Bridge Club end of year function

Fun and Festivity at the St Francis Bay Bridge Club

Cheerful colours and innovative décor marked the end of year festivities with the Annual General Meeting, Christmas competition followed by lunch, being enjoyed by members of the St Francis Bay Bridge Club at The Links on Friday, 8 December 2017.

Geoff Ellis with Jeff Clause at Bridge Club Christmas lunch at the Links.

Geoff Ellis, Club Chairman, once again thanked Jeff Clause and the Links staff for their excellent service and commented that the Bridge Club would be a shadow of itself without the facilities of the Links and their staff.

A minute’s silence was held at the start of the Annual General Meeting proceedings for the late Dinks Liebenberg who had recently passed away at the age of 95. She had founded the bridge club and ran it for 21 years also organizing an annual bridge tournament as a fundraiser for the NSRI.

Friday Club Points Winner Shirley Nicholls (left) with runner up Una Moolman

Awards for the various club bridge competitions were presented: Monday Club Points went to Guy Wilson with Theonie Kirton being the runner up. The winner of Friday’s competitions was Shirley Nicholls and the runner up Una Moolman. The Club Teams award this year went to Stan Horwell, Andries Strydom, Una Moolman and Jill Browning all from Jeffreys Bay.

Wendy Mackenzie presented the “Fellowship Trophy” to Jane Fitchet. This is a special and coveted award in the form of an exquisitely handcrafted wooden pepper grinder made and donated by Don Mackenzie. It was awarded to Jane for being the most improved player and who also took on the task of treasurer which she has handled with consummate skill.

Fellowship Award recipient Jane Fitchet with Vice-Chairman John Boonzaier

All nominations for the new committee were accepted unanimously for the following year. The committee is as follows: Geoff Elllis (President) Arthur Baggott (Vice President) Jane Fitchet, (Treasurer), Melanie Heinamann (Secretary), with members being Rose Bruins, Sally Nienaber, and Roger Lea.

The well-supported and keenly contested Christmas Tournament followed with two sections competing for honours. N/S winners of the Red Section were Geoff and Elileen Ellis and E/W winners were Guy Wilson and Lynn Obray.

Winners of the N/S Green Section were Robyn Myburgh and Mary Rose Chandler and E/W winners were Darryl Hendricks and John Boonzaier.

Two of the eight winners of the Christmas Competition Robyn Myburgh (left) and Mary-Rose Chandler with Geoff Ellis.

News & Photos: Yvonne Bosman

Sand River Bridge Open

Sand River Bridge Opened for traffic yesterday afternoon

Photo Stephanie Ernsten

St Francis Today thought we would try and make a bit of a comeback today but alas it seems the ed is not quite up to it after suffering a collapsed lung following recent heart surgery. Possibly things will be better next week but the effort this morning has been more than a little draining and painful.

Anyway the good news is that the Sand River bridge is open to traffic which will certainly ease the traffic flow in and out of St Francis especially as the holiday season approaches. We were promised some photos as we could not travel to site but alas received none so we have borrowed this one from Stephanie Ernsten (hope you don’t mind Steph).who used the bridge late yeaterday.

The conractors have asked us to appeal to the public whether driving, cycling or walking over the bridge to take care. The entire area is still a construction site and traffic calming methods will remain in place until the bridge is finally completed some time in the first half of 2018.

No doubt there will be complaints and comments on how narrow the bridge is and a stream of criticism but please bear in mind the bridge construction still has a long way to go and will offer a wider drive through once complete.


St Francis Bay Bridge Club Charity Tournament

Charity Bridge Day at the St Francis Links

Bridge players came from far and wide to participate in the popular Charity Bridge Day at the St Francis Links on 20th September 2016. Dinks Liebenberg started fund raising for the National Sea Rescue Institute, Station 21, about 20 years ago by organising an annual bridge tournament and the tradition has continued growing in strength and enthusiasm.

