4 May 2012

Hello again Napier

The Soapbox
The 30 March Napier Natter "Soapbox" raised the issue of the proposed housing plan for Napier and the Overberg region. Patrick Seeton of the Napier Residents Association has responded as follows:

Statement by the Napier Residents Association (NRA)
The Napier Natter of 30 March certainly created a stir and now that it (the egg laid) has emerged from its "incubation" period the thrust of that "Soapbox" article deserves addressing.

Remember the lead article carried the ominous threat of 600 low cost homes on the Napier horizon. The information had been gleaned from a document titled "Cape Agulhas Municipality Human Settlement Plan 2012 - 2017".

I want to be brief.
We, presently at the helm of the Napier Residents Association, have studied the situation closely and find there is NO; we repeat NO, immediate threat of 600 low cost homes being built within our near to medium term future.

Bear with me and will explain why I say this.
Firstly, the small print on the document carries a footnote on each of its pages "CAM Human Settlement Plan draft 1 2012". Draft meaning, "first or preliminary form of any writing, subject to revision ... "
Secondly, any "human settlement plan" would be subordinate to this region's Spatial Development Plan also still being formulated.
Thirdly, and now I refer to the minutes of a Council (CAM) meeting held as recently as 24 April 2012, Pages 41 to 45, Item 16.4. This is headed (translated from Afrikaans): "Re-submission - Housing development: Determination/ fixing of priority areas (all wards)".

It was noted (by the council) that the Napier project of 250 low cost houses was rapidly concluding. The new financial year will see roads being tarred in the said area. Napier is not mentioned again in respect of this entire item, all attention focused on other towns within CAM, mainly Bredasdorp, Arniston/Waenhuiskrans and Struisbaai North.

Finally, we submit there are other facets of the housing question that need to be addressed, not the least of these matters is the local economy, the lack of jobs, the inability of Napier being able to sustain any expansion of the kind mooted in the Napier Natter article.

In addressing this to your respected publication we wish to assure you that we on the executive committee of the Napier Residents Association seriously make an effort individually, jointly and severally to keep abreast of developments within our village. We call upon all to help us in this task. Become a member of the NRA, help us to monitor problem areas. Be part of the solution. Now, where have I heard that before? That's 392 words, thank-you for listening.
Patrick Seaton

In the last paragraph, Patrick makes a very valid point regarding membership of the NRA - it is our duty as residents of Napier to be members of this association so as to foster openness and transparency in any decision making regarding our village. We hope the NRA will continue to use the Natter as a means of communicating with residents of the town so to ensure we are all kept up to date with matters and decisions that affect us all. Once again, thank you to the Napier Residents Association for the sterling work they do on behalf of us all.

The Napier Resident's Association (NRA)
The Napier Resident's Association (NRA) Executive committee has met and portfolios have been allocated. Details of the portfolios and matters the NRA is active with can be found on the website http://www.theoverberg.com/ under the heading "Overberg News" there is a dropdown menu with a "Napier Resident's Association" section - details are listed there. The NRA has also started a Facebook Page and those interested are invited to go to http://www.facebook.com/NapierResidentsAssociationnra and "LIKE" the page so that they receive any updates automatically.

The Committee hereby urges ANY Napier Resident to join the NRA in order to swell the numbers - this makes our voice much more significant and helps us to ensure Napier's interests and those of the residents receive prominence. Membership forms are available online or may be collected from LINDY WARREN at Napier Media House (next to Idalie's Kitchen) on the main road. Queries, concerns or in fact ANY matters for the Napier Resident's Committee can be sent to napier.residents@gmail.com or can be left with Lindy at Napier Media House or with any committee member.
Rob Harris (Secretary)

Heritage or hassle?
Why do we have a heritage committee in Napier? Is it there simply to make our lives difficult and to cause as much obstruction in our efforts to build as possible? Frank De Villiers of the Heritage Committee has agreed to do a few articles for the Natter on the subject. Herewith the first.

Now and Then
"One's memory of a physical place is a complex emotional and intellectual phenomenon, depending, as it does, on affect as well as on contextual appropriateness, human function, and constructive logic......"

A somewhat professorial edict which may give clue as why we are at a place we are at. (go figure that for yourself). And so, we find ourselves ending up in Napier, an escape from the madding crowd, the common herd, the restless suburban schlockscape, to horizons new, a breath of fresh country air...wide pastures where sheep may safely graze, friendly neighbours, just like us.

" We used our last cent to buy a little 1870's cottage with plans to renovate/alter to suit our needs. And when we submitted plans they threw them back at us, demanding all sorts of silly unreasonable rubbish to get the plans approved, "They" being the heritage committee. They wouldn't let us have the dormer windows, we were not allowed to demolish the Dutch oven and the plate-glass windows were verboten. I mean really, the house is dark, cold, primitive, mud bricks and reed ceilings and all, practically falling to bits. And you should see the so-called bathroom. Who do they think they are?"

Yes, the Cape Agulhas Heritage Committee, the valiant and brave defenders of all things old and beautiful, (and unbeautiful), gets to hear this, now and then.

The said committee comprises two architects, a town planner, senior building inspector and a professor (ex chairman of the Shipwreck museum). The committee's work covers the whole of the Cape Agulhas region (yes, also Elim, but they have their own funny rules).

The committee is concerned with the safeguarding of structures of historical importance and unimportance, which include buildings, monuments, plaques, boundary walls, pavings, leiwater channels, wagon trails, and, of equal note, open places of historical significance and natural elements. The latter might be a place of outdoor meeting or worship, burial sites, graveyards, fish traps, middens, trees (e.g. Post Office Tree), et al. Of course, places declared as national monuments obviously fall under the aegis of the National Monuments Commission.

