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Edition 123 December 2012

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Agriculture Matters

083 307 1212 e mail:

Robin Barnsley is past Vice-President of KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union Kwanalu, and together with his brother, Kevin, farms in the Dargle area of the KwaZuluNatal Midlands. He writes in his personal capacity.

Getting to know the neighbours.


long with many like-minded others in this world, I’m constantly up against it in my quest to get the ill-informed ophidiophobes on this mortal coil to shake off their hugely unfounded and entrenched fear of our limbless creatures. Respect them - yes. Fear them - no. It’s grossly unfair, but throughout the world snakes are generally classified as dangerous weapons; rated alongside guns, knives, cyanide, dynamite and used syringes, as a certain ticket to the hereafter. Films such as Anaconda (1, 2 &3) and Snakes on a plane did nothing to help matters, and so in the hope that I might reel in a few more converts for my ‘Save the Snake’ campaign, I recount herewith, some of the trials and tribulations of a travelling snake-man. I’m often called upon to speak to interest groups who have either run out of things to do on a Monday night, or who have been let down at the last minute by their local Ward Councilor. The speaking part is fine; it’s the getting into the venue part that’s not so funny. Some Hotels and conference venues have strict rules concerning dangerous items, and any baggage is often subjected to security scrutiny. To obviate some of the unnecessary last-minute unpleasantness

that ensues when I try to explain to a Nigerian Carguard the reason I’m carrying a box of live snakes into the venue, I’ve been forced to devise various methods whereby I can take my charges in without too much fuss. I’ve learnt from past experience that it’s stupid to try and take more than one snake to a talk – after all, it only takes one to make people head for the closest exit, screaming SNAAAAAKE!! – even if we’re on the third floor. One snake fits comfortably into a laptop case, and this has now become my chosen means of smuggling in contraband – after all, everybody carries a laptop nowadays. Lord help the petty thief who decides to relieve me of my laptop! I test-drove a new method recently, putting the snake into my shirt, hoping it would wrap itself around my waistline and partake of some midriff warmth. In the early stages of the experiment, I couldn’t get it to settle down, and when I checked in the mirror, I looked like some undernourished Belly dancer with a mobile waistline – a certain security risk. Eventually it got to like the new premises and I thought it had settled down as planned, but unbeknown to me, it started to do some exploring, and about 10 minutes after the initial shirt insertion, I felt a gentle tickling on my neck, and upon looking in the mirror once more, I was greeted with the sight of a very happy snake making its way up and out of my collar, heading for my ear. Eishhh, what some people must do for a living! © pat mckrill. 2012,


12 days of Christmas – Country Style

Working toward a stress-free co-existence with snakes.


hings are done differently out here in this neck of the woods. You are hardly likely to see 12 Lords a leaping or 3 French Hens or even partridges in a pear tree! Here’s how it’s really done! First of all we need someone to be our true love – it’s unlikely to be Tina Joematt Pettersen, our Minister of Agriculture. Please would someone love us farmers! – No, not someone from the Hitching Post in Farmers Weekly! – Someone to be truly interested in us! On the first day, please could we have politicians who really understand that agriculture is a business? Who knows, perhaps by day two, we could just have a Minister of Agriculture who says what she means and means what she says! On day three, no every day, just enough rain, sunshine, heat, cold – at the right time. But then, what would we complain about for the next nine days? For day four: roads without potholes, Eskom that does not deliver appliance crushing power surges, Telkom to …. “Who? Telkom remember – that alleged service provider that used to do something for us “in the olden days”” Come to think of it we would like roads, electricity, telephones – even if they work some of the time – it would just be nice to have them again!! As for day five: farmers who behave like professional business men and women – come to think of it, how about more young people and women in agriculture for a start?

On day six, good prices, lower input costs – in short – profit! On day seven, we will continue with more serious stuff like rural communities united in common cause with one another. How about a reliable and healthy work force who feel valued and rewarded; Even more seriously, on the eighth day, please could we have finalization of the land reform process within the rule of law and with a sustainable result? As for day nine, let’s, as a nation, reduce imports and in the spirit of loving us farmers, please buy local! A safe, secure rural environment for us on day ten would go a long way to a sense of confidence, security and assurance in the future; Getting close now – day eleven – Julius Malema to ……. Who??! Ah, for day twelve, a wonderful day of peace, joy and harmony as family and loved ones descend on “the farm”, children and grandchildren play harmoniously on the lawn, the lawn cricket matches are settled without bloodshed among siblings, the turkey is ready on time and to the satisfaction of all. Come to think about it, how about a nation more interested in giving than receiving; less enamored with self and more so with others; leaders who live to serve and not to be served. Maybe, just maybe, we stand on the brink of a wonderful and mutually rewarding 2013. Blessings to you all

Edition 122 November 2012


ur news is Tel/Fax: 033 343 1717 Cell: 0832901153 PO Box 1135 Hilton 3245 Good News! DISTRIBUTION: 12000 Pietermaritzburg • Hilton • Merrivale • Howick • Balgowan • Lions River • Dargle • Lidgetto

DISTRIBUTION: 12000 Pietermaritzburg • Hilton • Merrivale • Howick • Balgowan • Lions River • Dargle • Lidgetton • Nottingham Road • Rosetta • Mooi River • Estcourt • Boston Underberg • Wartburg • Dalton • Greytown • Nottingham Road • Rosetta • Mooi River • Estcourt • Boston Underberg • Wartburg • Dalton • Greytown


SKYE B I STR O A T FOR DOU N Contact us to find out the options for Christmas Lunches and End of Year Functions To book, contact us on 0332666217 Nottingham Road


Dovehouse Organic Farm And Shop


ovehouse Organics, on the Karkloof Rd in the KZN Midlands, was founded by Shereen and Paul Duncan in 2001. They have committed themselves to raising awareness, within all communities, of the threat to our future of depleted soils, biodiversity loss and the seriousness of climate change. After 11 years of hard ground work, they have transformed Dovehouse Farm in the Karkloof into an efficient organic food producing enterprise – just 8km outside of Howick. Shereen and Paul saw a need to provide the community with fresh organic produce, and education on the health benefits, for both people Pat McKrill with one of his favourite things! Pic: supplied and the environment, which stem from organic farming. Their aim was to develop an organic Carpets & Upholstery Cleaning Services farming operation to grow organic produce, and a retail outlet to supply organic products to Specialist cleaners of: the community. Humans are facing enormous CARPETS - Domestic & Industrial challenges due to the negative environmental UPHOLSTERY - Domestic & Industrial Using Wetrok Industrial Steam Cleaning Equipment impacts we place on the Earth’s ecosystems and WHY Colette’s? the state of human health. Many of these chalNo Travel Charges Great Value For Money lenges are directly related to poorly managed Free Telephonic Quotes Owner Supervised , intensive farming practices and the health systems which are in place. Dovehouse Organics Based In Mooi River aims to provide the community with the healthy Mixed Animal Vet in the Midlands Nottingham Road Mooi River sustainable alternatives to overcome some of Meander Square, Nottingham Road Balgowan Lidgetton these challenges. Already public awareness is Dr Diana Foden:084 205 8360 growing, which is leading to consumer preferContact Colette Robertson Tel: 033 266 6719 ences changing. A definite change in purchasing Email: 082 564 8651 decisions is evident. At Dovehouse Organic Shop, customers are provided with a range of fresh seasonal vegetables and food products, a wide variety of environmentally friendly household and body products, as well as other natural products. Composts and organic fertilizers are also sold. In addition, Dovehouse Organic Shop provides a venue for a variety of talks and training workshops relating to human health and the state of the environment.




