Umtamvuna Views: Deryck sadly loses the battle

Port Edward farmer and avid fisherman Deryck Bircher lost his battle with cancer recently.

DERYCK Bircher (82) of Port Edward died peacefully at home in the early hours of last Friday (November 2nd). He had flown to Cape Town in August to consult a specialist and have tests done for chronic shoulder pain.

ALSO READ : Umtamvuna Views: Port Edward applauds unselfish heroes

Diagnosed with advanced cancer of the spine, he underwent five radiation treatments, but sadly succumbed to the disease within three months. Deryck was a well loved member of the community and wife Pat commented, ‘He was passionate about two things – farming and fishing!’ The Bircher family relocated to Port Edward from Harding in 1984, built up a thriving banana farm which they sold about 15 years ago and then moved into town.

When Deryck became sick, two former Port Edward women flew in to help Pat care for him. Tessa Cronjé came from Cape Town and Salome Bretagne from Pretoria. Pat has been amazed and grateful for the love and care she has been shown. Deryck leaves his wife, Pat, and their only daughter, Renei (46) who lives in Cape Town. There will be a memorial service at the Methodist church tomorrow (Thursday) at 11am.

‘Greenies’ gather

Adjudicator Kate Grieve (standing) congratulates winning team ‘SSPJ’ (from left) Sally Booker, Jenny Koen and Steph Breedt for winning last Friday’s conservancy quiz. The photo was snapped by fourth team member, Philippa Makepeace.

The Cowshed Coffee Shop was abuzz with excited local ‘greenies’ last Friday night who battled it out at the fund-raising environmental quiz held for Umtamvuna Honorary Officers.

Money raised will go towards repairing the deck at the Ezemvelo headquarters, Beacon Hill. Eleven teams of the brightest nature boffins in the area did their best to answer a myriad of extremely difficult and technical questions – from botany to the solar system.

Winning team ‘SSPJ’, comprising Jenny Koen, Stephanie Breedt, Sally Booker and Philippa Makepeace, scraped into the lead by only half a point. Restaurant manager Andrea Hechter provided a lovely supper of beef burgers and apple cake for more than 60 people.

It was a lively, competitive evening with a great atmosphere and lots of humour. Honorary officers worked very hard to make the evening a success and sincerely thank all who supported the event.

Grade 11 pupils (from left) Gordon Watson, Seithati Mokoena, Masibulele Bongo and Vuyolwethu Xaba from The Woods School in Port Edward took part in the fun environmental quiz held at the Cowshed Coffee Shop last Friday evening.

Club celebration

The Port Edward Country Club celebrated its 40th birthday last Saturday. The club originally started off with a nine-hole golf course and two clay tennis courts and the clubhouse was merely a roofed, open-sided shelter used for parties, functions and ‘spectatoring’!

Lyn Doveton (left), Cathy Molyneaux (middle) and Ann Pepworth celebrated Port Edward Country Club’s 40th birthday last Saturday.

All the earthworks and building was done by a handful of local farmers and their staff. Some years later the clubhouse was modernised – two new tennis courts were built and two squash courts added. It used to be a lively and busy sports club, but sadly, with technology captivating both young and old, social sports have steadily declined. Nonetheless, the club threw a well-supported celebratory rugby (SA sadly lost to England) and spit braai party which was immensely enjoyed.

Andrew Ralfe and Hayley Westray had a ball at the Port Edward Country Club’s 40th birthday rugby and spit braai party last Saturday.

Worthy fund-raiser

Anjé de Koker (9) is a very special little girl with a rare incurable condition that affects the blood vessels of the brain. Diagnosed at 11 months with ‘vein of Galen malformation’ (VOGM), she requires constant medical care and has already undergone five brain surgeries.

Support the fund-raising tea that has been organised to help Anjé de Koker (9) of Port Edward, who has a rare brain disease.

Anjé lives in Port Edward with parents Jana and Theo de Koker, who do not have finances to provide the continual medical attention their only child needs. Show your support and attend a fund-raising women’s tea at TO Strand next Saturday, November 17th. Tickets are R100 and each guest will receive a L’Oreal gift. Tickets can be bought at the library or at Ramsay Gardens and any donations would be appreciated. For more information, contact Jana on 072 5147461.

Bowlers are back

The Munster Bowling Club officially opened its greens last Saturday and after play, members gathered for the prize-giving and a delicious rice dish known as ‘nasi goreng’ for supper.

Well done to Munster Bowling Club champions Phil Longden and Louise Dry.

Louise Dry and Phil Longden are club champions.

All news to Philippa

 

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  AUTHOR
PHILIPPA MAKEPEACE

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