Monday, 11 November 2019

Golf Day a Success On and Off the Course

Give yourselves a round of applause for a most exciting and very successful Golf Day 2019. Most members who were available joined at some stage or the other and at best count, 28 of the 34 New Dawn people were there.
     The Golf Day is our biggest fundraiser and seems to be growing each year in all respects; the number of golfers increases annually, as does the number of sponsors and raffle income.
Some of the New Dawn team at the Golf Day at Parkview Golf Club on Friday
     Indications are that the income could be over R120 000, although the green fees and the meals at halfway house and the evening hamburgers will still have to be subtracted from that.
     Well done to Mike MacDonald and Greg Smith for organising such a successful day and to everyone who contributed by bringing in golfers, by sponsoring holes or the halfway house, or by contributing to the Barrow of Booze and in any other way.
Graham Donet, the Master of Ceremonies, congratulates Matt Matthee on winning the Bollerwagen of Booze
     The raffle netted a bit less than in previous years, but the total collected on Friday mainly due to the efforts of Julian Nagy, Adele Dabbs and Amina Frense, was more than on the corresponding day last year.
     Friday's take was in the region of R12 000 compared with R10 600 last year.
Paul-Michael Keichel and Justin Sloane were the runners-up
Mike MacDonald and Greg Smith, the golfing dynamo team, hand out prizes to Russ Smith and her partner, Liz Read (far left) who came 4th overall
          The overall winners were Kayleigh Woodman and Justin Louw. Second were Justin Sloane and Paul-Michael Keichel and third Michael Sardinha and Jayson McGregor.
     Tony Reddy was nearest to the pin on the 3rd, Adriaen Sligcher nearest to the pin on the 15th, and Sean Mills nearest to the pin on the 15th.
     Niamh Klinkenberg hit the longest drive on the 18th for the ladies and Hendrik Wessels the longest drive on the 18th for the men.
Helene Bramwell and Adele Dabbs also contributed a great amount 
     Tim Byrne of Parktown North bought the winning raffle ticket outside the Parkview Spar. We never got to see him, as he fetched his wheelbarrow and nearly four 12-bottle cases of wine and other liquor from the golf club on Saturday morning.
     As mentioned, Matt Matthee won the raffle draw for people there on the day.
     Matt was one of the golfers and has attended New Dawn meetings and functions before.
     He is, coincidentally, also the speaker for Wednesday. Matt, an economist, will be speaking about the world economy and how it impacts South Africa.
David Marshall with his box of balls
     Prominent amongst the sponsors were Jankees Sligcher, who sponsored the halfway house to the tune of R5000 in the name of Royal Pas Reform, his mother company in the Netherlands. Helene Bramwell's business The Mask sponsored a hole, as did Karlien Kruger.
     Outside sponsors of R2000 each were BBM Law, Revamp Rand, Aspire Wealth (Grace van Zyl), Jawitz and Matthew Emanuel, Judy Symons' son who couldn't be there on the day. Ben Kruger gave R10 000 to more than cover the cost of two 4-Balls.
     Prize sponsors included Europcar, City Lodge, Impala Meat, The Mask, pressure hoses from Carol Stier and jewellery from Carl and Jacquie Chemaly.
The two Judy's (President Judy Sligcher, left and Judy Symons, right) during the raffle draw. When Judy Symons drew her son Matthew's winning ticket, she promptly put it back in the bowl. Matthew is a previous winner of the Barrow of Booze
     Grace van Zyl, president of the Rotary Club of Johannesburg, not only sponsored a hole, but sold stationery packs at her hole which she then took to donate  to her projects, but passed the R3 200 thus earned on to the club.
Sam Deverneuil and Joan Donet formed a mother-and-daughter team at the initial registration table along with Frayne Mathijs
     Adele Dabbs sponsored a three-night stay at her home in St Francis Bay on a silent auction. Helene Bramwell ended up getting it for R6000, a bargain if ever there was one.
     Adele also sponsored a 4-ball and has promised to put a three-night stay in St. Francis up for auction at the upcoming Festive Dinner.
Paul Kasango with "his" banner
     The two new club banners, designed by Carol Stier and commissioned by Karlien Kruger, drew a lot of admiring attention. Paul Kasango posed with children from the 5Cees for the banner with the theme: Inspire.
     These banners will help to publicise the club and everything we do.
     Debbie Smith displayed her jewellery at the prize-giving and reported brisk sales. She has pledged 15% of the proceeds to New Dawn.
      A great big thank you once again to everyone involved. I trust I've not left any names out but if I have, know that every effort was welcomed and contributed to the success of the day. Like the Springboks, we're better together.
Carin Holmes and Jenine Coetzer were at the meeting after not being able to attend for a while
     It was also great to report that a number of members who have not been able to attend meetings recently, pitched up again last week. Carin Homes, who has been travelling, was there, as was Jenine Coetzer, who took most of the photos for this blog.
     Carol Stier, who has had a foot operation and has been immobilised, was also there and she also made it to the Golf Day.
Hillary Biller, food editor of the Sunday Times
     A welcome visitor, Hillary Biller, food editor of the Sunday Times, was at the meeting as a guest of Helene Bramwell. Hillary donated three recipe books as Golf Day prizes.
     Please don't forget the Festive Dinner on Wednesday, 4 December at Marks Park.
     A Thought for the Week: A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. - Phyllis Diller (1917-2012)