MIDLANDS AREA 082 413 5003 033 266 7153

(Cape) 076 177 2944

Farm Shop

14 Karkloof Road


Open 7 days a week 8am - 5pm: BUY health Organic & wholefoods

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Giving birth to their three children at home, Shereen is an experienced advisor on home birthing, breast feeding, infant and child care and healthy nutrition. She regularly runs juicing and smoothie demos at the Dovehouse function venue. Every Thursday, Shereen delivers seasonal organic veggie box orders to pick-up points in Howick, Hilton and Pietermaritzburg. To make an order, call the shop on 0871 505 131 or e-mail for a list of the freshly harvested produce which is available. The training centre on Dovehouse Farm runs various training workshops relating to organic farming and gardening. These workshops range from one day introductory workshops through to two week SETA accredited Agro ecological farming practices as well as a 3 month internship programme. The Training Centre focuses on training in Permaculture design (permanent agriculture system). A garden waste recycling programme, supported by the African Conservation Trust (ACT), was started at Dovehouse Farm in November 2011, turning garden waste from Howick into a soil-building compost. This compost is delivered to community farming and gardening projects in which Dovehouse is assisting local NGOs, the African Conservation Trust and the Women’s Leadership and Training Programme. Compost and mulches are also available for customers to buy from the shop. “Change starts at home” rings true. We need to think about the products we use in our homes, gardens, businesses and how they impact on our health and that of the environment. Every journey begins with one step. Let us take a positive step toward a healthier future for humankind and the Earth. Please contact to be linked to what’s happening at Dovehouse Organics.

The Village Vet

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The Village Vet

Nottingham Road

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Restaurant Open Wed. to Sun.

Shop Open 7 days 14 Karkloof Rd, Howick


Singakwenza Education and Health celebrated the arrival of their second mobile clinic (and the sun!)in Pietermatritzburg, recently. Photo: Emma Gatland Photography 082 442 8384


Business Breakfast held in Pietermaritzburg recently celebrated a milestone for Singakwenza Education and Health (a non-profit organisation focusing on Early Childhood Development, and the provision of primary health care facilities

via Mobile Clinics) with the “unveiling” of a second Mobile Clinic. The launch was attended by Singakwenza directors Debbie McCarthy, Julie Hay and Nondomiso Nzimande, various dignitaries, including Dr May Mkhize, significant

funders, which include the N3TC, corporates and supportive individuals. Hay, in her address, emphasised how the success of projects such as these rely on public gestures of commitment. Donovale Farms through Danida (a Danish funder) and Continued on page 3

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farmHarvested shop, function venue & garden Fresh Veg Whole & Health Foods Home & Body Products. training centre. Shop: 0793680832: Shereen: 082 868 4517 Weekly vegetable boxes: fresh, seasonal, organic produce delivered to your area. Call us on 0871 505 131


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Edition 123 December 2012

Page 2

Introducing Firmount

Multiple Awards for Mayday Team






wo studio suites & a one bedroom suite. All of which are fully equipped & have their own outside sitting areas plus secure off street parking.

15 Firmount Road, Somerset West, 7130 Western Cape, South Africa tel/fax: +27 21 852 7178 cell: 072 386 2626 email: welcoming you at FIRMOUNT GUEST SUITES in the not too distant future as you come to sample the wines in the area, swim at the wide open beaches, gaze at the spectacular mountains, play golf on one of the many golf courses or visit your children at UCT OR Stellenbosch University.

he walk from the source of the Mngeni River to the sea during May really captured the public’s imagination. Not only highlighting the plight of our most important source of water, but also gathering data which is being used extensively by other organisations working to protect water and other eco-systems services. The Mayday for Rivers team recently received two awards for their efforts – WESSA KZN Conservationist of the Year and DUCT Chairman’s Award. The team including Pandora Long, Penelope Malinga, Preven Chetty and Mike Farley are all still working to improve the situation along the Mngeni river and others. “Mayday for Rivers really is a magnificent team effort”, said Penny Rees accepting the Awards “and the walk would never have happened without the rest of the enthusiastic team, each with different skills and knowledge. The backup team behind the scenes was just amazing too.” Judy Bell, Midlands Conservancies Forum (MCF), nominated the team for the WESSA KZN Conservationist of the Year Award saying: “Most of us fear to dream so big, let alone work to realise the dreams to do more for the environment, but Penny did so courageously. Her dream was to raise awareness of the plight of our “working rivers” in KZN, focusing on KZN’s Mngeni River, from source to sea. Penny

inspired many by doing this walk – some walked with her, others did their own walks in their own areas and many more learnt about the plight of our rivers and about the work that DUCT do from their blog The awareness they have raised has been invaluable to all those doing their bit to improve our planet’s ecosystems. She has done us all proud.” The Duzi uMngeni Conservation Trust (DUCT) Chairman’s award is given each year at the DUCT AGM to the member that the Chairman, Dave Still, feels has contributed the most to DUCT’s cause in that year. The award was given to Penny Rees this year for her vision and achievement of organising, planning and then walking the length of the Mngeni River from source to mouth. Liz Taylor Chair of DUCT Howick commented “Mayday for Rivers Fellowship of the River served to highlight the plight of the uMngeni River, has raised the profile of DUCT and alerted many to the problems our rivers are facing today. Well done to Penny and her walking team for volunteering their time and effort to raise awareness of our precious rivers!” DUCT members are now walking the Msunduzi river. Follow their adventures at Supplied by info@midlandsconservanicesforum.

Teenager, Wade Young Wins Roof Of Africa 2012 ade Young (16) made history on Saturday (17 November) when he became the youngest competitor ever to win the Roof of Africa enduro motorcycle race that took place for the 45th time in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. It was also the first time since 2007 that a South African rider wins this gruelling three day event that consisted of about 450 kilometres this year. Extremely hot weather conditions caused many competitors to dehydrate while a challenging route confirmed the 2012 Roof of Africa enduro as one of the toughest in recent years. The 2012 Roof of Africa attracted about 400 entrants from across the globe that competed in this event that is one of the oldest races in the world. More information about the event as well as full results can be found on www.


death before dnf!


owick’s dirt road biking star Bradley Van Aswegen is in a very good place at the moment. He represented SA earlier this year in Germany in the International Six Day Enduro and scored a silver medal; he finished 12th (after a huge crash and serious injuries) at the Roof of Africa (Lesotho) last month; he finished 5th in the E2/200cc Class in the national enduro championship and 2nd in the OR3 Class of the National Off-road Championship. With this behind him he is taking a break from the rigours of riding, and taking to the seas, working on yachts for the next 5 years. The Meander Chronicle enjoyed a freshly squeezed fruit juice with him at The Apple Cafe in Main Street Howick, to find out how, at 21 years of age, life seems to have been engineered to fit in with a passion! Van Aswegen laughs when asked how his school, Weston College in Mooi River where he was a boarder, fitted in with this all-consuming hobby. “I focuse d and trained hard.from very early. I ran every morning, between 10 and 15 kms. I rode bikes every weekend, and Monday was never a real school day – it was washing bikes day! The teachers stopped asking why I wasn’t there!” Sponsored by Kargo Racing Yamaha, this incredibly driven, and self-motivated rider started off-road motorbike riding at the age of 5, getting his first bike at age 6, a PW50. His father Danie van Aswegen rode with Brad until he was about 15 and, according to Brad “then he ate my dust!” Van Aswegen remembers his first race very clearly – “I was 9. The race was in New Hanover in the KZN Midlands and a girl lapped me! I saw the long hair coming past and thought NO WAY!. I won that event.” Van Aswegen hasn’t got to where he is by being an average teenager. Coach William Gillit, based in Howick was his mentor for 3 years and according to the champion, taught him everything that he knows.

Wh yThe H urry?

Tel: 033 346 2941 Cell: 083 631 2658 Email: Dr Lynn Hurry is a Pietermaritzburg based writer/ publisher in Sustainability Education.

The award winning Mayday team, from left to right: Mike Farley, Penny Rees, Pandora Long, Penz Malinga and Preven Chetty. Photo: supplied.

Death before DNF

Howick's Brad van Aswegen, 12th in the 2012 Roof of Africa.. Pic: supplied.

“I have a day job at Hardcore Radiators in Merrivale, who keep me alive” he says. His day starts at 04h30, cycling to keep fit, and spinning in the winter. Compromise is the name of the game and it’s essential to live a healthy lifestyle, with not too much of a social life, and a very healthy diet. Van Aswegen stresses that focus and mental preparation is half of the fitness required. “Nothing

can distract you. it will lead to a dangerous accident, or making a mistake that will cost you a race. I fell off in the Roof and suffered 2 compression fractures in my spine (T5 and 6), dislocated my knee,cracked a bone on my hand. I took painkillers and HAD to get to the finish. A rider would rather see DEATH than DNF (Did Not Finish)!”

