26 July 2012
Today our “Napier Natter” banner reflects
what we are soon to experience. The skies are crystal
clear, the wheat is getting taller, the canola is
on the brink of bursting into full bloom, and soon
the Overberg will be dressed in glorious colour.
It’s almost enough to make one forget the cold!
The letter from Madeline and Julian Reed regarding
the protection of wildlife in the Napier area, and
the impact our pets sometimes have on this wildlife,
elicited a good response from the Natter readers.
In the same vein, I would like to highlight the issue
of the Gymnogene’s – or Harrier Hawks
as they are now known (Kaalwangvalk in Afrikaans)
that have made this area their home.
It seems as if not everyone is happy about this and
claims are being made that they are being shot by
local inhabitants. Although they are not an endangered
species, the shooting of these birds, as with most
wildlife, is prohibited. All raptors are protected
by law, i.e. they may not be disturbed, or killed.
Shooting of a raptor is allowed only when a permit
has been issued, and this happens very rarely. Eddie
Kisane was telling me that a pair of Gymnogene’s
made a nest high up in the tree close to his home
and he could see 3 chicks in the nest. Then one day
the mother simple disappeared and the three chicks
were left to starve to death – they were far
too high up in the tree to rescue. It is likely the
mother was shot and killed. Raptors, like the Gymnogene,
feed on birds and small mammals and they do go for
small chickens which is often why they are targeted
and shot – but this is the way of Nature and
if folks care properly for their chickens, losses
can be minimized. This bird serves an important purpose
in that it helps control the population of the “bosduiwe”
as well as the common starlings.
Many people enjoy hunting and shooting raptors for
sport, often justified by the belief that these birds
kill livestock. In fact, very few birds of prey are
large enough to injure an animal as large as a lamb,
let alone kill it. Most often the stock is killed
by some other cause and a raptor may fly in to eat
the carrion. There are very few eye-witness accounts
of raptors killing domestic stock. When this does
occur, it is often a result of unnatural destruction
of the local food source, thus forcing the bird to
Adult raptors have few predators apart from man and
may live for 20 to 30 years. In common with other
long-lived species, raptors have a slow breeding rate
and a high mortality among young birds. Approximately
one-quarter of raptors survive their first year, and
only half of these will reach maturity and raise their
own young. When adult survival drops as a result of
poisoning and hunting, the population of the affected
species will be drastically reduced.
Should you have any first hand information on anyone
killing these or any wild raptors, please let the
local conservation officials know so steps can be
In response to “Shining a light on the community”
(Napier Natter 6 Jul 2012)
Ove Scheuble writes:
“About the illumination of the clock faces
in the steeple. Let me clarify something. The article
in the latest Natter states It is worthwhile noting
that the clock is linked to the local electricity
grid and when there is a power outage the clock stops.
That in turn is linked to the lights and so if the
clock time is way out, the lights will switch on and
off at odd hours.
It is merely the timer of the lights (and the lights
themselves) that are linked to the electricity supply.
So in the past when the power supply was interrupted
the timer reset itself and the lights came on at inappropriate
times. Good news that JC Barry fixed that up. The
mechanism driving the hands of the 4 clock faces is
a beautiful 1927 mechanical clockwork powered by a
weight that descends inside the steeple. Good solid,
beautiful mechanical engineering but it predates automatic
temperature compensation. That is why an expert needs
to adjust the length of the pendulum to ensure accurate
time-keeping with seasonal changes in temperature.
It is that mechanism that is now being tended by Louis
Nigirini. The man who has the demanding task of winding
our clock (raising the weight) is friendly Bill Coen.
On a high note:
Sometimes people move to our village without many
of us even knowing they are here. It recently came
to my attention that we have a renowned opera singer
living in our midst and thought I would share a little
Her name is Joan Wilken and will soon be taking up
residence at the Napier Retirement Village, along
with her friend, retired architect, Rika Van Rooyen.
Joan has a degree in Music from Wits University as
well as a teacher’s diploma from RAU. She studied
singing with the famous Nellie du Toit as well as
with Rodolfo Mele in London. She received a Special
Nederburg Opera Prize for role of Konstanze in Mozart's
Il Seraglio and sang roles in productions of Marriage
of Figaro by Mozart, Orff's Carmina Burana as well
as oratoriums like Handel's Messiah and Bach's St
Her repertoire also includes operetta, musicals and
light popular music. Joan taught music at both Potchefstroom
University and Jan van Riebeeck High School, where
she also trained the choir. We welcome you to Napier!
