St Francis Author Launches New Novel

Author Susan Rae Fox with much loved Yorkie, Henry

Susan Rae Fox so very well known for her dedication to the welfare of  the cats and dogs of Sea Vista as Chair of St Francis Animal Rescue, has found time in her busy schedule to write and launch her fourth book, ‘Where the Truth Lies’.

Those who have read Sue’s previous novels will welcome her new novel and those who have not will certainly have a chance to catch up on some good reading and become a fan.

Sue started her career in magazine journalism and during this three-year period wrote many short stories syndicated to popular women’s UK magazines.  Joining a large, successful  Durban advertising agency, Paton, Tupper Associates as a copywriter, Sue rose through the ranks during her twenty nine years with the company to Creative Director and ultimately Managing Director.

Sue retired to St Francis Bay with husband Ron some ten years ago with a firm commitment to pursue her long held dream of writing a novel. She has now achieved that dream for a fourth time with ‘Where the Truth Lies’ being her fourth novel.

Susan’s previous works include

The St Jude Chronicles 1 ‘Beneath the Surface’ and ‘The St Jude Chronicles 2 ‘Going Under’ both published in the UK by the London-based publisher: Austin & Macauley . Her third novels ‘Unravelling’ was published in 2014  by Porcupine Press and her latest  ‘Where the Truth Lies’ published by Cape Town publisher Quickfox Publishing.

Short Synopsis of  ‘Where the Truth Lies’

After a decade in England, William, his daughter Plum and her aunt, Frith, return to South Africa to settle in Paarl. All of them are grieving after the untimely death of Lily, William’s wife, Plum;s mother and Frith’s identical twin sister.

William throws himself into restoring North Wind Manor, an Edwardian house, decaying after years of neglect. Frith, unable to come to terms with being a ‘twinless twin’, struggles to keep her promise to Lily, to devote herself to William and Plum in their new lives in South Africa. Plum – eleven years old – lives in her imagination which runs riot when she discovers the diary Charlotte Butler, documenting her tragic life as the wife of a Captain of the British Imperial Yeomanry.

As her aunt and father spiral slowly out of control, Plum is reeled into an obsession with the diary’s author, whom she believes is a spirit inhabiting the manor.

‘Where the Truth Lies’ interweaves between past and present to explore the twisted dynamics of a family brought closer by sorrow, regret, mortality and an understanding that the truth is not always simple.

A perfect gift for the Christmas stocking ‘Where the Truth Lies’ can be purchased for R260.00 online at

https://publisher.co.za/product/where-the-truth-lies/

New Principal For St Francis College

VETERAN Eastern Cape educator Warwick Osmond will take up the reins as headmaster at top private primary school, St Francis College, in February.

Currently acting headmaster at Dale College Boys’ High School in King William’s Town, Osmond said he intended positioning the school as a leading player in environmental learning and management, given its unique position in a rural setting.

“The motto of the school is striking – ‘learn to live’. We are preparing children for life and living. I love the idea that learning is integral to living and I am impressed that St Francis College is a recognised eco-school.”

A former Grey High School pupil and Nelson Mandela University graduate, Osmond has taught at several Eastern Cape schools during his 29-year career and believes that the province has a strong tradition of academic and sporting excellence.

“The Eastern Cape has some of the most amazing schools in the country,” he said. “Our schools are renowned for producing sports stars and leaders in various fields.

“I want to see St Francis College occupying a unique space among schools in the province. It will be known for its unique character and proud emphasis on embracing the environment.”

An experienced rugby and cricket coach, Osmond said that he was proud to be associated with Dale College, given its impressive record of producing top South African sportsmen.

These included Aphelele Fassi, currently playing for the Sharks rugby team, Springbok rugby player Aphiwe Dyantyi, former national cricketer Makhaya Ntini and H.O. De Villiers.

Osmond will be joined at St Francis College by his wife, Melanie Osmond, who is currently principal of Central Primary in King William’s Town.

PRESS RELEASE

 

Lest we Forget

Yesterday Armistice Day was commemorated around the world to remember those fallen in battle, not only during the Great War of 1914 -18, but also in remembrance of  lives lost in all wars around the globe since and including those on our borders. Watching proceedings of the commemoration on TV yesterday it was hard not to shed a tear for such unnecessary loss of life. It is fitting that we all give just two minutes of our year to remember the fallen and pray for an end such wasteful loss of so many young lives.