Service Gu id e

To book this spot: Call: Office 033 343 1717 Cell: 083 290 1153

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CCTV - Systems for your Learning to listen. Listening to learn Lynn Hurry business or home ts always hard to believe when the first of what’s being said. (Nodding wisely a good High Quality Cameras December arrives that its just 25 days to way of showing this. Asking questions to Remote viewing via the Christmas. This year, with the global economic clarify what’s been said a definite plus.) internet onto your Whew! Difficult I know. But I’ve always downturn, the early reminders have already been computer or smartphone in place for some time as shops work hard to felt that it is well worth a try. YOU NEED IT, WE DO IT! I know of a young couple, both professionspark a Festive Spirit that will get us all spending, als, whose busy lives take their time during spending, spending! Tel: 033 330 3005 December is not only about letting the good the week. To keep the communication going email : times roll. Not just about the promise of jingle they have breakfast together EVERY Saturbells and presents that Christmas brings. For day at the local mall. Away from cell-phones Office: 0833770112 all of us - with few exceptions - its just like and family they spend time sharing the expe- Fax: 086 543 0338 For all your any other month. Income to earn. Bills to pay. riences of the past week, commending each Computer Consultants Commercial, other on positive developments, commiseratMouths to feed. Corporate Computing Domestic, SaleS, NetworkiNg, And, in amongst the festivities and jollifica- ing over the negatives and only giving and Desktops and Laptops Support, repairS, Farming & Industrial, tions there are relationships to make, relation- taking advice when asked for it. Security, Servers and Networking Their example is about keeping a regular Electrical Installations ships to build – or perhaps (sadly too often) web & email hoStiNg, Internet Access & Maintenance data protectioN & recovery time for chatting together and for commueven to endure. Web Hosting♦ Bulk SMS as well as And that’s where Christmas may bring its nicating. It seems to work well for them. It Greg Beyrooti Back up Solutions Compliance should work just as well (in a format that suits challenges. But also its opportunities. 083 693 4923 Service Level Agreements Certificates BSc (Computer Science), HDE, Challenges because we are not always each situation ) for all of us. ICDL, Advanced ICDL YOU NEED IT, WE DO IT! Contact Cell Numbers: Microsoft Office Specialist The “header” at the top of this article ready for chats that sometimes spring up (often Master Instructor Brent: 082 890 1718 Tel: 033 330 3005 occurring when we have our feet are up - meta- mentions my concern for “sustainability Don: 083 225 7700  : phorically speaking - and when our defences education” and for me good communication Shaun: 082 890 0404 are down), but also opportunities since these is essential if we are together to find the best w w w. m e a n d e r c h r o n i c l e . c o . z a moments may be times that we can take advan- ways of living lightly on our planet. So dear Reader - Here’s wishing you a peacetage of to deepen and grow our relationships EMPLOYMENT. ful Christmas and a good “listening” New Year with others. EMPLOYMENT WANTED: It seems to me that the art of good communi- for you and those with whom you spend your Active, elderly, retired farmer cation is all about learning to listen (so that you time. My wish for you is what I wish even for HOWICK seeks employment as a caretaker/ give the person you are in conversation with a myself – that I can continue to hone my listenmanager of a small-holding or chance to say it all) and the about listening to ing skills - learning to listen and listening to MILLYS B & B 033 330 3244 / 073 1750 757 farm. Vaste experience in all aspects learn (trying to understand what the person is learn so that I can make a better contribution to Warm, comfortable, convenient. In a of farming (including orchards). trying to say to you and prompting that person the world in which I live.. residential area of Howick North. 3 minutes Available immediately. Contact Correction to clarify what you are not sure of.) from the N3, 5 minutes from the centre of Ian: 0725503795 or 0337021890 town. In last month’s article by Lynn Hurry the Learning to listen implies that you are (For a reference contact: Richard giving the person you’re talking to your undi- website address for the Schools River Health MOOI RIVER 0828831614 or Alastair 0824122216) vided attention (glazed eyes a dead give-away Programme had a typo in it. It should have read SIERRA RANCH  033 263 1073/4/5/6/7 that you are drifting off); and listening to learn FOR SALE FAMILY RESORT & CONFERENCE CENTRE implies a genuine attempt to clearly understand FOR SALE In the Natal Midlands- focusing on family 3 KFC deep freezers fun, offering activities for the whole family SATURDAY DECEMBER 15 175 mm, in perfect condition, available such as; horseriding,adventure golf, Open Day And Evening Carol Service & Family Fun Day From paintball, tennis, squash bowls, volleyball, for R2800.00 Ea. Each deep freeze 10:00– Hilton Railway Station. *North British Tank Steam darts,pool,playground,and swimming between 6 -15 months old Locomotive In Steam* Model Trains; Craft Stalls; Scotty pool. Pool bar and very social saloon bar. Phone 0824520050 / 0824220806 Band. The 4 Rhinos Campaign Will Be Doing A Photo Shoot 084 207 3907


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Property Development Bordering Albert Falls Dam Adventure or quiet getaway... Offering exhilarating water sport, fishing,

game watching or peaceful walks and unforgettable sundowners on your porch.

Andre: +27 (0)83 703 2242 Vicki: +27 (0)33 343 4303

From 10:30. Carol Service At 18:00 Please Bring Your Own Chairs For more Info Contact Grant: 0832781490. If You Wish To Have A Stall, Contact MIA ON 0724816693 Entry Free: Please Make A Donation.


rant Caldwell's parents opened one of the first Bed and Breakfasts in Durban in the late 1980’s – Braeside Guest House. At that stage Grant was living at home and being a peoples’ person, really enjoyed meeting new folk from different countries. Grant qualified as a teacher but the thought and desire to run a guest house did not leave him. He shared his ideas with his wife, Janet, who warmed to the concept and upon their return to South Africa from the UK in 2005, started with plans to establish FIRMOUNT GUEST STUITES in Somerset West. On 15 December 2007 FIRMOUNT GUEST SUITES received its first guest! Since then they have welcomed guests from both local and overseas destinations, an equal proportion of them being business travellers and tourists. Some have become personal friends of Grant and Janet and a significant number have returned 4 to 5 times to stay with the Caldwells. Grant and Janet are time and time again overwhelmed by the kind remarks and “oohs and aahs” expressed by the vast majority of their guests when they first set eyes on the rooms. Almost without fail, the most frequent remark made by guests is about the tranquillity that they experience at FIRMOUNT GUEST SUITES. Just 2 weeks ago, guests returning to the UK after a 3 week stay commented as they were leaving: “How we would love to take Room Jasmine back home with us”! Ironically, however, the most favourite suite is The Daisy Room – even though it is the smallest of the three. FIRMOUNT GUEST SUITES has also afforded Janet the opportunity and privilege of working from home and thus being available for her children, Andrew and Grace. Grant and Janet consider this to be an invaluable benefit! Grant and Janet look forward to

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Edition 123 December 2012


have a bite

CASABLANCA FLOORING Carpets/Novilon, Laminate flooring, floor heating, blinds, light fittings, lampshades and globes. Contact: 033 WARTBURG 330 4419. 1 Market St. Howick BRIDGLEE COFFEE SHOP 033 503 1906


Wendy Houses built with new treated pine. All sizes available. Contact Funnie on 073 273 0553

Incorporating a delightful gift shop, Undeniably You, this welcoming spot offers breakfasts, light lunches and a selection of delectable cakes and muffins. OPEN: Monday to Saturday

Page 10

Edition 123 December 2012

Your SHAR E of the pie

Canine Conundrums

Cell: 079 624 4031

By Jayne Goetsch. Cell: 0832774358


Digs Creation & Innovation In The Midlands! Howick Branch: 033 330 3046 Gardening or Farming - Try us.


