On 8 November I had the honour of attending the celebration of PDG Ken Lester's 50 Anniversary in Strand Club (Ken was DG in 1988-89).  What a milestone! I sat next to Oom Ken and he shared many points of wisdom, and this exists in all clubs - Dave Hawes from Somerset West has been in Rotary for more than 50 years and was one of the first Rotaractors. There are many more people like this. We need to 'mine' this type of wisdom - to the benefit of the youth. 
And a guest speaker at our club recently: Instead of telling someone who arrived late for an appointment to "not arrive late next time", you tell him to "please be early or on time". Reinforce the positive, not the negative. 
Connect the three above and we can and will change our environment - within Rotary and beyond. 
I was in Namibia a few weeks ago, together with DGN Carl-Heinz, visiting 7 clubs. And then I visited Angola's 3 clubs and 2 Rotaract clubs. Once again I stand in awe of what we as Rotarians do. Small clubs punching way above what one tends to expect. It is testimony of Rotarians BEING THE INSPIRATION. It is even more inspiring to see the impact we have when we work together with other clubs beyond our borders. 
As indicated to current presidents during their training (Poets), and during my visit to clubs, we need to tell the good stories more often, we need to learn from the experienced ones in our midst and we need to ensure our clubs add value to our members.  I strongly believe that a member that "belongs and gets value" will talk about Rotary more easily and will invite guests and friends  to come experience the same happiness more readily. 
In closing, whether you are celebrating Christmas or simply taking some time off to enjoy with family and friends, may I wish you safe travels, a joyful time with your loved ones and an abundant 2019. You have worked hard and done great things this year ... your rest is well deserved indeed.
Regards in Rotary and keep being the inspiration.
 "Take 5 and Keep Our Seas Alive" will be launched again this coming December season on local beaches in an effort to curb plastic pollution during the holiday season. The 'Take 5' drive urges all beach users to pick up at least five pieces of beach litter and dispose of them correctly. The awareness campaign will run until 13th January 2019, but the clean-up drive will continue indefinitely. The anti-pollution project is a joint initiative between George Tourism, George Rotary Club and the George Herald. It mirrors similar successful campaigns in other countries such as the Australian "Two Hands Project" and "Take 3 for the Sea". 
Pinelands Rotary, Cape Town are spearheading a sponsorship challenge for a Mouse Free Marion Island. Mice pose a severe threat to the seabird population and attack seabird chicks. Your club can sponsor a hectre of the mouse eradication project for only R1 000.00 per hectre.
Thank you to the Pinelands Rotary, Cape Town, Rotary Club of Claremont and Rotary Club of Newlands who have already taken up the challenge!
When he celebrated his 60th birthday earlier this year on April 14 PP Eckart asked family and friends to rather make a donation towards the cost of funding an event he planned to host later in the year for the aged, than buy him birthday gifts.
The Breede River Winelands Rotary club identified a need for equipment at a local skills development project, and thanks to a District Grant, secured the funds to purchase some much needed equipment.
Conflict Resolution is one of Rotary International's 6 Focus Areas and in a world filled with what seems to be growing intolerance and violence, this focus is more important than ever.
The mission of Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI) is to build local skills for peace and promote mediation worldwide. As a Rotary service partner, MBBI works with Rotary and Rotaract clubs and Rotary alumni to build stronger, more stable communities.

Find out more about their work by clicking here.

On 7th December 2018 with CSI funders, WCED representatives, school staff, governing body representatives, the builders, Rotary Club of Newlands members and invited guests, the Centre was officially opened. 
"Pupils at Noluthando School for the Deaf in Khayelitsha received a boost with the opening of a new treatment and assessment centre. At a cost of R2.6 million, the centre provides capacity for specialist therapy treatments.
About 300 children currently benefit from the special-needs facilities that are aimed at educating hearing impaired and autistic learners. The school had asked the Rotary Club of Newlands to design, obtain funding and construct the building.
“Rotarians believe in a philosophy of 'service above self', and through the relationship we have had with Noluthando for the past 13 years, we have been able to plan and deliver this project, as well as other projects that may not have otherwise been available to the pupils who need them,” said Rotarian John Winship.
Noluthando School for the Deaf principal Ayanda Alfred Ncinane said: “As a resource centre, one of our duties is to support our neighbouring schools through our outreach programme. 
"This centre will enable our professional team to extend their services to the surrounding community of Khayelitsha.” 

- (December 2018)

"Uthandile left on Thursday morning on his exchange to Brazil. He has never been in an airplane before and his trip was via Jo'burg, Rio, Sao Paulo and then onto Santa Caterina. Quite a trip for a first timer.

All went well until Rio. The flight was delayed and he arrived in Sao Paulo having missed his connecting flight. Due to the successful training and preparation given, he knew to go and immediately rebook his connecting flight. Standing in the queue for many hours, he contacted me. Great at 02h00 in the morning!
Spent many hours messaging, keeping him calm and reminding him to eat and drink something. He finally got his new ticket and is boarding at the moment for his final destination. His departure is at 07h00 their time.

This is part of what we do as committee members of Youth Exchange. Am proud of the way he has handled the situation."
- Joke Young, District 9350 Youth Exchange Team

Congratulations to the Youth Exchange Team on a) sending this young man out on an exciting adventure b) for preparing him so well for his travel hiccups!

The Public Image Team are looking for a Rotarian to assist with collecting and posting various Club and District events on the District website and Facebook. 