It would seem the two minutes of silence observed in Armistice Day services has its origins in Cape Town and became part of the Armistice commemoration as a result of a letter to King George by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick (Jock of the Bushveld).

When the news of horrific loss of life and casualties in the Battle of Somme that took place between July and November 2016 reached Cape Town, a local businessman, JZ Eager suggested the congregation of his church observe a silent pause to remember South African casualties of that battle. It was the church attended by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick. A year later, the Mayor of Cape Town at the suggestion of a fellow councillor whose son had been killed called for a pause following the firing of the noon gun.

In May 1918, the Mayor of Cape Town, Councillor H Hands (later Sir Harry Hands) at the suggestion made by Mr. RR Brydon, a city councillor, in a letter to the Cape Times initiated a period of silence to remember the events unfolding on the battlefields of Europe and the sacrifices being made there. Mr Brydon’s son, Maj Walter Brydon, three times wounded and once gassed, was killed on 12 April 1918.

The pause would follow the firing of the Noon Gun, the most audible signal with which to co-ordinate the event across the city of Cape Town. The boom of the gun for the midday pause of three minutes for the first time on 14 May 1918 became the signal for all activity in the Mother City to come to a halt. Everything came to a dead stop while everyone bowed their heads in silent prayer for those in the trenches in Flanders.

As soon as the city fell silent, a trumpeter on the balcony of the Fletcher and Cartwright’s Building on the corner of Adderley and Darling Streets sounded the Last Post, the melancholy strains of which reverberated through the city. Reveille was played at the end of the midday pause.

Articles in the newspapers described how trams, taxis and private vehicles stopped, pedestrians came to a halt and most men bared their heads. People stopped what they were doing at their places of work and sat or stood silently. The result of the Mayor’s appeal exceeded all expectations. One journalist described a young woman dressed in black, who came to a halt on the pavement and furtively dabbed at her eyes with a handkerchief. “One could not but wonder what personal interest she had in the act of remembrance”, he wrote.

A few days later Sir Harry, whose son, Capt Richard Hands, a member of ‘Brydon’s Battery’, had been mortally wounded in the same battle in which Maj Brydon had been killed, decided to shorten the duration of the pause to two minutes, “in order to better retain its hold on the people”.

In terms of the meaning of “two minutes” it was also argued that the first minute is for thanksgiving for those that survived and the second is to remember the fallen.

The midday pause continued daily in Cape Town and was last observed on 17 January 1919, but was revived in Cape Town during the Second World War. It had, however, become a pause throughout the British Commonwealth from 11 November 1919.

Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, author of the book Jock of the Bushveld, had been impressed by the period of silence kept in his local church after the horrific loss of life at Delville Wood became known and the casualty lists had been read out. He had a personal interest in the daily remembrance as his son, Maj Nugent Fitzpatrick, battery commander of 71st Siege Battery, was killed on 14 December 1917 by a chance shell fired at long range. Sir Percy was understandably deeply affected by the loss of his favourite son and was also so moved by the dignity and effectiveness of the two minute pause in Cape Town that the date and time of the Armistice inspired him to an annual commemoration on an Imperial basis.

Sir Fitzpatrick then wrote to King George and it was accepted and implemented by Royal decree. On 27 October 1919, a suggestion from Fitzpatrick for a moment of silence to be observed annually on 11 November, in honour of the dead of World War I, was forwarded to George V, then King of the United Kingdom, who on 7 November 1919, proclaimed “that at the hour when the Armistice came into force, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, there may be for the brief space of two minutes a complete suspension of all our normal activities … so that in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.” 11 November was the date in 1918 that the formal end of combat occurred to end WWI. Fitzpatrick was thanked for his suggestion of the two minute silence by Lord Stamfordham, the King’s Private Secretary who wrote:

Dear Sir Percy,

The King, who learns that you are shortly to leave for South Africa, desires me to assure you that he ever gratefully remembers that the idea of the Two Minute Pause on Armistice Day was due to your initiation, a suggestion readily adopted and carried out with heartfelt sympathy throughout the Empire.

