Vandals Hit At Church

Church signs vandalised but perpetrators caught on CCTV

It is regrettable that during the holiday season hooliganism, bad behavior and vandalism increase. All will have noticed the number of street and other signs that are uprooted, defaced, broken etc. Shame on the perpetrators!

The latest organisation to have fallen foul of these individuals (or groups) is the St Francis United Church. This church is an integral part of the community and undoubtedly does a number of good works in the area.

In the early hours of Friday morning, persons unknown ripped down a banner outside the church and made off with it; thus making this a criminal act as confirmed by  Captain Nyameke Gomoche of the SAPS. Chris Barratt, Chairperson of the United Church said that they were very upset at this act not only because of the monetary value but because of the message that the banner contained “Put Christ back into Christmas”, a slogan that we firmly believe in!

The fact of the matter is that on following up with residents in the area it was ascertained that the incident occurred at about three o’clock on Friday morning. It was easy then to contact Atlas Security through the SF Property Owners Association regarding the security cameras in the area. Via the control room it was then confirmed that they have clear CCTV footage of the three young males ripping the posters off and continuing up St Francis Drive towards Santareme.

The matter was reported to the police who are investigating and have provided a case number. The signage was later recovered in the vicinity of Harbour Road.

SAPS will be investigating the fingerprints thereon and using the images for identification purposes.

It is suggested that the individuals or their parents phone the church on either 042 294 1943 or 082 921 8984 so as to clarify matters and avoid possible criminal records.

Press Release – United Church – Chris Barratt

Editors Comment: These kids more than likely come from privileged homes and therefore should not be let off the hook. Let them face the full face of the law even if it means they end up with a criminal conviction. Vandalism is far too prevalent in St Francis at this time of the year and youngsters who destroy street signs and other valuable property need to be made an example of.  

Beware of risks of renting out for the holiday

Read if you rent your home out over the season or as an AirB&B!

 

An article published in Moneyweb yesterday makes interesting reading particularly as many St Francis homeowners rent out their properties over the season. Maybe those who do should check with the insurance for one can never predict whan a disaster my end up costing you your home.

 

Read on ….

 

Santa on the Canals

Frequently Asked Questions about Santa on the Canals

1. What is Santa on the Canals?
Santa on the Canals is an annual fundraising event held by NSRI Station 21 – St Francis Bay. On Christmas eve, each year, Santa delivers gifts in person with the help of the NSRI Station 21 crew and their boat – Spirit of St. Francis II.

2. When and where – do we (the parents/grandparents/ aunts & uncles) drop off the presents?
Parents can drop off presents at the NSRI Lecture Room in Port St Francis on Sunday 23rd December between 10am – 4pm. Hard working Elves sort and pack presents into colour coded piles ready for Santa’s delivery. All presents must be wrapped and clearly marked with the receiver’s name and erf number (if you can).

3. Is there a limit on the value of present I may purchase?
No, we do however ask parents to get practical gifts considering they will be delivered via boat.

4. When does, Santa visit the houses on the canals?
Santa & his elves deliver the presents on the 24th December 2016. – CHRISTMAS EVE from 9am.

5. What time will Santa be at my house?

When parents drop off the presents at the NSRI Lecture Room on the 23rd December 2018, the Elves will be able to provide all parents & grandparents with approximates on times for the delivery.

6. What if I don’t live on the canals? No Problem, Santa’s first stop on the 24th December 2018 is The Cove (Shore Road) at 9am where he gets off the boat and hands out presents to children (and sometimes grownups too!)

7. How much does it cost?
A donation of R50.00 per present – it’s for a good cause

8. What if I have more questions?
You are welcome to contact Sara on 082 895 5579.

9. What can I do to build on this great tradition?
Please spread the word. Santa and the Elves get very sad when someone feels left out.

Eradicate aliens and reduce infernos

Removing alien bush, specifically Rooikrans, will lessen the dangers of wildfires

Shirley Cowling commenting on Tuesday fires makes a lot of sense and it is time the Kouga municipality takes charge of its own property within St Francis to prevent further disasters. 

“The real problem with Cape veld fires” say Shirley. “is the massive fuel load of invasive alien plants, especially rooikrans. The drone footage shows how the fire in the alien-cleared ‘Thatch Farm’ could be controlled.”

“We should be grateful that Working on Fire (WfW)-  so often maligned – cleared the Thatch Farm of dense aliens forests some years ago. Without this clearing, a fire there, with flying embers from burning rooikrans, would have posed a threat to the overgrown erven in Santareme. Even after this tremendous initiative, the suburb continues to be threatened by fire in its numerous overgrown erven.”

“In the case of the recent fire, the burning rooikrans thickets below the industrial area could not be controlled – the heat and flames were unmanageable. Also, the intense heat of burning rooikrans sends embers high into the sky, which then fall randomly downwind.”

“The residents of SFB need to play their role in preventing future disasters.   They need to report to the Municipality dense alien growth on undeveloped erven. They also need to put pressure on the Municipality to clear invaded Municipal and other State land. There are areas which are densely infested with a massive fuel load of  rooikrans alongside the R330 between the Sand River bridge and Homestead Rd. These invaded areas pose a frightening threat to SFB with its thatched houses. I suggest that residents and their representative NGOs  make alien clearance adjacent to and within the town THE major priority. We need to learn from Knysna  where the major determinant of that tragedy was the fuel load of unmanaged alien tree growth.”

This once again brings up the subject of FOSTER and how vitally important an organisation it is to all of us living in the greater St Francis region. Within FOSTER there is the knowledge, experience, expertise and ability but they lack the support both financially and of manpower.

Just a thought …. If every household in the greater St Francis were to join FOSTER they would in all likelihood have sufficient funding to pay a major role in ensuring the alien vegetation was removed and proper firebreaks are put in place. They have done an incredible job around Cape St Francis since the 2016 fires and could do a lot more in other areas given the financial support.   

So ask your visiting family and friends on holiday in St Francis to give jeither FORSTER or SFDVG. It will go a long way to lessening the damage caused by the scourge of fires that befall our region. Home Owners happily pay millions if not billions to insurance companies each year only to have many do everything not to pay but find it hard to contribute a few hundred Rand to address the cause and solution.

 

FOSTER Bank Details

Friends of St Francis Nature Areas
First National Bank
Br code: 210115
Acc no: 62179531598

SFDVG Bank Details

Account Name: FOSFFAR
Standard Bank
Acc no 186512139
Humansdorp Branch (051001)