A Great Wildflower OktoberFest Weekend.

Cape St Francis was the place to be this past weekend. A hive of activity starting with the Wild Flower Chase that kicked off the Wildflower Festival on Friday but the real action started on Saturday morning. It seemed anyone who could run, kids, parents even some Grans and Gramps joined the fun of the Wildflower Festival Trail Run with a few (adults of course) contesting the Beer Run as a kickoff to the OktoberFest.

Following the first OktoberFest hosted by St Francis  Brewing Company last year, this year confirmed the OktoberFest should definitely become an annual event. This year instead of being held at on the ‘Village Green’ the venue was a the just opened Full Stop Restaurant in Cape St Francis. The layout of this ‘new-on-the-block’ eatery and pub really lends itself to events such as this as it has plenty of space for the kids to frolic and lots of seating for the adults to keep an eye on the kids whilst they enjoy a beer, glass of wine and a meal.

Certainly it was a bit of a test for the newly opened restaurant and some may have been a little unhappy with the service but the poor staff was worked off their feet from early morning until late, late. No doubt the restaurant has learnt a few hard lessons in this their teething period and nobody should be put off if they were a little disappointed for this was an exceptionally busy day and night. In fact hats off to all the staff, they worked like Trojans in sometimes difficult conditions and a few impatient patrons.

All said and done, nobody can say they didn’t have a great day.

St Francis Today didn’t join in the run but chose rather to go on the more sedate Wild Flower Chase that took us on a tour through the Air Park fields. For those who have never had opportunity to accompany Dave from FOSTER on one of these tours, do yourself a favour and when you next see a tour advertised, book your seat. Walking through the fields and having Dave explain the different plants, indigenous and alien is both interesting and educational in what amazing plants exist in our neck of the woods.

Unfortunately wild flowers only bloom at a certain time of the year but maybe the Resort and Foster could extend these walk/talks into the season for surely many a visitor would find them interesting even if the flowers are not in blossom. Certainly another activity to add to the things to do when visiting St Francis.

All in all a successful weekend other than for that nasty easterly wind that blew near gale force on Saturday evening.

St Francis Rotary Club Is Growing

Within a month, the St Francis Rotary Club have inducted three new members. On September 24th we welcomed Brian Codling seen here with Chairman Ivan Beaumont. Brian unfortunately couldn’t be with us for the induction dinner and fellowship evening at St Francis Bay Golf Club on October 8th when we welcomed Dave Micklem and Sholto Shirras.

At the evening for fellowship were colleagues from the parent club, Rotary Club of Uitenhage South. Seen here (l to r) President of Uitenhage South, Leo Doria, Rtn Dave Micklem, AG Alan Reynolds, Rtn Sholto Shirras and St Francis Chairman Ivan Beaumont.

New Restaurant Opens in Cape St Francis

You will barely recognise the Place

Those who visited Rock Lily during its heyday of great music shows will barely recognise the transformation this landmark Cape St Francis venue has undergone recently. Almost totally gutted to create a bright, airy space that was not obvious in either the rather cramped confines of the old Stix or Rock Lily.

Named after the popular Full Stop pub that operated in Cape St Francis a few years back, this new venue is surely going to become a very popular dining venue for locals, holiday makers and international tourists visiting Cape St Francis. Best you try it before the Christmas crowds arrive for Full Stop is going to become First and Last Stop for many a beach goer this coming season.

A totally new kitchen, complete with a wood fired Pizza oven opens out onto the dining area which has been cleverly designed in such as was as to create four, even five different areas. Whereas the old venue’s only view was onto da Gama Drive, Full Stop opens onto the nature reserve at the back of the venue and onto a garden complete with water feature to the north where the old nursery used to be.

A lounge / dining area bordering onto the nature reserve is name Car Park John after what has become one of Cape St Francis locals favourite craft draft beers, Car Park John. Car Par John is an almost legendary Port Elizabeth surfer somewhat similar to Durban’s legendary Baron Stander famed for his daily surf reports. Protected with pull-downs should a westerly wind be blowing this area can be opened up in good weather and is sure to be the most sought after area around sunset on those warm, still summer evenings.

