14 January 2012

Hello Napier

The Soapbox
It’s almost two years that I have been living in Napier – two years that have gone by so quickly that at times it feels more like two months! In these two years there have been a lot of changes in the village, especially along the main road. Many of the businesses have really tried to beautify their surrounding spaces resulting in a pleasing experience for those travelers who linger in our village even though this may not be their final destination. There are now more things to do, prettier things to look at and sample. Just 18 months ago 1944 in Sarel Cilliers Street was a derelict spot where many a ‘bergie’ or inebriated local hung out, often using the oak tree as public toilet. This has all changed and a feather in the cap of the Riek clan for turning this whole area around and creating something worthwhile stopping for. Of course they directly benefit from this in that it helps them sell their wares – which then also allows them to give back to the community. They have organized art auctions to raise money for tree planting, for local charities and more. Thanks guys, you have helped make Napier a better, nicer, prettier place. Now, in case you think the Rieks are paying me to punt their business, let me highlight some other places that have also recently popped up and helped make Napier a more attractive place to stop a while. We have Monique’s “My Skat”, Martie Daneel’s “Pink Tree’, Simone’s Restaurant. All of this means we have more visitors walking up and down ‘the strip” – many of whom spend money that will end up in the local economy. (and let’s hope the local community are also supporting these businesses). Right – so let’s get to the point - I mention at the top of this editorial that many businesses have tried hard to beautify their surrounds (‘some have tried and failed miserably and ended up looking more like a junk heap” was the comment of at least one commentator – but I’ll keep the details to myself so as not to offend anyone if you don’t mind). The point is, there are many places that are still in desperate need of tender loving care, that often negate the sprucing up that others around them attempt. For instance - can somebody sponsor some (lots of) Polyfiller and a coat of paint or two for Wilmahof? Can something be done about the old JB’s building that becomes more derelict by the day? Many Napier businesses – from what I am told - have been fortunate to have shown a healthy growth over the last season and we all hope this trend continues. One of the reasons for this is that Napier is becoming more and more attractive a town – either as a stop off for lunch or dinner – or for a little shopping and browsing. Let’s work together to keep improving - and lean heavily on those people who don’t or won’t bring their side.

Many talked the talked, but few walked the walk
Well, after the big Hoo Ha and “March on Crime” by many Naperians, things seem to have fizzled out a little. There was brave talk of community neighborhood watches, more support for the police, keeping kids off the street and practically everyone had an opinion of sorts – so much so that the last meeting at the Grobbelaars Hall had to eventually be cut short. And now – where do we stand now?
Odette writes: “I had to spend some time at the police station this morning and chatted with Captain January. He informed me that sadly, despite the large number of people that attended the two meetings that were held to discuss the formation of a Neighborhood Watch in our community, only 7 people filled in the forms to indicate that they would be willing to contribute to the neighborhood watch. Myself and a friend each filled in a form today, making that a total of 9 (unfortunately I had prior work commitments at the time of these meetings and was unable to attend them)."

The next meeting has been scheduled for the 26 th January (Thursday) at 5pm at the Grobblersaal.

It is hoped this next meeting will enable more new people to attend, as well as for every person who is able to do so, to commit to the neighborhood watch. The more people there are, the less work there will be for everyone. And, truthfully, why should a small minority of the community carry the can for the entire community? We are ALL responsible and we should ALL show a genuine commitment to this. Please, residents of Napier, let us stop complaining about the levels of crime in our special village and take the bull by the horns and do something about it. The police have been incredibly supportive and they are asking for our help in being the eyes and ears on the ground to assist them with doing their jobs effectively and have been incredibly supportive - they are asking for our help in being the eyes and ears on the ground to assist them with doing their jobs effectively.

Media House Update
Lindy from Napier Media House has the following feedback for Natter readers:

The new Napier Map is now available at Napier Media House. 200 copies have been printed and make for delightful gifts or place mats.

SAARP Napier kicks off with a meeting of the new committee in January 2012.
Some 20 Napier residents have already applied for membership and forms are available at Napier Media House. First meeting is scheduled for February and outings to follow.

On a short string
Nathalie Lonsdale is looking for a guitar teacher in Napier. She says “I'm a beginner with my own guitar and knowledge of the basic chords. I'm looking for the right teacher to help me utilize this knowledge. Interested? Please call Natalie on 082 708 0172 if you're up for the challenge ;)

On a sad note.
Many of us had become accustomed to the sight of Idris walking down Sarel Cilliers on his way to some meeting or event. Well sadly no more. Idris Jones of Vine Cottage in Hoog Street, died in Worcester on 6th January after an illness of only a few days. Idris was born in Cape Town on 27th October 1938. He was proud of his Welsh ancestry and name. He was educated at St George’s Grammar School where his promising singing voice and musicality enabled him to receive a scholarship up to his Matriculation. He served in the Cathedral Choir all his youth and thereafter as an adult tenor in this and other choirs such as the Philharmonia Choir and St George’s Singers. In 1983 he performed in PACT’s productions of Verdi’s Requiem and Il Trovatore. His love of classical music and especially baroque, church music and opera, was matched by his interest in church history, liturgy and the ministry of healing. Idris considered himself a mystic, a psychic and a healer. He was equally at home in the Buddhist Nan Hua Temple in Bronkhorstspruit, the Catholic church, his own Anglican church or the NG Kerk in Napier, where he lately received his spiritual sustenance. He was a student of the works of Ernest Holmes and Mary Baker Eddy. Idris was a colourful character, with flaws as we all have. He passed away in an ambulance helicopter as it flew over the mountains that he loved so much. He is mourned by his sister, Lynn, his nieces and his friends, especially Gordon.


Abandoned 8 week old kittens desperately need a good home – or homes

1 x Calico and 1 Tortoiseshell, both females
1 ginger male.
If you can find it in your heart to give one or more of these kittens a good home, please phone Maria on 028 423 3424 or 072 731 4315

Quotable quotes
  • We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. - Winston Churchill
  • I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. - Stephen Grellet

This day in history (15 January)
1535 - Henry VIII declares himself head of English Church
1559 - England's Queen Elizabeth I (Elizabeth Tudor) was crowned in Westminster Abbey.
1797 - 1st top hat worn (John Etherington of London)
1895 - Tchaikovsky's ballet "Swan Lake" premieres, St Petersburg
1913 - The first telephone line between Berlin and New York was inaugurated.
1961 - Supremes signed with Motown Records
1971 - Aswan Dam official opens in Egypt
1975 - Portugal signs accord for Angola's independence
1984 - Hana Mandlikova ends Martina Navratilova's 54-match winning streak

The Last Laugh
A magician was driving down the road... then he turned into a drive way...

What do you call a fish with no eyes?
A fsh

Two snowmen are standing in a field. One says to the other : "Funny, I smell carrots too".

The fight we had last night was my fault, my wife asked me what was on the TV and I said dust.

Just a reminder – we can only keep the Natter going as long as I receive information and material from you, the reader. Please send me anything you think may be of interest to most Naperians (but please keep it quite short) and we will look at the possibility of putting into a future Natter!
Mark

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