This role should not take more than 2-3 hours a month and training will be provided. We especially appeal to members in our clubs outside of Cape Town - this role gives you the opportunity to serve on a District Committee from the comfort of your desk or home office. :)

If you are willing and able, please email Shelley on
If you would like to submit a story for the District Newsletter, wish to feature it on the website or in our social media, kindly email it IN THE BODY of an email with images attached to
"Dit was alweer tyd v ons afsluiting 2018. So lekker om deel van die mense se lewens te wees. Dankie v almal se harde werk om dit n sukses te maak in besondere Annique Senekal wat die hoof organiseerder was.  Dankie ook v ons Spesiale gaste d aand Ds Japie en Adelle, asook Antoinette Pienaar vir jou mooi boodskap."

Thank you for this special event for your local community Rotary Club of Beaufort West!

Never underestimate the power of our 'smaller' clubs! The Rotary Clubs of Stanford & Hermanus, Lions Clubs of Bredasdorp & Gansbaai and the Caledon Round Table had an extremely successful collection of Toys for Children at the Overberg Toy Run on Stanford Market Square 25 November 2018. 

Having fun is one of the most interesting parts of being a member of Rotaract, it’s an opportunity for all members to build goodwill and better friendships amongst themselves.

On the 6th of October 2018, the District Social brought chefs from all around the province to compete in the Annual Potjiekos Competition. A competition that not only allows Rotaractors to compete amongst their peers when it comes to cooking skills but a great opportunity to build bridges amongst clubs and is the perfect breeding ground for lifelong friendships.

2018 was the year of the proudly South African Potjie. An opportunity to show our diversity in tastes yet our unity as Rotaractors. The venue was set at the Somerset West Clubhouse and the previous winners, Bellville Rotaract Club were the hosts. A total of 8 clubs participated, all aiming for the desired title of Potjiekos Champion. Surprisingly Hout Bay Rotaract which happened to be the “new kids” on the block came more prepared...

Hout Bay came ready with a uniquely South African dish of Tripe Potjie and a side of chicken feet. We all left licking not only our bowls but fingers. They were followed by the runners up Wynberg (Second Place) and Khayelitsha (Third Place). It was incredible to see a prospective club getting involved and practising being active Rotaractors.

A BIG THANK YOU must go to our judges, Youth Chairs Gail and Stephen, DGE David Holtzhausen and AG Joke Young for their willingness to put their taste buds on the line to pick the winners and the other Rotarians who came to not only taste the amazing potjies but also to build on Rotaract and Rotary Relations.

One thing is for sure. See you in Hout Bay in 2019 for yet another Potjiekos Challenge...

The dream finally became a reality at the Hout Bay sports complex this week as first ground was broken on the long-awaited Eyethu skatepark.

Stakeholders who have worked tirelessly on the project since it was first proposed four years ago watched as the trucks moved on Tuesday November 20.

The trucks brought building sand to the site alongside the AstroTurf. The surface area will be raised and compacted, before heavy machinery begins construction on the first phase of the project in January.

Among those at the ground-breaking ceremony were members of the Rotary clubs of Hout Bay and Newlands; architect Lawden Holmes; Eyethu skatepark project co-ordinator Vicki Scheffel; members of the Hout Bay Sports Council; skateboarding legend Dallas Oberholzer, of the Indigo Youth Movement, who is responsible for the technical build; local skater MJ Johnson; quantity surveyor Yan Bathfield; and Imizamo Yethu community leaders.

The City gave final sign-off for the project in September (“Skatepark on a roll,” Sentinel, September 21).

The skatepark project is expected to create a safe recreational space for children from all walks of life in Hout Bay and beyond.

The local Rotary club and Eyethu volunteers have raised some R900 000 for the project, thanks to donations from its own members as well as Peninsula Beverages through the Newlands Rotary Club, Totnes Devon Rotary Club and the 790 Directory. Crowd-funding and golf days have also helped to bring in the money.

Rotary Club of Hout Bay president Keith Bull was unable to attend the event but said the ground-breaking was a “momentous day” in the development of the skatepark.

“It is a project which has come into existence because of the strenuous efforts of the community itself. We are indebted to the Rotary Club of Newlands, in particular John Winship and Graham Finlayson. We could not be where we are today without their unstinting help and the amazingly generous financial support from Coca Cola Pen Bev as our major sponsor,” he said.

“I would also like to thank all other donors and in particular our partner Rotary clubs and our principal fund-raiser, Club 790 Directory under the directorship of Adele Hayden and Elise de Beer.”

Mr Oberholzer said a decision was taken to only begin the build proper in the new year, as many youngsters would be using the Hout Bay sports complex in the December holidays.

“There is already very strong board-riding culture in Hout Bay. The skatepark will allow us to pass the torch to the younger generation, so we can create a more integrated and inclusive board-riding culture in Hout Bay,” he said.

Loyiso Skoti, of the sports council, said the skatepark would play a pivotal role in uniting all three communities in Hout Bay.

Fifty percent of the labour force employed to work on the project will be drawn from Hout Bay.

Rotary Hout Bay’s Peter Dutton said they had about R900 000 of the likely R1.2 million final build cost available.

“So, while we have enough to build a first phase, we are looking at having to raise a possible further R300 000 to complete the build,” he said.

- Sentinel News, November 2018   |   Join us on Facebook    | Follow us on Instagram