I popped in for a beer on the first night they were open just to have a look but didn’t eat so returned yesterday at lunchtime to savour their fare.  Ordering from a limited but more than adequate menu of burgers, pizzas, salads, wraps, toasties and more, I ordered  what seemed a ‘have-it-all’ Seals Burger. Under strict instruction from my Doc that allows no bread in my diet, the menu allows you to ‘DROP’ the bun and choose two side dishes. What a great idea. I selected sweet potato chips as a side, my Doc will be so proud of me as she has banned potatoes from my diet as well.

The burger was perfectly presented, perfectly cooked and served with a topping of bacon, cheese, coleslaw, avocado and jalapeno’s with a side serving of mushrooms which at R95 is really good value and great tasting. I will definitely be back to savour more of the menu.

Be sure to peek at the daily chalk board where the day’s specials are advertised. Yesterday it was Oxtail, and Dijon Yellowtail with either Kiwi Cheesecake or a Chocolate / Almond truffle for the sweet of tooth.

When writing a column for a Sunday national years ago my then editor once instructed me that no matter how good a venue is always find something not so good and if the place is not very good always find at least find one nice thing to say. Well Full Stop really is worth a visit, a menu that will please most, not as a fine dining restaurant but what it is intended as, a family restaurant. Lovely ambience in a peaceful setting.

Oh the bad …. Have to get back to you on that one as I couldn’t find that one thing this time around.

Some pointers off the menu.

All the burgers under R100 other than to Lamb Burger at R119 but the Veggie burger is just R70. Salads and wraps also in the R90 region with pizza from R75 to Norwegian or Morroccan topping the list at R120 but then Norwegian is topped with smoked salmon and the Morrocan with ground lamb curry (me next choice). For the kiddies, burgers, pizzas and toasties all around the R50 mark.

Full Stop is managed by husband / wife team René and Lee Posthumous with Lee being the chef and René looking after the front of house.

Oh …. the bad! – Well maybe next time we visit for it was all pretty good this time around.

The Silences of Sound

Little Reinette Windvogel contracted meningitis when just a little older than a toddler that rendered almost totally deaf. Shortly after, her mother passed away and she was left In the care of relatives.

Rienette is now eight years old and has never been schooled owing to her condition. Brought to the attention of St Francis resident Judi Slade by her domestic, Judi went in search of assistance. It appears that there are virtually no facilities for deaf children in the province and it will be some six months before she can be examined at the Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital and probably another six months, if not longer before she can be fitted with desperately needed hearing aids.

At wits end at the delays of the province medical process Judi took Reinette to Hear Clearly Acoustical in Port Elizabeth who tested Reinette and found that her condition can be significantly improved if fitted with hearing aids.

Now certainly the province will possibly fit her with hearing aids sometime in the future but this could take a year or even longer leaving this little child to grow up unable to speak, unable to learn living in her little world of silence.

Hear Clearly can fit hearing aids for Reinette at cost in the region of R20,000 and this will enable Reinette to start school at Talhado by start of the new term in 2019. She is already being tutored privately with aids from Talhado but progress is being hindered by her hearing condition.

If you are able to dig deep into your pockets and assist little Reinette hear, not the sounds of silence but the joys of children laughing and playing, donations can be made to

St Francis United Church
Standard Bank
Branch – 050015
Account # – 288098684

Add the name “Reinette” to your deposit and you can mail a copy to judislade@gmail.com

St Francis Today does not normally publish such appeals but agreed to this appeal so touched were we at meeting and hearing Reinette story.

Time to talk to each other, not the lawyers

Back in 1992 the National Party under then President FW de Klerk held a ‘white’s only’ referendum that would lead to an end to apartheid and eventually, South Africa’s first all-inclusive one man one vote general election.

2,804,947 of the 3,296,800 registered ‘white’ voters voted in that referendum with 1,924,186 (68.73%) voting YES – 875,619 (31.27%) voting NO with 5142 (0.18%) spoilt votes.

A majority vote!

494,853 registered voters, for whatever reason, never voted so non-voters are really meaningless stats as their choice will never  be known. Because of the majority  YES vote de Klerk went ahead and started consultation with the ANC.  The rest is history.

