Yvonne Craig-Bosman honoured by the St Francis Bird Club

Yvonne Bosman East Cape Birding

Mrs Yvonne Craig/Bosman enjoying the birds from the comfort of the bench Photo: Colleen Smith

Yvonne Craig-Bosman honoured by the St Francis Bird Club on her retirement from the position of Chairperson after 27 years of leadership.

The St Francis Bird Club has placed a bench on Shore Road, overlooking the Kromme River, in recognition of, and with heartfelt thanks to, Yvonne Bosman, a well-known resident of St Francis Bay.

Yvonne was presented with the bench as a surprise on Friday morning early, when she went to Shore Road to watch the birds feeding in the shallows near The Cove, one of her favourite birding spots. Members of the Club also presented her with a gift to express their gratitude for all the work she has done since she founded the Club with some friends, nearly 28 years ago.

After Yvonne moved to St Francis with her late husband Vic Craig and family, she joined Bird Life Eastern Cape. At that time (1990) she did not know much about birds at all but had been inspired by a talk about birds at a Garden Club meeting. On her first local birding trip she was told to be ready at five o’clock in the morning. She had never been up that early before! This did not deter her or her husband, however, and so began what would become a lifelong passion for both of them. Her interest and enthusiasm led her to start the St Francis Bay Bird Club.

Yvonne Bosman on backs of Kromme River

Yvonne Craig/Bosman after she received her gifts Photo: Colleen Smith

Since the first meeting on 5th March 1993 (which involved birding at the St Francis Golf Club!), she has brought both serious and social birding to St Francis Bay. Over the years she has shared her knowledge generously and inspired birders to join the birding fraternity, to learn more and to contribute to birding science, something she has been doing, herself, for many years. She is a recognised citizen-scientist in this field. Many longstanding friendships have been forged through the Club.

In 1994, Jean and the late Chuck Cook started assisting Yvonne in her duties whilst Vic, with his charm, secured access to farming and other nearby properties for the purpose of Club outings  Jean is still a devoted member of the Club, 27 years later.

Yvonne met her second husband, the late Peter Bosman, through the Bird Club when Peter and Madeline Bosman joined as members in 1996. Another great friendship bond was formed and, after both were widowed, Yvonne and Peter decided to tie the knot.

Yvonne, over the past nearly 28 years, and helped by her informal and later formal committees, has organised many day trips and longer excursions for the benefit of the Club members. She is always willing to assist others, and imparts her knowledge gently and beautifully, where needed and asked for. Some of the larger outings became rather stressful but, no matter how errant the birders were, Yvonne was always willing, able and ready for the next birding outing.

In her time in the Chair, she inspired members to join the Co-ordinated Waterbird Counts (CWAC), the South African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP 2), to be part of Co-ordinated Avifaunal Roadcounts (CAR) and to get involved in windfarm monitoring. Data collection on the numbers of birds in windfarm areas, which is co-ordinated by Maggie Langlands (Vice-Chairperson of the Bird Club for many years), has resulted in the co-operation of windfarms in mitigating the environmental impacts of their activities.

This involvement in citizen science started when the Club was asked to participate in a nation-wide survey of African Black Oystercatchers, between 11 and 18 March, 1998. This striking bird was in danger of dying out as its breeding season coincided with the height of the holiday season in December, and beach activities disturbed the nesting birds. The survey was headed by Professor Phil Hockey at UCT. His proposal was to ban vehicles on beaches and run awareness programmes along the South African coast, where these birds nest. This project has been one of the most successful in saving a species from extinction and it was the Club’s first, but not last, collaboration with UCT.

Yvonne was awarded the Tony Dechant Memorial Award by Bird Life Eastern Cape, in 2017. This award was made to Yvonne for her services to birding, that went “above and beyond the call of duty”.

The Bird Club is very happy that Yvonne will remain a member of the committee, in the role of Vice-Chairperson, so that she can mentor some of the committee members who are taking over her tasks.

Hers are truly big boots to fill.

Yvonne Bosman with Colleen Smith

Presentation Colleen and Yvonne: Mrs Colleen Smith Incoming Chairperson thanks Mrs Yvonne Craig/Bosman and presents her with the bench and a gift on behalf of all the club members – Photo: Paul Stevenson

Four girls help in saving a girl in Jeffreys Bay

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis Bay NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty crew were alerted following reports of a drowning in progress at Checkers Beach, Jeffreys Bay on Saturday (6th Feb) afternoon.