Benson Kaloti – food hero

beaming Benson tells me his surname is Kaloti. The way he says it, it sounds like ‘Carroty’ – what a perfect name for a farmer! The Preston Farm stall at the Karkloof Farmers Market on Saturday mornings is always busy as discerning customers stock up on fresh produce, locally grown without harm to the environment. “We are number one at the market” he says cheerfully, “About 300 customers buy our produce every week. They see the snails and insects on the vegetables and they know it is organic.” Benson believes absolutely that organic farming is the right way. “This is 100% food, with no poisons.” In Malawi, where he comes from, everyone has a good food garden, many families grow everything they need, including fruit. “At home we have one hectare and we grow all sorts of veggies. We used to use fertilizers, but now it is organic. This is much better because the poisons in fertilizers and chemicals actually destroy the life of people. I believe that bad food causes cancer and much suffering. Those who eat organic are stronger

and happier. Many people are changing now.” Benson has been working at Preston Farm for the past few years and is thoroughly enjoying Midlands life. “Even if I go home for a while, I will come back and continue growing vegetables” he says, adding “When I go, I like to teach other people.” He learned much from his uncle, Gram, who worked at Preston before him, but now lives in the Cape. Preston Farm on the edge of Howick is run by Grant Warren who is adamant that one can farm without harming the environment. He aims to have as small a footprint as possible, so his dairy herd eat grass and maize grown right on site, produce fabulous milk and, naturally, manure which is used in compost making for the vegetable plots. “I’m passionate about sustainability and our natural heritage.” he says. Would you believe Benson’s favourite vegetable is carrots? Eaten raw, straight out of the ground. He also loves broccoli and big, fresh salads. Get to the market early before he sells out, to taste the carrots for yourself.

Gunnera perpensa Common name: Wild Rhubarb; Afrikaans: Rivierpampoen; Sotho: qobo; Xhosa: iphuzi lomlambo, ighobo; Zulu: ugobhe, ugobho


unnera perpensa is a perennial wetland plant which grows in shallow water and along streams throughout Southern Africa. The roots are thick to secure it in the muddy soil and the large, tufted, kidney shaped leaves all grow from a central point. The reddish brown flowers are borne on a long slender spike, which grows above the leaves. Each inflorescence has female flowers at the base, male flowers at the top and bisexual flowers in the middle. It cannot tolerate frost and dies back during winter. Gunnera belongs to one of the oldest plant families and is thought to have been on Earth for 95 million years. It has an unusual symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing blue-green algae. The stems can be peeled and eaten raw or used to make beer. In traditional medicine, a decoction of root is used remove excess fluid from the body or excess blood, to ease childbirth and assist in the expulsion of placenta in cattle and humans. Supplied by

The Drake Music Festival 2012


Benson Kaloti


stablished in 2011, The Drake Music Festival is a celebration of the very best in original SA music. Created and hosted by SAMA nominated musician Josie Field, The Drake Music Festival is now in its second year and takes place on Sunday 16 December 2012, at Willowvale in Rosetta KZN Midlands, gates open at 12 noon. The festival has a country lifestyle feel, the aim being to offer an additional and unique platform for musicians, for the promotion and sustainability of original live music. Enriching our culture and nourishing audiences with superb home grown music, The Drake is also a green festival, created by artists for artists. 2011 saw the likes of Nibs van der Spuy, Guy Buttery, Josie Field, Shannon Hope and more grace The Drake stage. This year expect to see Rambling Bones, Josie Field, Laurie Levine, John Ellis, Crystal Park, Naming James, Hinds Brothers and Malory Torr (UK). Rosetta is known for its magical views of the Drakensburg, trout fishing and country lifestyle, and will once again host The Drake Music Festival, creating awareness around this beautiful village and its magnificent surrounds. Rosetta forms part of the popular Midlands Meander and

is only 9km off the N3, the major Gauteng to KZN holiday route. There is plenty of accommodation in the area that caters to all budgets. The Drake Festival is a family orientated festival this year and all are welcome. What to bring to Drake Fest: chairs, blankets, cushions, hats, raincoats, gum boots, umbrella’s and cash for artist merchandise, food, drink and stalls. Tickets are R200 per person, kids 12 and under get in absolutely free. Tickets are available on the Drake Music Festival Facebook Page, click on the Tickets icon, login or register with TicketBreak., fill out your details and print your ticket. Alternatively, the only local ticket outlet in the Midlands is Knotts Salon, Tel: 033 266 6545 on the R103 between Nottingham Road and Rosetta. Camping is situated 500 meters from the festival grounds on the Rosetta Hotel property. Camping fee is separate from the festival ticket price and is R40pp for Saturday and Sunday night, kids 12 and under camp for free. To book for camping please email For more information please visit http:// or contact us on 083  577 7726 or .

(This advertisment was generously sponsored by Jayne Goetsch.)

Festive season opening and Closing times Christmas Eve: 7am-6pm Christmas Day: CLOSED Day of Goodwill: 8am-5pm New Years Eve: 7am-6pm New Years Day: CLOSED SD23278


Tel: 033 2666 710



082 441 7429 /

William Meyer is a Chartered Accountant (SA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (USA). He has been CEO of Fenestra Asset Management since 1990. He lives in Mooi RIver with his wife Claire and their four children. He commutes to his Head Office in Cape Town. His company has outstripped the All Share Index with a compound growth rate of 18.87% per year since 2004.


ogs are wired to do certain things. Certain activities are pleasing because they are necessary for survival or have been bred into them. These activities or behaviours are rewarding in themselves, which means the dog does not need reinforcement other than the activity itself for the behaviour to be repeated. These are self-reinforcing behaviours. The activity itself is the reinforcement. An example is Border Collies who herd. These dogs have been bred to herd. They will herd cars, fowl or children, at every opportunity, without any reward from their owner. Negative examples are running out the gate and pulling on a leash. The question usually is how to stop the dog from carrying out these behaviours. Prevention is the key - don’t give him the opportunity. In the case of the dog that pulls, one would want the dog to walk on a loose leash. There is equipment one can use to manage the situation and teach the dog not to pull. Certain harnesses will help prevent pulling. Be careful here as some harnesses can encourage pulling. Just think of the sled dogs. They will pull all day against a harness. A head collar used correctly will prevent a dog from pulling, but again one has to be careful how this piece of equipment is used as one could easily hurt the dog if used incorrectly. A long, Ttouch leash can be used to help the dog understand how we’d like him to walk and so prevent pulling. Whatever the choice, training should begin at home. As with all training we need to teach the dog what we want without distractions first. Think of when you began driving, how much more difficult it was when you found yourself in traffic.

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Edition 123 December 2012

A Festive Bottoms Up Or Tops Down: What Investment Strategy Works For You?


here are numerous ways of making money on stock exchanges. An investor can successfully adopt many approaches and strategies. The approach must, however, suit an investor’s character and preferences, and can rely on a single philosophy or may use many strategies. Successful investors invariably have an investment strategy of their own. In many cases they may use other techniques as a filtering mechanism or to validate decisions already made, but they have a guiding philosophy and strategy from which they will not deviate. Investors often classify themselves as either “bottom up” or “top down”. “Bottom up” refers to the technique of searching for investment companies that meet the investor’s criteria and fit his or her philosophy no matter the industry or geographical location. “Top down” investors first define the industry or geographical location for investment and then search for investment opportunities. Bottom up investors regard themselves as value investors, and top down investors may regard themselves as technical or momentum investors. Value investors emphasise cash flows, net asset value, competitive positioning and management. The challenge is to obtain more assets for every rand spent – in other words, to buy shares that are trading at discount to the inherent net asset value per share. Value investing does not only involve buying shares that are trading at a discount to net asset value. It also arises when shares can be purchased at what appear to be very expensive levels, but which are not so dear when related to forecast growth rates. Technical analysts believe a picture is worth a thousand words. They put store by studying share prices as depicted in graphs coupled with various other indicators. These analysts believe that various patterns have predictive properties and that, by carefully studying them, it is possible to ascertain the next move in the share price. The most extreme technical

analysts rely only on their graphs and often use other strategies and philosophies to round off their approach to investing. Often value investors use technical analysis to time the purchase of their investments. In other words, once value investors have chosen their shares according to their criteria they use technical analysis to decide when the short-term price movement is depressed and when the next accelerated increase is likely to occur. A technical analyst often refers to trend lines, flags, head-and-shoulder patterns and moving averages. That the illustrations or graphs have certain predictive powers is probably because there are so many adherents to this philosophy that it can become self-fulfilling. The usefulness of any technique must however, diminish when it becomes too popular. Investors must remain open-minded and flexible and never adopt blindly any one aspect of an investment philosophy. Technical investors are often traders and take short-term positions in shares, while fundamental or value investors tend to hold their investments over the long term. Short-term traders have to carefully consider transaction costs such as brokerage and sundry levies, as well as taxes – marketable securities tax, ordinary tax and Capital Gains Tax (CGT). These costs are not a major consideration for the long-term investor. Even CGT can be indefinitely deferred if one never sells the investment. The contingent liability on the gains can then be considered an interest-free loan from the Receiver of Revenue. Billionaire investor Warren Buffet’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, has unrealised capital gains over $10 billion (R105,6 billion). The sale of this portfolio would trigger the immediate payment of $2 billion (R21.1 billion) to the Internal Revenue Service. Obviously Buffet is in no hurry to liquidate his portfolio. So, make sure that whatever the strategy you choose to adopt, it is academically sound and distinctively yours. And then stick to it.