Players came from Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Jeffreys Bay, Port Elizabeth, and even as far afield as Pretoria and enjoyed a really successful, well-run tournament. There were twenty-two tables (four players per table), two of which were set aside for novice players, providing them with the opportunity to experience tournament conditions, which can be rather daunting at first.

The St Francis Links came to the party once again and pulled out all stops to provide the perfect venue and a delicious lunch. Jeff Clause, CEO of the Links, offered an extremely generous prize of 18 holes for a four-ball, including golf carts (worth about R2000). This was auctioned by John Boonzaier and secured by a thrilled Di Klette from Plettenberg Bay.

The club was honoured to have Heidi Atkinson participating. She is the Chief Tournament Director of South Africa, President of the Southern Cape Bridge Union, and is on the board of the South African Bridge Federation. She had this to say of the tournament: “I am impressed by the dedication of the St Francis Bay Committee who provided bridge for both newcomers and experienced players. They work hard and do it with love, always going the extra mile.”

Tournament Directors for the day were well qualified locals Eileen Ellis and Judith O’Hara who were able to participate as well as performing their duties with consummate skill. This enabled Heidi Atkinson and Patrick Verner (TD from Pretoria) to play without officiating, much to their delight.

An additional fund-raising raffle produced R855. The winner was committee member John Boonzaier who immediately donated it to the NSRI.

Geoff Ellis, President of the Bridge Club, expressed his appreciation to the members of the bridge club and the business community of St Francis who so generously gave prizes for the day. Everyone went home with something and a good time was had by all who attended.

The visitors were impressed by the exemplary organisation and Patrick Verner, Tournament Director from Pretoria, commented on the lovely, relaxed and pleasant atmosphere and the outstanding competence of the St Francis Bay committee.

Much to the delight of everyone concerned, a sum of R8 500,00 was raised for NSRI Station 21.

The tournament was played in two sections:

Winners of the Green Section: N/S Una Moolman and Jill Browning (J’Bay), E/W John Boonzaier and Darryl Hendricks (SFB).

Winners if the Maroon Section: N/S Mike Lowe and Bobbie Walker (PE), E/W Wendy Mackenzie and Liz Horne (SFB).

Charity Bridge Day at the St Francis Links

Photo: Winners of the St Francis Bay Bridge Charity Tournament in aid of Station 21 of NSRI (left to right) Liz Horne, Wendy Mackenzie, Mike Lowe, Bobbie Walker, Jill Browning, Una Moolman, Daryl Hendricks and John Boonzaier.

Article & photo Yvonne Bosman

Construction of bridge to start.

With all the environmental issues now approved construction of the new bridge over the Sand River is all go. Anyone travelling over the temporary bridge recently, well not quite temporary considering how long it has been the only access to St Francis, will have noted activity at last. With construction due to take 15 months there will no doubt be a fair amount of disruption to traffic flow, particularly in the early stages. The reason is that the Sand river has to be re-routed so as not to interfere with construction of the new bridge. To Do this requires a rather large pipe to be installed under the existing road before the river can be re-routed.

During this period there will be times, possibly entire days when there will be a ‘Stop & Go’ in place as there will only be a single lane crossing the river and other times the road may be closed totally for short periods. So folks, let’s not get aggravated and impatient. There will be delays in travel times so leave a little earlier than you normally would if you need to get to the college, the airport or an appointment in Humansdorp or PE.

You will note there are some new speed restriction signs so let us all obey these. There will be construction workers and construction equipment on the road and we really don’t need someone’s impatients causing an accident further delaying construction. Construction will obviously span the Christmas period but fortunately actual work should shut down during this extremely busy period from 16th December through to early January for the construction industry holidays. The diversion of the Sand river should be complete by then so there should not be any more inconvenience to traffic than in past years since the temporary bridge has been in place.

From time to time there will be traffic enforcement so keep your speed within the limits, your road rage in check and you will be able to keep your hard earned Rands in your wallet.