NSRI Jeffreys Bay rescue swimmers, EC Government Health EMS, Private Care ambulance services and Gardmed ambulance services responded.

On arrival on the scene NSRI rescuers and the emergency services found a 17 year old female, from Hankey, had been rescued safely to the beach by the combined efforts of 4 local teenage girls.

The casualty teenager was showing signs and symptoms of a non-fatal drowning and she was treated by paramedics in an ambulance before being released in good health requiring no further assistance.

It appears that while swimming a brother and his sister had been swept out to sea by rip currents.

The boy had managed to get to shore safely and he was not injured but the girl was caught in strong rip currents.

Local girls Lisa Stumpf, 19, and Megan Johnson, 14, who were nearby, at the beach at the time, were approached by a lady frantically asking them for help – the lady was indicating that her son and her daughter were being swept out to sea and they were in danger in the surfline.

Lisa and Megan, seeing the girl and the boy in difficulty in the surfline, immediately alerted their friend Abbygail Janse van Rensburg, 14, and Lisa’s twin sister Karla Stumpf, 19.
They all live adjacent to that beach.

Abbygail is the daughter of a founding member and former station commander of NSRI Jeffreys Bay, Rieghard Janse van Rensburg.

Between them the girls raised the alarm alerting NSRI and the emergency services.

At that stage the boy had reached the shore without assistance and he was safe but the girl was caught in rip currents and she continued to be swept further out to sea.

The 4 local girls knew that they needed to act fast and time was of the essence so Lisa handed Abbygail a body-board to be used for floatation instead of running the hundred meters down the beach to fetch the NSRI pink rescue buoy that is stationed on that beach.

Karla put on a pair of flippers and together Abbygail and Karla swam 100 meters out to sea through the surf and they reached the casualty girl who was still caught up in the rip currents.

Using the body-board for floatation together Abbygail and Karla assisted the casualty girl to float and then they guided her through the breaking surf safely to the beach.

At that stage NSRI Jeffreys Bay crew and paramedics were arriving at the beach and the casualty girl was medically assessed by paramedics.

Following some medical treatment in an ambulance she was released requiring no further assistance.

NSRI commend the 4 local girls, Abbygail Janse van Rensburg, Karla and Lisa Stumpf and Megan Johnson for their combined efforts that contributed to saving the life of the teenager.  

Our organisation is totally reliant on donations and sponsorships. This enables us to do the work of saving lives, changing lives, and creating futures. You can do your bit to assist. Please visit www.nsri.org.za for more information.

Social Media – The origin of the term “Tree hugger”

Tree Huggers

The village women of the Chipko movement in the early 70’s in the Garhwal Hills of India, protecting the trees from being cut down.

An interesting post by Stella Platinga gives some insight to the phrase “Tree hugger”

The first tree huggers were 294 men and 69 women belonging to the Bishnois branch of Hinduism, who, in 1730, died while trying to protect the trees in their village from being turned into the raw material for building a palace. They literally clung to the trees, while being slaughtered by the foresters. But their action led to a royal decree prohibiting the cutting of trees in any Bishnoi village. And now those villages are virtual wooded oases amidst an otherwise desert landscape.

Not only that, the Bishnois inspired the Chipko movement (chipko means “to cling” in Hindi) that started in the 1970s, when a group of peasant women in the Himalayan hills of northern India threw their arms around trees designated to be cut down. Within a few years, this tactic, also known as tree satyagraha, had spread across India, ultimately forcing reforms in forestry and a moratorium on tree felling in Himalayan regions.

Source: goo.gl/HTyZEj



Communities invited to help Review IDP

Kouga Municipality - logo

Residents and stakeholders have been invited to submit comments on the Kouga Municipality’s draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the 2021/2022 financial year.

An electronic copy of the IDP, a five-year plan that captures the development needs of communities, is available on the municipal website (www.kouga.gov.za). A copy of the IDP is also available on flash drives from ward councillors, ward committees and ward offices.

Comments and suggestions on the ward priorities can be submitted to the IDP section headed by Colleen Dreyer, emailed to idp@kouga.gov.za or dropped into one of the comment boxes at the ward offices, libraries and main administration units.

The closing date for submissions is Friday, February, 26, 2021.

For more information about the IDP and how to submit comments, watch the informative video by Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, at