Monday, 4 November 2019

Gallant Granny Nabbed for Grabbing Wine

This blog was going to be all about Winex, about how hard the work is for relatively little reward, but how much fun it is and what a good team-building exercise it is.
     A bit like the Springboks at the World Cup in Japan, then.
     It is by now common knowledge that we were unceremoniously dumped from Winex and sent home after the first night.
     Exactly the opposite of what happened to the Boks, of course, who went on to score a glorious victory over England on Saturday and united a nation in the process.
The first-night crew at Winex: Linda Vink with Graham Donet, myself, David Marshall, Julian Nagy and Adriaen Sligcher. Karlien Kruger took over Adriaen's shift later in the afternoon
     Everyone in the club knows by now why we were sent packing, as Linda spoke to everyone personally and told the members what had happened and why she decided a bottle of Ernie Els wine would be a good Golf Day prize, so the less we dwell on the matter, the better.
     From a New Dawn point of view we need to limit damage to the club, but we are a part of Rotary and it is in the best interests of Rotary that the connection that the Rotary Club of Benoni Aurora has with Winex, be protected. This also extends to four other wine shows around the country that have similar ties with Rotary clubs.
Myself, Graham Donet and David Marshall worked the full shift on Wednesday
     Benoni Aurora has promised that we will be paid for the work done on Wednesday evening which was, as expected, hard work for relatively little reward, etc!
     And in case the message didn't quite get through, this incident marks the end of the road for New Dawn as regards Winex, something that was likely to have happened in any case.
     The board is dealing with the fallout from the weekend and will see to it that all the i's are dotted and t's crossed and then it will be time to put the matter behind us, allow the dust to settle and carry on celebrating the Springboks for an outstanding performance.
Professor Robutso Murapa having his arm twisted by Mike MacDonald
     The Golf Day was discussed at the meeting last week as we are now in the final stages of the planning. Mike MacDonald, who is organising the event with Ex-member Greg Smith, reported that we already have a bigger field than in past years but still needed contributions in the form of prizes and wine and other drinks for the Barrow of Booze raffle.
     Professor Robutso Murapa, who has joined our meetings before and lives close by to the Parkview Golf Club, had his arm twisted by Mike and has agreed to play.
     Another star of the day is undoubtedly Hannes Dressler, who has already provided ten golfers.
Dianne Stewart of North Carolina with Helene Bramwell
     Another visitor was Dianne Stewart, a friend of Helene Bramwell, whose husband is a Rotarian in Charlottesville, North Carolina. Dianne says she takes part in many Rotary events and functions and passed on a few tips for fundraising.
     She is obviously interested in the Donate a Loo project that Helene is championing, but was also cornered by Ian Widdop with regards to the Meriting training scheme.
     The meeting this week will be a business meeting as the board meets tomorrow. We'll also be discussing the final touches for the Golf Day.
     NB: Remember, November is Foundation month in Rotary.
     A Thought for the Week: A life spent making mistakes is not only honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. - George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)


