St Francis Rotary chairman, Arthur Baggott presenting the new teaching aids to delighted teachers Virginia Brown (Grade R Afrikaans) and Loreka Coetser (Grade R Xhosa) and school administrator and founder Lesley Moore.

Early this year, St Francis Rotarians were given a tour of the Talhado Montessori School (formerly Talhado Children’s Haven) in Sea Vista. Visiting UK Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Woking District, Robin Jackson and his wife Esther, were so impressed with the tour that they made a recommendation to their home club to support this wonderful little school.

This week Arthur Baggott, chairman of the Rotary Satellite Club St Francis officially handed over a R7000.00 donation from the Woking Rotarians to be used to purchase specialised Montessori teaching aids.

“It has been on my mind for a while that we are in desperate need of certain materials in the classrooms, so I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this donation and interest in Talhado Montessori School.  It is through organisations such as Rotary that we are able to offer such a highly functional educational service to the local community of Seavista,” said Headmistress, Cathryn Hempel. “Our aim is to enrol two more teachers in the NAMC curriculum and equip another classroom by next year, which will cater to an additional 30 children.  The materials will be used in all three classrooms.”


Official Opening of Expedition Africa

The ‘BIG EVENT’ kicks off with Official Opening of Expedition Africa

The opening ceremony at 2:00 pm today is open to all so get yurself over to Cape St Francis and come and meet the teams participating in this exciting but gruelling event.

Expedition Africa logoAll is in place for the start of the biggest event yet hosted in our tiny enclave on the south eastern tip of the African continent. Today sees the official opening of the event here you can get to meet the organisers, the sponsors and of course the TEAMS!

The general public will get their first glimpse of the competitors tomorrow when they unfurl their team flags at the ‘flag ceremony’ before gathering at SANCCOB for the ‘stone laying’. The best vantage point will possibly be to gather at or near the lighthouse but maybe get there early as hopefully most of St Francis will be there to support this wonderful opportunity to promote our region and show our support for the competitors.

The race proper will start at 7:00am Sunday and although at time of publishing this article there was no word as to where the starting line will be, SFT has a sneaky suspicion it will start from the host venue, Cape St Francis Resort, or certainly in close proximity. If you can get your nose out from under the duvet early Sunday morning it could be worthwhile to make your way to the resort to watch and give these fearless adventurers an enthusiastic send off to their journey into the unknown.

Expedition Africa is not the only sporting event taking place in St Francis this weekend and the annual Kromme Descent also is being held this weekend. More’s the pity that there wasn’t a bit more coordination of the events for it really would have better to have held the events on different weekends. But too late for that now and possibly there may be a spectator spin off for again, and we (SFT) has no confirmation of this, we have a feeling the Expedition Africa route on day one may just see competitors kayaking up the Kromme.

If the EA and swimmers do end up on the river at the same time it may result in a little more boat activity on the river than normal at this time of the year and thus it may be an idea that boats either supporting spectating the swimmers respect the kayakers if they do indeed meet on the river.

The weather  is looking good for the weekend with sunshine forecast although the snow on the Southern Drakensberg may cause it to be a little chilly.

If you would like to track your team’s progress over the coming days there is a live tracking facility available at

Enjoy the weekend and Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother’s out there. Let’s hope you are spoiled rotten and the family treats you to lunch as breakfast in bed will be out of the question as you will no doubt be supporting the Expedition Africa or Kromme Descent swimmers.

Interesting talk by Dr Kaz

Interesting talk by Dr Kaz at Dune Ridge

Dr Kaz - Happy Bodies - Happy Minds

Old habits die hard and the older one gets the less likely and certainly the harder it is to change. We all know we should eat more vegetables, eat less fatty foods and less sugar, drink less, give up smoking, exercise regularly but many of us go on with our lives with an attitude of why change what isn’t broken. Well that is until something breaks and a serious health episode interrupts one’s normal way of life and causes one to ‘catch a wake-up’ and start paying attention to how we live our lives.

St Francis Animal Rescue has over the past years heldsome interesting talks on all manner of subjects including a few of which this scribe has attended. A year or so back Alison Jones gave a very informative talk on healthy eating as a way of retaining a healthy weight and life.  Another truly interesting talk was by Jenny  Rayment, a hypnotherapist,  explaining the many benefits of hypnotherapy and how by delving into the sub-conscious and uncovering experiences, many from childhood, assists patients overcome fears or habits.

The talk yesterday at Dune Ridge Country House by Dr Kaz, a Durban-based GP who is also an Holistic Healer dealt had a subject of a healthy body – a healthy mind and as with the two aforementioned talks proved not only extremely interesting but more importantly, touched on some of the things we need to pay attention to if we are not already.

Those of us born prior to the days of fast foods, television, plastic, microwave ovens, genetically modified food, laptop computers and of course cell phones, truly had a good head start in life. Our bodies and brains were not contaminated by the many health problems these advances are said to have had and continue to have on our health.

There is little doubt that the incidence of cancer seems to be on the increase. Twenty years ago it was unlikely to have association with more than one or two people with cancer. Today most of us would probably need more than both hands to count the number of people we know, or have known, with cancer of one type or another. That more and more is being written on the subject there can surely be no doubt all these changes, be they what we eat or what we use in our daily lives and previously unbeknown to us oldies when we were kids, have an effect on our health.

One eye opener during the talk was a physical demonstration on the effects of a cell phone on our bodies. Dr Kaz had a member of the audience go through a series of tests with her cell phone and it was visually apparent that there is something to the warnings. As they say there is no such thing as a free lunch so are we not paying the price for the convenience of the cell phone.

It was a pity there were only two of us of the male gender in the audience for some of the case studies Dr Kaz spoke of in her talk were on male patients. Belief that we are ‘bullet proof’ should to diminish as we grow older and maybe listening to advice on how to live a better life is not such a bad idea.

Thanks for an interesting and hugely informative talk Dr Kaz.

If you want to listen to a little of what Dr Kaz has to say on fatigue there is a podcast on ECR

or visit her website

And to my health mentor Sacha Park – I promise I will start taking your advice in future! What you have been telling is starting to make sense.