St Francis winners at Lilizela Awards

Lilizela Award winners – Beach Break & Chokka Trail

Fantastic news from the fourth annual Lilizela Tourism Awards held at a glittering event at the Sandton Convention Centre on Sunday night where two local tourism entities walked away as national winners.

The first was in the accommodation category where for the second year in a row, Beach Break, a Cape St Francis Resort facility, won the “Shared Vacation Five-Star Accommodation” award.   Beach Break is made up of 5-Star luxury villas set on the edge of the dunes overlooking the pristine Cape St Francis beach between Seal Point and Shark Point Nature Reserves. The villas offer intimate world class bed & breakfast accommodation which has proven extremely popular with the many international tour groups that Cape St Francis Resort attracts to St Francis throughout the year thanks to their marketing efforts both in South Africa and abroad.

Commenting on the award Anita Lennox simply stated “all this would not be possible without dedicated and committed staff “.

Lilizela Award winner - Beach Break at Cape St Francis Resort

The second national award went to the Chokka Trail for “Best Visitor Beach Experience in South Africa”. This category recognises and rewards businesses that enable visitors to experience our beautiful beaches and the Chokka Trail certainly does.  Commenting on their Facebook page Chokka trail had this to say. “The Best Visitors Experience in SA… how amazing! Thank you to each member of this team”.

Lilizela Awards - Chokka Trail

Presenting the awards Minister of Tourism, Mr Derek Hanekom said this of the winners “”They offer the standard of service and quality of product that make the experience of every domestic and international tourist enjoyable and memorable. The National Lilizela Awards are the hallmark of excellence in our industry.”

The prestigious “Minister’s Award” a prestigious award that recognises tourism innovators and pioneers, went to renowned Mpumalanga artist, Esther Mahlangu. A previous Lilizela category winner in the Roots and Culture category, Mahlangu’s colourful Ndebele designs have been exhibited around the world and have graced global brands such as BMW, British Airways, Fiat and Belvedere luxury vodka, placing South African traditional art and design on the international map.

The 80-year-old Mahlangu joined Cape St Francis’ Beach Break, the Chokka Trail and 51 other national winners of the Lilizela Tourism Awards who travellers had voted the best of the best in various categories ranging from service excellence and entrepreneurship to sustainable development.

Lilizela Awards - Esther Mahlangu

Well done to both our winners for flying our St Francis flag high and proud for the world to see.

Lilizela Awards

FOSTER JOL a lot of fun

FOSTER JOL at Cape St Francis Resort

Cape St Francis Resort really pulled out all the stops on Saturday night when they hosted the FOSTER ‘JOL’ in the Joe Fish Restaurant and Bar. The crowd of over 150 souls rocked the night away to some great music, first by local group Grosvenor Road Band and later, when the night really got ‘a Rockin’, to Port Elizabeth group, The Brothers. With tickets just R100 a head which included a Potjie supper it was a steal for an evening’s entertainment amongst friends and neighbours and for a great cause.

With some of the resort staff away competing in the Meislespoort run / walk it was left to the remaining staff to run three simultaneous functions at different venues in the resort on Saturday evening and as always, they coped without the slightest glitch. Not one for standing in queues for food I was prepared to give the potjie supper a miss but the tantalising smell was for too enticing and thankfully so efficient was the serving that the queue moved along rapidly.

The purpose of the evening was apparently to celebrate FOSTER’s 25th anniversary but one would imagine, also an opportunity to raise funds. Certainly the FOSTER JOL was well supported but chatting with some of the committee during the evening it was a little concerning to hear how poorly FOSTER is supported in terms of membership by the greater St Francis community. Considering the importance of conserving the nature reserves that surround St Francis, and the value of these reserves for their tourism, one would have expected a far greater support.

Membership is apparently only R150 a year but a visit to the FOSTER WEBSITE does not seem indicate this on either the membership form or elsewhere on the website. Possibly by adding this information they could attract a few new members as the website has some rather interesting information and certainly gives one a better understanding of FOSTER and all the great work they do.

One only needs to look back at the huge role FOSTER members played in the January fires and the work they have done subsequent to that disaster in clearing fire breaks to realise how important their contribution to our community their is.

Some of those who enjoyed the FOSTER JOL

FOSTER JOL at Cape ST Francis Resort

St Francis Bay Bridge Club Donation to NSRI

Waterproof binocular and R5000 donation to NSRI by St Francis Bridge players

nsriLast Friday the St Francis Bay Bridge Club invited local National Sea Rescue Institute Station 21 representatives Station Commander Sara Smith and her Deputy Station Commander, Stuart Obray, to their Friday competition, to present them with a donation raised from their annual Charity Bridge Day Tournament.