Signed Stamfordham”

Exert from Story for the South African Legion by Peter Dickens

91 photos in 14 days making Impressions

Impressions taking shape as photos roll in

A very gratifying total of 91 pictures have so far been uploaded to the Write-On Publishing “Impressions of St Francis” website for possible inclusion in the forthcoming St Francis Photobook., being produced by Write-On Publishing in association with St Francis Tourism.

“In general, the pictures have been of an amazing standard and quality, and I am extremely grateful to all those who have taken the time to upload their pictures,” says editor and publisher Frank Nunan.

“Most of the pictures depict the incredibly beautiful scenery, sunsets, sunrises and in general, the special natural beauty of our region. Much as I appreciate these and am stunned by the beauty they show, I would like to this book to be much more than that. So far, there have been very  pictures of a white building/house with a thatched roof, or the the grat Mediterranean themes from Santareme!  Surely these unique quality of our town must be some of the more enduring ‘Impressions’ of St Francis that anyone could have?

“As for the lighthouse – I could never have imagined that I would get so many totally different and all equally stunning views of this landmark!”

“And it doesn’t stop there! What about the rest of our quirky architecture? A thatched, white police station – a filling station that to me always looked like something out of a Noddy book. Some of the original cottages in the Village, the lovely houses on the Canals, the apartments at the Port, the Mediterranean houses of Santareme, and the spectacular homes and the clubhouse on the Links – there is so much! What about the quirkiness of Cape St Francis, where you can have a humble fishing cottage side by side with a mansion! Sea Vista is also a part of the reality of St Francis, and it has its own “Impressions” – Pastor Andrew’s Shekinah Ministries church, Jenny’s takeaway, the brand new library, the pigs, cattle and goats in the road, the kids playing in the streets.”

“Then there are the people – lets see what our people look like! The grizzled old timers, the ladies taking tea at the Pedal & Spoke or the Rambling Rose, the surfers, the workers.

“Much I love and appreciate the beautiful scenery, I don’t just want a picture postcard book. I would like to present a real, gritty portrait of the area – beauty spots, warts and all!”

“Please, residents of St Francis, let’s produce a book together that we will be proud of- a true reflection of our area.”

VOTING

Another way people can get involved is to vote for the pictures that have been uploaded – voting is free, easy and anonymous. Imply hover on your picture of choice, and a “Vote for this Picture” tab will appear.

The Winner of the Competition will have his or her picture featured on the front cover of the.book.

See all the entrants at www.writeonpublishing.co.za/Photo_SFB.

Part of the proceeds of the sale of the book – R50 per book – will be donated to the Sea Vista library for the purchase of books.

The book may be pre-ordered at the special pre-production price of R325. It will eventually retail for R400.

A similar book, “Impression of Jeffrey’s Bay’ is simultaneously being produced for the Jeffrey’s Bay area.

Please go to www.writeonpublishing.co.za/Photo_SFB  or www.photojbay.writeonpublishing.co.za  to enter one of the competitions and/or pre-order your copy of the book.

 (Please note: the cover illustration is a mock-up and not necessarily what the final product will look like.)

Issued by: Write-On Publishing
Contact: Frank Nunan
Cel: 0614855491
frank@writeonpublishing.co.za

New Travel Company opens in St Francis

The Travel Collective, a partnership between two local residents, Craig Jarvis and Greg Darke opened for business this week. 

Commenting on the new business Craig said “the goal is to be fresh-thinking and unconventional in our approach to travel. We will be catering for bespoke travel needs and experiences. There are so many fun and unusual ways to spend valuable travel time, and we believe that when it comes to travel, anything goes”.

For golfers, The Travel Collective is offering golfing holidays all over the world with choices to the origin of the sport in Scotland, or to any of the greatest golf courses in the world.

For open-water swimmers, a trip to Greece and Croatia as well as island-to-island open water swim packages, with stunning scenery and world class hotels along the way. Craig enthuses further, “you’ll get to swim across beautiful azure bodies of water, get pampered on your arrival at each stop, and have an experience like none other”.   

For runners there are travels to major events such as Boston Marathon, the Mauritius Dodo Trail Run, the Berlin Marathon, the London Marathon and more.