Continued from page 1

Kingfisher (a UK funder) partnered to assist in the acquisition of the second mobile clinic. Con Roux, Commercial Manager N3TC emphasised the notion of partnership in community relief initiatives such as Singakwenza. “The N3TC”, said Roux, “looks for Singakwenza 's Board: Reg Zammit, Julie Hay, Debbie McCarthy , Nondomiso partners not beneficiaries, and Nzimande, Caroline Richter, Con Roux (N3TC) and Fearne Gilson.. Pic by Emma from the start Singakwenza Gatland Education and Health was a good fit for what N3TC is more than just a road. Have a look at the N3TC aims to achieve with its corridor. The website Look at “Touching Lives” vision of the N3TC is to be an agent of change, and read the 75 pages of the 2011 Report – it puts and to have transformed the N3 corridor, a different slant on the pain of paying toll fees, if especially in terms of health and education”. anything. Singakwenza, which means “We can do it” is a Non-Profit, Public Benefit Organisation providing Primary Health Care and Early Childhood Education primarily to rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. email: info@

Dear Reader, As we head into the holiday season in the Midlands, and contemplate the month ahead, as well as the months that have flown behind us, we hope that you are able to say that you’ve made the most of what the Midlands has offered you: that you’ve shopped at local markets, that you’ve walked the paths that take us to beautiful, secret places, that you’ve admired the arts and crafts that are around every corner, that you’ve applauded local performances, that you’ve enjoyed fine fare in the many eateries, that you’ve saved your piece of river, made friends with museums, tidied up your patch, smiled at strangers, asked why? what? who? every day... The Midlands is liberally sprinkled with magic! A huge thankyou to our loyal contributors who send us something every month, despite their own hectic schedules-all in the spirit of community. It is much appreciated. Without advertisers, wewouldn’t exist so a thank you to all of you, and may we continue to spread your news, mixed in with the good news for the next year too! Wishing you all a peaceful and safe close to your year. Regards, Caroline and Phillippa

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Edition 123 December 2012

New Year’s Party - The



awesome Christmas day buffet r255.00 pp Come and enjoy our

oLd year’s eVe Getaway speCiaL for 4 Guests, two niGhts aCComodation, oLd years eVe joL. for only r1200.00 (up to 4 guests per room rates apply to room only) All our food is prepAred by AwArd winning chefs!

Experience good company and grEat service in our cosy country pub, listen to great music and dance the night away. tantalizing breakfast buffets and some of the bEst cuppuccinos in town. swimming pools, river fishing, pond catch & release fishing, hugE kids play-ground with our own PhantasMagoriCal in-house kiddies train.

Your Hosts rudi and robert Tel: 081 496 3434

Bring the kids, tickle the pigs and play with the ducks!

Willow Grange Country Hotel (near Estcourt on the R103) When: lunchtime on Monday, December 31st 2012 till champagne breakfast on Tuesday January 1st 2013 TWO live bands will play out the end of the year: Josie Field (www.josiefieldmusic., and THE SKYT MUTIES from Johannesburg, launching their album MOJO THRILLPOWER . R180.00 per adult at the gate gets you ONE selcted beer on the house, ONE mug of our secret New Year’s punch, ONE portion of Hungarian Goulash, ONE fine imported Coffee with a WEDGEWOOD NOUGAT and FREE camping with hot showers; TWO children U.18 per couple camping FREE (conditions apply). R700.00 per person buys a limited number of special passes to our V.I.P. lounge area and includes champagne breakfast on Tuesday morning the 1st of January 2013 (conditions apply). Online bookings can be done at www. ;or contact Andy on 036 352 7102, or tickets can be bought at the Willow Grange Hotel (

11 December 09h00 to 11h00 Join local guides to learn more about the area. Contact Penz Malinga to book 073 948 3209. Donation: R10 to local conservancy Balgowan Midlands Forest Lodge Walk 13 December 09h00 to 11h00 Meet at Midlands Forest Lodge to walk in the mist-belt forest. Contact Diana Acres to book: 082 904 6559. Donation: R20 to Balgowan Conservancy CREW fieldtrip to Lake Lyndhurst – upper Dargle 14 December . Contact Barbara Clulow for details 072 961 1918 CREW fieldtrip to Sitamani – Boston (custodians of rare endangered wildflowers) 15 December . Contact Barbara Clulow for details 072 961 1918 Lemonwood Forest – Dargle 16 December - 09h00 to 11h00. Steep forest trail with marked trees and birds, butterflies and monkeys. Contact Katie Robinson to book: 082 052 6072. Kusana Park - Curry’s Post 16 December 09h00 to 11h00 Explore the grassland and interesting rehabilitation work. Contact Sarah Allen to book: 076 578 2941. Donation R20 to Curry’s Post Conservancy. Fort Nottingham Forest Walk 20 December 09h00 to 11h00 Meet at Els Amics to explore the grassland and forest. Contact Roy Tabernor to book: 082 487 0922. Donation to Lion’s Bush Conservancy. Howick Falls Gorge Walk 27 December 09h00 to 11h00 View Howick Falls from the bottom of the gorge. Contact Penny Rees to book: 082 340 7571. Cost: R20 Edgeware Hike in Boston 28 December 09h00 to 11h00 Walk through grasslands up to the top of the hill. Contact Sue Brighton to book 083 656 0979. Donation: R20 to local conservancy. Beacon Hill - Howick 30 December 09h00 to 11h00 Meet at top of Lake View Road for walk in the Spring grassland. Contact Janis Holmes to book 082 829 2768 Donation R10 to Friends of Beacon Hill. coaching ..... not just for sports

The Official School Page

C O A C H I N G ...

Mpophomeni Hills Walk

so much to do so much to see...

Edition 123 December 2012


Russell high careers day

Best Post-Matric Employment Opportunities & Why

   


atric ends, a career begins: Why the tourism is growing in South Africa because as a beginnings of a career in the bush is country we are blessed with magnificent natural resources. If your child has a deep love for the worth two part-time jobs in the hand


4 Ways to Disconnect and Get More Done Without Unplugging Completely


ou check your email as soon as you wake up, and send text messages from just about everywhere. But if you’re not taking a break every now and then, you could be hurting your effectiveness, says Joanne Cantor, founder of Your Mind on Media, a Madison, Wisconsin consulting firm that helps companies manage cyber-overload. Research backs that claim: A 2012 study by the University of California, Irvine and U.S. Army researchers found that being cut off from work email periodically significantly reduces stress and increases focus. We know: You own a business. People depend on you. You can’t disconnect. But Cantor says that’s not really true. Maybe you can’t turn off your smartphone entirely for a week, but here are five ways you can buy some tech-free time. 1. Recruit a gatekeeper. “Our gadgets take control,” says Cantor. “Business owners used to have secretaries and other gatekeepers who understood the critical people who had to get through and had tactful ways of running interference with those who could wait,” she says.  An assistant or trusted second-in-command can field calls while you’re working on a project that needs focus or when you simply need a day off. If that’s not an option, change your outgoing voicemail message to tell callers you’re unavailable and let them know when you’ll be available to answer their calls. And, don’t forget to turn off instant messaging. 2. Schedule your prime time.The best time to be tech-free is the time when you are most productive or creative, she says. Perhaps you’re sharp as a tack first thing in the morning or get your second wind at 3 p.m. Think about your most productive times and block out those windows as you would an important meeting, she says. A disconnected hour or two several times a week can make a tremendous difference in your creativity, focus and the quality of your work, she says. 3. Use a distraction-blocking app. Even as our smartphones, tablets and laptops seek to monopolize our time, a collection of apps has emerged to help us disconnect. AntiSocial and Freedom are site blockers, making any time-sucking sites (like Facebook) unavailable for as long as you choose. iPhones running the iOS6 platform and apps like I’m Sleeping and Ultimate Call Block offer “do not disturb” functions, but also allow you to whitelist certain people (your gatekeeper, spouse, or your child’s school for example) to bypass your settings and always ring through. 4. Change your culture. If you’ve spent time cultivating an “always on” workplace, it’s not going to change overnight, says Cantor. But change is possible. Work on a communication hierarchy for your team, setting boundaries for essential and nonessential contact. For example, if the issue is urgent, reach out with both phone and text messages. Nonurgent issues will be communicated by email with a “please respond by” time. No non-urgent messages of any kind will be sent between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. That might not be your company’s game plan, but you can set boundaries. “It has to be tailored for your workplace, but there has to be a discussion and agreement so that everybody’s on the same page about communication,” she says.  