The most common concern for the local committee is the preservation of structures and their precincts older than 60 years, and ensuring that new structures within a designated heritage zone are in sympathy with the old.

For Napier, this designated zone includes the main corridor through Napier, Sarel Cilliers street, the "shop window" of Napier. The remaining area covers the older part of the village above Sarel Cilliers Street and below the "new" school.

Many historical elements in the Agulhas region, and in Napier particularly, may not be regarded as being of special historical importance, but, collectively, they do create a significant historical environment, worthy of preservation. For instance, a short walk around Napier would reveal a series of 'Nagmaal huisies', early and late 19th century Cape cottages, early and late Victorian houses, Edwardian and 1st World War corrugated styles, through to early to late mid 20th century suburban specials.

It is interesting to note fusions of these styles, and to witness, as Dr Hans Fransen states in one of his books on Cape Dutch architecture, the further one gets away from the formal historical styles of Cape Town, the more simple and more creative variations of these styles one sees.

Next time, we continue with some exciting issues, dilemmas, ironies, battles, threats, evasions... the very stuff of life.

A Collage of Love Songs
Huis klippe Drift bied 'n musiekaand aan deur Qahal Musiek. A Collage of Love Songs.

The musicians are: Soprano Charlene Martin, tenor Arthur Applby, Baritone Johann Nefdt and Piano Liesbeth Moller.

26 Mei 2012 at 19h00 - R25.00 p.p koppie sop ingesluit

Good marketing
As part of the Patatfees weekend a "Napier Market" will be held on Friday 15th June on the lawns of the Agri from 12 - 3pm. Stalls will be free of charge to vendors. "We would like to make this festive and fun with hopefully a muso or two and to have a wide range of goods on offer - local fresh produce, homemade goods, clothing, books, bric-a-brac, food stalls, contents of car boots, etc etc. We are having large banners made so the market will be well signposted for non-locals visiting for the weekend."

Anyone interested in booking a spot for their stall or wanting further information, please telephone Jane on 082 4255474.

What's happening in Napier this weekend?
Valiant Swart will be performing at Suntouched Inn this evening (Friday 4 May) at 8.30pm. R70 per person entrance.
• Join Rose and Gunner for a farewell glass of wine Saturday 5 May @ 7pm. Lulu le Roux will be performing. Kitchen will be open until 9pm. New opening hours: Tues to Sat 9h00-21h00 Sundays 8h30-15h00.

Invitation to Dream for Napier - Napier Health and Welfare Committee
Like most residents of our village, we dream of a better future for all. We are dreaming of an environmentally, economically and socially resilient village. We invite you to create this Dream for Napier with us. This idea has been brewing for some time in our organisation and we know there are others with similar dreams. This is not about what others must do for us, but we can do for ourselves. We already had conversations with the ward committee and some groups in the village. It will be a long process and we are taking it step by step.

On Saturday 12 May 2012 we meet in Club Emmanuel at 14:30. We will focus on needs and what I / we can do. Because the subject is so wide, we will focus this meeting on the youth, especially on the youth and sport and young mothers. If you feel passionate about our future, or if you feel you want to make a difference, please join us.

Confirm your attendance with Elaine Hodgson (082 638 2041 or lorimer@mweb.co.za) or Marie (Eva) October (0724651049). Club Emmanuel is in Volhou Street, behind Kammaland Preschool (the building with the colourful stripes).

Mathilda Roos - Chairperson /0823019041 / mathildaroos@gmail.com

Restaurant Hibernation
Please note that Pascal's of Napier will be closed from 14 May until the 28 May for a well deserved break. New winter menu will be availbale when they re-open on the 29th of May.

Marah Update
the Marah project...........supplying gift boxes to older people at Christmas time

Please, the project is still in need of shoe boxes and also small gifts suitable for people over the age of 75 with which to fill the boxes. Specially gifts for the men folk. Anyone is most welcome to donate a filled gift box to the project. Maybe a group who meet regularly could club together and donate a gift box.
Sincere thanks to those folk who have already supported the project.
Jenny - 028 423 3439 email: eieio@whalemail.co.za

This day in history (4 May)
1256 - The Augustinian monastic order is constituted
1493 - Spanish Pope Alexander VI divides America between Spain & Portugal
1494 - Christopher Columbus lands in Jamaica
1715 - French manufacturer debuts 1st folding umbrella (Paris)
1843 - Great-Britain annexes Natal
1878 - Phonograph shown for 1st time at Grand Opera House
1904 - Construction begins by the United States on the Panama Canal
1923 - NY state revokes Prohibition law
1932 - Al Capone, convict of income tax evasion, enters Atlanta Penitentiary
1953 - Pulitzer prize awarded to Ernest Hemingway (Old Man & The Sea)
1959 - 1st Grammy Awards: Perry Como & Ella Fitzgerald win
1979 - Margaret Thatcher elected prime minister of England
2007 - The Scottish National Party wins the Scottish general election and becomes the largest party in the Scottish Parliament for the first time ever.

Quotable quotes
  • A fool flatters himself, a wise man flatters the fool - Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
  • A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination - Nelson Mandela
  • Cleverness is not wisdom - Euripides
  • Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Last Laugh
"If your parents never had children, chances are you won't either." - Dick Cavett

"I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific." - Lily Tomlin

"The Swiss have an interesting army. Five hundred years without a war. Pretty impressive. Also pretty lucky for them. Ever see that little Swiss Army knife they have to fight with? Not much of a weapon there. Corkscrews. Bottle openers. 'Come on, buddy, let's go. You get past me, the guy in back of me, he's got a spoon. Back off. I've got the toe clippers right here.'" - Jerry Seinfeld

Any upcoming events or issue’s the village should be aware of?
Please let the Napier Natter have the details for inclusion in the next edition. info@napier.co.za

Until next time
Mark

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