The pupils who helped knit blankets for the Oakhaven Old Age Home. Some of the senior citizens at the Oakhaven Old Age Home in Heideveld will be a little bit warmer this winter after they received blankets from Heideveld High School.The blanket initiative formed part of the school’s thanksgiving ceremony where they also recognised the work of those who run extramural activities at the school. This included the school’s outreach programme called the Peace Club Heideveld Outreach Group. Since 2011, the school community and residents have donated baskets of toiletries to various old age homes in Cape Town. Last year, for Mandela Day, they donated baby blankets, which they knitted in 67 days, to Tygerberg Hospital, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, and various orphanages.In March this year, the school started collecting wool for the blankets for Oakhaven Old Age Home. Teacher Marlene Douries said that this year the school wanted to do something different.“I suggested that we knit. I didn’t know how but I was taught to knit. We started collecting R2 from each pupil at the school to buy wool and managed to raise R1 000. We bought wool and needles and teachers and pupils literally sat in their classes during break, knitting, and teaching other kids how to knit,” said Ms Douries.On Thursday August 4, 122 elderly members at the Oakhaven received their blankets.Nobulele Nkompela, nursing manager at the Oakhaven, said the blankets would be put to good use in winter. “It is good to know that people have taken us into their hearts. The old people will be very grateful,” said Ms Nkompela.Heideveld High School principal, William Meck, said it is important to thank the individuals involved so that others can be encouraged to also take part in such initiatives.
Booking information – To book tickets call 01988 403222, visit in person at Number 11 North Main Street in Wigtown or buy online at wigtownbookfestival.comWebsite – wigtownbookfestival.com AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInDirector of international cultural and tourism event calls for Scotland’s Secretary of State to help overturn visa decisionThe Home Office has been condemned for barring a young storyteller from entering the UK where he is due to be one of the official artists in residence at Wigtown Book Festival.An appeal is being made to Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell MP and to Alister Jack MP to intervene on behalf of Mehdi El Ghaly as the prestigious international event (which starts this weekend) takes place in Dumfries and Galloway – which is covered by their constituencies.Adrian Turpin, Wigtown Book Festival Artistic director, said: “It is disappointing and frustrating that a respected young storyteller involved in a long-running arts project designed to bring peoples together should be denied a visa to attend an international festival. “Wigtown Book Festival involves writers, journalists, academics, artists and visitors from all over the world and is an award-winning showcase for Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland and the whole of the UK.“We are calling on the region’s MPs and MSPs to make representations to the Home Office, whose decision mars the country’s reputation for intellectual openness and exchange.”Mehdi along with photographer Houssain Belabbes from Morocco, have been working with Scottish counterparts Anne Errington and Laura Hudson Mackay on a project called Confluence exploring and comparing storytelling traditions from the two countries.They have been awarded a fully funded residency at the Wigtown Book Festival where they were due to tell stories, many illustrated by photography, from Morocco and work with festivalgoers to gather or create new tales.The project was planned as an exchange, the second part of which would see the Scots welcomed to Morocco.Laura, who has worked extensively in Morocco for many years, said: “The project is about humanity and exploring storytelling traditions of what on the surface appears to be very culturally different, Celtic and Arabian.“Mehdi is utterly dedicated to his country and its culture, a social entrepreneur running projects to teach Morocco’s ancient stories to a new generation and to preserve their centuries old traditions of public storytelling.“To deny a gifted, enthusiastic young man who wants to share his storytelling talent and culture with us in Scotland is shortsighted and negative.“To deny him the opportunity to be part of the Confluence event at Wigtown Book Festival is a shame, but we very much look forward to October when our next Confluence event takes place in Marrakech, Morocco, where Mehdi lives.”Describing what inspired him, and his passion for his country, Mehdi said: “Whenever there was a storyteller in the square in Marrakech you’d find me there. And I as grew the passion for storytelling grew in me. So, I said to myself, ‘Why not become a storyteller?’ I want to share the art that changed my own life.”Despite the setback Confluence will go ahead the Wigtown Book Festival which runs from 22 September to 1 October.Joyce Woodcock, interim director, of the Upland Arts Agency which is funding Confluence and collaborates with Wigtown Book Festival on an annual residency, said: “It is deeply unfortunate that a young man taking part in a project intended to bring people together is being prevented from coming to the festival – especially at a time of such international tensions when there is a greater need than ever to build bridges between countries and cultures.“It is a tribute to the other people involved in Confluence that they are determined to continue with their work and make it a success.”
Rugby League BY KEVIN TEME The search for a winning halves combination for the SP PNG Hunters continues. But could the inclusion of Justin Tangue Yoka, a raw talent from Yungili village in Pangia, Southern Highlands be part of the solution? It is one of the problems that has been pondering over SP PNG Hunters coach Michael Marum’s mind over the last couple of weeks or most probably months. However, after contemplating he has brought in Yoka to the side for this weekend’s game. Following the footsteps of his elder brother Felix, a former Mendi Muruks premiership winning backs, Yoka is ready for a big game after Marum named him at the starting line-up at five eight for this weekend’s game against Sunshine Coast Falcons. Yoka replaces Charlie Simon who has been shifted back into the hooking role while halfback William Mone maintains his spot for the third consecutive game. This will be Hunters’ second home game and a must-win is expected after two consecutive losses against Tweed Head Seagulls (10-0) in Brisbane and 24-0 against Northern Pride at the Oil Search National Football Stadium in Port Moresby on Sunday. For 20-year-old Yoka, he knows the pressure will be on him but the quiet spoken Southern Highlander says he will do his best given the opportunity. “The coach tried some of the halves but I thank him for giving me this opportunity and I will do my best in this weekend’s game,” Yoka said in Tok Pisin. Despite little or no educational background, the youngster from Pangia said rugby league is all that matters and not going to school and coming direct into the Hunters program was a blessing in disguise. Yoka played for the Western Yambi Tarangau in Pangia league and was selected to represent the association competing in the Highlands Confederate Zones Championship in Goroka, Eastern Highlands. From then on, he never looked back when selected into the Highlands Zone select side. He excelled to participate in the National Zone Conference in Port Moresby where he helped his side win the title. Yoka was selected again but this time, directly into the 60-man train on squad for the 2019 SP PNG Hunters team. The rest is history as he looks to make his debut against the Falcons as Hunter No. 73. “Yoka was impressive; a lot of people saw him and have been talking about him so we brought him to the side, SP PNG Hunters coach Michael Marum said. “What we expect from him is to go out there and play and control from the right side.”