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lmost 45 years from the day she wrote matric, Margaret Hirsch, who recently won the BWSA’s Business Woman of the Year, Entrepreneur category, was asked to address the school leavers of Russel High School. The girls were enthralled to hear how Margaret, aged 12, saw a pair of shoes she wanted and set out to buy them with a job washing hair on a Saturday morning and  earning 50c.  Needless to say, she bought those shoes and has not looked back since, Margaret Hirsch received a standing working hard for everything she has. This year the ovation after speaking at her Alma Mater, Hirsch’s the company that she co-founded with her Russel High. husband Allan, will turn over a billion rand. Margaret told the girls that there are two important days in ones life , the first is the day you are born and the second is when you find out why. The girls rose in thunderous applause when Margaret told them she was a Russel High girl, giving them hope to  know that she, with nothing more than a matric could succeed in life and the world was their oyster and that it was up to them to make the most of their life. Margaret concluded by saying that South Africa is a land of wealth and abundance and the youth of South Africa must get stuck in and work really hard to ensure we go from strength to strength. Hirsch PMB staff hosted a demonstration table exhibiting some of the amazing technology available at Hirschs, the girls could not stop talking about Margaret. “She is an awesome boss, hard but fair and has taught her workers some great “life lessons” and continues to grow her employees so that each and every one will be successful”, said PRO Victoria Laubscher

Laddsworth Guest speaker a Black Rhino conservationist

School’s out for summer, school’s out for… ever? Your sons and daughters are finished matric…so now what? The party ends, the dust settles and reality sets in. Usually one of four things happens. 1. They continue to study in the formal sense (university, technikon etc.); 2. they sit around the house in their underwear while watching television; 3. They get a job of some sorts, usually of the menial variety; 4. they attempt the traditional model of leaving home to travel Europe or pull pints in a UK pub. How you support them and the next move you make as a parent in supporting or guiding them can have long-lasting effects on your child’s future and overall happiness. The approach of our parents – get a job, do 40 years’ service, receive a gold watch and retirement – is no longer always an easy fit. Force a youngster into a collar and tie desk job and they will wear it like a ball and chain if they’re not suited to the office-style 9-5. As you’ve probably worked out by now, not everyone is designed to work their way through Excel spreadsheets and skinner around the water cooler. You’ve got to try and do what you love. Even the travel option is no longer so attractive due to the global economic downturn of the last few years. Economies across the EU are struggling and it’s harder and harder for young South Africans to take the kind of working gap years we used to assume as a right of passage. There’s an undeniable urge to leave the nest for many young school-leavers, but with the traditional options less attractive, trying something hands-on in your own home country – yet not at home – becomes an attractive alternative. If your kids are seeking a different kind of career and life path, then perhaps it’s time to consider Southern Africa’s finest bush skills academy. Bushwise’s 2013 field guiding courses kick off in January and July and could prove to be the launch pad for an exciting career in the bush for your child. And it’s worth bearing in mind that while most industries are struggling across the board both locally and across the world,

Cowan is House Proudly South African The Grade 5 boys and girls recently presented the research that they had done on a South African province to their teachers and parents at a Proudly South African Day. The children dressed according to the provinces culture, prepared the appropriate food and displayed artifacts from the area that they researched. Here is Ashley Low, Stuart Meiklejohn, Bokang Mafora and Andrew Voigts representing the North West.

Pictured at the recent prize giving ceremony of Laddsworth Primary School in Hilton are (left to right): Sally Kelly, Acting Principal, the Dux for 2012, Robyn Ducasse, guest speaker Pam Sherriffs, and Harry Shaw, Chairman of the School Governing Body. Sherriffs, a past pupil of Laddsworth, is a well-known journalist, author and environmentalist who works for the World Wildlife Fund’s Black Rhino Range Expansion Project. She told pupils that the project has established eight new populations of the endangered animals on 120 ha of land. It has moved 120 rhinos and 40 calves have been born in the new populations. This year Laddsworth had a special focus on raising funds for Rhino conservation. The Grade 5 pupils recently won R10 000 in the Liberty Midlands Mall’s “re*think: Save our Rhino” school art competition. The school donated R5 000 of this prize money to Rhino conservation. In 2013 Laddsworth will celebrate its 110th anniversary.

outdoors, working with animals, an aptitude for working with the environment and people, then steering them towards the kind of field guiding Bushwise can offer is a smart option. One of the best field guiding schools in the business, Bushwise’s course give aspirant Field Guides the necessary skills and FGASA (Field Guides Association of South Africa) accreditation for a career in the bush. Whether your son or daughter opts for the six-month or yearlong course, both of which provide theoretical and practical learnings delivered by qualified guides and environmentalists, the process will forge their raw enthusiasm for the environment and turn them into skilled, capable young field guides ready for employment. And if your kid is not a new matriculant, but has instead been out of school for a few years, tried the traveling thing and is at a loss for the future, Bushwise is still a good bet. In fact, with the industry having a minimum acceptance age of 21 for placements in reserves, perhaps your child’s two or three years of post-school wandering will work in their favour. But make no mistake, this is not a holiday camp. Bushwise is a fully accredited and run by seasoned industry professionals. From essential bush skills like 4x4 driving and rifle handling to bush knowledge (flora, fauna, animal behaviour and tracking etc) Bushwise’s field guide training also offers students exposure to dangerous game. While that may petrify parents, it will equip students with the kind of comprehensive preparation required for anyone looking for a career in a Big 5 game reserve. For the yearlong course students, Bushwise will find placements for them with partner lodges or research venues for the six-month section of the course that gives them the career headstart to their bush CV. Forget throwing your child to the critters of the concrete jungle and the global village and talk to them about a potential career in the South African bush. For more on Bushwise Field Guides and their courses, visit www.

Edition 123 December 2012

Page 8 The Official School Page GRACE COLLEGE 2013 HEADS OF SCHOOL wildlands young artist of the year

Edition 123 December 2012

Literary Lines

By Lesley Thomson. Cell: 072 649 6032. T/f: 033 330 4308.


The Wildlands Young Artist of the Year prizegiving was held at the Mandela Capture Site in the Midlands on Tuesday 20 November. This competition was available to all schools in KwaZulu-Natal. The winner was James Cook of Thomas More College, 2nd prize went to Ndomiso Dube of Alexandra High and Chris Ellis of Hilton College was awarded 3rd prize. Seen here with the prizewinners was artist and judge Zoe Mair and CEO of Wildlands Conservation Trust, Dr Andrew Venter. Pic: supplied

Grace College held their annual Final Prize Giving on Monday, 3 December 2012. The Heads of the School for 2013 were announced and we congratulate the following pupils on their election: Nicholas Merton (head boy), Dylan Molyneux (deputy head boy), Courtney Sharp (deputy head girl) and Chiara Ilett (head girl). “ We trust that your year of serving our School will be a great one.” Pictured from left to right: Mr. Sean Moore (Headmaster), Nicholas Merton (head boy), Dylan Molyneux (deputy head boy), Courtney Sharp (deputy head girl) and Chiara Ilett (head girl).

