Monday, 31 August 2020

There's a Spring in Our Step

Spring is all about renewal after the hardships of winter and a fitting turning of the season in the southern hemisphere this year, signalling a change and opening up after the harsh lockdown conditions of the past five months.

Well, not quite time for a complete change, according to Prof. Lucille Blumberg, our in-house specialist on all things virus related, especially Covid-19.

She advised that the club sits tight for another few weeks and only contemplates meeting in person towards the middle of September to the beginning of October again.

There will obviously be a discussion about when the best date is, but the club is already planning a joint talk on the seeds project for the meeting on 16 September, which could well be an opportunity to meet in person again.

The Parkview golf course in summer

The Parkview Golf Club has given assurances that they're ready for any event involving less than 50 people regarding social distancing, enforcing the wearing of masks, sanitising and other measures. The possibility of live streaming meetings for those who don't want to venture from their lockdown homes yet, is also being investigated.

The Rotary year is slipping by and so many things have been put on hold that Spring seems like an ideal opportunity to get going again. What we do now, will hopefully bear fruit later or, in the words of Walter Scott (1771 - 1832): Unless a tree has born blossoms in spring, you will vainly look for fruit on it in autumn.

The trees that we need to bear fruit are of course mainly to do with fund raising. Two of our major fund raising events are looming: the annual Golf Day and the annual Festive Dinner.

We've managed to get a later date for the Golf Day, namely Friday, 27 November at the Parkview Golf Club.

The golf day that Mike MacDonald had arranged for earlier in the year to help a young black golfer, had to be cancelled due to to lockdown and the plan is now to combine the two, hopefully with an expanded field of players.

Andy Ostle of the SAGDB and Mike MacDonald at the meeting in February

Andy Ostle of the SA Golf Development Board told the club in February that the 12-year-old youngster, Eric, is already playing provincial golf against children much older than himself and that the SAGDB was trying to raise money to help educate him and further his career.

The Golf Day is unfortunately just a week before the Festive Dinner, provisionally booked for Friday, 4 December at Marks Park. Diarise those two dates, as the club as a whole is going to have to put in a major effort to make both a success. It's not ideal to have them so close together, but still far better than having to cancel either of the two.

Both these dates naturally depend on the situation with the coronavirus at the time and the circumstances based on lockdown levels and other regulations.

Pat Dixon on zoom

The speaker at the meeting last week was Pat Dixon, who told the club about her new career as a life coach and what life coaching entails. Pat is an Englishwoman who came to South Africa in 1981. After being retrenched from the catering company Fedics (where she met Graham Donet) she trained as a coach. She specialises in transition coaching and retirement issues.

She and her husband, Peter, have a daughter and son, who is a professional county cricketer in the UK.

She spoke about the impact that Covid-19 is having on a large number of people, not only regarding health and welfare, but also in terms of retrenchments, job loss and loss of business and about resetting your goals to overcome the negative effects.

Pat owns a company, Your Time is Now, and left her contact details for any members if they wanted to speak to her (website:, email:, cell: 082 776 5963).

At the meeting on Wednesday President Ian Widdop will be leading a discussion on the state and future of mass media in these times of investigative journalism, social media and mad coronavirus theories. He's asked the five members in the club who either work or have worked as journalists  (Carol Stier, Christoph Plate, Amina Frense, Jenine Coetzer and myself) and of course any other members, to contribute to a discussion. It's bound to be a lively debate, so make sure you're there.

A Thought for the Week: Let us be grateful to the mirror for revealing to us our appearance only. - Samuel Butler (1835 - 1902)

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