Geoff Ellis, President of the bridge club, explained how Dinks Liebenberg, the founder of the SFB Bridge Club, had started some 20 years ago, an annual fund raising bridge competition in aid of the NSRI in appreciation for all they do in the area. This bridge tournament has been continued each year since then, has grown in popularity, and is attended by bridge players from far afield in both the Eastern and Western Cape.

All bridge club members donate prizes so everyone who plays in the tournament goes home with a prize, either from winning or from a lucky draw. In addition, Carol Boonzaier organised a raffle which raised R855. The lucky winner was her husband and committee member, John Boonzaier, who promptly donated his prize to the NSRI. Jeff Clause of the St Francis Links generously offered 18 holes for a four-ball, including golf carts, which was auctioned and raised R1700.

Geoff went on to describe how the bridge club committee this year, decided to ascertain what equipment was needed rather than make a straight forward monetary donation. This idea was well received and the NSRI came up with the idea of waterproof binoculars. Bushnell came to the party here donated a pair of their waterproof binoculars. Commercial Marine gave a special price on another pair so these, and R5000, were presented to Sara and Stuart.

Sara in thanking the Bridge Club said she was blown away by the generosity of the club and assured those present that the equipment would be put to good use, both in the regular weekly training and during operations. Stuart, who is a Coxswain, explained how difficult it was to look for a speck in the ocean when on rescue missions, and how valuable this equipment would be.

Station 21 is one of the busiest stations on the coast and a week ago their boat had come back from having a mini refit and during that first week back they had already carried out two operations, one of them for a serious heart attack patient on a chokka boat. They had to do a 50 nautical mile round trip to near Huisklip to collect the patient, and treat him en route back to the base where he was collected by ambulance. The NSRI is run completely by volunteers and funded by donations from the public.

Sara used this opportunity to mention that the station is desperately in need of volunteers to work on shore, doing radio work, liaison with ambulance services etc. Please contact the local NSRI Station if you can help – Sara on 082 896 5579 or the NSRI number 082 990 5969.

St Francis Bridge donates to NSRI

Photo: Geoff Ellis, President of the St Francis Bay Bridge (left) presenting the proceeds of the Annual Charity Day Bridge Competition to Station Commander Sara Smith of NSRI Station 21, and her Deputy Station Commander Stuart Obray. – Photo & Article Yvonne Bosman

Sea Vista Tennis receives welcome boost –

Sea Vista Primary School recently received a very welcome donation of eight new Dunlop tennis rackets and tennis balls, courtesy of the Sara Baartman
District Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts & Culture.

The school’s tennis coach, Mr Bradley Stefaans said, “The school is really grateful for this donation. The new rackets will mean that the tennis team which has done so well this year can continue to improve and compete successfully. One of our players, Lunguletho Spekboom (captain and headboy) represented our school at Provincial level and we are really proud of his achievement. He has been accepted at Woodridge College for next year and we believe that he has the potential to do really well, especially with his tennis.”

Seen here with their brand new rackets from the DSRC are the members of the Sea Vista Primary School tennis team wearing their tennis attire (donated by
Mrs Cindy Shaw-Nell).

Sea Vista Tennis

(back row left to right) Etone Felix, Lunguletho Spekboom (Headboy & team captain), Mr Bradley Stefaans (Coach), Lisikhanya Skosana, and Gregan Smith; (Front row left to right) Henley Felix and Vuyulethu Mandeka – Photo – Lyn Aitken

Heart Attack patient evacuated off Chokka Fishing Boat

National Sea RescueSara Smith, NSRI St Francis Bay station commander reported that at 13h30, Monday, 10th October, NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from the Chokka fishing boat Langusta reporting a 47 year old male crewman, from Jeffreys Bay, suffering a suspected heart attack.

The Sea Rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II was launched and we rendezvoused with the Langusta 22 nautical miles from the Port of St Francis, 5 nautical miles off-shore of Huisklip.

The patient, found to be in a serious condition, was transferred onto our sea rescue craft and in the care of our NSRI medics he was brought to the Port of St Francis where paramedics from Private Care ambulance services took over treatment of the patient, showing signs and symptoms of a heart attack, and he has been transported to hospital in a serious but stable condition by Private Care ambulance.