Title: “United in different directions” by James Cooke he sculpture tells the of Thomas More in Kloof, KZN

college boys earn scholarships

Earlier this term, three Maritzburg College learners were awarded scholarships to the tuition value of R20 000 each for the 2013 academic year through the University of KwaZulu-Natal, UKZN. We are pleased to report that a further two Maritzburg College learners have been awarded scholarships to the tuition value of R20 000 from UKZN. The selection is based on academic excellence in at least six academic subjects excluding Life Orientation, Mathematics Literacy and Mathematics Paper 3. Vijay Ramballie of the Student Recruitment and Schools Liaison team for Corporate Relations at UKZN presented the scholarship vouchers to the recipients at Maritzburg College. PHOTO: Left to right: Mr Keith Guise-Brown (Acting Headmaster of Maritzburg College), Matthew Nixon, Siyanda Zondi and Vijay Ramballie.

twc helps singakwenza

Seen holding a few of the Teaching Aids created are left to right :  Frances Martin, Kuhle Ngubo, Jessica Bompas, Thanushri Padayachi

Gbyardeners ' notes Chris Koch 0827877473

DWe’ve had very little sun this summer but in our business we NEVER complain ear Fellow Gardeners

about the rain because I have been through a few droughts in my life.


story of our country’s transition from apartheid to our present day democracy. When looked at in layers, the hands at the base represent the oppression that took place during apartheid. The hands are compressed and they look trodden on. The middle layer represents the struggle for freedom: the hands are strained and violent. The hands towards the top of the sculpture represent freedom and democracy. The hands in the sculpture are old at the bottom and get progressively younger as they get closer to the top. This shows how the older Africans were discriminated against and how their fight for freedom created the democratic country that the youth of today are currently enjoying. I aim to cause the viewers to abandon their complacent way of viewing the new South Africa. When they look deeper they will see there is more than meets the eye. When a light is shone on the sculpture it creates the shadow of a black and white man leaning against each other but looking in opposite directions. This shows that the different groups of people are now united as South Africans; however, we could improve our future by looking in the same direction.

Dear Alistair, I feel like I may be a bit of a paranoid parent but with almost weekly stories in the media of individuals sexually abusing children and/or teenagers I want to make sure that my two young children never suffer this fate. They are both under five years of age. What can I tell them to ensure that they never fall victim to sexual predators?


irstly, I don’t think that your concern is at all paranoid. On the contrary, I think that you are being very wise in asking this question. The answer is not about a once-off chat with your children, however. Rather, the safety of your children requires that you chat with them about their bodies and uncomfortable situations on a regular basis. I believe that for young children, such as yours, it is very useful to introduce them early on to the concept of “good touch, bad touch” and to have similar such conversations as and when opportunities arise. This allows them to have both the words and the confidence to talk to you if they experience a bad touch. If someone with ill intent should approach one of your children you want them to be prepared, to know that they can say “no”, and that they should immediately come and talk to you about it. The truth is that if you do not talk to your two children about it first, then you leave them open to sexual abuse and/or manipulation by a perpetrator.  To start with, you need to define the terms “good touch” and “bad touch” for your children. Ask them to tell you what sort of touches they enjoy; good touches are touches that you like, touches that you feel comfortable with and that make you happy, like a hug from mum (or dad) and the other people that you love. You might say something like “bad touches are touches that make you feel uncomfortable or sad. They are touches you don’t want. Sometimes people try to touch you in your private parts or ask you to touch their private body parts. These are bad touches.”  As you can tell, you will also need to discuss what parts of the body are private. You can ask whether they know what parts of their bodies are private, and ensure that they understand that no-one is allowed to touch you in a private area unless it is to keep you clean or healthy (as when being examined by a doctor, for example). Always make sure that your children know exactly what they should do if someone tries to touch them and who they must tell.  Children as young as four years old can begin to understand the concept of good touch, bad touch, and much younger children can understand that parts of their bodies are private. And like other important discussions, this one may be rather awkward for you at first. Google “Good Touch, Bad Touch” for some helpful hints and resources and some examples to go through with your children.

Left: Singakwenza’s Early Childhood Development Programme focuses on teaching children through play and utilizing recyclable materials to ensure sustainable resources in economically disadvantaged communities of KwaZulu Natal. The Grade 5 learners from The Wykeham Collegiate have made teaching aids that cover themes like: Transport, Farm Animals, Weather, Body Parts, Numbers and Colours (to name a few) for a small facility called Mickey Mouse Day Care Centre in Mpophomeni, which falls under the auspices of the Singakwenza Programme. They also collected toys for this Day Care Centre. The girls thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of creating teaching materials. Julie Hay, founder and Director at Singakwenza, is acknowledged for all her help.

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There are a variety of colour available from your local nurseries to give instant colour. We have available Dark pink Gaura, Pink Gaura, White Gaura, Daisy bushes, Daylillies, Perennial Petunia, Osteospernum, Salvia, Geraniums, etc. In the shady areas plant New Guinea Impatiens, they come in a vast range of colours. As a border you can plant the old favourite Lobelia which also comes in different colours from white to lilac to very dark blue. If you want a real Christmas tree you have to buy early to avoid being disappointed. The most important thing to remember when buying your tree is that they are outdoor plants, so do not rush to put your tree indoors for too long. Another important fact is that they need to be watered daily, also spray the tree on a daily basis with a soft spray of water. Keep the tree in a shady place before you move it indoors. The chances are good, if you follow these tips that your tree will survive and you may not need to buy another Christmas tree the following year. In the event of you going away this festive season, please ask someone to water your garden and pot plants regularly. There is nothing worse than to come back home to find your plants all shrivelled up or dead. With Christmas approaching, try to give a living gift this season; it has more value than most of the junk that we import from the East. Most garden centres will have beautiful red Poinsettias in stock, a must for your Christmas table. Also remember that there are so many lonely people in our society; please be kind and considerate because there is always someone less fortunate then ourselves. Have a blessed Christmas and a prosperous new year. God Bless. Chris, Lesley, Jacky and Albert Midlands Garden Centres Group Phone: 033 267 5025


ne of the nice things about the Festive Season is choosing gifts for those you love and friends, showing appreciation to people that have helped or inspired you during the year, thanking work colleagues – and even spoiling yourself! There are so many wonderful books available to choose from for all ages and interests. People say the Kindle is taking over, maybe with certain people, especially those that travel a great deal, but the big international publishers still believe in books, and are publishing so many wonderful ones. We are fortunate in the Midlands to have many talented authors, and it is always a great pleasure to read and review their books. MY DARGLE, by Brian Griffin was launched at Tanglewood, that lovely historical hotel in the Dargle, immediately followed by a book signing at The Lazy Lizard in Howick as recently as the 1st December. Judging by the pre-publication interest shown, MY DARGLE, which tells of the people who pioneered the Dargle, and the many people who live there, it is going to be a very popular choice for a Christmas gift. Ina Peek, of Howick, with her book ONLY GOD CAN: From Desolation to Restoration, tells of her journey battling breast cancer. This is a book that will inspire and comfort many people, especially those who have to experience the same traumas or who know friends that are. Ian Player, with the help of the indomitable Jenne Rennie, has published the third in his Wilderness series. Following on from Reflections of a Wilderness, and Along a Wilderness Path, the latest PEOPLE AND WILDERNESS, is bound to be a great success. All three books are available - packed together they make a nice and affordable gift, or they can be bought singularly. Some really informative and pictorially attractive guide books have hit the shelves for the holiday season. DIVING AND SPEARFISHING IN SOUTH AFRICA, CAMP AND CARAVAN, the latest NATIONAL PARKS AND NATURE RESERVES by Chris and Mathilde Stuart, THE OUTDOOR SURVIVAL BIBLE and MTB TRIALS naming just a few. The Lazy Lizard is raffling a copy of the new release RIDING THE DRAGON’S SPINE: Beit Bridge to Cape Town by David Bristow and Steve Thomas in aid of funds for FREEME WILDLIFE REHABILITATION CENTRE in Howick. Valued at R220.00 this book tells of the “ultimate” mountain bike tour across South Africa. We wish you all a truly peaceful, happy and blessed Festive Season and look forward to joining you for an exciting year in 2013! Lesley Thomson