Those not into sport are not ignored as The Travel Collection will be offering “shopping frenzy” packages to the malls of Dubai where, as Craig says “you can shop ‘til you drop or until you’re broke, whichever comes first, while the rest of the family go snowboarding inside the same mall”.   

For those of you who are laid-back and want to simply chill, they are offering boat cruises along our coastline and to neighbouring islands, which are luxurious yet reasonable, and a fine way for to slow down and unwind.

“We are based on our screens and devices, contactable anywhere and at any time through all manner of communication including, unbelievably, the telephone call. Our company is based in the ether, and our files are stored in the cloud. If you need to come see us, we are based in St Francis Bay” says Craig.

Craig can be contacted at craig@thetravelcollective.co.za or on 082 376 4443.

There are none so blind

A blog post on the St Francis Property Owners lit up this past weekend with a string of positive comments 

CCTV installation by ELFWith little news to report on today and with the fires seemingly controlled for the moment, thank goodness, we felt maybe a blog post could fill a gap. The following is a personal commentary and not intended as news. It is motivated by the way social media lit up on a post under the St Francis Property Owners Facebook page this past weekend. Photos of a  CCTV installation crew with the caption “More Good news! We have begun beefing up our security. The CCTV Camera project got underway this week  …..” was the catalyst.

That the CCTV installation has begun is indeed good news. Most residents will have welcomed the news for faced with rising crime, many surely live with a fear of being the next victim of a break in or worse, an armed home invasion. So this has got to be good news and a start to making St Francis a little bit safer and secure by discouraging criminals from foraging in St Francis.

Although the overwhelming majority of comments were positive, there are always those who would dampen the cheers. They say there are ‘none so blind as those who will not see’ and this seems certainly true of one contrarian. No matter how positive the actions of the SFPO may be, there is always someone there to find a negative. The CCTV is a very positive step forward but the antagonist has chosen to misrepresent what the SFPO is doing so as to sew a little more disharmony amongst those who are less than informed of the real facts. The statement that the CCTV is protecting “only the Canals and the Village” is simply untrue so surely it time to stop the negative comments, untruths and outright lies to create disinformation within the community.

Of course there will always be those who will criticize and denigrate anything and everything. They won’t actively participate to help improve matters lest they are found out for what they really are. It is so much safer to sit on the side-lines and shout than to actually participate and achieve.

For the record and this comes after questioning an SFPO committee member after reading the comment the CCTV is only for the canals and village. The reply was that cameras are, as per their latest newsletter, being installed at major intersections stretching from the Canals along St Francis Drive, past and including Tarragona and three major intersections towards the Port. I addition cameras will cover all entry / exit points to and from St Francis Bay. Budget constraints will probably not see as many cameras installed as some would want but it is a good start with over 100 cameras in the initial phase and it will surely help reduce crime.

But  back to the Facebook post! As stated, the majority of posts were positive but there were a couple of questions that deserve comment. ‘Is there a map of the camera placements’, ‘who will do the monitoring’, ‘who will react’ and a few others.  It is doubtful a general entering into battle would post his battle plan to the enemy general before battle and we do hope those planning, manning and controlling will never make this information public. It would be rather like a homeowner pinning a diagram of his security layout on the front door or the bank manager pinning the safe combination on the safe’s door.  But then Facebook does have the effect on people to write without thought and sometimes without considering the consequence of their comments. That is what makes it such fun at times.

Planning the CCTV installation hasn’t been a hastily drawn out plan on the back of a cigarette box. Over two years of planning involving SAPS, the security companies, the policing forums, Kouga Municipality, the SFPO and those experienced in CCTV deployment have been involved in the process.  Will it be as comprehensive as some of those systems seen on TV (China, London, et al). NO it won’t but it will be the best St Francis Bay can afford with the budget available at the moment.

Everyone in St Francis Bay should salute and support SFPO’s efforts in trying to make St Francis Bay a better place to live. If there is any doubt of the municipality not being able to do all that it should for their major rate payers, it is time to accept realities. One need only read of all the failings of SOE’s and municipalities to realise that money from government coffers is fast drying up and less and less will be filtered down to municipal coffers whose first priority is service delivery to the poor communities not rich ‘white settlements’.