Monday, 28 October 2019

A Polio Milestone is Reached

Polio and the attempts to eradicate it are making headlines and it was therefore fitting that Lucille Blumberg, our resident expert on all matters microbiology and deputy director of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, was the speaker at the meeting last week.
     Thursday was World Polio Day, a day where Rotarians all over the world are asked to redouble their efforts in helping to eradicate the disease from the face of the earth.
Lucille Blumberg speaks and Graham Donet and Julian Nagy listen
     It was fitting therefore that the World Health Organisation could announce on Thursday that wild poliovirus Type 2 has now been permanently eliminated, the second strain to be eliminated after wild poliovirus Type 1 was announced to be eliminated in 2015.
     Lucille sketched the background of the polio eradication campaign and emphasised that Africa is now polio free, after the last remaining country, Nigeria, was declared so three years ago.
     Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only two remaining countries where wild poliovirus 3 is still present. There were 88 reported cases last year. In Pakistan the new prime minister, ex-cricketer Imran Khan, has made eradication a top priority of his government and agreed to spearhead the campaign himself.
Lucille with Monica Kiwanuka, Zena Kimaro and Susan Kasango
     The situation is more troubled in Afghanistan, where the Taliban initially banned immunisation campaigns, but has now reneged and allows it in clinics, but not in mosques or door-to-door.
     Lucille said Rotary and partner organisations such as the WHO and the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation had already spent more than $2 billion on vaccination and oversight campaigns and that this would continue.
     She said that although South Africa had been declared polio-free after the last case was reported in 1988, the country had temporarily lost its status because of inadequate oversight. This has now been reversed.
The official certificate
    There is significant opposition to vaccination efforts in many parts of the world, especially in more remote areas.
    The polio virus is transmitted from person to person through water and therefore most acute in areas with poor sanitation.
     The most difficult phase for the total eradication of polio is still ahead, but Rotary International along with other organisations are determined to see the battle through.
Susan Kasango talks about her life with polio
     Susan Kasango, a Kenyan by birth, was at the meeting to tell about her life with polio. She was infected as a child of of 5 years old and says she doesn't know of life without polio.
     She has spoken about her experiences all over the world and said her message is invariably that no-one can make you feel inadequate if you don't allow them to.
Morningside Rotarians Denise Cruickshank, Jack Stroucken and Dr Brian Barron with President Judy Sligcher
     New Dawn has consistently contributed to the RI End Polio Now campaign with a donation of at least $1000 a year, one of the few clubs in the district to do so. This year part of that contribution  was made in the form of a donation on behalf of the club by PDG David Grant after his very successful fundraising dinner at the Balalaika Hotel in July. The contents of the polio campaign money boxes will also help.
DG Maurice Stander, President Judy Sligcher and President-elect Ian Widdop
     The meeting was also graced by the presence of a group from the Rotary Club of Morningside, who sponsored the founding of New Dawn 10 years ago.
     Terry Mackey, president of the club, said it was his first ever visit to New Dawn and that he and his members were happy to be a part of the meeting.
     The members who visited were Terry, Jack Stroucken, Les Hudson, Brian Barrow, Richard Clowes and Denise Cruikshank.
Paul Kasango, Karlien Kruger, Terry Mackey, Ian Widdop, Chris Stander and Maurice Stander
     Also present were District Governor Maurice and District Governor Ann Chrisna Stander, who were in town for more meetings with clubs on their rounds of all the clubs in the district. They visited Johannesburg North Central on Monday evening and Monica Kiwanuka, president of that club, also attended our meeting.
Jack Stroucken, Les Hudsonand Denise Cruikshank with PDG Jankees Sligcher
Graham Donet, Frank Odenthal and I at the meeting
     Ian Widdop reported that he and Jenine Coetzer had spent time in Daveyton the previous week for a project for mobile libraries he has become interested in. Tadasaki Hasunuma, a retired Sony executive, has already imported 60 of an allowance of 100 Toyota vans which are used for the books and is servicing township schools. These vans are by law not allowed to be used beyond 60 000 km in Japan and he can then import them into South Africa at a much reduced price.
     It's a project that fits in well with  a number of our efforts and Ian has pledged to pursue it.
     Amongst their "assets" is a group of 38 self-styled Gogos who help kids with reading, making them an ideal vehicle through which The Link can expand into townships.
Karlien Kruger with Dr Nobs Motjuwadi of Copessa
     Karlien Kruger paid a visit to Copessa in Soweto last week after offering to help them sort out logistical problems and HR needs.
     Karlien reports that it became clear to her that Copessa needs help with their strategy, process and structure and has undertaken to write a proposal for what she feels they need to be able to help them help themselves.
     Members will remember that Dr Nobs addressed the club a while ago and made a great impression when she shattered a wine glass to illustrate the effect of abuse on children, homes and society at large.

