee Rivier for a delicious 4-course Sunday lunch.  Set in beautiful surroundings, the ‘kitchen’ in its very simplest form, is a lunchtime café for serving staff and students as well as doubling as the town’s post office.

Prime Timers visiting The Belfry Kitchen in Twee Rivier

The Belfry Kitchen offers a practical answer to these economic times – both present and ahead and dining or shopping at the kitchen does not necessarily require cash for barter trades are welcome. The Prime Timers chose the cash option for at R56.00 for a delicious four-course meal it was a steal. The food served at the ‘kitchen’ is all home grown or homemade, from the vegetables to the cheese served with home baked bread with homemade butter with even the meat coming from the farm for The Belfry Kitchen believes ‘even slaughtering and hunting find their proper place in this circle of supply’.

A stunning venue with excellent food and company!

Paulene and Colleen certainly seem to be able to find great places to visit for these Prime Timer outings and obviously are able to negotiate good value from the venues they choose. Last month Prime Timers visited Addo Elephant followed by a lunch at nearby Hopefield Country House at a cost of just R148 for the day’s outing. No doubt members of the newly formed group await news of the next Prime Timers outing with great anticipation.

Thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended!

For more information on Prime Timers, how to join and other information, call Paulene on 084 7897801 or 042 2940301.

Lunch at The Belfrey Kitchen

Lunch at The Belfrey Kitchen

About the Belfry Kitchen and what it is not trying to be

The Belfry does not have the pursuit of healthy living in mind. If it achieves this, it is incidental.

The Belfry does not pursue the pleasing of its customers, but chooses rather to rekindle and demonstrate a former way – long before the misery of consumer-dom conferred its despondent role.

The Belfry does not aim to offer a recreational break or respite from real life, but takes delight in exhibiting the most sober and encouraging reflection of it, in all its facets, both glorious and humble.

The Belfry Kitchen

News from St Francis Bay Residents Association

St Francis Not for Profit Company finally registered

We find ourselves in a frustrating waiting period. We need the approval of the FBAR by DEDEAT to know precisely what repairs we can do to the Beach revetments and the Spit, and what the likely cost will be. But having said that much progress has been made during March :

  • NPC Registration: We have completed the registration of the Not-For-Profit Company (NPC) required for the work that will be done to the River, Spit, Beach, Roads, Stormwater Drains and Sewerage infrastructure. We have opened a Bank account for the company, and transferred donations made to-date into this account from the Trust account provided by Moore Stephens. The new banking details are included below for donations. The bank account for your membership of the SBRA is also included below for your convenience.
  • Branding the “Saving St Francis” strategy: The 5 year strategy that the SFBRA developed to “Save St Francis” and the overwhelming endorsement of this strategy at the SFBRA’s AGM on 17 December 2015, required a re-think of the Association’s brand. The name and brand of the Association and its NPC needs to be aligned to what we plan to do over the next 5 years i.e. the restoration and maintenance of St Francis’ infrastructure. Sue Rae Fox has kindly offered her expertise and resources to design the brand for the Association and NPC i.e. the name, by-line and logos. We expect to launch this during April.
  • MOUs: We have retained a local legal firm to draft the various MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding). These MOUs are Agreements we require with the Kouga Municipality authorising the NPC to both access Municipal property and repair/restore Municipal infrastructure. The first MOU was submitted to the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of the Kouga Municipality this week for his review. This MOU is required to authorise the NPC to have access to the Beach and Spit (municipal properties) to make the necessary emergency repairs to the Beach revetments and the Spit, once the FBAR has been approved by DEDEAT.
  • Stakeholder Engagement:  We engaged with many stakeholders to identify the roles they can play in “Saving St Francis”. Some of these included :
  • Property Management Group: manages/administers 39 of the 40 Private Estates in the Greater St Francis area. We were given permission from all these estates (except) to share their Property Owner contact details with the SFBRA so we can communicate directly to them if not already a member of the SFBRA. The one exception was where the private estate preferred not to share these details with us but instead agreed to send our communications to their property owners on our behalf.
  • Kromme Trust: we require Environmental expertise on the SFBRA Committee to ensure we have the necessary capability to ensure environmental compliance in our Infrastructure Restoration projects.
  • Various Engineering and Construction professionals to develop a more comprehensive Master Plan for our Infrastructure.
  • Identifying other Infrastructure demands that we may have to consider, including Waste Management, Refuse, Street Lighting, etc.
  • Cape St Francis Civics Association to determine whether they wish to participate in our SRA application or to do so separately.
  • Understanding disaster threats we should be aware of (floods and fires), and developing a Disaster Management Plan from a Volunteers Resourcing perspective.
  • DBSA (Development Bank of Southern Africa) to explore possible source of loan and grant financing of infrastructure.
  • PARRA (Port Alfred Rate Payers Association) to understand how they have worked with their Municipality to access National Government funding to finance capital project e.g. new Waste Management plant.

We are waiting for :

DEDEAT to approve the FBAR, which was submitted on 11 February 2016. This approval should specify what we will be authorised to repair on the Beach and Spit, and how we should make the repairs (e.g. rocks, sand bags, dredging). This is Phase 1 of the River, Spit and Beach restoration.

  • Kouga Municipal (KM) Council to approve the Worley Parsons report, submitted to it some 2 years ago. The KM Council has to approve this report before we can start on the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) for Phase 2 of the River, Spit and Beach long term restoration.
  • KM to publish an advertisement for an Engineering Consultant to assist with recommending the most appropriate option(s) from the 10 alternatives listed in the Worley Parsons report for Phase 2 of the River, Spit and Beach restoration project. The Worley Parsons report needs be approved by KM Council before this appointment can be made.

We plan to launch a more comprehensive appeal for donations, and collect the pledges we have received so far during April. We need to be ready to start work on the Spit and Beach as soon as the FBAR has been approved by DEDEAT.

Wishing you all well,

SFBRA Committee


Bank:                                 Standard Bank, Humansdorp
Name:                              St Francis Bay Residents Association NPC
Account Number:        300 136 862
Branch Code:                 050015
Reference to use:       
Please quote your name and Erf. No. as reference
Please email a bank proof of payment to


Bank:                                 Standard Bank, Humansdorp
Account name:             St Francis Bay Residents Association
Account number:         08 249 9276
Branch code:                  050015
Reference to use:        Please quote your name and Erf. No. as reference


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.