W h i t e Mulberry, Morus alba, often called Silkworm M u l b e r r y, is native to China and has a long and exciting history. This deciduous tree can grow to over 20 m in cultivation, with glossy light green leaves that are fed to silkworms, and wood used to make musical instruments and cabinets. The small, greenish flowers hang on short, hanging catkins that transform into a berry-like fruit varying in colour, from white, lavender or reddish black. The tree made possible the first trade route to link the West with the mysterious East, with the “Silk Road,” 8000km of a meandering collection of tracks that brought the most luxurious and expensive of commodities to Europe, silk.  The Chinese custom, noe than 4 000 years ago, was to plant the white mulberry tree, and start harvesting the leaves after it was 5 years old, to feed to silkworms.  After 35 days the silkworm would spin its cocoon, from which the silk ‘thread’ was taken. Silk as well as tea, paper, spices and ceramics was traded in Europe, bringing back grapes, glass, incense and lucerne. Over time the secret of making silk, and the plant needed to nourish the worms, were smuggled into Persia and Greece, where the island of Sicily became the hub of silk making The Chinese had also discovered the medicinal benefits of the mulberry tree. In “The Compendium of Materia Medica” (late 1500’s) leaves were recommended for the treatment of coughs, yellow phlegm, obesity and diabetes. Ancient Indian Ayurvedic texts also recommended leaf tea for treating colds and promoting sweating. The Roman poet Horace praised the fruit as a secret to long life. Containing calcium, vitamins A, B1, B2 and amino acids white mulberry is considered to be antibacterial, astringent, diaphoretic, hypoglycaemic, odontalgic, and ophthalmic. Its leaves are usually used in treatments of colds, sore throats, flu, eye infections and nosebleeds. Recent researches in Japan showed that leaves contain substances that inhibit intestinal enzymes from passing sugar into the bloodstream and could inhibit the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol, and reduce the concentration of the arterial plaque. The stem is beneficial in cases of rheumatic pains, spasms and high blood pressure. A tincture made from the bark relieves toothache and the fruit is used in the treatment of urinary incontinence, diabetes, dizziness, tinnitus and hypertension. It is also a mild laxative and can be applied in cases of constipation. Jams, jellies and syrups are also made with the fruit, so when next you need to feed a shoebox aving my parents happy and safe at full of worms, just Christmas is the real gift! That’s why think of the other we chose Amberglen Care Centre. wonderful benefits of l al u yo this tree and the long g in h is W is th s es journey it has made to n pi ap h d love, joy an as season get to your garden. Christm Wishing you a great Festive Season, Until next year, Call our Care Centre Manager, Claire Robertson on 033 239 4150 Yours in herbs, Diane to find out how you can get your elderly Aldworth.


parents the compassion and care that they deserve. Amberglen Care Centre forms part of the Amberglen Retirement Village, Howick. The Garden Centres in the Country Rosetta and Winterton 033 267 5025 and 036 488 1167

Christmas Trees Available From 16Th Dec. MERRY CHRISTMAS And A HAPPY nEW YEAR.

Thank you for your valued support. From Chris, Lesley, Jacky and Albert @ Midlands Garden Centre

Rosetta - 033 2675025 Winterton – 036 4881161 We are Proud of our Garden Centre & Personal Service to Customers.

Support local! It is the right thing to do!

Care Centre

Reg.No. 10/2/3/1/26/7

Page 6


Edition 123 December 2012

Edition 123 December 2012

K arkloof F armers ’ M arket Carols by Candlelight


Christmas @ Piggly Wiggly Country Village 21 - 22 December 5pm - 9pm Book a gift for your child (R30)* & let Santa deliver it for you by carriage (you could win a dinner for 4).

Friday 21 st

Cakes, coffee, small menu from coffee shop, snacks, picnic baskets, cheese and wine, pizzas... background live music, 9-hole crazy golf,


he Karkloof Farmers’ Market will be holding Carols by Candlelight on Tuesday Evening 11 December. The Market is open from 17h3021h00 so come early to enjoy a meal from a variety of stalls and then come and sing along. The carols take place from 19h00-20h00. The evening is designed to be fun for the whole family with a sing along to some traditional carols so bring your picnic blanket and your best singing voice. The cost for the evening is R10 for adults and R5 for children, proceeds go to charity. This year we are supporting Ndabezinhle crèche. Ndabezinhle started in 2004 at the top of the Sweetwaters Valley in the area known as Imbutshane. The surrounding community is very poverty stricken and the crèche seeks to provide early childhood development and care to some 30 + children aged 2-4, most of whose parents are still in school. We look forward to seeing you there.

Saturday 22nd

Santa on a horse & carriage, FREE carriage rides, carols by candlelight, prepacked gifts for the kids, choir, 9-hole crazy golf, shopping...

Take your pick!

Sherwood Country Lifestyle Centre


estled in the heart of Notties Village, we urge you to seek out and explore the beautiful Sherwood Country Lifestyle Centre. For an extensive country shopping experience meander amongst our eclectic mix of shops ranging from Antiques to Perfect Petals, Greenfields Butchery and Bartho’s Fish, apparel for the family supplied by the Outsider and e-1-Zee. Browse the beautiful bed linen from Lime and Roses or hand crafted gifts from Absolutely Africa, or be pampered and Revived at the beauty salon next door to Stationery-4-U. You can even find that special piece of real estate that is waiting for you in the Midlands by visiting the renowned Johnson Property Group. To tickle the taste buds a visit to the Calligraphy Café, Maggie’s or our new Thai Meeup Restaurant should excite you! This tranquil place nurtures a creative spirit and is of course home to the Victoria Rose Art Gallery and Studio! The Gallery houses the work of the KZN Artist’s Guild and is well worth visiting to experience the best of our local artists. The Studio has been host to events of all kinds, from food demonstrations to exhibitions and full art workshops. This Lifestyle Centre of course lends its beautiful lawns to the emerging Sherwood Country Market which is held on the last Saturday of every month, its primary goal to promote

Take your pick! Take your pick!

or Email:



COUNTRY MARKET – GRANT – 084 760 1692 / SHERWOOD CENTRE – LYNN – 082 337 2307. Pics: Peter Wickham

Elephant on the R103. Take the kids to the little animal farm while you browse through Lynn’s and Zara’s shop too. rest awhile at the Four Friends Coffee shop – all in one quiet spot. A plethora of gifts at Free Range, at Piggly Wiggly Village – clothing and some decor items .

Pics: Karen Edwards

FINE FURNITURE Custom Furniture, Custom Kitchens, Decor Accessories & Gifts

a high standard of hand craft and allow both the community and crafter to benefit from the experience. Breakfasts and live music help create that warm buzz! It is well worth getting onto the mailing list and following the activities that will come your way to delight and entertain both your mind and soul! We recommend you take the time to visit this little gem for yourself!Well sign-posted on the R103, find us – we can’t wait to delight you!

Need that something special for someone special – Barbara McGrath’s hand blown beads at the Patchwood

Want Hares and Graces – find these lovelies , (among others), at Country Courtyard in Nottingham Road, or Sue Tarr’s Summerhouse in Hilton. Irresistable!

*Book/purchase your gifts at Piggly Wiggly Coffee Shop by 18 December Phone: 033 234 2911

Fancy That

Shop 11, Piggly Wiggly Country Village Tel: 033 330 3852

Berncliffe : 94 Main Street, Howick

Tel: 033 330 3852 Cell: 082 674 1643 (closed Saturdays)

Celebrate Country Courtyard Christmas

LOADS OF LOVELY, AFFORDABLE, LOCAL GIFTS AND GOODIES - COME AND BROWSE AT YOUR LEISURE IN OUR COUNTRY COURTYARD! Country Company and Rugz ‘n Thingz will be OPEN on Tuesday 18th Dec, Wednesday 26th Dec and Tuesday 8th Jan. company

(Cafe Bloom will be RESTING on these dates)



Come and try our Delicious homemade Christmas cakes, mince pies and butter shortbread. Large selection of Midlands produce, ideal for Christmas presents. 74 Main Street Howick

Ph:033 3304556

Eileen’s Fruit cake

Ingredients: 6 cups of fruit mix; ½ cup of golden syrup 2 cups dark brown sugar; 2 tsp mixed spice 2 cups boiling water.


Boil above ingredients together for 5 minutes; cool for 45 minutes Add to eggs and mix

Tel: 033 266 6359 PRE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING EXTRAVAGANZA Nottingham Rd Village, Off Old Main Rd (R103), next to police station

Countr y Cour tyard will be CLOSED on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Rugz ‘n Thingz


4 cups of flour ; 3 tsp bicarb; ¼ tsp salt. Mix into fruit mixture. Bake at 160 for 2 hours in 7”tray or 90in loaf tins (Thanks to Carly Venter from the Grapevine for this recipe)

NOTTING HAM Contact Sharon: 074 584 1504

CAFÉ BLOOM CAFÉ BLOOM CAFÉ BLOOM Ph: 033 2666 118 Home crafted food!

The Meander Chronicle December Edition  

Hardcopy December Edition

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