One of Copessa's projects delivers vegetables to Pick n Pay
     Karlien says she was shown around a number of Copessa projects including beading, embroidery, sewing, a pre-school centre, after school care and a vegetable garden which supplies Pick n Pay.
     They have also established safe playgrounds for children, but are frustrated by vandalism aimed at these amenities.
Quiz maestros Karlien Kruger, Paul Kasango, Joan and Graham Donet and Linda and I at the Rotary Club of Johannesburgs' Quiz Night
     Karlien joined Paul Kasango, the Donets and the Vink's for the Johannesburg Club sponsored inter-club quiz night last Friday. We thought we'd done quite well, but only the name of the winning club, Sandton, was announced and not any of the second, third fourth, etc places.
     The Quiz night was well attended and fun, in true Rotary fashion.
     There will be time to catch our collective breath at the meeting this week and start finalising arrangements for all the upcoming events, chiefly the Golf Day on 8 November and the Christmas dinner on 4 December.
     There's still much work to be done for the Golf Day as Mike MacDonald reminded us last week and we really do need more prizes and bottles of wine, spirits and beer for the barrow(s) of booze.
     In the meanwhile, start thinking of what you can contribute to the Christmas/Festive Season Dinner in the form of décor, food or worthy items for the traditional auction.
     A Thought for the Week: Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn. - Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Monday, 21 October 2019

Pizza Galore on a Night to Remember

The pizza night at Hannes and Katya Dressler’s home in Parktown West turned out to be a great opportunity for fellowship and fun and also a win for the club as our hosts decided to donate the proceedings to New Dawn instead of claiming expenses.
     That has made the club almost R3 500 richer, money that will stand New Dawn in good stead.
Katya and Hannes Dressler were our very generous hosts
     This is a very generous contribution from a new member.
     The pizza evening is part of a process to help those members who for various reasons cannot attend the regular Wednesday morning meetings, to stay in touch and show their commitment to Rotary, in line with a worldwide movement within Rotary to loosen ties with strict attendance rules of yesteryear.
    It is also an opportunity for members to invite friends and contacts to see and hear what the club does.
Viv and Paul Channon were honoured guests
     Amongst the guests were Viv and Paul Channon. Paul is the now retired headmaster of The Ridge School in Westcliffe, a man who is active in many good causes. He is a trustee of The Link.
     The good news is that Paul decided after his retirement that he would like to join Rotary and is now aiming to become a member of New Dawn. He promises that we'll be seeing more of him in the weeks to come.
Helene brought along Peter and Marlene Premich as guests
Peter Premich with llewellyn Leonard, who brought his family along
Carolina Reddy with Karlien Kruger and Jessica Leonard
World Polio Day
     PDG David Grant, who organised a concert at the Balalaika Hotel in aid of Rotary International's Polio Fund in July, has informed us that he has paid over an amount of R5000 in the name of Johannesburg New Dawn as a contribution towards the fund. This falls in neatly with World Polio Day on 24 October.
     Along with our usual annual contribution of $1000 and the contents of the Polio Tins, that adds up to a larger New Dawn contribution than in the past.
The Barrow of Booze is looking full, but there's still place for more contributions
     More money has been coming in for the Golf Day, with the first contributions from the sale of raffle tickets at the weekend netting R7 000.
     The raffle is for the Barrow of Booze, which is looking very full but as always there's room for more bottles, so bring them to the meetings. Any surplus bottles will get added to a second barrow to be raffled to people who are there on the day.
Sam Donet, Linda Vink and Julian Nagy on the pavement in Parkview
     Last year we made R37 000 from the raffle, so there's still quite a way to go. Contact Linda Vink if you can help with the selling, or take a list home to sell to family and friends.
     Julian Nagy brought the new Yoco credit card machine along on Sunday and managed to sell R750 worth of tickets to people who didn't have cash on them.
Ronel Wasserman with her daughter, Lily
     One of the people who bought raffle tickets at the weekend (for R200) was Ronel Wasserman, who did the same last year and won the Barrel of Booze.
     When she was told her ticket was the lucky draw, she promptly and very generously donated the whole wheelbarrow with its contents back to the club, which allowed us to set up a new mini-raffle and sell even more tickets before a second draw.
Judy and Jankees Sligcher (who took this photo) also joined Linda in Parkview
Joan Donet with exchange student Cara Kotze and her dad, Tiaan
     Joan Donet reports that our exchange student, Cara Kotze, is packing her bags for France after attending an orientation course at the weekend.
     Cara will be departing on 27 November for France and she was very excited to receive her green exchange blazer.
     We wish Cara a wonderful trip and look forward to hearing all about her experiences next year.
     Travel safe, Cara and carry good wishes from New Dawn to your French host club of Abbeville.
     A Thought for the Week: Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. - Arnold Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Teaching the Teachers for the Future