A thoughtless act.
This contribution from Helen Berry.
“My 2 children made a disturbing discovery when
we visited our small holding this morning. Someone
has buried their lamb in my tiny “forest”
bordering the river on River road. It is a very shallow
grave for the poor lamb, and my children were very
upset to discover a little hoof sticking out of the
ground. I do not have animals running on my land,
so I have no idea who the unfortunate lamb belongs
to. Could you please include a note, in the Natter,
to the anonymous owner, that decomposing lambs and
young children do not go together?”
Acts of kindness should not go unnoticed,
so here are the necessary acknowledgements –
A brickbat to Constant and Ulrich on changing the
flat tyre belonging to a visitor on 5 July. The lady
had no idea that she was “running on the rim”
when stopped by Constant and together the chaps of
Napier duly changed the tyre.
This is not the first, some 2 months ago the team
included Andre, Rudi and others when a caravan lost
its wheel in Sarel Cilliers Street. The travellers,
from our area had just set off on their caravanning
holiday when the wheel broke off and careened down
the street. Well done chaps, you make us very proud.
On another track
Thank you to the residents that afford lifts to Napierians
between Napier and Bredasdorp. The taxi charge is
R20 one way and this is unaffordable for most.
Napier Car Pool Service has been set up. Need to travel
to Cape Town, Somerset West or Hermanus or maybe have
something dropped off? Under the banner of Lifts offered
and Lifts wanted, your details are recorded and where
possible matched. Destinations are likely to be central,
such as the CBD or en route – and thus reaching
your destination in Kalk Bay or Blouberg will see
you using city links. Travel costs do apply and will
be defined by destination and aimed at serving the
community while assisting the drivers.
Call in at Napier Media House and record your details.
028 423 3834
Lift required to CT on 4 August – 1 passenger
Lift required from CT 15 August – 1 passenger
SAARP Napier Social 31 July 2012.
Warwick Trust presents on their free services to SAARP
members on Wills and Estates at Napier Retirement
Robin Brizony and her team will take instructions
on drafting/updating your will and will be on site
until 15h00. SAARP membership is free, club membership
R50 per year.
Contact Lindy SAARP social secretary on 028 423 3834
SAARP Napier is joining SAARP Hermanus
on an outing to Eagles Rest on 16 August 2012. R60
including lunch. Booking with payment essential by
Contact Lindy 028 423 3834.
Patatfees 2013 got off to a good start last week with
a fruitful first meeting at Pascal’s. Thanks
to all who attended and for all the input. We look
forward to updating you with a lot more detail in
the next Napier Natter!
7de Laan in Napier
A "7 de Laan" fund raising morning
is to be held at the NG Kerk Hall from 9.30am
on the 4th August. Proceeds will go towards
the Anél Fourie fund. As on the TV
'soapie' 7de Laan, there will be a deli, butcher,
'Oppie Koffie' coffee shop, book shop as well
as a jewellery and clothing boutique. At 10.30
there will be a demonstration at the butcher
and at 11.30 at the Deli. All visitors most
Live Music evening @ The Suntouched Inn
Trip-jas will be performing live at Suntouched Inn
on Saturday 28th July at 8.00pm.
Entrance R20 per person
It is really nice to see the Napier/Overberg
Facebook page at full speed again –
promoting the town and local events to the
world in a positive and funky way - and the
photographs are awesome!
If you have not visited in a while, do so!
Ponder this ...
Every man dies. Not every man really lives. - William
More useless facts ...
- A dentist invented the Electric Chair.
- Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected
intravenously - it can kill you.
- The tiny poison arrow frog has enough poison
to kill over 2200 people!
- Statistically you are more likely to be killed
by a champagne cork than by the bite of a poisonous
- Cockroaches can live for nine days without
their heads, at which point they die of starvation.
- On average, right-handed people live 9 years
longer than their left-handed counterparts.
- The leading cause of deaths for children between
the ages of 1 and 4 are motor vehicle crashes. (USA