The right wing accused the government of electoral fraud arguing that white South Africans had the right to rule themselves with Andries Treurnicht and his supporters proposing an independent homeland or volkstaat. But the majority had spoken and although some ‘Packed for Perth’ or other shores to escape the ‘Swart Gevaar’, the inevitable was accepted and a new South Africa was born.

Earlier this year a referendum of sorts under the banner of “Saving St Francis” was held. The purpose, to raise funds to reverse the declining infrastructure of the town by putting its future in the hands of the property owners rather than relying on a municipality already overburdened with having to deliver services to an ever growing poor and disadvantaged population.

The ‘referendum’ required that at least half (50%) of the property owners of St Francis PLUS ONE, would be required one way or other voted to decide for or against declaring a Special Rates Area (SRA). Approximately 840 YES votes (more than the required 50% + 1 voted for the SRA with some 100 property owners voting against. Again the non-votes are meaningless and cannot be claimed by the yays or the nays.

A majority vote?

Being a democratic country the result was surely straight forward, the majority of home owners were in favour of “Saving St Francis”. On purely financial terms, those who voted against the SRA represent just 7% of the rates payable to Kouga Municipality with the YES voters contributing some 60%! Again a democratic split in favour of the yays.

Last week the recently formed St Francis Bay Concerned Residents Association’s (CRA) legal team served papers on the Kouga Municipality naming St Francis Property Owners Association as second respondent and the Non Profit Company, third respondents.

What the outcome of any court action will be is anyone’s guess for we all know that the smallest technicality can swing the judge’s final decision in either party’s favour. What is not in question is that it is going to cost either or both the Municipality and or the CRA a lot of money. No doubt the Kouga Municipality has budget allocation for legal fees but what of the CRA? Word has it that their legal team is working for free (hearsay) but what if they have to pay the costs out of their own pockets if the judgement goes against them.

Andries Treurnicht at least came up with a possible solution (in his mind) to the 1992 referendum in suggesting a ‘volkstaat’, sadly the CRA has not come up with a single suggestion. Even so surely they can sit around a table with the SRA committee as suggested by Hilton Thorpe in a recent letter to St Francis Today and discuss a way forward that doesn’t see the legal fraternity benefit while St Francis grows poorer in infrastructure and decency.

Something has to be done to improve infrastructure and it needs to be done by the townsfolk, not the municipality who have been directed by Government to spend 80% of their funds with disadvantaged communities. It is extremely doubtful that if a similar vote were to be held in the future that the figures would be any different for it is apparent the majority want to see St Francis proper.

NOTE:
THE purpose of a Special Rates Area (SRA), which is based on international best practice, is to enhance and supplement municipal services and aims to achieve this through a co-operative approach in order to halt the degeneration of the area and facilitate upliftment, so promoting economic growth and sustainable development.

St Francis Bay Drowning

Surfer ‘AJ’ commended for his quick action with Pink Rescue Buoy

Garth Shamley, Duty Coxswain activated theNSRI St Francis Bay duty crew on Sunday afternoon following eye-witness reports of two men being swept out to sea at Grannies Pool, St Francis Bay, and a local surfer, who had grabbed an NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy at the b

each, was reported to be swimming out to try to assist the two men.

The sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II was launched and NSRI rescue swimmers, the SA Police Services and Private Care ambulance services responded.

On arrival on the scene the local surfer, known to NSRI only as AJ, had managed to get one of the men safely to shore with the use of the Pink Rescue Buoy but the second male casualty remained missing in the surf.

During a search the second casualty was located and recovered from the surf by two local surfers, friends of AJ, and by NSRI rescue swimmers, and brought onto the beach where NSRI medics and an NSRI doctor performed CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation). Sadly after all CPR efforts were exhausted the man was has been declared deceased.

The rescued man was transported to hospital by Private Care ambulance in a stable condition for treatment for non-fatal drowning symptoms. The body of the deceased male has been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services and Police have opened an inquest docket.

Condolences are conveyed to the family and friends of the deceased man.

NSRI commend the effort of the surfer AJ who went to their aid and was able to use the Pink Rescue Buoy to successfully rescue one of the men.

Bathers are warned to take care as there have have been a spate of bathers being caught in rip currents with three bathersand a body boarder in Jeffreys Bay being rescued by lifesavers last week. Fortunately all three were brought to shore safely.