The Realema Teacher Intern Programme was very much front and centre at the meeting last week, there by invitation of Carl Chemaly.
     Apart from Patrick Lees and Pier Myburgh, who run the programme, Carl also invited a number of high powered guests in the hope of getting them interested in becoming donors.
     New Dawn obviously hopes that some of those donations will be funnelled through the club so that the money can be used to apply for a global grant, thereby multiplying the effect.
Patrick Lees and Pier Myburgh (second from right) with the students who came to talk about their experiences
     Also there were six students who are at various stages of completing a teaching degree through Unisa. This is part of the Realema project, where underprivileged pupils who are passionate about becoming teachers, are identified at school and given the opportunity to get a degree while working at schools for a salary.
Amongst Carl's guests were Angie Chapman, Peter Raubenheimer, Lucy Gush, Peter Gush, Nick Barnes and Craig Clucas
Pier Myburgh and Carl Chemaly flank Ben Kruger and Ian Sinton, two more of Carl's guests
     Amongst the guests were Adrian Short of the catering and events company By Word of Mouth, businessman and banker Ben Kruger, recently retired CEO of Standard Bank, his brother-in-law Japie  van Niekerk, CEO of Bidvest, Craig Clucas, chairman of the investment banking group African Alliance, Ian Sinton, head of compliance at Standard Bank, Nick Barnes of Jozi Housing, Peter Raubenheimer of the Veterinary Wholesaler Lakato and Richard Gush, CEO of Merrill Lynch South who came with his wife, Lucy.
     Carl also brought his wife, Jacqui, along. She's involved in fundraising for Realema in a big way.
     Representing Realema were Patrick Lees, Pier Myburgh, Susan Crosse, Angie Chapman and Ntsiki Ndumela.
     The students were Zibula Dladla, Palesa Leta, Celiwe Magubane, Nxolisi Mangena, Siyabonga Ziqubu and Minenhle Rashama.
The Realema team consisted of St John's Prep headmaster Adriaen Lees, Pier Myburgh and Susan Crosse
     Patrick Lees told the meeting that the project had started in 2012, with the first intern starting their studies in 2014. Realema, he said, is a Sotho word meaning "to grow" or to "sow the seeds".
     By the end of this year 12 students will be graduating with another 10 entering the system next year. The plan is to expand away from an exclusively private schools ethos into former Model C state schools such as KES and Jeppe Boys and Girls High. In 2021 even more state schools will be added.
     The cost for the 10 children next year will be a whopping R2.8 million.
     He emphasised that no new student starts the course, which typically lasts four years, unless funds are guaranteed for all four years.
     Students have achieved a pass rate of 90% with well over 30% distinctions, with all the graduates finding full-time teaching positions at top schools.
Zibula Dladla, who is about to graduate
     The first of the student speakers was Zibula Dladla from Orange Farm, who proudly told the meeting that he is graduating with a B. Ed degree on 29 October. He said he had applied to all the universities to do a teaching degree whilst in Matric, but that his life had truly changed when he came across Realema, which had given him a golden opportunity.
Nxolisi Mangena has started a basketball school for underprivileged children
     Nxolisi Mangena said being a Realema teacher was a bit like being in a Superman story. You're Clark Kent when you're at university studying hard to get a degree, but like a Superman when you're at school teaching and the children look up to you.
Minenhle Rashama addressing the club and guests
     Minenhle Rashama said she would be graduating early next year and is presently busy with her final exams.
     "If it wasn't for Realema I wouldn't be in this position."
     She said the interns feel part of the teaching staff at St. John's and not just interns and would always benefit from the life skills that are part of the training process, even including how to use the correct cutlery at table and how to pour wine.
Pier Myburgh, Jacqui Myburgh and Angie Chapman
Brothers-in-law Japie van Niekerk and Ben Kruger
Tony Reddy with Jankees Sligcher and Jacqui Myburgh
Helene Bramwell brought Eileen Thornhill along as a guest
Future Rotary was represented by Adriaen Sligcher with daughter Josefien and Linda
 Vink with granddaughter Viola
President Judy Sligcher attended a meeting with fellow presidents Jean Bernardo (Rosebank), Grace van Zyl of the Johannesburg club and Monica Kiwanuka of Johannesburg North Central
     Inter-club co-operation was the order of the day at a meeting attended by the presidents of four local clubs at the Corner Café in Craighall Park, reports president Judy Sligcher. Jean Bernardo, president off the Rosebank club and former AG to New Dawn, Grace van Zyl of the Johannesburg club, the oldest on the continent of Africa and Monica Kiwanuka, who is managing to breath new life into the Johannesburg North Central club, attended.
     Part of that co-operation is the Quiz Night at the Orchards Bridge Club arranged by the Rotary Club of Johannesburg. New Dawn has taken a table, with one or two spots still available, so speak to Linda Vink if you're able to join us.
     It's on Friday 25th October.
     A Thought for the Week: The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions. - Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 - 1849)